Thursday, August 25, 2016

Southern Oregon Speedway Two Race Weekend Preview

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Viewed HERE

IMCA Modifieds, Pro Stocks Compete This Saturday Night 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Scorching hot weather forced the cancellation of two nights of racing at Southern Oregon Speedway last week. However, two nights of racing are on the calendar this week at the speedway.

Friday night will be time for the Outlaw Karts to compete on the one-eighth mile dirt oval, and on Saturday night, there will be seven divisions in action on the big track. The IMCA Modifieds were added to Saturday's show to ensure that the racers would have all of the point races necessary for IMCA sanctioning. Joining this division on the card will be IMCA Sport Modifieds, Valley Boys Auto Sales Outlaw Pro Stocks, Pennzoil Winged Sprint Cars, Super 4's and the OTRO Hardtops.
Two time Street Stock champion Duane Orsburn #0 is in the hunt for the IMCA Modified championship.
For the IMCA Modifieds, this is the time of year for the championship race to heat up and ultimately be decided. There are four events left on the calendar, and it's anybody's guess who might walk away with the championship. With two Main Event wins to his credit, six time champion Mark Wauge seems to be the driver to beat at this point.  However, one time winner Duane Orsburn has been gunning for the championship and trails Wauge by only three points.
Bo Shields #555 is a multi time Top 10 ranked Modified driver at Southern Oregon Speedway.
Wauge is confirmed for this Saturday.  This puts the six time track champion at the top of the list of favorites to win this week.   You also have to factor in two time reigning champion Albert Gill and rookie James Welschonse. Gill won the most recent IMCA Modified race. Nick Trenchard, Jesse Bailey and Bo Shields are others to watch for this week.

With the Lon Skinner Memorial race coming up the following week, this is also an opportunity for the racers to make their shakedown runs on their cars before the big show. If there is that one thing that you missed on your setup or with the motor, you can catch it at this race. The big money will be on the line with the $5,000 to win on Sunday, September 4th.

In the IMCA sport Modified division, the Main Event glory seems to have been gobbled up by division powerhouse Jorddon Braaten. The two time reigning champion now has four feature victories and holds a 24 point lead over Mike Medel. Medel is the reigning IMCA State champion, but currently that race is being led by Braaten, who has also won seven races in seven starts at Cottage Grove Speedway. Medel has three second place finishes. Much like rookie David Marble, Medel is still looking for his first feature win. Marble only trails Medel by 14 points in the battle for second.

The Sport Modified division has been growing this year, and word was that we would be seeing the return of Rich McCoy in a car painted reminiscent of Lightning McQueen from the Disney movie Cars. Other drivers to watch for this week include Tony Bartell, A.J,.Parker, Willie McFall and Glen Severson.

Rookie Julia Flowers #20 is fourth in the Pro Stock point standings.

The Valley Boys Auto Sales Outlaw Pro Stocks have been dominated this year by Steve Borror. Borror has now won seven of the 10 races held for the class so far, including the $1,000 in the most recent Roger Haudenshild Honors race. With Borror winning so much, only three other drivers have visited the Winner's Circle this year. Miles Deubert and NASCAR veteran Rocky Nash have earned wins at Southern Oregon Speedway and two time Super 4's champion Brian Johnsen has a win at Yreka.

In the championship battle, Scott Flowers is currently second behind Borror. Flowers has finished second in the standings for the past two years. Last time out, he had a concern that he may not even make it through the whole night after he found a problem with his motor just before putting the car on the trailer. He made the decision to come out and race anyway and managed to get a third place finish. Flowers be could be a driver to watch in the quest to defeat Borror, and other hard chargers we anticipate on Saturday are third place point competitor Matt Harlow, James Flowers, two time champion Ken Irving, Scott Bennett and Roy Bain.

