Strand and Cole Babcock led the field to the green at the start of the thirty lap Dick Johanneck Memorial, and remained the top pair after a caution on the initial start.
Dave Mass moved his Structural Buildings No. 2 past Babcock's Casselton Lumber No. 2* into second on the opening lap, which was led by Strand.
Another caution on lap two set up a Delaware double file restart, as Shawn Meyer's Smith Motors No. 18X, and Brad Seng's No. 12S S&S Transport MB Custom stalked Babcock for the final position on the podium.
Strand continued to pace the field in his No. 71 Q&Z Plumbing & Heating Millenium SRT, utilizing the bottom of the three-eighths mile oval early while Mass remained within striking distance on the top.
Babcock and Meyer battled door-to-door through the next five laps, as Bryce Sward, driver of the Klinder Processing No. 1-2, along with Seng, and Ryan Mikkelson and his RHR Swag No. 15*, fought for the final spots inside the top five.
It only took ten circuits for the leaders to catch up to the rear of the field, as Strand, who moved to the top of the track, continued on through lapped traffic with the lead through the midway point.
Cole Babcock (2*) and Joey Pederson (7P) battle for the lead early at Buffalo River. Speedway Shots photo.
Strand continued on unfazed by heavy lapped traffic, and continued on to a three-and-a-half second victory over Mass. Sward, Seng, and Cole Schill, driving the Mid Ag Dispatch No. 44, completed the top five.
"That was a lot of fun," Strand said about the victory. "I knew with Mass starting right behind me, I knew at some point I was gonna have to get up against that wall. We don't really race at any tracks similar to that normally, so that was a little nerve wracking. About lap five we had her up against the wall and the car was driving awesome. We had some lapped cars to deal with, but it would maneuver wherever we had to put it, and it was an awesome race.
On Sunday night the series returned to the newly reopened Buffalo River Speedway in Glyndon, MN for the first time in five years.
Babcock again sat on the front row at the start, with Joey Pederson to his outside in his Dahlstrom Motors No. 7P. The pair duked it out in the first five laps, with Babcock leading the first half mile around the quarter-mile oval.
Pederson took the lead with a power move on the top at the end of the third lap, but was continued to be stalked by Babcock and Mikkelson through five laps.
Donny Schatz moved up to fourth during that stint in the Fargo Petro No. 15, as Pederson caught up to the rear of the field at the halfway point.
Pederson made it past the first lapper, as Mikkelson improved to second, and Schatz followed into third.
Pederson slipped up the track while trying to put the next car in traffic a lap down, and Mikkelson capitalized, taking the point at the end of lap sixteen.
The lone caution of the race for a pileup in turn four set up a green-white-checkered finish.
Mikkelson continued on to victory over Pederson, Schatz, Shane Edginton, and Seng.
"I'm always excited to run with the NLRA," Mikkelson said post race. "I absolutely love the guys. Got a boat load of thumbs up in victory lane. For the race, we caught lapped traffic, and I was able to get past Cole Babcock. He was going wide because of the lapped traffic, and I could get a good launch off of [turn] four. Same story with Joey [Pederson.] He left me room on the bottom of [turn] one, cause I got to his door, and he left me room, and that's just good racing."
Friday's race at the River Cities Speedway was lost to rain.
NLRA action continues this Saturday night at the Greenbush Race Park in Greenbush, MN, with racing action beginning at seven o'clock.
The NLRA would like to thank Tour Sponsors: Wes’ Plumbing, S & S Transport, Performance Auto, Adams Automotive and Machine, White Water Truck Wash, DayDreams Specialties, Grand Forks Subaru/Kia, Signs by deSigns, Storbakken & Sons Construction, Millar Engines, Gateway Cenex, SRT Specialties, Q & Z Plumbing, Fargo Forum, On The Edge Graphics, Hugo’s Family Marketplace, EGF American Legion Post 157, EZ Open Garage Door, Schill Construction, Greg’s Lawn Care, Checkered Flag Services, and Contingency Sponsors: Speedway International Fuel, Schaeffer’s Oil & Lubricants, Hoosier Tire North, FYE Motorsports Promotion, for their continued support.