All-Star drivers add to lengthy list of IMCA accomplishments

BOONE, Iowa (July 28) – The first 15 IMCA Modified drivers elected to start the 2017 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational bring an already lengthy list of accomplishments to the IMCA Speedway Mo­tors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.

Two-time defending race winner Jimmy Gustin, 2012 winner Jordan Grabouski and 2014 winner Kyle Strickler are among that elite group, announced this afternoon.

Defending Super Nationals champion Ricky Thornton Jr. was the top vote getter. He’ll be joined in rep­resenting the Larry Shaw Racing Western Region by Ethan Dotson and Ricky Alvarado.

Current national points leader William Gould, Dean Abbey and Matt Guillaume make the trip to Boone Speedway for the Sept. 8 event from the Razor Chassis South Central Region.

Grabouski, the two-time and defending national champion, is joined by back-to-back Kupper Chevro­let Dakota Classic Tour champion Hunter Marriott and tour runner-up Johnny Scott out of the Jet Racing Central Region.

Jimmy Gustin, current Arnold Motor Supply Hawkeye Dirt Tour point leader Kelly Shryock and Richie Gustin all advance from the Side Biter Chassis North Central Region.

Strickler, A.J. Ward and Will Ward represent the Dirt Works Eastern Region.

All 15 have been contacted by IMCA and confirmed that they would compete at Super Nationals.

“There’s a very good reason why we call this the All-Star race. These 15 drivers are among the best in IMCA and nation-wide,” IMCA President Brett Root said. “The career accomplishments they bring to this event are nothing less than amazing.”

Grabouski and Gould both list IMCA national championships on their resumes while Abbey is a two-time Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod national king. Shryock owns 11 na­tional USMS plaques.

Both Gustins, Thornton and Strickler boast Super National championships. Guillaume, who moved to the Modified division after a stellar Stock Car career, and A.J. Ward are defending re­gional champions.

Grabouski, Thornton, Gould and Jimmy Gustin have all won 100-plus IMCA Modified features while Alvarado goes into this weekend with 99 career checkers. Guillaume topped the 100-win mark in the I-Stocks.

Like Marriott, Scott was not afraid to travel and was rewarded with considerable special event success. A former Harris Clash winner, Dotson racked up ballot qualifying wins in his home state of California and on the Wild West Shootout Tour.

Will Ward continues to build on a banner 2016 campaign that culminated in the New York State crown.

Scott and Guillaume will both make their first career starts in the Friday night show at Boone. On the other end of the All-Star spectrum are Jimmy Gustin, in for the sixth time, and Grabouski, Gould, Thornton and Strickler, all elected for the fifth time.

Alvarado, Richie Gustin and A.J. Ward each start their fourth All-Star race while Shryock, Marriott and Abbey were all elected for the third time.

Dotson and Will Ward are two-time All-Stars.

The first round of All-Star voting ended on Thursday. Another 13 All-Stars will be elected from the pool of 116 candidates remaining via balloting that runs July 31-Aug. 3

Completing the starting grid of 30 will be All-Star candidates with the top national point to­tal and the most 40-point feature wins as of Aug. 31 competing at Super Nationals.