Strand has been on a hot streak lately, as he has won four of the last six NLRA features, sweeping the season series in Devils Lake, along with winning a Modified feature at the Speedway two weeks ago.
Canadians Bill Mooney, driver of the No. 2 Emerson Duty Free MasterSbilt, and Dave Smith in the No. 06 Polar Industries Capital, lead the field to the green, with Mooney taking the point at the start.
Dustin Strand quickly moved into the second spot, and set his sights on Mooney for the lead. Strand lead at the line at the completion to lap two, but Mooney reclaimed the point on lap three, and began to steadily pull away from Strand.
The leaders caught the back of the field early, as they started lapping cars around five laps into the race.
The first few cars to be lapped were running the bottom, which was good for Mooney, but second running Strand had to abandon the bottom, and start working the cushion to keep pace.
The next wave of lapped cars were running the cushion, causing Mooney to have to abandon the top and start working cars on the low groove, allowing Strand to close a bit.
Strand's car being prepared for action before Saturday's event at Devils Lake.
Strand was able to capitalize on the restart and take the point, as Mooney fought to keep second as Mike Balcaen, driver of the No. 10 Enns Brothers Black Diamond, and Donny Schatz in the No. 15 Fargo Petro Rocket, made advances for the runner-up spot. Balcaen took second for a pair of circuits, but Mooney was able to take the spot back as the field came by the stand with five laps remaining.
As the lap board on the infield showed four laps remaining, Mooney had regained his momentum on the cushion and pulled to the tail of Strand's No. 71 in turns one and two, but the rear end of Mooney's No. 2 car stepped out, allowing Strand to pull away again.
The leaders had to drive off of turn one the next time by, as a three car pileup blocked the track. The restart produced the same results as the previous restart, with Strand building a lead, and Balcaen briefly taking second from Mooney. Brad Seng, driver of the No. 12S S&S Transport MB Custom, and Lance Matthees, who was running Seng's backup car, split Donny Schatz in a battle for fourth.
The races third and final caution flew as the field came to the stand for what would've been the white flag, setting up one final Delaware style restart. For the third time, Strand lead, Balcaen was second for a few seconds, but Cole Schill, driver of the No. 44 Mid Ag Dispatch MasterSbilt, replaced Schatz as the meat in the blue and white No. 12 sandwich.
Strand continued on for the victory, and was followed to the line by Mooney, Balcaen, and the twin No. 12 machines, with Matthees finishing fourth, and Seng rounding out the top five.
Cole Schill was the hard charger, improving nine spots to finish sixth, and was followed by Donny Schatz in seventh, Steffen Snare, driver of the No. 71S Northern Sanitation Bloomquist eighth, Shane Edginton in the No. 4 Performance Auto Victory by Moyer, ninth, and Estevan, Saskatchewan native Jim Harris in the Lupine Construction No. 17 rounding out the top ten after starting 16th. Schatz, Dave Smith, Strand, and Mooney won the heats, 24 cars were in attendance.
Strand's win helped him leap frog over Shane Edginton into the second spot in the series standings, as he'll sit 52 markers behind Seng as the series heads to the Red River Co-Op Speedway in Winnipeg on Thursday night.
The NLRA would like to thank Tour Sponsors: Adams Automotive, S & S Transport, Wes' Plumbing, BOSS Signs & Graphics, Millar Race Engines, Todd's Electric, Gateway Cenex, White Water Truck Wash, ADrenaLize Graphics, Generous Jerry's/Gold-Silver Exchange, Gateway Sports, Grand Forks Subaru Kia, Forum Printing, On The Edge Graphics, Fastlane Racing Equipment, Q&Z Plumbing, A&L Siding, Performance Auto, Cartunz, Daydreams Specialties, Storbakken and Sons Construction, and Contingency Sponsors: Speedway International Fuel, Hi-Per Flex, Schaeffer's Oil & Lubricants, Mars Race Cars, Hoosier Tire North, FYE Motorsports Promotion, and CMD Shocks, for their support.
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