WORTHINGTON, Minn. (Nov. 14) – He didn’t win either battle, but Dan Strandberg won the war in capturing the title of 2011 USRA Hobby Stock National Champion.
Racing at the Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, Iowa, on Friday nights and Nobles County Speedway in his hometown of Worthington, Minn., on Sundays, the 32-year-old finished second in points at both tracks but combined his efforts to secure his first USRA National Championship.
After finishing fifth in last year’s USRA Hobby Stock national points, Strandberg held off defending national champion Shane Klaassen of Little Rock, Iowa, to earn the crown.
Klaassen topped Strandberg in the points at Rock Rapids while Jeremy VanEde was the track champion over Strandberg at Worthington. Klaassen and VanEde finished 1-2 in last year’s final national rankings.
Strandberg netted eight feature wins – five of them at Worthington and three at Rock Rapids. His 2011 American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series résumé included 22 top-five finishes in 28 starts.
He is the first USRA Hobby Stock titleist from Minnesota, and the first non-Iowan to claim the honor.
2009 USRA Hobby Stock National Champion Chris Hovden of Cresco, Iowa, wound up third in the final rankings, followed by Decorah, Iowa, drivers Dan Hovden and Steve Larson.
Strandberg will collect a national points funds check worth $1,500 plus track points funds and numerous contingency awards.
Final USRA Hobby Stock National Points (top 10):
- 3K Dan Strandberg, Worthington, Minn. ... 4318
- 901 Shane Klaassen, Little Rock, Iowa ... 4253
- 70C Chris Hovden, Cresco, Iowa ... 4189
- 16 Dan Hovden, Decorah, Iowa ... 4064
- 22 Steve Larson, Decorah, Iowa ... 3948
- 18 Scott Spilde, Ridgeway, Iowa ... 3908
- 17 Chad Lonneman, Adrian, Minn. ... 3892
- 6 Danny Sacquitne, Decorah, Iowa ... 3843
- 44 Dillon Anderson, Decorah, Iowa ... 3726
- 5K Keith Schwartzhoff, Decorah, Iowa ... 3669
Tenth place will take home at least $250 from the points fund and each eligible USRA Hobby Stock track champion will pocket $500.
In each of the four USRA-sanctioned national divisions, a driver’s best 20 events based on points earned from March 4 through Oct. 16 applied toward American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series national points. In order to be eligible for national points funds, a driver must possess a USRA competitor license and have competed in at least 50% of the events held at any one USRA-sanctioned racetrack (minimum of 8 events with a minimum of 4 starts).
Despite being one of the smallest dirt track racing sanctioning bodies in America, the USRA will distribute a national points fund of more than $60,000 in the four classes plus thousands in contingencies from USRA marketing partners. The USRA will also dole out track points funds which are among the highest-paying in the nation for dirt track racing.
The USRA was founded in 2002 with the sanctioning of Modifieds and Stock Cars at the Thunder Valley Speedway in Fayetteville, Ark. Hobby Stocks were added in 2003 and the organization grew steadily over the next three years with 14 tracks hosting USRA events in 2005. The B-Mod division arrived on the scene in 2006.
Champions were not crowned in individual divisions during the first four years, but an overall National Champion was crowned in 2005. Earning that honor was Modified driver Ron Luitjens of Brewster, Minn. Since then, USRA Weekly Racing Series National Champions have been crowned in all four premier divisions.
During the 2011 racing season, more than 2,000 individual drivers competed in USRA-sanctioned events at 37 unique dirt ovals in Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.
To learn more about the USRA, visit www.usraracing.com or call 515-832-6000. You can also like us on Facebook, join us on MySpace or follow us on Twitter.
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