Monday, March 27, 2017

IMCA Modified And Sport Modified Previews, OTRO Hardtops And More

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
The latest edition of the show can be heard HERE

IMCA Sport Modifieds Preparing For Best Year Yet 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The IMCA Sport Modifieds are back for their sixth season at Southern Oregon Speedway, and good things are anticipated for the division.  Their arrival in 2012 was a bit controversial as an attempt was made to merge the track's Pro Stock class into the Sport Modifieds, which hadn't gone with IMCA just yet.  Three Pro Stock stars, Mike Medel, Rob Fitzsimmons and Bob Nelsen were on the first roster, joined by Modified racer Dwayne Melvin.  All but Nelsen are back this year.  Nelsen has sold his car to Fitzsimmons.

The whole reason for Sport Modifeds was the idea that there is a plethora of Modified chassis out there that may not quite have what it takes in the Modifieds, but they can be competitive with the Sport Modifieds.  As some Modified drivers may get a bit discouraged or feel they don't have the budget to be as competitive as they might like, they decide to park. The Sport Modified division gives them a chance to get back out there and be competitive.  It also offers drivers looking to compete a less expensive path to go Modified racing.  The fourth year under IMCA sanctioning gives the drivers a national set of rules as well as track, state and national points.

As luck would have it, Southern Oregon Speedway is the home track of Oregon State champions Jorddon Braaten and Mike Medel.  Braaten was the IMCA State champion last season and won over a dozen races on the circuit.  In fact, he also won the Pacific Sport Modified Series championship.  Some people consider Braaten to be the best Sport Modified racer in the state, and he is definitely hard to beat on race night.  Even if he could be the favorite to win it this year, the competition level is at an all time high for this class headed into this season.

2015 IMCA State champion Mike Medel is the defending track champion.  Mike is looking to not only repeat as champion but win more often.  To achieve that goal, he has a new car this season.  Like Braaten, Medel is a dedicated racer who likes to test his skills against the best drivers on the circuit, and he also won on the road last season.  You might be looking for a Braaten-Medell battle up front, but these two drivers won't be alone.

David Marble was a force in the Mini Stock division with a championship and many feature wins to show for it.  In his rookie season in Sport Modifieds last year, Marble battled for Main Event wins and picked up three Trophy Dash victories.  However, David isn't content to finish near the front of the pack in the Main Event.  He earned several feature wins in the Mini Stocks, and he will be a good bet to win his first Sport Mod feature this season.

Rob Fitzsimmons is no stranger to winning races.  He has won in both the Pro Stock and Sport Modified ranks and finished second in the Sport Modified standings back in 2012.  Bob Nelsen picked up a pair of victories in the car last season, and Fitzsimmons has the skill to get to the Winner's Circle again this year.  Another driver with a win last year was 2012-2013 division champion Dwayne Melvin.  Whether or not he puts himself in the point battle this season, Melvin will be a threat to win any time he comes to race.

Toby Judd was a welcome addition back in the Sport Modifieds last season.  Like Marble, Judd is a one time Mini Stock champion (2012) with several feature wins to show for it, and you have to believe he will make his presence known this year.  Yet another past Mini Stock champion (1998), Rich McCoy was fast last season after debuting the "Lightning McQueen" paint job with a feature win that night.  He is also a past Modified feature winner, and will be as fast as anybody out there.  Another driver that will be a threat is multi time Top 5 Dwarf Car point competitor Kalvin Morton, who had a feature win in one of his few starts last season. 

The talent level is higher than it's ever been in Sport Modifieds, which is good news for the fans.  Coming off of their Top 5 point seasons, A.J. Parker and Willie McFall will be back to try to get to the winner's circle this year.  Parker was rumored to be in a new car this year.  His teammate, Tony Bartell, who is a past Late Model Lites feature winner, will be back as well.  Shane Everson, Bob  Thomas and Randy Fernandes are among the others to watch for this season.  Plus, some top notch talent from elsewhere will be paying the track a visit or two during the season.

The IMCA rules package will keep the class competitive, and the fans will be treated to an exciting 11 race season.  After playdays scheduled for April 15th and 22nd, the season kicks off on April 29th and continues with visits all the way through the point finale on September 9th.  Will Medel, Braaten or Melvin win another championship, or will a new driver join them on the champion's podium this season?  Come out to the track this season and find out.  For further information, go to

2017 Southern Oregon Speedway IMCA Modified Schedule

April 15 Playday
April 22 Rain Out Make Up Playday
April 29
May 13
June 3 - Roger Haudenshild Tribute
June 17
June 24 - Wild West Speedweek
July 8
August 12
September 2 Lon Skinner Memorial
September 3 Lon Skinner Memorial
September 16

Past IMCA Sport Modified champions.

2012  Dwayne Melvin
2013  Dwayne Melvin
2014  Jorddon Braaten
2015  Jorddon Braaten
2016  Mike Medel

Previous Feature IMCA Sport Mod Winners 2014-1016

May 2, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
May 9, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
May 22, 2014:  Bob Nelsen
May 30, 2014:  Matt Duste
June 20, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
June 29, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
August 1, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
August 29, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
September 5, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
September 6, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
September 19, 2014:  Jorddon Braaten
September 26, 2014:  Glen Severson
May 3, 2015:  Bob Nelsen
May 17, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
May 31, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
June 7, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
June 14, 2015:  Rob Fitzsimmons
June 21, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
June 28, 2015:  Rob Fitzsimmons
July 3, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
July 26, 2015:  Matt Duste
August 2, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
August 9, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
August 23, 2015:  Bob Nelsen
August 30, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
August 31, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
September 6, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
September 27, 2015:  Jorddon Braaten
May 7, 2016:  Jorddon Braaten
May 28, 2016:  Todd Cooper
June 11, 2016:  Fred Ryland
June 18, 2016:  Jorddon Braaten
June 25, 2016:  Bob Nelsen
July 4, 2016:  Jorddon Braaten
July 30, 2016:  Jorddon Braaten
August 27, 2016:  Rich McCoy
September 3, 2016:  Bob Nelsen
September 4, 2016:  Howard Law
September 10, 2016:  Mike Medel
September 17, 2016:  Dwayne Melvin

IMCA Modifieds Back For 22nd Season 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...IMCA Modifieds are back once again for ten races at Southern Oregon Speedway.  The IMCA sanctioning returns in both the Modified and Sport Modified classes.  The racers prefer this because it keeps the class running under a universal set of rules that are used throughout the country.  Plus, the point structure allows them to compete not just for a track championship, but Oregon State, Western Region and National championships as well.

When Southern Oregon Speedway opened back in 1996, the track featured the Modified class.  For a while, they ran with wings on the top.  As time went on, the track tried other sanctioning bodies before settling on IMCA sanctioning in recent years.  The Modifieds also became the chosen division for the track's marquee race, the Lon Skinner Memorial race.  This race has been a featured event every year since the track opened.

Some of the very best racers in Oregon and Northern California Modified racing hail from the Medford area.  The fans have been entertained by such hard chargers as Don Estremado, Tom Glover, Dave Duste, Bruce Rayburn, Jon DeBenedetti, Brian Poppa and Mark Wauge through the years.  The fact that the field was so stacked with talent that you never knew who would win from week to week made Southern Oregon Speedway the place to be on Saturday night.

It's an exciting time for the IMCA Modified division as new stars have been emerging in recent years, led by Albert Gill.  Gill isn't exactly a new racer.  He has come up from the Pro Stock ranks to win back to back Modified championships in 2014-2015.  Gill has been one of the strongest supporters of the track and IMCA in recent years.   Though he fell back a couple spots in the Top 5 last season, his impressive feature win and Trophy Dash victory in the same night serves as a reminder that he is still a force to be reckoned with.   He is also a two time Yreka champion in recent years.  As good as he is, the best may be yet to come for Gill.

James Welshonse was a star of Street Stocks and Mini Stocks before a brief foray into Sport Modifieds.  In his rookie season last year, he had a knack for winning Trophy Dashes as he competed for "Rookie Of The Year" honors.  In the finale, James made a big statement by riding the outside groove all the way to first place, and he only lost the track championship by two points to Mark Wauge in the end.  He is certainly a driver you can't ignore in the battle this season.

Another driver to keep an eye on is Jesse Bailey.  He's certainly been one of the front runners during the previous four seasons with multiple Main Event wins and four consecutive Top 5 seasons.  Jesse missed some races last year in his fifth place effort, but he still scored two third place finishes and one second, along with a Trophy Dash win.  If he goes all in with the schedule, he could just be the driver to beat in the championship race. 

Ray Kniffen Jr. is ready to race this season.  The Kniffen family has been a part of racing in Medford for years, and Ray redid his car to be more competitive last year.  He nearly won a Main Event, settling for a close second.  Then, he suffered an injury at the Lon Skinner Memorial and brought in Pro Stock champion Scott Lenz to drive.  Unfortunately, Lenz saw a win slip away in the finale when the second place driver went for an opening that wasn't there.  Kniffen is back this year and will be a threat to win when he's there.

