CRARY, N.D. (June 8, 2021) – The Buffalo Wild Wings Northern Outlaw Sprints made their first of two visits of the 2021 season to Devils Lake Speedway on Saturday night. Grand Forks driver Brendan Mullen picked up the feature win - his second of the season and the fourth of his career.
“It feels really good,” said Mullen after the race. “We’ve wrecked a couple of cars already this year and have had a lot of shop time lately. Things haven’t gone exactly perfect but we are learning and that’s what it is all about for us right now.”
Greg Nikitenko and Zach Omdahl led the field of 15 to the green flag for the 25-lap main event.
Minot veteran Nikitenko jumped out to the early lead. Nikitenko led the first eight circuits until both Omdahl and Mullen snuck by, relegating him back to third.
Omdahl was fast on the cushion, holding nearly a 10 car length lead over Mullen.
“Track position was a big deal. We were lucky to start on the outside of the second row and just kind of get comfortable early on,” continued Mullen. “Nikitenko slipped up over the cushion and we were lucky to get by him. Then I just chased Zach for forever and couldn’t make up any ground on him. Luckily a yellow came out.”
The yellow was displayed on lap nine for a spin in turn one. On the ensuing restart, Wade Nygaard charged from fourth to nearly take the lead away from Omdahl. Nikitenko also drove around the outside of Mullen to move Mullen back to fourth. Those passes were negated, however, as the caution lights came on again before the lap was completed.
“I totally botched the restart and got passed on both sides,” said Mullen. “Thankfully it got called back and Wade showed me where to go when he passed me on the inside. We used that and snuck into the lead.”
Using the moisture on the extreme inside groove, Mullen grabbed the point as the green flag flew once again. From there, the driver of the Native Nations Cannabis No. 11M pulled away to a big lead.
The race wasn’t over yet, however. The topside of the speedway began to take rubber and as Mullen began to approach traffic, that allowed Omdahl and Nygaard to close in.
With under five to go, both Omdahl and Nygaard were all over Mullen as Nygaard slipped past Omdahl to take over second. With two to go, Nygaard dove to the inside to attempt a slide job on Mullen in turn one. Mullen’s momentum carried back into the lead and the fourth-year driver held off his mentor on the final circuit to pick up the win.
The win was Mullen’s second at the speedway, but first NOSA-sanctioned win at the track.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 11M-Brendan Mullen; 2. 9N-Wade Nygaard; 3. 17-Zach Omdahl; 4. 8H-Jade Hastings; 5. 31-Shane Roemeling; 6. 6N-Greg Nikitenko; 7. 0-Nick Omdahl; 8. 55-Nick Ranten; 9. 26-Blake Egeland; 10. 99-Jordan Graham; 11. 10TRB-Bob Martin; 12. 14-Tom Egeland; 13. 4-Colton Young; 14. 41T-Travis Strandell; 15. 2-Tee Young
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 9N-Wade Nygaard; 2. 11M-Brendan Mullen; 3. 55-Nick Ranten; 4. 6N-Greg Nikitenko; 5. 31-Shane Roemeling; 6. 10TRB-Bob Martin; 7. 14-Tom Egeland; 8. 2-Tee Young
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 0-Nick Omdahl; 2. 8H-Jade Hastings; 3. 26-Blake Egeland; 4. 17-Zach Omdahl; 5. 99-Jordan Graham; 6. 41T-Travis Strandell; 7. (DNF) 4-Colton Young