Sunday, June 2, 2019

Knittel Captures First North State Modified Win

Robbie Knittel of Lodi is all smiles after his big North State Modified Series win at Stockton Speedway Saturday night. Photo by: Jessie's Fast Photos

Via Nadine Strauss/NSMS Media

Stockton CA... June 1, 2019.... Robbie Knittel of Lodi drove the Ferrari Farms #24 modified to a $1000 victory at Stockton 99 Speedway Saturday night as the North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest, completed race #4 of the 2019 Driving Out Cancer Awareness Tour. Knittel led the event wire-to-wire, holding off the challenges of Kelseyville’s Darrin Knight the entire distance to take the win. Knight was the winner the first race at Stockton earlier this season.

The race was shortened to 30 laps after a nine-car pile-up occurred on lap three when Dustin DeRosier blew an engine and left a trail of oil that could not be avoided by the charging pack. Only two drivers involved in the wreck were able to continue, Oregon driver Rich Cobb and Lakeport’s Mike Neilson. Those towed to the pits with extensive damage were DeRosier, Ian Elliott, Sammy Solari, Keith Bloom, Donovan Cox, Buzz DeVore and Sal Lopez. All drivers were uninjured.

Not involved in the wreck, and running up front were Knittel, Jason Philpot, Knight, fast qualifier Darrin Sullivan and NSMS points leader Cameron Austin.

Rich Cobb (#16) and Mike Neilson (#14) were the only two cars that drove away from a nine-car pileup to finish the North State Modified Series race at Stockton Speedway Saturday night. Photo by: Jessie's Fast Photos

When racing finally got under way, Knittel jumped out in front as Knight drove under Philpot for second. Sullivan took a look under Philpot on lap seven, and four rounds later tried an inside pass on Philpot that resulted in Sullivan spinning in turn one.

The next 10 circuits saw Knittel pull away from the field with Knight, Philpot, Austin and Cobb next in line. Sullivan was charging back to the front, passed Cobb on lap 15 and drove around Austin on 23. But when he caught Philpot, contact was made and Philpot’s car spun bringing out the third yellow flag.

Once again Knittel forged ahead on the restart, and the finally four laps saw a side-by-side battle between Philpot and Cobb. Knittel crossed the Sunoco checkered flag first to claim his first NSMS victory followed by Knight, Austin, Philpot, Cobb, Sullivan, Neilson and Rick Avila.

Sullivan’s NSMS Hoosier Tires fast time of 14.324 seconds was only .005 slower than Ian Elliott’s current record of 14.319. Knight clocked in second fast at 14.362, Knittel turned a 14.402, Philpot’s was 14.485, and Austin ran at 14.497.

Keith Bloom won $100 in the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash. Cobb collected $50 for second. They both took home Lucas Oil products as well as the Scribner jugs. Cobb also earned the Keyser Hard Charger award.

Sullivan picked up the Naake Shocks certificate, and the Frank's Radios gift cards went to Knight, Neilson and Avila.

The North State Modified Series moves south to Madera Speedway on June 15, and then travels north to Shasta Speedway in Anderson on June 22.

The North State Modified Series is presented by: Protect the Harvest, Lucas Oil, Hoosier Tire West, Sunoco Race Fuels, Naake Suspension, Five Star Bodies, Racer Bling, Keyser Racing Products, Scribner Plastics, Gone Fishin' Marine, Buckhorn Bar & Grill, and Franks Radios.

NSMS modified rules, procedures, schedule, entry forms and other information are available on the web site

HOOSIER TIME TRIALS: Darrin Sullivan (14.324), Darrin Knight (14.362), Robbie Knittel (14.402), Jason Philpot (14.485), Cameron Austin (14.497), Dustin DeRosier (14.499), Sammy Solari (14.508), Ian Elliott (14.566), Keith Bloom (14.620), Donovan Cox (14.645), Rich Cobb (14.727), Mike Neilson (14.870), Rick Avila (14.915), Buzz DeVore (15.013), Sal Lopez (15.211)

LUCAS OIL DASH FOR CASH: Bloom, Cobb, Neilson, Solari, Cox, Elliott, Avila

PROTECT THE HARVEST / SUNOCO MAIN EVENT : Knittel, Knight, Austin, Philpot, Cobb, Sullivan, Neilson, Avila, Elliott, Solari, Bloom, Cox, DeVore, Lopez, DeRosier