By Spieker Promotions
SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (January 12, 2021) – A new racing season means a clean slate and the beginning of another long campaign and every driver wants to get a season started off on the right foot. Dustin Strand did just that in his first race of the 2021 season on Saturday night as he topped a 66-car field to win the A-Mod feature at the Wild West Shootout at Arizona Speedway.
A high pill draw to start the night was actually a welcomed sight for Strand as passing points were the name of the game.
“We drew 90 out of 100 which put us at the back of the heat race. That ended up being a good thing since it was a passing points deal. We were able to sneak up to second from the back row of the heat. I really think if we got a yellow, we could have placed a bid for the lead. Still, getting second put us on the front row for the feature,” he said.
Rolling from the pole for the 25-lapper, Strand took the lead on the opening circuit. A batch of cautions kept four-time USMTS national champion, Rodney Sanders, and former USRA national champion, Lucas Schott, right on the heels of Strand. The East Grand Forks, Minn. driver proved he was the class of the field, however, as he powered away from the field every time the green flag flew.
Strand encountered heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps, which allowed Schott to close in. Schott made a bid at the lead with two to go, but Strand was able to clear the traffic and hang on for the win.
“It was pretty nerve-racking with the caliber of drivers I had behind me for 25 laps. The last three laps, we were in pretty heavy lapped traffic and Schott stuck his nose up next to me, but we were able to pull it off,” said Strand. “It’s definitely a confidence booster to get a win right off the bat and a great way to start the week. Our luck can change at any moment, but hopefully, we can’t keep the luck on our side for the rest of the week.”
After a fifth-place run in Sunday’s feature, Strand currently leads the Modified point standings in the Wild West Shootout mini-series. He holds a three-point advantage over Shane Sabraski with four events remaining.
“Honestly, we’re not really wrapped up in racing for points,” Strand admitted. “We’re just going to race hard and see how we stack up. It really is dependent on draw. Not so much on getting a starting spot up front, sometimes you’re better off starting towards the back, especially if you get an easier heat. That way you can get some passing points because that dictates your starting spot for the feature.”
Racing continues Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Wild West Shootout. The live broadcast can be found at floracing.com.
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, Hagel Construction, Bob's Truck Accessories, Desert RV Service, Jason Strand Farms, Flagstaff Nissan Subaru, RHR Swag, and The Rocky Point Bed & Breakfast.
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