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.