Thursday, June 16, 2016

Five Divisions Of Racing This Saturday Night At Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Five Divisions Of Racing This Saturday Night 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Association is back as part of a five division show at Southern Oregon Speedway this Saturday night.  They join IMCA Sport Modifieds, Open Stock Cars, Mini Stocks and Hornets as part of an exciting five division program on the 3/10th mile clay oval track.

Promoter Mike McCann noticed that there were some Late Models and other Stock Cars just sitting around waiting for a race.  The Open Stock class was added as a way to get these cars back to the race track. The division has an open motor and tire rule.  Basically, drivers can just bring their cars to the track and go racing.  All fendered Stock Cars are welcome.

Long time Late Model and Sprint Car racer Mike Linder won the inaugural race two weeks ago ahead of Bob Dees.  Dees has held on to his Late Model for the past few seasons in the hopes that he might get a chance to race it again at his home track.  "We were trying to keep the Late Model division going about five years ago, " Bob explained.  "There were a few of us showing up to race.  Then, it got to where I was the only driver coming and that was it."

Bob's son Garrett was one of the last Street Stock drivers competing when his division was dropped in 2014.  His car is legal for this division, and he's hoping to come race when his busy work schedule will allow it.  Bob's other son, John Dees, has a Late Model in the works for the class.  "I'm hoping this class will really take off, " said Bob, who was fourth ranked in Late Model points in 2011.  "We need a class like this here.  They're a lot of fun to drive, and they put on a good show for the fans."

It might seems like a long distance from the Hornets division to Open Stock, but a racer has to start some place.  Hornets are basically stock four cylinder race cars for the budget minded and new comers to the sport.  Tim Hedges made his first start two weeks ago and won his heat race.  He got into the class for less than $1,000.  "I've been following (Vern) Wheeler and decided I needed to get my own car, " Tim explained.  "It wasn't gonna be a Sprint Car.  These are cheaper."

The affordability is what got Darrel Nelson Jr. into a Hornet.  His car also priced in at under $1,000, and he won the season opener.  Darrell sees this as the gateway class for youngsters getting into racing at the big track.  "There are a few kids who have raced at the Kart Track for a few seasons and have sold their Karts and gotten one of these, " Nelson explained.  "This class is the perfect opportunity for them to get some experience on the bigger track.  The nice part is it's not too expensive either."

New drivers are coming into the growing Hornet class, which is a good thing.  Three of that division's racers from last year, Dillen Lausen, Devon Weiser and Mikey Johnson, have all moved up to the Mini Stock division.  Mikey is following in the footsteps of his father, past Mini Stock champion Mike Johnson.  At 14 years old, Mikey isn't even old enough to legally drive on the street, and he's been learning how to drive a stick.  Mikey's runnerup season in Hornet points last season came in a car with an automatic transmission.

The experience factor in Mini Stocks has played in the favor of point leader Bob Burkett and 2014 champion Gary Anderson.  They run 1-2 in the standings, and Burkett is coming off of his second feature victory.  "A lot of these drivers are pretty new to this, " said Bob, who has ranked second four times in his career.  "Give them some time, and they will get better."

Burkett also sees potential feature winners in 14 year old Marissa Henson and Andrew Hall, who rank third and fourth, respectively.  "She's (Henson) gotten much faster this year. " Bob admitted.  "I can see her getting a win this season the way she is going."

Two time defending champion Jorddon Braaten has all Top 3 finishes so far as he leads the track and state IMCA Sport Modified point races.  He's hoping to get a win this week.  That is the goal of Bob Nelson, who is just ten points behind Braaten in the standings.  Also in the hunt right now is reigning state champion Mike Medel, who finished fourth last week.  Though he's trailing Braaten in the state, he's not giving up.  "We've still got lots of racing to do, " said Medel.  "Anything can happen.  We had a rough night to start the season, but we're getting the car figured out.  We're gonna go out there and give it our best."

Medel could be the driver winning this week, and several SODCA Dwarf Car competitors are hoping to write their names onto the winner's list this week.  Thus far, reigning champion Josh King has two wins at the Medford track, while incoming point leader Kalvin Morton has two wins at Yreka and was second at the most recent visit to Southern Oregon Speedway.  "We came into this season thinking we had a good shot at the championship, " explained Morton, who was fourth in points last season.  "I think we have the car working the way we need it to, and I'm really hoping to get a win here.  Josh is very fast, but I think we can beat him.  I know we'll have earned it when we do."

The five division show this Saturday night offers something for everybody.  From the fast little Dwarf Cars to the exciting new Open Stock class.  Sport Modifieds offer open wheel stock car racing excitement and the four cylinder classes are pretty evenly matched and competitive.  Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. with the first race at 7 p.m.  Adult tickets are $12 with Seniors and Juniors $6.  Children five and under are free.  More information can be found at

Point Standings

IMCA Sport Modifieds
84     Jorddon Braaten 117
8n     Bob Nelsen      107
4y     Jimmy Lipke     107
30m     Mike Medel     99
4m     David Marble     94
76     A.J. Parker     92
7j     Fred Ryland     77
69     Dwayne Melvin     72
7     Patti Ryland     69
27b     Tony Bartell     58
88     Randy Fernandes 58

Mini Stock
43     Bob Burkett 109
0     Gary Anderson     96
17h     Marissa Henson     89
007     Andrew Hall     86
89     Kristopher Mix     71
87     Dillen Lausen     55
9c     Mike Cloud     46
2d     Devon Weiser     42
49h     Eric Hanson     40
7     Mikey Johnson     38

8g     Darrel Nelson Jr. 34
14     Tim Hedges     33
67     John Houck     29
77     Garrett Fredrickson 26

Open Stock
22     Mike Linder     35
6     Bob Dees     32
3d     Miles Deubert     29