VINTON, Iowa (Oct. 11) – Jeremiah Hurst and Kevin Ramey earned career-first crowns while six other IMCA drivers have added to their national championship trophy collections.
Hurst topped IMCA Late Model standings while Ramey paced the point race for IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars.
Jordan Grabouski won the IMCA Modified championship for the third time while Mike Nichols and Shannon Anderson both raced to third straight and record-extending career eighth titles in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock divisions, respectively.
Matt Looft’s Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod crown was his career third; two-time champions are Gabe Tucker in the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods and Ramsey Meyer in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts.
Looft, Tucker and Meyer were all national champions in 2013.
Hurst had seen his 2017 season ended mid-summer by health issues. Along with seven feature wins, including his first Deery Brothers Summer Series victory since 2002, Hurst raced to the track title at Maquoketa Speedway and his first Iowa State championship this year.
The first driver to win both national and RaceSaver Nationals titles, Ramey scored 16 feature wins. He topped point standings at Devil’s Bowl Speedway and RPM Speedway and was a first-time Texas State champion.
Grabouski’s 30 feature wins this season included his career 200th victory; he’s now fifth all-time in the IMCA Modified division with 203 checkers.
Champion of the Jet Racing Central Region, Grabouski paced points at Eagle Raceway and at Beatrice Speedway, where he was undefeated during the regular season. Racing closer to home more often also netted him his first Nebraska State prize.
Nichols’ season ended with 42 feature wins, including his career 500th in an IMCA Stock Car. The EQ Cylinder Heads Northern Region king now owns a division-best 503 victories while titles at Crawford County Speedway and Dawson County Raceway put his IMCA-best track championship total at 36.
Anderson won both national and IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s titles in the same year for the fifth time.
Just as impressively, the Big Daddy Race Cars Northern Region champion won 33 of just 39 weekly starts. That success translated into titles at Marshalltown Speedway, Sports Park Raceway and Buena Vista Raceway, giving Anderson a division-best 28 track crowns during his career.
Looft tallied 26 feature wins, matching his career best total from five years ago. He was champion at Arlington Raceway and Kossuth County Speedway and leads all drivers in the Northern SportMod division with 23 career track titles.
Tucker passed the career 100-win mark with 19 Southern SportMod victories this season. His track championships came at Heart O’ Texas Speedway and Abilene Speedway.
Meyer’s 31 feature wins went a long way in deciding a Sport Compact point race that was tightly contested much of the season. He was track champion at both Raceway Park and Off Road Speedway.
Joining Grabouski as Modified regional kings were A.J. Ward in the Dirt Works Eastern; Brandon Beckendorf in the Side Biter Chassis North Central; Josh McGaha in the Razor Chassis South Central; and Zane DeVilbiss in the Larry Shaw Race Cars Western.
Ward and Beckendorf shared another accomplishment this season as both won for the 100th time in their respective careers.
Ward’s third consecutive regional prize complemented 22 feature wins, his career fourth Michigan State title and track championships at Crystal Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway.
The first Minnesota driver to earn an IMCA Modified regional title since 1983, Beckendorf was a 27-time feature winner. Along with a career fifth Minnesota State crown, he took top honors at Fairmont Raceway, Arlington Raceway and Redwood Speedway.
McGaha is also a first-time regional champ. He won seven features and the title at his hometown Abilene Speedway.
The well-traveled DeVilbiss adds a career seventh regional trophy to his IMCA hardware collection. He won 25 features, his first-ever state championship – in Wyoming – and led point races at both Desert Thunder Raceway and Sweetwater Speedway.
Westin Abbey won the EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region championship for the second time in his young Stock Car career. He had 12 feature wins this season.
Another driver who saw plenty of the country just getting to the track, Dennis Spencer saw his efforts rewarded with the Big Daddy Race Cars Southern Region Hobby Stock crown, a first for any New Mexico driver.
Spencer won 18 features and track titles at Montezuma County Fairgrounds Speedway and Aztec Speedway.
National rookies of the year were Jeffrey Abbey, Modifieds; Shawn Cooney, Late Models; Casey Burkham, Sprint Cars; Troy Burkhart, Stock Cars; Adam Ayers, Hobby Stocks; Brandon Setser, Northern SportMods; Kyle Wilkins, Southern SportMods; and Howard Watson, Sport Compacts.
Along with 11 feature wins, Abbey was track champion at Southern Oklahoma Speedway and the Oklahoma State champion as well as top rookie in the South Central region. Cooney and Burkham both won first features in their respective divisions.
Burkhart was a five-time feature winner while Ayers collected three checkers.
Setser had two feature wins and the Davenport Speedway crown to his credit. Wilkins won six features and the Big O Speedway title while Watson won one feature and the Texas State championship.
Other Modified regional rookies of the year were two-time winner and California State champion Shane DeVolder in the Western, four-time winner and Missouri State champion Shadren Turner in the Central, three-time winner Jesse Skalicky in the North Central, and Victorya Truemner in the Eastern.
Bryce Pritchett was the top rookie in the EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region and the top driver in Stock Car standings at Boyd Raceway.
Richard Killingbeck won once en route to becoming the first Colorado driver to earn Big Daddy Race Cars Southern Region Hobby Stock honors.
Chad Coyne was rookie of the year in the Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models.
Leah Wroten had the top point total among all female drivers to earn Lady Eagle honors. She was the Hobby Stock track champion at Benton County Speedway and Independence Motor Speedway as well as Iowa State champion.
Final point races of the 2018 season were held Sept. 30 and all standings become official on Oct. 29. The national awards banquet will be held Nov. 24 in Lincoln, Neb.