By Ben Deatherage
The 2016 Wild West Modified Shootout is finally in the books and it was one fantastic week of racing. Of the seven races on the schedule the only one to fall to weather, although a handful of others had threatening skies, was just the final feature at Willamette Speedway on June 15. Still the tour would visit six different tracks in California, Oregon, and Washington for seven races in eight nights.
A record 90-plus Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified drivers competed in at least one race during the course of the week. Teams and drivers traveled from eight different states (Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, North Carolina, and Missouri) as well as one Canadian province (British Columbia).
Californian Kellen Chadwick bested them all in dominating fashion in his first time ever competing with the Wild West Modified Shoot Out, by a 93-point margin over runner-up Collen Winebarger.
He became the fourth different Shoot Out title winner, joining Jesse Williamson, Alex Stanford, and Brian Poppa.
Chadwick tied the record for the most main event wins in a season with his four triumphs, which Poppa also accomplished over the course of the 2011 tour, while Mark Wauge and Ryan Gaylord also managed to visit victory lane.
Chadwick also was at the top of the top five finishes category (four) and heat race wins (seven). Brad Martin and Mark Carrell tied for most “B” main wins (two).
Winebarger would post a career best second place in the final points table. He had three top five finishes and two heat race wins. Winebarger’s best performances were two third place results at Southern Oregon Speedway on June 11 and at Siskiyou Motor Speedway the following night.
Third place in points John Campos had a breakout campaign, highlighted by a top five finish at Grays Harbor Raceway on June 18. He also counted five heat races and one “B” feature victory.
Danny Lauer ended the tour fourth in the standings. He had a pair of fourth place showings, at Siskiyou Motor Speedway on June 12 and June 14 at Cottage Grove Speedway, won six heat races and topped a “B.”
2014 tour champion Stanford was fifth, with a best finish of second at Cottage Grove on June 14.
Unofficial top 20 point standings – 1. Kellen Chadwick, 607; 2. Collen Winebarger, 514; 3. John Campos, 510; 4. Danny Lauer, 434; 5. Alex Stanford, 433; 6. Ryan Gaylord, 432; 7. Rob Ireland, 416; 8. Mark Wauge and Mark Carrell, both 414; 10. Bricen James, 412; 11. Steven Sturdevant, 403; 12. Jerry Schram, 387; 13. Lance Mari, 385; 14. Randy Brown, 384; 15. Tom Sweatman, 365; 16. Grey Ferrando, 359; 17. Ethan Landers, 346; 18. B.J. Wild, 341; 19. Tripp Gaylord, 334; 20. Kevin Roberts, 326.