Madera, CA…… With only three laps to go in the 60 lap feature, 2016 Lucas Oil Modified champion Matthew Hicks of San Diego moved under leader Jason Philpot of Sacramento to lead the final circuits and collect the $1250 win in the North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest, at Madera Speedway Saturday night during the Lucas Oil Summertime Horsepower Nationals. Hicks drove for P.J. Pedroncelli Racing in his first asphalt outing since his move to dirt-track racing this year.
Hicks also qualified quickest over the 24 car field with his 14.704 second lap earning the Penney Racing Supply/Sunoco Fast Time Award. Second quick was veteran driver Wes Miller of Turlock at 14.737, Philpot (14.788), Lakeport’s Sierra Furia (14.877) and Kris Price (14.897.) The 4-car invert placed Furia and Philpot in the front row, and when the initial green flag dropped both Philpot and Hicks powered into first and second. North State Modified champ Darrin Knight dove under Furia for third on three, and Miller swapped places with Furia for fourth the following round.
The first of seven caution flags flew on lap eight when Simi Tour lost control and spun in turn one. Miller drove around Knight on the restart just before the race was slowed again when Cameron Austin’s car lost power and stopped on the front stretch. Lap 11 saw Andrew Snider’s car blow a radiator hose, spilling fluid on the track for yet another caution, and when racing resumed Philpot chose the outside lane and continued to show the way with Hicks next in line. Knight moved around both Miller and Hicks for second on the next curcuit.
On lap 16 Oregon driver Rich Cobb spin in turn four setting the field up for a single-file restart. Three rounds later Charlie Collins drove under Miller, pushed high making contact. Miller’s car came back down with the second contact causing Collins to spin. This put Sierra Furia back up to fourth with Kris Price fifth. Then on lap 25 Price drove under Furia, contact was made, sending Furia’s car hard into the turn four concrete. Price continued but Furia’s car was towed to the pits.
Tour spun for yellow #6, and Kevin Coburn’s car broke, spinning in turn one for caution #7. At the half-way marker the running order was Philpot, Knight, Hicks, Darrin Sullivan, Eric Johnson, Cody Braund, Eric Price Jr, Dave Campbell, Bryan Denton, and Adrianna Strugnell.
Hicks swapped places with Knight on lap 42 and set his sights on Philpot. Philpot weaved gracefully through lapped traffic with Hicks tight on his tail. The final 10 laps saw both Philpot and Hicks in a battle of champions. Then on lap 58 Hicks moved under Philpot where the duo ran side-by-side for two rounds before Hicks pulled ahead to claim the victory. Knight finished third with Sullivan fourth, and Campbell fifth. Johnson, Miller, Braund, Kris Price and Charlie Collins were the only other cars on the lead lap. Finishing one lap down were Brian Collins, Codi Barba, Denton, Cobb, Jerry Toporek, Strugnell, Tour and Dustin DeRosier.
Philpot collect $100 for his win in the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash, with Kris Price earning $50 for second. Braund earned the Keyser Hard Charger Award. Simi Tour took home the Naake Suspension award, the DJ Safety Certificate went to Barba, and Philpot earned the Racer Bling certificate.
The North State Modified Series returns to the All American Speedway in Roseville for the Sinister Diesel Summer Sizzler on June 24.
The North State Modified Series is presented by: Protect the Harvest, Lucas Oil, Sinister Diesel, Ward Ranches, Penney Racing Supply, American Racer Tires, Naake Suspension, Sunoco Race Fuels, Five Star Bodies, Racer Bling, Keyser Racing Products, Scribner Plastics, DJ Safety, and the Buckhorn Bar & Grill.
NSMS modified rules, procedures, and schedules are available at www.northstatemodifieds.com.