River Cities Speedway
Kaanta wins NLRA finale, Seng gets title
By Chris StepanDirtonDirt.com correspondent
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Sept. 6) — John Kaanta of Elk Mound, Minn., and hometown driver Brad Seng kicked off River Cities Speedway’s John Seitz Memorial weekend with a big night Thursday at the quarter-mile oval.
Kaanta picked up an $1,100 victory in the season-ending race for the Northern LateModel Racing Association, while Seng used a runner-up finish to top Ricky Weiss of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for his first championship on the WISSOTA-sanctioned tour.
Matt Aukland of Fargo, N.D., and Late Model rookie Aaron Olson of Mekinak, N.D., sat on the front row for the feature event with Aukland jumping into the race lead at the drop of the green as Olson, Pat Doar and Kaanta gave pursuit.
Doar and Kaanta both snuck by Olson into second and third before the race’s first caution appeared on lap 10 for a Cole Schill maneuver off the backstretch.
The field lined back up with Kaanta snatching the lead away and brining Doar along with him into second. The Badger State duo battled for the lead, while 11th-starting Seng, who entered the event 14 points behind Weiss in the championship chase, was making strides toward the front of the field.
A pair of mid-race cautions on lap 14 for a Bill Mooney flat tire and again on lap 15 for a Steve Anderson spin bunched the field for restarts with Kaanta still in control.
The championship battle took a major turn a lap later when a turn-one crash sent Weiss over the banking and into a violent flip, ending his night 13 laps early. Weiss wasn’t injured in the wreck, but his hopes for another NLRA championship were virtually over.
The remaining 13 laps ran green to checkered with Kaanta outrunning Seng, who finished second to wrap up the series title. Redetzke pressured Seng for second late in the race but settled for third at the finish.
Mike Balcaen made the bottom work as he drove by Doar late in the race as well, coming home fourth at the line with Doar rounding out the top five. Troy Schill earned the Performance Auto Hard Charger award after advancing from 22nd to sixth.
NLRA @ River Cities: (1) John Kaanta, (2) Brad Seng, (3) Jake Redetzke, (4) Mike Balcaen, (5) Pat Doar, (6) Troy Schill, (7) Jeff Provinzino, (8) Matt Aukland, (9) Joey Pederson, (10) Tom Corcoran, (11) Shane Edginton, (12) Steve Laursen, (13) Kyle Peterlin, (14) Don Shaw, (15) Aaron Olson, (16) Bill Mooney, (17) Scott Greer, (18) Cole Schill, (19) Mike Johnson, (20) Dusty Peterson, (21) Steve Anderson, (22) Ricky Weiss, (23) Dustin Strand, (24) Josh Johnson, (25) Zach Naastad, (26) Lance Matthees. Heat race winners (among 44 cars): Olson, Doar, Aukland, Waseleski, Corcoran, Kaanta. Consolation race winners: Pederson, Shaw.