Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Pro Stocks Are Coming Home To Southern Oregon Speedway
Medford, Oregon...The popular Pro Stock division is back at Southern Oregon Speedway this year. Furthermore, and for the first time since 2011, the division will be competing for a track championship. The longest currently active division with a lineage tracing back to the old Medford "Posse Grounds" Speedway, The Pro Stocks are an important part of Medford racing.
The old track had a healthy Street Stock division for years. In 1988, management started the Limited Sportsman division as the #2 division to the Late Model class, while still keeping a Street Stock division. Jim Walker Jr. won that first championship. Interestingly enough, another Medford legend, Scott Lenz, was Street Stock champion that year, and he was a front runner the next season before the track abruptly closed in July. Walker, meanwhile, topped the Limited Sportsman point list that next year as well.
It took seven years before Medford racers had a home track again, and while the 1996 roster did not include Street Stocks, Pro Stocks made up the core three classes, along with Modifieds and Mini Stocks, that still compete to this day. Lenz put his name into the record books that year as the first champion, while Walker won three of the next five championships, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest drivers to ever strap into a Pro Stock.
Speaking of greats, Frank Word III came along and rewrote the record books with eight championships in a nine year period, interrupted only by two time champion Brian Poppa. The battles between Word, Poppa and hard chargers like John David Duffie were some of the best ever seen at the track. Pro Stocks were producing big fields that required B Mains, and their center piece race at the time was the Art Pollard Memorial. In 2017, they will be part of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race on June 3rd.
Throughout the first decade of the 2000's, car count was still doing well. After a slightly disappointing 2011 campaign, management at the time got the idea of starting a new Sport Modified class, as was being done at several West Coast venues. This wasn't necessarily a bad idea, but it was decided to merge the Pro Stocks with that class. Long time competitors like Ken Irving, Dave Everson, Dave Quick and Brian Johnsen gathered with the remaining competitors and formed a traveling association to preserve the class. After a year where drivers made occasional visits to Medford as part of the Sport Mod effort, Southern Oregon Speedway started booking several Pro Stock dates every season for the class.
This brings us to 2017. Promoter Mike McCann has heard the concerns of the drivers. They aren't asking for big rule changes, but they want tech of the cars, a guaranteed purse and pay out at the end of the night and they want to compete more often at their home track. Therefore, a nine race schedule has been crafted to give them a comfortable season that allows time with family or traveling to other venues. Plus, drivers will compete for points with a track champion crowned at the end of the season awards banquet.
Several drivers have thrown their hats into the ring this season, and that includes the track's final Street Stock champion, Miles Deubert. Deubert was faster than ever last season as his two feature wins will show. He could very well be the driver to beat this year. The Deubert family are no strangers to winning at the speedway. Miles' father Jer Deubert is an Art Pollard Memorial Race winner.
Speaking of drivers familiar with winning, the strongest supporter of Pro Stocks who is currently still active is Ken Irving. Irving is a two time division champion who usually gets a win or two during the season. Last year saw him only finish as high as second, and that's something he intends to improve on this season.
The veteran of the group is Rocky Nash. Everywhere he has gone, he has won, and that includes the NASCAR West Series, where he was also Top 10 ranked in points. Rocky picked up a pair of feature wins and dash wins last season. Brian Johnsen is also a driver to watch. He's a two time Super 4 champion who won a Pro Stock Main Event on the circuit last year.
Drivers are still making their plans for the season, but others we'll be watching for include Mike Johnson, Derrel Nelson Jr., Tyler Lockwood, Rick Lukens, Mike Prill, Phil Pipgras, Dave Satterfield and two time Top 3 Street Stock competitor Darron Arnold. Top 5 Coos Bay racer Josh Kralicek will be racing in Medford too. Rumors have circulated that we might even see past champions Scott Lenz and Dave Everson this season. Johnson is no stranger to winning, and he's not afraid to drive anything, from Dragsters to Mini Stocks. He is a past Mini Stock champion, while Lockwood is also a past Mini Stock star. Nelson was a two time Hornet winner last year and second in points, while Lukens picked up a pair of Pro Stock heat wins last year in one of the nicest looking cars in the field.