The Pennzoil Winged Sprint Car championship appears to be at hand for third generation racer Jake Wheeler. With one win and three second place finishes, Wheeler pretty much just needs to make a start this week and the title will be clinched. The battle would seem to be between Wayne Kniffen, Bill Hopper and Jeffrey Hudson for second in the standings. Hudson currently holds a seven point lead over Hooper and an 18 point lead over Kniffen.

There have now been nine different competitors in the Super 4's division, which was added to the program after being gone for the past two seasons. John Barger got off to a good start, but hard charger Lee Doty has been creeping up on him slowly. After the fourth event, two time winner Doty has moved to within 13 points of Barger in the championship battle. The division has also seen some good drivers joining the action in recent weeks, including Eric Oahs and feature winner Dan Prewitt. These souped up 4 cylinder Stock Cars put on a good show, and racers like Terry Hadley, Krista Hadley, Charlie Eaton and Bill Spencer make this division entertaining to watch.

Not to be forgotten in the mix are the OTRO Hardtops. Trevor Thomason has won three of four exhibition events in the Vic & Louise Bridges owned entry. Thomason has been a fast competitor, and Bill Trotter's car has also been very competitive. With Trotter stepping out of the cockpit last time, it was Mark Minter picking up wins in both the Trophy Dash and Main Event. There are some beautiful race cars in this group. The cars are reminiscent of the cars that ran at the old Medford Speedway and other tracks back in the 1950's and 1960's. Other drivers to watch for this week include Wylie Powell, Jimmy Del Castille and Chris Mehrer.

If you're looking for more racing in addition to the Saturday night show, The Outlaw Kart race track will have you covered. The 500 and 250 Karts will be there along with the Box Stock class and the youngsters in the Beginner Box Stock division. There will be lots of racing on the 1/8 mile clay oval as each division gets two sets of heats before their Main Events. It's an opportunity to watch some of the future stars of the big track as they get their starts in racing. Young chargers like 250's point leader Bodee Weiser, Box Stock leader Trevor Grimes, past 250's champion Brody Sim and Brendon Bartlett are names you may be hearing on the big track someday soon.

The Friday Night Show and the Saturday show both have gates opening at 5 p.m. with the first race starting at 7 p.m. Friday Night tickets are $10 for general admission, and Saturday night tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for Seniors and Juniors and children 5 and under are free. For further information, go to

Southern Oregon Speedway Points

IMCA Modifieds
Mark Wauge            143
Duane Orsburn         140
James Welshonse    128
Albert Gill                 122
Jesse Bailey             91

IMCA Sport Mods
Jorddon Braaten         273
Mike Medel                249
David Marble              235
A.J. Parker                214
Jimmy Lipke              176

Outlaw Pro Stocks
Steve Borror             496
Scott Flowers           449
Matt Harlow              371
James Flowers         362
Julia Flowers            340

Super 4's
John Barger            118
Lee Doty                105
Bill Spencer             97
Charlie Eaton          85
Dan Prewitt              71

Pennzoil Sprint Cars
Jake Wheeler         140
Jeffrey Hudson         84
Bill Hopper               77
Vern Wheeler Jr.      74
Wayne Kniffen         66

Last Time Out, The Outlaw Karts Put On A Show
At Southern Oregon Speedway

As we prepare for Outlaw Karts this Friday (August 27) night at Southern Oregon Speedway, here's an excerpt from a recent edition of the Pit Stops column from Jefferson Racing News.
White City, Oregon...The Pit Stop Reporter has literally pushed this column as far back as possible before having to cancel it.  But, we're not doing that.  We are coming off of the Big Vern Wheeler Memorial Kart Race  at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Buzz has generally been positive.  The Kart racers enjoyed the little track that Uncle Rich and his crew worked very hard to give them Friday night.  Kudos go out to Rich for his hard work, but we'd prefer he not put himself into the hospital doing it next time.

Bodee Weiser #87 is a feature winner and the point leader in the 250 Kart division.

