Lakeport, CA – July 18, 2020: The North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest, ran its first 2020 event at Lakeport Speedway Saturday with Ukiah’s Kyle Tellstrom jumping out of the Creevan Performance Radical Focus Midget after taking the win in that class, and climbing into his NSMS modified where he led 58 of the 60 laps in the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts NSMS feature event.
The non-stop modified race took only 14.5 minutes to complete on the one-quarter mile oval with Tellstrom taking the checkered flag three seconds ahead of second place runner Charlie Collins of Upper Lake.
Tellstrom set fast time of 12.578 seconds over the 18 car field which established a new Hoosier Tire track record. He then drew the number four pill to set the line-up putting local drivers Mike Sullivan and Chris Salmina in the front row for the start. Collins and Tellstrom shared row two and Darrin Sullivan and Jeremy Nowlin lined up in row three.
Mike Sullivan pulled ahead of Salmina at the drop of the green flag and when Salmina dropped into the low groove, Tellstrom began his bid for the front. Two rounds later Tellstrom inched by Mike Sullivan to take the lead. Collins also drove the high groove, pulling along side Salmina for third on lap six and made the pass stick the following round. Darrin Sullivan was next to challenge Salmina on the outside and on lap 14 he successfully took over the fourth slot. At the same time 2019 NSMS champion Scott Winters was having a side-by-side battle with Cody Braund.
Lap 20 saw Collins power by Sullivan for second as Tellstrom was pulling away. Meanwhile Winters found out that his car liked the outside groove where he rapidly picked off Nowlin on lap 23 and passed Salmina on 25. At the Lucas Oil half way mark, Tellstrom had five lapped cars between his car and Collins’. Mike Sullivan was running third followed by Darrin Sullivan, Winters, Nowlin, Salmina, Ian Elliott, Braund, Mikey Snider and Rich Cobb.
The next 10 circuits saw Winters challenge Darrin Sullivan, with Winters moving into fourth with only 10 laps to go. Tellstrom sailed to a convincing victory over Collins, Mike Sullivan, Winters, Darrin Sullivan, Nowlin, Braund, Elliott, Salmina, Keith Bloom, Cobb, Snider, Dustin DeRosier, Richard Knight, Robert Schmidt, Sal Lopez and Brian Collins. Simi Tour’s car broke in hot laps and he was unable to start the race. Tellstrom was presented with $1,000 plus a four foot tall trophy in memory of Jason Belveal who had built the trophy shortly before losing his life to cancer.
Winters won the Naake Shocks Hard Charger Award for passing the most cars. The Scriber jugs went to Winters, Brian Collins and Salmina. Robert Schmidt was the lucky winner of a new Hoosier Tire compliments of Mark and Sharon Baldwin of Fortuna.
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, Scribner Plastics and O’Reilly Auto Parts.
On their maiden voyage to Lakeport Speedway, the Radical Focus Midgets sawAustin Edwards of Mentone established a track record of 12.499 seconds. Kyle Cline of Apple Valley won the trophy dash. Tellstrom started on the pole next to Edwards in the 25 lap main event and took the early lead. Edwards snuck under Tellstrom for two rounds, but his car got loose on lap eight and he drove into the infield while leading the race. At the same time Cline drove by Tellstrom where he lead until lap 17 when Joseph Holiday’s car stalled on the track to bring out the yellow flag.
Tellstrom took the lead back on the restart and drove to his first Radical Focus Midget win. Cline finished second with Edwards third and Holiday fourth.