Sometimes, it’s not easy leading a race, especially one in which there is restart after restart.
With those restarts, the second-place driver sometimes can make life difficult for the leader.
Dustin Strand was in that position Sunday night at River Cities Speedway.
But Strand survived numerous restarts and managed to dominate the NLRA 25-lap feature at The Bullring -- his second win of the season.
The caution-plagued feature took its toll on the field. Twenty-one cars started and only 12 finished.
“I was glad a couple of those yellow flags came out, but a few of them, I didn’t need,” said Strand. “With about five to go, we got a yellow and I was kind of hoping we could finish it off. But then I caught the lapped cars and the track was starting to get blocked so I thought, ‘Well, maybe a yellow would be good.’ ”
Second-place cars during a lengthy race, at times, have an advantage.
“Sometimes, it’s almost better to be in second,” said Strand. “Track position is always huge. But, especially on a restart, it’s a lot easier to see where the leader is making a mistake. Or you have room to try something where you might find something before the leader does.”
Strand led all 25 laps and beat Shane Edginton to the flag stand by 2.050 seconds. The driver of the No. 71 car also had the fastest lap time of the night at 13.326 seconds, that coming on Lap 4.
Brad Seng finished third, followed by Cole Schill and Mike Balcaen.
Track position also was huge for Eric Haugland in the Midwest modifieds feature. Haugland led from start to finish, holding off Nate Reynods for the win.
Haugland won by 0.489 seconds over Reynolds, who started fifth and had the fastest lap time of 14.630 seconds -- that coming on Lap 13.
Two other classes competed Sunday night -- the legends and the lightning sprints. Both classes do not run regularly at RCS.
Zach Kwiatkoski won the lightning sprints feature. Kwiatkoski took the lead from Mike Schmiedeberg on Lap 8 as the drivers came out of Turn 2. Kwiatkoski then cruised to the win, beating Alex Truscinski by 3.276 seconds.
Kelsi Pederson, who won Friday night’s lightning sprints feature at RCS, was third, followed by Schmiedeberg and Josh Abrahamson.
In the legends feature, Steven Kuntz took the win, edging Andrew Jochim by 0.260 seconds.
A regular night of racing returns Friday at RCS.
River Cities Speedway
First heat -- 1. Andrew Jochim; 2. Steven Kuntz; 3. Tye Wilke
Second heat -- 1. Ryan Braseth; 2. Andrew Sommerfeld; 3. Brody Carslrud
Feature -- 1. Kuntz; 2. Jochim; 3. Braseth; 4. Blaise Deckert; 5. Kaitlyn Skalicky
First heat -- 1. Mike Schmiedeberg; 2. Zach Kwiatkoski; 3. Kelsi Pederson
Second heat -- 1. Josh Abrahamson; 2. Dexter Dvergsten; 3. Lawrence Veralrud
Feature -- 1. Kwiatkoski; 2. Truscinski; 3. Pederson; 4. Schmiedeberg; 5. Abrahamson
First heat -- 1. Lance Schill; 2. Jamie Dietzler; 3. Hunter Hougard
Second heat -- 1. Aaron Blacklance; 2. Nate Reynolds; 3. Ryan Schroeder
Third heat -- 1. Eric Haugland; 2. Reise Stenberg; 3. Jason Schuh
Feature -- 1. Haugland; 2. Reynolds; 3. Matt Schow; 4. Schroeder; 5. Hougard
First heat -- 1. Tom Corcoran; 2. Brad Seng; 3. Joey Pederson
Second heat -- 1. Mike Balcaen; 2. Shane Edginton; 3. Steffen Snare
Third heat -- 1. Dustin Strand; 2. Ryan Corbett; 3. Cole Schill
Feature -- 1. Strand; 2. Edginton; 3. Seng; 4. Schill; 5. Balcaen