Shouse sprints to seven feature wins, IMCA RaceSaver national championship

Andy Shouse (second from left) reigned as the 2016 IMCA EMI RaceSaver Sprint Car national champion. He is pictured with Speedway Motors President Clay Smith at left while at right are IMCA President Brett Root and RaceSaver founder French Grimes. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

MUSTANG, Okla. – One of the best spokesmen for the IMCA EMI RaceSaver Sprint Cars is the division’s newest national champion.

Andy Shouse won seven features, along with the Sprint Series of Oklahoma and Allstar Performance Oklahoma State crowns in his first full season in the 305 class. He bookended those feature victories with strings of top five finishes at the start and the end of the 2016 campaign.

“We just wanted to race. We didn’t plan to chase national points but we looked up one night and saw that we were in the thick of it,” said Shouse. “We really enjoyed this season and had a lot of good finishes. The RaceSaver rules really equalize this division. It doesn’t take a lot of money to be competitive.”

Six different drivers from Texas occupied the top spot in the national point standings before Shouse moved in to stay in late July. From Mustang, he became the first driver from Oklahoma to win the Sprint Car crown since IMCA resumed sanctioning the division in 1989.

Shouse got help working on his Sprinter from Justin Mallory and Bobby Craft – who has a World of Outlaws championship on his own resume – but was usually half of a two-man team with his father Danny at the track.

Shouse had started his career in the winged class in 360 and 410 cars before teaming up with Michael Wade, who has remained on board as a sponsor for Shouse’s RaceSaver ride.

“He’d seen me race in Texas and I ran a mini sprint for him. He suggested buying a 305 sprint car that we could split seat time in,” recalled Shouse. “We found a used car, then bought a motor from Gerald Brand at Brand Racing Engines.”

Their first night out ended with a $1,000 feature win on a chilly night at Cowtown Speedway. The partnership continued to generate wins in and around Texas and Oklahoma before Shouse decided to devote more time to his growing Bishop Racing Components business.

His first sanctioned win came in 2014. The new Sprint Series of Oklahoma sanction gave Shouse the opportunity to pursue national as well as special series and state honors this season.

“I’d raced at Ardmore and Ada I can’t tell you how many times. Longdale and Wichita Falls were new to me and they were both challenging,” he said. “There are good series all over the country but Oklahoma and Texas have a very, very tough group of cars.”

“Look at the Sprint Car Nationals. John Carney won that last year and he’s one of the guys we race with a lot,” continued Shouse, fourth in this year’s main event at Eagle Raceway. “We had a lot of success at RPM Speedway (five wins) this season but I think you’ll see guys winning championships with fewer wins in the next couple years. That’s because there are just so many good drivers.”

His one Sprint Series of Oklahoma win came in the ninth of 12 events, at Brill’s Motor Speedway. Shouse then locked up the series and national championships with third, fourth and second-place finishes in the final three SSO features.

“These are definitely accomplishments I’m proud of. Our business is basically to sell race car parts. I’m always willing to do everything I can to help a fellow racer and this gives me more credibility when someone calls to ask what they should do with their car,” Shouse said. “Winning the national championship hasn’t changed me. I still want to go out and race like I did before. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’re doing the wrong thing.”

Starts: 32

Wins: 7

Additional Top Fives: 15

HIS CREW: Father Danny, Justin Mallory and Bobby Craft. 

HIS SPONSORS: Bishop Racing Components and Outlaw Wings, both of Oklahoma City; Brand Racing Engines of Wheatland; Fortified Structures and Michael Wade of Fort Worth, Texas; Triple X Racing Components of Seattle, Wash.; Schoenfeld Headers of Van Buren, Ark.; FSR Racing Products of Memphis, Tenn.; Keizer Aluminum Wheels of Orange City, Iowa; Rod End Supply of Olathe, Kan.; and Allstar Performance of Watervliet, Mich.