Another big field set for John Seitz Memorial Late Model Invitational at River Cities Speedway

Aaron Turnbull looking for a three-peat this weekend

091320 S GFH JOHNSEITZMEMORIAL AaronTurnbull AJDiemel01.jpg
Canadian Late Models driver Aaron Turnbull (21) keeps A.J. Diemel (58) at bay during the final laps of the John Seitz Memorial feature race last season at River Cities Speedway. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

River Cities Speedway suits the driving style of Aaron Turnbull, the Estevan, Sask., driver who is looking to make history this weekend.

Turnbull is seeking to become the first three-time winner of the John Seitz Memorial Late Model invitational -- the region’s top weekend for late model racing. And he’s also looking for a three-peat.

The winner of Saturday night’s 92-lap feature, will take home $9,200. Approximately 40 late model drivers from the region are expected to make the trip to The Bullring to honor the late Seitz, one of the region’s top drivers who died in 2007.

Due to the closure of the U.S.-Canadian border due to the pandemic, Turnbull hasn’t raced much this season -- only twice in his late model.

He indicated he has made the necessary arrangements to cross the border and is scheduled to spend the weekend racing at the Seitz.


Turnbull won his second-straight Seitz last year when he held off fellow two-time winner A.J. Diemel at the flag stand by 0.138 seconds Turnbull grabbed the lead from Diemel on Lap 67, driving hard into Turn 3 and overtaking the Wisconsin driver coming out of Turn 4.

From there, he had to fend off challenges from Jesse Glenz, who finished third, Casey Meyer, who finished fourth, and fifth-place finisher Jeffrey Massingill.

For Turnbull, one of the keys to winning at RCS is patience.

“You have to remember the race is 92 laps and not a short 25 laps like most races,” said Turnbull. “Just remember, you have to be there at the end to win it.

“And my driving style suits that track. I’m not a guy that tries to win it on the first lap. I like it when things come to me.”

Turnbull said his strategy won’t be much different than it has been for the past two years.

“Everything has worked out well for me there,” said Turnbull. “And you have to have a little bit of luck, too.”

Turnbull said he expects the field to be as strong as ever.


This year’s field also is expected to include Shane Edginton, another Canadian driver who has raced in the U.S. this summer.

Edginton leads the season points race at RCS. Before the Seitz weekend officially kicks off on Friday night, Edginton will be seeking to wrap up the NLRA season title on Thursday night at RCS. As of Aug. 21, Edginton had an eight-point lead on Mike Greseth of Harwood, N.D., for the NLRA title.

In the past, a number of Seitz regulars have raced the NLRA season finale to get a feel for the RCS track.

“I’ll be happy to be there, keep everything in one piece and hope it works out in the end,” said Turnbull of his weekend expectations. “Either way, it’ll be fun.”

This is the 15th year of the Seitz Invitational, which kicks off with the Thursday night NLRA season finale. Streets and Midwest modifieds will complement the late models on Thursday.

The weekend will also include the final leg of the Wayne Anderson Cup, the four-race NOSA sprint car series held this season to honor the late founder of RCS. The Wayne Anderson Cup will be decided on Friday..

Also Friday, streets and Midwest modifieds again will complement the late models and modifieds will also join the program. A late model past champions race also has been added this season and will take place Friday.

On Saturday, streets, Midwest modifieds and modifieds again will race, with the event capped by the 92-lap late model feature.


John Seitz Memorial

Past winners

2007 -- Mitch Johnson, Hickson, N.D.

2008 -- Just Fegers, Mound, Minn.

2009 -- Pat Doar, New Richmond, Wis.

2010 -- Cody Skytland, Fargo

2011 -- Brad Seng, Grand Forks

2012 -- Brady Smith, Solon Springs, Wis.

2013 -- Brad Seng, Grand Forks

2014 -- A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis.

2015 -- Chad Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis.

2016 -- A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis.

2017 -- Don Shaw, Ham Lake, Minn.

2018 -- Ricky Weiss, Headingley, Man.

2019 -- Aaron Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.

2020 -- Aaron Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.

Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.

He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.

He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.

Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or
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