Thursday, September 1, 2016

Big Money On The Line In 21st Annual Lon Skinner Memorial Race

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Big Money On The Line In 21st Annual 
Lon Skinner Memorial Race

White City, Oregon...When Southern Oregon Speedway was opened in 1996 by John Skinner, a plaque was laid at the entrance in memory of the man who inspired him.  That same year, the track's cornerstone race, the Lon Skinner Memorial, was launched.  John wanted to pay tribute to his father and make it a weekend of great racing and celebration.

This Saturday and Sunday, the 21st Annual Lon Skinner Memorial race comes to the fast  one-third mile clay oval.  Some of the best racers on the West Coast will compete for the biggest purse for IMCA Modifieds anywhere on the West Coast.  With $5,000 to win and a minimum of $500 to start the Sunday Main Event, track prep guru Jim Rogers has been working to give the racers the best racing surface possible.

The Saturday Preliminary Day will offer heat races, preliminary mains and a $600 to win and $100 to start Main Event that will lock the top finishers into Sunday's big money race.  It makes Sunday a less stressful experience for the front runners as they know going into the day that they are already in.  These drivers will run a special Fast Dash to determine the lineup for the front half of the 24 car Main Event.  The rest of the starting lineup will be determined by who transfers from the preliminary mains.

Leading the charge for the big money will be the race's defending champion and four time winner, Bobby Hogge IV.  The Hogge name has been synonymous with winning for decades, and Bobby has won some of the biggest races and championships out there.  Among Hogge's many accomplishments are his two NASCAR Regional championships in 1996 and 1997.  Hogge has won somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 Main Events in his illustrious career.

Hogge isn't the only Californian coming to town for a shot at the money.  Two time race winner Richard Papenhausen and Duane Cleveland are two past Chico Silver Dollar Speedway champions who will make their presence known this weekend.  Both have scored feature wins at Antioch Speedway this year, where Papenhausen is the Late Model point leader.  Richard is the only driver who has competed in all 20 Lon Skinner Memorial races, and he is a two time winner.

Several local competitors will be there in an effort to keep the winner's prize in Southern Oregon.  Leading that charge are Brian Poppa, Mark Wauge and Nick Trenchard.  All three have won IMCA Modified championships, and Wauge has won more than anybody at Southern Oregon Speedway with six titles.  He's leading the point race going into this big race in the hopes of scoring his second Lon Skinner Memorial win.  Trenchard is also a one time winner of the big race while Poppa has three wins.

Drivers will be coming from everywhere, and the pre entry list includes past Susanville, CA champion Chris Olexiewixcz, Antioch, CA Speedway stars Chester Kniss and Norm Boeck, Shasta and Yreka veteran Stan Gunderson, Top 5 Cottage Grove racer Tyler Smith and Manteca, CA racer Darrell Hughes II.  Hughes finished second to Wauge in the Roger Haudenshild Tribute race back in May.

Southern Oregon Speedway mainstays like two time champion Albert Gill, James Welschonse, Duane Orsburn, Bo Shields, Zach Fettinger and Jesse Bailey are also confirmed from a list of roughly 30 drivers already committed.  It is anticipated that 50 or more drivers will compete this weekend.  Sunday being a point race, it could also shake up the championship battle as Orsburn and Welshonse still have their sights set on Wauge with two races remaining.

As if two nights of exciting IMCA Modified action isn't enough, the IMCA Sport Modifieds and SODCA Dwarf Cars will run two complete programs on Saturday and Sunday.  The Sport Modified field will be bolstered by a group of Northern California visitors, led by Jimmy Ford, who won the Sport Mod Main Event on Lon Skinner Memorial weekend two years ago.

The points will be effected by the anticipated absence of two time reigning IMCA Sport Modified champion Jorddon Braaten, who is competing in his first IMCA Nationals event in Boone, Iowa next week.  Braaten's car is already loaded and on the way.  He was invited to bring his car in California State champion Fred Ryland's trailer, and it was too good of a deal to pass up.

Unless Braaten secures another ride and flies back to Iowa after the race, the door is open for Mike Medel and David Marble to race past him in the standings.  Medel had a strong third place finish in last week's race.  Both of these drivers are still looking for their first wins of the year, while Rich McCoy won impressively last Saturday night.

The two nights of racing will offer some of the best IMCA Modified and Sport Modified racing you will find anywhere in the state.  Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. both nights.  General admission starts at $15 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday, Seniors and Veterans are $12 on Saturday and $18 on Sunday and Kids ages 6-12 are $10 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday.  Two day discounts and reserved seating is also available.  For further information, go to

Point Standings

IMCA Modified
1m  Mark Wauge  180
0  Duane Orsburn  175
2g  James Welshonse  164
89c  Albert Gill  153
54n  Nick Trenchard  128
68  Jesse Bailey  91
88  Zach Fettinger  88
f1 Monte Bischoff 79
64 Ray Kniffen Jr. 75
23  Matt Duste  72

IMCA Sport Modified  
84  Jorddon Braaten  304
30m  Mike Medel  286
4m  David Marble  269
76  A.J. Parker  246
4y  Jimmy Lipke  214
7m  Willie McFall  203
27b  Tony Bartell  158
8n  Bob Nelsen   147
57  Glen Severson 127
69  Dwayne Melvin  107

Past Lon Skinner Memorial Winners
1996  Ron Haggard
1997  Scott Lenz
1998  Tom Glover
1999  Richard Papenhausen
2000  Don Estramado
2001  Brian Poppa
2002  Richard Papenhausen
2003  Dennis Silva
2004  Scott Weldon
2005  Brian Poppa
2006  Mark Wauge
2007  Jon DeBenedetti
2008  Bobby Hogge IV
2009  Bobby Hogge IV
2010  Bobby Hogge IV
2011  Brian Poppa
2012  Matt Duste
2013  Jesse Williamson
2014  Nick Trenchard
2015  Bobby Hogge IV