BLYTHE, Calif. – Jim Mardis had one of those nights all racers dream about and turned round two of the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart into a nightmare for his competitors.
The two-time series champion was the fastest qualifier in the tightest 22-car field in series history, led 55 of the 75 laps and was able to pull away seemingly at will en route to winning the Next Era Energy 75 Laps to Victory presented by E3 Spark Plugs at Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway Saturday night.
“Every once in a while you get one of those days when everything just goes well for you and this was definitely one of those nights,” Mardis said after taking the checkered flag 3.195 seconds ahead of Dave Arce, who led the opening 20 laps before Mardis took control in his Bluewater Technologies/JAM Sportswear/K&N Filters STR Chevrolet.
Mardis has won at least one race a season in each of the past five years, a series record.
Arce in turn was three seconds ahead of third-place Tim Morse and felt every bit as good as Mardis afterward because he built the Chevrolet engines for all three cars.
“It couldn’t get any better than that,” Arce said. “Whether I finished first, second or third it’s a win for me. That’s the way I look at it.”