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posted October 08, 2002 07:54 PM
Egbert leads rookie racers in Modified region, nation
VINTON, Iowa (Oct. 8) - Missing the last full weekend of the 2002 point season didn't hurt G.W. Egbert's national and Dirt Works South Central Region rookie of the year campaigns.
Egbert, from Salado, Texas, led all first-year drivers in the I.M.C.A. Sunoco Modified division with 1,097 points, a total determined by his 30 best feature finishes during the year.
A two-time winner, Egbert had another 18 top five finishes in his 65 starts. He is serving in the United States Army and didn't make it to the track in late September because of out-of-state training exercises.
Egbert had 10 wins in the Stock Car division in 1999-2000, entered the service in February of 2001 and did not race last year. He was third in points at Heart O' Texas Speedway in Waco.
Joining Egbert as Modified regional rookies of the year were Tyson Garrison of Oberlin, Kan., Dirt Works Central Region; Brian Ungaro of Paonia, Colo., Dirt Works Mountain Region; Jim Bonetti of Pahrump, Nev., D&M Performance Western Re-gion; Willie Rice of Elkland, Pa., Dirt Works Northeastern Region; Robert Morrison of Milton, Fla., Clausen Racing Gulf Coast Region; and Jeremy Keller of Bismarck, N.D., in the Dirt Works North Central Region.
Garrison raced on 53 nights, winning Aug. 23 at Culbertson, Neb., Speedway, where he was fourth in points. He had another seven top five showings and was fifth in the McCook, Neb., Speedway standings.
Three straight feature wins at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Olathe, Colo., highlighted Ungaro's freshman cam-paign. He had five wins overall and another seven top five finishes in just 27 starts.
Ungaro was third in the points at TMS.
Track champion at Mohave Valley Raceway in Bullhead City, Ariz., Bonetti had three wins and 10 top five's in 36 races.
Rice posted a pair of wins and 16 top five finishes in 35 events. He was second in the standings at Redline Raceway in
Granville, Pa., and fourth at Woodhull, N.Y., Raceway.
Morrison's 34 starts included seven runs in the top five. Along with third in points at his home-town Southern Race-way, he was fifth in points at Sunny South Raceway in Grand Bay, Ala.
Have trailer, will travel was the slogan that accompanied Keller to North Central rookie honors. He loaded up his Modified and hit the road to 11 different tracks in three states and one Canadian province.
Keller won twice and ran in the top five another 13 times in 57 starts. Fifth and eighth-place runs in the final weekend replaced a pair of 10th place showings to give Keller the slight edge over Atlantic's Jeff Anderson in the regional rookie points race.
Randy Clydesdale of Edmond, Kan., topped both the national and SCS Fabricating Northern Region rookie awards in the I.M.C.A. Sunoco Stock Car division. He won 23 feature events and track titles at Elmwood Park Speedway in Norton and at Rooks County Speedway in Stockton.
The rookie of the year in the Destroyer Chassis Southern Region was Tim Pyle of Midland, Texas. A dozen of his 18 wins came in full feature fields and Pyle scored the track championship at Midessa Speedway in Odessa as well.