Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Open Stock Division Is Coming To Southern Oregon Speedway In 2016

The Open Stock Division Is Coming To 
Southern Oregon Speedway In 2016

With new promoter Mike McCann comes a few changes at Southern Oregon Speedway.  One of those changes is the introduction of a new Open Stock Car class.  The idea came about after some drivers from the Street Stocks and Late Models approached McCann about getting dates for their respective divisions this year.

During the seven years prior to last season, the track attempted to run Late Models for three seasons and Street Stocks for four, but it was a struggle to get things going.  After the Street Stocks were dropped in 2015, some drivers bolted for the Outlaw Pro Stocks, and others just parked.

McCann is a believer in giving the fans a car count and the racers an opportunity to establish something new.  The Open Stock division runs open rules on the cars on everything from tires to motors.  The idea is to put a car count on the track and allow drivers to make a case for either division as a separate entity based on support.

The Late Models have nearly a half dozen drivers making inquires about this division, and one competitor already on board is Steve Lemley.  Steve has raced various types of Stock Cars through the years as well as Hardtops, and he is building a Late Model for this season.

Among the others who have expressed an interest in racing some of the six dates that have been scheduled are Blaine Taylor, Bob Dees, and Mike Linder.  Linder is a name many people already know as a Sprint Car star in the Southern Oregon area, and his son Garen races them now.  Mike currently has a Late Model.  Dees raced Late Models here in the past and recently got a new car.

Blaine Thomas is a name familiar up north for racing Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds and Late Models, where he had a strong second place season as a Main Event winner at Cottage Grove back in 2014.  There are others watching the class closely with an eye toward supporting.  If the Late Model support can consistently reach 8-10 cars, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they will become their own division. 

The Street Stocks were popular at the old Medford race track, but for whatever reason were not included as part of Southern Oregon Speedway's launch back in 1996.  It wasn't until 2011 when the division was added.  It seemed poised to go somewhere, but after the 2014 season, it was dropped.  Ten different cars had competed that year.  The division is responsible for bringing in two top area stars in Jorddon Braaten and Duane Osburn.  Both of them won championships in the class, before moving up.

The 2014 season championship went to Miles Deubert.  Deubert, third ranked Daron Arnold, fifth place Garrett Dees, Chris Howard and Daniel Herrera fielded cars that season and haven't raced much since.  It is known that there are Street Stocks sitting in the area, and this is the drivers' chance to dig their cars out of mothballs and go racing again.

The Open Stocks will allow Late Models, Pro Stocks, Sportsman cars and Street Stocks to race together under an open rules set.  It will also give the fans a unique class to watch with varying styles of appearance.  The idea is to get something started now and see where it can go next year.

At most of the tracks at which McCann has promoted, he's had one variety of Stock Car at least, and it's something he wants to continue to do at Southern Oregon Speedway.  This is the chance for the area racers to build something that can grow and become an attraction in the coming years.

The first race is set for May 21th, and the following dates are June 4th June 18th, July 30th, August 20th and September 17th.  It's the beginning of a new era in Stock Car racing at the speedway.  For further information and rules, visit the official website at, www.southernoregonspeedway.com