WEBSTER CITY, Iowa—The United States Racing Association closed the curtain on the 2015 season Oct. 25, and with points tallied and audited, the USRA has officially crowned four drivers from four states as 2015 USRA National Champions.
Jake Gallardo (USRA Modifieds), Mitch Hovden (USRA Stock Cars), Andy Bryant (USRA B-Mods) and Dustin Gulbrandson (USRA Hobby Stocks) will be honored at the USRA awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.
Gallardo follows in the footsteps of his father, Fito Gallardo, who captured last year’s title with a late-season surge to the top of the standings.
Racing primarily at the El Paso Speedway Park on Fridays and his home track Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M., on Saturdays, Jake Gallardo needed just 29 starts to capture the USRA Modified title.
The 22-year-old recorded 23 top-five finishes and found victory lane a dozen times over the course of the season, normally competing against stout and full fields.
He will pocket $10,000 for his efforts.
Terry Schultz of Sedalia, Mo., has been close enough to reach out and touch the crown for three years now. Runner-up in this year’s battle, he finished fifth in last year’s campaign and fourth in 2013 after leading the points battle at one time or another in all three seasons.
Fito Gallardo nearly repeated his feat of one year ago, but wound up third in the final rankings Robbie Reed of Mexico, Mo., took the fourth spot and 2012 champ Brandon Davis of Medford, Minn., rounded out the top five.
Final 2015 USRA Modified Points:
1. J17 Jacob Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4451
2. 90 Terry Schultz, Sedalia, Mo. ... 4404
3. G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4380
4. 5 Robbie Reed, Mexico, Mo. ... 4336
5. 50III Brandon Davis, Medford, Minn. ... 4335
6. 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn. ... 4314
7. 68 Kerry Davis, Parkville, Mo. ... 4305
8. 88D Matt Dotson, Hallsville, Mo. ... 4273
9. 52 Mitch Keeter, Webb City, Mo. ... 4272
10. 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan. ... 4265
USRA Modified national champions include Jake Gallardo (2015), Fito Gallardo (2014), Matt Dotson (2013), Brandon Davis (2012), Johnny Bone Jr. (2011), Jason Cummins (2010), Greg Skaggs (2009), Brad Waits (2007-08), Larry Herring (2006) and Ron Luitjens (2005).
In the USRA Stock Car division, Mitch Hovden made history by claiming his third USRA Stock Car national championship in five seasons.
With USRA Stock Car national champion trophies on his mantle from the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the driver from Decorah, Iowa, also has two Holley Iron Man titles (2013 and 2014) plus a USRA Hobby Stock national championship which he earned in 2007.
Winning the 2015 USRA Stock Car title puts Hovden alone at the top with four crowns, breaking a tie with three-time USRA B-Mod titlist Matt Jones.
Hovden racked up 15 wins during 39 starts the season. He finished in the top five a remarkable 31 times, and will earn a $1,500 paycheck for his job well done.
Brett Heeter of Kansas City, Kan., used a late-season surge and successful outing at the 2nd Annual USRA National Championships at the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City.
A pair of Las Cruces, N.M., racers—Jaime Torres and Lloyd Turner—battled each other all season and wound up third and fourth, respectively, in the final USRA Stock Car national standings. Dean Wray of Jamesport, Mo., registered a best-in-class 18 feature wins en route to a fifth-place finish.
Mitch Hovden of Decorah, Iowa, is the 2015 USRA Stock Car national champion.
Final 2015 USRA Stock Car Points:
1. 15 Mitch Hovden, Decorah, Iowa ... 4368
2. 05 Brett Heeter, Kansas City, Kan. ... 4295
3. 44JT Jaime Torres, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4293
4. 0 Lloyd Turner, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4259
5. 77 Dean Wray, Jamesport, Mo. ... 4224
6. 3H Noah Hollingshead, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4224
7. 67 Kyle Falck, Decorah, Iowa ... 4176
8. 417 Kevin Anderson, Kansas City, Mo. ... 4134
9. 18 Tom Schmitt, Independence, Iowa ... 4083
10. 44X George LaRose, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4077
USRA Stock Car national champions include Mitch Hovden 2011-12, 2015), Justin Lasiter (2014), Donovan Flores (2014), Rich Gregoire (2010), Tory Reicks (2009), Tom Schmitt (2007-08) and Scotty Pratt (2006).
USRA B-Mod driver Andy Bryant of Fort Scott, Kan., celebrated his 16th birthday in October, and is the latest teenage phenomenon to circle the dirt tracks in America’s heartland.
While he competed in a division-leading 65 events this season, he turned 17 of those into trips to victory lane and was a top-ten finisher an incredible 46 times.
