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By Mike Spieker
WEST FARGO – Wade Nygaard picked up his 261st career sprint car win Sunday evening at Red River Valley Speedway during the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car special. The Grand Forks driver held off perennial frontrunners Thomas Kennedy and Austin Pierce en route to his first win on Red River Valley Speedway’s three-eighths mile configuration.
Nygaard powered by front row starters Jade Hastings and Jackson Moffett on the opening lap to secure the lead, as Pierce and Kennedy followed in his tracks.
A pair of incidents slowed the field in the first 10 laps, one of which brought out the red flag for Sam Miller, who got upside down.
On the lap eight restart, Kennedy maneuvered around Pierce to secure the runner-up spot. With Nygaard in his crosshairs, Kennedy looked to close in on the nine-time and defending Northern Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA) champion.
Nygaard kept Kennedy at bay until the closing stages, when Kennedy placed a bid for the lead with four to go. Kennedy got a run on Nygaard down the front straightaway and tried to drive around the outside of him in turns one and two. Nygaard kept his foot pegged to the floor, however, as the two banged wheels exiting the corner.
Nygaard regained the lead down the backstretch as Kennedy regrouped for one last charge.
Nygaard was too fast for Kennedy in final laps and cruised to the win.
“That was a fun race,” said Nygaard in victory lane. “We were beating and banging on each other there a little bit. I just had to keep the car in the rubber on the track. Kennedy found the rubber first, but once I got in it I was able to hold him off.”
Dale Kraling backed up his IMCA Modified win Thursday night at Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn as he parked in KRJB 106.5FM Victory Lane. Kraling led all 20 trips around to claim his first feature win of the season at Red River Valley Speedway and third overall. Fargo’s Austin Arneson was the hard charger of the race, advancing from 14th to second. He was followed to the checkers by his brother, Cale Arneson, as Michael Greseth and Bryce Borgen rounded out the top five.
Tim Estenson drove away with his 13th win of the season in the INEX legends. The 15-year-old Fargo driver started fourth on the grid but managed to take the lead on lap three before driving away from the field.
Racing continues next Friday night at Red River Valley Speedway, featuring the King Pin Stock Car Klash. Racing begins at 7pm.
NOSA Sprint Cars:
Feature – 1. Wade Nygaard; 2. Thomas Kennedy; 3. Austin Pierce; 4. Nick Omdahl; 5. Ryan Bickett
Feature – 1. Dale Kraling; 2. Austin Arneson; 3. Cale Arneson; 4. Michael Greseth; 5. Bryce Borgen
Feature – 1. Tim Estenson; 2. Josh Julsrud; 3. Donavin Wiest; 4. Andrew Jochim; 5. Mariah Hendriksen