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Ethan Dotson at Cocopah Speedway. (Bobby McMorris Photo)

IMCA.tv Winter Nationals Halfway Overview

YUMA, Calif. — With half of the eight racing nights for the IMCA.tv Winter Nationals complete, some observations show how much this event has grown since the initial year of 2020. 

The car count growth is remarkable from the first year when the first week, a three-night racing streak at that time, averaged 107 cars.  The following year the first week rose to 164, and 2022 showed growth again with a 219.

I figured the count would level the following year but last year hit 234 and the current year reached 248 cars.  That’s a 232 percent increase in cars in four years after the initial event. That must make it the largest car count event in the western U.S. 

I’m guessing further growth will occur but at a slower pace.

This year, the main event results from the first four nights comprised of 20 main events total. Winners so far are from nine states, not so amazing, but the fact that nine of the 20 mains were won by drivers from Iowa says something. 

Three of the four nights of modified winners were Iowa-based drivers. That is domination with the very talented group of drivers running that class. 

The first thought I had was there must be a lot of Iowa drivers in the division. That theory went south when a simple count showed less than 10 percent of the teams are from Iowa. Saturday was five out of 71 entries, so Iowa natives are not winning from outnumbering other states.  It must be talent and good equipment.

The sport compact division has seen all four mains go to Iowa drivers.  Although the division is just above 20 cars average, there are only two divers in the class from Iowa and they have combined to win all four nights.

The bonus payout to modifieds and stock cars is based on winning six, seven or eight of the eight main events that will comprise the two-week event. 

That bonus opportunity is gone as winning six time meant having to win twice in week one.  Competition is so tough that nobody could repeat. While the bonus is now gone, another extra is guaranteed of being awarded and each division will have one driver collect that special deal.

It’s going to be the five-point champions after the event is complete.

Each division point champion will receive a week’s free stay at the Playa Azul Seypet Resort in Rocky Point, Mexico on the sea of Cortes. To add to the trip, a $1,500 bonus towards airline costs is included.

Tuesday the Gene Freeman Memorial Pit Crew Challenge occurs at 5 p.m. no charge to sit in the stands, with a practice session following and free food in the pits after practice is over. 

The, the next four nights will complete the eight-race series. If you can’t be there, the event is streamed on SPEED SPORT affiliate IMCA.tv.