Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Five Division Show On Tap For Southern Oregon Speedway This Saturday Night

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
The weekend preview edition can be found HERE

Five Division Show On Tap For 
Southern Oregon Speedway This Saturday Night

The third event of the 2016 season is set for this Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway. After the successful debut of the two IMCA Modified classes, we get our first look at the Hornet and Super 4 divisions. The Valley Boys Auto Sales Outlaw Pro Stocks, IMCA Sport Modifieds and OTRO Hardtops are also on the schedule. It should be another great night of racing on the fast 3/10's mile banked clay oval.

Last week was a bumpy beginning for the IMCA Sport Modified division, but it continued to be business as usual for two time defending champion Jorddon Braaten. Braaten led all the way, fighting off a challenge from two time champion Dwayne Melvin. Braaten has multiple championship goals in mind for this year, including his third track title a row and a state championship. It would be the ultimate accomplishment for the team as Jordan prepares to move up to the IMCA Modified division next year.

Last season's third place point runner, Bob Nelsen, had a good afternoon. His car was voted "Best Appearing" in the car show held earlier in the afternoon at a local business. He then drove to a third place finish in the Main Event.

David Marble made his division debut in fifth. Marble is moving up from the Mini Stock ranks, where he won the track championship last season. The difference is night and day in the way the cars handle. "Oh, this car is great, " Marble admitted. "There's no comparison between this and the Mini Stock. This thing practically drives itself."

Marble picked up a second place feature finish in Yreka about a month ago. His influence in racing is his uncle, past Southern Oregon Speedway Sprint Car Champion T.J. Winningham. "I pitted for him for many years, " David explained. "He's the one that talked me into racing. So, I got a Mini Stock about 7 years ago and started racing."

The Outlaw Pro Stock competitors are probably still chasing Steve Borror after last their last appearance. Borror put on a dominant performance in winning the Main Event by a half lap. This followed up his win in the group's season opener in Yreka just a few weeks before that. The question is, can anybody beat him this week?

That may fall to the two time champion Ken Irving, who hasn't finished outside of the top five in the standings in the last four seasons. Irving led the last feature for five laps before settling for a second place finish. Two other competitors, James Flowers and Roy Bain, were the only others to manage to stay on the lead lap last time out. Flowers is currently second in the group's point standings.

It is a family affair with the Flowers clan. Father Scott is coming off of back to back runner up point seasons. He is a past champion at the old Worden Speedway. James is his son, and daughter Julia just started in a Pro Stock this season. "She's been racing in Karts and she wanted to run with us this year, " Scott explained

The daughter already has one goal in mind. "I want to beat my father and my brother in a Main Event, " said Julia, who is a high school senior in Klamath Falls. Her first start at Yreka was a fifth place finish, and she took a checkered flag in eighth last time out.

It has been a few seasons since we last saw the Super 4's division. The effort was established about 15 years ago by local car builder Rick Rapp. After the 2012 season, several of the competitors headed for the pavement up north. John Barger remained and won the last track Championship the division had in 2013. He is one of the drivers that is anticipated this week.

As for who else will be racing, the word was that we could see anywhere from 6 to 10 cars for the opener. Lee Doty, who won the Main Event last year in the division's lone appearance, is anticipated to be one of those drivers. Prior to the most recent Outlaw Pro Stock show, one of that division's competitors and a two time Super 4 champion, Dennis Johnsen, talked about the possibility of being a competitor in this division once again.

The Hornets division is a gateway division to get new stars on to the big track. Last season, Dillon Lausen competed in the Hornet division as did Devon Weiser and Michael Johnson, who was second in the standings. All three of these drivers have moved up to the Mini Stock division this year. Johnson, a second generation competitor at the speedway, was just 14 years old when he started racing. Drew Fielder is the 2015 champion. Again, we've heard anywhere from 6 to 10 drivers could be out there to kick this division off. The Hornet division is in its third season, and optimism is high that it will grow in the weeks ahead.

The OTRO Hardtop division races on the payment up at Roseburg. A group of about a half a dozen of them are hoping to expand their horizons on the dirt. This week will be the first of five scheduled appearances for the group as they try to establish something.

Grandstands open at 5:00 p.m. with the first race starting at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Adult tickets are $12, Juniors and Seniors are $6.00 and children 5 and under are free.  For the ladies out there, Saturday night is Ladies Night, meaning only $6 to come out and watch a great night of racing.

