EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (July 25, 2023) - Dustin Strand scored both ends of another night of double duty last Friday night at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, winning the 29th feature of his career with the Northern Late Model Racing Association, then going on to win the Moonshine Mod Tour's debut at the quarter-mile 'Bullring.'
Strand's week started with the brand-new Moonshine Mod Tour making its first appearance at Ada's Norman County Raceway. Climbing from fifth to third in his heat race, Strand re-drew the eighth starting spot for the 30-lap feature.
Strand, in just two laps, rolled around the bottom of the three-eighths mile oval into the top five. Strand then moved on to battle Blake Jegtvig for third.
A pair of restarts hurt Strand, however. Strand fell back to sixth on a lap seven restart, but had regained a spot inside the top five, holding the spot over Tyler Peterson until a caution just past the midway point.
Falling to sixth one final time, Strand got past Mike Stearns to come home fifth.
Returning to River Cities on Friday night, Strand and crew brought both the No. 71 Q&Z Plumbing and Heating / Bemidji Welders Supply Millenium SRT NLRA Late Model and the No. 71 Bemidji Marine / Novacek Honey Farms Mullens by Millenium Modified.
Finishing second in the Late Model heat, Strand won his modified heat from the fifth starting spot. Strand started on the pole of the Late Model feature, but trailed Brad Seng at the start.
Strand ran the cushion on a lap three restart, taking the top spot shortly thereafter. Strand was about to lose the lead and third in lapped traffic before a lap ten caution.
With clear air, Strand continued to lead through another slowdown at the midway point, slowly pulling away from Seng and Peterson.
Strand was saved from having to re-enter lapped traffic with nine left on the scoreboard and continued to rip around the top with the lead after one last caution with seven to go, switching low to move around traffic late to score the victory.
"Well, I tell ya, I think the cautions saved my butt," Strand said in victory lane post-race. "I didn't like to see [the cautions], but they came at the perfect time right when I was getting to lapped cars. When I got those guys at the end, I knew we had a pretty good lead, but I didn't evidently go low enough over here, and got caught up in the middle on the last lap. And I thought, ugh, I'm gonna throw it away on the last lap here, but it worked out good. The car was rockin', the guys have been working their butts off, and we've got one more feature later tonight."
Speaking of that feature, Strand had a taller task ahead of him, having to start on the outside of row four. Strand lapped on the bottom early, eventually climbing into the top five on lap three.
Strand again battled Peterson for position, this time taking fourth, then reeling in the top three. Strand caught the leaders in traffic just past the first handful of laps of the scheduled 30 circuits.
Strand moved into second just before the halfway mark, chasing down Thursday night winner Zach Johnson. Strand pulled even to the inside of turn four at the conclusion of lap 15, taking the lead the following lap.
From there, Strand moved from high-to-low to continue to put lapped cars between himself and Johnson. Strand continued on unchallenged to win the green-to-checkered affair.
Strand talked about his win in the Modified, saying “the bottom lane was, I thought, the fast way, and I was probably overdoing the top a little bit, sliding up in that crummy stuff. And I knew I needed to slow down, but I couldn't make myself do it. But I rolled by Zach on the top in lapped cars, and he got back by me, and I thought we were going to be in trouble. But we were able to put it together, and this thing would go anywhere."
Strand had one more race on the schedule, which was another NLRA feature at Devils Lake Speedway near Doyon, ND. Strand improved from fourth to second in his heat race, again drawing the pole for the main event.
Strand looked as though NLRA win number 30 was a good possibility early, leading the first 16 laps. On a late restart, both Brad and John Seng were able to move low around Strand. Strand, following some close racing with the new lead duo, got a bit high in turn four and ended up finishing in sixth.
This week, Strand has another pair of NLRA appearances ahead at River Cities on Friday and at Greenbush Race Park on Saturday.
Thanks to all of our great sponsors who help get us here!
Walhalla Building Center Inc.
Keewatin Truck Service
Q&Z Plumbing and Heating
Bemidji Welders Supply, Inc
Novacek Honey Farms
Shocks by Hammer-Brian Diede
Miller Motivations, LLC.
Sturdy Racing Engines
Carrs Grain Service
Double Deuce Sports Bar and Grill
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products
Highside Truck Accessories & Sales
2023 Stats (Late Model):
Top 5’s: 11
Top 10’s: 17
2023 Stats (Modified):
Top 5’s: 8
Top 10’s: 9