GRAND FORKS, N.D. (July 14, 2017) – Jade Hastings claimed his first career win at River Cities Speedway Friday night as he topped a stout field of 26 Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprints. Hastings took the lead on lap eight and held off the field restart after restart to park his No. 8H machine in RydellCars.com Victory Lane.
“Oh man, I won my first race two weeks ago and I thought that was the best thing ever, but I was way wrong. Tonight is way better,” said the 19-year-old Grand Forks driver.
Jordan Graham and Austin Pierce led the field to the Valley Sunrise flagstand at the drop of the green flag. Pierce used the cushion to drive around Graham for the lead on the opening lap as Thomas Kennedy followed Pierce into second.
A caution on lap four set up a restart, where Kennedy battled Pierce for the lead. As they charged into turn three, something broke on Kennedy’s machine, which sent him spinning to a stop. Kennedy was not able to continue and was done for the night.
As the race resumed, Pierce cruised out to the lead and opened up a comfortable advantage. Pierce encountered lapped traffic in a matter of laps as he set a blistering pace around the three-tenths mile dirt oval.
On lap eight, Pierce made contact with a lapped car, which spun him around in turn four, bringing out the yellow. Pierce was forced to restart in 22nd, but he wouldn’t stay back there long.
Hastings inherited the lead on the restart, while Wade Nygaard and Bob Martin fought for second.
A restart with 10 to go resulted in a three car pile that collected Casey Mack, Mitch Mack, and Trent Stengl. Only Stengl was able to continue. He was able to rebound for a 13th place finish.
One last caution flew with two laps to go, which put Nygaard right on the tail tank of Hastings.
“I needed that last caution. I was getting pretty tired in the car,” continued Hastings. “Plus it helped to burn off some more fuel to make the car a little lighter. I saw Wade peak his nose under me. He’s my boss so I know he was trying to make me scared a little.”
Hastings was able to fend off the nine-time and defending NOSA champion in the final laps to claim the coveted victory.