September 23, 2023…. Eureka, CA .…. After a late-race crash that took out leaders Scott Winters of Tracy and Eureka’s Brandon White , Ian Elliott of Lakeport inherited the lead and led the final 20 laps in style to win his first ever modified race in the North State Modified Series “Dale Baldwin Challenge” at Redwood Acres Raceway Saturday night over second place finisher Kylei Keown of Redwood Valley. Elliott earned $2000 for his efforts plus a $200 bonus from Baldwin’s son Mark Baldwin and long-time friend Doyce Eaton.
Prior to racing action all the modifieds carried American Flags during the National Anthem in memory of Dale Baldwin and Steve Taylor.
White turned the fastest lap of the night, 16.148, but that time was disqualified after White’s car failed the post-qualifying inspection. This gave the fast time to Eric Price II from Meridian who turned a 16.398 second lap. Winters quick time was 16.445 and Elliott clocked in at 16.540.
The invert was a four placing Elliott and Winters in the front row for the start of the 60 lap event. Elliott and Winters ran side-by-side for two laps before Elliott pulled out in front. White, who started dead last in the 17-car field, was rapidly picking off cars and was running seventh by lap seven. Two rounds later the race was slowed when Richie Potts and Charlie Collins made contact resulting in Potts spinning in turn two.
When racing resumed Elliott forged ahead of Winters again followed by Price, Keown, and Cole Brown. Lap 14 saw Winters dive under Elliott to assume the number one spot. White was still on the move, driving by Sierra Furia, Brown and Keown to his way to fourth. Three laps later he drove around the outside of Price and set his sights on the two leaders.
White swapped places with Elliott on 21 and caught Winters where he stayed tight on Winter’s bumper until the yellow flag flew again on lap 35 when Tom Elam spun in turn one. The restart saw Winters and White jockeying for position four more rounds until caution number three slowed the action again for a confrontation that involved Price and Sal Martinez.
Going into turn three after the restart, while high on the race track, Winter’s and White’s cars touched, sending White hard into the concrete wall. This ended White’s run, and sent Winters to the back.
Elliott found himself out in front followed by Keown, Charlie Collins, Furia, Cobb and Calvin Hegje. Winters worked his way back to the front, and at the Sunoco checkered flag it was Elliott, Keown, Winters, Collins, Furia, Cobb, Elam. Hegje, Brown, Martinez, Orion Mosher and Rick Avila. Dropping out early were White, Price, Potts, Jeremy Nowlin and Sammy Nuno.
The O’Reillys Dash for Cash $100 went to Price. The #83 car of Richie Potts was chosen for the Doyce Eaton Best Appearing Car award which also paid $100. White won the $100 Doyce Eaton Hard Charger award for his moves from the back to the front. The top 15 in NSMS points also received additional Dale Baldwin Challenge bonus money. Price and White won the Scribner jugs, and the Frank’s Radio certificates were awarded to Charlie Collins, Rich Cobb, Orion Mosher and Jeremy Nowlin.
The North State Modified Series is presented by Sunoco Race Fuels, Racer Bling, Mark & Sharon Baldwin, Doyce Eaton, Scribner Plastics, McMurray & Sons Roofing, Frank’s Radios and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.
The final race for the North State Modifed Series will be at Shasta Speedway on October 13-14.