Along the road to capturing the $2,000 champion’s share of the USRA B-Mod national points fund, Bryant picked up four wins in the Holley Iron Man Series while becoming the youngest to ever hold the title of USRA National Champion.
For the second time in three seasons, Brad Smith of Belton, Mo., will net the runner-up trophy in the USRA B-Mods with his 14 main event wins while Dan Hovden of Decorah, Iowa, who won 17 times, claimed the third spot in the rapidly-growing class.
Jeremiah Christensen of Sioux Falls, S.D., edged Logan Martin of West Plains, Mo., by four points for the fourth position.
Andy Bryant of Fort Scott, Kan., secured the USRA B-Mod national title.
Final 2015 USRA B-Mod Points:
1. 28 Andy Bryant, Fort Scott, Kan. ... 4543
2. 99 Brad Smith, Belton, Mo. ... 4446
3. 16D Dan Hovden, Decorah, Iowa ... 4411
4. 7M Jeremiah Christensen, Sioux Falls, S.D. ... 4397
5. 36M Logan Martin, West Plains, Mo. ... 4393
6. 21C Chad Clancy, Liberty, Mo. ... 4329
7. 66 Ryan Gillmore, Springfield, Mo. ... 4323
8. 23K Erik Kanz, Winona, Minn. ... 4312
9. 18 J.C. Morton, Springfield, Mo. ... 4306
10. 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4299
USRA B-Mod national champions include Andy Bryant (2015), Chad Clancy (2014), Troy Hovey (2013), Scott Drake (2012), Brandon Hare (2010-11), Matt Jones (2007-09), and Tony Dunker (2006).
In the first eight years of sanctioning the USRA Hobby Stock class, no driver had ever won the national championship more than once, but Dustin Gulbrandson changed that.
The driver from Sioux Falls, S.D., dominated the division this season, and finished with a nearly 200-point cushion over second-place Steve Holthaus of Cresco, Iowa, to secure his second straight USRA Hobby Stock national championship and the $1,500 that goes with it.
Doing most of his dirty work against a big field of cars at the I-90 Speedway in Hartford, S.D., on Saturday nights, Gulbrandson went to the winner’s circle seven times in his 34 starts.
Holthaus was the first of four Iowa racers claiming the next four spots in the final top five. Brady Link of Waukon, Iowa, was third; Steve Larson of Decorah, Iowa, finished in the fourth spot; and 2009 USRA Hobby Stock national champion Chris Hovden of Cresco completed the first five.
Dustin Gulbrandson of Sioux Falls, S.D., repeated as USRA Hobby Stock national champ.
Final 2015 USRA Hobby Stock Points:
1. 6 Dustin Gulbrandson, Sioux Falls, S.D. ... 4318
2. 70 Steve Holthaus, Cresco, Iowa ... 4123
3. 29 Brady Link, Waukon, Iowa ... 4045
4. 22 Steve Larson, Decorah, Iowa ... 4038
5. 07 Chris Hovden, Cresco, Iowa ... 4029
6. 81 Josh Ludeking, Decorah, Iowa ... 3879
7. 13 Brian Hoing, Sioux Falls, S.D. ... 3747
8. 19 Paul Seabrooke, Elgin, Iowa ... 3662
9. 40 Cole Gulbrandson, Hartford, S.D. ... 3478
10. 2 Tim Gebel, Lawler, Iowa ... 3333
USRA Hobby Stock national champions include Dustin Gulbrandson (2014-15), Adam Cline (2013), Dillon Anderson (2012), Dan Strandberg (2011), Shane Klaassen (2010), Chris Hovden (2009), Jason McDaniel (2008), Mitch Hovden (2007), and Nathan Wood (2006).
In addition to accolades for the top national points earners, the following USRA track and special series champions were crowned during the 2015 season:
USRA Modifieds – Jason Russell (Callaway Raceway), Terry Schultz (Central Missouri Speedway), Darwin Karau (Chateau Raceway), Shannon Weese (Crawford County Speedway), Josh Angst (Deer Creek Speedway), Chaz Exum (Devil’s Bowl Speedway), Kyle Whitworth (East Texas Speedway), Fito Gallardo (El Paso Speedway Park), John Allen (Humboldt Speedway), Dennis Elliott (I-35 Speedway), Jackie Dalton (I-49 Speedway), Kerry Davis (Lakeside Speedway), Jason Hillard (Lawton Speedway), Jeff Cutshaw (Lucas Oil Speedway), Brad Waits (Mississippi Thunder Speedway), Rex Merritt (Monett Speedway), Robbie Reed (Randolph County Raceway), Logan Robertson (Red River Speedway), Charlie Smith (RPM Speedway), Jake Gallardo (Southern New Mexico Speedway), Cam Case (Southern Oklahoma Speedway), Scott Crigler (Springfield Raceway), Triston Dycus (Texas Outlaw Modified Series).
