Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hibbard Wins Wild Sprint Car Main Event At Southern Oregon Speedway


Hibbard Wins Wild Sprint Car Main Event 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...August 19...David Hibbard won his first 25 lap Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Main Event of the season Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Hedge Carter led the first 18 laps of the race.  Working lap 19, the lead two bumped wheels on the back stretch with Carter spinning.  Officials put Barraza to the back with Carter, giving Cottage Grove point leader Ricky Ashley the lead.  On the restart, Ashley lost a wheel in Turn 4 for another caution flag.  Hibbard raced past Camden Robustelli on the restart and led the rest of the way to win.  Robustelli settled or second ahead of Barraza, Merissa Henson and Bailey Hibbard.

Nathan Augustine won his second 30 lap Late Model Main Event.  He swept his six lap heat and the four lap Trophy dash for a perfect evening.  Augustine got the lead on lap two when incoming point leader Dustin Knight hit the wall on the back stretch for a caution flag.  Augustine led the rest of the way and stretched his lead to over a straightaway.  California visitor David Newquist battled John Dees for the first 18 laps before grabbing second for good on lap 18.  Bob Dees finished third, followed by J. Dees and Mike Linder.

David Steele rebounded from his July slump to win the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event.  Steele won his six lap heat race and then proceeded to lead every lap to win his third 20 lap Main Event.  Trophy Dash winner Michael Johnson made a pair of passes in the first ten laps to grab a second place finish ahead of Kristopher Mix, Dillen Lausen and Steve Goetz.

Rhett Lange won the 20 lap OTRO Hardtop Main Event.  Bruce Wilkerson led early, and Lange took over second on lap seven.  Lange quickly closed in on Wilkerson and ran on his back bumper for several laps.  Lange made a back stretch pass on lap 13 to take the lead from Wilkerson.  After that, Lange pulled away to an impressive victory.  Wilkerson settled for second ahead of Bill Trotter, Jamie Britton and Max Augustine.

Scott Bennett won the 15 lap Pro Stock Main Event.  Bennett has been letting Jeffrey Hudson drive his car all season, and his first time behind the wheel this year resulted in a sweep of the six lap heat race, four lap Trophy Dash and feature.  Bennett made good laps and won a by a good margin ahead of rookie Bryan Hammond, Josh Kralicek and Dean Hackworth. 

Next week is the Cascade Sprint Car Challenge Race, which pays $3,000 to win the Wingless Sprint Car Main Event.  Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets are also racing that night.  For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.

Unofficial Race Results
Kendall Oil Winged Sprints Cars
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Hedge Carter, David Hibbard.  Scramble (6 Laps)-Kyler Barraza.  Main Event (25 Laps)-David Hibbard, Camden Robustelli, Kyler Barraza, Merissa Henson, Bailey Hibbard.

Late Models
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Nathan Augustine, Dustin Knight.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Nathan Augustine.  Main Event (25 Laps)-Nathan Augustine, David Newquist, Bob Dees, John Dees, Mike Linder.

Mini Stocks
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Dillen Lausen, David Steele.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Michael Johnson.  Main Event (20 Laps)-David Steele, Michael Johnson, Kristopher Mix, Dillen Lausen, Steve Goetz.

OTRO Hardtops
Heat Winner (6 Laps)-Rhett Lange, Bruce Wilkerson.  Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Dean Cast.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Rhett Lange, Bruce Wilkerson, Bill Trotter, Jamie Britton, Max Augustine.

Pro Stocks
Heat Winner (6 Laps)-Scott Bennett.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Scott Bennett.  Main Event (15 Laps)-Scott Bennett, Bryan Hammond, Josh Kralicek, Dean Hackworth. 


Johnson, Grimes Wins Southern Oregon Speedway 
Kart Championships

White City, Oregon...August 18...Malachi Johnson used his third straight Beginners Box Stock Main Event win Friday night to win the championship at the Southern Oregon Speedway Kart track.  Johnson won both of his heat races and set a blistering pace in winning the 20 lap feature.  Adrian Richard returned and outdueled 2016 champion Kiley Grimes for the third place finish. 

Tevor Grimes won the Box Stock Main Event and then outran Cadyn Smith and Vinny DeBenedetti to win the 20 lap 250 Kart Main Event.  The win in that race enabled Grimes to add a 250 championship to his third straight Box Stock title.

Richard Torzilli won the 25 lap UAS Speedway Kart Main Event.  Mike Wheeler won the two heat races and led the Main Event until he pitted on lap eight.  Torzilli had the lead at that point and led the remaining laps to win ahead of Brionna Filler and Ed Grubb.

Steve Rambo won the 25 lap 4 Cycle Kart Main Event with a flag to flag romp for the victory.  Michael Vickers spun trying to take second early in the race, but he made a comeback from fourth that culminated in a lap last pass on heat winner Debbie Medeiros for third.  Vickers and his crew had to hustle to repair his kart after he spun in his heat race and was hit head on by Jerry Saybo.

Two newcomers in the Beginnners Box Stock class were given a ten lap Main Event for their first race, and Carson Henson outran Mike Wheeler Jr. for the victory.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sprint Cars, Late Models Cap Double Header Weekend At Southern Oregon Speedway



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R. Charles Snyder Salute Flier for Southern Oregon Speedway Sept 2-3 Can Be Viewed HERE

Sprint Cars, Late Models Cap Double Header Weekend 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Another two night racing weekend is on tap at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Following last week's big Hall Of Fame night, this Saturday's night show offers the high powered Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars and Late Models along with Mini Stocks, OTRO Hardtops and Pro Stocks.  There is also a full program of Outlaw Karts at the one-eighth mile dirt oval next to the big track on Friday night.

People are talking about the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car and Late Model divisions.  The track has never had a serious Late Model effort of its own.  You have to go back to the old Medford Speedway to find that.  The Sprint Cars have had over a dozen championship seasons, but the division fell off after 2010.  Promoter Mike McCann made a commitment to establish both of these divisions at the track when he took over this year, and the numbers are up for both.

The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars had a ten car field last time and a dozen cars at the previous race.  There have been four different winners in seven races.  Reigning champion Jake Wheeler was back to win his first Main Event last time and deny Kyler Barraza his fourth win.  Kyler's three wins and two seconds have given him a commanding point lead.  In fact, he could actually clinch the championship with a good enough finish this week.  Barraza may have taken a couple of seasons off since his back to back Southern Oregon Sprint Tour championships, but he's picked up right where he left off.

The battle is between past Cottage Grove champion David Hibbard, impressive rookie Merissa Henson and two time winner Bailey Hibbard for second, and just seven points separate the three.  Though three time feature runnnerup D. Hibbard and his son Bailey have had better finishes than Henson, she has done a slightly better job of getting to the finish line and has finished as high as third.  B. Hibbard is coming off of back to back non finishes, and he's looking to turn his luck around this week.  Whatever happens in the championship battle, it looks like the race for second will go down to the final checkered flag next month.

The Sprint Cars are gaining more interest every week.  Outlaw Kart stars Tanner Holmes and Mike Wheeler have both joined the division in recent weeks.  Holmes has taken two checkered flags with a fifth place finish in his first start.  Young rookie Enrique Jaime finished fourth last time as he is now fifth in points.  The division has several young competitors, which bodes well for the future.  We've also seen the return of 1998 Cottage Grove champion Hedge Carter after an eight year absence.  People are talking about Southern Oregon Speedway's Sprint Car effort, and indications are that we will keep seeing new additions to the roster in the days ahead.

By far the most exciting driver to watch in Late Models is Dustin Knight.  He leads Nathan Augustine in a close championship battle, and he likes to run right on the edge.  Knight delighted the crowd last week with a last lap pass from third to first to win the Trophy Dash.  He then had the lead, lost it and regained it in traffic to win his second Main Event.  Knight now has two wins and three seconds in the Main Event.  Augustine has a win and chased Knight twice for second place finishes.  He also has three Trophy Dash wins.  Both drivers are fast, and you get contrasting driving styles from the more aggressive Knight to the more patient Augustine.  This is a battle that could go down to the season finale.

Reigning champion Bob Dees just gained third by a point over Kristy Grout.  Dees finished third last week, while Grout ran further back.  She was fortunate to be back after her rollover a few weeks ago bent her frame.  Tim Grout found a new chassis and spent the off week getting it ready for Kristy to come back.  Dave Foote and Mike Linder have both had their moments this year with recent Top 4 finishes.  We saw the return of Don Garrett and the debut of Chris Biggs last week.  Drivers are watching this class and looking to join the action.  In fact, Top 3 Antioch Speedway competitor David Newquist and Mike Hynes are planning to visit the speedway this week.  It's looking like Saturday's race could even offer a season high car count on the heels of last week's ten car field.

Mini Stocks were added with a point race this week to make up for an earlier rainout.  The point battle is so close that just 11 points separate 16 year old Dillen Lausen, Kristopher Mix, 15 year old Michael Johnson and past champions Steve Goetz and Gary Anderson.  Johnson won his first race at his home track last time out, joining Goetz, Anderson and David Steele on the winner's list.  Most of the drivers in the field have a legitimate chance to win.  Though Andrew Hall has struggled a bit in his Pinto Wagon, he's due for a big night.

OTRO Hardtops make their final appearance of the season, and Mark Minter and Jamie Britton have divided the wins among each other with two each.  Bruce Wilkerson was racing hard to get a win for car owner Vic Bridges last time, but front end damage ended his race early.  Staunch OTRO supporter Bill Trotter, who fields two cars, was the fourth different Trophy Dash winner last time.  He too will be racing hard for a feature win.  OTRO has had fun putting on a show for the fans with their old Coupe and Sedan race cars, and indications are that a few drivers missing in recent visits will be back this week.

The Pro Stocks have struggled to get cars under the track's banner, which is raising speculation about the future of the division that has been a part of the roster since the track opened.  Dr. Scott Lenz won the most recent race, which was his third victory of the season.  A family commitment will keep him out of the action this week, which opens the door for one time winner Jeffrey Hudson and rookie Dean Hackworth to make a big leap in points.  Josh Kralicek and Darron Arnold are both anticipated this week, and there's word of Miles Deubert possibly racing in a different car.  We may also see the debut of past Top 5 Mini Stock racer Mike Cloud.

