River Cities Speedway recap
By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (July 31) - Although Wade Nygaard has led the Northern Outlaw Sprint Association points standings for the majority of the season, the Grand Forks, ND driver hadn't visited victory lane since May. All that changed for the six-time NOSA champion Friday night at River Cities Speedway, however, as Nygaard drove from 11th to claim his 117th NOSA victory.
Wilde's second stint in the lead was short lived as the hard charging Nygaard drove by the Burris Carpet #6 on lap 10. Once out front Nygaard never relinquished the lead, but faced multiple challenges in the closing laps. Between racing in dense lapped traffic, slide job attempts from Austin Pierce, and a rapidly closing Dusty Zomer, Nygaard had to hit his marks each and every lap.
With about five laps remaining, Pierce had erased Nygaard's advantage and looked to place a bid for the lead. Pierce would pitch his Opp Construction #2A into the middle groove of turn one and try to slide up in front of Nygaard at the apex of the corner, but Nygaard carried too much momentum up on the high side. The lead duo repeated this for the next few circuits until Pierce faded back a few car lengths. As he did, Zomer capitalized on it and reeled in the defending NOSA champion. Zomer saw an opening on the high side of turn two and threaded the needle between Pierce and the edge of the banking, making slight contact with Pierce in the process. Zomer then set his sights on Nygaard, but had just two laps remaining.
Zomer was able to cut Nygaard's lead down to three car lengths, but ran out of time as Nygaard took the checkers.
"We had a really good car. I was little tight at the start of the race so I knew by the end we would be pretty fast," commented Nygaard in RydellCars.com Victory Lane. "I caught a few lucky breaks to get by some guys and luckily kept it up front. I've got to thank my guys for getting this car better and better all the time. I'm just the dumb driver and these guys work their tails off all week long," Nygaard said with a laugh.
Zomer followed up his runner-up finish with the World of Outlaws at RCS back in June with a runner-up finish with the NOSA Sprint Cars Friday night.
"The track was really dry tonight so you really had to finesse the car around the top," said Zomer after the race. "At the end of the day we came across the line in second, but I was definitely giving it everything I had. We'll take it, it was a lot of fun, and we'll get ready for Knoxville tomorrow."
The win for Nygaard was his second of the year at RCS and fourth overall. Pierce came home third, ahead of Chris Ranten and Wilde.