Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Roger Haudenshild Tribute
At Southern Oregon Speedway Saturday Night
White City, Oregon...Saturday night will be the Fifth Annual Roger Haudenshild Tribute at Southern Oregon Speedway. It's a night in which the speedway remembers one of the beloved members of the racing community. Roger Haudenshild was a long time racer and sponsor, a collector of classic cars and a top competitor in Destruction Derbies. When he died, the Haudenshild family and the Duste family put together this special event as a tribute to him. From it's humble beginnings in 2013, this race has grown in the years that followed.
Featured divisions this Saturday night will be the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Pro Stocks and SODCA Dwarf Cars. Increased purses are on the line. IMCA Modifieds will race for $1200 to win, while the IMCA Sport Modifieds will race for $800 to win. There's also the "Crack The Whip" races that will offer a $100 prize to the winners. The special races have a lap total matching the total cars starting, and the last place car each lap drops out until there's one car left at the finish. If that's not enough, there will be fan giveaways courtesy of Toys R Us and Family Fun Center.
The money on the line will bring out the big guns for the IMCA Modified race. Last year, reigning track champion Mark Wauge put on a passing clinic from the back of he pack in winning the race. The year before, Wauge lost a close battle with Nick Trenchard. Trenchard is riding high following a big victory in the John Arnberg Memorial last week in Yreka. These two may be the drivers to beat this week, but Monte Bischoff won the season opener and may have something to say about that. James Welshonse, Jesse Bailey, Jeremy Ohlde and Duane Orsburn are others to watch for this week. Two time champion Albert Gill will be there, and there's word that there may be a visitor or two coming in from California.
This event will bring out some of the best drivers in all divisions, and Jorddon Braaten will be out to claim another victory. He's won 25 IMCA Sport Modified races just at Southern Oregon Speedway in his career. Braaten won the season opener and collected his fourth win in the big Bo Hittson Menorial in Yreka last week. Everybody knows that Braaten is the man to beat, but there are some good drivers lined up to give it a shot. Reigning champion Mike Medel will be leading the charge along with such stars as Rich McCoy, 2016 Yreka champion Jimmy Lipke, Kalvin Morton, A.J. Parker and Willie McFall. McFall looked impressive in the opener until a broken transmission cost him second.
The Pro Stock drivers will be racing with heavy hearts following the news of the passing of Rocky Nash. Their fellow competitor and NASCAR West veteran died following complications resulting from injuries sustained in his crash in the Billy Geyer Memorial a few weeks ago in Yreka. The Outlaw Pro Stock Association will be supporting this show, led by series point leader Dr. Scott Lenz. Lenz has won three of his four starts this year. Billy Geyer Memorial winner Jeffrey Hudson will be piloting the Scott Bennett car, and Scott Flowers, James Flowers, Matt Harlow and Roy Bain are also anticipated. Recent Medford winner Derrel Nelson Jr., Josh Kralicek, Darron Arnold and Miles Deubert are among the regulars anticipated for the extra money Pro Stock race.
Capping the night off will be the SODCA Dwarf Cars. Camden Robustelli followed up on his win at Southern Oregon two weeks ago with another big victory at Coos Bay last week. Reigning champion Brock Peters also had a Top 3 at Coos Bay, and the Robustelli-Peters championship battle is just getting started. Fred Hay looked good at Coos Bay in fourth, while Ryan Smith ran even stronger in second. Cody Peters, Chad Cardoza, Josh King, Kaycee Sheeler, Mason Lewman and Randy Slater will make this an exciting race. The last time the Dwarf Cars were in action, they ran their 25 lap Main Event without a yellow flag.
