2016 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Championship Standings – 3rd Place: Christian McGheeadmin
Christian McGhee has Successful Rookie of the Year Campaign in 2016
Claremont, CA driver Christian McGhee was the 2016 SPEARS (SRL) Southwest Tour Series Rookie of the Year, as well as the competitor who would end up third in the final championship standings. McGhee was one of the most impressive rookies, in the SRL’s first 16 seasons. Christian set new marks for future rookies to shoot for, in multiple categories. He led all previous rookies in top ten finishes (9), average finish (4.4) and tied for most top five finishes (6). McGhee was the first rookie to finish in the top ten in every event, and the only rookie to win every “Rookie of the Race” Award, in the nine race schedule.
For McGhee to finish third, in the final standings, should not be a surprise. During the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series season, he had three third place finishes, three more top five efforts and three additional top ten results. He had finished third in the championship standings at Irwindale Speedway’s Late Model Division in 2014 and 2016, while accomplishing that same feat in the Race Truck Division, in 2013 (three thirds). It was also Christian’s third Rookie of the Year Award, after scoring the award in the Late Models, and Race Truck Divisions at Irwindale.
McGhee made his SRL debut in 2014, leading 43 laps at Irwindale Speedway in his first series start. Entering the 2016 season, Christian had made six series starts, with a best finish of sixth at Kern County Raceway. As a rookie with the potent NTS Motorsports Team, Christian was looking for his first win, and to follow in the footsteps of Parker Stephens, Garret Archer and Jeff Oleen as three of the last four Rookies of the Year. McGhee accomplished one of those goals, but the ultra-competitive driver was not completely satisfied.
“I feel like my rookie season went somewhat well, but I didn’t get a win which really disappoints me”, McGhee told the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. “I had strong finishes and ran up front a majority of the year, so that is good.”
The lack of a win, however, was a first for Christian, as he had won in the first full season of every division he had ever competed in. For that reason, there were no races on his rookie campaign that stood out above all the others.
Christian began, “I didn’t really have a highlight for the season, due to the fact that I didn’t win a race. I show up to the racetrack to win races. When I don’t, I’m disappointed. That being said, I can’t lie and say that any particular race that made me any happier than the others”, McGhee concluded.
Christian’s next event is scheduled for February 9 -11 at Kern County Raceway for the Third Annual Winter Showdown. McGhee’s J&M Racing, Millennium Reinforcing and Western Concrete Pumping Chevrolet SS, will look to improve on his first two Showdown efforts of 15th and 34th. With Christian’s drive and determination, nothing less than a win will satisfy the 18 year old chauffeur’s expectations.