Friday Night Karts bring down the curtain on their season this Friday night.  Two of the more interesting battles are for the Beginners Box Stock and Box Stock championships.  Following his runaway second Main Event victory last Friday, Malachi Johnson holds a five point lead over Kiley Grimes in the Beginners class.  Trevor Grimes has won most of the Box Stock races and he's looking for his third straight championship.  He lost last week's race to a late pass by first time winner Keaton Augustine.  Augustine trails by 17 points in that battle.  Grimes was leading the 250 Kart point race, but he surrendered the lead to three time winner Carley Holmes by 15 points after failing to start the Main Event last week.  All three championships are still up for grabs this week.

The gates open for both events at 5:00 PM with the first race at 7:00 PM.  Friday's General Admission is $10.00 with Children 6 and under $5.00.  This gives you access to the pits.  Saturday's prices are $12.00 for General Admission, $6.00 for Children (6-12), Seniors and Veterans and Children 5 and under are free.  For further information go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.


Drivers Lining Up To Compete In $3,000 To Win Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...We're less than two weeks away from the Cascade Wingless 360 Sprint Car Challenge, presented by Herz Precision Parts, and there are already some top notch competitors planning to come to Southern Oregon Speedway for a run at the $3,000 top prize being offered.  The race happens on August 26th at the fast three-tenth mile clay oval, located in White City, Oregon at the Jackson Sports Park.  The track has held some big Winged Sprint Car races through the years, but this is the biggest Wingless Sprint race ever held here.  Promoter Mike McCann intends to make this an annual event.

It's just been confirmed that "The Human Highlight Reel" Geoff Ensign will be behind the wheel of the Ted Finkenbinder owned Sprinter.  Ted may field a second car, but the #3f car will be driven by the third generation racer Ensign.  Geoff has won many Wingless Spec Sprint and 360 Sprint Car races, including USAC wins in Finkenbinder's cars.  This year, Geoff has excelled at winged racing as the point leader at both Petaluma and Watsonville and second in points in the Civil War Series.  The Cascade Sprint Car Challenge offers Geoff an opportunity to indulge in his love of Wingless Sprint Car racing and make a run at the big prize being offered.  He may be the driver to beat.

We're still waiting on word from Kyle Miller, who has won some big Wingless Sprint Car races in Oregon through the years.  However, two other big stars from the state are confirmed.  Tim Alberding and Lance Hallmark are coming to make a run at the money.  Alberding is a multi time Wingless Sprint Car champion and currently second on the NWWT circuit this season.  Hallmark is in the midst of his second straight Top 5 point season with the NWWT Sprint Series.  He's still looking for his first win of the season, but he won twice last year, including a $2,000 payday at Coos Bay.

Another Californian coming up for the big show will be Rowdy McClennon.  McClennon was one of the stars on the Wingless Spec Sprint circuit during the the past seven years and is the 2012-2013 Chico champion.  He's been running winged races recently.  He had a Trophy Dash win at Southern Oregon Speedway last year and won a 410 Sprint Car race at Marysville a couple seasons ago.  McClennon is coming to make a run at what could potentially be his biggest wingless win, and he would have to be considered a serious contender.

2014 NWWT point runnerup Mike Romig is on the list of about a dozen racers who has said they are planning to come race so far.  The Vancouver, WA resident, who hasn't been running the NWWT series regularly since 2014, finished sixth at Willamette behind past top 5 ranked NWWT racer Mark Herz last week.  Herz is a staunch supporter of Wingless Sprint Car racing in Oregon and has sponsored several races, including the Cascade Sprint Car Challenge.  Steve Hix is a regular with the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Tour.  He's currently contending for a Top 10 point position there.  He has family near Southern Oregon Speedway and is looking forward to a visit.

Kyler Barraza could clinch the track's Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Series championship with a good finish on August 19th.  He's already a two time Southern Oregon Sprint Tour champion with multiple Coos Bay championships, and he's won wingless races in the past.  Kyler was at Willamette for a wingless show last week.  He hasn't run without a wing in a few years, but he won the Trophy Dash.  He's a bit more familiar with Southern Oregon Speedway.  Whether with wings or without, Barraza will be tough to beat at his home track.

The Cascade Sprint Car Challenge is offering a nice payday.  No Main Event starter makes less than $250.  After $3,000 to win, the $1,500 prize for second and $1,000 for third are still pretty nice.  There are some good racers already committed to the show, and whoever wins will have to bring their A game.  It's all happening on August 26th at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Race information can be found, www.southernoregonspeedway.com/cascade.pdf, and the track web page is www.southernoregonspeedway.com.


Pit Stops

Hall Of Fame Night produced one of the better car counts of the season last week at Southern Oregon Speedway.  The IMCA Modifieds were back in action without their point leader.  Just a race after declaring his intent to win his third championship in the last four seasons, Albert Gill saw a family commitment keep him out of the field.  Jesse Bailey had missed a race earlier this year, but he was back last week to try to take advantage of the absence of Gill.  He would leave the night with a slim point lead.

Bailey was part of a four car battle at the front of the pack last week when he spun to avoid a crash with a lapped car that nearly got leader Zach Fettinger.  When the yellow flag flew, track officials assigned the blame to the slower car and put Bailey back to third.  He made a late pass to take second from Mark Wauge.  It was his best finish since winning the 2015 season opener.  Bailey now leads Gill by just three points with just the R. Charles Snyder Salute on September 2-3 and the September 16th finale remaining in the schedule.

Wauge returned with his old car.  He and his crew had lots of work to do to get it fixed after a hard crash in Willamette during Speedweek.  Mark does have a new car coming, but he decided to get the other one fixed so he could get back out there and race.  His decision to change numbers might have been inspired in part as a way to change his luck.  This hasn't been the best season for the seven time reigning champion, but he was all over the back bumper of Zach Fettinger for most of the race last week before finishing third.  It's a clear indication that the car is running fine, and Mark will be out to get another win before the season ends.

The last time out, Fettinger had a third place finish, and there had been a little bit of talk before the last race that it might be his turn to win this week.  There have been 14 different winners in the last 15 races.  The only repeat winner in that time is Wauge.  Zach took the lead from Preston Jones, who is another driver who could score a win at any time.  Once Fettinger got the lead, he had Wauge, Bailey and Matt Duste chasing him closely the rest of the way.  However, he wasn't letting this one get away.  He drove one of his best races for an impressive win.

Ray Kniffen Jr. didn't have his best Main Event of the year, but the second generation racer did have something to smile about.  Ray kicked off the night with his first Trophy Dash victory.  He's also working on his best point effort in the division as he ranks fourth, followed closely by rookie Shane Everson.  He's still within 19 points of Wauge for third.  "Cowboy" Duane Orsburn had some nice graphics on his black #0 car.  It's a new car for Duane, who is hoping to be a bit more competitive.  Duane was third in points last season and is a two time Street Stock champion at the speedway.  He drove to a respectable fifth place finish last week, followed by rookie Jantzen Knips.  This is the second lead lap checkered flag finish for the 500 Open Kart graduate Knips, who seems to be handling the move up in divisions well.

The IMCA Sport Modified championship battle is just as close.  Rich McCoy is giving it everything he has in an effort to reel in Mike Medel and Willie McFall.  McCoy started out the season with a hot laps crash that ended his night prematurely.  Since then, he's been working his way back into contention.  Rich scored a clean sweep victory last week, which was also his second straight feature win and fourth straight Top 3 finish.  He still finds himself 17 points back, but the R. Charles Snyder Salute is coming September 2-3.  With an increased car count anticipated, those points could be made up in one race.  All McCoy can do now is just try to win and let the points fall where they will.  He's looked impressive lately.

Willie McFall knew he needed to step up and have a big night last week, and that's exactly what he did.  McFall couldn't catch McCoy, but he still drove a great race to finish second ahead of the resurgent David Marble.  McFall has been quietly having the best season of his career, and he's keeping the pressure on Medel.  However, Willie knows a win right now might be just what it takes to get his first division championship.  Don't count him out.  McFall did notch his third career Trophy Dash win at the previous race.  Medel certainly knows McFall is there now.

Medel was actually lucky to be there last week.  The reigning champion's start this year was impressive.  He had back to back second place finishes, followed by a Main Event victory.  Medel had to battle at the previous race just to hold off McFall for third.  Then, it got worse.  Getting ready to come out last week, Mike found that he had a blown motor.  It was fortunate for him that Don Braaten still had the Street Stock motor that Jorddon ran a few years ago.  Mike worked hard to get the motor in the car, and then he started having transmission issues. By the time he got that fixed and made it to the track, he didn't care where he started.  He was just grateful to be there.  Mike had a battle with Braaten for fifth.  He settled for sixth, but that still kept him in the point lead.  Like McFall, Mike has to be concerned with that "Lightning McQueen" #95 car of McCoy and keeping him out of the winner's circle at the R. Charles Snyder Salute.  It should be good racing on Labor Day Weekend.

Last week saw an incredible 18 Sport Modified racers signed in to go racing.  This included Cottage Grove Speedway competitor Jayson Nelson.  Nelson is the Oregon State point leader, and he's not about to let that championship get away from him.  Nelson is racing hard to win the Cottage Grove championship.  He trails Buddy McHargue by just three points, and there are only five points separating the Top 4 drivers in the standings.  Rookie Dave Rule was also back last week, and he got it to the checkered flag in eighth, followed by fellow rookie Tony Duste.  The team cars of Matt Sanders and Isaac Sanders were both there.  Matt purchased the #18 car from Kalvin Morton and changed the number to 8.  Unfortunately, the teammates crashed on the first lap and did not finish.  It is nice to see these new drivers getting out there to help build the class.

The SODCA Dwarf Car point sheet is still only updated to July on their official website, but you can almost set your watch to the fact that reigning champion Brock Peters is the point leader.  Brock has mastered Southern Oregon Speedway with four wins this year, but the talk was all about his son Cody.  Cody is behind the wheel of Brock's old M&M Chassis as Brock got a new M&M Chassis this year.  It's helped them as they can set them up similarly and run the same parts.  Brock was more proud of Cody's accomplishment in winning the Pro Dwarf Car feature at the Nationals than his most recent win.  He also knows that Cody may be a future SODCA champion.  With Ryan Smith, Chad Cardoza and Cody lurking in contention, Brock isn't taking anything for granted.  He knows he has to finish this season off.

Camden Robustelli has pretty much dropped his bid for a Dwarf Car championship and has ran his Sprint Car a little bit more, earning a Top 3 finish recently at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Last week, Camden was working on a clean sweep performance with wins in his heat race and the A Dash, but his bid for his first local Main Event win since the opener was thwarted by B. Peters.  Camden settled for a strong second.  Camden has won Main Events with SODCA at Coos Bay and Yreka this year in addition to his home track.  There will be more money on the line for the Dwarf Cars on Labor Day Weekend, and you shouldn't count out Robustelli as a threat to grab the big $1,000 prize.   Word is that there will be visitors from the North West Dwarf Car group and the PHRA, which will make this a true Oregon State Shoot Out event.

