Santanna Tates, Winnipeg, Mb (August 17) Red River Co-op Speedway hosted the 4th annual Can-Am NLRA Late Model Challenge on Thursday night. Team USA named Five Drivers to their team and it was a fan vote that determined what five drivers would make up the Canadian team. Mike Balcaen was chosen as Canada’s team captain and the American team captain was represented by Brad Seng. This year the fans selected Balcaen, Weiss, Mooney, Edginton, and Sexton to represent Canada. Points were allocated to each driver for heat finishes and feature finishes and the combined total determined which country would take home the coveted cup. In previous years, the Canadian team had been victorious in keeping the Can-Am Cup at home but this year the United States Team of Schatz, Seng, Schill, Shaw, and Strand ended that streak.
The Wissota late models saw twenty four cars start the twenty five lap feature with Mike Balcaen and Donny Schatz making up the front row. Don Shaw jumped to an early lead while Schatz and Balcaen fell back into second and third. Shaw lead for a time but Schatz would eventually take the lead from him. Balcaen was awarded a caution after he and Cole Schill came together on the back straight coming out of turn two and was sent to the back for the restart. Back under green, Schatz maintained the lead and put a nice gap between himself and the rest of the field. With eight laps to go, Shaw had fallen back and Schill moved into second. Canadians Ricky Weiss and Shane Edginton had moved up to third and fourth. Weiss went to work on trying to get by Schill before the checkered but wasn’t able to do it in time. Ten time Knoxville Nationals Champion Donny Schatz swept the night winning his heat and the feature. Schill, Weiss, Edginton and Seng rounded up the top five.
In WISSOTA A-Modified action, rookie Shawn Teunis started on pole and was able to hold that position for a time while Scott Greer and Ward Imrie made their way up to the top three. Imrie was able to get around Greer and with seven laps to go he took the lead from Teunis. A caution halted the race and on the restart, Greer moved up to second and Jerome Guyot moved up to fourth. With two laps to go another caution re-stacked the field of cars. On the restart, Dustin Wahl jumped from the fifth place position to take third and with one to go grabbed second from Greer. At the checkered, it was Imrie picking up his eighteenth win of the 2017 race season. Wahl finished in second and Greer took third. Guyot picked up the fourth place spot and Teunis fifth.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature saw Rookie Victoria Stutsky start outside to Jason Somack. Stutsky took the lead and stayed there the majority of the race. Fans were sure she was going to get her first win but with two laps to go Austin Hunter made the pass for first. Stutsky ended the night in second, Christopher Leek finished third and Grant Hall fourth. Darren Boychuck was impressive, moving up nine spots to finish fifth.
The Action Revs up again Thursday August 24th at 7:00pm. Late Model, Modified, Midwest Modified, Super Truck and 4 Cylinder classes will be competing.