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