At the start, Brad Seng lined his No. 12S S&S Transport MB Custom alongside Joey Pederson's No. 7P Vesey Plumbing Victory.
It was Pederson taking the lead at the start, as Seng settled into second. Seng peeked to the inside of Pederson early, until the latter took the bottom lane on the high-banked, quarter-mile Bullring.
They remained one two as they approached traffic just before the ten lap mark. Seng had taken the lead on lap eleven, as they started to work lapped traffic.
During a caution that came just past the halfway point, Pederson went pitside, putting Donny Schatz and Mike Balcaen, and his No. 10 Enns Brothers Black Diamond, on Seng's tail.
Following another caution one lap later, Schatz took the point, as he powered past Seng down the backstretch to lead lap thirteen.
As the lead changed, fourteenth starting Dustin Strand moved his No. 71 Q&Z Plumbing & Heating Millenium SRT past Balcaen and into third.
Dustin Strand (71) and Donny Schatz (15) battle for the lead at River Cities. Speedway Shots photo.
Following another caution shortly thereafter, Strand moved to the inside of Schatz, as the pair went door-to-door for the next handful of circuits.
Strand, who was running the bottom, took the lead with another slide job with four laps to go, and built a decent lead in the next pair of trips around the Bullring, until the lead duo caught the back of the field.
Strand had trouble with a lapped car, which allowed Schatz to make up all the ground he had lost in the previous two laps. Schatz pulled to the inside of Strand down the backstretch with a lap-and-a-half remaining.
Heading into turns three and four for the second to last time, the pair touched coming off the corner, as Schatz lead at the flagstand, while Strand went sideways on the front stretch and into turn one on the last lap.
That was all Schatz needed as he drove away for his second River Cities win of the season. Strand was second, with Seng third, Balcaen fourth, and Shane Edginton completing the top five in the No. 4 Performance Auto Victory.
Ryan Corbett, who was coming off his first River Cities win in eleven years the previous Friday, finished sixth in the No. C4 Dempsey's Truck Service MasterSbilt, with Brandon Fuller in seventh in the No. F9 Robinson Excavating MB Custom.
Bill Mooney, driver of the No. 2 Lithia Toyota of Grand Forks MasterSbilt by JMR, charged from the twenty-third, and final spot at the start, to finish eighth, winning the Performance Auto hard charger award.
Tom Corcoran and the No. T1 D&B Motors MB Custom, and Travis Robertson in his No. 1R Big Al's Construction MasterSbilt, rounded out the top ten.
Schatz in victory lane post race on what he had to do to score the win, "Dustin got by us there, and we needed that traffic. We just had to go where he didn't. It worked out. Pretty awesome race car, the guys at Rocket, it's been pretty good... These things are a lot of damn work, but they're a lot more fun."
Along with heat winners Pederson and Seng, fifteen-year-old Bryce Sward made the trip from Nelson, MN, to score the win in the second heat in his Alexandria Appliance & Service No. 1-2 in his NLRA debut. 23 cars were in attendance at River Cities.
NLRA action continues Sunday night, August the 18th, at the Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon, ND.