Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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2017 Season Begins Saturday Night
At Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, CA...After a long and wet winter and first month of spring, racing season is set to begin next Saturday night (May 6th) at Southern Oregon Speedway. Mike McCann of KJE Enterprises is beginning his season season and ushering in the track's 22nd year of operations with an exciting six division lineup. On the card for this week are the Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets..
Through the years, we've seen occasional visits from the Late Model division, but this year is different. We begin the season with three consecutive visits from these high-horsepower machines. Late Models are the pinnacle of Stock Car racing on the dirt, and we have them ten times this year. Bob Dees is the reigning champion, and he returns this season along with his sons, John Dees and Garrett Dees. A two time winner last year, Mike Linder will be back as well. Coos Bay Speedway champion Nathan Augustine will be back. Like Dustin Knight, he was a feature winner last year. Kristy Grout, Steve Lemley and Don Garrett Jr. are others to watch for this week.
When the IMCA Modifieds roll into town for their first race, two time champion Albert Gill will be leading the charge. Gill won't be the only hard charger in the field. Nick Trenchard has won several races in recent seasons and is the 2015 Yreka champion. Top 5 ranked Jesse Bailey was the only driver with three Top 3 finishes last season. Perennial front runner Monte Bischoff, Zach Fettinger, Ray Kniffen Jr., Scott Crumm, Bo Shields and 2016 "Rookie Of The Year" James Welshonse are among the other stars to watch for.
The competition level in the sixth year of IMCA Sport Modifieds is so high that both reigning champion Mike Medel and two time champion Jorddon Braaten have new cars to keep up the pace. Two time champion Dwayne Melvin will also be on the roster, meaning all three champions are still racing. 2016 "Rookie Of The Year" David Marble just got married, and he's looking to celebrate with his first win in this division. Marble is the 2015 Mini Stock champion with many wins in that division. The list of talented racers on the roster is long, and Top 5 competitors Willie McFall and A.J. Parker should be there along with hard chargers like Rich McCoy, Toby Judd, Kalvin Morton, Tony Bartell and returning front runner Rob Fitzsimmons. It should be an exciting season for this division.
Super 4's division has been renamed the Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites. Reigning champion Lee Doty is back to see if he can repeat as champion, but word is that his competition is stepping up their game. Two time point runnerup Terry Hadley is said to be debuting a new car, and this three car team will also include wife Krista Hadley. Reigning Mini Stock champion Bob Burkett is moving up. Burkett has won over 20 Mini Stock features in the last five seasons. Eric Aos and son Dustin Aos are anticipated along with 2013 champion John Barger, Danny Prewitt, Mike Cloud, Bill Spencer, hard charger Charlie Eaton and Steve Thompson.
With Bob Burkett planning a limited Mini Stock schedule, this year's battle may be between 2014 champion Gary Anderson and 2015 Yreka champion David Steele. Anderson was second in points last year with two wins, but Steele was a five time winner. However, 2013 champion Steve Goetz is planning to return, which will make things more interesting. There are some other drivers looking to make their marks, led by third ranked Andrew Hall. Hall finished second three times last year in his fast Pinto Wagon, and he'll be looking for a win. Other hard chargers such as Kristopher Mix, 2016 "Rookie of the Year" Dillen Lausen, Michael Johnson and veteran Eric Hanson will also be in the hunt for wins.
The JOAT Labs Hornets are entering their fourth season, and car count will be increasing. With JOAT Labs building cages for some of the new competitors, we will be seeing a more competitive group in the entry level class. Reigning champion Tim Hedges returns in a quest for his first career victory. Joby Shields was a four time winner last season and may be the driver to beat if his recent Yreka victory is any indication. John Hoult, Jason Stoutenburg, David James Gillig, Gabe Nelson and Tylor Ray are just some of the other racers to watch for.
The lineup of Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets will offer great racing excitement for the fans. Grandstands open at 5:00 PM with the first race starting at 7:00 PM sharp. General Admission is $12, Seniors (62 and older) and Juniors (6-12) is $6 and children 5 and under are free. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.