LAS VEGAS — Ryan Partridge put bookends on the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart season with a victory in Saturday night’s finale at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Partridge also won the season-opening special event for the series .
The victories weren’t quite the same, though.
The first one was worth $5,000 and came on the half-mile oval at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif., when Partridge out-foxed Austin Barnes on a caution restart with 10 of the 80 laps to go.
Saturday’s prize was $4,000 and Partridge earned it by dominating the 101-lap 51FIFTY Energy Race of Champions after taking the lead from polesitter Taylor Miinch on the 38th lap of the three-eighths-mile oval.
Partridge had served notice of being fast when he paced qualifying with a track record lap of 14.935 seconds at 90.90.392 mph and added $200 to his prize total.
The race was run in two parts — 51 laps for the first half and 50 for the second — and when Partridge pulled a four for the invert he gave the pole to Miinch, who had won this race a year ago when the distance was 75 laps. Miinch was comfortable on the lead, too. He had been fast all season and had won the final points race three weeks earlier and wasn’t unduly bothered to have Partridge looming in his rear view mirror.
Once Partridge got his Race Car Factory Chevrolet in front, however, he was able to open a comfortable lead during the 13 laps leading to the break. And once the race was restarted Partridge threatened to drive away from everyone else who remained from a starting field of 30 cars. On lap 70 his advantage over Miinch was .992 seconds and by lap 85, just before the last of the night’s six caution flags, the gap was 1.377 seconds.
Miinch made a late run and trimmed his deficit from .953 to .467 seconds in the final three laps but never posed a threat for the leader. Kyle Tellstrom was third, 2.222 seconds behind, with Scott Winters and Dylan Cappello rounding out the top five.
Ryan Partridge, Taylor Miinch, Kyle Tellstrom, Scott Winters, Dylan Cappello, Jim Mardis, Aaron McMorran, Shelby Stroebel, Wes Miller, William Camara, Trevor Cristiani, P.J. Pedroncelli, Darrin Knight, Rich Lindgren, John Zaretzke, Joe Rhodes Jr., Lynn Hardy, Jimmy Waters, Jimmy Sloan, Sierra Furia, Rod Proctor, Pat Petrie, Chad Guilford, William Guevara, Jerry Toporek, Mark Ith Jr., Doug Hamm, Clint Schubert, Kayli Barker, Eddie Secord.