By Spieker Promotions
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (September 16, 2020) – It’s official - Dustin Strand is the 2020 NLRA champion. Strand claimed his fourth career NLRA Late Model series championship on Thursday night during the NLRA season finale at the Prelude to the Johnny at River Cities Speedway.
Coming into the night, Strand had to finish 10th or better to clinch the title. The driver of the Generations Salon / Bemidji Welders Supply No. 71 had no trouble doing that as he raced to a podium finish against 50 of the best Late Model teams in the upper Midwest.
“This year was obviously a little messed up with the shorter year. We only ran about half the races. But we race with a good group of guys and it’s an honor to win this deal,” said Strand after the race on Thursday.
Starting seventh on the grid, Strand quickly worked his way into the top five by lap six of 25.
In the closing laps, Strand battled with former John Seitz Memorial champion Chad Mahder and fellow NLRA competitor Joey Pederson for a podium position.
Strand was able to secure the third position in the closing laps, which is where we took the checkers.
In the final point standings Strand closed with a 112 point advantage over Brad Seng.
On Friday night, the 14th annual John Seitz Memorial commenced after a three-hour rain delay. Strand moved forward two positions during his 15-lap qualifying heat on a heavy and narrow racing surface. That was good enough to lock Strand into the 92-lap main event with a 13th-place starting position.
Strand took his time moving to the front as he cracked the top 10 on lap 57. Once inside the top 10, he quickly began picking off more positions. The East Grand Forks driver was racing for a position inside the top five when he made contact with the right rear quarter panel of Cole Schill. The contact sent Schill spinning. The caution was displayed and Strand was sent to the tail of the lead lap cars.
On the restart, Strand began his trek to the front again. However, with 22 laps to go, he got over the edge of the banking in turn three, which caused the car to high-center on the crown of the embankment. That forced the No. 71 to roll off the track. Strand landed on all four wheels and was able to drive the car back to the trailer. Dustin was okay, but a promising night ended prematurely.
The Strand Racing team will be taking this weekend off before heading to Jamestown Speedway for the 49th annual Stock Car Stampede. Strand is a three-time winner of the Stock Car Stampede with two victories in the Late Model and one in the Modified.
September 10-12: John Seitz Memorial - River Cities Speedway - Late Model & Modified
September 10: River Cities Speedway - Late Model
Heat: 2nd (started 4th)
Feature: 3rd (started 5th)
September 11-12: River Cities Speedway - Late Model
Heat: 3rd (started 5th)
Feature: 23rd (started 13th)
September 11: River Cities Speedway - Modified
Heat: 6th (started 8th)
September 12: River Cities Speedway - Late Model Past Champions Race
Feature: 6th (started 5th)
Dustin and the entire Strand Racing team would like to thank all of their sponsors for their continued support!
Walhalla Building Center, Carr's Grain Service, Keewatin Truck Service, Bemidji Welders Supply, Generations Salon, Q&Z Plumbing, Millenium Chassis, Naastad Acres, Double Deuce Bar & Grill, Shocks by Hammer, Sam's Auto Body, Forest Flying Service, Bemidji Marine, Shocker Hitch, Gorsuch Performance Solutions, and Hagel Construction.
Top Fives: 18
Top Tens: 19
Top Fives: 13
Top Tens: 15