Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds Headline Show
At Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon...The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars kick off the season at Southern Oregon Speedway this Saturday night. Joining them in an action-packed five division program will be the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets.
The Sprint Car division continues to gather momentum, and several new competitors will be joining the field this season. At the head of the pack is 2017 champion Kyler Barraza, who won three Main Events out of seven Top 3 finishes last season. Matching him in the win column was rising young star Bailey Hibbard. Some people are saying Hibbard could be the driver to beat in this year's championship chase.
Displaying consistency and a smooth driving style, Merissa Henson notched Rookie Of The Year honors last season as well as runner-up point status. Henson will be going for her first career feature win this season. Veteran competitors such as David Hibbard Aaron Miller, Todd Whipple, 2009 champion Charlie Thompson and Outlaw Kart kingpin Mike Wheeler are anticipated along with such rising young stars as Enrique Jaime, AJ Harbaugh, Jeffrey Hudson, Theron Smith and Tanner Holmes.
There's a lot of buzz about the IMCA Modifieds and the possibility that Mark Wauge will be going for his unprecedented eighth division championship. Wauge already leads all other competitors in this division with 48 career feature wins at the track, including winning the season finale last year to notch second in the standings behind first time champion Jesse Bailey. Bailey has been a model of consistency these past two seasons and is a force to be reckoned with anytime he's on the track.
Two-time champion Albert Gill will also be a factor in the battle as well as long-time competitor Matt Duste. Several top stars are anticipated this week, including past Dwarf Car champion CJ Putnam, Ray Kniffin Jr., James Welshonse and Duane Orsburn. From the Klamath Falls area, hard charger Nick Trenchard, Zach Fettinger and Jeremy Ohlde are anticipated.
Two-time reigning IMCA Sport Modified champion Mike Medel comes in as the driver to beat this year, but the competition will be fierce in a class that some say could reach into the twenties in car count this season. Among the list contenders this year is last season's runner-up Willie McFall, David Marble, Jesse Merriman, Bob Thomas, rookie Joby Shields, young gun Justin McCreadie and two-time champion Dwayne Melvin. Another two-time champion, Jorddon Braaten, may not run for points, but he will be a factor anytime he's there.
With five feature wins last season and six the year before, nobody has done more winning in the Mini Stock division lately then David Steele. The only thing left for him to accomplish is a championship at his home track. Steele has already won multiple Main Events on the circuit this year. Hoping for his first win will be reigning champion Krristopher Mix, and he can expect stiff competition from 2013 champion Steve Goetz, 2014 champion Gary Anderson, Andrew Hall and Hunter Magnan.
The JOAT Labs Hornets round out an exciting program with reigning champion Jason Stoutenburgh expected to be there to defend his title. Stoutenburgh won the last four features of the season last year to solidify his status at the top of the point ladder. Jenna Hedges hopes to give him some good competition after notching second in the standing as the top rookie last season. Her 2016 championship-winning husband Tim Hedges will be pulling double-duty in a Hornet and a Mini Stock. Son Ashtin Hedges will be there along with the Nelson family, father Darrel and sons Zack and Ryan, Dylan Irving, Brandon Wonsyld and Bree Tritchler.
People are itching to get back out to the race track after a cold and wet winter. This five division program is just what everybody's been waiting for. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the first race at 7 p.m. General Admission is $12 with Juniors, Seniors and Veterans $6 each. Children 5 and under are free. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.