Schill and Allen Kent, in his K&K Racing No. 33, lead the field to the green, with Schill leading into one. The pair was followed by Shane Edginton, Matt Aukland and Mike Balcaen. Schill lead lap one by a nose, as he and Kent were even, one again, into turn one, as Aukland peeked inside of Edginton in turn two.
Schill, again using the bottom has the advantage, lead Kent by a wheel well at the line. The top five went single file through turns one and two, as the pair of 16's, Hapala in his Auto Solutions Rocket looked low on Storbakken's Storbakken Construction entry, in a battle for sixth.
For the third straight time at the line, Schill narrowly holds the advantage, as Kent still makes the top side work for him.
Shaw joins the race with the 16's as he splits the pair in three an four on the fourth lap, as Schill is able for the first time to lead clearly, as his quarter panel is clear of Kent.
Shaw, who started twefth in his Shaw Trucking No. 42S, cleared the 16's for sixth, as Balcaen moved the No. 10 Enns Bros. Black Diamond, to the inside of Aukland's M&J Auto Parts No. 12A, for fourth. 15th starting Brad Seng moved the No. 12S S&S Transport MB Custom, around Kevin Robertson's No. 10R Nugget Vending MasterSbilt, and Steve Anderson's No. 9 Big Trucks by Jimco Pierce, to move into the top ten.
Balcaen completed his pass on Aukland in turns one and two as Kent continued to stalk Schill for the lead. The top six began to string out on lap eight, as the 16's continued their battle for position. At the start on lap ten, Shaw began to reel in Aukland, as Schill saw the rear of the field for the first time. All of that was erased, however, as Josh Johnson spun his No. 84X Jerry's Welding & Fabrication Rayburn in turn four.
Brad Seng (12S) and Don Shaw (42S) continued their battle from Ada in West Fargo. Mike Spieker photo.
Seng made a big move off the bottom of four, passing Storbakken and Shaw, then peeking inside of Aukland for a spot in the top five. Shaw wasn't done yet, as he continued to stalk Seng, as the pair nearly went three wide with Aukland in one and two on lap eleven. In three an four, Balcaen went for a big slider on Allen Kent for third, but he wasn't quite clear of Kent, as the right rear quarter of Balcaen's machine made contact with Kent, but the pass stuck and Balcaen was third off four.
Seng cleared Aukland, while Kent went back at Balcaen in one and two. Seng pounced, and took fourth down the back from Kent with 13 to go, and third from Balcaen down the back straight with twelve to go. Back in the top ten the Q&Z cars continued to improve, as Zach Naastad passed Shaw for fifth, and Dustin Strand passed Jason Storbakken and Matt Aukland, and started stalking Kent and Shaw for sixth.
Jason Storbakken (16) and Kevin Rpbertson (10R) battle at RRVS. Mike Spieker photo.
With nine to go, the top three broke away from the rest of the field, as Naastad peeked inside of Balcaen for fourth, with Shaw close behind.
With eight to go, Shaw went three wide briefly with Balcaen and Naastad for fourth, as they came out of two in the same order.
With seven to go, Seng peeked inside of Edginton for second, as the pair went side-by-side down the back straight. Edginton pushed a bit in three and four, with Seng capitalizing for the runner up spot.
With six to go, Schill caught the back of the field, and with five remaining, he faced his first test in traffic, but he stayed low, and put the last place car one lap down, as Shaw took fifth from Balcaen.
The first lapped car separated Schill and Seng for about a lap, as Schill looked to put one more car between himself and Seng for insurance. Schill did just that in one and two with three to go, as Naastad and Edginton fought for third in traffic. In turns three and four, Shaw swept to the outside of Naastad and Edginton as those three fought for third as the white flag flew.
Schill looked good to come home with it, as he had a half a straight away on Seng, even though a pair of lapped cars running side-by-side for position in front. Schill stayed patient on the low side in three and four, picking up his second win in less than a week.
An elated Schill in victory lane was asked about the win, stating "I think this would be the biggest one, in front of the home crowd, it can't get much better than this" When asked if he knew Seng was on his tail, he replied, "I could hear him (from) time to time, but i just tried to hit my marks, and, you know, to beat a guy like Brad says a lot about our program."
Brad Seng finished second, with Don Shaw third, Shane Edginton fourth, and Zach Naastad completing the top five. Dunstin Strand crossed the line in sixth, with Mike Balcaen seventh, Allen Kent in eighth, Matt Aukland ninth, and Kevin Robertson rounding out the top ten. Seng was the hard charger, improving 13 spots. Aukland, along with Schill and Kent were the heat winners, as 25 cars entered the return to West Fargo. All but three cars completed every lap, as, along with the two cars that were lapped at the end of the A, Greg Meyer's flat tire in his heat race, limited him to four laps in that event.
On Saturday night at River Cities, Don Shaw and Mike Balcaen lead the field to the green, with Shaw winning the drag race to turn one.
Every driver in the top five dove to the bottom, with the exception of Dustin Strand. Strand would use the highline on lap two to challenge Brad Seng for third, with Seng keeping the spot with a slider in three and four.
