Redwood Acres Raceway
Remembering The North State Modified Series
2023 marked the final season for the North State Modified Series. After 10 seasons and 86 races, the series announced that this would be the final year for the Northern California modified touring series. The NSMS was the first touring series of its kind as prior to the start of the series, modifieds raced at their local facilities or in one-off races during the season.
Jay Linstroth won the first-ever event on May 3, 2014 at Shasta Speedway over Kyle Borden and Jason Philpot. Linstroth would earn two more victories at All American Speedway and Redwood Acres Raceway to win the inaugural NSMS championship.
The series’ second season featured 10 races and had a thrilling championship battle between Darrin Knight and Tripp Gaylord. The two drivers ended the season tied in points with Knight winning the championship thanks to winning five races to Gaylord’s one.
2015 began a three-year run of championships for Knight as he became the face of the series in its first several seasons. Knight took the 2016 championship over Charlie Collins thanks to three wins. Knight’s 2017 championship effort featured another battle with Collins with Knight taking the series title by only 10 points.
Kris Price was nearly unstoppable during the 2018 season as he won a series high four of nine races during the season including the championship.
2019 saw the start of a new dynasty. Robbie Knittel and Scott Winters paired to win the series title in a dual effort for Ferrari-Kramer Racing. 2020 saw only five events be run thanks to the COVID-19 virus. Kyle Tellstrom took the championship with two victories.
2021-2023 was dominated by Scott Winters as he won the championship all three seasons with a combined 11 wins out of the 23 events in that time.
There were many great races and many great drivers in the North State Modified Series during its time. While the champions all had their share of victories, non-champions also won their fair share as well.
Jason Philpot was a top contender every race he started and had his share of victories. Charlie Collins was a multi-time victor that came close to multiple championships only to come up short. Cameron Austin was a star of the series and had several memorable wins. Darrin Sullivan was also a long-time supporter of the series and was a frequent front-runner and winner.
Redwood Acres Raceway had the distinction of holding the most North State Modified Series races with 21 total. Darrin Knight was the winningest RAR driver with six wins. Ian Elliott was the winner of the final NSMS race at RAR during the Fall Spectacular on September 23.
Other tracks that hosted the North State Series include Shasta Speedway (19 races), All American Speedway (16 races), Madera Speedway (11 races), Stockton 99 Speedway (seven races), Ukiah Speedway (six races), Lakeport Speedway (five races) and Douglas County Speedway (1 race).
The demise of the NSMS is sad but the legacy of the series will live on. The North State Modifieds proved that a touring modified series could not only survive but thrive. The series provided so many great races and so many great memories that otherwise would not have happened. It is not yet known what modified racing in Northern California will look like in 2024 but the fact that racing of this kind is viable is thanks in part to the hard work of the series and its officials through 10 years.
Submitted By: Matthew Sullivan