After a Top 10 point effort in 2015 and a Top 3 season in Street Stocks before that, Brett Provost sat out the 2016 season, but he's coming back this year.  Past Top 3 point runner Jeremy Ohlde was prepared to make a run at the championship before a work related injury sidelined him prematurely last year.  He's also planning to comeback this season.  The last time we saw Andy Freeman race, he was picking up a win in  September off 2015.  He's also a past Pro Stock feature winner, and he has a new car this season.

The reality is that the talent pool is loaded in the IMCA Modifieds as there are some big stars to watch for from time to time, if not regularly.  Nick Trenchard, Brian Poppa and Mark Wauge are all champions.  Wauge is the most decorated Modified champion in speedway history with seven titles and about 50 feature wins, while Poppa bears the distinction of winning Modified and Pro Stock championships in the same season.  Poppa was the inaugural Wild West Speedweek champion.  Trenchard is a Lon Skinner Memorial winner and Yreka champion.

Monte Bischoff, C.J. Putnam, Matt Duste, Brian Bowman, Zach Fettinger, Bo Shields, Duane Orsburn, Jay Poppa, Lloyd Speer and Kyle Casson are all threats to win on any given race day.  The fact is that it's difficult to even predict who might be the driver to beat in this year's championship battle.

Point racing kicks off on May 6th.  The ten race schedule has some big dates, including the Roger Haudenshild Tribute on June 3rd, the Wild West Speedweek race on June 24th and the Lon Skinner Memorial Race on September 2nd and 3rd.  Last season was a wide open affair with eight different winners in nine races.  Who will lay claim to the first IMCA Modified victory of the season?  We'll find out on May 6th.  For further information on the IMCA Modified division and other happenings at the track, go to

2017 Southern Oregon Speedway IMCA Modified Schedule

April 15 Playday
April 22 Rain Out Make Up Playday
May 6
May 20
June 3 - Roger Haudenshild Tribute
June 17
June 24 - Wild West Speedweek
July 22
August 12
September 2 Lon Skinner Memorial
September 3 Lon Skinner Memorial
September 16

Most Recent IMCA Modified Feature Winners

1996  Tom Glover
1997  Dennis Silva
1998  Tom Glover
1999  Don Estramado
2000  Mark Wauge
2001  Jay Hinton Jr.
2002  Jon DeBenedetti
2003  Jeremy Richey
2004  Brad Alfrey
2005  Mark Wauge
2006  Brian Poppa
2007  Mark Wauge
2008  Justin Holt
2009  Mark Wauge
2010  Travis Peery
2011  Mark Wauge
2012  Mark Wauge
2013  Dustin Knight
2014  Albert Gill
2015  Albert Gill
2016  Mark Wauge

Past Southern Oregon IMCA Modified Feature Winners

May 3, 2014:  Albert Gill
May 10, 2014:  Tom Berry Jr.
May 31, 2014:  Jesse Bailey
June 7, 2014:  Kevin Hewitt
June 21, 2014:  Albert Gill
July 3, 2014:  Nick Trenchard
July 26, 2014:  Albert Gill
August 16, 2014:  Collen Winebarger
August 30, 2014:  Nick Trenchard
August 3, 2014:  Nick Trenchard
September 6, 2014:  Jeremy Richey
September 27, 2014:  B.J. Wild
April 18, 2015:  Jesse Bailey
April 25, 2015:  Albert Gill
May 2. 2015:  Albert Gill
May 9, 2015:  Scott Lenz
May 30, 2015:  Nick Trenchard
June 13. 2015:  Jesse Williamson
July 4, 2015:  Mark Wauge
July 18, 2015:  Brian Poppa
August 1, 2015:  Mark Wauge
August 15, 2015:  Jon DeBenedetti
August 22, 2015:  Mark Wauge
September 5, 2015:  Kellen Chadwick
Septeber 6, 2015:  Bobby Hogge IV
September 19, 2015:  Andy Freeman
September 26, 2015:  Nick Trenchard
May 7, 2016:  Mark Wauge
May 28, 2016:  Mark Wauge
June 4, 2016:  Duane Orsburn
June 11, 2016:  Ryan Scott Gaylord
July 16, 2016:  Albert Gill
August 27, 2016:  Monte Bischoff
September 3, 2016:  Jeremy Richey
September 4, 2016:  Bobby Hogge IV
September  17, 2016:  James Welshonse   

OTRO Hardtops Are Returning To 
Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The Old Time Racers of Oregon are coming back to Southern Oregon Speedway.  OTRO President Vic Bridges and Promoter Mike McCann have set a schedule that will have the group visiting eight times this year.  The OTRO has raced primarily on the pavement through the years, but they have been more willing recently to give dirt track racing a try.  Last season, Bridges and McCann made an agreement to run some races in Medford and see how it went.  The group had fun and supported the track five times.

The OTRO is bringing old time Hardtop racing to a new generation of fans.  It's all about fun.  The group isn't worried about points or crowning champions.  Everybody is a winner for bringing their beautiful vintage race cars to the track.  The cars all run bodies generally from the 1930's.  They are mostly Sedan and Coupe bodies and run on V-6 powered motors.  Since everybody ran on slicks on the pavement and they have a good tire deal, slick tires are what they use.

This makes for an interesting night early on as the track is still coming in.  The show always starts with a Trophy Dash, and during the course of last season, OTRO made sure everybody got a chance to run one.  The first race was the liveliest as Chris Mehrer piloted the unique red pickup of Bill Trotter.  After an early spin, he came back and won that race.   The track was still tricky in the heat race, and Mehrer found that out the hard way as he clobbered the wall exciting Turn 4.

The group generally fielded a half dozen cars last season, and the Trotter family accounted for three of them.  In addition the the pickup truck, Bill Trotter drove his red 1936 Plymouth Coupe.  Dusty Trotter fielded another 1936 Plymouth Coupe with Wylie Prowell behind the wheel.  Between these three cars, they had four Trophy Dash wins, and Mark Minter drove Bill Trotter's Coupe to a dash and feature win in the same night.  Minter will have his own pink 1929 Model A Ford Coupe at the track this year.

Vic & Louise Bridges have a couple of cars on the roster, and we saw their beautiful 1933 Dodge Coupe last season with Trevor Thomason behind the wheel.  Trevor accounted for four feature wins, but he had his hands full with Trotter and Prowell in last year's finale.

Brian Crouch supported the show last year in his 1935 Chevy Sedan, and Jimmy Del Castille finished as high as second last season in his 1934 Ford Sedan.  Gary Barber supported the first couple of races in his 1936 Chevy Coupe.  He has sold the car, but we will reportedly see it this year along with others, including Rhett Lange, Dean Cast and Stanley Garboden.  Word was that the Augustine Racing Team has a car of their own in the works.

Hardtop racing is alive and well in Oregon, and Southern Oregon Speedway is excited about hosting eight races for OTRO this season, starting with their first visit on May 13th.  For further updates on the happenings at the speedway, go to

2017 Southern Oregon Speedway OTRO Hardtop Schedule

April 15 - Playday
April 22 - Rain Out Make Up Playday
May 13
May 27
June 10
June 17
July 1
July 22
August 5
August 19

Southern Oregon Speedway Is The Second Chance 
For Medford Racing

White City, Oregon...It was 1996.  There was anticipation in the air in the Medford area.  The fans wanted to watch a race without making a long trip down the road.  The racers wanted to go racing without worrying about a long trip home after the races.  Then, it happened.  The gates opened and everybody flocked to Southern Oregon Speedway.  The community had racing once again, and those early years were the golden years.

Many people probably don't know the great heritage of racing we've had in Medford.  In the late 1940's, not too far down the road in Ashland, there was racing for 14 years.  About four years after Ashland opened, Medford Speedway opened in 1951, and it remained in operation for almost 40 years.  There was even a second Medford Raceway, and the remnants of that track can still be seen behind the over grown black berry bushes.  The racing community was saddened when the property owner pulled the plug on Medford Speedway in late July of 1989, two months before the season was scheduled to close.

In a case of the old promoter crossing paths with the new promoter, the Skinner family moved their scheduled big race that season to Riverside Speedway in Cottage Grove.  Mike McCann was the promoter at that time.  After that, the racers scattered to different tracks or just parked their race cars.  The racing dream was apparently over.  Before walking away a couple years before the track closed, Promoter Dennis Huth was negotiating to put a race track near where Southern Oregon Speedway currently sets.  Huth could see what was coming.

There were people looking to put a race track on the Jackson County Sports Park property, and that idea picked up steam.  John Hughes had been actively looking for people to put in a race track there, and it was Darrell Cooper who came along with a plan.  A deal was struck, but during that time, Cooper had the same idea that had been proposed by McCann.  He wanted to put dirt on Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg.  Cooper was looking to sell.  Fortunately, John Skinner was looking to buy, and Skinner built what became Southern Oregon Speedway.  Medford got a second chance at racing.

Sometimes we in the racing community don't realize how lucky we are that we have a race track in our back yard.  When the earthquake hit Klamath Falls in the early 1990's, that track closed and never reopened.  There's no more racing in Eugene.  Great traditions in California, such as West Capital Speedway in Sacramento, Vallejo Speedway and San Jose Speedway closed with no replacement at another location offered.  Southern Oregon Speedway gave Medford racing a second chance, and it enters its 22nd season of continued racing.

