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West Coast SportMod Tour Season Recap (Read 363 times)
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West Coast SportMod Tour Season Recap
07/31/17 at 11:30pm
 
Spainhoward crowned as first ever West Coast SportMod Tour champion

The first season of the West Coast SportMod Tour has drawn to a close and what a historic and unbelievable season it was. Bakersfield's Nick Spainhoward fought his way to become the first ever champion of the tour, and he definitely had to fight for it. With an average of 32 cars signing in each night, and 51 total cars participating, there was never a shortage of competition. In fact, each night the tour ran, there was a B Main for the division, giving the fans their money's worth night in and night out.

Merced Speedway would host the inaugural event of the tour, with 41 cars checking in to do battle. Rick Diaz would pick up the win in his lone appearance of the season. Bakersfield drivers Michael Johnson and Nick Spainhoward would finish 2nd and 3rd respectively, while Todd Cooper and Fred Ryland would round out the top 5. Races 2 and 3 would be held at Chico's Silver Dollar Speedway and Marysville Raceway for the first doubleheader of the tour due to 3 early rainouts. Matthew Mayo would pick up the win at Chico, with Michael Johnson picking up his second straight 2nd place finish. Lee Jensen, Shane Devolder and Howard Law would complete the top 5 for round 2. The next night the tour was off to Marysville for night 3 of the season. Local Hotshoe Phillip Shelby would take the win for the popular victory. Nick Spainhoward would bring it home 2nd ahead of Fred Ryland, Michael Johnson and Shane Devolder. At the halfway point in the season Michael Johnson would hold a slim 1 point lead over Nick Spainhoward for the points lead. Fred Ryland was not far behind in 3rd, just 4 points out of 1st. Shane Devolder and Lee Jensen were tied for 4th, just a single point behind Ryland.

On to the Stockton dirt track for race 4 of 6 race rain shortened season, as Nick Spainhoward would pick up his first of 2 consecutive victories, as Shane Devolder, Todd Cooper, Brian Cooper and Lee Jensen would complete the top 5. Spainhoward would go into the final doubleheader with a 2 point lead over Michael Johnson. Devolder would sit just 5 points back of Spainhoward, while Ryland and Jensen sat 8 points back tied for 4th. Spainhoward and Devolder would again finish 1-2, while Jerry Bartlett, Brian Cooper and Fred Ryland would round out the top 5 in the next to last race. The final event of the series season would take place at Marysville Raceway, with Spainhoward holding a 7 point lead over Johnson for the title coming in. Brian Cooper would score the season ending victory to continue a strong end of the year run. Lee Jensen, Phillip Shelby and Micheal Johnson would finish 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively. Nick Spainhoward would end the night 5th, clinching the Tour title and putting himself in the record books as the first ever West Coast SportMod Tour Champion.

This tour brought the best of the best in the sportmod division in California together and did not disappoint in the slightest. The competition level was unlike anything we've seen in the sportmod division. Spainhoward was the only one to win multiple races, while Rick Diaz, Matthew Mayo, Phillip Shelby and Brian Cooper all picking up 1. And Just look at some of the other names on this roster! Michael Johnson, the rising star Shane Devolder, Lee Jensen, Todd Cooper, Kyle Wood, Jerry Bartlett, Fred Ryland, Jordan Hagar, Keith Brown Jr, Todd Gomez, the list goes on and on. Tell me where else you'll find somewhere where at least 20 cars could feasibly win each race out. To find the consistency that Spainhoward did is incredible. Not a single finish worse than 5th against talent like this is something you aren't going to see very often at all. Michael Johnson had himself a season that would win yourself a title most years. With finishes of 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 4th, and 6th, just about anywhere else that would get you a title. It's just a testament to the competition level that this tour brought week in and week out.

Of course none of this would have been possible without the masterminds behind the operation, Brian Cooper and Jerry Bartlett. These two went out of their ways to give drivers and fans something to look forward to, along with organizing over $20,000 worth of sponsorships for prizes for the drivers who ran the tour. With a season like this, one would think that things could only get bigger and better for next year. Here's to a successful (Hopefully less rainy) 2018 season.
Daren Ricks
DRC Motorsports Media
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Daren Ricks

PR Director for the West Coast Sport Mod Tour
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