Don Shaw and Ryan Mikkelson led the field to the drop of the first Late Model green at the Speedway since 2017, and it was Shaw who moved the No. 42S Lube Tech Victory to the point on the opening circuit.
Ryan Corbett turned to the inside of Mikkelson's RHR Swag No. 15* down the front stretch at the beginning of the second round, as Strand stalked the pair in fourth.
A caution shortly thereafter re-aligned the field for a double-file restart, just as Mikkelson lost third to Strand.
Strand moved to the inside of both Corbett's No. C4 Jess Rice Crary Realty MasterSbilt, and Casey Meyer's No. 03 Goerger Seed Victory, as the trip went three wide in turns one and two on the restart.
Strand then began to hunt down Mikkelson for the runner-up spot as Shaw continued to lead.
Strand took the spot at the completion of the fourth lap, allowing him to set his sights on Shaw for the lead.
A second caution setup another double file restart, but Strand was able to remain second over Mikkelson. Strand then moved to Shaw's inside on lap five, as the pair were side-by-side on the completion of the lap.
Dustin Strand and Don Shaw battle for the lead early in the race. Speedway Shots photo.
The third caution of the event at the midway point stacked up the field one more time, as Strand continued to lead on the restart.
Brad Seng moved the No. 12S Schill Construction MB Custom into second past Mikkelson as the race neared the ten to go mark.
A battle between Mikkelson and Dave Mass, with his Sure Step sponsored No. 2M, became the best on the track, as Mass took the spot shortly thereafter.
Strand caught up to the tail end of the field, and began working lapped traffic with five rounds remaining.
With a clear track ahead of him, Strand began to pull away, once again, as the field began to string out around the three-eights mile Norman County oval.
Strand continued on to victory over Seng, Mass, Pat Doar in his No. 11 Kivi Trucking Rocket, and Casey Meyer, who completed the top five.
About being able to return with the Late Model to Norman County, Strand said, "I wish we could run here more often. This is a fun track, we've raced here a lot with the B-Mod and the A-Mod, and we use to love coming here weekly with the A-mod. It's a lot of fun to be back here. We have a lot of followers, and a lot of people who like to see us race here, too."
Strand, Mikkelson, and Corbett were the heat winners. 22 car were in the pits for the series return to Norman County.
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, Boss Signs, Storbakken & Sons Construction, Millar Engines, Gateway Cenex, Fastlane Racing Equipment, Q & Z Plumbing, Fargo Forum, On The Edge Graphics, Hugo’s Family Marketplace, EGF American Legion Post 157, EZ Open Garage Door, Schill Construction, and Greg’s Lawn Care, and Contingency Sponsors: CMD Shocks, Hoosier Tire North, Mars Race Cars, Performance Auto, Speedway International Fuel, Schaeffer's Oil & Lubricants, for their continued support.