Dave Mass says his car is strong on short runs. Long runs?
Well, he’ll see how good it is on Saturday night when the green flag drops on the 15th annual John Seitz Memorial Late Model Invitational 92-lap feature.
Mass won Friday night’s 15-lap pole dash at the Seitz, earning him the top starting spot in one of the region’s biggest-paying late model races.
The winner of the 92-lap feature will take home $9,200. Mass’ win in the pole dash paid $920.
“It was a fast race, a fun race and there were two grooves of racing side-by-side,” said Mass. “You couldn’t ask for much more.”
Mass, who started third in the eight-car dash, captured the lead with seven laps to go and then held off hard-charging A.J. Diemel, a two-time Seitz winner who finished second.
Mass edged Diemel by 0.369 seconds.
Mass isn’t quite sure what to expect in the 92-lap feature.
“We’ll try and go our hardest,” he said. “It’s a long race and my car hasn’t been good on long runs but we’ll see what we can do to make it better.”
Mass, who is from East Bethel, Minn., is seeking his first Seitz win.
“I’d love to win this for John Seitz, the John Seitz family and everyone who is here,” he said.
Chad Mahder finished third in the dash, followed by Shane Edginton, Jordan Tollakson, Trevor Anderson, Troy Schill and Dustin Strand.
The opening night of the Seitz also featured heat races for streets and Midwest modifieds, along with a complete modified show.
The NOSA Wayne Anderson Cup also was decided.
Austin Pierce won the 30-lap feature; it was his sixth-straight sprint win at RCS, two short of the track record of eight straight held by Mark Dobmeier.
But the Wayne Anderson Cup went to Brendan Mullen, who finished third in the feature. He held a slight lead over Pierce coming into the fourth and final round.
Pierce has had the dominant car all season at RCS. He started up front and led most of the race, but Mullen slipped past Pierce with nine laps to go. But Pierce regained the top spot with seven to go, passing Mullen out of Turn 2.
Mark Dobmeier wound up finishing second. Dobmeier was involved in a Lap 1 incident and went to the pits for repairs. He tagged the tail end of the 20-car field and methodically made his way to the front, finishing 2.084 seconds behind Pierce.
“This is our ninth win overall this season and we’ve never hit nine,” said Pierce. “Our car was really working well on the top and I kind of set it on cruise control.”
Mullen is closing out a strong season, as he has won five features.
Mullen has raced 52 nights this season and already is looking forward to next season.
“Next year, we’re going to hit it harder,” he said.
In the modified feature, Tyler Peterson started on the pole and led all 25 laps to pick up the win. He beat Mike Stearns to the flag stand by 3.020 seconds. Zach Johnson was third, followed by Matt Aukland and Josh Beaulieu.