From Kelly Brown
Camargo, IL – 2009 was another break out season for the O’Reilly Midwest All Stars. In its third season of racing action the series the competition was fiercer that ever. The exhilarating schedule featured fifteen show stopping races with ten different drivers celebrating at the end of the night in Victory Lane. At the beginning of the season the point standings were up for grabs and the top spot changed several times, but towards the end of the season a familiar face emerged as Jerrod Hull celebrated his third title.
Like previous years, Hull did not begin the season on a strong note, but as time went on he got stronger and stronger with each race.
“Three championships in a row are hard to believe,” Hull said with a smile. “It just seems like yesterday we started the series and here we are three years down the road and everything is still going good.”
This year Hull began the season with a couple of issues, but the team held strong fighting through adversity.
“We had some issues with some torsion bars and we struggled for more than a month,” Hull stated. “We replaced them and from there on we have been really good.”
Once Hull hit his stride in August at Tennessee National winning his first race of the season, he went on a rampage scoring three other first place finishes. Also included in his season was a runner-up finish at the North/South Showdown a co-sanctioned event with the IRA Spring Car Series. Of the drivers competing full time in both series Hull came in second at a track he had not raced on before that night.
“Winning two nights in a row in Tennessee was what started our roll this season,” Hull explained. “Two nights, back-to-back wins is always great for momentum. Ever since then we have had a really good year.”
AJ Bruns who ran second in the point standings also had a slow start to the 2009 season, but with six top-ten finishes Bruns was able to hold on to the runner-up spot.
“2009 started a little bumpy for us, but now we are doing good,” said Bruns with a sly smile. “At the beginning of the season we came out of the garage and had a few wrecks, but now it has been a long time since, knock on wood. We had motor problems early in the year, but we ironed that out. We have been running really good. It is too bad we are at the end of the season and I feel like I am at the strongest point I have been at all year.”
Alex Shanks finished third in the point standings. He began his season with a seventh place run at Lawrenceburg and was consistent throughout the remaining races. His season best finish came at Tennessee National Speedway when he finished second. In the end Shanks would finish his season with six top-ten finishes.
Finishing fourth in the point standings was sophomore year driver and 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year Miranda Throckmorton. Throckmorton had three top-ten finishes with her top finish being a sixth place finish at Bloomington Speedway.
“The second year I definitely learned a lot more than I did last year, when we ran the wing for the first time,” stated Throckmorton. “I had some good finishes and I wish we could come up with the budget to run the full All Star Circuit of Champions Series. I think I would learn so much more traveling around and seeing more tracks. It has been an enjoyable year for us.”
Finishing out the top-five in the points standings was Kody Kinser who scored four top five finishes in 2009 with his top finish being a second place at Thunderhill Raceway. Kinser is another driver whose season began slow and finished with a flourish.
“We definitely got better at the end,” said Kinser. “We started out awful. Actually that is an understatement, but we really got good here at the end even though we do not have much to show for it. We have been real fast all season, but I wish we would have had something to show for it.”
With ten different winners in fifteen races, the only two drivers to win multiple races were Jerrod Hull and Dale Blaney. It has been a very competitive season and the Midwest All Stars are looking forward to continuing the non-stop action in 2009.
For the most up to date on the Midwest All Star Series visit www.midwestallstarseries.com.