The WSDCA Nationals is the biggest event on the SODCA calendar, and SODCA is the proud host of the Southern Oregon Speedway event.  Of course, it takes lots of effort to put on one of these events, and club president Randy Slater works hard from the planning all the way to the race itself.  His wife and family are there with him helping make it all happen.  Randy is a man who puts his own ego on the back burner to do what he can to make this a success, so his own racing suffers just a bit that weekend.  However, you can see the improvement in Slater's performance at the regular shows.  Last week, Randy raced past Cody Peters for a season best third place finish.  Looking like this, you have to believe that a Main Event win is in the future for Slater.

Kalvin Morton has returned to the Dwarf Cars after selling his Sport Modified.  The multi time Top 5 competitor had an amazing season last year that saw him come within a few points of the championship.  He won several times at other venues, but the home track win continued to elude him.  He's hoping to change that in the remaining races this season.  Kalvin had a solid fifth place showing last week, followed by Ryan Smith and Rob Gergel.  There were 14 cars in action last week, and SODCA put on another good show for the fans.

Late Models are generating lots of buzz among the racers and fans.  New cars are in the works, and some really nice cars have been there so far this season.  We're also seeing some good battles taking shape in the point standings.  At the moment, Dustin Knight and Nathan Augustine are racing hard for the championship, while reigning champion Bob Dees is battling Kristy Grout for third.  Knight had the crowd on the edge of their seats all night last week.  His move from third to first on the last lap of the Trophy Dash may have been the best pass of the season so far.  In the feature, Knight was flirting with the 12 second bracket with laps in the 13.2's.  He's definitely getting everything he can out of the white #77 car, and the new shocks he just got helped with the handle of the race car last week.

Nathan Augustine is not just cruising around the track.  The third generation racer is out there focusing on hitting his marks and trying to get the car to the front.  When Knight raced into the lead last week, Augustine might have appeared to be racing for second, but he was working on his fastest line.  Gradually, he reeled in Knight and surprised him by making the pass for the lead.  Knight actually fell back a bit trying to get past Augustine.  It was traffic that was Augustine's undoing.  Ironically, traffic is what helped Augustine beat Knight in the season opener, but Knight went by Augustine and the slower cars and sped to his second win of the season last week.  Augustine settled for second.  Their battle continues this week.

Meanwhile, Kristy Grout was all smiles before the races.  She was back after her rollover crash into the front wall bent her frame.  Husband Tim Grout put the car together with a chassis they got from Collen Winebarger, and Kristy was able to keep her point effort going.  Bob Dees was coming off of his impressive first win and trying to keep the momentum going.  He won his heat race and finished a solid third in the Main Event.  Grout ended up ninth in the feature, and Dees now holds a one point lead over her in the third place battle.  Mike Linder had the Pro Stock of Scott Lenz chasing him down the stretch, but he wasn't about to let go of his fourth place finish.

Dave Foote finished sixth last week to keep his fifth spot in the standings.  However, Linder is staying in the hunt as he trails by 14 points.  This is pretty much the rookie season for Garrett Dees, and that means there will be ups and downs.  Garrett's race ended early last week in last, but he'll be back going for another good effort this week.  Chris Biggs made his division debut as scheduled and grabbed a checkered flag in seventh.  He didn't have a number on the car as the team had been working to make sure it was ready to go.  Chris is excited about Late Model racing and has indicated that the team has another chassis that could end up being a car next season.  The driver could end up being Justin McCreadie, who has done a great job in the Sport Modifieds and finished fourth in that division's Main Event last week.

There's a battle going on for the JOAT Labs Hornets point lead, and the leaders have had their drama.  Three races ago, Jason Stoutenburg fell back to second in points when he couldn't seem to keep the air in his right front tire all night.  Reigning champion Tim Hedges won his second straight Main Event that night and seemed like he was hitting his stride.  However, the tables have turned in the last two races.  Stoutenburgh has won the last two races and clean swept last week.  Hedges has been shut out of the Top 3.  Stoutenburgh is feeling enough confidence that he's headed for Willamette this week for a shot at the big $700 prize being offered to the Hornet Main Event winner.  It will feature some of the best racers in the state.

T. Hedges is going back to the drawing board.  He's had his work cut out for him trying to maintain four cars and found a problem with his championship car that kept it out of the field last week.  They also had to fix the steering issues on his son Ashton's car.  Tim has felt like the white #14t that he's been driving was down on horsepower and suspected the motor might have been ready to blow.  It hasn't yet, but it needs work.  Tim has decided after last week's disappointing fifth place finish that he will be going back to the #4t car and working on the other car during the offseason.  He's now trailing Stoutenburgh by eight points.  Wife Jenna Hedges seems to be having her best luck lately.  She won her first heat race and Trophy Dash two races ago, and she won her heat race again last week.  Jenna is still in title contention, 21 points behind Stoutenburgh.

Meanwhile, Derrel Nelson Jr. earned his third Top 3 finish last week.  This keeps him within 11 points of fifth place Dylan Irving and six points behind Brandon Wonsyld.  Derrel has been sharing the driving duties with son Zach, so we'll see if fifth in points is something he will pursue.  The Nelson team is working on more cars to debut in the future.  Irving is doing a good job after a late start to his season, and it won't be a big surprise to see the second generation racer pick up a win before season's end.

Dr. Scott Lenz is on fire.  It's almost as if when you see the #51l car show up, you know you are racing for second.  Lenz has been racing going back to the old Medford Speedway, where he was a Street Stock champion.  He's also a Pro Stock champion at Southern Oregon Speedway and winner of some big races as a multi time Top 5 IMCA Modified racer.  Lenz is leading both the Southern Oregon Speedway and Outlaw Pro Stock Association points, and his clean sweep last week did nothing to change any of that.  After his performance in the Pro Stock feature, Lenz started back in last in the Late Model Main Event and finished fifth.  He was closing in on fourth place Mike Linder before he ran out of time.  The points could be shaken up this week as Lenz will miss the show due to a family commitment.

This would open the door for 2015 Outlaw Pro Stock champion Jeffrey Hudson to gain the lead.  Hudson has a feature win this year and finished fourth after coming from the back twice last week.  He moved four points ahead of rookie Dean Hackworth in the battle for second.  Josh Kralicek is 15 points behind Hackworth.  Hackworth and Kralicek may be there this week, and there's rumors of Miles Deubert coming back this week in another ride.  Darron Arnold was absent last week, but we may see him this week.  There's rumors of the possible division debut of past Top 5 Mini Stock racer Mike Cloud.  Beyond that is just speculation that we won't make.  Southern Oregon Speedway is offering the only Pro Stock race in the area this week.

The Outlaw Karts held their fourth event of the season last week as the strength of the Cage Kart show remains the Box Stock and Beginners Box Stock classes while count struggles in the other two divisions.  On Thursday night, word got out through the Fuller Racing Team that the Speedway Kart racers wanted to race.  They brought 12 Karts last Friday, which included six each for the 4 Cycle and UAS divisions.  The Fuller's were offering up this race in support of the track and asked for nothing in return.  They just wanted to have a chance to show what they could do.  The Fuller's run Speed City, the QRC dealer in Medford.

One of the names in the UAS Speedway Kart class may be a familiar one to longtime Petaluma Speedway IMCA Modified fans.  He's Ron Bolles, and he was one of the first drivers to build a car when Promoter John P. Soares brought the division to California in 1987.  Bolles handled his Speedway Kart pretty well with a heat race win to start his night, and he finished third in the Main Event.  It was Kenny Boardman looking impressive in winning the Main Event ahead of heat race winner Larry Fuller.  Boardman has raced 500 Open Karts for several years, and he did a great job in the Speedway Kart last Friday night.  Young Brionna Fuller did a good job of holding off 2016 Yreka champion Ed Grubb for a fourth place finish.

Steve Rambo is a name familiar to people at Southern Oregon Speedway.  He's an avid Kart supporter, and he's helped out the track with photography and even using the RaceCeiver to communicate to the Dwarf Car drivers during the races.  Steve is in a 4 Cycle Speedway Kart.  He fields multiple Karts, but unfortunately his teammate Johnny Hoult didn't have much luck last week.  Rambo, however, had a great night as he won both the Main Event and one of his heat races.  Rambo beat the guy he beat in his heat race, Michael Vickers, while Lori Fuller finished a strong third.  This group of open cockpit Kart racers is very enthusiastic and did a great job of putting on a show for the fans.

Young Malachi Johnson is knocking on the door to the Beginners Box Stock championship.  He has won the last two Main Events, but he knows he shouldn't assume it's over just yet.  Malachi blew a motor in the season opener, so he knows he has to get out there and finish the job.  Young Kiley Grimes is just five points behind Johnson in the closest championship battle at the track.  She was part of the "nose to tail" battle for second last week involving Mason King and Uriah Sanders.  The kids are still learning, and nobody wanted to risk a wreck trying to make the pass.  The important thing is they all got laps as King finished second ahead of Sanders and Grimes.  Young Carson Henson wanted to get some time by himself in his beautiful red #11 kart, so he got his first seat time after the races were done.

Ryan Hirschbock returned for the first time this season and looked very impressive in winning his heat race ahead of fellow heat winner Trevor Grimes in the Box Stock division.  Grimes appears to be headed for his third straight championship, and he led the Main Event from the start.  Hisrshbock was glued to his rear nerf until he flipped in Turn 2, handing second to Keaton Augustine, who still has hopes of winning the championship.  Keaton noticed that Grimes had been pushing a bit exiting Turn 4, so he moved by underneath him when the race resumed.  Augustine scored a popular victory ahead of Grimes and Yreka point leader Taylor Fuller.  Going into the finale, Grimes has a nice 17 point lead over Augustine.

Grimes had the 250 Kart point lead, but the unthinkable happened as he strapped into his 250 Kart last week.  It wouldn't start.  Carley Holmes went out and won her third Main Event ahead of Reece Slyter.  It was a clean sweep performance for Holmes, who now leads Grimes by 16 points.  Grimes was hoping to go into point lead protection mode, and had he just started the race, it would have been difficult for Holmes to overtake him without an increase in car count this week.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Hudson looked like he might have had the fastest 500 Open Kart at the track, but mechanical issues ended his bid to win the first heat race, which was won by Tanner Holmes.  Hudson won the next heat, but he had problems that forced him to scratch from the Main Event.  Point leader Holmes and reigning champion Johnny Burke had a duel for the lead where they passed each other every lap all the way to the finish, and Burke picked up the victory. 


Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars Back 
At Southern Oregon Speedway Saturday Night

White City, Oregon...People are talking about the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car division at Southern Oregon Speedway.  The Sprint Cars have had over a dozen championship seasons, but the division fell off after 2010.  The track didn't crown its own champion until Promoter Mike McCann brought Sprint Cars back in 2016.  McCann's reputation as a Sprint Car guy is well documented.  He started Sprint Car divisions at Cottage Grove and Marysville that continue to this day. 

David Hibbard has been wanting to come back to his home track, where he has won his share of Main Events through the years.  Hibbard won the Limited Sprint championship at Cottage Grove in 2014 as well as ten Main Events there from 2013-2016.  He is an advocate for the more affordable rules set that is being used at Cottage Grove as it allows him to field a second car for his son Bailey.  This year, they added a car for his father Calvin to the team.  David has worked with McCann behind the scenes to help spark a renewed interest in the Sprint Car effort at Southern Oregon Speedway, and the numbers are up from last year after seven races.

The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars had a ten car field last time and a dozen cars at the previous race.  There have been four different winners in seven races.  Reigning champion Jake Wheeler was back to win his first Main Event of the season last time.  The Wheeler family has been supporters of the Medford Sprint Car effort through the years, and both Jake and his father Vern Wheeler Jr. were winners last season.  Jake's first start this year was a mixed bag.  He beat Barraza to win the scramble on his first night back, but he flipped in the Main Event.  His win last time out reminded everybody that he is the reigning champion.  Wheeler was also a Top 5 competitor in this year's Speedweek Series.

Kyler Barraza's three wins and two seconds have given him a commanding point lead.  In fact, he could actually clinch the championship with a good enough finish this week.  Barraza may have taken a couple of seasons off since his back to back Southern Oregon Sprint Tour championships, but he's picked up right where he left off this season.  His only non Top 3 finish came the night he spun going for the lead in the final turn rather than spinning out the leader.  He enters this week as the driver to beat.

The battle in points is between David Hibbard, impressive rookie Merissa Henson and two time winner Bailey Hibbard for second, and just seven points separate the three.  Though three time feature runnerup D. Hibbard and his son Bailey have had better finishes than Henson, she has done a slightly better job of getting to the finish line and has finished as high as third.  B. Hibbard is coming off of back to back non finishes, and he's looking to turn his luck around this week.  Whatever happens in the championship battle, it looks like the race for second will go down to the final checkered flag next month.

The Sprint Cars are gaining more interest every week.  Outlaw Kart stars Tanner Holmes and Mike Wheeler have both joined the division in recent weeks.  Holmes has taken two checkered flags with a fifth place finish in his first start and a lead lap seventh his last time out.  Young rookie Enrique Jaime finished fourth last time as he is now fifth in points.  The division has several young competitors, which bodes well for the future.  With the new rules package, this division is becoming an intriguing option for the Outlaw Kart racers looking to make a move up.

We've also seen the return of 1998 Cottage Grove champion Hedge Carter after an eight year absence.  Carter has a third place finish and a fourth in his two starts.  It might have been two thirds if not for a late pass two races ago by rising young star Camden Robustelli.  Carter will be there this Saturday night, and word is that Cottage Grove point leader Ricky Ashley and Tyler Thompson are planning to make their first visits to Southern Oregon Speedway.  The division has gotten the attention of two locally based 360 Sprint Car champions, Seth Nunes and  Charlie Thompson.  Thompson recently borrowed Merissa Henson's motor to make a start at Cottage Grove.  Nunes just got a motor legal for this division.

People are talking about Southern Oregon Speedway's Sprint Car effort, and indications are that we will keep seeing new additions to the roster in the days ahead.  Saturday night's show looks like it should be another good one headed into the August 26th Cascade Wingless 360 Sprint Car Challenge, presented by Herz Precision Parts.  That race will pay $3,000 to win.  The final race for the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Series will be September 9th.  For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.  For further information on the Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge, you can find the flier at http://www.southernoregonspeedway.com/cascade.pdf.

Point Standings
Kendall Oil Sprint Cars
Kyler Barraza       238
David Hibbard           181
Merissa Henson          176
Bailey Hibbard          174
Enrique Jaime              137
Calvin Hibbard             99
Camden Robustelli         80
Hedge Carter             59
Jake Wheeler             54
Tanner Holmes            45

Schedule

August 19
August 26 Cascade Wingless Sprint Challenge
September 9


Sprint Car Champions

1996  Dan Menne
1997  Bill Nutter
1998  Dan Menne
2001  Chad Bauer
2002  Todd Zeitler
2003  Dan Menne
2004  T.J. Winningham
2005  Dan Menne
2006  Bill Nutter
2007  Randy Rodgers
2008  Randy Rodgers
2009  Charlie Thompson
2010  Chadd Noland
2013  Kyler Barraza *
2014  Kyler Barraza *
2016  Jake Wheeler

* Southern Oregon Sprint Tour

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Knight, Fettinger, McCoy, Lenz, Peters, Stoutenburgh Win At Southern Oregon Speedway


Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Hall of Fame Night report can be viewed HERE

Knight Maintains Point Lead With Clean Sweep 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...August 12...Dustin Knight won the 25 lap Late Model Main Event Saturday at Hall Of Fame Night At Southern Oregon Speedway.  The win completed a clean sweep of heat, dash and feature for the point leader.  Knight lost the lead to Nathan Augustine midway through the race, but he regained it in traffic.

Knight scored a crowd pleasing four lap Trophy Dash win when he passed Dave Foote and Bob Dees on the final lap.  Dees won his six lap heat race, and Knight won his heat race to continue his momentum going into the Main Event.  Knight had a front row start for the Main Event and raced into the lead at the start ahead of B. Dees and Augustine.  A low move in Turn 4 of the fifth lap gained Augustine second from Dees, and a yellow flag flew on lap six for a Turn 2 tangle between Garrett Dees and Chris Biggs.  Knight maintained his lead on the restart ahead of Augustine and B. Dees.  Augustine began to challenge Knight for the lead before making a low pass in Turn 4 of the 11th lap to gain the point.  Augustine started to pull away from Knight just a bit, but when he caught traffic on lap 18, Knight quickly reeled him in.  Knight used the slower cars to his advantage as he made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the 19th lap to regain the lead.  Knight went on to win with Augustine settling for second.  B. Dees was a strong third, and Mike Linder held off Pro Stock point leader Scott Lenz to finish fifth.  Foote finished sixth, followed by Biggs, Kristy Grout, G. Dees and Don Garrett.

Race Results
Late Models
Heat 1-Bob Dees, Mike Linder, Nathan Augustine.  Heat 2-Dustin Knight, Dave Foote, Kristy Grout.  Trophy Dash-Dustin Knight, Dave Foote, Bob Dees.  Main Event-Dustin Knight, Nathan Augustine, Bob Dees, Mike Linder, Scott Lenz, Dave Foote, Chris Biggs, Kristy Grout, Garrett Dees, Don Garrett.


Fettinger Wins First Southern Oregon Speedway 
IMCA Modified Main Event

White City, Oregon...August 12...Taking the lead from Preston Jones on a lap 10 restart, Zach Fettinger won the 25 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  This was Fettinger's first win at the track, and he is also the sixth different winner in as many races this season.  Fettinger had to contend with some serious pressure from seven time champion Mark Wauge and Jesse Bailey down the stretch, but he kept his cool for the impressive victory.

Ray Kniffen Jr. started off the night with his first four lap Trophy Dash win.  Jones and Matt Duste each won six lap heat races.  Jones raced into the early lead in the Main Event with Fettinger settling into second.  Wauge took third from rookie Shane Everson on lap two, and the lead four cars ran closely before a yellow flag flew for a Kniffen spin in Turn 4 on lap six.  Jones continued to lead Fettinger and Wauge on the green flag as Duste and Bailey joined the battle in the Top 5.  Duane Orsburn spun in Turn 2 for a lap nine caution flag.  Fettinger gained the lead over Wauge and Bailey on the restart as Jones headed to the pits.  Side by side battles developed between Fettinger and Wauge for first and Bailey and Duste for third.  Bailey finally grabbed third and ran with Fettinger and Wauge in the battle for the lead by lap 18.  The leaders caught a slower car on lap 21 as they entered Turn 1.  There was contact with Fettinger, and Bailey spun to avoid a crash.  Track officials assigned the blame for the yellow to the slower car of Chris Silva and restored Bailey back to third.  Fettinger continued to lead Wauge and Bailey on the restart.  Fettinger stayed smooth in the waning laps and brought it home to victory, while Bailey beat Wauge back to the line in a drag race for second.  Duste settled for fourth, followed by Orsburn, Jantzen Knips, Max Augustine, Preston Jones, Shane Everson and Kniffen.

Next up for the IMCA Modifieds will be the special two day R. Charles Snyder Salute on September 2-3.  For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.

Race Results
IMCA Modifieds
Heat 1-Preston Jones, Shane Everson, Mark Wauge.  Heat 2-Matt Duste, Ray Kniffen Jr., Duane Orsburn.  Trophy Dash-Ray Kniffen Jr., Shane Everson, Matt Duste.  Main Event-Zach Fettinger, Jesse Bailey, Mark Wauge, Matt Duste, Duane Orsburn, Jantzen Knips, Max Augustine, Preston Jones, Shane Everson, Ray Kniffen Jr., Chris Silva.


McCoy Wins Second Straight IMCA Sport Modified Feature At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...August 12...Taking the lead on the third lap, Rich McCoy went on to win the 20 lap IMCA Northern Sport Modified Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  This was the second straight win for McCoy and fourth straight Top 3 finish as he tries to gain on the point leader following his opening day hot laps crash.  Willie McFall continues to be the biggest threat to point leader Mike Medel following his career best second place feature finish.

