VINTON, Iowa — William Gould has won a lot of close races in his IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports modified career, but few were as close as the one that made him a national champion.
The Calera, Okla., veteran edged rookie Jesse Sobbing by a single point (1,233-1,232) to win the national IMCA modified crown.
Gould was a 25-time feature winner this season, taking 24 of those checkers in his home Bills¬Built South Central Region. IMCA’s first national champion from the Sooner State, he got the maxi¬mum possible 40 bonus points for winning the track title at Kennedale Speedway Park and the Texas Lone Star Series.
Sobbing collected 32 wins in all, with 24 of them coming in the Belleville Motorsports North Cen¬tral Region. He earned 38 bonus points for track championships at Shelby County Speedway and Crawford County Speedway.
“I’ve raced 18 years and this was the first time for points,” said Gould, who campaigned in a six-year-old homebuilt chassis and ended his campaign with a built engine from Karl Performance under the hood. “I’m proud to win the IMCA national championship and to be the first driver from Oklahoma to do it.”
“When we won the Lone Star Series, we knew we’d be getting at least 20 bonus points. If we won Kennedale, we knew we’d get another 20,” he continued. “About mid-July we realized we had a real shot, buckled down and concentrated on winning races. I take a lot of pride in this.”
Twice the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod national champion, Sobbing became just the third IMCA Modified driver to win both the regional crown and rookie of the year title in the same sea¬son since 1993.
The IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing national championship class of 2013 also includes John Leon Ricketts of Burleson, Texas, in the IMCA Eagle Motorsports RaceSaver Sprint Cars; Brandon Czarapata of Appleton, Wis., in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars; Devin Smith of Lake City, Iowa, in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks; Matthew Looft of Swea City, Iowa, in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods; Gabe Tucker of Carbon, Texas, in the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods; and Ramsey Meyer of Pierce, Neb., in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts.
Czarapata won a second straight Stock Car crown; Smith also ruled the Hobby Stocks in 2011. First-time kings were Ricketts, Looft, Tucker and Meyer.
Also national rookie of the year, Ricketts prevailed in IMCA’s closest national race. Tied with fel¬low Burleson driver Jeb Sessums with 793 points, he got the nod by virtue of a 10-7 advantage in the number of 40-point feature wins.
Ricketts was track champion and received 15 bonus points at Mountain Creek Speedway while Sessums topped the standings for 20 bonus points at Kennedale.
A 25-time winner during the regular season, Czarapata repeated as the top driver in the Arnold Motor Supply Northern Region on the strength of 38 bonus points from track titles at Luxemburg Speedway and Shawano Speedway.