April 23, 2022….. Stockton, CA. Darrin Sullivan of Kelseyville took over the lead on lap 21 when leader Keith Bloom of Anderson spun after a tap from Scott Winters of Tracy, and drove away to win the North State Modified Series 2022 season opener at Stockton 99 Speedway Saturday night. Sullivan crossed the checkered f lag nearly a half a lap ahead of second place finisher Dustin DeRosier of Cloverdale.
Track conditions created a fast pace with three drivers clocking under Ian Elliott’s NSMS track record of 14.319 seconds. The new record belongs to defending NSMS champion Scott Winters at 14.015. He was presented the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fast Qualifier Award plaque from series co-promoter Jeff Stephens.
Also breaking the record were Sullivan (14.107) and Redding’s Cody Braund (14.231.) Elliott broke an engine and hit the wall during the Friday practice and was unable to make the needed repairs to return to Saturday’s action.
Winters drew the number eight chip to set up the invert for the 60-lap feature, placing Calvin Hegje and Jordan Smith in the front row. Hegje led the first four laps until Foryst Sousa drove under Hegje in turn four. The two cars made hard contact with both spinning and retiring from the race.
This left Bloom out in front ahead of Mike Sullivan, Braund, Smith, Darrin Sullivan and Winters. Both D. Sullivan and Winters snuck under Smith on lap eight, and the pack ran nose-to-tail the next 12 rounds. On lap 20 Braund and Mike Sullivan made contact with Sullivan spinning in turn two.
On the restart Bloom and Winters had their problem, leaving Darrin Sullivan in the number one spot. One more caution came when Sal Lopez spun and pulled his car into the infield. The final 37 laps went without incident with Darrin Sullivan taking home the $1000 win. DeRosier finished second followed by Bloom, Braund, Winters, Smith, Rick Avila and John Baker. M. Sullivan, Lopez, Hegje and Souza were all non-finishers.
Keith Bloom was the $100 winner in the Dash for Cash with Souza the $50 second place finisher. DeRosier earned the O’Reilly Hard Charger Award for starting last and finishing second. The Naake Suspension certificate went to Rick Avila. The Scribner jugs went home with Bloom and Souza.
The next stop for the North State Modified Series will be May 7 at Shasta Speedway in Anderson. The event will pay $1000 to win and $200 to start.
The North State Modified Series would not be possible without the support of Anderson Logging, Hoosier Tire West, Sunoco Race Fuels, Naake Suspension, Mark & Sharon Baldwin, Ray Elliott, Doyce Eaton ,Scribner Plastics, Mort Houston, McMurray & Sons Roofing, and Frank’s Radios.
Photos by Jennifer Belveal