Thursday, 13 June 2024

Top 10 North State Modified drivers honored

From left to right, Sal Lopez, Cody Braund, Keith Bloom, Scott Winters (NSMS Champion), Ian Elliott and Rich Cobb. Photo by Nadine Strauss and Johnna Hensen

WILLIAMS, Calif. — The eighth annual awards banquet and concert honoring the top 10 drivers in the 2021 North State Modified Series, or NSMS, presented by Protect the Harvest, was held last Saturday night at Granzella's Banquet Facility in Williams.

Business Manager Nadine Strauss acted as master of ceremonies. Speakers were Mark Baldwin from O’Reilly Auto Parts, Shasta Speedway promoter Dave Twyman, and series promoters Jeff Stephens and Bob Strauss.

NSMS official Johnna Hensen presented all the ladies present with special gifts, and talked about how important women are to racing.

Scott Winters and the Ferrari-Kramer racing team were crowned 2021 NSMS champions. Winters, a veteran driver who for many years was a top-runner with the Lucas Oil Modifieds, has set many track records and captured many main events while competing with North State. In 2020 he finished second overall to Kyle Tellstrom.

Winters’ worst finish in 2021was a third place. He had 4 main event wins — two at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka, and one each at Shasta Speedway and Madera Speedway. He finished second in all the other races.

The team took home $1,000 in Hoosier points fund money, a $1,000 Lucas Oil products certificate, product from Scribner Plastics, and championship Hoosier Tires racing jackets.

Second place honors went to Keith Bloom of Anderson. Bloom drove for Sacramento car owners Sal Lopez and Steve Thomas. In 2020 he finished sixth overall with North State.

This year he finished in the top six at every race. His best finishes were second places, both of them at Shasta Speedway. He placed in the top three in five Lucas Oil Dash for Cash events. Bloom collected $700 plus a $1000 certificate from Lucas Oil.

Finishing third this year was Ian Elliott of Lakeport. Elliott ran in second place almost all season, but bad luck at the end saw him slip to third. He began racing with North State in 2018 where he earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title. Last year he finished ninth and swore he’d do better in 2021.

He finished in the top-six seven out of eight races, had a second place finish at Eureka, and three third place finishes at Shasta and both the Madera races. Elliott was presented with $600 from the Hoosier Tire points fund and $1000 in product from Lucas Oil.

Fourth place overall went to Rich Cobb of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Cobb finished tenth in overall points last year. He has been with North State since 2014 and for the most part has been our long-tow driver. He was the winner of the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash at Shasta Speedway in June, and finished second in the dash at the other 2 Shasta events.

He posted the third quickest time at All American Speedway in July, and finished third in main event action both at Redwood Acres and Shasta Speedway in June. Cobb only finished out of the top 10 twice all year. Cobb’s certificate from Lucas Oil for good for $600.

NSMS Champion Scott Winters (center) with NSMS promoters Jeff Stephens (left) and Bob Strauss (right). Photo by Nadine Strauss and Johnna Hensen.

Ending up in fifth place in 2021 was Dustin DeRosier of Cloverdale. DeRosier finished fifth in points two year in a row. He was the winner of one Lucas Oil Dash for Cash in 2021, and had six top 10 finishes. His best efforts were fourth place finishes at Madera, Shasta and All American Speedway in Roseville. He led many laps in 2021, but just could not hold back the other top dogs.

Finishing in sixth place was Sal Lopez of Sacramento. Lopez is the oldest driver in the series, competing in 2021 at 77 years of age. He produced two cars for the better part of this season: He drove one (most of the time) and had Cody Braund, Foryst Souza and Chris Scribner drive the other. He had the best luck with Braund where, as a team, they won the Lloyd Burton Challenge at Shasta Speedway on October 9th. Braund also posted four top 10 main event finishes, running for Sal’s points. The top six drivers all collected Lucas Oil Product certificates.

Seventh place went to Kyle Tellstrom of Ukiah. Tellstrom was the North State Modified Series champion in 2020. This year he had a fast time at four events, and set new track records on his first three outings. He won 3 races in 2021, including the season opener at Shasta, the following race at Madera, and the July race in Roseville. Then he had back luck and missed a race while leading in points. Tellstrom has relocated to the state of Idaho.

Darrin Sullivan of Kelseyville finished eighth. Sullivan started racing with North State in 2016 where he chalked up the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year title. He missed one race this season, but his biggest claim to fame was setting a new track record at Shasta Speedway during the Lloyd Burton Challenge in October. He is also one of six drivers to win that prestigious event and have his name engraved on the perpetual trophy that is housed in the NSMS Lucerne office. In 2021 his best feature finish was a third at All American Speedway. That same night he clocked in second fastest. He finished in the top 10 five times

Ninth place overall went to our youngest driver Kylei Keown of Ukiah. For the first half of 2021 she was only 15 years old. She teamed up with one of the best, and improved at each race. Had her car not broken at the spring race in Madera, she would have finished way up the ladder. As it was, she had four top 10 finishes, and won the 2021 Sunoco Rookie of the Year title.

Mike Neilson of Lakeport rounded out the top 10 NSMS drivers. Neilson only ran ½ the season with North State. After that he tried his luck at the local race track. In 2021 he finished seventh in his first race at Shasta, and was the winner of the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash at the very next race at Madera Speedway. His best finish was a sixth place at Shasta in June, and he had four top ten finishes.

Recognition also went to all the NSMS officials as well as the series sponsors Protect the Harvest, Lucas Oil, Hoosier Tire West, Terry Deal and Economy Heating & Air, Sullivan Masonry & Construction, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Mark and Sharon Baldwin, Ray Elliott, McMurray & Sons Roofing, Mort Houston, Naake Suspension, Sunoco Race Fuels, Five Star Bodies, Racer Bling, Scribner Plastics and Frank's Radios.

The North State Modified Series begins its 2022 season at Stockton 99 Speedway on April 23. The entire schedule can be found on the North State Modified Series Facebook page.

Keith Bloom (second to right) with car owners Sal Lopez (right) and Steve Thomas with Promoters Jeff Stephens and Bob Strauss. Photo by Nadine Strauss and Johnna Hensen.

Upcoming Calendar

06.13.2024 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Middletown Area Town Hall
Flag Day
06.14.2024 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Clearlake Summer Concert Series
06.14.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Middletown Days team roping
06.14.2024 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Kelseyville High School commencement ceremony
Senior Days
06.15.2024 8:00 am - 06.16.2024 1:00 am
Middletown Days
06.15.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Father's Day
06.16.2024 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Middletown Days

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.