BOONE, Iowa – The 2013 race winner will return to defend his Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational crown.
Todd Shute prevailed in one of the most talked-about Modified events of the season during last year’s IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. He was one of 15 All-Stars, three from each of IMCA’s five Modified regions, elected via Facebook to the 2014 starting field for the Friday, Sept. 5 race.
Thirteen more starters will be elected, also through Facebook, from among the next top 50 vote recipients. That balloting began this afternoon and continues through the end of the business day next Tuesday, Aug. 5.
Eleven different states are represented by the initial group of All-Stars.
Tim Ward of Gilbert, Ariz., Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., and Brad Pounds of Bakersfield, Calif., were the top three vote-wise in the Larry Shaw Racing Western Region.
Calera, Okla.’s William Gould, Keith White of Little River Academy, Texas, and Dean Abbey of Waco, Texas, ran 1-2-3 in the Razor Chassis South Central Region.
Jet Racing Central Region All-Star candidates were paced by Jeff Taylor of Cave City, Ark., Turpin, Okla.’s Cody Gearhart and Corey Lagroon of Salina, Kan.
Jason Murray of Hartford topped polling for the Belleville Motorsports North Central Region, ahead of Shute, from Des Moines, and Robert Hellebust of Minot, N.D.
Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., had the top overall vote total and will be joined by fellow All-Stars A.J. Ward of Ionia, Mich., and Chris Fleming of Union Springs, N.Y., in representing the Dirt Works Eastern Region.
“All of the 120-plus drivers on the All-Star ballot earned their way there by winning a qualifying event, state or regional championship,” noted IMCA Vice President of Operations Brett Root. “Getting into the race is a little like politics, some of these guys campaigned very well and very hard.”
“It’s great to see such diversity among the All-Star starters,” he added. “It’s an outstanding snapshot of the diversity of IMCA racing in general.”
Completing the 30-car starting grid will be All-Star candidates with the top national point total and the most feature wins as of Aug. 28 who competing at Super Nationals.
First-time All-Stars are Abbey, Gearhart, Hellebust, Lagroon, Murray and A.J. Ward. Fleming, Gould, Strickler and Thornton each make their second starts in the Friday night dance while Shute is now a three-time All-Star.
Taylor and White both make their career fourth All-Star starts, Pounds and Tim Ward both their fifth.
All-Star drivers will draw for starting positions in the Fan Zone behind the main grandstands at Boone Speedway on race night. The 11th annual event pays $1,000 to win, a minimum of $200 to start and is a qualifier for the 2015 ballot.