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Wade Nygaard captures sprint feature win No. 270 at The Bullring

Shane Roemeling races to a sprint heat win Friday night at River Cities Speedway. Photo/Nick Nelson, Grand Forks Herald 1 / 2
Alex Larson, Blake Egeland and Austin Pierce race for position during a heat race Friday night at River Cities Speedway. Photo/ Nick Nelson, Grand Forks Herald 2 / 2

Wade Nygaard has raced enough to know that running in second -- sometimes -- is an advantage late in the race.

It was for Nygaard on Friday at River Cities Speedway where he captured another sprint car feature win -- No. 270 of his nearly 30-year career.

For much of the race, Ty Hanten was trying to become a first-time winner at The Bullring for the second week in a row.

But Nygaard, who ran second for much of the race, remained patient and picked the right time to slide Hanten. On Lap 21, Nygaard tried a slide job for the lead in Turn 2 but couldn’t make it stick. He tried again in Turn 4, this time making the pass.

From there, he was out of danger.

“Sometimes, it’ much easier running in second,” said Nygaard. “You never know whether to push it more when you’re in first. If you’re in first, you never know how much to push the issue -- especially on a tricky track.”

The RCS racing surface was tricky. And it was difficult for drivers to pass.

“{Hanten) gave me one opening and I got lucky,” said Nygaard. “Otherwise, I don’t know whether I would have gotten by him.”

There were a handful of cautions in the 25-lap feature. And that was to Nygaard’s benefit.

“I needed the yellows,” said Nygaard. “Either that or I needed to get into lapped traffic to make something happen.”

Hanten, who finished second, posted the fastest lap time of 12.655 seconds (87.420 mph). Nygaard’s top time was 12.766 (87.420 mph).

Shane Roemeling finished third, followed by Jade Hastings and Brendan Mullen.

Only 13 sprints raced in the feature. The normally strong sprint car count was down, most likely to the running of the Knoxville Nationals.

Brad Seng has been one of the dominant drivers at RCS and in the Upper Midwest the past decade. But he had yet to win a late model feature this season at RCS.

That changed Friday night when he captured the 20-lap main event.

Seng passed Jeff Hapala for the lead out of Turn 4 on Lap 8 and wasn’t seriously threatened the rest of the way.

“It took until late in the season to get a win; they’re not easy to get here,” said Seng. “Hats off to the RCS crew for this track.”

Ryan Corbett was second, followed by Joey Pederson, Dustin Strand and Hapala.

Dexter Dvergsten won the lightning sprints feature, leading from start to finish.

Lance Schill has dominated the Midwest modified field this season at RCS and he won again -- coming from the eighth starting spot.

Daniel Aberle won the streets feature, finishing 0.492 seconds ahead of John Halvorson.

The World of Outlaws will make their second appearance of the season next Friday night at River Cities Speedway.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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