The early years were golden.  Packed grandstands, full pits.  Everything a race fan could want.  Even ten years in, it was strong.  People appreciated what they had.  Racers wanted to race.  Fans wanted to spectate.  The track's signature race was the Lon Skinner Memorial Modified race, but there were other events too.  The track built up a reputation for good racing on one of the nicest facilities in the state of Oregon.  It peaked in 2005, which was a season hit with way too many rainouts.  The next couple of seasons weren't all that bad either.  Then, things started too change. 

Regardless, the show went on, because there was always somebody who cared enough to keep the place going.  You hear the passion in the comments of the people.  They love Southern Oregon Speedway.  It might come out in frustration where there's a misguided comment because something didn't go the way they wanted.  That's the thing about being a racing fan.  It's not just entertainment or a sport, it's a passion.  It's part of who we are.  Where the racer is concerned, they spend the week preparing for those few moments when they get behind the wheel and do what they love.  When it goes well, it's one of the best feelings you can have.  When it goes badly, it's just the opposite.

The track has struggled these past six years, and last year was the first step in turning things around.  There's a lot of things to be done.  You hear the optimism in the comments.  One person lauded an announcement by saying that this would help make Southern Oregon Speedway great again.  Well, that's only part of what will make it great.  A promoter can book a schedule, have a good set of rules, a consistent way of doing things and a guaranteed purse that doesn't change, even if the car count slips a little bit.  We have all of that here and more.

However, the key to making Southern Oregon Speedway great again is the people.  The drivers coming out to compete.  You've got to give the fans a show.  It's about the memories made and having fun regardless of the outcome.  Somebody is going to write their name in the record books as a feature winner or maybe by winning their first heat race.  Somebody is going to add their name to the list of champions.  This is the year we also begin celebrating Medford Racing History with a Hall Of Fame Night (August 12th).  Everybody involved is what gives us a fighting chance to keep the show going.  When we succeed, we do so because of everybody.

The fans are a key to making Southern Oregon Speedway great again.  We can't run a show without them.  We work to make this a show they want to come and watch.  Whether that's the good racing on the track every week, a reasonable ticket price at the gate, good food and quick service at the concession stands, information that keeps them up to date on the happenings or the special events.  We want to make attending a race here something people want to do on a Saturday night.  When we succeed in our goal, things get better from there.

It could have all ended in 1989.  We could be going on 30 years without a race track, but people wouldn't let it end that way.  Medford racing returned.  We got our second chance with Southern Oregon Speedway.  When we open the gates to a program of Late Model, IMCA Sport Modified, Pro Stock, Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites, Mini Stock and SODCA Dwarf Car racing on April 29th, and even before that, the process of rebuilding the racing program into something special again continues.  The beautiful thing about a night of racing is that you never know what will happen.  As long as the gates continue to open at the race track, there's a chance for something special to happen.

Friday, March 17, 2017

New Era Begins For Kendall Oil Sprint Cars At Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can be heard HERE

New Era Begins For Kendall Oil Sprint Cars 
 At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Once again, Southern Oregon Speedway will feature the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car division, presented by Hays Oil.  The division has been a part of the track since it opened in 1996 and has crowned many champions through the years.  The track hadn't crowned its own champion since 2010 after car count fell off in 2011.  Last year signaled a new beginning for the track as Mike McCann took over as promoter and brought back the Sprint Cars as a championship earning division.

Because there was uncertainty about who was out there and would support, the division returned with an open engine rules package that allowed everything from Limited Sprints to 410 Sprints to compete.  Local 360 competitors sat out, and car count struggled.  Other than a Speedweek Race and a special Limited Sprint Car show, car count never reached ten.  Jake Wheeler went on to win the championship ahead of Jeffrey Hudson and Wayne Kniffen.

After looking at the numbers and listening to feedback, McCann opted to go with the Limited Sprint rules package.  Since June of last year, there were racers proclaiming their desire to support the Kendall Oil Sprint Cars if they went with a limited rules package.  Therefore, a ten race schedule has been booked, and we'll see who comes out and races this season.  After back to back play days on April 15th and 22nd, the season opens on May 20th.

Sprint Car veteran David Hubbard has thrown his hat into the ring and is a big booster of the class behind the scenes.  Hibbard was one of two Limited Sprint Car drivers to win a feature last year when he made a late race pass on Jake Wheeler for the victory.  He also had wins in Cottage Grove, where he is a past champion.  David has a desire to see this class grow and race more often in front of his home crowd this year

Joining him will be his son, rising young star Bailey Hibbard.  Bailey got his start in racing on the Outlaw Kart track before moving up to Sprint Cars.   Last season was difficult for Bailey at times, and he began to question whether he should continue racing.  However, he erased those doubts with a thrilling late race pass on Raquel Ivie for the victory in a Limited Sprint race at Southern Oregon Speedway last September.

Another of the rising young stars of open wheel racing is Jeffrey Hudson.  Hudson took the Outlaw Pro Stocks by storm in 2015 when the then 14 year old second generation racer made a move on the final night to win the championship.  This isn't a big surprise when you consider his father Jeff Hudson is also a Pro Stock and Modified champion.  Jeffrey ran smooth and got faster with each race last year before winning the season finale to secure second in the standings.

Like Hudson and B. Hibbard, Merissa Henson got started on the Outlaw Kart track, where she has had several Top 3 point seasons.  Her Mini Stock rookie season in 2015 saw her rank in the Top 10, and she was fifth in points last year with a pair of Trophy Dash wins.  The Henson team purchased a Sprint Car last year, and she's looking forward to her rookie season.

When you talk Outlaw Kart racing, the biggest young star in the area would have to be Tanner Holmes.  A multi time champion, Tanner just wrapped up the 250 Kart championship at Red Bluff.  Racing is definitely in his blood, and Holmes will probably be a driver to look for in the winner's circle at some point this season.  Tanner isn't the only Kart champion in the family.  You may just see his little sister Carley on the big track in the future.

Camden Robustelli is another Outlaw Kart champion who has been setting the Dwarf Car circuit on fire with his back to back runnerup point seasons.  He's already won a pair of Limited Sprint Car features in recent years.  Though he will be making Dwarf Cars his priority with an eye towards the SODCA championship, we should still see him in a Sprint Car several times this year.

Two other drivers coming up from the Outlaw Karts are 500 Open star Blaine Cory and 2010 125's champion Bartley Foster.  Todd Whipple will be back to race, and rumors are circulating that a past Midget and Street Stock champion may be coming out to race as well.  There's also a third Hibbard planning to race.  That would be David's father Calvin Hibbard, who will make it three generations of the family on the track together.

With the increased purse money being offered, there are other established Sprint Car stars looking at doing some racing at Southern Oregon Speedway.  We've also heard of a few other race cars being prepared for this season, though it's early to name names just yet.  Optimism is high that the change in rules will be the catalyst that finally puts Medford Sprint Car racing back on track.

There are other announcements for this division in the works.  On August 19th, the drivers will be removing their wings for a special point race and tuneup for the big race set for a week later.  On August 26th, Southern Oregon Speedway launches the Cascade Sprint Car Challenge.  Herz Precision Parts is sponsoring this $3000 to win race that will attract top drivers from throughout the West Coast.

The good news is that Sprint Car racing will continue to be a part of Southern Oregon Speedway as management remains committed to building a class.  Stay tuned for further announcements as we prepare for the 2017 season.  For further information, go to

Southern Oregon Speedway
Pennzoil Sprint Car Schedule
April 15 - Test & Tune
April 22 - (Rain Date Test & Tune)
May 20
May 27
June 10
June 17
July 1
July 8
July 22
August 19 (Non Wing)
August 26 - Herz Precision Parts "Cascade Sprint Challenge" ($3000 To Win Non Wing)
September 9

Past Sprint Car Champions
1996  Dan Menne
1997  Bill Nutter
1998  Dan Menne
2001  Chad Bauer
2002  Todd Zeitler
2003  Dan Menne
2004  T.J. Winningham
2005  Dan Menne
2006  Bill Nutter
2006  Randy Rodgers
2007  Randy Rodgers
2009  Charlie Thompson
2010  Chadd Noland
2013  Kyler Barraza*
2014  Kyler Barraza*
2016  Jake Wheeler
*  Medford-Coos Bay Series

Kendall Oil Sprint Car Winner's List (2006-1016)