McCoy kicked off the night with a four lap Trophy Dash win and also won his six lap heat race.  McFall and David Marble were the other heat race winners.  The Main Event had to be restarted after Matt Sanders and Isaac Sanders crashed in Turn 4.  McFall set the early pace ahead of McCoy and Medel.  An outside move down the back stretch of the third lap gained McCoy the lead on lap three.  Dwayne Melvin blew a motor on the back stretch for a lap six caution flag.  McCoy led McFall and Marble on the restart, but only a lap was scored before Lloyd Speer hit the front wall and rolled.  McCoy continued to lead McFall and Marble on the restart, and rookie Justin McCreadie raced underneath Medel in Turn 4 for fourth.  Jorddon Braaten and Medel ran side by side for several laps in their fifth place battle before Braaten gained the position.  Dave Rule spun in Turn 4 for the final yellow flag on lap 16.  McCoy led the restart and the remaining laps for the victory with McFall a strong second.  Marble won a photo finish with McCreadie for third.  Braaten settled for fifth ahead of Medel, State point leader Jayson Nelson, Rule, Tony Duste and Jesse Merriman.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds return for the two day R. Charles Snyder Salute on September 2-3.  For furter information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.

Race Results
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1-Willie McFall, Mike Medel, Jorddon Braaten.  Heat 2-David Marble, Dwayne Melvin, A.J. Parker.  Heat 3-Rich McCoy, Justin McCreadie, Jayson Nelson.  Trophy Dash-Rich McCoy, Willie McFall, David Marble.  Main Event-Rich McCoy, Willie McFall, David Marble, Justin McCreadie, Jorddon Braaten, Mike Medel, Jayson Nelson, Danny Rule, Tony Duste, Jesse Merriman, Dwayne Melvin, Brad Keever, Matt Sanders, Isaac Sanders, A.J. Parker.


Lenz Sweeps Pro Stock Action At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...August 12...Scott Lenz won his third Pro Stock Main Event Saturday at Southern Oregon Speedway on Hall Of Fame Night.  Lenz also won his heat race and the dash to make it a cleans sweep for the night.  This was also a point event for the Outlaw Pro Stock Association, and Lenz leads the points at both Southern Oregon Speedway and with the association.

Lenz cruised to victories in both the four lap Trophy Dash and his six lap heat race.  Jeffrey Hudson won the other heat race.  As the previous Main Event winner, Hudson was put to the back, while previous association feature winner Lenz started on the front row.  Lenz led a lap before Jeff Haudenshild brought out a yellow flag.  Lenz led Scott Flowers and James Flowers on the restart.  Dan Randall spun in Turn 4 for a lap four caution flag.  Lenz resumed command on the restart ahead of S. Flowers and J. Flowers.  J. Flowers passed his father for second on lap ten, and Brian Hammond brought out a final caution flag on lap 12.  Roy Bain made a pit stop, and Lenz continued to set the pace on the restart.  S. Flowers began pressuring J. Flowers for second in the waning laps before making the pass in the final turn.  Lenz was a happy winner ahead of J. Flowers and S. Flowers.  Hudson came back from a spin to take fourth from Ken Irving on lap 17.  Irving finished fifth, followed by Johnny Cobb, Ginny Flowers, Bain, Dean Hackworth and Hammond.

Race Results
Pro Stocks
Heat 1-Jeffery Hudson, Scott Flowers, Matt Harlow.  Heat 2-Scott Lenz, James Flowers, Johnny Cobb.  Trophy Dash-Scott Lenz, Jeffery Hudson, Josh Kralicek.  Main Event-Scott Lenz, Scott Flowers, James Flowers, Jeffery Hudson, Ken Irving, Johnny Cobb, Ginny Flowers, Roy Bain, Dean Hackworth, Brian Hammond, Josh Kralicek, Dan Randall, Matt Harlow, Jeff Haudenshield.


Peters Wins His Fourth SODCA Dwarf Car Main Event 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...August 12...Brock Peters won the SODCA Dwarf Car Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  It was Hall Of Fame Night at the track, and this was the fourth win for Peters.  Camden Robustelli was going for a clean sweep, but he settled for second behind the defending champion.

Robustelli and B. Peters won their six lap heat races.  Peters missed the four lap A Dash, which was won by Robustelli.  Mason Lewman won the eight lap B Dash.  B. Peters raced into the lead at the start of the Main Event.  Lewman was an early second ahead of Cody Peters.  C. Peters took second from Lewman on lap four.  Chad Cardoza headed for the pits on lap 11, and Robustelli made an inside pass on the back stretch on lap 13 to grab third from Lewman.  Lewman and Rob Gergel tangled in Turn 3 for a lap 16 caution flag.  B. Peters remained in command on the restart as Robustelli and Randy Slater shuffled C. Peters back to fourth.  There was no stopping B. Peters from scoring the victory with Robustelli a strong second.  Slater enjoyed his best finish in third, followed by C. Peters, Kalvin Morton, Ryan Smith, Gergel, Jesse Lorentz, Bud Lorentz and Mark Nielsen.

Race Results
SODCA Dwarf Cars
Heat 1-Camden Robustelli, Cody Peters, Randy Slater.  Heat 2-Brock Peters, Rob Gergel, Chad Cardoza.  A Dash-Camden Robustelli, Rob Gergel, Cody Peters.  B Dash-Mason Lewman, Chad Cardoza, Randy Slater.  Main Event-Brock Peters, Camden Robustelli, Randy Slater, Cody Peters, Kalvin Morton, Ryan Smith, Rob Gergel, Jesse Lorentz, Bud Lorentz, Mark Nielsen, Mason Lewman, Chad Cardoza, Fred Hay, C.J. Putnam.


Stoutenburgh Wins Second JOAT Labs Hornets Main Event 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...August 12...Jason Stoutenburgh won the 20 lap JOAT Labs Hornets Main Event on Hall Of Fame night Saturday at Southern Oregon Speedway.  It was his second straight win and it capped a clean sweep of heat, dash and feature.  Stoutenburgh also gained the point lead from reigning champion Tim Hedges, who was struggling with a hurt motor all night.

Stoutenburgh won his six lap heat race and the four lap Trophy Dash.  Jenna Hedges won her second straight heat race ahead of two time Cottage Grove champion Chris Pierce.  Stoutenburgh had a front row start for the Main Event and raced into the early lead ahead of J. Hedges.  Pierce took third from Ashton Hedges on lap three.  John Corder pitted the Ashland High School PT Cruiser on lap four.  As Stoutenburgh led the way, Pierce made an inside pass on the back stretch to take second from J. Hedges on lap 11.  A bumper on the track brought out a lap 16 caution flag.  Stoutenburgh led the restart and brought it home to victory ahead of Pierce.  A low move in Turn 4 of the 18th lap gained Derrel Nelson Jr. third from J. Hedges, who settled for fourth ahead of T. Hedges, Dylan Irving, Brandon Wonsyld and Corder.

Race Results
JOAT Labs Hornets
Heat 1-Jason Stoutenburgh, Ashton Hedges, John Corder.  Heat 2-Jenna Hedges, Chris Pierce, Tim Hedges.  Trophy Dash-Jason Stoutenburgh, Tim Hedges, Dylan Irving.  Main Event-Jason Stoutenburgh, Chris Pierce, Derrel Nelson Jr., Jenna Hedges, Tim Hedges, Dylan Irving, Brandon Wonsyld, John Corder.


Augustine Wins Thriller 
At Southern Oregon Speedway Kart Track

White City, Oregon....August 11...Keaton Augustine snapped the three race win streak of Trevor Grimes to win the 20 lap Box Stock Main Event Friday night at the Southern Oregon Speedway Outlaw Kart track.  Grimes was leading for 16 laps with fellow heat winner Ryan Hirshbock a close second until Hisrcbock clipped a tractor tire in Turn 1 and flipped.  Grimes led the restart, but Augustine made an inside pass in Turn 4 two laps later to claim the lead and victory.  Grimes settled for second ahead of Taylor Fuller.

Malachi Johnson set a rapid pace in winning his second Beginners Box Stock Main Event.  Johnson left the battle for second, and it was Mason King holding off the persistent pressure of Uriah Sanders for 20 laps to grab the runnerup finish.  Reigning champion Johnny Burke and point leader Tanner Holmes dueled fiercely for 25 laps before Burke won the 25 lap 500 Open Main Event.  Carley Holmes went flag to flat to win her third 20 lap 250 Kart Main Event ahead of Reece Slyter.

The UAS Speedway Karts made their first appearance at the speedway, and Kenny Boardman won a good battle with Larry Fuller for the victory.  Heat winner Ron Bolles ran a strong third ahead of Brionna Fuller.  Steve Rambo won a heat race and the 20 lap 4 Cycle Speedway Kart Main Event.  Michael Vickers rebounded from a spin to finish second ahead of David Mederiros.

The 2017 Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame


Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

The 2017 Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame

August 12th was Hall Of Fame Night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  It began a new tradition of honoring the people who have helped make Southern Oregon racing so special through the years.  On display at the entrance were three display boards with clippings of articles and photos from the 1950’s through the 1970’s.  These were put together by Oregon racing historians Curt and Denny Deatherage.  The Deatherage brothers helped put together this event and founded Cottage Grove Speedway Historical Night some 15 years ago.

The Hall Of Fame Night concept is an idea long overdue.  The Medford area has had many great racers and multiple tracks that have come and gone going back to the 1920’s.  Perhaps the most famous of those tracks was the Medford Speedway located at The Posse Grounds.

Leading the “Class of 2017” is Harold Hardesty.  Harold was a championship winning race car driver, won many races at race tracks up and down the West Coast and promoted races at Medford Speedway.  Sadly, he was reported missing in April of this year, and the search still continues.  A prayer was said prior to his induction that he might be found.  Accepting his award was his son Steve and his nephew Neil.

Ben Neel, who won championships in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s, was also inducted.  His daughter, Lisa Gray, accepted his award.  The C&M Auto Parts Street Stock Championship Race Perpetual Trophy, which bore his name twice as winner in 1982 and 1983, was on display at the souvenir booth.

One of the top racers of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Don Hood, was there with his family to accept his award.  Jerry McGrew, who was a championship car owner teaming up with Don Harper, was there to receive his award as well.  The Hall Of Fame Night was also a chance for McGrew to see Harper’s daughter, Valarie Fowler.  Valarie was there to accept Don Harper’s Hall Of Fame Award.  One of Oregon’s top engine builders, Bert Beck, did not attend, but his sons and 2013 Late Model Lites champion John Barger were there to accept the honor for “The Silver Fox”.  Many racers have won races with Beck’s motors. 