The Roger Haudenshild Tribute is one of those marquee events at Southern Oregon Speedway that you won't want to miss. There's lots of excitement on the agenda this Saturday night. Gates open at 5 PM with the first race at 7 PM. General Admission is $15 with Seniors and Juniors $10 and Children 5 and under free. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
2013 Jeremy Richey
2014 Jeremy Richey
2015 Nick Trenchard
2016 Mark Wauge
2013 Dave Duste Sr.
2014 Jorddon Braaten
2015 Matt Duste
2016 Todd Cooper
The Old Time Racers of Oregon came to Southern Oregon Speedway with their vintage Coupes and Sedans last week. What was interesting was the first driver in the pits was Jamie Britton in the #11 car. He was a surprise to the rest of the field. Jamie raced at Roseburg in four of the first five races this year and decided he wanted give dirt track racing a try. He hadn't joined OTRO, but he read about the Hardtops racing on the dirt. It sounded fun to him. Jamie was looking forward to putting his #11 Coupe on the dirt. He even made changes to the car to make it safer after concerns that you couldn't get out of the car easily in the event of a rollover. This has happened before with the previous owner. Jamie finished a close second in the Trophy Dash and finished third in the Main Event for a good night.
The Trotter family was well represented once again. Bill Trotter fielded his #46 Coupe with a nice new orange paint job on it and lights that lit up underneath it during the Main Event. Bill also owns the old pickup trick that was wheeled by Kevin Lowell. The #26 car is owned by Bill's son, Dusty Trotter. Dusty had been racing another class last year and had Wylie Prowell driving the car, but at his wife's urging, he decided to make his first Hardtop start on the dirt. This went well as Dusty won his heat race and finished a strong second in the Main Event. Dusty has indicated that he is working on a second Hardtop. Bill led the feature for six laps before spinning on the back stretch. He settled for fourth after earlier winning his heat race.
The win went to Mark Minter in the Rene Minter owned #33 car. Rene and her husband, the late Harold Minter, first fielded this car with OTRO at Roseburg in 1988. It's one of the original cars. All of the Minter sons have competed in that car, and now grandson Mark got to take the wheel. The Minter family has had this car at the track for all but a few seasons, and they are very proud to be associated with OTRO. Rene was there in the pits and this sweet lady talked about the heritage of the car. Mark actually drove the Bill Trotter car to victory once last year, and he did a great job of winning the group's first Main Event of the season.
Brian Crouch was all smiles after his close Trophy Dash victory over Britton. Brian supported the OTRO effort faithfully last year, but this was his first career win. The #4c Sedan is the former car of Sunset Speedway champion Stanley Garboden. Garboden is another driver anticipated this year along with Jimmy Del Castille and Dean Cast. It's also important to note that OTRO does not race for points, but for fun and to put on a show for the fans. The #63 Vic & Louise Bridges car had a new driver in Rick Maguire. Rick is a newcomer, but he did a good job of getting the car to the checkered flag in all of the races in which he started.
The Pro 4 Modifieds came in from the Salem area, but there was much bad luck for these Modified Mini Stock racers. 78 year old family patriarch "Papa" Tom Ferrando had tow vehicle problems bringing his car and the car of Renee Ferrando to the track. This forced the reigning Salem Indoor champion to miss the show. Two other cars, driven my this year's indoor point runnerup Rick Wagner and Zac Ferrando, had problems in hot laps. This left 2015-16 indoor champion Tobey Ferrando and T.J. Ferrando to battle with T.J. winning the heat and Tobey claiming the dash and feature. The drivers will regroup and may come back down for another go later in the year.
The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars were going head to head with another big race in Oregon. Since the Medford effort is running a more economical rules package, it was hoped that a few more drivers would be there on Saturday. However, most of those drivers were content to run the B Main elsewhere as field fillers rather than compete for more money and a possible win in Medford. The local effort also suffered due to the fact that Camden Robustelli was off in Coos Bay winning a Dwarf Car race, Jeffrey Hudson blew his motor in the opener and Calvin Hibbard was off on vacation.
It looked grim, but efforts during the week to reach out to Chico, CA Winged Economy Sprint racers paid off. Teammates David Johnson and Jeff Crossman both came up to compete. Johnson is a past "Rookie Of The Year" Wingless Spec Sprint racer. Bob Johnson had a hand in keeping the wingless effort going in Orland two years ago with his sponsorship. The Johnson's are big Sprint Car supporters and advocates of things that make it more affordable for the racers. Unfortunately for David, he had motor issues send him pitward during the Main Event, but Crossman took a checkered flag in fourth. Because of that, he will be qualified for the June 10th Trophy Dash. Johnson reports that at least two team cars are planning to be back on the 10th, possibly three.