May 13, 2005:  Danny Horner
July 15, 2005:     Bill Nutter
July 24, 2005:  Danny Horner
August 19, 2005:  Dan Menne
May 12, 2006:  Randy Rodgers
May 26, 2006:  Dan Menne
June 11, 2006:  Brent Kaeding
June 26, 2006:  Garen Linder
July 23, 2006:  Shane Steward
August 4, 2006:  Randy Rodgers
August 25, 2006:  Randy Rodgers
September 29, 2006:  Dan Menne
May 3, 2008:  Garen Linder
June 14, 2008:  Dan Menne
July 14, 2008:  Jonathan Allard
August 2, 2008:  Dan Menne
August 9, 2008:  Chadd Noland
August 23, 2008:  Dan Menne
September 6, 2008:  Chadd Noland
September 13, 2008:  Dan Menne
April 18, 2009:  Roger Crockett
May 8, 2009:  Roger Crockett
May 9, 2009:  Dan Menne
May 23, 2009:  Todd Zeitler
June 27, 2009:  Vern Wheeler Jr.
July 11, 2009:  Jared Ridge
July 13, 2009:  Jesse Hockett
August 8, 2009:  Randy Rodgers
August 15, 2009:  David Hibbard
August 22, 2009:  Roger Crockett
August 29, 2009:  Chadd Noland
September 19, 2009:  Bill Nutter
April 17, 2010:  Roger Crockett
May 8, 2010:  Chadd Noland
June 12, 2010:  Kyle Larson
June 19, 2010:  Chadd Noland
July 10, 2010:  Steven Tiner
July 12, 2010:  Travis Rilat
August 7, 2010:  Chadd Noland
August 14, 2010:  Roger Crockett   
May 7, 2011:  Vern Wheeler Jr.
June 11, 2011:  Jonathan Allard
July 9, 2011:  Seth Bergman
July 11, 2011:  Henry Van Dam
August 13, 2011:  Jayme Barnes
September 10, 2011:  David Hibbard
May 19,    2012:  Roger Crockett
June 9,    2012:  Tim Kaeding
July 14, 2012:  Garen Linder
August 11, 2012:  Kyle Hirst
May 4, 2013:  David Hibbard
May 18, 2013:  David Hibbard
May 25, 2013:  Kyler Barazza
June 8, 2013:  Vern Wheeler Jr.
June 22, 2013:  Kyler Barraza
July 1, 2013:  Roger Crockett
July 27, 2013:  Vern Wheeler Jr.
August 24, 2013:  Lawrence Van Hoof
September 14, 2013:  Matt Moberly
May 22, 2014:  Andy Forsberg
June 14, 2014:  Kyler Barraza
June 30, 2014:  Rico Abreu
August 2, 2014:  David Hibbard
September 3, 2014: Daryn Pittman
April 18, 2015:  Seth Nunes
May 23, 2015:  Roger Crockett
June 29, 2015:  Colby Copeland
August 15, 2015:  Kyle Hirst
April 30, 2016:  Vern Wheeler Jr.
May 7, 2016:  Vern Wheeler Jr.
June 4, 2016:  Jake Wheeler
June 25, 2016:  David Hibbard
July 9, 2016:  Trey Starks
August 27, 2016:  Aaron Miller
September 10, 2016:  Bailey Hibbard
September 24, 2016:  Jeffrey Hudson

 May 27th Open Wheel Showcase Event Set For 
Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The first of two special open wheel themed nights is set for May 27th at Southern Oregon Speedway.  The headliners will be the Northwest Focus Midgets and the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars.  Also on the card will be the OTRO Hardtops and the first ever visit of the Pro 4 West Modified Association.  It's sure to be an exciting night of racing.

The Focus Midgets have been a part of the Northwestern racing circuit for well over a decade, and they have thrilled crowds at several tracks with their exciting brand of open wheel racing.  This year, the group will have races in three states during the course of the season, and this includes their visit to Southern Oregon Speedway.

Leading the charge is reigning champion Nick Evans, who has been in the hunt during the last two point seasons.  Last season saw the six time winner Evans win the title by just two points over two time winner Eric Turner.  Third ranked Tristan Thomas was a five time winner last season who won four times in 2015 to win the championship that year by just five points.  Evans settled for second that year.

Chance Crum, a three time winner on the circuit, finished fourth in points last year, while also winning the Deming Speedway championship.  Ryan Cully, Jacob Brown, Thomas Walker, Renee Angel and Michael Vollbrecht are just some of the stars to watch for on May 27th as a car count reaching into the 20's is anticipate//d.

The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, presented by Hays Oil, will be holding their second of nine scheduled point races at the track, and it's already shaping up to be a good show.  David Hibbard will be one of the drivers leading the charge.  Hibbard had a win last season in Medford and the 2014 Cottage Grove champion has won at Medford several times through the years.  2016 point runnerup Jeffrey Hudson is another driver to watch for as Bailey Hibbard, Merissa Henson, Tanner Holmes, Todd Whipple and Blaine Cory are other drivers to watch for.

For several seasons, the Pro 4 West Modifieds have competed at various different tracks.  However, in recent years the drivers have competed during the fall and winter months at Salem Indoors Speedway.  The Pro 4 Modifieds are a step up from Mini Stocks and sort of a cross between Modifieds and Mini Stocks, but they have a look that sets them apart.

If it's Pro 4 Modifieds, you know that there will be at least one Ferrando family member in the group.  "Papa" Tom Ferrando is the patriarch of the family and is the current champion at Salem.  Tobey Ferrando is the 2015/2016 champion.  Drivers are itching to do some racing outdoors again, and about a half dozen competitors are anticipated on May 27th as the group makes their first visit to Medford.

Rounding out this action packed program will be the popular OTRO Hardtops.  A good mixture of 1930's Coupe and Sedan Bodied, V-6 powered race cars will be on hand to put on a show, led by Trevor Thomason, Bill Trotter, Wylie Prowell, Stanley Garboden, Dean Cast, Jimmy Del Castille and Brian Crouch.

The Open Wheel Showcase on May 27th will be an exciting show for the fans.  For further information on the happenings at the speedway, go to

Northwest Focus Midgets
2016 Top 10 Points
Nick Evans  661  (6)
Eric Turner  659  (2)
Tristen Thomas  594  (5)
Chance Crum  536  (3)
Ryan Cully  456
Jacob Brown  454  (1)
Thomas Walker  454
Renee Angel  445
Michael Vollbrecht  426
Garrett Thomas 354  (1)

2015 Top Ten Points
Tristin Thomas  559  (4)
Nick Evans  554
Michael Vollbrecht  542  (7)
Ryan Cully  436
Thomas Walker  434
Garrett Thomas  393  (5)
Doug Anderson  258  (1)
Nik Larson  251
Kenzi Thomas  244
Lee St. Paul  251
Note: with (1) each…Jared Peterson, Kelsey Carpenter and Dougie James with (2)

2014 Top Ten Points
Chase Goetz  903 (10)
Garret Thomas  750 (1)
Michael Vollbrecht  683
Hannah Lindquist  681
Tristin Thomas  629 (3)
Dougie James  601 (4)
Lance Sargent  545 (2)
Todd Hartman  503
Chance Crum  426 (1)
Jeremy Miller  404

2013 Top Ten Points
Chase Goetz  1074 (13)
Garet Thomas  937
Ariel Biggs  866 (1)
Todd Hartman  569
Jeremy Miller  514
Dougie James  406
Annika Johanson  364
Madison Hess  358
Tristin Thomas  348
Robby Vaughn  310

2012 Top Ten Points
Jared Peterson   923  (11)
Chase Goetz  888  (1)
Garret Johnson  812  (1)
Garrett Thomas  801
Michael Millard  703  (1)
Todd Hartman  582
Zak DeBakker  439
Jeremy Miller  377  (1)
Ariel Biggs  350
Renee Angel  329

2010 Top Ten Points
Seth Hespe  (2)
Allison Journey  (1)
Ariel Biggs
Reece Goetz  (5)
Garret Johnson
Annika Johansen
Jeremy Miller
Bailey Studor
Todd Hartman
Dustin O’Brien

2009 Top Ten Points
Seth Hespe  (5)
Jonathan Jorgenson  (3)
Brandon Daniel  (3)
Allison Journey  (1)
Jeremy Miller
Ariel Biggs
Todd Hartman
Annika Johnasen
Lee St. Paul
Jeff Bell
Note:  Colton Heath had 1 win

2008 Top Ten Points
Jeff Bell (1)
Lee St. Paul
Don West Jr.  (6)
Shon Valland
Austin Hespe
Allison Journey
Johnathan Jorgenson  (1)
Todd Hartman
Han DeBakker
Note:  Samatha Taylor won 2 Races in 2008

2007 Top Ten Points
Don West Jr.  (3)
Jeff Ball  (1)
Otto Jorgenson  (2)
Samatha Taylor  (3)
Jonathan Jorgenson
Han DeBakker
Shon Valland
Bryan Thomas
Kelly Douglas
Lee St. Paul

2006 Top Ten Points
Bryan Thomas  (4)
Kerry Sample  (1)
Samatha Taylor  (2)
Ken Brogan  (1)
Han DeBakker
Seth Hespe
Otto Jorgenson  (1)
Lee St. Paul
Nick Frausto
Ron Spague
Note:  Evan Margeson won a Race

Salem Indoor Speedway
Pro 4 West Points And Champions

19 Greg Davidson 562
49 Megan Ferrando 556
44 Thomas Ferrando 478
29 Terry Ferrando 398
19 Phil Flora 290
95 Tyler Ferrando 278
42 Mark Flora 196
V7 Papa Tom Ferrando 188
29 Taryn Ferando 188
42 Zach Ferando 100
95 Co Ferando 94
42 Lucas Ferando 90

1 Tim Ferrando 690
2 Megan Ferrando 648
3 Ric Wagner 564
4 Lincoln Caldwell 560
5 Zac Ferrando 492
6 Tobey Ferrando 466
7 Thomas Ferrando 366
8 Terry Ferrando 200
9 Andy Aaron 188
10 Papa Tom Ferrando 184
11 Lucas Ferrando 12
Marty Heenan Jr 13
Sherman Whitt 90

Champion-Tobey Ferrando

#V7-Tom Ferrando 496
#03-Rick Wagner 386
#21-Tobey Ferrando 196
#49-Billy Jack 194
#7-Mike Wagner  192
#V1-Brian Finney 190
#33-Barry Lampert 98
#42-Thomas Ferrando 98
#49-Chris Tefte 0

Southern Oregon Speedway Pit Stops

With all of the talk of cars being prepared for the coming season, the outlook is for a better season overall than Southern Oregon Speedway has seen in recent years.  There's still lots of work to be done, but the goal remains consistent.  Mike McCann wants to build this racing program back into one of the top shows on the West Coast.  The reaction to the news of Jon DeBenedetti being named the Director Of Competition and Valerie DeBenedetti becoming the Head Scorer has been positive.