Kudos go out to Mike Wheeler.  The big 500 Open Out Kart race was his idea as a means to give his fellow racers a big race in which to compete, while at the same time paying tribute to his father, the late Vern Wheeler Sr.  Though he's been gone a few years now, his memory lives on in his children and grand children.  Mike's mother was there to drop a green flag on the big money race and award the big trophy to the winner.  When it was all said and done, the winner was Mike.

Make no mistake, this wasn't about Mike getting a big win for himself.  He happens to be one of the best 500 Open Kart racers in the Nation right now, and he's going to be a factor in any big race.  However, he had to work hard to get this win and showed the personal wear and tear after winning the 50 lap marathon on the one-eighth mile clay oval. Jesse Colwell and then Jake Park provided the challenge with Park eventually finishing second ahead of Chase Hill.  Park and teammate Tyler Seavey were in from California like a good portion of the drivers in the field.
Loveah "The Love Bug" Crice #7 is one of the many talented girls in the Box Stock division.

Not surprisingly, young Tanner Holmes had another outstanding showing.  Coming off of his big win in Montana a few weeks ago, he picked up a solid fifth placed finish in the 23 car 500 Open class.  He was in the Top 5, pitted and drove back up to fifth.  But the Holmes family was not content with this finish.  Tanner won both of his heat races in the 250 Kart class, and the reigning champion held off previous winner Bodee Weiser and Maximus Mittry to win the Main Event.  Weiser continues to lead the point race so far.

Not to let her big brother have all the fun, 2014 Box Stock champion Carley Holmes won a heat race and then proceeded to hold off point leader Trevor Grimes to win that division's Main Event.  Grimes, who is the reigning champion, was riding a two race win streak, but he was no match for Carley.  This talented young lady has moved into a 250 Kart class this season as well and is excited about making the move up.  Grimes wasn't far behind her at the checkered flag as Brionna Fuller finished third.

Roger "Dodger" Whipple #77 gets faster with each start in the Beginner's Box Stock division.

Not to be forgotten in the group of some 55 Karts were the 12 Beginners Box Stocks.  On this occasion, every one of these youngsters got behind the wheel and gave it a shot at least once.  The two fastest Karts were those of Taylor Fuller and Daisy Gargurevich, and both won a pair of heat races.  You can see where these two are nearing the point where they will be ready to move to the regular Box Stock class.  Taylor lapped all by Gargurevich in victory.  Point leader Kiley Grimes continues to improve with her third place finish while Malachi Johnson made his very first start with a fourth place finish.

Friday night highlighted the potential of this Kart track to have big races.  The program is still a work in progress as the teams realize there is a commitment to make the track better and build on the program.  There are many ideas for the future to build on.  New divisions that may be considered in the future, and the the Vern Wheeler Sr. Memorial will be an annual event.  The next two event on the calendar is this Friday night.

The Super 4's Are Back In A Rebuilding Year 
At Southern Oregon Speedway
Lee Doty #7 is a two time Super 4's Main Event winner so far this year.

White City, Oregon...The Super 4's division returns to Southern Oregon Speedway this Saturday night. This will be their fifth of six scheduled appearances on the 1/3 mile clay oval. They will return for the season finale on September 24th. The division was a regular part of the speedway for over a decade before drivers went elsewhere at the end of the 2013 season.

Through the years, four cylinder racing has taken some flack from racing enthusiasts who see the four cylinder engine as somehow lesser than the V8. However, the observant fan knows just how good this form of racing is. Back in the 1980's, in Fremont, California, Baylands Raceway had several different varieties of four cylinder racing from Mini Stocks to the exotic Mini Outlaws. What that gave Baylands was a ladder for Mini Stock drivers to climb from entry level to faster classes, and there were drivers who did just that.
Bill Spencer #99 is currently third in Super 4's points.

Southern Speedway had a Mini Stock division when it opened in 1996, and the division has continued to be a part of things ever since. As the 2000's came along, the Super 4's division was added. Stars such as Brian Johnson, Joe Guider and Reggie DeVore won championships through the years, and competitors such as Bryan Barns, Pat Akins, Vicki Macormick and Krista Hadley moved up from the Mini Stocks into the Super 4's division.  In fact, Barns is a two time Super 4's champion with a Mini Stock championship before moving up.

