IMCA Crowns 2012 National Champions
VINTON, Iowa– It’s getting more difficult, but Keith White found another way to race his way into the IMCA record book.
From Little River Academy, Texas, White won the 2012 national Modified championship and became the first IMCA driver to earn national crowns in three different divisions, while extending his career record to seven.
Also a five-time Southern SportMod national champ and the 2011 Stock Car king, White won 24 features. He got 35 bonus points for track titles at Kennedale Speedway Park and Heart O’ Texas Speedway, besting David Murray Jr. of Oberlin, Kan., by a 1,228-1,222 margin for this year’s Modified title.
Joining White as 2012 national champions were Jason Howell of Azle, Texas, in the IMCA Sprint Cars; Brandon Czarapata of Appleton, Wis., in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars; Shannon Anderson of Urbandale, Iowa, in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks; Jesse Sobbing of Glenwood, Iowa, in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods; Dean Abbey of Waco, Texas, in the Smiley’s Racing Chassis Southern SportMods; and Cameron Meyer of Pierce, Neb., in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts.
Anderson became a four-time national champion while Sobbing and Abbey both ruled their respective divisions for the second time. Howell, Czarapata and Meyer are all first-time kings.
Howell won 11 features and paced point standings for the winged division at Mountain Creek Speedway.
Czarapata was a 24-time feature winner and earned the maximum 20 bonus points for track titles at Luxemburg Speedway and Seymour Speedway, edging Mike Nichols of Harlan, Iowa, 1,234-1,229 for the Stock Car crown.
Also champion from 2008-2010, Anderson won 32 Hobby Stock features. Thirty-nine bonus points for track titles at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Speedway and Shelby County Speedway put him one point ahead of 2011 champ Devin Smith of Lake City, Iowa, in this season’s title chase.
Sobbing stacked bonuses from two of his three local track titles on top of an already perfect 1,200 point total after winning a division record 39 Northern SportMod main events. His first national championship campaign was in 2009.
Abbey repeated atop the Southern SportMod standings with 21 feature wins and track championships at Kennedale and at Boyd Raceway. Runner-up Sid Kiphen of Gatesville, Texas, finished just three points back.
Meyer’s 2012 resume boasts 34 feature wins and track championships at Riviera Raceway, U.S. 30 Speedway and Boone County Raceway.
White, Czarapata, Anderson and Meyer were also Allstar Performance State champions; White repeated as champion of the Texas Lone Star Series for Modifieds.
Modified regional champions were White, for the fourth straight time in the BillsBuilt South Central Region; Murray’s whose career ninth title came in the Jet Racing Central Region; Jimmy Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, a first-time title winner in the Belleville Motorsports North Central Region; Kevan Cook of Constantia, N.Y., for the third time in the Eastern Region; and Zane DeVilbiss of Farmington, N.M., for the third straight season in the Larry Shaw Racing Western Region.
Murray’s 23 feature wins this season included his IMCA Modified career 500th. He was track champion at RPM Speedway and Dawson County Raceway. Gustin won 15 features and topped standings at Boone Speedway and Marshalltown Speedway.
Cook, champion at Skyline Raceway, took 15 checkers. DeVilbiss reigned at Desert Thunder Raceway and was a 16-time feature winner.
Czarapata was first in Mallory Northern Region standings for the Stock Cars while White won 14 features and Kennedale and HO’T titles enroute to his second straight Mallory Southern Region prize.
Anderson, also champion at Southern Iowa Speedway, topped Stephenville Starter Northern Region points for the fourth time. Smith got 38 bonus points from Algona Raceway and Buena Vista Raceway titles; he was also champion at Fairmont Raceway and Clay County Fairgrounds.
Chase Neill of Haltom City, Texas, raced to 19 feature wins and his career first Stephenville Starter Southern Region title. He was champion at Kennedale and in the Lone Star Series.
National rookies of the year were Kyle Brown of Kellogg, Iowa, in the Modifieds; Reed Allex of St. Cloud, Minn., Sprint Cars; Brandon Taylor of Granbury, Texas, Stock Cars; Jamie Songer of Ankeny, Iowa, Hobby Stocks; Matt Sotomayor of Sanger, Calif., Northern SportMods; Kyle Lovejoy of Burleson, Texas, Southern SportMods; and David Dembowski of Grand Island, Neb., Sport Compacts.
Brown won once this season. Taylor, also ROY in the Southern Region, won three features as did Songer, top rookie in the Northern Region for Hobbies.
Ocean Speedway-Watsonville champion Sotomayor won a dozen features while Dembowski was first across the stripe on nine nights.
Modified regional rookies of the year were J.C. Parmeley of Phoenix, Ariz., in the Western, Brown in the North Central, Kyle Ligenza of Columbus, Neb., in the Central, Michael Jackson of Wills Point, Texas, in the South Central and Dan Searls of Groton, N.Y., in the Eastern.
Michael Murphy of Jefferson, Iowa, won twice and was rookie of the year in the Northern Stock Car Region. Seven-time winner Ben Lucas earned rookie of the year honors in the Southern Region for Hobby Stocks.
Merv Chandler of Vinton, Iowa, was also a four-time track champion, earning titles at Benton County Speedway, Independence Motor Speedway, Southern Iowa Speedway and Marshalltown Speedway.
Final point races of the 2012 season were held Sept. 30.
Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., won a record third consecutive national IMCA Late Model championship and Chuck Hanna of Port Byron, Ill., was rookie of the year. The point season for Late Models ended on Aug. 26.
All IMCA champions and rookies of the year will be honored during the national awards banquet on Nov. 24 in Lincoln, Neb.