USRA Stock Cars – Todd Froats (El Paso Speedway Park), Brian Mahlstedt (Fayette County Speedway), Tom Schmitt (Holley Iron Man Series), Dean Wray (I-35 Speedway), Brett Heeter (Lakeside Speedway), Rich Gregoire (Rapid Speedway), Noah Hollingshead (Southern New Mexico Speedway), Mitch Hovden (Upper Iowa Speedway).
USRA B-Mods – Jerry Reeves (Caney Valley Speedway), Kylie Kath (Chateau Raceway), Sam Petty (Dallas County Speedway), Cole Queensland (Deer Creek Speedway), Paddy Rush (El Paso Speedway Park and Southern New Mexico Speedway), Dan Hovden (Fayette County Speedway and Upper Iowa Speedway), Dakota Foster (Holley Iron Man Series), Jimmie Davis (Humboldt Speedway), Colter Deutsch (Huset’s Speedway), Tim Eaton (I-35 Speedway), Rusty Skaggs (I-49 Speedway), Dennis Martin (I-90 Speedway), Ed Noll (Lakeside Speedway), Carl Murphy (Legit Speedway Park), Mike Striegel (Lucas Oil Speedway), Parker Hale (Mississippi Thunder Speedway), J.C. Morton (Monett Speedway), Galen Hassler (Randolph County Raceway), Jeremiah Christensen (Rapid Speedway), Ryan Gillmore (Springfield Raceway), Brad Smith (Valley Speedway).
USRA Hobby Stocks – Steve Holthaus (Fayette County Speedway), Dustin Gulbrandson (I-90 Speedway and Rapid Speedway), Steve Larson (Upper Iowa Speedway).
USRA Limited Late Models – Lance Hofer (Mississippi Thunder Speedway). Note: National points were not awarded in this class for the 2015 season.
The USRA will celebrate the accomplishments of the dedicated drivers, along with their families and crew members, at the annual awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.
In addition to drivers, crew members, track officials and sponsors, fans are invited to take part in the festivities as well. The ceremony will once again be a joint effort for both the USRA and United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS).
The Ameristar Casino Hotel is an entertainment hub that offers something for everyone with huge casino floors, nine restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining, a luxury hotel, 18 movie screens, Kids Quest supervised child care and more. They also offer convenient parking in a five-level, 2,660-space parking structure with an enclosed, climate-controlled walkway that leads to the casino and entertainment center.
Call the USRA office at (515) 832-6000 to order tickets and to book rooms at a special discounted rate.
To learn more about the USRA, visit www.usraracing.com or call 515-832-6000. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usraracing, follow us at www.twitter.com/usraracing on Twitter and check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usratv.
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USRA OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Tires, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, COMP Cams, Day Motor Sports, Intercomp, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, MSD, Nitroquest Media, RACEceiver, RacinDirt.com, Radical Race Gear.
USRA PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Boubin Tire & Automotive, ElbowsUp.com, Erson Cams, Heartland Auto Racing Show, New Vision Graphics.
USRA CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, ASi Racewear, Beyea Custom Headers, BSB Manufacturing, COMP Cams, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, Harris Auto Racing, Hooker Custom Harness, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, Mitchell Machine, PBM Performance Products, QA1 Performance Products, Quarter Master, Real Racing Wheels, Sybesma Graphics, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products.
USRA PARTICIPATING TRACKS: Ark-La-Tex Speedway, Boothill Speedway, Callaway Raceway, Caney Valley Speedway, Central Missouri Speedway, Chateau Raceway, Crawford County Speedway, Cresco Speedway, Dallas County Speedway, Deer Creek Speedway, Devil’s Bowl Speedway, East Texas Speedway, El Paso Speedway Park, Fairmont Raceway, Fayette County Speedway, Hamilton County Speedway, Heartland Park Topeka, Humboldt Speedway, Huset’s Speedway, I-35 Speedway, I-49 Nevada Speedway, I-90 Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Lawton Speedway, Lonestar Speedway, Lucas Oil Speedway, Mason City Motor Speedway, Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Monett Speedway, North Central Arkansas Speedway, Randolph County Raceway, Rapid Speedway, Red River Speedway, RPM Speedway, Sioux Speedway, Southern New Mexico Speedway, Southern Oklahoma Speedway, Springfield Raceway, Superbowl Speedway, Upper Iowa Speedway, Valley Speedway.