Manitobans Mike Balcaen, driver of the No. 10 Mission Transport Black Diamond, and Shane Edginton, driver of the No. 4 General Signs Victory, brought the field to the green flag at the start of the main event.
Balcaen took the lead at the start, using the bottom to build an early lead.
The winner at Jamestown one night prior, Dustin Strand, moved the No. 71 Keewatin Truck Service Millenium SRT into second past Edginton at the conclusion of the opening circuit with a perfect slidejob while exiting turn four.
Edginton then went three-wide with Schatz and Brad Seng, driver of the No. 12S Schill Construction MB Custom, as the pair drag raced down the front stretch at the end of the second round.
Schatz was the winner of the battle, improving to third at the start of lap three.
A yellow for Bob Moody shortly thereafter re-stacked the field for a double-file restart. Strand chose the bottom, and the field returned to green flag action.
NLRA point leader Dustin Strand finished second at Nodak.
Mike Spieker photo.
Schatz started reeling in Balcaen in the following circuits, eventually pulling even while running the on the top side, ten laps into the 30 lapper.
Schatz took the lead at the end of the eleventh lap, and lead the next four trips around the three-eights mile oval on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds.
The pair caught up to the back of the field a couple laps later, and Balcaen used traffic as a pick to reclaim the lead, while running the bottom at the exit of turn two, leading the field back to the flag stand at the end of the 14th lap.
Balcaen got the better of the next lapped car, as Schatz had to get on the binders briefly before clearing said car at the halfway point. A second caution flag flew, however, re-stacking the field for another double file restart.
Schatz chose the outside on the restart, as the field roared back to life. Schatz drove in deep in one and two, using the middle to keep his advantage on Strand, then resumed his pursuit of Balcaen once again.
The top three continued to cycle around, as Brad Seng, and Minot native Robert Hellebust, driver of the No. 9H Sun Tubular Testing Services MB Custom, waged war for fourth.
With nine laps remaining, Schatz reclaimed the top spot, beating Balcaen back to the line at the end of the lap.
Strand moved by Balcaen for second at the conclusion of the following circuit, in an on track battle that mirrors the one atop series season long standings, as the pair currently sit first and second respectively.
With five laps remaining, Balcaen saw his night come to an end early, as the 10 car headed pit side.
Schatz was unchallenged in the waning rounds, scoring his first series win of the season. Strand follow him home in second, with Seng third, Estevan, Saskatchewan native Tyson Turnbull, driver of the No. 10TT Fast Energy Services GRT fourth, and Hellebust rounding out the top five.
Edginton was sixth, with More Magic City natives following in seventh and eighth. Steven Pfeifer, driver of the No. 11 Minot Minotauros Rocket, and Wayne Johnson, driver of the Concrete Mobile LLC No. 4J, finished in those spots respectively.
Uncle and Nephew rounded out the top ten, as Troy Schill, driver of the Mid Ag Dispatch No. 11 and Cole Schill, driver of the Rivinius Ranch No. 44, guided their MasterSbilts by JMR home at the end of the top ten.
Edginton, Strand, and Balcaen won the heats. A season high 25 cars entered the pits for the series return to the Playground of Power.
The series returns to action on Thursday night, August the 16th, for the fifth annual Can-Am Late Model Challenge at the Red River Co-Op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which kicks off a four race stretch for the NLRA.
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