The Dwarf Car community, and specifically the Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Association, has been buzzing.  In addition to the very active schedule and the WSDCA Dwarf Car event in August that the group will be hosting at their home track, they've secured a bigger purse for their Labor Day Weekend race in September.  They pay a regular purse on Saturday the 2nd, but an increased purse on Sunday the 3rd means they race for $1000 to win.  It's an event that sees SODCA working with PHRA, the NWDCA and the Oregon Outlaws.  That's not the only reason people are talking.

Word is that perennial Top 10 point runner Fred Hay is returning after a hard crash last March in Chico left him with a broken neck.  The 70 something year old competitor might have been counted out by some people, but Fred didn't want to go out on that note.  In 2015, he enjoyed his best season in third as one of the drivers who managed to keep the flying Josh King out of the winner's circle.  Fred remains one of the most popular drivers in the group, and he was there in the pits supporting his fellow racers for most of last season.

We also received word that Outlaw Kart star Ashleigh Strain is moving up to the Dwarf Car division.  Strain is about as competitive as they come.  She's won races on the Outlaw Kart circuit, including her season finale victory in 250's at Cottage Grove last season.  She showed great toughness one night in Medford last year after winning a heat race, flipping later and coming back to race some more.  Ashleigh is a welcome addition to the class and joins Kaycee Sheeler as the two ladies giving the boys some good competition.  Jesse Lorenz plans to have his Mod Lite ready to race with the Dwarf Cars this year, and he's especially looking forward to racing his father, Bud Lorenz.

With some of the excitement already taking place behind the scenes in the Late Models, there was some question where 2016 Coos Bay champion Nathan Augustine and third ranked Coos Bay competitor Kristy Grout night race.  Both have new cars and are planning to race at Southern Oregon Speedway, at least to start the season.  Augustine clean swept his lone appearance last season, and both drivers are hoping to make to make it to the winner's circle this season.  We've also received word that past Cottage Grove Street Stock champion Steve Lemley bought another car for his Late Model debut.  The car he has been working on is being finished up and will be for sale.

The Dees family is hard at work putting the finishing touches on their three cars and are looking forward to starting the season.  After his Top 3 season last year, John Dees picked up a new car during the offseason.  We've also heard that Mike Linder also got a new car for the coming season.  Rumors abound over at Rapp Racing as the team has cars in multiple classes, including the very fast #77 car of Dustin Knight.  Knight won last season's finale.  We've been hearing Knight may also be racing an IMCA Sport Modified.  We've heard of the possibility of another Late Model coming out, but that is unconfirmed.  We'll wait and see what the team brings to the race track, but we know it will be fast in whatever class.

Rumors of Street Stock graduate Jeff Krossman bringing his blue #91 Late Model to the track are circulating along with reports that multi time Top 5 Coos Bay Sportsman racer Josh Kralichek and third raned 2015 Cottage Grove Late Model racer Rob Williams might make some appearances.  We'll see what happens on race day.  The nice thing is that we`re seeing lots of enthusiam within the racing communoty about Late Models at Southern Oregon Speedway.

When Miles Deubert and the crew at JOAT Labs came on board to support the Hornet's division, it was with the goal of supporting the class by building good, safe cages for the next cars coming out.  The first one will be in a car driven by newcomer David James Gillig.  JOAT Labs did some work on the fast #555 car of four time winner Joby Shields, and Shields reports that there will be another car for rent.  2015 competitor Neal Coaty checked in to remind everybody that he has a car for sale.  Coaty was a feature winner in 2015.  The Hornets are poised for a break out season.

In the Pro Stock division, word is that past Street stock competitor Darron Arnold is planning his return this year.  Darron has actually raced a bit with the Pro Stocks after his back to back Top 3 point seasons in Street Stocks.  Shane Everson is reportedly planning to race with the IMCA Sport Modified division this year.  He has raced in both Street Stocks and Pro Stocks.  We're still waiting on confirmation of what would be two big additions to the Pro Stock roster in past champions Dave Everson and Scott Lenz.  Lenz has won championships at both Southern Oregon Speedway and the old Medford Speedway.  Everson is also a Pro Stock champion, and his 14 wins are the most for this division in Medford since 2010.

We did hear of another driver with Street Stock ties, Brett Provost, coming on board with his IMCA Modified again after taking a season off.  Brett won multiple Street Stock Main Events and was third in points back in 2013, and he was ninth in IMCA Modified points in 2016.  Three of our stars, two time champion Albert Gill, Jesse Bailey and Brian Bowman, have already raced outside of the state.  Bailey won a heat race last week in Chico, CA, and both he and Gill finished the Main Event.  Bowman went to Arizona for one of their events, but we haven't heard the results.

Information is slowly trickling in from all of the divisions, and we will continue with our previews of each class.  Playday is scheduled for April 15th with a rain makeup scheduled for the 22nd.  The season kicks of on April 29th with Late Models, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Mini Stocks, Late Model Lites and SODCA Dwarf Cars.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New Speedway Director Of Competition, JOAT Labs Hornets And More

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

 DeBenedetti Named Director of Competition 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway has a new Director Of Competition.  He's Jon DeBenedetti.   DeBenedetti will be a familiar name to long time fans of the speedway as one of the top competitors trough the years.  Among Jon's many racing accomplishments are three straight SODCA Dwarf Car championships from 1998-2000 and the 2002 Modified championship.  In 2006, he was one of two drivers winning two Main Events in the same night (Modifieds and Dwarf Cars) and he was the 2007 winner of the Lon Skinner Memorial Race, beating hard charger Bobby Hogge IV to get the win.

Jon brings his experience to the position.  He is somebody the racers can approach, but he's also somebody who has built up a reputation as being fair and impartial with enforcement of the rules.  The program will continue to be run with a "keep it simple" philosophy, and DeBenedetti will continue to make use of the Raceiver Radios during the races.  Jon is very much looking forward to coming on board and helping Promoter Mike McCann rebuild the racing program.

Jon doesn't come alone.  Joining him as Head Scorer will be his wife Valerie DeBenedetti.  Valerie also has some history driving Dwarf Cars in the past, and she also has experience with score keeping.  As Betty Goodson steps aside to be able to spend more time with her family, Valerie will be there to make sure the scoring is handled properly.  Nicole Cavasos will continue to be Assistant Scorer, and the track will continue to use the transponders and MyLaps.

Having the DeBenedetti's on board will help give Southern Oregon Speedway the continuity it needs in officiating.  As the track will feature eight different championship point races this season and several big events, this is very important.  Jon and Valerie are both looking forward to coming on board and working to make the racing program better for everybody as Southern Oregon Speedway enters its 22nd season.  For further information, check out

JOAT Labs Hornets Return For Their Fourth Season 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The JOAT Labs Hornets division is back for their fourth season at Southern Oregon Speedway, and they are scheduled for eight races.  Though car count didn't exceed expectations last season, the numbers improved for the entry level class as they were able to race for a purse for the first time.  The drivers put on some good battles, and most of them are returning this season.

It was just announced that JOAT Labs has come on board as the title sponsor for the Hornets division in 2017.  Pro Stock star Miles Deubert has been watching the Hornets division with interest.  He likes the class and wants to see more drivers get involved.  To that end, JOAT Labs is sponsoring the Hornets division.  JOAT Labs is a custom fabrication service that is based out of Central Point.  One of they things they do is build cages for race cars, and they would like to help grow this class by building cages for these the new cars coming out.

Promoter Mike McCann has reaffirmed his commitment to building this class.  As the cheapest way for a new racer to get into the sport, it serves a vital role.  Newcomers can learn the basics without breaking their bank accounts and decide where to go from there.  Though not big money, the Main Event does pay a purse.  There are also trophies for the winner in that race and the Trophy Dash as well as championship points.  Last season, the Top 6 drivers in points received trophies.

Sixth ranked Milt Carter was driving the Jesse Merriman car, which has been purchased by champion Tim Hedges.  Carter may not be back, but Hedges has three cars in his stable now and has not ruled out getting a fourth car.  While Tim will be out to get his first Main Event win and repeat as champion, he will also put his son in a car.  The third car will have different drivers as Tim is enthusiastically supporting the class in the hopes of building car count.

With two feature wins last season in a runner up point effort, Derrel Nelson Jr. looks to be heading for the Pro Stocks.  Derrel had some success in his few starts there last year.  However, Derrel is looking to put his son Gabe Nelson in the Hornet. Gabe crewed for his father last year, but he also has had success in the past on the Outlaw Kart track.

