Monday, September 11, 2017

Knight Dominates Modified Field, Regains NSMS Points Lead

Photo Courtesy Carrie Lauenroth


September 9, Eureka CA ...... Race #9 of the North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest, was all about Kelseyville's Darrin Knight. Knight dominated the action by first setting a new track record of 16.064 seconds (the previous record was set in 2014 by Jay Linstroth of Citrus Heights.) Then he started 10th in the Bear River Casino 60 lap feature and led the final 40 laps to capture this third NSMS season feature at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka Saturday night. Knight's victory was good enough to regain the points lead which he had lost two weeks earlier to Charlie Collins of Upper Lake.

Earlier the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash featured all out-of-state drivers with veteran driver Tom Elam of Powers, Oregon the $100 winner over rookie driver Jeremy Kay from Reno, Nevada. Next in line were the famous Willie Thompson of La Pine, Oregon, Tom Ford of Glendale, Oregon, long-tow Marc Newman of Marsing, Idaho, and winner of the last feature event at Redwood Acres Raceway, Randy Houston of Medford, Oregon.

When Knight pulled the #10 pill for the main event invert, Willie Thompson and Potter Valley's Simi Tour found themselves on the front row for the start. Thompson forged ahead at the drop of the Johnny Miskill green flag with Tour, Dustin DeRosier, Kyle Tellstrom (driving the Richie Potts #83), Houston and Sierra Furia next in line. Tellstrom shot by DeRosier on lap two, and both Houston and Furia drove under DeRosier the following round. Tellstrom moved to the outside and drove by Tour for second on seven as Knight was picking off cars on each pass.

Knight inched under both Furia and Houston on lap eight. Furia took advantage of the situation and dove under Houston at the same time before he could get back down in the lower lane. Terry Deal joined the front runners, settling into fifth behind Houston.

Knight caught the leaders, and on lap 13 Thompson's car pushed high opening the door for Tellstrom to poke his nose in the hole and take over the lead. Knight followed Tellstrom, moving along side of Thompson when the two made contact. Thompson slowed, and two laps later stopped at the pit exit gate to bring out the only yellow flag in the race.

Knight powered into the lead on the restart, dropping Tellstrom to second. Furia held on to third with Houston fourth and Deal fifth. Eric Johnson and Collins were battling for the sixth spot as Knight was pulling away from the pack. Furia stayed tight on Tellstrom's tail, hoping for an opportunity to gain ground, but Tellstrom drove a steady line.

Knight drove flawlessly through lapped traffic, and at the half-way point it was Knight, Tellstrom, Furia, Houston, Deal, Johnson, Collins, Darrin Sullivan, Ian Elliott, Jake Andreotti, Tour, Tom Ford, Adrianna Strugnell, Cody Kay, DeRosier, Elam, Newman and Jeremy Kay.

The second half saw Knight lap an average of one car every other lap as the battle continued with Johnson and Collins. Finally on lap 52 Collins and Johnson crashed together and it slowed Collins down just enough for Sullivan to gain position. Furia's transmission popped out of gear in the final stages allowing Houston to take over the third slot. Furia drove with one hand while holding the shifter in place the remaining distance, and at the checkered flag it was Knight, Tellstrom, Houston, Furia, Deal, Johnson, Sullivan, Collins, Andreotti and Elliott.

The Keyser Hard Charger Award, went to Knight. Deal won the Naake Suspension Award, the DJ Safety Certificate went to DeRosier, and Sullivan got the Racer Bling Award. Scribner Plastic jugs went to Elam and Jeremy Kay.

The North State Modified Series moves to Shasta Speedway on September 23 for the 2nd annual Lloyd Burton Against-the-Wind Challenge. Shasta Speedway is located at the Shasta County Fairgrounds in Anderson, California.

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

SUNOCO/PENNEY RACING SUPPLY TIME TRIALS: Darrin Knight (16.064 NTR), Charlie Collins (6.205), Sierra Furia (16.389), Darrin Sullivan (16.390), Randy Houston (16.433), Terry Deal (16.533), Kyle Tellstrom (16.559), Dustin DeRosier (16.598), Simi Tour (16.622), Willie Thompson (16.636), Eric Johnson (16.642), Tom Ford (16.760), Ian Elliott (16.794), Adrianna Strugnell (16.828), Wade Coleman (16.926), Jeremy Kay (17.008), Jake Andreotti (17.024), Sal Lopez (17.072), Marc Newman (17.109), Tom Elam (17.119), Cody Kay (17.171)
LUCAS OIL DASH FOR CASH: Tom Elam, Jeremy Kay, Willie Thompson, Tom Ford, Marc Newman, Randy Houston
BEAR RIVER CASINO/RESORT 60: Darrin Knight, Kyle Tellstrom, Randy Houston, Sierra Furia, Terry Deal, Eric Johnson, Darrin Sullivan, Charlie Collins, Jake Andreotti, Ian Elliott, Cody Kay, Simi Tour, Tom Ford, Adrianna Strugnell, Dustin DeRosier, Tom Elam, Marc Newman, Jeremy Kay, Willie Thompson, Sal Lopez, Wade Coleman (dns).