Brad Seng wins the first late model feature of the annual John Seitz Memorial Late Model Invitational
Seng led all 25 laps in the NLRA season finale
GRAND FORKS – There were a handful of reasons why Brad Seng could celebrate in Victory Lane late Thursday night.
On the opening night of the 16th annual John Seitz Memorial Late Model Invitational at River Cities Speedway, Seng won the 25-lap NLRA feature – the event that kicks off the three-day race weekend.
Also, it was Seng’s birthday, although his age wasn’t revealed.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it gave Seng momentum heading into the heart of the Seitz weekend, which ends late Saturday night with a 92-lap, $9,200-to-win feature that wraps up the region’s top late model event.
Seng started on the pole of the 26-car feature and led from start to finish.
However, he had to maneuver through lapped traffic for the final 17 laps. And the traffic was heavy.
“It took us a while to get going but once we got going we ran off 25-straight laps,” said Seng. “In lapped traffic, I just had to go where the other cars weren’t going. When the other cars were down in the tack, I could get by them in the slick part of the track.”
The two-time winner of the Seitz race said his car handled extremely well.
“You could really maneuver it,” he said. “Starting in clean air really helps a lot, too. When I picked up the throttle, it pointed and went.
“This sets the stage for the weekend.”
When Seng hit lapped traffic, Don Shaw basically was on the bumper of Seng’s No. 12 late model.
However, Seng steadily increased his lead while maneuvering around other cars. His lead was 1.927 seconds with 10 circuits to go.
Shaw, a past Seitz winner, finished second, 2.763 seconds off the pace. Scott Ward was third, Dustin Strand fourth and Mike Greseth fifth.
The race also served as the NLRA season finale. With his fifth-place finish, Greseth won his second-straight NLRA championship. Seng is a five-time NLRA winner.
It was a long night of racing at the track.
There were 155 cars signed in to compete in four classes – late models, modifieds, Midwest modifieds and streets.
The checkered flag for the late model feature waved at 11:46 p.m.
Ryan Gierke won the modified feature as he battled Tyler Peterson and Zach Johnson for the lead much of the race. He edged Peterson by 0.057 seconds.
In the Midwest modified feature, Jory Berg won his second-straight feature, again holding off Lance Schill for the win. The two also battled for last week’s Midwest modified checkered flag.
And in the streets feature, Kyle Dykhoff held off Tucker Pederson for the win. Dykhoff edged Pederson by 0.474 seconds. Pederson made a charge to the front after he started 10th.
The Setiz weekend continues Friday night with all four classes competing again. Also, sprints will join the field as the fourth and final leg of the Wayne Anderson Cup will be held.
Also, the Seitz pole dash will be held, which sets the top starting spots in Saturday’s 92-lap late model feature.