Winebarger, Sanders, Berkeley top Wild West features at Coos Bay

Collen Winebarger collected tour career win number 12, and $1,000, with his Friesen Performance IMCA Modified victory Monday night at Coos Bay Speedway. (Photo by Jeremy Means)

By Ben Deatherage

COOS BAY, Ore. (June 17, 2024) – Tour career win number 12 for Collen Winebarger came on night three of IMCA Wild West Speedweek at Coos Bay Speedway.

Winebarger completed his drive from fifth staring to the front on the 25th circuit, then outran Bricen James for the $1,000 Friesen Performance IMCA Modified checkers and qualifying eligibility for the upcoming Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational.

Timothy Allerdings was a strong third. Lawrence O’Conner and Tyler Blankenship completed the top five.

Perfect coastal weather greeted Speedweek competitors for the Monday night show. The Modified main began with 2022 tour champion James motoring ahead of Chance Hyser for the lead at the line. The two battled for a few more laps before James secured the position.  

Winebarger passed Hyser for second following a lap six restart. A twist to the plot was thrown in the mix after a caution with 20 laps to go in the form of a melee for fifth between Kellen Chadwick, Tim Balding and Tyler Blankenship.

Blankenship kept the other two behind him while the front four runners took off. A series of three stoppages occurred around the lap 21 mark that stalled the efforts for anyone to give challenge to the leader James.

The race would stay green for the rest of the way as Winebarger began to try and maneuver around James for the lead. The 2021 Speedweek champ beat James to the wire on lap 25 and began to pull away.

As things wound down, Winebarger, who started fifth, would hit pay dirt for the second time with the series at Coos Bay and earned his 12th career IMCA Wild West Speedweek victory, second on the all-time win list.

Chase Berkeley was the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car winner and Matt Sanders topped the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature.

The Stock Car event was a platform for rising star Mason Myers to shine as the Culver teenager took the early lead and kept the two-time defending tour champion on his back bumper, before Berkley made a perfectly timed pass out of turn four on lap seven to seize the point. 

As the race stayed caution-free, Kevin Roberts and Scott Winebarger battled it out for fourth before Roberts would secure the position. 

The final 10 laps saw battles for position throughout the field before Berkley scored the triumph in dominating fashion to win at Coos Bay for the fourth time and the third straight win at the track with the tour. 

Berkley’s brother-in-law B.J. Wild was second, with Myers posting an impressive third-place finish. Roberts ended the race fourth and Toby McIntyre was fifth.

Aaron Bloom rocketed to the front of the field at the start of the Northern Sport Mods feature. While everyone behind him settled in their positions, three cars were locked in a dogfight for fourth. Dustin Comer, Don Moore and Buddy Kniss fought for the spot, with Comer securing it on lap three.

Just as soon as the 2021 Oregon State champion could catch his breath, however, 2022 Oregon State champion Sanders came to call to try and zip by him. 

The battle was put on hold when a four-car crash, in turn four, slowed things down. On the restart, Sanders scooted by Comer and eventually his brother Steven to propel himself into fifth.

When things got back to green, Matt Sanders again put his faith in the top of the track. He would successfully get around David  Schmidt on the 12th trip past the flag stand and led Bloom at the wire by a slim margin on the next lap.

Sanders, who began the race in ninth, captured the victory to earn his third straight IMCA Wild West Speedweek win at Coos Bay and his sixth of his career with the tour. Bloom was a second. Schmidt held onto third and Kniss came across the line fourth. In contrast, Danny Wagner earned #StephanieStrong Hardcharger honors with his 15th to fifth run.

Wild West Shootout events are broadcast by IMCA.TV.

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