The Outlaw Pro Stock Association will have four of their point races at Southern Oregon Speedway for their members, which they will run with the track's regulars. Those dates include April 29th, June 3rd, August 12th and September 9th. Actually, they are not booked elsewhere on most of the other dates, so racers might just show up then as well. Steve Borror is the reigning champion and a force any time he competes.
Scott Flowers also remains one of the stars and could again be joined by his wife Ginny, son James, and daughter Julia in this four car effort. Arlen Garrison is the car owner helping make the Flowers family fun happen. Scott Flowers was once again the point runnerup last season.
Rocky Nash seems to be as fast as anybody when he races, and like Borror, he won multiple times last season. Roy Bain will be back, and other stars to watch for include Matt Harlow, Scott Bennett, John Bowers and Johnny Cobb. You have to respect this group for fighting to keep Pro Stock racing alive in Southern Oregon after the track's previous management pretty much gave up on them.
The Pro Stocks will get a playday opportunity on April 22nd. The season opens on April 29th, and the Roger Haudenshild Tribute on June 3rd is a race that all of the drivers mark on their calendars as one they really want to win. The last time the track crowned its own champion, it was Dustin Knight in 2011. The question is, who will it be this year? Come on out to the track and find out. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
2017 Southern Oregon Speedway Pro Stocks Schedule
April 22 - Rain Out Make Up Playday
Past Southern Oregon Speedway Pro Stock Champions
1988 Jim Walker Jr.*
1989 Jim Walker Jr.*
1996 Scott Lenz
1997 Jim Walker Jr.
1998 Jim Walker Jr.
1999 Brian Poppa
2000 Brad Alfrey
2001 Jim Walker Jr.
2002 Frank Word III
2003 Frank Word III
2004 Frank Word III
2005 Frank Word III
2006 Brian Poppa
2007 Frank Word III
2008 Frank Word III
2009 Frank Word III
2010 Frank Word III
2011 Dustin Knight
2012 Ken Irving**
2013 Dave Everson**
2014 Ken Irving**
2015 Jeffrey Hudson**
2016 Steve Borror **
* Medford Raceway
** Outlaw Pro Stock Association
Previous Feature Winners (2013-16)
May 11, 2013: Brian Johnsen
May 25, 2013: Dave Everson
June 8, 2013: Andy Freeman
June 22, 2013: Ken Irving
July 3, 2013: Andy Freeman
July 10, 2013: Dave Everson
July 27, 2013: Dave Everson
August 17, 2013: Dave Everson
September 7, 2013: Dave Everson
May 3, 2014: Ken Irving
May 17, 2014: Jeff Hudson
May 31, 2014: Ken Irving
June 7, 2014: Brian Johnsen
June 28, 2014: Scott Flowers
August 16, 2014: Dave Everson
August 23, 2014: Ken Irving
September 13, 2014: Jeff Hudson
September 27, 2014: Dave Everson
April 18, 2015: Dave Everson
May 2, 2015: Dave Everson
May 16, 2015: Dave Quick
July 4, 2015: Jeffrey Hudson
August 1, 2015: Steve Borror
August 29, 2015: Steve Borror
September 6, 2015: Rocky Nash
September 26, 2015: Steve Borror
April 30, 2016: Steve Borror
June 11, 2016: Rocky Nash
July 4, 2016: Mile Deubert
July 30, 2016: Steve Borror
August 13, 2016: Steve Borror
August 27, 2016: Miles Deubert
September 24, 2016: Rocky Nash
SODCA Dwarf Cars Are Back At Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon...Perhaps the most reliable division at Southern Oregon Speedway in recent seasons is the SODCA Dwarf Cars. The traveling group has been making visits to the speedway since the very early days of the track, and they always give the fans a good show. Stars like Jon DeBenedetti and C.J. Putnam have won championships before moving on to other divisions. With 12 races on the schedule, including championship night, the road to the SODCA tittle once again goes through Medford.
