Texas teen wins first Southern SportMod championship at IMCA Super NationalsDan Engledow
BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 5) – He’s already won a lot of races in his brief career but none bigger than the one on opening night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.
Jeffrey Abbey, 18 years old and a senior at Comanche, Texas, High School, became the first champion crowned
at the 34th annual event when the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod division made its Super Nationals debut Monday evening at Boone Speedway.
The victory was Abbey’s 22nd of the season and paid $2,225, an amount that included the Speedway Motors Weekly racing bonus. He also receives a standard weekly race engine from Centex Motorsports.
“We knew coming in that we were fast. I was pretty sure we had a top five car and we won the deal,” Abbey said. “I can’t put into words what this means to me.”
Thirty-three Southern SportMods made the trip to Boone from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico. James Skinner started outside the front row and led the first 11 of 30 laps, pursued first by Abbey and then by Cody Smith.
Smith made his way from 12th starting and was pulling away from the rest of the field before cautions on laps 16 and 20.
Abbey made the most of the final restart, moving to the higher line to take the lead for good with nine to go.
“The line was on the bottom and that’s where Cody was,” Abbey said. “I knew if I was going to catch him I’d have to try something else. That’s when I went to the top and it paid off.”
A bobble by Smith gave Abbey some breathing room. Jake Upchurch, Rodney White and Mickey helms all advanced 10 positions or more to round out the top five; hard charger was J.C. Howell, who started 23rd and ended in eighth.
While he chases his own national championship, Abbey gave much of his credit for his success to older brother Dean, a two-time national king in the class.
“He taught me pretty much everything I know,” said Abbey, in his fourth Southern SportMod season. “He helps me at the track and with any questions I have about setup. We’ve got this car dialed in right now.”
Abbey is the first Texas driver to win a Super Nationals championship since Russ Fletcher won back-to-back Sprint Car crowns in 2002 and 3003.
Feature results – 1. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas; 2. Cody Smith, Kaufman, Texas; 3. Jake Upchurch, Grand Prairie, Texas; 4. Rodney White, Ector, Texas; 5. Mickey Helms, Victoria, Texas; 6. Robert Elliott, Clinton, Okla.; 7. Justin Shaw, Sweetwater, Texas; 8. J.C. Howell, Eustace, Texas; 9. Cory Williams, Slaton, Texas; 10. Loni Richardson, Denison, Texas; 11. Wally Beaty, Terrell, Texas; 12. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas; 13. Gene Burnett, Leander, Texas; 14. Chris Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas; 15. Rodger Pierce, Hobbs, N.M.; 16. Ronny Gould, Calera, Okla.; 17. Kamera McDonald, Keller, Texas; 18. Brian Heard, Hobbs, N.M.; 19. Kyle Wiens, Newton, Kan.; 20. Jessie Hoskins, Longdale, Okla.; 21. Brandon White, Collinsville, Texas; 22. James Hanusch, Belton, Texas; 23. Lynn Combs, Fort Gibson, Okla.; 24. James Skinner, Burleson, Texas; 25. Kenneth Graves, Tahoka, Texas; 26. Justin Long, Haslet, Texas; 27. Bo Day, Caddo Mills, Texas; 28. Robert Scrivner, Waco, Texas; 29. Jon White, Red Oak, Texas; 30. Sid Kiphen, Gatesville, Texas; 31. Daniel Cavanagh, Weatherford, Texas; 32. Alex Wiens, Newton, Kan.; 33. Jerry Ensey, Marietta, Okla.