Ukiah’s Kyle Tellstrom won his second straight Lucas Oil Modifieds race at Madera Speedway, claiming the California Farmers 75 as part of the Summetime Horsepower Nationals at the one-third mile oval. Tellstrom led the final 58 laps to add to his $5,000 win in last October’s Short Track Shootout.
Saturday night’s action saw both the North State Modifieds and the Lucas Oil Modifieds break their respective track records. The top-four Lucas cars broke the previous record. MAVTV coverage for the evening included both the Lucas Modifieds and the Madera Winged Super Sprints being filmed for later broadcasts.
Tellstrom had to defend himself against the challenges of Linny White who is the only repeat winner in the 2016 series. Tracy’s Scott Winters had won the previous two Summertime Horsepower Nationals and led the opening 17 laps of the feature.
Winters, the former track champion, started alongside White at the start of the 26 car contest but a little bit of contact in turn one on the second lap shuffled White back to fourth.
The first of seven cautions of the feature occurred on lap four when Brian Collins and Eddie Secord tangled in turn one. Another incident saw Madera’s Elliott Sterjne spin in turn two on lap six.
William Guevara of Lake Havasu City, AZ had his first trip into the wall on lap eight for the next stoppage. Things settled down from there with the top eight cars in a lead pack running nose-to-tail around the top of the high banked speedway. Tellstrom used that green flag run to close down on Winters before completing a thrilling slidejob off of turn four to lead lap 18.
Larry Gerchman and Aaron McMorran had contact for the next caution on lap 23 in an incident that collected Idaho’s Shelby Stroebel as well. McMorran was unable to continue and Gerchman was sent to the rear for his involvement.
Winters used that restart to take third at one third race distance with Tellstrom pulling away. Lapped traffic on lap 40 brought the field back together before another caution on lap 47. Going back to green fast-time qualifier and new track recorder holder Austin Barnes slowed and the race went back to yellow. Barnes was able to get back into gear to continue his race albeit from the rear. A hard crash on lap 50 involving Shane Skaggs from Albuquerque and Guevara was the final caution of the race.
Tellstrom took a .349 second victory over a late charge from White with Winters settling for third over former series champion Dylan Cappello from Peoria, AZ. Incoming points leader Matt Hicks finished fifth.
The co-main event was the Lucas Oil Racing Mid-State 60 for the North State Modified Series. Sacramento’s Jason Phipot is now a perfect two-for-two in the series for 2016 and took both the track record and the race victory. Philpot had to race forward from tenth position after pulling a ten car inversion after qualifying.
Joe Rhodes, Jr. of Sacramento made his first Madera start count from the outside front row to take the lead from pole sitter Sierra Furia from Lakeport. Rhodes led 15 laps in a strong performance for the former Roseville Bomber driver. It did not take long for Philpot to move through the pack as he assumed fourth by lap eight around Lucas Oil Dash Winner Guy Young of Redding.
Furia drifted back to eighth position by lap ten in a tough start for the rookie. The leaders encountered lapped traffic by lap 15 when the first caution came out for Eric Price, Jr. stalled on the track.
Rhodes picked the outside on the restart and points leader Darrin Knight of Kelseyville took advantage to take the lead into turn one. The move was nullified when Furia spun across the front stretch head on into the wall.
Rhodes chose the inside on the next attempt but Knight was not deterred as he took over the lead on lap 16. Rhodes eventually was shuffled back to fifth.
Knight’s lead was short-lived as Philpot closed in quickly. Philpot dove inside Knight on lap 29 through turns three and four with the pair making contact to send Knight spinning. Philpot drove off with the lead and Knight had to restart from the rear.
The fast-paced race had one more caution on lap 43 when Young went up in smoke. Philpot drove away from the pack once more to take the .556 second win over Upperlake’s Charlie Collins, Rhodes, Knight, and another Northern-area driver Darrin Knight of Kelseyville the top-five.
Meridian, Idaho’s Bryan Warf took advantage of a great opportunity, guest driving the #8 Glenn Hutchison-owned Sprint Car to the Madera Winged Super Sprint victory. Warf’s win was his second straight in the car after primary driver Dylan Hutchison is out with a wrist injury unrelated to racing. Warf first won on Memorial Day in Utah before heading to Madera.
The 30 lap feature started 10 cars but it was a high quality field. Justin Kawahata started outside heat race winner Tom Baker for the feature and led the opening lap. Warf was on the move from the get-go from fourth on the grid and swung around the outside of Kawahata to lead lap two.
AJ Russell from Clovis took over the second position from Kawahata not long after that. Russell battled Warf briefly before falling out with mechanical problems on lap 11.
Warf pulled away to almost a half-lap lead while rookie Dylan Noble used an over/under maneuver to take Baker on the outside for third and third Kawahata inside for second.
Gordon Rogers had a spin on lap 23 that set up a seven lap shootout between Warf and Noble. Warf gassed it hard with a tight race car, lifting his wheels off the ground on several occasions. The pair rippped across the line nose to tail for a close finish with Cody Gerhardt two seconds back in third. Kawahata and Baker were the top-five with heat winner Anthony Simone sixth.
Toni Breidinger led 11 laps en route to the win in the USAC HPD Midgets 30 lapper. Cody Jessop made his return to Madera and was the race leader for much of the event with Jesse Love IV and Breidinger in a close pursuit. Love eventually spun from second in turn three on lap 15 and collected his teammate Antonia Boscocci in the process.
After a lengthy caution to clean up fluid from Adam Lemke’s car, the battle was on between Breidinger and Jessop. Jessop eventually relinquished the lead on lap 20 and fell all the way to fifth with apparent mechanical problems. Toni led her sister Annie across the line with first timer Joey Iest, Blake Brannon, and Jessop rounding out the top-five.
The Loanmart Madera Speedway continues a busy June this Saturday with the LoanMart Open Late Models, 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models, Super Hobby Stocks, CSS 360 Super Modifieds, Legends of the Pacific, MSTs, and Toyota Sedans in action.
Race fans can catch up on LoanMart Open Late Model action this Thursday with another original episode of “Madera Racing” The coverage will include the April 30th Round #2 of the series. “Madera Racing” airs Thrusdays on MAVTV at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific.
Story By: Madera Speedway / Steven Blakesly
Photo Credit: Lucas Oil Modified Series Photo