SIOUX CITY, Iowa (Aug. 2) – One down, two to go.
Chris Abelson checked off the first task on his 2015 to-do list Sunday night at Raceway Park, winning his 100th career Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified feature.
Next up are repeating as champion of the Belleville Motorsports North Central Region and winning the national crown.
“We hadn’t even realized we were that close to 100 wins, but I’m glad it’s done and out of the way,” admitted the Sioux City, Iowa, driver, who started cranking out the W’s in 2009 – his first full season in the division. “Now we can race for regional and national championships and see what happens.”
He’d gotten career win number 99 the night before at Shelby County Speedway. Number 100 was also the 24th this season for the current national points leader.
Abelson has found on-track success at every level, starting with the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.
He became just the second IMCA driver to win a national title and top rookie of the year honors when he swept those Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod awards in 2007.
“I had a number of accomplishments in a Northern SportMod,” said Abelson, the career wins leader in the division was 32 before moving up. “Everything was immediately a lot harder when I went to the IMCA Modified division. Winning 100 times in a Modified was something I never thought about.”
The combination of racing at different tracks and plenty of time behind the wheel helped him make the quick transition. He counted 29 feature wins and three local track championships among his accomplishments last year.
Abelson is now a weekly regular at Crawford County Speedway, Shelby County and Raceway Park, and travels to Buena Vista Raceway and the Clay County Fairgrounds when time and schedules permit.
“I started racing four or five nights a week when I was in a SportMod,” he said. “Since I’ve been in a Modified, seat time and racing against better competition have been the biggest things.”
Twice a qualifier for the Saturday night main event, Abelson knows all about competing with the best competition on IMCA’s biggest September stage, the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.
He won the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational in 2011, finished second in 2013 and was third last year.
“That’s a race that brings out the best in you, absolutely,” said Abelson, who gets shop help from son Kaleb Kennedy but for the most part remains a one-man race team during the point season. “I think the invitational does that to everybody who races in it.”
Abelson became the 45th IMCA Modified driver to win 100 times in his career and the fifth to do so this season.