Fourth ranked John Hoult was a Trophy Dash winner and finished as high as second in the Main Event twice last year.  However, his car had nothing left to repel the challenge for third in the standings in the season finale.  John has proven he can handle one of these race cars.  Like Hedges, he will be a threat to win races this season.

Joby Shields may not be the defending champion, but his four feature wins and two Trophy Dash triumphs last year carried him to third in the standings despite missing the opener.  Shields may be the driver to beat in the championship race.  However, he can count on everybody coming out for the season opener on May 6th with fresh equipment as he tries to record his fourth straight win.

High school teacher R.C. Britt and his students are building two cars for the coming season.  Heather Menzel's car is up for sale following her fifth place season.  There are known to be about a half dozen Hornets still in the area in various states of repair as well as a couple of cars reportedly being built.  The car count record would be seven cars, and Hedges is optimistic that the class will reach ten cars this season.

A look inside the numbers in the brief history of this class finds 22 races being held and nine different drivers collecting feature wins in three years.  Robbie Jones won the first championship ahead of Dale Tarp in 2014, while Drew Fielder was champion in 2015 ahead of current Mini Stock star Michael Johnson.  Hedges is the first champion returning for a second year, but this is set to be the most competitive season yet for the class.

The eight race season is designed to go easy on the driver's budget and help keep car count up.  Drivers will get a playday on April 15th with a makeup booked, just in case, on April 22nd.  May 6th kicks off the season, followed by seven more races with the finale set for September 9th.  It is hoped that more new drivers will take the Hornet Challenge and come see what racing at Southern Oregon Speedway is all about.  For further information on rules and other matters, check out

Southern Oregon Speedway
JOAT Labs Hornets Schedule
April 15 - Playday
April 22 - (Rain Date Playday)
May 6
May 13
June 10
July 1
August 12
Aigust 12
August 26
September 9

Hornets Feature Winners
May 3, 2014:  Tanton Swaim
June 7, 2014:  Robbie Jones
June 14, 2014:  Robbie Jones
June 21, 2014:  Robbie Jones
June 28, 2014:  Robbie Jones
July 3, 2014:  Robbie Jones
July 12, 2014:  Dale Tarp
July 26, 2014:  Dale Tarp
August 16, 2014:  Robbie Jones
August 23, 2014:  Dale Tarp
September 6, 2014:  Robbie Jones
September 27, 2014:  Robbie Jones
May 9, 2015:  Lon Fox
June 19, 2015:  Brian Dickens
August 21, 2015:  Drew Fielder
August 28, 2015:  Drew Fielder
September 18, 2015:  Drew Fielder
September 25, 2015:  Jason Peeble
June 4 2016: Derrel Nelson Jr.
June 18, 2016:  Joby Shields
June 25, 2016:  Derrel Nelson Jr.
July 30, 2016:  Joby Shields
September 10, 2016:  Joby Shields
September 17, 2016:  Joby Shields

2014 Points
Robbie Jones 472
Dale Tarp 430
Tyler Womack 267
Elizabeth Shaylor 58
Tanton Swaim 58
Arlan Heath 54
Alan Danielson 52
Mike Swaim 51
Jake Gwin 50
Samantha Gwin 38

2015 Points
Drew Fielder 281
Michael Johnson 202
Neal Coaty 159
Jason Peeble 113
Garrett Fredrickson 94
Lon Fox 66
Brian Dickens 59
Bob Burkett 56
Heather Menzel 53
Devon Weiser 52

2016 Points
Tim Hedges 192
Derrel Nelson Jr. 188
Joby Shields 180
John Hoult 176
Heather Menzel 76
Milt Carter 32
Andy Blackburn 29
Garrett Fredrickson 26
Jesse Merriman 26
Sebastian Burson 23

Ten Exciting Things To Watch For This Season 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...We're now less than two months away from the 22nd season opener at Southern Oregon Speedway, which takes place on April 29th and will feature Late Models, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Pro Stocks, Late Model Lites and SODCA Dwarf Cars.  Drivers are anxious to get their cars on the track for playday on April 15th.  With the roster of divisions and talented racers we have, it's sure to be a great season from start to finish.  Here are ten exciting things to watch for during the season.

The Road To The Iron Giant Street Stock Series May 20th:  The Street Stock drivers are coming from up the north for a special 50 lap race, paying $1000 to win.  Up at Willamette Speedway, there's a big money Street Stock race called the Iron Giant Race.  It's the biggest Street Stock event on the West Coast.  Past division champion Chris Sine has organized an eight race series that comes to seven different tracks before the big finale in Willamette.  It's called The Road To The Iron Giant Series and it has its own championship points series and a point fund.  Southern Oregon Speedway is set to be the second race of the season, and it's hoped that some California drivers will come up for a shot at the prize money being offered.  If that's not enough, the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car class, presented by Hays Oil, makes their first appearance of the season that night along with Pro Stocks, Mini Stocks, Late Model Lites and the SODCA Dwarf Cars.

The Open Wheel Showcase May 27th:  The North West Focus Midgets have been putting on some good shows in Washington and Northern Oregon, and we get to see this exciting brand of open wheel racing.  A field of cars into the 20's is anticipated for this race.  Our own Winged Sprint Car division has been adjusted in the interest of increasing car count, which is leading to several new drivers getting into the class.  They will be there along with the OTRO Hardtops and a special appearance by the Pro 4 West Cars.  It's a night of open wheel excitement.

The Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race June 3:  Southern Oregon Speedway is proud to present the Roger Haudenshild Tribute, which honors a man who meant so much to the Southern Oregon racing community.  There will be an increased purse, and the show will feature IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Pro Stocks and SODCA Dwarf Cars.  Some of the best Modified drivers around will be on hand to battle for the money.  They'll also get to compete for some extra prize money in the "Crack The Whip Challenge" races, which is an elimination race that sees the last place car each lap drop out until only one car remains in the winner take all race.

The Wild West Speedweek Series Race June 24th:  The only IMCA Modified Tour of its kind on the West Coast comes to town on June 24th with the Wild West Speedweek Series.  Some of the very best IMCA Modified drivers on the West Coast will come to compete in this $1,000 to win race and for the series championship and point fund money.  This is not an easy race to win with such stiff competition, but the local stars will be there to give it their best shot.  The support classes will be IMCA Sport Modifieds and SODCA Dwarf Cars, and Sport Mods will be a part of almost every Speedweek race this year.  This will be another race you won't want to miss.

The Dwarf Car Nationals August 4th-5th:  The Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Association plays host to the Western States Dwarf Car Association Dwarf Car Nationals again this year on August 4th and 5th.  The who's who of Dwarf Car drivers on the West Coast will be there to complete for the prize, the bragging rights and WCDCA championship points.  Over 60 drivers competed in the two day event last year.  If you like good racing, this is the biggest race in the state for Dwarf Cars.  Joining them on the 5th will be Winged Sprint Cars, Late Model Lites and OTRO Hardtops.

Hall Of Fame Night August 12th:  Medford Racing has a great tradition and an amazing history stretching back for decades to the old Medford Speedway.  Southern Oregon Speedway is now in its 22nd season.  It's time to start honoring the racers who have helped make a night at the race track in Medford so special through the years.  A great lineup of racing that night includes IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Pro Stocks, JOAT Labs Hornets and SODCA Dwarf Cars.  It will be both a great night of racing and a night in which we honor Medford Racing Heritage.

The Cascade Sprint Car Challenge August 26th:  Herz Precision Parts has graciously come on board to sponsor our biggest Sprint Car event of the year, the $3,000 to win Cascade Sprint Car Challenge.  The drivers' skills will be tested in this Wingless Sprint Car race that will attract stars from up north as well as from California.  Fans haven't gotten to see much wingless racing at Southern Oregon Speedway through the years, and they are in for a real treat on August 26th.  Also on the card that night will be the Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets.

Lon Skinner Memorial Race September 2nd-3rd:  Since the gates opened at Southern Oregon Speedway in 1996, there is one race the racers all want to compete in.  It's the Lon Skinner Memorial Race.  This two day event enters its 22nd season and has been offering the biggest payout for the IMCA Modified drivers anywhere on the West Coast.  This one race is a season maker for the driver who can earn the victory in the big 100 lap Main Event.  The biggest IMCA Modified stars come to Southern Oregon Speedway for a shot at the big bucks.  Joining the IMCA Modifieds this year will be IMCA Sport Modifieds and SODCA Dwarf Cars.

Ten Double Header Weekends:  Racing fans will note that there are ten weekends on the schedule in which you will get two nights of racing.   In addition to the Dwarf Car Nationals and Lon Skinner Memorial, we're offering eight exciting Friday nights of Outlaw Kart racing on the one-eighth mile dirt oval.  Many Southern Oregon Speedway racing careers began on the Kart track, and the racing there is always exciting to watch.  These talented young racers compete in 500 Open Karts, 250 Intermediate Karts, 5hp Box Stocks and Beginners Box Stocks.  If you haven't come out on a Friday night for a show, you're missing out.  Come on out and see for yourself.

