Edginton Steals One at the Line in Jamestown
Canadians Mike Balcaen, driver of the No. 10 Enns Brothers Black Diamond, and Dave Smith, in the No. 06 Polar Industries Capital lead the field to the green. Balcaen won the drag race to turn one, but Smith motored around the outside, and took the lead down the back stretch.
As the field was exiting turn four, fourth running Dustin Strand, driver of the No. 71S Q&Z Plumbing & Heating Millenium, made contact with the driver side door of Brad Seng's No. 12S S&S Transport MB Custom, causing a caution in which Strand was charged.
On the restart, Balcaen again took to the lead, as Smith began to defend second as Edginton showed the nose of the No. 4 Performance Auto Victory by Moyer on the inside.
Smith ran second at the completion of the first lap, with Edginton and Seng close behind.
The top seven strung out, running equal distances between each other, as Strand who restarted at the tail, threw everything he could at Jeff Hapala, driver of the No. 16S Graphic Creations Rocket, but to no avail.
At the end of five laps, Balcaen had earned himself a full straight away lead over Smith as the field continued to lap around the heavier than normal quarter-mile.
The races were delayed about an hour and a half after a rain shower in the just before five o'clock soaked the track and the pits, but the Jamestown Speedway track crew work hard to try to get the track back.
Shane Edginton in victory lane in Jamestown on Saturday night.
Edginton made steady progress, eating away at Balcaen's every lap, until he caught the back of Balcaen's 10 car around the twelve to go mark. Both drivers ran the cushion, which was just barely above the half way point of the track due to the rain, as the pair ran a few circuits with no traffic to work with, while also putting Smith further behind, with ten laps left.
The next few laps saw neither driver make any major bobbles on the cushion as they closed in on the final lapped cars of the race. Edginton took his first peek inside of Balcaen for the lead in turns three and four as they came by the flag stand with six laps remaining.
The top three ran high, as fourth running Seng consistently looked to the inside of Smith for third in the waining laps.
They came by for three to go, and Balcaen abandoned the highside and went low in one and two, but he didn't get off of turn two strong enough, as Edginton went door-to-door for the lead down the back stretch.
Edginton briefly had the lead in three, but Balcaen got off four strong enough to lead at the line with two to go. Meanwhile, Smith and Seng had caught the lead pair, as you could drop a blanket over the top four cars.
Video of the last five laps in Jamestown.
Seng took third as the white flag flew, as Edginton again briefly lead as he ran low, with Balcaen high. Balcaen got a strong bite off of turn two, and dove to the inside of three, in what looked like the race winning move. Balcaen's car pushed just a bit off the bottom of three to the middle of four, as Edginton rode the cushion and beat Balcaen back to the line for the win.
The margin of victory was .074 seconds. Brad Seng finished third, with Dave Smith and Ryan Corbett rounding out the top five. Adam Fischer finished sixth in the No. 30 Northwest Auto Body Rocket, with Jeff Hapala seventh, Steve Anderson eighth in the No. 9 Spicer Trucking Pierce. Steffen Snare and Cole Schill rounded out the top ten.
Edginton was also the races hard charger, as he started fifth, passing four cars for the victory. Smith, Strand, and Balcaen won the heats, 17 cars were in attendance.
On Sunday night at Buffalo River, Dustin Strand and Donny Schatz, who finished second by just a few feet to Jason Johnson at the Knoxville Nationals only 20 hours prior, lead the field to the green.
Strand took the lead heading into turn one, as Brad Seng took a look to the inside of Schatz's No. 15 K3 Farms Rocket, with the latter just edging out Seng for second at the completion of the first lap. As the top four settled in, Cole Schill, in the Rivinius Ranch No. 44 and Ryan Corbett in the Dempsey Truck Service No. C4, went side-by-side for fifth in their MasterSbilt race cars. Shane Edginton joined the battle for fifth on lap three, with Corbett holding the spot.
As those three fought for position. Strand had opened up a ten car lenght lead, as Edginton took sixth from Schill at the end of lap four. Schill took sixth back on lap six, as the pair were still within an arms reach of Corbett for the final spot inside the top five.
Strand caught the back of the field upon the completion of the eighth circuit, as four cars battled for position in front of the leader. Schatz found himself sitting in the cat bird seat at Buffalo River for the second straight appearance by the NLRA at the Speedway, as he was running second last June when then race leader Bill Mooney, driver of the No. 2 OMG Candy MasterSbilt, slipped off the backstretch while trying to lap side-by-side running lapped traffic last season.
Strand was able to lap the first to cars on the front stretch at the end of lap nine, as the pair made contact just after Strand's pass, sending one car into the infield, allowing Schatz to keep pace.
Brad Seng (12S) and Donny Schatz (15) side-by-side for second at Buffalo River Sunday night Mike Spieker photo.
Strand made an incredible move in turn two to split the next pair of lappers, putting two cars between himself, and second running Schatz. Schatz could not make his way around the pair as Strand did, this allowed Strand to take a straightaway lead with eleven laps complete.
Schatz tried the same split that worked for Strand one lap later, but couldn't get off turn four strong enough to mussle by. Another lap went into the book before a caution flew with twelve laps complete.
Schatz chose the inside for the double file restart, but Brad Seng was able to rocket off the outside to take second on the restart. Seng and Schatz continued to fight for second, as Mike Balcaen, Cole Schill, and Shane Edginton put the fourth spot up for discussion.
The top six remained pretty much the same for the next handful of circuits, until a caution with two laps remaining restacked the field for one last dash for the win. The yellow wasn't all together bad for Strand, as he had just began lapping traffic again as the caution flew.
Seng chose the inside on the final double file restart, but Schatz used the outside to briefly take second until another push in turn four handed second right back to Seng. Cole Schill was nearly able to use the final restart to inprove his finish, as he moved by Mike Balcaen for fourth, but Balcaen made it back by at the line.
Donny Schatz finished second over Brad Seng, with Mike Balcaen and Cole Schill rounding out the top five. Shane Edginton finished sixth, with Steffen Snare, moving the No. 71S Todd's Electric Bloomquist to seventh from the eleventh starting spot. Dusty Peterson, Ryan Corbett, and Tom Corcoran, driver of the No. T1 Forks Finest Auto Body Rocket, rounded out the top ten.
Matt Gerlach-Smith, driver of the No. 86 Polar Industries Capital, improved six spots to take his first career hard charger award in NLRA competition. Strand, Schatz, Seng, and Schill won the heats, an impressive 24 car field was in attendance Sunday at Buffalo River.
Brad Seng will continue to carry the point lead into Saturday night's double header with the NOSA Sprint Cars at the Devils Lake Speedway near Crary, ND. Seng's lead will be 38 markers over Jamestown winner Shane Edginton.
| || |
Twitter: twitter.com/NLRAracing (@NLRAracing)