Our seventh inductee, Peg Henry, was unable to attend, but her son Jon and daughter Kelly were there to receive her award.  Peg was an unsung hero who worked behind the scenes as concessioner and assistant manager of the Posse Grounds track from the 1970’s through the 1980’s.  The Hall Of Fame will continue to honor those who made a difference and contributed to the success of the sport, whether behind the scenes or on the track.

The First Hall Of Fame event was a success.  Many people came out to celebrate the past and enjoy a night of racing.  There were people there who hadn’t been to the races in a long time, and they had an opportunity to catch up with old friends.  This event will grow and get bigger in the years to come.  It’s all about our racing family.  As we look ahead to the future and making our sport better, we must look back at the past and remember what made it all so special in the first place.  It was “The Legends Of Southern Oregon Racing” who paved the way for us to continue to do what he do at Southern Oregon Speedway, and we are proud to honor them by having a Hall Of Fame Night and by keeping this race track going for future generations to enjoy.


Note:  These are the notes I was able to provide Bryce Burtner for the ceremony.  I apologize that I was unable to do as good a job as they all deserved, but I hope I got the point across of how much these seven people meant to our sport.  I will be gathering more information, working with others, to help get more of this history organized and put in one place for all to be able to see.

Special Thanks to

Curt & Denny Deatherage for all of their hard work, research and for helping organize this event and their work in creating our three display boards with pictures and news clippings. They are truly two of the leading Oregon racing historians.

Southern Oregon Racing History

Within the Medford area, had multiple tracks going back nearly 100 years to the fairgrounds track.  Ashland Speedway operated from 1949-1960.  In the 1950’s, there was the track near the airport and the famed Posse Grounds track.  There was also the White City track that operated  in the 1960’s.  The Posse Grounds operated until 1989, and Southern Oregon Speedway opened in 1996 to continue the great tradition of dirt track racing in the area.

We are proud to begin a new, and long overdue tradition of celebrating all of the people who have made the sport as special as it is.  Our Hall Of Fame is here to honor those who have paved the way for us to enjoy the sport that we love.  This year, we induct our first class of seven.  Within this group, we have people who have excelled in racing, building and maintaining cars, building engines and promoting.

Our first inductee is Peggy Henry



Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Peggy was a member of the Rogue Valley Racing Association.  She ran the concessions at the old Medford (Posse Grounds) Speedway and was often left to oversee the day to day operations of the race track.  Peggy is truly an unsung hero of the track, but her efforts behind the scenes helped make it all possible.  Tonight, we proudly induct Peggy Henry into the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame.  Accepting on her behalf will be her son, Jon and daughter Kelly


Our Next Inductee is Don Harper



Story About the Get Don Harper Trophy can be viewed HERE

Don started racing in Medford in the late 1960’s and quickly rose to become one of the top drivers and a champion.  In the mid 1970’s, Don was winning races everywhere he went, and this included some big money races.  In 1974, he was on a winning streak at Eugene Speedway.  The promoter created a “Get Don Harper Night” with a big trophy going to the winner, Jay Bugbee.  After Jay passed away, Don was presented with that trophy in a surprise presentation on Historical Night at Cottage Grove Speedway in 2010.  Don won his share of big trophies through the years, but this one was particularly special to him as it had been created as an incentive for his competition.  Tonight, we proudly induct Don Harper into the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame.  Accepting on Don behalf will be his daughter Valarie


Our Next Inductee is Don Hood








Don was another championship winning driver of the 1960’s and 70’s.  He was a threat to win wherever he went, and that included several victories at Medford Speedway.  He also held the track record on various occasions.  Don built fast and competitive races cars, and there were several other racers driving cars he built in the late 1970’s.   He has been inducted into the Cottage Grove Speedway Hall Of Fame, and tonight we proudly induct Don Hood into the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame.


Our Next Inductee Is Bert Beck







Bert didn’t race often at Medford Speedway, but when he did, he was fast.  He was a Main Event winner on several occasions on the Oregon circuit,  However, Bert may be better known as an expert engine man.  Several drivers won races and even championships with his motors through the years, and there are still drivers out there running motors built at his shop.  It’s not just about driving the race car.  You have to have a reliable motor, and Bert was one of the best motor builders in the sport.  Tonight, we proudly induct Bret Beck into the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame.  Accepting on Bert’s behalf will be his son Rick


Our Next Inductee Is Jerry McGrew


There have been many racers through the years who could win in any car you put them in.  We are inducting a few such competitors this year.  However, there are also car owners out there that gave their drivers the best opportunity to win with well maintained and expertly built race cars.  Jerry McGrew is one such person.  Jerry’s cars won races and championships, and his partnership with Don Harper made them one of the toughest teams to beat on race day.  Tonight, we proudly induct car owner Jerry McGrew into the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame.


Our Next Inductee is Ben Neel


Ben is truly one of the greatest Medford area racers of all time.  He beat the best in multiple eras as a champion in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.  Ben was one of the hardest racers and yet one of the most respected competitors at the track.  In the 1960’s, his friendly rivalry with Harold Hardesty brought out the best in both of them as the two battled for the 1966 and 1967 track championships.  Neel won them both.  Ben cited Hardesty as one of the biggest influences of his career.  Tonight, we proudly induct Ben Neel into the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame.  Accepting on Ben’s behalf will be his daughter Lisa Gray


Our final Inductee Of 2017 Is Harold Hardesty

An informative article about Harold can be viewed HERE

During the time period in which he competed at Medford Speedway, Harold was one of the top drivers on the Main Event winner’s list.  He enjoyed racing, but he also bore the responsibility of organizing the races as the Medford Speedway promoter for several seasons.  Harold was hired by many owners to drive their cars and was a winner on the NASCAR West circuit on multiple occasions.  He even had a Top 20 finish out of 70 cars in a NASCAR race at Darlington  He’s also a member of the NASCAR and West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame.  To illustrate Harold’s ability, he ran a NASCAR West race at Eureka in the late 1960’s in a car ten years older than the others.  Car count was a bit low, so he was allowed to start as long as he retired early.  The car ran strong that day, and he kept racing and won the race.  NASCAR was not pleased and let him know.  He was not acknowledged as the winner until a few year later.   Through the years, Medford has had some amazing racers, and  Hardesty is certainly one of the greatest of all time.

Before we formally induct Harold onto the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame, we ask that you join us in a silent prayer.  As you know, Harold has been missing for several months and we ask that you pray for him to be located.

Harold's son Steve Hardesty and nephew Neil are here to accept the award.


 Final Thoughts On The First Hall Of Fame Night

Racing history matters.  This is a belief I've carried with me since I was a kid.  I spent many years of my life focused primarily on racing, while I covered my own home track in Antioch, California and other tracks.  I started keeping points records and win lists and all of that.  I grew to realize that much of that information had fallen by the wayside.  Track management only worried about the bottom line at most places.  How many people came to watch and how much money was made?  It is a business, after all.  If bills don't get paid, races don't happen.

My frustrations stemmed from the fact that most of the tracks I covered didn't bother to keep records.  With the advent of the internet, where there is plenty of room to at least archive your points and race results articles, most race tracks still wiped that information off of their web pages at the end of each season.  When you think about the fact that most tracks that have been around that long have had web pages for over 20 years, that's 20 years of history that was wiped out for no good reason.  So, I started making it a goal to grab things off of the web in case they disappeared.  I saved racing magazines, newspaper clippings and that sort of thing.

Medford has a long and storied racing history, and I admit I'm still learning the history.  There is a lot to learn.  My research online found lots of interesting information from the early 1950's all the way to 1963.  What I'd like to do is get a champions list together and eventually start a Main Event winners list as well.  It will be a work in progress.  Hall Of Fame Night was something Promoter Mike McCann and I talked about from Day 1.  Mike saw a need for this to happen, and he was able to book a date this year to get it started.

The work of Curt and Denny Deatherage in helping us put this together was invaluable.  If we had not had them, this event may not have happened.  It was a challenge getting in contact with some people, but we were fortunate to get in touch with the people or the families involved.  Curt and Denny have been compiling clippings and photos this year, and the three boards they put together were amazing.  They were originally doing two to get us started.  The boards are a nice glimpse into those days gone by.

Hall Of Fame night has started.  I envision it growing and becoming something where we may have a ceremony before the races in a picnic type setting or even the night before, and then inductees would be honored guests on race night to be introduced to the fans.  Organization could have been a bit better this year, but it worked out.  We would have also liked to have had signups from alumni who were on hand so that we could have made mention of them to the crowd.  There's room for improvement, but general consensus was that it went well.

We have other important races on the schedule that honor people who have helped our sport.  The Roger Haudenshild Tribute was held in June.  It was the fifth annual running of this race, and I'd like to think we've made this race bigger and something Roger would have been proud of.  On September 2nd and 3rd, another event important to us is happening.  It's the R. Charles Snyder Salute, honoring the man who was "The Voice of Medford Racing" for many years.  The Race Tower will be dedicated in his honor.  This is something Mike, Uncle Rich and I have been discussing since the start of last season, and it's finally happening!

Racing history matters.  It's where we've been to get us where we are today.  Hall Of Fame Night will be one of the most important events on our schedule going forward.  I want to close by thanking all of the Hall Of Fame Members for their contributions to the sport.  Sadly, some of them have passed on, but it's important that their family knows how much they are loved.  I want to thank all of the alumni for coming out last week to be a part of this event.  I want to thank Bryce Burtner for expertly handling the MC duties.  Also, thank you to all of the staff, the fans and the racers.  We couldn't do it without you.  We're going to make Southern Oregon Speedway something we can all be proud of.  The best is yet to come!

Don

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Knight, Fettinger Win At Southern Oregon Speedway


Knight, Fettinger Win At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...August 12...Dustin Knight won the 25 lap Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  It was Knight's second win of the season and came on Hall Of Fame Night.  Knight won his six lap heat race and the four lap Trophy Dash.  Knight led 11 laps before Nathan Augustine surprised him by taking the lead in Turn 4.  Augustine looked like he would win until traffic slowed him up on lap 19.  Knight used traffic to regain the lead in Turn 4.  Once he got the lead, Knight went on to a crowd pleasing victory.  Augustine settled for second ahead of Bob Dees, Mike Linder and Scott Lenz.