A Blend Of The Old And The New:  Southern Oregon Speedway has a big roster of classes that offers a little something for everybody.  IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Mini Stocks and SODCA Dwarf Cars are still there this year as they have been since the gates opened in 1996.  We have exciting racing and top notch drivers in all of these classes.  We're also building up our Winged Sprint Cars, the popular Late Models, Late Model Lites, JOAT Labs Hornets and OTRO Hardtops, and these classes are already thrilling the crowds with some great racing.  Plus, eight exciting races on the Outlaw Kart track on Friday nights.  As you can see, Southern Oregon Speedway is once again the place to be this year for great racing action.  For further information on scheduling, rules and everything else, go to

Friday, March 3, 2017

Outlaw Kart Banquet Report, 2017 Schedule And Other Kart News

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
The Outlaw Kart Addition can be heard HERE

Southern Oregon Outlaw Kart Racers Celebrate 2016 Season, Looking Forward To The New Season

Bodee Weiser is the 2016 250 Intermediate Kart Champion.

White City, Oregon...The Southern Oregon Speedway Outlaw Kart drivers gathered at Abby's Pizza to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2016 season.  The show went on last year despite weather and other unforeseen obstacles impacting half of the season.  Promoter Mike McCann gave a brief speech that started by thanking the hard working staff and all of the competitors who supported his first season promoting the track.  He touched on the rainouts from 2016 by saying that he will make every effort to reschedule weather effected races when possible this season.

Tanner Holmes won four of the five Main Events he started in 2016.
The track announcer then addressed the group by highlighting important points in the schedule.  A Mid Season Championship Race slated for June 22nd will be for double points with the point leader in each of the four classes being crowned Mid Season Champion.  The Championship Night on August 18th will also be for double points.  A June 9th event will include a Kids Bike Race and another announcement regarding a special night is forthcoming.  The track has a playday scheduled for April 15th with a rain makeup on April 22nd.  As we have young Beginners Box Stock drivers who are nervous and some opt not to get in their cars on race night, this will be an opportunity for them to make laps and get comfortable in a non competitive environment.

Enrique Jaime was very consistent last season with four Top 5 finishes in his third place point season in 250 Intermediate Karts.

The Beginners were the first class honored.  Jacob James received the fifth place trophy on the strength of a win and a second.  Two time winner Taylor Fuller finished fourth in points and confirmed his move up to Box Stocks this year.  The steady Adrian Richard finished third in points on the strength of a season high second.  A happy Shailene Horn accepted her second place trophy.  She also won one Main Event.  Kiley Grimes was crowned champion.  She had three Top 3 finishes and got better with each start.  Word is that this class will see more new drivers this season.

Carley Holmes was the 2014 Box Stock champion. She won one Main Event this season and was on hand to accept her fifth place trophy. Carley also has a 250 Intermediate Kart.  Ryan Hirschbock moved up from Beginners during the season and got better with each race as his season high fifth place finish earned him the fourth place trophy.  Natalie Richard was just crowned Roseburg champion, and her three Top 5 finishes earned her the third place trophy at Medford.  Emma Rodgers had a second and two thirds to rank a strong second in points.  Trevor Grimes had three wins and a second to repeat as champion.  It's anticipated that he will be back to race again this season.

Brenden Bartlett kicked off the 250 Intermediate Kart season with back to back second place finishes on his way to fifth in points.  Recently crowned Roseburg champion Braden Weiser used a season high third place finish to earn the fourth place trophy in Medford.  Enrique Jaime never failed to finish in the Top 5 as he ranked third in points.  We've heard that he has a Mini Stock this season.  Three time champion Tanner Holmes won all three of his starts to finish second in points.  Bodee Wesier was fast and consistent with a win, two seconds and one third to earn the championship trophy.  Bodee and Braden will both be racing this year.

Braden Weiser took home the fourth place trophy in 250 Intermediate Karts and won the Roseburg Winter Series Championship.

Merissa Henson finished fifth in Mini Stock points and used her one win to finish fifth in 500 Open Kart points.  Tanner Holmes won the opener and finished fifth in the Vern Wheeler Memorial to earn the fourth place trophy.  Holmes confirmed that he will be racing a Sprint Car while still competing in Karts.  Chase Hill had a second place finish to help earn him third in points.  With two wins, including the Vern Wheeler Memorial, Mike Wheeler collected the second place trophy.  On the strength of a season high second place finish in his three starts, Johnny Burke earned the championship trophy.

Shailene Horn did a great job of winning one Beginner Box Stock Main Event and earning the second place trophy for the season.

All of the drivers in all classes did a great job of putting on a show and displaying good sportsmanship.  The one-eighth mile dirt oval will enter it's 20th season with a good field of future stars in the making.  All of the championship trophies were well earned last season, but the 2017 honors are yet to be earned.  The new season is just around the corner.  For further information, go to

Top 5's in 2016 Points
500 Outlaw Karts
1 Johnny Burke
2 Mike Wheeler
3 Chase Hill
4 Tanner Holmes
5 Merissa Henson

250 Outlaw Karts
3 Bodee Weiser
2 Tanner Holmes
3 Enrique Jaime
4 Braden Weiser
5 Brenden Bartlett

Box Stock
1 Trevor Grimes
2 Emma Rodgers
3 Natalie Richard
4 Ryan Hirschbock
5 Carley Holmes

Beginners Box Stock
1 Kiley Grimes
2 Shailene Horn
3 Adrian Richard
4 Taylor Fuller
5 Jacob James

2017 Schedule Announced For 
Southern Oregon Speedway Outlaw Kart Track

White City, Oregon...The 2017 schedule has been announced for the Southern Oregon Speedway Outlaw Kart track.  This will be the 20th season of racing on the Kart track.  Many racing careers have been launched on the fast one-eighth mile dirt oval, and NASCAR star Kyle Larson has even raced here.  The roster of divisions includes 500 Open Karts, 250 Intermediates, Box Stocks and Beginners Box Stocks.

The schedule includes an April 15th Test & Tune.  Some of these young drivers are new or very new to racing.  In fact, last year there were multiple instances where the Beginners Box Stock drivers were so nervous that they didn't want to race.  The Test & Tune is an opportunity for these youngsters to get some lap time in a non racing environment.  Should the 15th get rained out, the track has an April 22nd date set as a backup.

The way the divisions are set up gives these drivers a way to compete against others in their skill bracket.  The 5-8 year olds get started in the Beginners class before moving up to Box Stocks.  Next in line is the 250 Intermediate class.  The track does have a 125's class, but they've been running in the 250's due to low car count.  The 500 Karts are the pinnacle of Outlaw Kart racing, and the track has a special date planned that is to be announced.  Management has expressed an interest in having a 600cc Micro Sprint program if there is enough driver interest.

The championship season kicks off on May 12th with another event scheduled on May 19th.  June 9th will include a Kid's Bike Race, which will see awards handed out to winners of various age groups.  The Mid Season Championship is slated for June 23rd.  Double points will be on the line that night in all divisions.  The point leaders at the end of the night will receive mid season championship trophies. 

The second half of the season kicks off with a pair of July races on the 7th and 21st.  A special race is in the works for July, but that announcement will be forthcoming.  The first race of August is the 11th, and the season comes to a close on the 18th with Championship Night.  This will again be a double point race, and that will surely be a factor in who wins the championship.  At the end of it all, there will again be a championship banquet to honor the champions of the 20th season of racing on the Outlaw Kart track.  That date is yet to be announced.

Several of the stars of Medford Kart racing have been impressing on the winter series circuit.  In Roseburg, Natalie Richard captured another championship there.  Just a year after winning the Beginner title, she won the Box Stock championship.  Natalie was third behind Trevor Grimes and Emma Rodgers in the Medford Box Stock race last season.  She could be poised to make a run at the championship this year, but two time champion Grimes may be tough to beat.  2014 Box Stock champion Carley Holmes is currently fifth in points at Red Bluff.  She has also won there this year in addition to her one victory at Medford last year.  Carley also competes in the 250 Intermediate class.

Speaking of which, several Medford stars ranked near the top of the Roseburg point list this winter, including Colby Bergquist, Ashleigh Strain, Wyatt Pinkney and our own 2016 champion, Bodee Weiser.  Bodee was a feature winner with us last year, and he also won the Box Stock championship in Roseburg last year.  Not to be outdone, Braden Weiser was the 250 champion this winter in Roseburg.  You know when the Weiser Boys are there, you'll have tough competition.  They don't come much tougher than three time Medford 250's champion Tanner Holmes.  Tanner pulled off three wins in 250's at Medford last year, in addition to one win in the 500's, but right now he's leading the pack in Red Bluff.  In addition to multiple wins, he's hoping to avoid problems and bring home the Red Bluff championship.

We haven't heard too much about our 500 Open drivers racing during the winter, but Merissa Henson did makes some starts in Roseburg.  Merissa was the winner of the final race last season.  Meanwhile, Mike Wheeler was a two time winner, including his victory in the Vern Wheeler Memorial Race.  During the winter, you can usually find him in Red Bluff, competing hard and winning races.  That's again the case this year as he is second in the standings as the season nears a close.

In Salem, we noticed that two time Medford Beginner Box Stock winner and Yreka champion Taylor Fuller has joined his Yreka championship winning sister Brionna Fuller in Box Stocks.  Meanwhile, one of our more enthusiastic newcomers last season was Malachi Johnson.  Malachi has also made some trips up north to race at Salem this winter.  We anticipate this young hard charger competing for the Beginner Box Stock championship this season along with reigning champion Kiley Grimes.  Malachi's first two Medford starts were back to back Top 5 finishes. 

