It was an all Winnipeg front row at the start, with Mike Balcaen and his No. 10 Mission Transport Black Diamond, and Shane Edginton, with his No. 4 Performance Auto Victory.
Balcaen lead the opening three trips around the three-eights mile oval on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, before third starting Dustin Strand moved the No. 71 Q&Z Plumbing & Heating Millenium SRT to the point on the fourth lap, as he used the cushion in turn four to rocket past Balcaen down the frontstretch.
As that took place, Donny Schatz moved past Ryan Corbett's No. C4 Corbett Trcuking MasterSbilt, and Aaron Turnbull's ailing No. 21 Mack Auction MB Custom, to move into third. Turnbull eventually headed pitside in heavy smoke.
Strand and Balcaen remained close as they came up to lapped traffic around ten laps in to the 25 lapper.
On the twelfth circuit, Strand came up on Ryan Kereluk, and his No. 29K Dirty Bodies by RJK Victory, when they made contact in turn four, bringing out the race's only caution.
Strand was charged with the caution, with Mike Balcaen resuming with the lead on the restart.
Mike Balcaen and Donny Schatz battle for the lead at Nodak.
Speedway Shots photo.
But it was seventh starting Donny Schatz that took the lead on the ensuing restart, using the cushion in turn two to move past Corbett and Edginton, then diving to the bottom of three and four to move past Balcaen to take the point on lap twelve.
Schatz edged out Balcaen at the line, while Balcaen lead again in turns one and two, before Schatz started building a lead a lap later.
The top four strung out a bit as Corbett, Rapid City's Eric Mass, who started fourteenth, and Brody Troftgruben, and his No. 14 Throttle Addiction Rocket, battled for the final spot inside the top five.
Mass eventually took fifth, while Troftgruben fell victim to mechanical issues a few laps later.
Back up front, it was all Schatz for the remaining pair of circuits, as he crossed the line for his second win of the year, and second in a row at Nodak.
Balcaen was second, with Magic City native Robert Hellebust third, Edginton fourth, and Eric Mass rounding out the top five.
Brad Seng was sixth in the No. 12S Anderson Brothers Body Shop MB Custom, with Corbett seventh, and Great Falls, Montana's Chris Dunn in eighth.
Dave Smith was the Performance Auto hard charger, moving the No. 06 Polar Industries Capital from 22nd to ninth.
Williston's Donovan Sorenson rounded out the top ten in his NLRA debut.
Schatz on the pass for the lead and eventually the win after the race, "We got that yellow, and we got to Mike, and he left that lane open for us, we had to capitalize on that. The race track was awesome, I didn't know if the top was the place to be, but, in the heat race it worked for us, so we stayed up there in the feature."
Balcaen, Edginton, Strand, and Turnbull were the heat winners, while Steven Pfeifer won the B Main. 30 cars were in attendance, as the NLRA shared the spotlight with the Can-Am Western Late Model series.
NLRA action continues on Thursday night, August the 15th, when the series returns to the Norman County Raceway in Ada, MN, for the first time in two years.
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.