As a member of the WSDCA, the Southern Oregon based group gets to host the big Dwarf Car Nationals event. This year, the two day extravaganza takes place on August 4th and 5th. The best drivers on the West Coast will be in Medford that weekend. The Dwarf Cars are scheduled for their first appearance on April 29th. These fast, 1200cc motorcycle engined machines will provide the fans with some entertaining races every time they come to town.
Brock Peters is leading the pack this year as the reigning champion. At times, he was unstoppable last season, and he has a new car from the shop of M&M Racing with the hopes of maintaining his top status. With Camden Robustellli returning this year, it won't easy. Robustellli is coming off of back to back runnerup seasons, but he has a championship in his sights this year.
While Peters and Robustelli are feature winners, Brock's son Cody Peters is looking for his first SODCA victory. Cody did win a Sportsman feature during the Nationals last season, and he led several laps of the season finale. It seems a good bet that he will win a Main Event this year. Also expected to race at least some this year will be Kalvin Morton. Morton is a multi time Top 5 point runner who won several races last season before his championship hopes were dashed when he flipped hard while leading on July 4th.
You would be making a mistake if you ignored two time champion Josh King. He didn't attempt to defend his championship last year, but he won several Main Events during the season. Chad Cardoza is another top star who won a feature last year as well as the $1000 to win Fred Hay Dash For Cash. A long time Dwarf Car competitor, Cardoza could assert himself in this season's championship battle. Another driver to watch is Ryan Smith. The 2014 runerup has won features with this group in the past and was usually in the hunt when he competed last season.
Getting back to of Fred Hay, the popular long time member recently made his first laps since a terrible flip at Chico last year left him with a broken neck. The Top 3 2015 point runner reported that he felt comfortable and the car handled well. Outlaw Kart graduate Ashley Strain also made some practice laps recently as she will be one of the rookies this season. She impressed last last season in Cottage Grove with her 250 Kart win in September.
After his fifth place season, Randy Slater is poised for a break out year. Joe Sanders will be looking for better results following his "Rookie Of The Year" season. Veteran Jerry Houck, Kaycee Sheeler, Mason Lewman, Mark Nielson, Don Gifford and James Edwards are among the other drivers to watch for in the competitive field.
Their first appearance will be April 29th, and they are scheduled for 12 visits, which includes the big Dwarf Car Nationals event on August 4th and 5th. Fans will be in for an exciting show any time the SODCA Dwarf Cars come to town. For further information on happenings at the speedway, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
2017 Southern Oregon Speedway
SODCA Dwarf Car Schedule
April 22 - (Rain Date) Playday
August 4 - WSDCA Nationals
August 5 - WSDCA Nationals
September 2 - Lon Skinner Memorial
September 3 - Lon Skinner Memorial
SODCA Dwarf Car Champions
1998 Jon DeBenedetti
1999 Jon DeBenedetti
2000 Jon DeBenedetti
2001 Gary Fitzsimmons
2002 Gary Fitzsimmons
2003 Dan Van Acker
2004 Crash Jackson
2005 Jerry Apland
2006 Tom Palazollo
2007 Jim Harsha
2008 Kelly Gutches
2009 Greg Denton
2010 Kelly Gutches
2011 R.J. McGahuey
2012 R.J. McGahuey
2013 C.J. Puttnam
2014 Josh King
2015 Josh King
2016 Brock Peters
The rain during the week was enough to put a halt to the planned April 15th playday. It wasn't so much that the track itself wouldn't have been usable, but there was a concern about pit conditions, particularly on the lower end nearest the track. It is hoped that we will be able to make the pits more usable. If the weather pattern holds as forecast next week, chances are much better that we can make that playday happen.
There's been some buzz around town about change being in the air for the track as it enters its 22nd season. At this point, we'll just let the rumors go and address them later, but it is something that should lead to better things for the future of the race track. The other part of the rumor may actually elicit more excitement than the first part, which means you should just keep your eyes open for news in the future. Management recently added some new benches to the facility as an option for people to eat under the shade.
