Wet track leads to record times at World of Outlaw Late Models show
Rain didn't wash out the World of Outlaw Late Models show at River Cities Speedway for the third time in five years.
The quick shower at dusk just made for a slight delay and one of the fastest tracks The Bullring has seen this summer.
In qualifying, Mark Marlar turned the fastest lap ever by a late model at River Cities Speedway, completing one in 11.322 seconds.
That broke the record of 11.422 set by Dustin Strand a year earlier.
A total of 19 late models broke the River Cities Speedway open-motor record lap of 11.756 during qualifying. That mark was set by Rick Eckert in 2009.
The speeds even impressed NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace, who served as grand marshal.
"These guys are going fast," Wallace told the crowd after qualifying.
Once they reached the 50-lap feature, though, nobody was as fast as Shane Clanton.
The driver from Georgia started first and led the entire race to claim his fourth feature win of the season, 41st all time and first in Grand Forks.
He held off Tyler Erb on a restart with three laps to go to claim the win.
"I knew if I had a clean race track, my car would steer better, and it did the last three laps there," Clanton said. "When it's one lane around the top line that, it's hard to pass.
"This was a cool place to race. It's crazy. As much as we run, when you come to a small place like this and you can get up on the wheel, I love it."
Erb, who was slowly closing on Clanton before the restart, finished second.
"I definitely didn't want to see it (the caution)," Erb said. "Shane did a great job and got me on the start. That's what he needed to do. It just wasn't meant to be tonight."
Brandon Sheppard finished third, followed by Mike Marlar and Eric Wells.
Clanton admitted that when it started raining at about 7 p.m., he didn't think the race was going to happen.
"We thought it was going to rain harder than it did," he said. "Everybody loaded up and got out of the pit area."
That meant it was a tough track for the local drivers to compete against the Outlaws.
Only two regular locals reached the 24-car feature—Strand and Brad Seng. Strand was driving with an open motor. Seng was driving with his WISSOTA-regulated motor.
Strand started the feature 20th and Seng 21st, but neither finished the race.
Ricky Weiss of Winnipeg, who occasionally races at River Cities Speedway, started 10th and finished 11th.
No previous winner of the River Cities Speedway World of Outlaw late models show made the feature, guaranteeing a first-time winner of the event.
It wasn't only the late models who benefitted from the fast track.
Sprint-car driver Thomas Kennedy also turned the fastest lap by any type of car this summer, finishing a lap in 9.676 seconds during the first heat. That was faster than any lap turned by a World of Outlaws sprint driver in the rain-delayed show last month.
Jade Hastings earned his first-ever River Cities Speedway sprint feature, holding off Wade Nygaard in a caution-plagued, 25-lap feature.
Austin Pierce finished third, followed by Jordan Adams and Bob Martin.
Hastings got his first-ever feature win in Greenbush, Minn., two weeks ago.
Strand pulled double duty Friday and also raced a WISSOTA modified, catching Ward Imrie on the last lap to win the feature.
River Cities Speedway
First heat—1. Dustin Wahl, 2. Ryan Pommerer, 3. Davey Mills
Second heat—1. Lance Schill, 2. Jerome Guyot, 3. Jeff Prichard
Third heat—1. Dustin Strand, 2. Jordan Duray, 3. Rick Hamel
Fourth heat—1. Ward Imrie, 2. Scott Greer, 3. Ryan Kereluk
B Main—1. Nolan Olmstead, 2. Jake Wildman, 3. Aaron Holtan, 4. Joe Chaplinski
Feature—1. Strand, 2. Imrie, 3. Guyot, 4. Schill, 5. Greer
First heat—1. Thomas Kennedy, 2. Bob Martin, 3. Austin Pierce
Second heat—1. Jade Hastings, 2. Jordan Adams, 3. Tanner Wisk
Third heat—1. Trent Stengl, 2. Wade Nygaard, 3. Greg Nikitenko
Feature—1. Hastings, 2. Nygaard, 3. Pierce, 4. Adams, 5. Martin
World of Outlaw Late Models
Qualifying—1. Mike Marlar 11.322, 2. Morgan Bagley 11.431, 3. Shane Clanton 11.485, 4. Frank Heckenast 11.506, 5. Chris Madden 11.516, 6. Joey Coulter 11.521, 7. Chub Frank 11.522, 8. A.J. Diemel 11.571, 9. Rick Eckert 11.583, 10. Chase Junghans 11.591, 11. Dustin Strand 11.599, 12. Chad Simpson 11.638, 13. Tyler Erb 11.639, 14. Chad Mahder 11.643, 15. Ricky Weiss 11.652, 16. Jimmy Mars 11.658, 17. Jordan Yaggy 11.665, 18. Eric Wells 11.686, 19. Devin Moran 11.939, 20. Brandon Sheppard 11.695, 21. Lance Matthees 11.760, 22. Kyle Bronson 11.772, 23. Justin Duty 11.811, 24. Zach Naastad 11.866, 25. Joey Pederson 11.900, 26. Brad Seng 11.920, 27. Pat Doar 11.998, 28. Bill Mooney 12.067, 29. Shane Edginton 12.071, 30. Travis Robertson 12.217, 31. Jeff Massingill 12.225
First heat—1. Clanton, 2. Mahder, 3. Sheppard, 4. Simpson
Second heat—1. Erb, 2. Madden, 3. Weiss, 4. Matthees
Third heat—1. Marlar, 2. Heckenast, 3. Coulter, 4. Eckert
Fourth heat—1. Frank, 2. Wells, 3. Diemel, 4. Mars
First B Main—1. Bronson, 2. Doar, 3. Seng
Second B Main—1. Junghans, 2. Strand, 3. Moran
Provisionals—1. Bagley, 2. Duty
Feature—1. Clanton, 2. Erb, 3. Sheppard, 4. Marlar, 5. Wells, 6. Madden, 7. Mahder, 8. Coulter, 9. Junghans, 10. Bronson, 11. Weiss, 12. Matthees, 13. Mars, 14. Moran, 15. Frank