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Seven states represented by IMCA 2011 national champions

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Seven states represented by IMCA 2011 national champions

 

VINTON, Iowa (Sept. 30) – Drivers from seven states make up IMCA’s national championship class of 2011.

 

Jordan Grabouski of Beatrice, Neb., ruled the IMCA Modified ranks, Dusty Ballenger of Harris­burg, S.D., the IMCA Sprint Cars, Keith White of Little River Academy, Texas, the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Devin Smith of Lake City the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.

 

Bryan LaRiviere of Wichita, Kan., paced points for Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, Dean Ab­bey of Haslet, Texas, was first in Smiley’s Racing Chassis Southern SportMod standings and Nate Coopman of Mankato, Minn., captured the Mach-1 Sport Compact prize.

 

While all are first-time champions in their respective divisions, White set the sanctioning body’s modern era record with his sixth career national IMCA crown. He had topped Southern SportMod standings in 2005-2006 and again from 2008-2010.

 

Final point races for those seven divisions were Sept. 25; national and regional standings were announced after track and special series championship bonus points, based on average weekly car counts, were tabulated.

 

Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., earned his second consecutive national Late Model crown. Final point races for that division were held Aug. 28 and standings became official Sept. 26.

 

Grabouski won 29 features and a trio of track titles on the way to capturing ButlerBuilt Central Re­gion honors.

 

“We didn’t start the season running for the national championship. There aren’t a lot of drivers who can do that,” Grabouski said. “But we had a really good start to the year and decided we’d keep racing all three tracks. It was one of those seasons where everything fell together and just went our way.”

 

IMCA ended a one-year hiatus of post-season Sprint Car awards. Ballenger won three features and two track titles in following in the footsteps of his father Steve, national champion in the winged class in 1995.

 

White won 31 features and the Stephenville Starter Southern Region trophy, as well as 25 Modified main events and a third straight South Central Region crown. The first driver to complete the regional double, he surpassed by five the single-season win record for drivers com­peting in multiple divisions he established last year.

 

While repeating as national Modified runner-up, he also raced to track and special series championships in both divisions.

 

Primed by 39 feature wins, three track titles and the Probe Industries Northern Region crown, Smith joined brothers David, Donavon and Dustin as IMCA national champions.

 

Dustin was the national Hobby Stock champion in 2004 and 2005, and the Stock Car champion in 2009. David was the Stock Car champion and Donavon the Hobby Stock cham­pion in 2006.

 

Abbey won 13 features and two track championships. LaRiviere scored 33 feature wins and three track titles while 2009 king Jesse Sobbing finished as runner-up for the second straight year.

 

In addition to national rookie of the year honors in the class, Coopman notched 32 feature wins and a pair of Sport Compact track crowns.

 

2010 national champion Zane DeVilbiss of Farmington, N.M., scored 19 feature wins, along with Western Region, one track and one special series crown. Randy Havlik of Madrid won 13 times and had a track title to go with his North Central Region title. Eastern Region champion Michael Smith of Arkport, N.Y., was a 24-time winner and raced to one local track crown.

 

Jason Schoenberger of Gorham, Kan., had 24 feature wins to Mike Nichols’ 22 for the tie-break­ing advantage in the Probe Industries Northern Stock Car Region. Nichols, from Harlan, is the four-time and defending national Stock Car champ. Both drivers won a pair of track titles.

 

Allen Montgomery of Fort Worth, Texas, totaled a dozen feature wins and two track champion­ships to rule the Stephenville Starter Southern Region for Hobby Stocks.

 

National rookies of the year are Matt Winnett of Colbert, Okla., Modified; Travis Denning of Ster­ling, Ill., Late Model; Cam Schafer of Glenwood, Minn., Sprint Car; Dustin Larson of Rushmore, Minn., Stock Car; Cody Nielsen of Fort Dodge, Hobby Stock; Todd Boulware of Jefferson, S.D., Northern Sport­Mod; and Cory Williams of Slaton, Texas, Southern SportMod.

 

Top rookies in the Modified regions were Dustin Hansen of Myton, Utah, in the Western; Dustin Smith of Lake City in the North Central; Anthony Roth of Columbus, Neb., in the Central; Winnett in the South Central; and Michael Van Dyke of Rock Stream, N.Y., in the Eastern.

 

Rookies of the year in the Stock Car regions were Larson in the Northern and Marc Egert of Lub­bock, Texas, in the Southern.

 

Rookies of the year in the regions for Hobby Stocks were Nielsen in the Northern and Jeremy Wininger of Georgetown, Texas, in the Southern.

 

Hobby Stock Car driver Tiffany Bittner of Norfolk, Neb., had the highest point total among all fe­male competitors to earn the Lady Eagle award.

 

White had shared the record of five career national titles with Jeff Anderson, IMCA’s Stock Car king from 1997-2001. White is also the fourth driver to earn national championships in different divisions, joining Damon Murty, Dustin Smith and Luke Wanninger in the accomplishment.

 

As many as 20 bonus points from each of as many as two track championships, or one track and one special series championship, were awarded to the Modifieds, Stock Cars, Hobby Stocks and in both SportMod classes. Late Models, Sprint Cars and Sport Compacts received bonus points for one such championship.

 

Tracks have until Oct. 24 to notify the IMCA home office of any corrections to race results before standings become official.

 

All champions and rookies of the year will be honored during IMCA’s national awards banquet on Saturday, Nov. 26 at The Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln, Neb.

 

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