Anderson CA …… Race #10 of the North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest, was loaded with action from start to finish, but when it was all over Kelseyville’s Darrin Sullivan beat Randy Houston of Medford, Oregon by inches to claim the $1500 first place prize in the 2nd annual Lloyd Burton Against-the-Wind Challenge at Shasta Speedway Saturday night. Earlier Eric Johnson, also of Kelseyville, set a new NSMS track record of 15.935 seconds. Johnson was the only driver to break into the 15-second bracket. The previous record of 15.948 was set in May, 2014, by 2014 NSMS champion Jay Linstroth of Citrus Heights.
A 10-car invert for the 60 lap feature placed Oregon driver Rich Cobb and Lakeport’s Ian Elliott in the front row over the 21 car field. Terry Deal and Sullivan shared row two, Dustin DeRosier and Houston started in row three, last year’s race winner Jason Philpot and current points leader Darrin Knight were in row four, and Charlie Collins was next to Johnson in row five.
Cobb powered ahead at the start with Elliott, Deal and DeRosier next in line. As Cobb was pulling away, Deal dove under Elliott for second on lap nine. Philpot swapped places with DeRosier on lap 11. Two rounds later the yellow flag flew when Richie Potts was tagged and spun in turn four. Before one more lap was completed Johnson and Houston made contact for another caution. Johnson was forced to pit for repairs and lost six laps before he could return to action.
The double-file restart saw Deal out in front for a half-lap, but Cobb dove into turn three harder to regain the number one spot. Philpot moved to the high side and passed Elliott on 17, and at the same time Sullivan made an inside pass on Elliott for fourth. Knight followed Sullivan’s line as Cody Braund lost power, slowed and retired to the pits.
Simi Tour and Sierra Furia tangled to stop the action again on lap 25. Furia’s car was towed to the pits for repairs but she tagged the back of the pack to take the next green flag. The running order at the half-way marker showed Cobb still out in front of Deal, Philpot, Sullivan, DeRosier, Knight, Houston, Collins, Elliott and Cameron Austin.
Three circuits later Sal Lopez spun in turn two, and on the restart Sullivan powered by Deal for second. Philpot ducked under Deal for third the following round. The yellow waved again on 42 when Furia stopped on the track with a flat. She pitted for a tire change and restarted at the rear.
Another three green-flag laps ran before both Knight and Collins spun in turn four for yellow number six. Sullivan forged ahead of Cobb at the start to take over the lead. Philpot ran third with Houston passing Deal for fourth on lap 45. Cobb slid up the track slightly opening the door for both Philpot and Houston to fill the hole taking over second and third.
Cobb’s car got loose and spun on the backstretch for the final yellow, and on the restart Houston dove under Philpot and set his sights on Sullivan. Houston looked high and low, moved his mount to the high side on the white flag lap, pulled along side of Sullivan for a photo finish at the checkered flag. Sullivan posted the win by inches over Houston, Philpot, Deal, and DeRosier. Rounding out the top 10 were Austin, Elliott, Wade Coleman, Potts, and Knight. Sullivan’s name will be added to the perpetual trophy as the winner of this event.
Wade Coleman earned the Keyser Hard Charger Award plus a $200 bonus courtesy of Mary Burton and Dan Burton’s Kaleidoscope Coffee Shop. In addition to the Penney Racing Supply Fast Time Award, Eric Johnson also collected another $200 for his new track record from Brandon Williams of Sunrise Excavating. The $100 Nor-Cal Racing Alumni half-way award went to Rich Cobb.
Dustin DeRosier won the Naake Suspension Award, the DJ Safety Certificate went to Charlie Collins, and Adrianna Strugnell got the Racer Bling Award. Scribner Plastic jugs went to Richie Potts and Cameron Austin. Lakeport’s Cadillac Pat Sperling donated $100 to Tom Ford for being the first car to retire from the race.
The North State Modifieds will finish out their season at All American Speedway in Roseville, CA on October 14. This event, The Sinister Diesel 60, will be part of the NASCAR K&N Series October Classic. The purse and long-tow awards will be increased for this championship event courtesy of Economy Heating & Air of Roseville.