Enrique Jaime has done pretty well in his first two starts in a Sprint Car, and he finds himself ranked second in the standings. Last week, he finished second in his heat race and third in the Main Event as he made some good laps. Jaime and Merissa Henson are the top rookies at the moment, and Henson is just a point behind Jaime. Henson was out after a few laps with steering issues that probably occurred when she and David Hibbard bumped wheels on the start. Hibbard never even managed to make a lap, and it was his second straight DNF. He did win his heat race earlier in the night to give a good indication that his motor repairs during the week worked.
Kyler Barraza was the unknown. Would he show up? The two time Southern Oregon Sprint Tour champion had finished second in the opener, but he was on a mission to score the $1,000 victory in the Main Event. Kyler won his heat, the dash, the scramble and the Main Event for a clean sweep. He then went home, changed motors and made the big Sprint Car Main Event up north. Not a bad weekend for Barraza, and it was also a nice comeback for Bailey Hibbard. Bailey finished a solid second in the Main Event. It should have been his second straight Top 3 finish but for his mental error of driving past the scales after his third place finish in the season opener.
Tanner Holmes will reportedly be in action soon. The talented multi time Outlaw Kart champion went back to Millbridge, North Carolina with his family for a big Karting event and competed in both the 500 Open and 250 Karts. Younger sister Carley was also there representing Medford. The cars of Bartley Foster and Blaine Cory are also in production, and rumors are circulating that two time champion Johnny Burke is looking for a car. There are a few other Winged Economy Sprint racers who have expressed interest in paying Medford a visit. The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car division is a work in progress, but car count is ahead of what it was after two races last season.
The Late Models are set for two straight races on June 10th and 17th. The 17th is an added date. We saw Nathan Augustine beat Dustin Knight in an exciting battle for the lead in the opener while Kristy Grout outdueled Dave Foot for third. These are the four drivers who have qualified for the Trophy Dash on the 10th. We anticipate John Dees competing on the 10th. John had a strong third place finish recently in Cottage Grove. His reigning champion father Bob Dees will hopefully have the body mounted on his car and ready to go on the 10th. Other drivers we're looking for include Mike Linder, Garrett Dees and Steve Lemley. Lemley actually has two cars and one of them is for sale. Don Garrett Jr. purchased the Nathan Augustine Coos Bay championship car, but he's already put it up for sale as well.
In a final Medford Pit Stops note, the track was pleased to welcome the Northwest Focus Midgets for a visit. The group said there would be 23 cars on hand, sent a roster ahead of time and all of these drivers showed. Most of them hail from Washington, but they enthusiastically towed to race at Southern Oregon Speedway for the very first time. With 22 cars starting the feature and going at a rapid pace, there was still no yellow flag until moments after the white flag was displayed. The drivers ran close, but they ran respectful of each other as well. By all accounts, this first race of a ten race, $10,000 Summer Series was a success.
This is in no small part due to the leadership of Gaylon and Carla Stewart, who have maintained a steady course with sensible rules. The California Focus Midgets effort seems to have faltered, but the Washington effort at tracks like Deming and Grays Harbor is doing well. What is required is leadership keeping the costs reasonable, an active enough schedule, acceptable purses, drivers being updated on things and keeping the drama to a minimum. Most of these drivers will try to run the 24 or so races they are scheduled for, but the ten race series is designed to encourage stronger car counts at those races. The Northwest Focus Midgets effort is over a decade old and shows no signs of slowing down. It's likely that the Open Wheel Showcase will remain a part of the Southern Oregon Speedway schedule, and Focus Midgets will be a part of that.
A big shout out in congratulations to young Tristin Thomas. We may have forgotten that he was the 2015 champion and finished third in points last year, but he reminded us well with his impressive victory. In fact, nobody has won more races on the circuit than Tristin these past two seasons. Michael Vollbrecht was enjoying a good battle with reigning champion Nick Evans until he started to pull away a bit in traffic to grab that finish. Evans was a late retiree, but heat race winner Chance Crum did a great job of holding down the final podium position as seven competitors managed to finish on the lead lap in the rapidly run race.
