EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (June 27, 2023) - Dustin Strand is now on top of the Northern Late Model Racing Association standings following a week of close calls in series action, scoring a pair of top fives, and three top tens in the No. 71 Bemidji Marine / Novacek Honey Farms Millenium SRT.
The week started on Thursday night at Norman County Raceway in Ada, MN with a second place run in his heat race. Strand went on to re-draw the outside of the front row for the 25 lap main event.
Strand led through four cautions in the first six laps of the race, but on the fourth restart, Strand survived contact with Tyler Pederson to continue in the third position. The final restart went single file, with Strand nursing a damaged left front suspension home in the third spot.
On Friday, Strand and crew headed south to I-94 emr Speedway in Fergus Falls, MN for another night of NLRA action. Following a heat win, Strand and the rest of the field were in hurry-up mode trying to beat the weather.
Strand rolled off on the inside of the second row at the beginning of the 25 lap feature. Strand pushed going into turn one on the second lap while losing a few more spots on a lap five restart, falling back to as far as ninth by lap eight.
From there, Strand went on to his first comeback of the weekend. Moving to the bottom of the three-eighths mile oval, Strand got one spot back on each of five consecutive laps between laps 8 and 12 to move back into the top five.
Strand made one more pass in the closing laps to finish fourth.
With the Walhalla Builders Golden Hammer Classic postponed on Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway, Strand rounded out the weekend with the annual Fair race at River Cities Speedway on Sunday evening.
After another heat win, Strand started on the inside of row two for the second time in three nights. The early part of the main event was marred by cautions, one of which saw Strand involved in a ten car pileup when his car stalled on a restart.
With his crew making quick repairs in the pits, Strand made his way back to the Speedway, restarting 14th.
It only took Strand two trips around the 'Bullring' to make it back inside the top ten, but he wasn't done there. In four of the next five laps, Strand made up another position, running one spot shy of a top five with ten laps left. Strand had fifth until one final green-white-checkered restart. Losing one spot on the ensuing restart, Strand finished sixth, taking the NLRA point lead.
The World of Outlaws Late Models make their annual visit to River Cities Speedway this week. Strand will take on the most powerful Late Models on the planet right in his backyard on Friday night, with racing starting at 7:00pm.
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: 8
Top 10’s: 13
2023 Stats (Modified):
Top 5’s: 4
Top 10’s: 5