The question at the Outlaw Kart track has centered around the addition of the Speedway Kart division. The open cockpit Karts have been growing at other tracks, and they have been added for the first four races this year. If all goes well, they could end up on the full schedule. The Fuller family has been a driving force in pushing this effort. Speaking of which, Brionna Fuller will be in a 250 Kart this year after her Yreka Box Stock championship, while Taylor Fuller has graduated to Box Stocks after his championship in Yreka in the Beginners class. Taylor won two races at Mini Southern Oregon Speedway last year.
It might have come as a bit of a surprise, but Wyatt Pinckney has a 500 Open Kart this season. Wyatt spent just one season in 250's after being crowned the 125 Kart champion in 2015. We're still wondering who is on the roster with him this year. We could be seeing past Cottage Grove champion Brody Sim, past Medford champion Stephanie Crisp, hard charger Kenny Boardman, Merissa Henson, Dillen Lausen, reigning champion Johnny Burke and Tanner Holmes among the competition for this class.
It's hoped that the numbers pick up in the 500's this year, and management is still working on an announcement for the class. The 250 Karts, Box Stocks and Beginners Box Stocks will also be a part of the Outlaw Kart program, and it looks like there will be some newcomers in the Beginner class. This will actually be the 20th season for Mini Southern Oregon Speedway. As the training grounds for our future stars on the big track, and just a place for kids to have fun and race, this little one-eighth mile clay oval is an important part of what we do.
The buzz has been incredible in the Hornets division this year as several new cars are being built. JOAT Labs has come on board as the title sponsor, and they have done cages for some of the new cars coming out, including the car of Jason Stoutenburgh. Tylor Ray and Anthony Kniffen will both have cars this year. Joby Shields has been showing off his ride and is also offering a second car for rent. The car of the son of Tim Hedges is ready. We still haven't seen pictures of Tim's ride, but Gabe Nelson is ready to take the wheel of the #8g car, driven by his father last year. The roster is now is in double digits as the class continues to grow.
Darrel Nelson Jr. will be taking the wheel of the blue #30 car of Ken Hackoworth in the Pro Stock division. We've also gotten word that Dave Satterfield will be joining the ranks of the Pro Stocks. As we've been researching information for the archive section of the web site, we can report that Satterfield was a Pro Stock dash winner in 2005. There is a red #57 IMCA Modified in the Hackworth stables this season as well.
We previously reported the news that 2013 Mini Stock champion Steve Goetz will be back this season after a couple of seasons off. We're still waiting to see pictures of Michael "Hercules" Johnson's Mini Stock. Word was that he was considering running his father's #81 with an H. We noticed Outlaw Kart promoter Bob Fredrickson was working on a Sport Modified. We heard rumors of who would be driving, but we will not speculate on that. It's also worth noting that the PSM Pacific Sport Modified Series is back offering an additional point race for the drivers. Any competitors who want to support an effort that promotes the class can look up the PSM on Facebook and consider joining.
Chris Silva and Brian Bowman are two other names you can add to the IMCA Modified roster this year. If some of the veterans are not regulars this season, we may still see an increase in newer names. Silva could have had an impact in last season's championship. After Mark Wauge was involved in a wreck while racing for the lead in last season's finale, he came back out and limped to a checkered. Had Silva not retired from the race, it might have forced a tie between Wauge and James Welshonse. IMCA does not break ties. It just goes to show you how every point counts.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that there will be a playday this Saturday and we can get a look at some cars and see all of our friends at the track. The Kendal Oil Sprint Car class has been quiet lately, and we've yet to see any pictures of the dozen or so cars being prepared. Because there are so many young new drivers, the division may have some sort of an orientation event. At present, David Hibbard carries a huge experience advantage over the group. Several drivers will be making their first ever Sprint Car starts, including Outlaw Kart champion Tanner Holmes, Merissa Henson, Bartley Foster and Blaine Corey. We're hearing rumors of a few big names getting involved this year, but we'll leave the rumors where they are for now. When the first race happens, all will be revealed.