Zach Fettinger won his first 25 lap IMCA Modified Main Event.  Preston Jones led the first eight laps of the race, but he slowed to a stop in Turn 2 on the ninth lap, handing the lead to Fettinger.  Fettinger had Mark Wauge and Jesse Bailey behind him when a slower car veered into his path on the front stretch, resulting in a spin for Bailey in Turn 1 on lap 19.  The yellow flag was charged to the slower car with Bailey placed back in third.  Fettinger led the remaining laps for the win despite pressure from Wauge.  Bailey beat Wauge back to the checkered flag for second as Matt Duste and Duane Orsburn were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Rich McCoy won his second 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event.  McCoy took the lead from Willie McFall on the third lap and led the rest of the way to add the feature win to his earlier six lap heat and four lap Trophy Dash triumphs.  McFall helped his championship hopes with a season best second place finish after a good battle with David Marble.  Justin McCreadie and Jorddon Braaten rounded out the Top 5.

Brock Peters won his fourth 20 lap SODCA Dwarf Car Main Event.  The reigning champion led the race from the start to the finish.  B. Peters had a late challenge from Camden Robustelli, but he stayed smooth during the remaining laps for the win.  Robustelli settled for second.  Randy Slater held off Cody Peters and Kalvin Morton for his best effort of the season in third.

Point leader Scott Lenz had a flag to flag romp for his third 20 lap Pro Stock Main Event win.  It capped a clean sweep of his six lap heat race and four lap Trophy Dash.  Lenz pulled ahead on four restarts and scored the impressive victory.  Scott Flowers made a lap 19 pass on son James Flowers to finish second.  Jeffrey Hudson and Ken Irving completed the Top 5.
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Jason Stoutenburgh won his second straight 20 lap JOAT Labs Horne////ts Main Event.  It wrapped up a clean sweep of his six lap heat race and the four lap Trophy Dash and put him into the point lead.  Even a yellow flag for Brandon Wonsyld's bumper on the back stretch on lap 13 failed to stop Stoutenburgh as he led all the way for his impressive win.  Two time Cottage Grove Speedway champion Chris Pierce finished second ahead of Derrel Nelson Jr., Jenna Hedges and Tim Hedges.

After the heat races, the track inducted Don Harper, Don Hood, Peggy Henry, Jerry McGrew, Bert Beck, Ben Neel and Harold Hardesty into the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame in a special ceremony conducted by announcer Bryce Burtner.  Hood and McGrew were on hand to accept their awards.  Family members accepted on the other's behalf.  A  moment of silence for prayer was held for Hardesty, who has been missing for several months.

Racing continues next Saturday night with Kendall Oil Winged Sprints Cars, Late Models, Pro Stocks and OTRO Hardtops.  For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.


Unofficial Race Results
IMCA Modifieds
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Preston Jones, Matt Duste.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Ray Kniffen Jr.   Main Event (20 Laps)-Zach Fettinger, Jesse Bailey, Mark Wauge, Matt Duste, Duane Orsburn.

Late Models
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Bob Dees, Dustin Knight.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Dustin Knight    Main Event (20 Laps)-Dustin Knight, Nathan Augustine, Bob Dees, Mike Linder, Scott Lenz.

IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Willie McFall, David Marble, Rich McCoy.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Rich McCoy.    Main Event (20 Laps)-Rich McCoy, Willie McFall, David Marble, Justin McCreadie, Jorddon Braaten.

Pro Stocks
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Jeffrey Hudson, Scott Lenz.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Scott Lenz.    Main Event (20 Laps)-Scott Lenz, Scott Flowers, James Flowers, Jeffrey Hudson, Ken Irving.

JOAT Labs Hornets
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Jason Stoutenburgh, Jenna Hedges.   Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Jason Stoutenburgh.    Main Event (20 Laps)-Jason Stoutenburgh, Chris Pierce, Derrel Nelson Jr., Jenna Hedges, Tim Hedges.

SODCA Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Camden Robustelli, Brock Peters.   A Dash (4 Laps)-Camden Robustelli.   B Dash (8 Laps)-Mason Lewman.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Brock Peters, Camden Robustelli, Randy Slater, Cody Peters, Kalvin Morton.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hall Of Fame Night Offers Racing, History Celebration At Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can be he heard HERE

Hall Of Fame Night Offers Racing, History Celebration 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The Medford area of Southern Oregon has had several different race tracks through the years.  There was the old Ashland Speedway, a track by the Medford Airport, the Medford Speedway in White City and the old Posse Grounds Medford Speedway, to name a few.  These days, racers and fans get there dirt track "need for speed" satisfied at Southern Oregon Speedway in White City as racing continues to thrive.

In his second year as promoter of the track, Mike McCann has made more of an effort to honor people from the past who have helped make things special.  The track proudly features the Roger Haudenshild Tribute early in the season.  There's the R. Charles Snyder Salute in early September for the longtime voice of Medford racing and popular Radio D.J.  This Saturday, Hall Of Fame Night will begin a new tradition at Southern Oregon Speedway.

It would take longer than the room this column allows to talk about all of the great people on the track and behind the scenes who have made their mark on the sport.  McCann sought the help of two people who know a little something about racing history.  Curt Deatherage and his brother Denny started the successful Historical Night at Cottage Grove Speedway 15 years ago, and the two offered to help get the Southern Oregon Hall Of Fame Night started.  They have put together a display of old photos and newspaper clippings for fans to view this Saturday night.

The brothers also compiled a list of well over 100 names of racers, car owners, track workers and various people who have been an important part of the sport going back to the early days.  Two names that might immediately jump out at long time fans who go back to the old White City track are Harold Hardesty and Ben Neel.  When people talk about who the greatest Medford area racer of all time is, these two names are included in the discussion.  In the late 1960's, these two were battling for track championships.  Neel won the 1966 and 1967 Hardtop championships, but he had to beat Hardesty to do it.  Neel was a front runner for many years to come and won the Street Stock title at Medford Speedway in 1985.

Neel's daughter, Lisa Gray, will be there to accept on behalf of her father.  Lisa grew up with racing being a big part of her family's life and at one time even got to drive her dad's car in a Powder Puff Race.  "It's a great honor for my dad to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame, " she said.  "He loved racing more than anything."

Hardesty's legacy included winning many big Stock Car races up and down the west coast, sometimes doing it in cars that were deemed too old to win.  He had a knack for jumping into different cars and being able to run up front.  Harold was also the promoter of Medford Speedway in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  Cars were a passion of his, and he had an extensive collection.

Don Harper came on the scene a few years after Neel and Hardesty, but he quickly became one of the top stars and ran up front for years to come.  There was a stretch where he was winning every week at different venues.  The promoter at Eugene Speedway created a Get Don Harper Race in 1974.  Jay Bugbee won the trophy.  When Jay passed away in 2010, Don was asked to come to Cottage Grove's Historical Night, where he received that very trophy from Jason Kocks.

Hardesty, Neel and Harper will be joined by Don Hood, Bert Beck, Jerry McGrew and Peggy Henry in this year's inaugural Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame.  Hood was a frequent winner and at times a track record holder at Medford in the late 1960's and into the 1970's.  He was another racer who won races at several venues.  Many drivers won races and championships with motors built by Beck, and McGrew fielded cars that won races and championships.  It's for those reasons and more that these two were selected.  Henry was the unsung hero of the Posse Grounds track throughout the 1970's and into the 1980's.  She ran concessions, but she frequently handled day to day office duties as well.

This new tradition can begin, and discussions are already beginning regarding who will be inducted next.  With a list of names that includes such stars as Jim Walker Sr., Jim Walker Jr., Bruce Rayburn, Dane Smith, Tom Wyatt, John Arnberg and so many others, Hall Of Fame Night at Southern Oregon Speedway will be special for years to come.

On Saturday night, today's stars will be showcased on the track with a six division lineup that includes IMCA Modifieds, Late Models, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Pro Stocks, JOAT Labs Hornets and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars.  Gates open at 5 PM with the first race starting at 7:00 PM.  General Admission is $12.00, Juniors, Seniors and Veterans are $6.00 and Children 5 and under are free.  There is also racing on Friday night at the Outlaw Kart track.  For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.


Pit Stops

The IMCA Modifieds roll into Southern Oregon Speedway this Saturday night as co-headliners along with the Late Models.  After five races, we have five different winners.  Point leader Albert Gill was the latest to add his name to the winner's list.  Albert has probably been the most loyal supporter of Medford's IMCA Modified effort over the past five years, and he's usually a factor in the battle up front.  Gill had a pair of second place finishes and a Trophy Dash win going into the most recent race, but he added an exclamation point to his statement earlier in the evening that he's racing for his third championship in the past four seasons.  His first win of the year came ahead of Matt Duste.  The question is, can Gill make it two in a row?

It's hoped that Duste will make another appearance for Hall Of Fame Night, though that has not been confirmed.  Matt kiced off last season with a second place finish, but we only saw him occasionally after that.  Last week was Matt's first appearance of the season.  Through the years, he has won in both Sport Modifieds and Modifieds, so he would have to be considered a threat to win if he shows.  It goes without saying that seven time champion Mark Wauge is a threat to win any time he shows up.  With some 50 Main Event wins at Southern Oregon Speedway alone, he's very familiar with the winner's circle there.  Wauge has a new car that could be ready for Saturday.  He's debating whether to run #1m or his old #28m when he returns.  Either way, he will be fast.

Jesse Bailey sits comfortably in second in points.  Jesse hasn't won since the 2015 season opener, but he has three third place finishes, a Crack The Whip win and the most recent Trophy Dash victory.  Behind Bailey is a battle for third that includes Wauge, Jeremy Ohlde and Ray Kniffen Jr., all within 12 points of each other.  All three of these hard chargers are looking for their first win of the year.  Kniffen can't get too comfortable in fifth as Tim Bailey, rookie Shane Everson and James Welshonse are within five points of him.  A decent turnout is anticipated for this Saturday night, and other drivers to watch for include feature winner Monte Bischoff, rookie Jantzen Knips, Preston Jones and Zach Fettinger, who finished third last time out.

The Late Model division has a close championship battle between Dustin Knight and Nathan Augustine after four races.  There are no repeat winners.  Augustine and Knight each have a win, but Knight has three seconds.  Augustine's three Trophy Dash wins have helped keep this battle close.  The other interesting thing is that we now have four different winners in four races.  Trent Elliott made a surprise visit at the third event and left with the victory.  Knight chose to start back in eighth that night and charged to second.  Elliott commented that he may return before the season is up.  It's nice to see visitors coming to Medford to run their Late Models, and word is that we'll see Antioch Speedway regulars David Newquist and Mike Hynes on August 19th.

