By Mike Spieker
WEST FARGO – Sunday evening the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA sprint cars make their first and only appearance of 2017 at Red River Valley Speedway. The 410 cubic inch (c.i.) winged sprint cars always bring in the biggest names in sprint car racing in the upper Midwest, including Grand Forks’ Wade Nygaard.
Nygaard, who is the nine-time and defending NOSA sprint car champion, has countless wins at Red River Valley Speedway’s half-mile configuration but says the newer three-eighths mile layout evens up the playing field.
“All the miles I’ve put on at Red River Valley Speedway were on the big track so it’s a bit of an adjustment now racing on the smaller track,” said Nygaard, who has over 250 wins tallied over a 27 year career. “I bet I don’t have any more laps around the three-eighths mile than anybody else.”
Back when Red River Valley Speedway hosted weekly 360c.i. sprint car racing, Nygaard competed regularly in his Auto Finance Super Center No. 9N machine and had built up a big fanbase in the process.
“It’s going to be nice to get to see some of my old friends and fans who don’t get to make it to the races much in Grand Forks,” Nygaard continued. “It would be great to cap off the night with a trip to victory lane.”
Among the strong contingent of talent is Harwood’s Lee Grosz.
Grosz travels the Midwest competing in events from Nebraska to Iowa, and all through South Dakota. Sunday will be a homecoming for Grosz, as he will also get to compete in front of family and friends.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Red River Valley Speedway,” said Grosz, who just picked up a feature win in Jackson, Minn. last Saturday. “We don’t race around the area much so to be able to race in my hometown is going to be really special. I’ve had this one circled on the calendar all year. It’s always fun to be racing in front of your family, friends, and sponsors.”
Despite running a smaller 360c.i. motor against the bigger 410c.i. powerplants of the NOSA sprints, Grosz is still a favorite each time his No. 4J enters the pit area. Grosz last topped the NOSA sprints in 2013 at Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn. In his only appearance against the NOSA sprints in 2017, Grosz charged to a solid eighth place finish at Norman County Raceway on June 22nd.
Racing starts at 6pm Sunday at Red River Valley Speedway. The race is free to attend after purchasing a Red River Valley Fair gate admission. The IMCA Modifieds will be co-headlining the event with the NOSA Sprints.