In 2013, John Barger won the last championship before the class was dropped. Though drivers moved on, Barger was one of those racers waiting for the opportunity to come back to his home track. Currently, he is being shown at the point later. Last season, Barger, and hard chargers Lee Doty, Charlie Eaton and Bill Spencer were among the competitors who ran a special August race to see if there was interest in bringing this division back to the speedway. All four drivers are a part of this season's roster.

Terry Hadley #18 is a past Super 4's point runnerup at Southern Oregon Speedway.

2016 is seen as a rebuilding year for the popular Super 4's division, and already nine different cars have been at the speedway so far this year. Making their return this year are the husband and wife duo of Terry and Krista Hadley. Also joining the class this year and winning a feature in Dan Prewitt and the man who finished second to him that night, Eric Oahs. Steve Thompson won the season opener, but after blowing a motor in the second race, he has been working to get things back together.

In an effort to get these cars back to the track, the rule book has been relaxed in favor of rebuilding the class. The roster continues to grow, and it is believed that there will be double digit car counts when this division returns to the speedway in 2017.

The Super 4's division gives the fans a Late Model look without the Late Model budget. The action is close and exciting on the racetrack every week. The desire to make this class work has created a closely knit group.  People are quick to pitch in and help each other when they can.

Though he has two wins this year, Doty is working just as hard off the track to get more cars out there.  There have been three different Main Event winners in the four races held so far, and most of the drivers are so competitive right now that we could see our fourth different winner when the division returns this week.

So grab a seat when the Super 4's roll onto the track on Saturday, though you may only be using the edge of it.  Barger, Doty, Prewitt, Eaton, Spencer, Oahs, Thompson and The Hadley's and their fast Super 4's will be putting on a show that you won't want to miss!

OTRO Hardtops Return To Southern Oregon Speedway 
For Final 2016 Appearance
One of the two Bill Trotter owned cars that has supported all of the races this year. 
White City, Oregon...The Old Time Racers of Oregon return to Southern Oregon Speedway with their Hardtops for their fifth and final appearance of the season this Saturday night. This is a group of racers more accustomed to running on the pavement, but they have given it a go on the dirt four times this year so far. It is a chance for the fans to get a look at the style of race car that was once prevalent throughout the United States in the 1950's and 1960's.

Racing for the fun of it, these drivers run exhibition races that may take on the appearance full fledged racing shows. However, it's more about having fun than who is winning and who is losing. The OTRO does not race for points. In effort to get some of these payment racers to come out and try the dirt, no tire rule was initiated. Many of these drivers are competing on slick tires, which can make things very interesting early in the evening.

Rhett Lange #79 comes from Nevada to support the OTRO Hardtop effort.
Car owner Bill Trotter knows a little bit about that. Bill drives the red #46 1936 Plymouth Coupe, while he has Chris Mehrer driving his red #16 Ford Pick Up. Both have Chevy 250 V6 motors. At the first race this year, Mehrer crossed the line first in an eventful Trophy Dash that saw him spin on the front straightaway on the second lap. Feeling pretty good about the way his truck was running, Mehrer was running hard when he lost control in the heat race and hit the front wall.  The impact knocked the front end out from underneath the truck. It was a little bit of work getting the truck back in racing form, but it seems to be running okay now.

The guys are just out there having fun and not so much worried about who is finishing first or who is running last. They frown on point racing as they feel it has a negative effect on the action on the track.  The OTRO strives to keep nice looking cars on the race track. One of the nicest looking cars on the track is the #66 1934 Ford four door Sedan of Jimmy Del Castille. Del Castille had a good showing at the most recent event. The #46 Trotter car also ran well with Mark Minter behind the wheel that night.

Jimmy Del Castille #66 has one of the nicest looking Hardtops of the group.

