August 19 2023…. Stockton , CA.…. With only 20 laps to go in the fourth running of the “Bob Lehman Classic,” Brandon White of Eureka stole the lead away from NSMS points leader Scott Winters on a late-race restart, and drove to his first North State Modified Series victory Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway. White’s win broke Winters’ four-race winning streak and moved him up to third in NSMS points behind Winters and Lakeport’s Ian Elliott.
Winters was the quickest car in time trials, posting a 14.139 second lap and earning the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Fastest Qualifier Award. White was second quick with 14.280, Elliott ran third with a 14.301, Eric Price from Meridian ran fourth at 14.486, and on his first time back on the track in several years, Rich Lindgren of Pleasant Grove clocked in fifth with a 14.492 second lap.
It was 79 year old Sal Lopez of Sacramento’s final race as he announced he was retiring after 49 years of racing. Lopez starting the 60 lap race on the pole to commemorate his retirement and led the first lap before moving to his designated starting berth.
The eight-car inverted start saw Sammy Nuno forge ahead of Jordan Smith at the lap-2 restart with Calvin Hegje and Lindgren settling into third and fourth. Elliott moved to the outside row and drove around Lindgren on lap five. White followed Elliott’s line and 2 rounds later and also passed Lindgren.
Lap 12 saw Elliott dive under Hegje for third. The following round Smith spun in turn two while running in second place, bringing out the yellow flag. This put Elliott next to Nuno for the double-file restart, and when the green flag dropped, Elliott pulled ahead to take the lead. Both Hegje and Winters used the high side to pick off Nuno as Elliott was pulling away. Winters was gaining ground on Elliott when the race was slowed again for an incident involving Jarred Hess and Lindgren, causing Lindgren to spin in turn two.
Elliott chose the outside lane for the restart, but it did not pan out as Winters stole the lead on lap 28. Two rounds later White drove under Elliott for second and the trio ran one-two-three the next nine circuits.
The final yellow flag flew on lap 40 when contact was made between Hegje and Smith resulting on both spinning in turn four. When racing resumed White shot ahead of Winters and never looked back. The final 20 laps ran smoothly with White the $1000 winner over Winters, Elliott, Hess, Nuno, Lindgren, Smith, Hegje, Price, Rick Avila and Lopez.
Hegje was the $100 winner in the O’Reilly’s Dash for Cash followed by Lindgren, Elliott, White, Price, Winters and Lopez. Lopez was given a special award on his retirement from the North State Modified Series and Transmissions by Hal. Hegje and Lindgren won the Scribner jugs, and the O’Reillys Hard Charger Award went to White for being the high points earner of the event. Frank’s Radios certificates earners were Hess, Nuno, Lindgren, Smith and Hegje.
Part two of the North State Modified 2023 Tribute Tour will be the “Dale Baldwin Challenge” at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka on September 22-23. The season finale’ will be at Shasta Speedway in Anderson on October 13-14.