It all starts with the Beginners class, and we saw two double digit car counts in the final two races last year, both won by T. Fuller.  Teammates Roger Whipple and Thomas Whipple, Shailene Horn, Adrian Richard and Nicholas Davis Jr. are other drivers to watch for.  T. Fuller is moving up to compete with T. Grimes, Richard, Rodgers, Loveah Crice and Ryan Hirschback.  We watched Devin Felix climb the ladder last year from Box Stocks to 250's, where he's racing the Weisers's, the Holmes's, Enrique Jaime, Braden Corey and Brenden Bartlett.  Felix and teammate Bartlett have been doing some winter racing in Red Bluff.

It will be time to have fun outdoors on the Southern Oregon Speedway Outlaw Kart track again this year, starting with the Test & Tune on April 15th.  The season opener is May 12th with seven exciting races to follow.  For further information, check out the official website at

Southern Oregon Speedway
2017 Outlaw Kart Track Schedule

April 15 - Test & Tune
April 22 - Test & Tune (Rain Makeup)
May 12 - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners.
May 19 - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners.
June 9 Kids Bicycle Races - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners.
June 23 Mid Season Championship - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners
July 7 - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners.
July 21 TBA - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners.
August 11 - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners.
August 18 Championship Night - 500 Open, 250 Intermediate, Box Stock, Beginners.

Recent Outlaw Kart Champions
500 Open
2010  Skyler Caster
2011  Matt Moberly
2012  Johnny Burke
2013  Jake Wheeler
2014  Blaine Corey
2015  Joseph Benton
2016  Johnny Burke

2010  Bartley Foster

250 Intermediate
2010  Brad Hysell
2011  Camden Robustelli
2012  Camden Robustelli
2013  Tanner Holmes
2014  Tanner Holmes
2015  Tanner Holmes
2016  Bodee Weiser

5hp Box Stock
2010  Blake Johnson
2011  Kyler Hughes
2012  Tanner Holmes
2013  Tanner Holmes
2014  Carley Holmes
2015  Trevor Grimes
2016  Trevor Grimes

Beginner Box Stock
2010  Tanner Holmes
2011  Cadyn Smith
2012  Ryan Perry
2013  Carley Holmes
2014  Cadyn Smith
2015  Trent Florey
2016  Kiley Grimes

 Things To Watch For At The Outlaw Kart Track This Season

White City, Oregon...As we enter the 20th season on the Outlaw Kart, we're anticipating a good season of racing.   Mike McCann is beginning his second year of promoting the track.  It's not really noted, but McCann has a good record of promoting Kart and Micro Midget races going back to the early 1980's, and he's even built tracks and started racing programs, including the popular Roseburg Indoor Winter Series.

There are some good things on the horizon this season, which includes Mid Season and Championship Nights and a bike race for all the kids.  Following the playdays, McCann has an eight race schedule booked.  Other announcements are forthcoming.  With all of the things happening at the facility and the late start last year, the Outlaw Kart track didn't get all of the attention it needed.  We did get four races in, which included the Vern Wheeler Sr. Memorial Race.  The big turnout that night was a taste of things to come.

There will be improvements this year, which includes the new scoring tower.  Also, as McCann pointed out, in the event that races get called due to weather, an effort will be made to make them up.  Last season saw a spike in new drivers joining the Beginner's Box Stock class.  There will be a driver or two moving up into the 5hp Box Stock class.  The 250 Intermediates feature some talented young drivers, and it looks like this season should be even more competitive than last season.  The 500 Open class is preparing for a better season this year.  Good things are anticipated this season, and we'll also be seeing some of our young stars making their first starts on the big track.

We're excited about the Beginners Box Stock class.  We saw several new drivers during last season as it ended strong.  The winner of two of the races last year (Taylor Fuller) moved up a class, and the door is wide open for new winners.  One driver to keep an eye on is Malachi Johnson.  This talented newcomer entered the races with much confidence from the start and backed it up with fourth and a third place finishes in the two biggest fields of the year.  Malachi could be one of our feature winners or even a driver to watch in the championship battle this season.

The Whipple brothers were part of a three car team as both made their debuts.  Roger "Dodger"  Whipple got caught up in a tangle in the final race or he could have picked up his second Top 3 finish of the season.  We saw Thomas "Tomahawk" Whipple make his debut as well.  Adrian Richard is still pretty new to racing.  However, his second place finish in the opener showed the potential he has to make his move.  Richard's teammate Nicholas Davis Jr. made his debut during the season and did a good job of running his line and making his very first laps.  Shailene Horn will be back.  As the second place point competitor and winner of the second race of the season last year, we already know what she can do.  She will be fast.  Though she will be the defending champion, Kiley Grimes will be out to win her first Main Event.

The scary thing about Trevor Grimes in the 5hp Box Stock class is that even though he is a two time champion, he's still improving as a driver.  He's not as quick to move to the outside where it might be the thing to do, and he lost a win to the more experienced Carley Holmes one time last year as a result.  Carley seems poised to move up to 250's, but a run at a second championship in this division might not be out of the realm of possibility. 

This was a class that saw the girls shine last season with Emma Rodgers second and Natalie Richard third.  Loveah "The Love Bug" Crice had a fourth place finish in week two ahead of Sophia Bauer.  That was a night that saw Isabella Jaime win her heat race.  Richard already has two indoor championships in Roseburg to her credit, but she'll be a driver to watch in the battle for wins.  Rodgers came very close last year with a second.  This could be the season that one of these girls rises all the way to the top.  Another driver we'll be keeping an eye on is Ryan Hirschbock.  Ryan is just getting started, and he kept coming back every week and improving with more seat time last year.  He ended the season with a fifth place finish.

By the time you get to the 250 Intermediate Kart class, you have drivers on the verge of either 500 Open racing or making the leap directly to the big track.  If there was a name breaking the podium stranglehold of the Holmes and Weiser family last year, it was Brenden Bartlett.  Bartlett opened the season with a pair of second place finishes, but he dropped out of the championship battle with his absence from the third race.  Brenden is fast, and he has a teammate to watch this year.  Devin Felix moved up from Box Stocks with a new 250 Kart in the finale.  He won a heat race that night.

You also can't ignore Enrique Jaime.  He's been racing Karts for a few years now, and he never failed to get a Top 5 finish last year.  He will be a driver to watch in the battle for victory, and we've heard he may be making his debut on the big track in a Mini Stock,  Brody Sim is a Cottage Grove champion.  He still had a 250 Kart at last report, but he's in the midst of a move up to 500 Open. Braden Cory is also very fast.  He had a pair of Top 5's last year and should not be counted out in the race for wins this season.  Carley Holmes had a third in last season's finale.  She's already a Beginner and Box Stock champion, so we know she has what it takes to be a star in this class as well.  Her brother Tanner is an instant contender if he comes back to try for his fourth division title, but reigning champion Bodee Weiser and reigning Roseburg champion Braden Weiser may have something to say about that.

The 500 Open Karts are the pinnacle of the show, but we're still looking to see who is coming to race this season.  They could help turn the Friday night program into something special if the local stars come out.  Johnny Burke stepped up last season and claimed his second championship.  Can he put it in the winner's circle this year?  Mike Wheeler might stop in from time to time for a shot at a local win, though Sprint Car racing is calling his name in California.  Merissa Henson made one appearance and came home a winner last season.  We're not sure how often we'll get to see her this year as she moves up to the big track's Sprint Car class.

Tanner Holmes is also on his way to the Sprint Car division, but we know he'll be racing Karts too.  We don't know how often we'll get to see him in the 500 Open class, but he'll definitely be a driver to watch when he does.  Brody Sim made his move up to 500 Karts last year, and we're sure he'll get up to his championship winning form as he gets more seat time.  Another driver with past Kart championships (in Medford) is Jeffrey Hudson.  We're likely to see him make some starts in his 500 as well, while he also focuses on driving a Sprint Car on the big track.  The 2017 season is an opportunity for stars like Jantzen Knips, Kevin Hilgendorff, Stephanie Crisp and Chase Hill to shine.  As drivers return to the one-eighth mile dirt oval, it's only going to get better.

There's been some curiosity about other divisions getting time at the track.  Speedway Kart enthusiasts are singing the praises of the growing class.  Perhaps the best way to get a foot in the door will be for a couple drivers to show up at the April 15th playday, show off these Karts and have a discussion with management.  The main concern is having safe race cars at the track, and a meeting on playday might be the thing that open doors for them.  There's been some talk about 600 Micros, along with the question of what's still out here in Southern Oregon.  Another curiosity is the availability of Mini Cup cars, how many are left and who would be interested in running dirt in the absence of pavement dates?

It's going to be a year for good family fun at the Outlaw Kart track.  It's all about the fun.  They do race for wins and points, but every driver is a winner for going out there and giving it their best.  It's all about making fond memories to look back on, whether you're somebody hoping to move up one day or somebody just enjoying the action at the Outlaw Kart track.  Outlaw Kart racing is an important part of what we do at Southern Oregon Speedway and will continue to be.  So, the big thing to watch for this year is good racing, good times and lots of fun you can enjoy with your family.