Thursday, June 30, 2016

Racing And Professional Fireworks Show Set For Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Racing And Professional Fireworks Show Set 
For Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway will begin a very busy period for the track on Monday, July 4th.  It is the Fireworks Spectacular, which features a professional Fireworks Show along with three divisions of racing on the fast 3/10 mile clay oval.  Divisions on the card for this event include IMCA Sport Modifieds, Valley Boys Auto Sales Outlaw Pro Stocks and SODCA Dwarf Cars.

On Friday, July 8th, the Outlaw Kart track will have another event.  A night later, it's Sprint Car Speedweek, featuring some of the best Sprint Car drivers in the Pacific Northwest.  Dwarf Cars and Mini Stocks will also be part of that program.  First up will be Monday's big event.

There's been lots of excitement in the IMCA Sport Modified division so far this year.  More drivers are showing up to race, and there are some competitive drivers in the group.  Jorddon Braaten is still setting the standards as the the point leader at the track and in the state, but there are some drivers racing him hard.

Last season, Bob Nelsen was one of the few drivers to beat Braaten for a Main Event victory, and Nelsen did it again last week.  This thriller of a battle saw Braaten overtake Nelson with a few laps to go, only to see Nelson get back by him a lap later.  Both drivers are anticipated on Monday.

For his part, Jorddon is enjoying how much faster the other drivers are getting this year.   "We knew going into this year that there would be some good competition, " Braaten admitted.  "Guys are really stepping up this year, and that means we have to be ready.  Nothing is guaranteed out there.  You have to go out and earn it."

Another racer who has people talking is 2015 Mini Stock champion David Marble.  David is the top rookie in the Sport Mods and is third in the standings behind Braaten and Mike Medel.  The sportsmanship of these drivers is evident as Medel has helped Marble with setup advice and was beat by him last week.

After his third place finish, David could be the next driver to get a win. "It's been a lot of fun driving one of these cars, " claimed Marble.  "It's been been challenging at times, but that's one of the reasons we got the car.  I feel like we're getting things sorted out and we're just about there.  We almost had it last week before we broke."

The field is so evenly matched that you never know who might win.  Willie McFall won the Trophy Dash last week.  Tony Bartell, A.J. Parker and Glen Severson are others we anticipate this week, and word is there will be a few drivers coming in from California to make it even more interesting.

Speaking of making it interesting, Steve Borror has been a force in the Valley Boys Auto Sales Outlaw Pro Stocks this year.  However, the current point leader has been joined in battle by past NASCAR West winner Rocky Nash in recent weeks.  Nash won the last race at Southern Oregon and finished a close second to Borror in Yreka last week.

The Pro Stocks have seen a rise in car count in recent weeks, and club president Arlen Heath indicates that more cars are coming.  Last time out, there were 16 cars, many of whom hail from  Klamath Falls.  Now that Nash has beat the four time winner Borror, others are hoping for their turn.  Second ranked Scott Flowers, son James Flowers, Rick Lukens, two time champion Ken Irving, Roy Bain and John David Duffie are others to watch for this week.  Duffie ran a strong second in the last visit to the track.

Another driver we may see this week is Brad Zeitler.  Brad had been active in the division as a crewman for several years before going racing himself.  "I pitted for my cousin Jimmy Walker Jr. when he was winning championships, " said Brad.  "He decided he wasn't gonna do it any more, and I wasn't done.  So, I got a car and a trailer and went racing.  This is a good group of guys.  I have a lot of fun racing with them."

The nice thing about the Pro Stocks is they keep a Stock Car presence in Southern Oregon and the Northern tip of  California at a time when there isn't much in the way of fendered, V8 motored race cars.  The division is somewhere between Late Models and Hobby Stocks, but affordable enough to attract many great racers.

The SODCA Dwarf Cars go everywhere, and they put on a show whenever they are in town. The group joined the rival PHRA in Coos Bay last week, and wins were recorded by SODCA stars Camden Robustelli and Brock Peters in the two day event.  Peters swept the action in the last visit to Southern Oregon.

There had been some questions about the previous race at the Medford track in which Peters appeared to get bumped off of Turn 2 by Josh King.  However, Brock set the record straight on that.  "I blew a fuse and lost power to the car, " said Peters.  "Josh had nowhere to go.  He never would have hit me.  I never have an issue racing with him because we race each other cleanly.  I hit a bump and it sparked it and blew a fuse. For it to die like that was a heart breaker."

The SODCA has a mixture of experienced drivers and newcomers to the group this year.  You should also find two time reigning champion Josh King, Ryan Smith, Chad Cardoza, Rob Gergel and point leader Kalvin Morton battling at the front of the pack this Monday.

Don Gifford is not necessarily a newcomer to racing.  He won a Claimer Car championship in the 1980's.  He's lucky to be racing now after having heart surgery last September.  "I didn't race last year," Don explained.  "The year before, I kept racing and getting tired and I couldn't figure out why.  The doctor told me it was a good thing I didn't race last year.  I may not have made it."

Gifford grabbed checkered flags in every race in which he started last time out, and newcomers like Mark Nielson, Jerry Hauck and Joe Sanders continue to improve as well.

This three division program will be one that you won't want to miss.  Plus, there will be a great Fireworks Show.  Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with the first race scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.  Adult tickets are $15 with Seniors and Juniors $10.  Children 5 and under are free.  For further information, check out