Seng Has Big Impact On, and Off Track at Grand Forks
Brad Seng has been a fixture in racing in the Grand Forks area for more than a quarter century — first as a flagman at the track, a long-time racer, president of the Northern Late Model Racing Assocation (NLRA) — and now, as part-owner of River Cities Speedway.
Seng, who lives in Grand Forks, became part-owner of RCS this past offseason. His uncle Wayne was involved with the track for many years, and Seng served as a flagman in the 1990s.
“I’ve been around it all my life,” Seng said. “River Cities Speedway and racing in this area, are synonymous. That old grandstand has got some history. From some of the best World of Outlaw finishes, some of the closest Seitz finishes, some of the most spectacular crashes. The place just has history. The partners that brought me in, they’ve been class acts.”
Now in his 23rd year of racing, Seng, 51, remains a top competitor behind the wheel of his familiar #12S Wissota Late Model. He’ll be competing Friday at River Cities Speedway as the World of Outlaw Late Models come to town. He's also a big influence off the track, too with this involvement at RCS and the NLRA.
This season he’s raced seven times as of July 10 and has yet to finish outside the top five. He has two wins, including a $2,000 win at the Golden Hammer Challenge at Devils Lake on June 27.
Seng, who co-owns S&S Transport in Grand Forks, is also president of the NLRA, a series that has been vital to keeping late model racing relevant in the region for more than two decades. One reason why is the consistent payout — all races pay at least $1,200 to win and $250 just to start the feature.
“It’s an honest purse,” Seng said. “Every place that we race at, you drive into the pit gate, it normally says ‘county fair.’ For us to come out and ask them for $2,000 to win, $300 to start — we aren’t going to have anything. We’ve always modeled it sort of, that we need 10 through 20, more than 1 through 5. Our purses kinda run backwards — we take care of the guys at the backside so the guys up front have a place to race. Ours are $1,200 (to win)/$250 (to start) versus $2,000/$75.”
Tom Corcoran of East Grand Forks, in his 51st year of racing, is one of the founders of the NLRA and a long-time friend and late model competitor of Seng.
“When Brad came into late model racing we brought him on to the board of the NLRA quickly, his local and regional connections within the racing community were invaluable to us as an organization as well as his willingness to put in the time and effort it takes to run a club like this,” Corcoran said. “Very few people outside the racing community know just how much Brad does for so many other racers.”
Seng has had plenty of success on the track, too. He won the 1999 Wissota Super Stock national championship before moving to late models. In the late model, among his many accomplishments are four NLRA titles (including the 2019 title) and two wins at the prestigious John Seitz Memorial at River Cities.
During the 2011 Seitz Memorial win, Seng was leading at the fuel stop. He said the track rubbered up, and during the fuel stop fellow competitor and friend Pat Doar came over had some advice — keep the car on the bottom.
“Basically, If the yellow didn’t come out for the fuel stop, they were overhauling me on the rubber,” Seng said.
Seng went on to win that event and repeated in a thrilling race over A.J. Diemel in 2013. He is one of two drivers — joining Diemel — to win the John Seitz Memorial twice. Seng calls those two the biggest wins of his career “by far.”
Seitz, a highly successful super stock and late model racer who died unexpectedly in 2007 at age 36, was a close friend of Seng’s.
“For whatever reason, John and I seemed to like the same things after the races and it kinda evolved from there,” Seng said. “I bought my first car from him. The friendship…you can’t put a price tag on it.”
He’s won the Jamestown Stampede in a Wissota Super Stock but has yet to win that event in a late model.
“That’s one I’d like to win,” Seng said.
After 23 years behind the wheel, Seng still relishes driving the #12S car.
“There’s always someone that comes up that appreciates what you do,” Seng said. “I wish you could be in my seat to understand I why I do it. I tell everyone take your favorite fair ride; if you’re a little scared back off the throttle. If you want to go faster, press on the throttle. We’ve all been on that fair ride.”
Wissota/NLRA Late Model #12S
Residence: Grand Forks, N.D.
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