By Spieker Promotions
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (July 22, 2020) – Last week was a busy one for Strand Racing as both the Millenium SRT Modified and Late Model made laps on the same weekend for the first time this season.
It began on Thursday night at the Norman County Raceway in Ada, MN, as Dustin Strand made his return to the speedway with the WISSOTA Modifieds returning to the high-speed three-eighths mile speedplant for the first time since 2014.
Strand made short work of a successful return, winning the opening heat race of the evening.
In the feature, Strand led the first seven circuits, taking the point from polesitter Joseph Thomas on the opening circuit.
Dan Ebert made the pass for the lead on the eighth lap, with Strand still running a close second.
Dustin chose the bottom on a double-file restart around the halfway point, and held off Thomas, while staying within striking distance of Ebert.
Strand crossed the line at the end of the race with a second-place run.
"It felt really good," Strand said about the opportunity to return to Norman County. "I always enjoyed racing there, and it was a lot of fun. [The car] was pretty good. I maybe got a little too relaxed when we got out front there. Dan was really good. He could kind of run all over. All in all we had a pretty good car. It was a solid run."
On Sunday night, Strand brought the Late Model out to the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks to put it to the test against the best of the best with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.
It was five years ago when Strand nearly upset the Outlaws, leading laps 15 through 17, in a bid that fell short due to a flat tire.
Strand started off Sunday night with the 17th best qualifying lap, and a fifth-place run in his heat race.
Slated 14th to start the 50-lap main event, Strand wasted no time moving forward, as he was already up to 10th at the conclusion of the fifth circuit.
Strand remained 10th for the next 25 circuits, before his next series of passes.
Strand passed Mitch McGrath on lap 30, then veteran Scott Bloomquist two laps later. Outlaw regular Ashton Winger was the next to fall on lap 37, with Chase Junghans becoming the next victim on lap 41.
With the white flag flying, Strand made one last charge at 10-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Donny Schatz. Strand made that final pass before the pair made it back to the checkered flag, scoring a top-five with the Outlaws, and winning Hard Charger award honors.
"That's definitely near the top of the list." Strand said post-race on where that run ranks among his best career finishes. "We were running side-by-side with Bloomquist for quite a few laps, and that was pretty awesome just in itself because he's been one of the top dogs forever. We got rolling there, finding a pretty good groove on the bottom, and a lot of the guys were having trouble staying down there, so I had clear sailing, picking my way through there.
"I didn't even have any idea what place we were in," Strand said of the long green flag run at the end of the race, "because we were going through lapped cars, and alongside other cars. Then all of a sudden I see Schatz and [Ricky] Weiss in the next corner in front of me, and I knew we were getting a little closer to the front, so I was pretty excited at that point. It was a lot of fun, that's for sure."
July 24: River Cities Speedway – NLRA/WISSOTA Late Models
July 25: Greenbush Race Park - WISSOTA Modifieds (tentative)
July 19: River Cities Speedway – World of Outlaws Late Models
Heat: 5th (started 6th)
Feature: 5th (started 14th; Hard Charger)
July 16: Norman County Raceway – WISSOTA Modifieds
Heat: 1st (started 2nd)
Feature: 2nd (started 2nd)
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: 8
Top Tens: 9
Top Fives: 8
Top Tens: 9