WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Kyle Tellstrom won the final Lucas Oil Modified Series race at Rocky Mountain Raceways Saturday night, then said it was more than just a victory.
“It was my redemption for two years ago, when I messed myself up and lost the race (at the same track),” he said, recalling how he had fallen out of the lead late in the race and foiled his bid to regain the top spot by making contact with Dylan Cappello and sending both to the rear of the field while Scott Winters went to the winner’s circle.
“I gave that race away and I didn’t want to make that mistake again,” said Tellstrom, a 23-year-old from Ukiah, California, who on Saturday night took the lead from fast qualifier Jason Irwin on lap 16 and held it to the end of the Lucas Oil Products 75 presented by General Tire.
Rookie Justin Johnson of Pahrump, Nevada, got his second runner-up finish in three races, finishing 0.422 seconds behind Tellstrom, and Dylan Cappello was third after driving the final 65 laps with impaired vision after losing the contact lens in his right eye on lap 10.
The K&N Filters Trophy Dash winner said that even if he could have seen perfectly it probably wouldn’t have made his outcome much different, though.
“We weren’t bad,” he said. “We started off pretty decent and picked off some cars and moved up to third (from seventh), but we just didn’t really hit it on the head the way it needed to be the way Kyle was running.
“It was a car on a short run but not on a long run. It was a third-place car. There was not much more we could do without going to the pits and making a lot of changes.”
The start of the race was delayed by a rain storm that swept through the track just as the Lucas Oil Modifieds were getting ready to roll out for introductions and there were high winds during the event. Cappello said the track was “dirty and slick” for the first few laps but good thereafter, and both he and Tellstrom praised the raceway crew for doing “a good job getting the race in.”
The race was the sixth of the series’ championship season and the sixth and final series visit to Rocky Mountain Raceways, which is closing in late September, and Tellstrom said it was nice to join Chris Gerchman, Shelby Stroebel, Winters and Cappello, who did it twice, on the list of winners.
He said it came in reasonably routine fashion too.
“It was a pretty good race,” Tellstrom said. “Irwin kind of pushed us up at the start, but we came back and got the lead and after that I was kind of cruising. Johnson got close at the end, he got up beside me a couple of times, but I think I saved enough (on the tires and car) while I was out front to be able to hold him off. He had a good car and he was running the bottom really, really well.
“We had a good race and he raced me clean, which I appreciate,” Tellstrom said after extending his personal win streak to four. He started it with a win in the North State Modified Series in his hometown of Ukiah June 23 and followed with wins in his debut race in a Super Late Model and a Modified race at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway.
Series points leader Taylor Miinch started eighth and finished fourth, and Winters was fifth after leading briefly. Irwin, the fast qualifier for the fourth time in five races at RMR, finished eighth.
The next race on the schedule for the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by MAVTV the Motorsports Network is the second round of the SpillVak Triple Crown at Irwindale (California) Speedway August 18.
LUCAS OIL 75 PRESENTED BY GENERAL TIRE
Lucas Oil Modified Series
Rocky Mountain Raceways, West Valley City, Utah
Results for Saturday July 21, 2018
MAIN EVENT (75 laps) – 1. Kyle Tellstrom (5K), Ukiah, Ca.; 2. Justin Johnson (17ph), Pahrump, Nevada; 3. Dylan Cappello (11), Peoria, Az.; 4. Taylor Miinch (4T), Blossom Valley, Ca. 5. Scott Winters (24A), Tracy, Ca.; 6. Blake Rogers (4B), Yuma, Az.; 7. Cody Kay (2K), Reno, Nevada; 8. Jason Irwin (9i), Albuquerque, N.M.; 9. Ryan Scxhartau (7R), Chino, Ca.; 10. Nick Parker (30), Salt Lake City, Utah;
11. Eddie Secord (84), Oak Hills, Ca.; 12. Jeremy Kay (1K), Reno, Nevada; 13. Shelby Stroebel (24), Meridian, Idaho; 14. Aaron McMorran (22), Las Vegas; 15. Jonathan Gomez (22j), Twin Falls, Idaho; 16. Cameron Morga (54X), Albuquerque, N.M.; 17. Zach Webster (29), Salt Lake City; 18. Mark Allison (115), Las Vegas; 19. William Guevara (55), Lake Havasu City, Az.; 20. Sierra Furia (37), Lakeport, Ca.;
21. Jeff Longman (11L), Lehi, Utah; 22. Dave Arce (5), Santee, Ca.; 23. Lynn Hardy (4), Salt Lake City; 24. Chris Cook (2), Tabiona, Utah; 25. Casey Tillman (24T), Boise, Idaho; 26. Tim Fahrner (13), Boise, Idaho; 27. Michael Mitchell (77), Loomis, Ca.
Margin of victory – 0.442 seconds. Lead changes – 3 among 3 drivers. Caution flags – 6. Fast qualifier – Irwin, 15.452 seconds. Trophy Dash (6 laps) – 1. Cappello; 2. Johnson; 3. Stroebel; 4. Tellstrom; 5. Mitchell; 6. Irwin.
-Lucas Oil Modified Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com