Last season, the series returned to Minot for the first time since 2012, and it was local hero Donny Schatz that came away with the victory in the No. 15 Fastlane Car Wash Rocket.
Schatz started fourth, and swapped the lead with Mike Balcaen and his No. 10 Enns Brothers Black Diamond, three times.
Balcaen lead the first ten trips around the Nodak Speedway, while regaining the lead from Schatz three circuits later. Schatz took the lead for good on lap 22 of the 30 lap affair.
Dustin Strand was second in the No. 71 Generations Salon Millenium SRT, and Brad Seng in was third in the No. 12S Anderson Brother's Body Shop MB Custom.
Estevan, Saskatchewan native Tyson Turnbull charged from twelfth to fourth, while Magic City Resident Robert Hellebust rounded out the top five.
This will be the first race of the season for the NLRA at a track that is bigger than a third of a mile.
The three-eighths mile oval is tied for second biggest on tour with the Norman County Raceway in Ada, MN. Only the Viking Speedway, the half-mile in Alexandria, MN, is bigger.
Donny Schatz in victory lane at the Nodak Speedway last August. Nodak Speedway photo.
Last season, the aforementioned Turnbull and Hellebust, were joined by Wayne Johnson, Steven Pfeifer, and Aaron Turnbull, as drivers who run both cars at Nodak.
Tom Corcoran, driver of the No. T1 Greg's Lawn Care MB Custom, leads all active drivers with two previous series wins in Minot. Schatz joins Mike Balcaen, Troy Schill, driver of the No. 11 Todd's Electric Black Diamond, and Brad Seng, as the other series regulars with one previous Nodak triumph.
Defending series champion Dustin Strand has a 26 point lead over Shane Edginton, driver of the No. 4 Forks Mobile Wash Victory, heading into the weekend. Brad Seng is third, with Brody Troftgruben fourth in the No. 14 Gateway Auto Tech Rocket, while Mike Balcaen rounds out the top five.
Cole Schill is sixth in the No. 44 R&H Landscape Supply MB Custom, with Jesse Teunis seventh in the No. 70 Performance Auto MasterSbilt, and Ryan Corbett eighth in the No. C4 Jess Rice Crary Realty MasterSbilt.
Rookie Ryan Kereluk, driver of the No. 29K Avonlea Group Victory is ninth, with Tom Corcoran rounding out the top ten.
Racing begins at seven on Sunday night. For more information, visit our Tracks page, or log on to racenodak.com
Previous NLRA Feature Winners at the Nodak Speedway:
2018 - Donny Schatz on August 5
2012 - Brad Seng on June 24
2010 - Pat Doar on August 15
2008 - Tom Corcoran on June 29
2007 - Jeremy Keller on June 10
2005 - John Seitz on June 5
2003 - John Seitz on August 30
2002 - Dale Skytland on July 13; Troy Schill on August 11
2000 - Mike Balcaen on May 28
1999 - Tom Corcoran on Sept. 4; Dale Skytland on Sept. 5; Johnny Johnson on Sept. 6
The NLRA would like to thank Tour Sponsors: Performance Auto, Adams Automotive & Machine, S&S Transport, Gateway Cenex, Millar Engines, Wes' Plumbing & Heating, White Water Truck Wash, On The Edge Graphics, Anderson Brother's Body Shop, Smitty's Transmission, Fastenal, El Roco Nightclub & Bottleshop, Hart Attack Racing, Residual Materials, Generous Jerry's, Gold & Silver Exchange, Gateway Sportz, Grand Forks Subaru/Kia, BOSS Signs & Graphics, Fargo Forum Printing, Fastlane Racing Equipment, Q&Z Plumbing, A&L Siding, Bank Insure/Forward, Hugo's Wine & Spirits, Daydreams Specialties, Play It Again Sports, Red Wing Shoes, Speedway Shots, Country Financial, Storbakken & Sons Construction, EGF American Legion Post #157, EZ Open Garage Door, Schill Construction, Northern Lights Floral Co., Jess Rice Crary Realty, Generations Salon, Northern Motors, and Contingency Sponsors: CMD Shocks, Hoosier Tire North, Mars Race Cars, Performance Auto, Speedway International Fuel, Schaeffer's Oil & Lubricants, for their support.