Pit Stops

Of note on last week's roster was the appearance of six time IMCA Modified champion Mark Wauge. Wauge won that division's Main Event impressively. He would like to come back and support all nine races this year, but he's hoping that some of his fellow competitors feel the same way about bringing their cars to the track. "Car count got a little bit down last year, so we started racing at other places, " Mark explained. "I don't want to come out and beat a field of five or six cars. I'd feel just as good about finishing fifth in a field of 20 cars."

Wauge beat a field of 14 cars last week, which means we will probably see him at the division's next appearance on May 21st . "This is my home track, and I've run for points just about every year since I started, " he added.  "I was talking to other racers about coming out here, because I want to see the cars come back. This division puts on a good show for the fans."

Likewise, Winged Sprint Car competitor Vern Wheeler Jr. has been vilified for supporting the cause this year. However, the track is only a few minutes from his house and Wheeler just wants to race. "A few people have called me names for coming out here and racing, " Vern explained. "I just want to race, and I want this division to grow here."

Wheeler brings an experience advantage over the rest of the competition this year, and he's hoping that some of the more experienced teams come out and start racing. "I see what the management is trying to do out here and what they were dealing with coming in, and I understand,"  he remarked as he pointed to the grandstands. "The fans want to see Sprint Cars, and they will start coming back. They are starting to come back. I think that will be reflected in the purse if this continues."

Southern Oregon Outlaw Karts Kick Off 
 New Season On Friday

The little Field of Dreams at Southern Oregon Speedway, the 1/8th mile banked clay oval, kicks off its racing season Friday night. On the slate for the evening will be the Beginner Box Stock division for kids 5 to 8 years old, Intermediate Box Stocks, 125's, 250's, 500's and Micro Sprints.

The little track was built back in 1998 by Ron Shulbin, who promoted the track for the first ten years. Through the years, many youngsters have had their racing careers launched on that race track. Stars such as Camden Robustelli, Chadd Noland and Seth Nunes won their first championships out there.

An eight race schedule has been planned, beginning with this weekend's race. There will be two races per month from now through August, and a special race is being planned for midway through the year. An announcement will be forthcoming.

The Wall of Champions will show that last season's title winners were Trent Florey (Beginner Box Stock), Trevor Grimes (Box Stock), Wyatt Pinchney (125's), Tanner Holmes (250's) and Joseph Benton (500's).
General admission tickets are $5.00 with children under 5 free. Grandstands Open at 5:00 p.m. with the first race scheduled for 7:00 p.m. sharp.

IMCA Modifieds  
No.    Driver            Points
1m    Mark Wauge        40
23    Matt Duste        39  
68    Jesse Bailey        38
89c    Albert Gill        37  
54n    Nick Trenchard        36
11k    Kyle Casson        35
0    Duane Orsburn        34
21    Jeremy Ohlde        33  
68t    Dan Thomas        32
2g    James Welshonse        31  
38    Juston Ryker        30
88    Zach Fettinger        29
8    Daniel Herrera        28
10xx    Lloyd Speer        28

IMCA Sport Modifieds
No.    Driver            Points
84    Jorddon Braaten        40
69    Dwayne Melvin        39
8n    Bob Nelson        38
4y    Jimmy Lipke        37
4    David Marble        36
01k    Kurt Lorenzini        35
83h    Garrett Hamilton        34
76    A.J. Parker        33
30    Mike Medel        32
88    Randy Fernandes        31
6    Keith Foux        30

Mini Stocks

No.    Drivers            Points
43    Bob Burkett        72
0    Gary Anderson        64
17h    Marissa Henson        59
007    Andrew Hall        54
89    Kristopher Mix        49
2d    Devon Weiser        42
9c    Mike Cloud        40
87    Dillon Lausen        35
40    Ethan Killingsworth    30
421    Patrick Stringer-Stein    21
40    Randy Simmons        16
49h    Eric Hanson        12

Pennzoil Winged  Sprint Cars    May 8

No.    Driver            Points
21w    Vern Wheeler Jr.    74
21r    Jake Wheeler        64
25    Camden Robustelli    57
L88    Jeffrey Hudson        53
04    Todd Whipple        46
84    Wayne Kniffen        26  
54    Bill Hopper        6