Meanwhile, Bob Dees turned in an impressive performance last time with his Main Event win.  He had been running second to Mike Linder, who won the heat race that night.  It was these two drivers who launched the Late Model effort at the track last year, and both are excited about how this class is growing.  Dees had Augustine and then Knight pressuring him during the late stages of the race, but he prevailed.  The win also put Dees 13 points behind Kristy Grout in a good battle for third.  While Bob seems to have his orange #6 car dialed in, Grout had a rough night that ended with her being put on her lid in the Main Event.  Word was that the team is hard at work getting ready for their return.  Kristy had done a good job of getting to the finish line before that night, and she won't give up third without a fight.

Third was where Dave Foote finished in the Main Event last time as things are finally starting to come together for him.  At only 14 points behind Dees, he could still move up in points before the season is done.  Late Models are making everybody talk.  Car count is growing and the racing has been entertaining.  On Hall Of Fame night, there will be others looking to make their mark, including brothers Garrett Dees and John Dees and the possible debut of Chris Biggs.

IMCA Sport Modifieds have also had four different winners in their last four races.  In fact, there have been four different second place finishers.  The battle at the top is between reigning champion Mike Medel and Willie McFall.  Medel leads McFall by just six points.  Medel's effort took a hit with a DNF at the Roger Haudenshild Tribute, which has kept this race close.  It's interesting to note that while Mike has a win and two seconds, McFall has yet to have a Top 3 finish.  He finished fourth last time after winning the Trophy Dash.  Medel had to settle for third that night as last year's "Rookie Of The Year" David Marble had his best finish of the year in second.

The star of the most recent race was Rich McCoy.  He won the race by a huge margin, and it was also his third Top 3 finish in a row.  McCoy's championship hopes took a blow at the opener when a hot lap crash ended his night early.  It's amazing that he's actually gotten as close to the lead as he has.  Jorddon Braaten might have been the driver to beat again this year after his back to back wins opened the season.  The two time champion missed a race for his sister's wedding and went to Cottage Grove for a special race.  That may have taken him out of contention at the track, but Braaten is leading the Pacific Sport Mod Challenge Series, which is a championship he won last season. 

With a season high third place finish, Jesse Merriman is holding fourth.  He's 20 points behind McCoy and 22 ahead of two time champion Dwayne Melvin.  After the terrible start he had to his season, Marble is still only two points behind Melvin in the battle for fifth.  Marble had his car destroyed in a crash at Cottage Grove and had to build a new one.  His return ended in a Crack The Whip race at the Roger Haudenshild Tribute.  However, he turned in an inspired performance last time as he battled Medel and McFall to finish second.  David will be looking to get his first win in this division when he returns.  With A.J Parker, Tony Bartell and newcomer Tony Duste among the others anticipated, the racing should be good this week.

The Pro Stock effort has certainly gotten off to a slow start as area races who were anticipated did not show.  The future may be unclear for this class, but the show will go on as scheduled this year.  Scott Lenz is a past Pro Stock champion at the track who has won some big races in the past.  He added a Roger Haudenshild Tribute win to his totals this year, and his second win puts him nine points ahead of rookie Dean Hackworth, who finished second last time out.  Lenz is the point leader with the Outlaw Pro Stock Association as well, and he leads Scott Flowers in that battle this year with Johnny Cobb and Jeffrey Hudson chasing him.  All four drivers are anticipated this week as the Association has booked this weekend's Hall Of Fame night event as a point race.  Hudson won the most recent race and is only one point behind Josh Kralicek and 11 behind second ranked Hackworth.  Fifth ranked Derrel Nelson Jr. won the opener and is fifth in points, but his car owner has sold that car.  A dozen or so cars are anticipated this week, including Darron Arnold, James Flowers, Matt Harlow, two time champion Ken Irving and the rumored debut of Mini Stock graduate Mike Cloud.

In the JOAT Labs Hornets division, reigning champion Tim Hedges continues to lead the standings as the only two time winner, but the most recent race shook up the battle.  While Tim seemed to be involved in just about every crash on the track that night, Jason Stoutenburgh won his heat race and the Main Event.  This put Stoutenburgh just three points behind Hedges in a good battle.  Tim's wife Jenna Hedges isn't out of the championship battle either after her impressive performance last time.  She won her first Trophy Dash and heat race and then finished third in the Main Event.  She is one of five different drivers to finish second this year and is only 15 points behind her husband Tim in the championship battle.

Ashton Hedges is fourth in the standings, 19 behind his mother Jenna.   Fifth place Dylan Irving is not close behind A. Hedges as he missed a race, but he has a tenuous hold on his spot in the standings.  One time winner Joby Shields is a point behind him, but Joby has sold his car as he builds a Sport Modified.  Two points back is fellow rookie Brandon Wonsyld.  Six points back is one time winner David Coggins and Zach Nelson.  It's interesting to note that Zach and his father, Derrel Nelson Jr., both have second place finishes.  In fact, Ryan Nelson also earned a second place finish in the fourth Hedges car last week.  The Nelson team is building another car and will likely have another car in addition to that one.  Who will be the first Nelson to win this year?  You can expect Zach and Ryan's younger brother Gabe to start racing soon too.

The sixth division on the card this Saturday night is the SODCA Dwarf Cars.  We saw a point sheet as of July 4th, but there have been no official updates since then.  The battle appears to be between reigning champion Brock Peters, Ryan Smith and Chad Cardoza.  In the five races held at Medford so far, B. Peters has three wins and two seconds.  In Yreka, Brock was shut out of the podium in all three races, won by son Cody Peters, Josh King and Camden Robustelli.  Robustelli and King are the two other winners at Medford.  Cardoza and Smith both have three Top 3 finishes with season high seconds in those eight races.  Word at the Dwarf Car Nationals was that B. Peters was leading the championship race after throwaways were calculated, but it's still very close.  Smith reportedly skipped the Nationals and helped behind the scenes to keep his car ready for the next SODCA point race.

Cody Peters was looking for his first Medford win, and it couldn't have happened on a bigger stage than it did last week.  Cody drove an inspired race and made a last turn pass to win the Pro Dwarf Car Main Event.  He beat NCDCA star Danny Wagner in that race.  It was a big night for the Peters family.  Fred Hay and Randy Slater were battling for a Top 5 point position last time we saw a point sheet.  Hay finished third in the Veteran's Preliminary Feature last week and had a third place finish in one of his Yreka starts.  Slater worked very hard behind the scenes last week to help make the Nationals a success, and he's been getting better finishes with SODCA this year.  Kaycee Sheeler, Steve Walker, Jerry Hauck and Joe Sanders are among the other drivers to watch for this week.  Top 3 ranked 2016 competitor Kalvin Morton will reportedly return to Dwarf Car competition in a new car soon.

The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars will be back next week (August 19th) in a winged race.  This was originally going to be wingless, but some of the drivers expressed concerns that they weren't ready yet.  One of the keys to this division's success is the fact that several new and young racers have joined the ranks.  This includes Merissa Henson, Enrique Jaime and Tanner Holmes.  All three have looked good this year.  Henson continues to make good laps and get lead lap Main Event finishes as she battles for second in the standings.  At the moment, she trails David Hibbard by five points and leads two time winner Bailey Hibbard by two.  She also leads all rookies in the division.  D. Hibbard is still looking for his first win, but he has three seconds in his seven starts.  Henson has a third.

Kyler Barraza has a big enough point lead to skip a race and still be leading.  His impressive numbers include three wins, two seconds and one third.  The night he didn't finish in the Top 3 saw him spin out in the final turn trying to take the lead from B. Hibbard.  Kyler now leads D. Hibbard by 57 points.  Unlike the rest of the roster, Barraza has said that he will take off his wing and make a run at the $3,000 prize being offered in the Cascade Sprint Car Challenge, presented by Herz Precision Parts.  Barraza now has a new threat to his bid for feature wins.  Last week, reigning champion Jake Wheeler drove a great race and collected his first win of the season.  Wheeler also joined 1998 Cottage Grove champion Hedge Carter as a heat race winner that night.  Carter finished third after finishing fourth in the previous race.  Fourth last time out was Jaime, who did a great job in holding off D. Hibbard.  The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car class is looking good this season and continues to gather momentum.

Friday's Outlaw Kart race will be the fourth of the season with one more to go.  Trevor Grimes came into the year just hoping to get comfortable with his 250 Kart, and now he holds an 18 point lead over Carley Holmes.  Holmes wasn't even expected last time as her brother Tanner was concentrating on his first Sprint Car start the next night.  However, she returned and won her second feature that night.  What will be interesting to see is if she will run these last two races and if she can overtake Grimes to win the championship.  She is still pretty much a rookie in this class, though she has a couple more starts than Grimes.  Hopefully, the count will increase for these last two races.

T. Grimes is leading the Box Stock points in his bid for a third straight championship.  Trevor's time in this division is wrapping up, and he'd like to go out as champion.  With three feature wins, it appears as if he will reach that goal, but Keaton Augustine has had a good season and is only 14 points back.  Keaton has won a heat race in his beautiful blue #24 Kart, but he would like to get a feature win.  Sophia Bauer, Vinny DeBenedetti and Yreka point leader Taylor Fuller all have the same goal.  Fuller's first visit saw him get on his lid.  He's been pretty dominant in Yreka so far this year, but it hasn't gone as easy in Medford.  His second place finish last time shows he is on the right track.  DeBenedetti looked quicker last time, but his night ended in the second heat when contact put him into the Turn 4 wall and on his lid.

The Beginners Box Stock point race might seem to be under the control of two time winner Jacob James.  However, James missed the most recent race.  He's ranked Top 5 for the past two seasons and has looked much quicker than everybody else.  If James returns this week, he's the driver to beat.  His lead over reigning champion Kiley Grimes is only 11 points.  Isaiah Sanders is 13 points back, while Malachi Johnson trails by 16 points.  Sanders and Johnson have looked good this year, and Johnson won the most recent race.  The Beginners class has been the best supported class with an eight car field one night and a total of 11 cars so far this year.  Carson Crisp and Shailene Horn are two drivers we could see, and we might even see the racing debut of third generation racer Mike Wheeler Jr., who made his first laps after the most recent event concluded.

The 500 Open Kart class has no repeat visitors yet this year and three different winners in Tanner Holmes, Mike Wheeler and Wyatt Pinckey.  There are enough 500 Karts out there for a pretty good show, but who might show up and race this week is anybody's guess.  The three winners are tied for first.  Kenny Boardman, Kevin Hilgendorff, past champion Stephanie Crisp and Brionna Fuller are all within ten points of the lead.  Hilgendorff has put his Kart up for sale.  We'll see who shows up this week.