May 28 2017 ….Eureka , CA…… With only 13 laps to go in the O’Reilly Nor-Cal 60 at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka, Darrin Sullivan of Kelseyville drove under Bryan Denton of Kelseyville to take the lead, and held off the challenges of Charlie Collins of Upper Lake in the late stages to win his first feature in the North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest. Sullivan was the NSMS 2016 Rookie of the Year.
The Sunday night event drew 19 entrants with three coming down from Oregon. Defending champion Darrin Knight of Kelseyville set fast time of 16.130 seconds followed by Sullivan at 16.327, Sierra Furia at 16.439, Collins with at 16.469 and Eric Johnson’s 16.487. Knight drew a 10 for the invert putting Oregon’s Herman Pulyer and Richie Potts in the front row. Potts elected to start in the rear, moving Denton into the outside pole starting spot.
Denton forged ahead at the drop of the green flag with Cody Braund and Eric Johnson following his line. The race was slowed on lap three when Adrianna Strugnell drifted high and spun in front of the hard-charging pack. Andrew Snider, driving for his brother Darin Snider, was unable to get by and collided with Strugnell. With no where to go, Dustin DeRosier slammed hard into Snider, ending Snider’s run.
The double-file restart saw Denton stay out front with Braund, Collins, Knight and Pulyer next in line. Knight pulled along side of Collins on lap five, but could not make it stick. At the same time John Baker retired to the pits. The following round Braund drifted high allowing both Collins and Knight to fill the hole and advance to second and third.
The red flag flew on lap 14 when Pulyer drove high in turn three, could not recover, and slammed hard into the water barrel/tire barrier at the turn two exit gate. Pulyer hit so hard that one the the tires broke loose and embedded in the hood of his car. Pulyer was shaken, but walked away uninjured.
Racing resumed in single file with Denton out in front, but when Denton’s car pushed, it was all Collins needed to steal the lead. Knight also drove under Denton, and at the half-way marker it was Collins, Knight, Denton, Braund, Johnson, Furia, Terry Deal, Potts and Sullivan.
The leaders worked their way around slower traffic, and when they caught Rich Cobb, Knight went three wide and pulled along side of Collins. Knight had a slight lead when they caught Simi Tour, tried the three-wide move again, but his time there was not enough room. Knight clipped Tour’s car that shot him up the track in front of Collins. Collins hit the back of Knight’s car resulting in enough damage to have Knight’s car towed to the pits. A spring from Knight’s car broke loose and lodged into Collins’ car which forced him to pit for repairs, relinquishing his lead.
This left Denton back out front with Braund in second, Johnson third, Furia fourth and Deal fifth. Only two more rounds were completed when Deal drifted high, made contact with Furia, and spun on the back stretch. Both Sullivan and Potts drove under Furia on the restart . The next 10 circuits saw Furia and Potts swap position several times as Sullivan was making his way to the front. The race was slowed again on 44 when Deal and Tom Elam came together. This put Sullivan third behind Denton and Braund, with Potts fourth and Furia fifth. Meanwhile Collins was weaving through traffic on his was back to the front.
Braund was making a move on Denton on lap 47, bumped Denton in the rear which broke Braun’s suspension and causing him to stop high in turn four. The next restart saw Denton push high in turn three where he lost ground to Sullivan, Potts Furia and Collins. Furia drove under Potts on 53. Collins followed while Sullivan was pulling away from the pack. The following round Furia pushed and both Collins and Potts moved into second and third. Furia dove under Potts again on lap 57 just before the final yellow flew when Deal and Johnson made contact on the front stretch and Johnson spun.
The final three went without incident with Sullivan the winner over Collins, Furia, Potts and Denton. Rounding out the top 10 were Ian Elliott, Rich Cobb, Adrianna Strugnell, Eric Johnson and Terry Deal. Ward Ranches added $250 to the winner’s pot giving Sullivan $1250 for his victory.
In the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash Dustin DeRosier collected $100 for the win, with Simi Tour earning $50 for second. Rich Cobb earned the Keyser Hard Charger Award for passing the most cars. Andrew Snider took home the Naake Suspension award, the DJ Safety Certificate went to Orion Mosher, and Richie Potts earned the Racer Bling certificate. Knight not only earned the Penney Racing Supply/Sunoco Fast Time Award, but he was presented with an additional $200 for running the fastest lap in the main event (16.268.)
The series moves South to the Madera Speedway for Race #4. This is a complete festival of open wheel speed and excitement. The Lucas Oil Modifieds 75, North State Modifieds 60, and 360 Modifieds headline the racing along with USAC HPD Midgets and Legends of Kearney Bowl.
The North State Modified Series is presented by: Protect the Harvest, Lucas Oil, Sinister Diesel, Ward Ranches, Penney Racing Supply, American Racer Tires, Naake Suspension, Sunoco Race Fuels, Five Star Bodies, Racer Bling, Keyser Racing Products, Scribner Plastics, DJ Safety, and the Buckhorn Bar & Grill.
NSMS modified rules, procedures, and schedules are available at www.northstatemodifieds.com.
SUNOCO/PENNEY RACING SUPPLY TIME TRIALS: Darrin Knight (16.130), Darrin Sullivan (16.327), Sierra Furia (16.439), Charlie Collins, (16.469), Eric Johnson (16.487), Cody Braund (16.535), Bryan Denton (16.576), Adrianna Strugnell (16.650), Richie Potts (16.669), Herman Pulyer (16.678), Tom Elam (16.722), Andrew Snider (16.763), Terry Deal (16.835), Simi Tour (16.923), Ian Elliott, (16.9*62), Dustin DeRosier (17.048), Rich Cobb (17.067), Orion Mosher (17.102), John Baker (17.840)
LUCAS OIL DASH FOR CASH: Dustin DeRosier, Simi Tour, Orion Mosher, Rich Cobb, Ian Elliott, John BAker
O’REILLY NOR-CAL 60 MAIN EVENT: Darrin Sullivan, Charlie Collins, Sierra Furia, Richie Potts, Bryan Denton, Ian Elliott, Rich Cobb, Adrianna Strugnell, Eric Johnson, Terry Deal, Simi Tour, Orion Mosher, Tom Elam, Cody Braund, Darrin Knight, Dustin DeRosier, Herman Pulyer, John Baker, Andrew Snider
– North State Modified Series Press Release. Photo Credit: Carrie Lauenroth