Fast learner Thompson wins 19 features, tops national rookie race for IMCA Modifieds

IMCA Modified National and Side Biter Chassis North Central Region Rookie of the Year Cody Thompson. (Photo by Bruce Badgle, Motorsports Photography)

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Fast learner Cody Thompson made the quick transition to the IMCA Modified division.

After collecting 80 feature wins in just four-plus Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod seasons, Thompson was a 19-time feature winner in his initial Modified campaign, earning national and Side Biter Chassis North Central Region rookie of the year honors, along with Murray County Speedway and Worthington Speedway track titles. 

“I don’t know which accomplishment was the biggest,” said Thompson, fourth in national and runner-up in regional points. “Winning rookie of the year and 19 features is tough to do your first year in the Modified division.” 

“I’d only raced Worthington one time before in a SportMod and that was the heat only because the feature rained out. I hadn’t raced at Slayton much before this year, either,” he added. “To win two track championships was pretty cool, too.” 

Thompson made nine early season starts in Arizona and another at Beatrice Speedway’s Spring Nationals. He’d made running for rookie of the year a goal before winning his second home region outing, on April 17 at Park Jefferson Speedway. 

“We didn’t know a lot about the car at the start of the season. We wrote stuff down and had a better understanding of what to do when we got home and the car got better and better,” he said. “It felt good to get that first win and get that weight lifted off my shoulders. We knew what it took to get it done preparation-wise.” 

Thompson’s 19 feature wins were the most for a Modified rookie of the year since Jesse Sobbing’s record 32 in 2013.

“That didn’t set in until after the season and I took a break from racing. I thought ‘Wow, did I really win 19 races?’” he said. “The biggest difference between a SportMod and a Modified, I felt, was where they could make traction on the track. I’m still learning the 4-bar. They drive similarly but you have more moving parts on a Modified.”

“When my Modified was on point, I felt like I never changed classes.”

Starts-65                            Wins-19                              Additional Top Fives-23

His Crew: Father Ed, brother Tyler, Ryan Terrell, Jarad Gross and Chad Maaske.

His Sponsors: Harris Auto Racing of Boone; Reich Painting of Sioux City; K & J Rentals of Denison; Excel Floor Covering of Jefferson; Sybesma Graphics of Sanborn; Mr. B’s Flooring and JP3 Transmission, both of Spencer; Black Widow Racing of Alta; Racing Carburetors of Cambridge; Premier Industries and BlankenshipMeier Painting and Glass, both of North Sioux City, S.D.; Hooker Harness of Freeport, Ill.; Dirt Stars Racing Products, Taylor Ridge, Ill.; Jones Racing Products of Ottsville, Pa.; Performance Engineering and Manufacturing Rosco of St. Clair, Mo.; Precision Hydraulic & Oil and Advantage Extreme Lubricants, both of Wrightstown, N.J.; ATL Racing Fuel Cells of Ramsey, N.J.; QuickCar Racing Products of Lebanon, Tenn.; Sweet Manufacturing of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Swift Springs of Chino Hills, Calif.; Wilwood Engineering of Camarillo, Calif.; BLP Racing Products of Orlando, Fla.; HB Versatile Equine of Desert Hill, Ariz.; Maaske Motorsports of Las Vegas, Nev.; Penske Racing Shocks of Reading, Pa.; Rod End Supply of Olathe, Kan.; Speedwerx of Forest Lake, Minn.; and StopTech of California.