Winters declared winner in Eureka – Lake County Record-Bee
EUREKA >> Twenty-five cars entered the inaugural Dale Baldwin Challenge, the richest race in North State Modified Series history, on Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka, where Tracy’s Scott Winters took home the $5,000 first prize.
McMurray & Sons Roofing, along with Mark and Sharon Baldwin and friends, sponsored the NSMS race.
Jason Philpot of Sacramento not only set the fast time but also broke the series track record at Redwood Acres Raceway with a lap of 16.152 seconds. He received the O’Reilly Fast Time Award. Lakeport’s Ian Elliott finished at 16.227, Kelseyville’s Darrin Knight was third fastest with 16.252 and both Winters and Kyle Tellstrom of Ukiah followed with 16.279.
The invert for the 60-lap main event gave pole position to SRL Pro Late Model Series and Upper Lake Spears Modified star Jeremy Doss, with Winters starting on his outside. Veteran Sal Lopez had mechanical issues prior to the 60-lap feature as his car stalled on the front section during warm-up and was unable to return to the track.
When the green flag dropped, the race quickly came to a halt as Elliott’s car lost power during the backstretch on lap one, causing several cars to pile up, resulting in a yellow flag. Elliott was pushed to the pits and did not return.
Doss took the lead at the restart, while Winters took second. Tellstrom moved up to third, while Knight fell back to fourth. On lap four, Darrin Sullivan and Philpot got caught in the backstretch while racing for position. Philpot dropped out of the race while Sullivan had to go into the pits to change a flat tire.
Doss moved back into the lead on the ensuing restart, while Kylei Keown plunged into a hail of sparks. Tellstrom moved through Winters into second and started chasing Doss for the lead. The warning flew on lap eight when Simi Tour and Idaho’s Rosalee Weller got tangled going into the first corner. Fortunately neither driver’s car sustained significant damage and both continued in the race.
The next restart featured excellent wheel-to-wheel action between Doss and Tellstrom. Doss gained the advantage after four rounds of tight racing. The trio of Doss, Tellstrom and Winters withdrew from the pack as the field expanded for a green flag. Knight pulled into the pits on lap 19 and finished his race. On lap 23, the warning flew again when Randy Houston spun into turn fourth and dropped out of the race.
Tellstrom was able to beat Doss for the lead on the restart on lap 24, while Brandon White struggled on the restart and fell back into the pack. Winters kept himself in third place. Doss was able to gain ground at Tellstrom when the two started working in traffic and the laps clicked.
The race turned on its head on lap 53. While trying to pass Cody Braund for turn two position, White made contact with Eric Johnson and Jeremy Nowlin was also involved. As a result, all three drivers were forced out of the race. With eight laps to go, both Tellstrom and Doss knew the restart would play a big part in who would win. When they got to the green, the front row seemed to converge. Doss lost control in turns one and two, causing the yellow flag to emerge. NSMS officials chastised Tellstrom for his involvement in the incident, putting Winters in the lead.
Winters and Charlie Collins take the field for the green flag for what would be the last time. Unfortunately, caution flew away again quickly when Doss and Tellstrom tangled up the second corner.
Due to the many caution periods and the need to start the scheduled late model function before 10 p.m., the race was abandoned after 52 laps. Winters took the $5,000 win, Collins won $2,500 for second, and Cameron Austin took third, earning $1,500. Cole Brown, who ran a smart and smooth race in honor of the late Steve Taylor, came in fourth, earning $1,200. Keith Bloom received $1,000 for fifth place.
Winters also won the $100 Lucas Oil Dash for Cash and Bloom came in second for $50. Both Winters and Bloom took home the Scribner Plastic Jugs
Bloom earned the Naake Hard Charger Award for passing 12 cars.
The North State Modified Series returns to action at Shasta Speedway on October 9 for the sixth running of the Lloyd Burton Against the Wind Modified Challenge, the final race of the 2021 season.
The North State Modified Series would not be possible without the support of Protect the Harvest, Lucas Oil, Economy Heating and Air of Roseville and Nashville, Tennessee, Sullivan Construction and Masonry, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Supercuts, Hoosier Tire West, Sunoco Race Fuels, Naake Suspension, Five Star Bodies, Vogel’s RVs, Mark & Sharon Baldwin, Scribner Plastics, Mort Houston, McMurray & Sons Roofing, Mission Foods and Frank’s Radios.
— Submitted by Nadine Strauss