Little Southern Oregon Speedway Set To Open On June 9th
White City, Oregon...The wait is almost over. It's time to get the season started at Little Southern Oregon Speedway. The eighth-mile clay oval will host a full slate of Outlaw Kart Racing on Friday night, June 9th. 500 Open Karts, 250 Karts, Box Stocks, Beginners Box Stocks and Speedway Karts are all on the schedule along with a kid's bike race.
The Wesier boys are ready to get back on track and do some more racing. Bodee Weiser was a model of consistency last year. With all Top 3 finishes and one win, Bodee won the championship ahead of previous champion Tanner Holmes. Holmes won the three races he started. Bodee's brother Braden finished fourth in the standings behind the consistent Enrique Jaime. Enrique made the move up to a Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car on the big track, which we anticipate will be happening for T. Holmes very soon.
Tanner still has his 250 and 500 Karts, and last year saw him winning both division's season openers. We don't see Tanner in the 500 often, though he also had a fifth place finish from the back in the Vern Wheeler Memorial Race last season. He's likely to be in the 250 when he races. Younger sister Carley Holmes, herself a past champion in Box Stocks, still drives both a Box Stock and a 250. Getting back to the Jaime family, word is that if we do see their 250 back at the track, it's likely to be Enrique's younger sister Isabella behind the wheel. Isabella was a Box Stock heat winner last year, but she eventually outgrew that Kart.
The 250's are also going to see Yreka champion Brionna Fuller in action. This talented young lady is on the rise, and she will be fast whenever we see her at the track. Branden Bartlett was Top 5 last year, and we also saw his teammate Devin Felix move up to this class from Box Stocks. Hard charger Ashleigh Strain and Colby Bergquist are talented young racers, and they will be in the battle for victories. The 250's are fast and exciting to watch, and we should see a good show from these drivers at the opener.
Box Stock racing will be as exciting as ever. Trevor Grimes enters the season as the two time reigning champion, and he won three of his four starts last year. He was beat one night by 2014 champion Carley Holmes. The competition will be coming from several rising stars. After winning the Beginners Box Stock championship in Yreka last year, Taylor Fuller is moving up this year. Taylor impressed with two Box Stock wins in Medford last year. There's also Natalie Richard to consider. She was Top 3 here and at Yreka last year, and she has won the Beginner and Box Stock championships in the last two Roseburg Indoor seasons. 2016 runner up Emma Rodgers, Ryan Hirshbock and Loveah Crice are just a few of the drivers to watch for at the opener.
Beginners Box Stocks are where it starts. These youngsters are making their first starts, but we have some drivers beginning their second year in the class. Kiley Grimes is the reigning champion, and this young lady won her first heat race at Red Bluff to end the 2016-17 winter season. Shailene Horn will be a favorite in the race for wins. She won a race last year on her way to second in the standings. Young Adrian Richard was third in the standings last year, and he'll be looking for his first victory.
A few drivers made their first starts during last season including the Whipple brothers, Roger and Thomas. Roger seems to be getting the knack, and he could be closing in on his first win. There's also Malachi Johnson, who looked good in the last two races last year. Young Nichols Davis Jr. did a good job of learning to drive his car and making laps last year. As these youngsters get used to driving their Karts, they get more confident and get faster. The Beginners are a fun class to watch.
The Open 500's are on the schedule. We never know who might race, but Wyatt Pinckney, Kevin Hildgendorf, Brody Sim and Johnny Burke are drivers to keep an eye on. Sim recently got a chance to drive a Junior Street Stock at Madras and finished fourth. The Fuller family are big supporters of the open cockpit Speedway Kart class. This division seems to be the fastest growing class in the area, and it's lots of fun watching these drivers drive their Karts.
The track also has an interest in the 600 Micro Sprints and is in the process of looking to see who is out there. There will be lots of excitement at the Outlaw Kart track on June 9th and in the races to follow. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.