EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (September 5, 2023) - Heading into arguably the biggest weekend of the entire season, Dustin Strand debuted a brand-new car last weekend, winning in its debut race and winning his sixth River Cities Speedway Late Model points championship. Strand went three-for-three in top fives after a runner-up and fourth place finish with the NLRA Late Models at Greenbush Race Park in Greenbush, MN which leads into this week's 17th annual John Seitz Memorial at River Cities.
Friday night at River Cities saw Dustin dominate his heat race, setting up a start on the front row in the 20-lap main event. Taking the lead from the pole, Strand was on cruise control as the next 15 laps went caution free.
A caution with five to go erased a half lap lead, but continued on to lead every lap he ran during the night, winning by a straightaway for his fifth victory at the speedway in 2023 in Late Model competition and securing his sixth Late Model title at the speedway. This championship is also his tenth overall at the Bullring combined with a Super Stock title in 2006, and three Midwest Mods titles (2007-08, and 2011.)
“This car is pretty badass,” Strand said in victory lane, confirming that the entry is brand new. “I'm looking forward to next weekend. I think we've got a pretty good piece here and we’re pretty excited. We've had a pretty good program here all year. We've had some pretty good speed, had some bad luck in between but overall we've had a pretty awesome year and hopefully we can keep it going next weekend.”
Strand followed the NLRA Late Models north to Greenbush Race Park for a Labor Day double header at the speedway where he started on the outside of the third row in each 25-lap feature.
Saturday's feature saw Strand follow Joey Pederson as the only drivers inside the top ten to run the top of the track consistently throughout the race. Strand abandoned the top in turns three and four as the leaders negotiated through thick lapped traffic near the midway point.
A caution with seven laps remaining saw restart on the outside of the second double-file row. Strand continued to utilize the top to get past Bryce Sward in the closing laps to score a fourth place run.
Night two saw Pederson and Strand again run the tip early, this time battling for second. Strand went for second with a slide job in turn two on lap 11, with Pederson hoping for a cross under in turn three. Pederson and a lapped car made contact, ending his race.
The race resumed with Strand as the new runner-up as he remained close to leader Mike Greseth until the final caution with ten to go. Holding off Tyler Pederson on the final restart, Strand remained a close second to Greseth past the checkered flag.
This week Strand will return to River Cities for the 17th annual John Seitz Memorial which runs from Thursday through 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
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: 18
Top 10’s: 28
2023 Stats (Modified):
Top 5’s: 9
Top 10’s: 10