Schatz shared the front row with Brad Seng, driver of the No. 12S Schill Construction MB Custom, as the green flag flew at the start of the feature.
Seng took the lead at the start, and lead the first three circuits as Schatz and Mike Balcaen, driver of the No. 10 Mission Transport Black Diamond, battled door-to-door, no more than a half a car length of Seng at times.
When Schatz took the lead at the flag stand at the conclusion of lap four, the top three were three-wide as Joey Pederson, driver of the No. 7P Dahlstrom Motors Victory, stalked close behind in fourth.
The trio went three-wide for the entirety of the fifth circuit, with Balcaen coming out on top.
Balcaen, who was using the low side of the quarter-mile Bullring, continued to edge out Schatz at the line in each of the following five rounds.
They were able to pull away from Seng a bit, allowing Pederson to use the bottom to battle head-to-head with Seng.
Donny Schatz prepares for action on Friday night.
The top running Schatz, seized the moment and capitalized, taking the lead at the end of lap ten. Pederson was also able to use traffic to his advantage, moving up to the runner up spot around the halfway point.
The top four settled in for the remainder of the green-white-checkered affair, as the final battle inside the top five featured three wide battles with eventual fifth place finisher Troy Schill, Ryan Corbett, driver of the Dempsey's Truck Service No. C4, and Bill Mooney, driver of the Lithia Toyota of Grand Forks No. 2. The trio guided their MasterSbilts through traffic while battling for the fifth spot.
Donny Schatz crossed under the checkers nearly three seconds ahead of Joey Pederson. Mike Balcaen, Brad Seng, and Troy Schill rounded out the top five.
Ryan Corbett finished sixth for the second consecutive night, with Tom Corcoran, driver of the No. T1 D&B Motors MB Custom, finishing seventh, and Bill Mooney crossing the line in eighth.
Canadians Shane Edginton, driver of the No. 4 Performance Auto Victory, and Dave Smith, driver of the No. 06 Polar Industries Capital, rounded out the top ten.
Jeff Hapala, driver of the No. 16S City Parcel Delivery MasterSbilt by JMR, was the hard charger, as the award was won, for the second consecutive night, from the 18th starting spot. Hapala finished twelfth. Balcaen, Seng, and Schatz were the heat winners. 23 drivers entered the event on Friday night.
The NLRA point standings got a huge shake up after third place finisher in his heat race, and current series point leader, Dustin Strand, driver of the No. 71 Generations Salon & Spa Millenium SRT, had mechanical issues at the end of the heat. He and his crew left the track to return to the shop to make repairs, but finished the repairs too late, missing the main event by five minutes.
Schatz after the race said, "I told Brad [Seng] before the race, he knew I was going to the top, and I said no, it's a little thin up there for me tonight. I had to go up there if I was gonna get by those guys, I couldn't stick the middle all that well, and when I went up there, my car was pretty good."
About winning both features on the same night, Schatz said, "When you roll in the gate at night, that's the goal, but a lot of nights, you go to the races 95 nights a year, and the odds are against you, you're not gonna do that. When you come here, track close to home, you run two different cars, with completely different feels, and you're able to put yourself in the position to win, damn proud of that."
NLRA series action continues this Saturday night, August the 25th, at the Greenbush Race Park in Greenbush, MN.
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