GRAND FORKS, ND (July 12) – The 15th event of the 2016 season brought the APR team to their home track, River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks.
Austin began the night deep in the starting lineup for heat race number three, but passed five cars in 10 laps to finish in the runner-up spot.
The two-time and defending River Cities Speedway track champion then started seventh on the 24-car grid for the 25-lap A-main. Austin methodically moved his way forward, cracking the top five on lap three.
At the halfway point, Pierce had maneuvered around Jordan Adams and Blake Egeland to claim the third spot. From there Austin set his sights on Wade Nygaard. With about eight laps to go, Austin caught the #9N and the two Grand Forks drivers would put on a show worth the price of admission alone.
Slide jobs were traded lap after lap in the closing stages, with both drivers nearly sliding off the embankment on several occasions, but each time they were able to reel their machines back in and keep on racing.
When it was all said and done, Pierce rounded out the podium with a third place finish, which was a nice rebound after a rough night last Friday.
Saturday the team was ready to take on Devils Lake Speedway for the second time this season, but unfortunately the rains came before the heat races could even be completed. A make-up date is still in the works.
This upcoming weekend will be a busy one with three Northern Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA)-sanctioned events scheduled at three different tracks. As usual, it all begins Friday night at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks. Saturday the tour will head south to Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon, where Austin ended the 2015 season with a win.
Things will wrap up Sunday at the newly resurrected Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo. The event will mark the first Sprint Car race held at the 3/8th mile oval in nearly four years.
Top 5’s: 7
Top 10’s: 9
Heat Wins: 3
July 15 – River Cities Speedway
July 16 – Buffalo River Race Park
July 17 – Red River Valley Speedway
Photo and recap by Mike Spieker