Seng would stay high in one and two, as Shane Edginton would challenge Strand on the low side of one and two.
Edginton would complete the pass the following lap, and come after Seng for third. Edginton was ahead by a nose on the backstretch, but a yellow would come out, negating the possible pass.
Mike Balcaen (10), Brad Seng (12S), and Dustin Strand (71) three-wide at River Cities. Traci Palya photo.
Balcaen would choose the inside on the double file restart., and the field would remain in the same double file order at speed through one and two, as Cole Schill pulled ahead of Steffen Snare on the exit of two.
Strand would clear Edginton on the backstretch, with Seng taking second at the flag stand. Balcaen would duck back low on Seng, with Strand sweeping to the outside on both of them, with the trio going three wide in turns one and two on lap five.
Seng and Balcaen held off Strand down the back straight, as the pair would briefly turn their attention towards Shaw for the lead. Strand wasn't done with them yet, however, as he chose the middle, and would split Seng and Balcaen, going three wide again in three and four, with Seng coming back to the line first.
Strand would take second from Seng in one and take a look inside Shaw for the lead. Strand would pull even with Shaw in three, as Seng and Balcaen ran side-by-side for third. Strand was still even with Shaw on the bottom on one and two, with Strand pulling slightly ahead at the approach to turn three, but Shaw would pull back ahead at the line.
Lap eight would see Shaw lose the lead again down the back straight, but pull ahead again at the line. They remained even in one and two, but Shaw was better down the back and in three and four, gaining a five car length lead in the line.
As Shaw and Strand swapped the lead, they pulled away from third running Seng by ten car lengths. Steffen Snare would go high on Balcaen for fourth in three and four, and take it at the completion of the tenth lap.
Lap eleven would see the top five space out evenly arould the quarter-mile, before the leaders would reach traffic on lap twelve. Strand went low as Shaw lapped the first car on three and four. Despite the traffic, Shaw would lead by a straightaway, while putting another car a lap down, before a caution with eleven to go.
Steffen Snare (71S) Shane Edginton (4), and Cole Schill (44) battle at River Cities. Traci Palya photo.
Strand would choose the inside on the double file restart. Balcaen would go high on Snare with Edginton in the middle, the trio going three wide in three and four for fourth.
Strand would peek inside of Shaw, but Shaw remained on the point.
Shaw remained on the high side with ten to go, as Strand and Seng went low in one and two. Strand looked to the inside of Shaw in three and four, as Balcaen and Edginton battled for fourth.
Shaw remained on the high side with ten to go, as Strand and Seng went low in one and two.
Strand looked to the inside of Shaw in three and four, as Balcaen and Edginton battled for fourth.
Edginton went low on Balcaen in one and two with nine to go, but Balcaen held the spot, with Steffen Snare pulling outside of Edginton after the latter's momentum was shot after the attempted pass on Balcaen.
Schill capitalized with a slide on Edginton in one and two, but Edginton powered back around down the back. Schill proceeded to run low on Edginton in turns three and four. The top five were all running high and evenly spaced with six to go, as they approached traffic again, before a caution flag flew with five laps remaining.
On the ensuing single file restart, Shaw ran high again, as Strand chose to go low. Seng and Balcaen moved high and low respectively, as Snare ran high in one and two. Balcaen slide Snare, as Schill looked low on Snare and Balcaen in three and four. Snare slide over the banking in turn four into the safety water barrels, bringing out a yellow, while another lap went in the books.
The final restart with four to go saw Shaw ran high once again, as Strand ducked low. Seng followed Shaw high, with Balcaen low, and Schill high in one and two. Strand peeked inside of Shaw one last time in three and four. Seng went low on Strand in one and two with three to go, but was unable to capitalize. The top five all ran high throughout the second to last lap.
Shaw's car cornered fine in one and two on the last circuit, despite a left rear tire that was purging all its' air. Three and four was a different story, however, as the back end of the 42S stepped way out in turn four. Shaw was able to keep it straight off turn four, and nurse the failing Hoosier home for the win.
Shaw in victory lane was asked of and when he knew the tire was going down, "When the yellow came out, I noticed my car got tighter and tighter, I was hoping it was my left rear instead of my right rear." He was also asked about the tour, and he was very complimentary, adding "It was actually a lot of fun racing with these guys. These NLRA guys are just awesome."
Strand finished second, with series point leader Brad Seng in third, while Mike Balcaen and Cole Schill rounded out the top five. Shane Edginton and Jeff Hapala finished sixth and seventh respectively, while ninth finishing Steve Anderson finished between the Alberta native Smith's in their Mobile 1 backed Capitals. Matt collected his best NLRA finish to date in his No. 86 entry, earning an eighth place run, while Dave completed the top ten in the No. 06 car. Shaw, Seng, and Balcaen won the heat, 19 cars entered the races, as early season attrition has picked at the area's roster.
The NLRA season continues on Sunday night, July the 17th with a return to the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, as the series will co-headline action with the NOSA Sprint Cars on the final night of the Red River Valley Fair, for a five o'clock start.