Driving the white and red #26 1936 Plymouth Coupe owned by Dusty Trotter, Wylie Powell has made all of the events along with the red and white #4c 1935 Chevy Sedan of Brian Crouch. The Crouch car actually goes back to the launching of the modern California Hardtop movement in 2002 when it was at the weekend shows at Sacramento and Orland in 2002. Rhett Lange and Gary Barber have also made trips to the speedway this year.

Then, there is the 1933 Dodge Coupe Chevy 250 V6 owned by OTRO President Vic Bridges and his wife Louise. Trevor Thomason is behind the wheel. Trevor is usually setting a fast pace in these exhibition races and putting on a show. Though he's usually being started in the last, he finds his way to the front.

But, it's all in good fun. The closely knit OTRO Hardtop racers show up at the racetrack together and park in a group, and they are always thinking about ways to entertain the fans. For those who remember those days gone by, watching these cars on the race track will spark memories of the good old days. For those who weren't there in those days, you still get a glimpse of some very nice looking race cars. It should be a lot of fun watching the OTRO Hardtops when they take to the track again this Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.

 Wauge, Gill And Trenchard Coming 
To Lon Skinner Memorial Race

Six time IMCA Modified champion Mark Wauge #1m is competing in this year's Lon Skinner Memorial Race.

White City, Oregon...With a little over a week to go until the big Lon Skinner Memorial IMCA Modified Race, Mark Wauge has served notice to the competition that he is coming to the 21st running of the special event at Southern Oregon Speedway. The event, set for Labor DayWeekend (September 2-4), will pay $5,000 to win on Sunday night with the preliminary Main Event on Saturday paying $600 to win and helping set the lineup for the Sunday race. Nick Trenchard and Albert Gill are also confirmed for the show.

Throughout his illustrious career, Wauge has just about won everything a race car driver can win at Southern Oregon Speedway. With six championships in the IMCA Modified division to his credit, nobody has won more than he has. He is also the winner of the 2006 Lon Skinner Memorial Race. When Mark shows up at the racetrack, the competition knows that they have to step up their game to keep him behind them.

Currently, Wauge leads the IMCA Modified point standings in a bid for his seventh track championship. He has two wins this year, and his win in the Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race back on Memorial Day Weekend had everybody at the speedway talking. After a bad heat race put him into the B Main that night, he proceeded to win that race and then started back in the tenth row in the Main Event that would only have one yellow flag. By lap 20 of the 30 lap race, Wauge had taken over the lead from California visitor Darrell Hughes II. He went on to victory from there.

Nick Trenchard is another star who has been on the rise in recent seasons.  Trenchard was the winner of the 2014 Lon Skinner Memorial.  He is also a multi time Top 5 IMCA Modified point competitor at Southern Oregon Speedway before winning the championship in Yreka last year.  He also kicked off the season at Yreka this year with a $1000 victory.  Nick finished sixth last year and has to be considered a threat to win this season. 

Albert Gill won the most recent race this season at the speedway in impressive fashion.  He's been a fixture at Southern Oregon Speedway for years and was a multi time Top 5 ranked Pro Stock competitor prior to moving up to IMCA Modifieds.  For the past two seasons, Gill's name has been at the top of the point list as track champion.  Anybody who takes Gill lightly may be in for a big surprise . Long time observers say that the breakout win is just around the corner for him.

Wauge, three time Lon Skinner Memorial winner Brian Poppa, Trenchard and Gill lead what is sure to be a strong Southern Oregon contingent that is determined to keep the first prize money in the area. With four time winner Bobby Hogge IV coming back to try to defend his 2015 victory, they know that winning will be a challenge.

Though Wauge, Poppa, Gill and Trenchard are four of the locals confirmed so far, it is anticipated that most of the big names from the area will be there, including Jesse Bailey, 2012 Lon Skinner Memorial race winner Matt Duste, Bo Shields, Duane Orsburn and James Welschonse. The 2016 Lon Skinner Memorial Race is shaping up to be another crowd pleaser. 

Further race information can be found on the official race flier or