Lakeport , CA…… When unfortunate mechanical failures saw both leader Kyle Tellstrom of Ukiah and second place runner Charlie Collins of Upper Lake forced to take their modifieds to the pits, defending champion Darrin Knight of Kelseyville found himself in the lead with only 21 laps to go, and drove the remaining laps flawlessly to capture race #2 of the North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest, at Lakeport Speedway Saturday night. This was 2 consecutive NSMS wins for Knight.
Earlier Tellstrom blistered Tripp Gaylord’s track record of 12.287 with a 12.150 second lap earning the $100 Sunoco/Penney Racing Supply fast time award. He went on to draw the “Lucky #4” chip for the inversion. This put Darin Snider on the pole for the 60 lap feature with Collins on the outside front row. Knight and Tellstrom started third and fourth on the grid, with Eric Johnson and Darrin Sullivan sharing the third row.
When the green flag flew Collins charged to the front with Tellstrom following his line. Knight drove under Snider for third on lap six. A 4-lap side-by-side battle for third ended on lap 13 when Johnson cleared Snider and settled into fourth place. Collins drove high on 14, and it was all Tellstrom needed to fill the gap and power into the lead.
Tellstrom’s car was on a rail, lapping as many as three cars in a single round. The only yellow flag of the event happened on lap 39 when Oregon driver Rich Cobb spun on the front stretch. While the cars were slowed, track official discovered that fluid was being dropped all the way around the track. The problem was coming from Tellstrom’s rear end, and he had to end his impressive run and drive to the pits.
Three lapped cars driven by Cameron Austin, Darrin Sullivan and Ian Elliott, were running between Tellstrom and Collins, and those cars moved to the rear and picked up their laps. Collins became the new leader, but before action could resume, Collins had a tire go flat and also had to pit for a change. Four more lapped cars running between Collins and Knight moved to the back to gain back a lap. These four were Sierra Furia, Dustin DeRosier, Adrianna Strugnell and Simi Tour.
With both Tellstrom and Collins in the pits Knight inherited the lead. Eric Johnson moved into second with Snider third, Bryan Denton fourth and Codi Barba fifth. Knight pulled away on the restart, but Johnson closed in when the leaders caught slower traffic. In the closing laps Collins worked his way back to rejoin the front runners, and at the checked flag it was Knight, Johnson, Snider, Denton, Collins, Austin, Sullivan, DeRosier and Sierra Furia. Rounding out the top 20 were Strugnell, Richie Potts, Jason Philpot, Wade Coleman, Ian Elliott, Simi Tour, Rich Cobb, Sal Lopez, Tellstrom, and Cody Braund.
In the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash Codi Barba collected $100 for the win, with Cameron Austin earning $50 for second.
The series moves North to Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka for Race #3. This event will be a Sunday evening show on May 28 of Memorial Day weekend.
The North State Modified Series is presented by: Protect the Harvest, Lucas Oil, Sinister Diesel, 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.