By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (May 10, 2018) – This Friday night the Buffalo Wild Wings Northern Outlaw Sprint Association will open its 25th anniversary season. It’s only fitting that the season kicks off at the track that has been the Friday night home of the series since its inception in 1994; River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks.
There is always excitement and anticipation surrounding each opening night, but the anxiousness seems to be at a new level this year.
NEWS & NOTES:
Mark Dobmeier, the series’ all-time wins leader, will be aboard a family-owned No. 13 for the first time in over a decade. He seems to have all the pieces in place with backing from Buffalo Wild Wings and Lustra Motorsports, but will that translate to speed their first night out?
Wade Nygaard, entering his 28th year behind the wheel of a Sprint Car, has turned the most laps out of any other NOSA driver so far this year. Nygaard is coming off a top 10 finish at the South Dakota Sprint Car Nationals at Park Jefferson Speedway in North Sioux City, S.D. The Nygaard/Mullen Motorsports team will look to continue that momentum in their first race of 2018 with a 410 powerplant under the hood.
In 2017, Austin Pierce racked up an impressive 14 podium finishes at River Cities en route to his second career River Cities and NOSA series championships. Pierce, along with Jordan Adams, turned some heads a couple weeks ago at the Sprint Car World Championship at Mansfield (OH) Motor Speedway. The No. 2A crew will look for a solid start on Friday to begin their title defense.
Fresh off a feature win with the MSTS 360s last Saturday night at Wagner (SD) Speedway, Thomas Kennedy will look to go back-to-back on Friday. Kennedy, who will also be sporting Buffalo Wild Wings colors this season, has been fast in a 360 all year to this point. Friday will also mark Kennedy’s first run of the season with a 410.
The youth movement of the NOSA Sprints continues. Fifteen-year-old Brendan Mullen will be making his NOSA debut this Friday night. Mullen, of Grand Forks, will be fielding a second Nygaard/Mullen Motorsports entry in the One-Hour Heating & Cooling No. 11M. Mullen ran with the Northern Lightning Sprint Association in 2017, claiming four wins with the series.
Chris Ranten claimed his first career wins at River Cities last year after several season of trying. Ranten will be joined by his younger brother, Nick, this season on the track. Ranten Racing will now be a two-car operation with Chris’ No. 27 and Nick’s No. 55.
Everyone with the NOSA Sprints would like to congratulate Todd Mack and Doug Howells on being inducted to the Jackson Racing Hall of Fame this Saturday! Mack drove the Howells-owned No. 4 to a Jackson Unlimited Sprint Car championship in 1985.
Racing on Friday night kicks off at 7pm. For more information, visit rivercitiesspeedway.com.
Previous NOSA Season Opener Winners:
May 6, 1994: Donny Schatz Grand Forks Speedway (Now River Cities Speedway)
May 5, 1995: Todd Mack Grand Forks Speedway
May 24, 1996: Donny Schatz Grand Forks Speedway
May 30, 1997: Lou Kennedy Jr. Grand Forks Speedway
May 1, 1998: Brad Pake Grand Forks Speedway
May 1, 1999: Wade Nygaard Victory Lane Speedway (Now Red River Co-op Speedway)
April 28, 2000: Lou Kennedy Jr. River Cities Speedway
April 27, 2001: Bob Martin River Cities Speedway
May 10, 2002: Wade Nygaard River Cities Speedway
April 25, 2003: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 7, 2004: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 6, 2005: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 7, 2006: Mark Domeier River Cities Speedway
May 4, 2007: Lou Kennedy Jr. River Cities Speedway
May 16, 2008: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 17, 2009: Mark Dobmeier Nodak Speedway
April 23, 2010: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 6, 2011: Casey Mack River Cities Speedway
May 4, 2012: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 17, 2013: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 16, 2014: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway
May 8, 2015: Wade Nygaard River Cities Speedway
April 29, 2016: Wade Nygaard River Cities Speedway
May 5, 2017: Mark Dobmeier River Cities Speedway