Madera, CA – This time, nothing got in the way of Kyle Tellstrom reaching victory lane.
The 20-year-old from Ukiah, California, started on the pole and led every inch of the $20,000 LoanMart 75 presented by K&N Filters Saturday night at LoanMart Madera Speedway.
In the process he became the 20th race winner in the Lucas Oil Modified Series’ 10-year history, banked the biggest winner’s check in series history ($5,000) and helped spoil another weekend for runner-up Linny White.
White began the weekend feeling the effects of food poisoning, but throughout two days of practice and in qualifying his car was the fastest of the 38 entries – which included series’ all-time win leader and 2013 champion Chris Gerchman and two-time K&N West champion Eric Holmes.
White shattered the 1/3-mile track’s record with a 14.536-second lap that was almost a tenth of a second faster than No. 2 qualifier Scott Winters.
Tellstrom was third-fastest, with a 14.694 (there was only .326 between the top 18 and .422 between the top 27), and when White drew 3 for the invert it put Tellstrom on the pole for the second time in three races.
In late August at Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino, California, Tellstrom qualified eighth but was on the pole for the start of the 100-lap race after fast qualifier Austin Barnes drew an 8 for the invert. Tellstrom proceeded to lead the first 72 laps of that race, but an incident with a lapped car damaged his Vogel’s RV/Forward Investments Dana Stahl STR Chevrolet and he finished 23rd while White took second to Matthew Hicks, who was fourth Saturday night.
This time, the lapped traffic behaved and Tellstrom had little to worry about after separating himself from Winters. White did pull close late in the race, but scraped the Turn 2 with about 5 laps remaining and wasn’t able to challenge for the lead in the gree-white-checkered finish after the eighth caution flag of the night.
“It’s amazing, it’s awesome,” said Tellstrom, who won the LoanMart Late Model Open at Madera in June 2013. “It’s definitely my biggest win and my biggest payday. I felt like we were due for a win. We’ve worked really hard the past few weeks.”
Tellstrom, who handled every restart flawlessly, said he didn’t have any flashbacks to the Orange Show Speedway race.
“I felt a lot more confident in the car this time. I felt like we had a better piece than we had there. The only time I was concerned was on the green-white-checkered restart after the tires had cooled down.”
Tellstrom took the checkered flag 0.847 seconds ahead of White, with reigning champion Dylan Cappello third and Hicks and Winters rounding out the top five. The rest of the top 10 included Barnes, Holmes, rookie Eric Rhead, two-time champion Jim Mardis and Gerchman.
Both Holmes and Gerchman had to race in the B main to earn a spot in the 27-car field. It was the first time he ever had run a B main.
The series’ second race of the season at Madera set the stage for the championship finale November 7 at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where the 10-race season began March 14. Barnes, the 2012 champion, will go into that event with a 15-point lead over Cappello.
-Lucas Oil Modified Series Press Release & Photo
LUCAS OIL MODIFIEDS
LoanMart75 presented by K&N Filters
LoanMart Madera Speedway, Madera, California
0.333-mile banked paved oval
MAIN EVENT (75 laps) – 1. Kyle Tellstrom (5K), Ukiah, Ca.; 2. Linny White (99), Colton, Ca.; 3. Dylan Cappello (11), Peoria, Az.; 4. Matthew Hicks (28), Lakeside, Ca.; 5. Scott Winters (24A), Tracy, Ca.; 6. Austin Barnes (51A), Escondido, Ca.; 7. Eric Holmes (21H), Escalon, Ca.; 8. Eric Rhead (66), West Jordan, Utah; 9. Jim Mardis (51), Yucaipa, Ca.; 10. Chris Gerchman (26), Spring Branch, Texas;
11. Rich Lindgren (27), Rio Linda, Ca.; 12. Jason Irwin (9X), Albuquerque, N.M.; 13. Shelby Stroebel (24), Meridian, Idaho; 14. Larry Gerchman (25), Lake Havasu City, Az.; 15. Darrin Knight (20K), Kelseyville, Ca.; 16. Dave Arce (5), Santee, Ca.; 17. Doug Carpenter (3), El Cajon, Ca.; 18. Blake Rogers (4B), Yuma, Az.; 19. Eric Hamilton (11H), Hanford, Ca.; 20. Sal Lopez (02L), Sacramento, Ca.;
21. Taylor Miinch (4T), Blossom Valley, Ca.; 22. Doug Hamm (4X), North Las Vegas, Nevada; 23. Jack Madrid (3X), San Clemente, Ca.; 24. Kyle Cline (98), Hesperia, Ca.; 25. Elliott Stjerne (05), Madera; 26. Wes Miller (57), Turlock, Ca.; 27. Eddie Secord (84), Oak Hills, Ca.
Margin of victory – 0.847 seconds. Average speed – 27.919 mph. Lead changes — none. Caution periods – 8. Fast qualifier – White, 14.536 seconds (track record).
B MAIN (40 laps) – 1. Robbie Knittel (03), Lodi, Ca.; 2. Brian Collins (02), Camino, Ca.; 3. William Guevara (12), Lake Havasu City, Az.; 4. C.J. Christman (84B), Grass Valley, Ca.; 5. Rick Avila (37A), Pleasanton, Ca.; 6. Kevin Nichols (78), Bakersfield, Ca.; 7. Chris Gerchman (26), Spring Branch, Texas; 8. Eric Holmes (21H), Escalon, Ca.; 9. Kyle Cline (98), Hesperia, Ca.; 10. Dave Arce (5), Santee, Ca.;
11. Jerry Toporek (40), Venice, Ca.; 12. Pat Petrie (1), Henderson, Nevada; 13. Sam Solari (6), Escalon, Ca.; 14. Scott Alves (20A), Placerville, Ca.; 15. Nathan Smith (5S), San Jose, Ca.
(Gerchman, Holmes, Cline and Arce were the top 4 after 20 laps and advanced to the main event at that time.)