Track championship is a bonus for Wilkins in Smiley’s Southern SportMod rookie title hunt     

Rookie of the year honors in the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod division went to Kyle Wilkins. He is joined at right by IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

ITALY, Texas – Kyle Wilkins was back on top of the podium this season at Big O Speedway.

He finished on top of point standings for first-year Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod drivers, too.

Wilkins earned national rookie of the year honors on the strength of six feature wins and consistency throughout the season.

“I went into the season running for rookie of the year. The track championship was just a bonus,” said Wilkins, from Italy, Texas. “I’ve always liked the division. The cars are cool looking and it’s the division I’ve always wanted to race in. Everything worked out for us this year.”

He brought five years of on-track experience in a local factory stock class to the division. Wilkins had won a championship at Ennis in that class so he already knew the fast way around the quarter-mile clay oval.

After getting his first Southern SportMod win at Heart O’ Texas Speedway on May 18, he collected five checkers at Big O, getting the last of them on the final night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season.

“The engine I had started out the season with was one I’d built out of spare parts from my factory stock,” Wilkins said. “The first one came a little late, but once I got my new motor from Allard Racing Engines the wins started coming. We’re definitely satisfied with the season.”

Wins-6                    Top Five Finishes-15         Starts-45

HIS CREW: Father Michael, Jon White and Mike Marusak.

HIS SPONSORS: Allard Racing Engines and Guest Tire & Wheel, both of Ennis; 7MK Trucking of Italy; CAM Chassis of Midlothian; and J.W. Motorsports of Red Oak.