Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod award is Underwood’s second IMCA rookie prize

Larry Underwood raced to a career second IMCA rookie of the year award, topping point standings for first-year Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod drivers. IMCA President Brett Root is at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

TEMPLE, Texas – Larry Underwood will add a second IMCA rookie of the year award to his trophy case.

The Temple, Texas pilot paced point standings for first-year Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod drivers this season. He’d won rookie of the year in the Big Daddy Race Cars Southern Region for Hobby Stocks in 2016.

“When we started racing this year, I put my mind to running for national rookie,” said Underwood, sixth nationally and driver of that sharp-looking ride with the Bradley Poor designed Day of the Dead themed wrap. “I knew I had to be consistent, I knew I had to race twice a week and I had some good people behind me to help me accomplish it.”

“The best way to run for points is to run with people you’re running for points against,” added Underwood, who made 22 of his 45 starts in feature fields that included rookie runner-up Austin Moore.

He was third in the points chase at 281 Speedway, behind national champion James Hanusch and Lady Eagle winner Taylor Florio, and sixth at Heart O’ Texas Speedway.

Underwood also traveled to Big O Speedway and Cotton Bowl Speedway.

“I really enjoyed the competition in this division,” he said. “There are so many good Southern SportMod drivers with so much expertise.”

HIS CREW: Jamie Marrill, Wesley Warren, Jason Batt, Jeffrey and Westin Abbey, fan Joyce Shepard and Marcus Harcrow.

HIS SPONSORS: Underwood Trucking of Temple; Richard Pickens and Wicked Fast Transmissions of Lorena; James Hammack and Hammack Fabrications of Lorena; Eddie Grmela and Garrett Rawls and Black Flag Bodies of Elm Mott; Jack Jenkins and Jenkins Carbs and Transmissions, and Mike Land and Kingdom Automotive, both of Waco; Abbey Motorsports of Comanche; Keith White and Champ Race Fuels of Little River Academy; James Hanusch and Precision Plumbing of Belton; and Chris Florio and Florio Race Cars of Copperas Cove.