GIBSONTON, Fla. — Kyle Strickler topped a 52-car field to claim victory on the opening night of Sunshine State Modified Tour action at East Bay Raceway Park Wednesday.
“This thing has been absolutely awesome. We had been working our tails off over the offseason,” said Strickler in victory lane. “For everybody to stick with me that did and to get this car this good right off the bat, that’s what we wanted to do.”
Strickler started in the fourth position and used a mid-race restart to take over the second spot. From there he set his sights on the race leader, David Reutimann. Strickler made his first bid for the lead going down the backstretch, but Reutimann shut the door in turn three. Strickler then regrouped and wrestled the lead away with a slidejob in turns one and two. Once out front, Strickler never looked back.
“That’s definitely not how I wanted to win it against David,” Strickler continued. “I thought I had him cleared, but I didn’t and I feel horrible about that.”
The victory was Strickler’s third straight in four series races so far this season.
Behind Strickler, Kevin Adams wheeled his way from the 12th starting position all the way to the runner-up spot. Reutimann hung on to round out the podium while Shon Flanary and Mavrick Varnadore finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“If we had our car better to begin with, we wouldn’t have to worry about stuff like that,” said Reutimann of the contact with Strickler. “We have some work to do, but it’s a decent way to start the week out for sure.”
Kyle Strickler, Kevin Adams, David Reutimann, Shon Flanary, Mavrick Varnadore, Kenny Wallace, Buzzie Reutimann, Jeff Matthews, Brad Goff, Travis Varnadore, Roger Crouse, Mike Potosky, Nathon Loney, Ray Bollinger, Bryan Bernhardt, Todd Neiheiser, Mike VanGenderen, Ashley Newman, Curt Myers, Lucas Lee, David Wietholder, Tyler Jones, Rick Conoyer, Allen Weisser, Tait Davenport.