Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Racing And Giveaways For The Kids Saturday Night
At Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway holds its tenth event of the season this Saturday night. The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars are back after putting on a great show last week, and the IMCA Modifieds and Sport Modifieds return as well. The Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars and Valley Store-All Late Model Lites make this a well-rounded program.
As if that's not enough, Willamette Valley Bank is having a special celebration for the kids. There will be free Swag Bags and giveaways all night. Plus, there will be free face painting. It will be a night the whole family can enjoy.
In the Sprint Car division, David Hibbard has hit his stride as he just won his third Main Event in four starts. Hibbard has built a 31 point advantage over Jeffrey Hudson, who finished third last week in a close battle with Enrique Jaime. Hudson and Jaime are battling for second in the standings, and Hudson holds a 10 point advantage after four races.
The breakout star of last week had to be Blaine Cory. The Outlaw Kart graduate was celebrating his 21st birthday, and he did it in style by winning both his heat race and the Scramble, beating Hibbard in both races. This put him on the pole for the Main Event, and he led several laps before finishing a season best second. Cory is poised to get his first win this week, and other racers to watch for include Bailey Hibbard, Merissa Henson, Theron Smith, Charlie Thompson and Aaron Miller.
The IMCA Modified and Sport Modified divisions are so competitive this year that we've yet to see a repeat winner in either division. Sitting atop the point standings in IMCA Modifieds with a 17 point lead over Albert Gill is Nick Trenchard. Trenchard won the Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race this year for a $2,000 payday. Gill has been knocking on the door with two Top 3 finishes, but he is still looking for his first win of the season. Third ranked Mark Wauge, Zach Fettinger and Collen Winebarger are also on the list of race winners so far. Other drivers to look for this week include Jantzen Knips, Preston Jones, CJ Putnam, David Satterfield and Bo Shields.
In the IMCA Sport Modified division, David Marble holds a 20 point advantage over Willie McFall. McFall is being chased by two drivers who are 10 points behind him, Tony Bartell and Tony Duste. Of this group, only Marble is on the feature winner's list so far, joined by Fred Ryland, Braxton Possinger and Oregon State point leader Justin McCreadie. Word is that two-time reigning champion Mike Medel will be back again this week, and other racers to watch for include Brandon Wilson, Billy Richey and Jesse Merriman.
The Dwarf Cars are in the midst of their best season in three years, and it has been a wide-open battle at the front of the pack. Usually there are three or four drivers slicing and dicing for the lead. Last week, Kalvin Morton joined Camden Robustelli as a two-time feature winner with the group so far. Other winners include Brock Peters, Josh King and Guy Tow. After finishing a strong second last week, ageless veteran Fred Hay will be looking for the win. Other drivers to watch for this week include Randy Slater, Cody Peters, Chad Cardoza, Ryan Smith and Brett James.
The Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites round out a great racing evening on Saturday. After his clean sweep performance last time out, Greg Arnold moved to within one point of Charlie Eaton in a close championship battle. Eaton and Eric Aos make it three different winners in three races. Last time out, reigning champion Bob Burkett made his season debut in second. Could he become the fourth different winner this week? Other drivers to look for include Dusty Aos, Terry Hadley and Krista Hadley.
For Fans looking for a second night of racing, the Little Southern Oregon Speedway track will hold its fourth Outlaw Kart program for the future stars of the big track. Malachi Johnson (Beginners), Keaton Augustine (Box Stock), Trevor Grimes (250 Kart), Josh Steinhoff (500 Open) and Larry Fuller (UAS Speedway Kart) lead their respective point races. Racing will start there at 7 p.m. It's a $10 General Admission that gets you pit access as well.
For Saturday night, gates open at 5 p.m., with the first race at 7 p.m. General Admission is $12 with Seniors, Veterans and Juniors (7 to 12) $6. Children 6 and under are free. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
Southern Oregon Speedway Points
Kendall Oil Sprint Cars
David Hibbard 134
Jeffrey Hudson 113
Enrique Jaime 103
Bailey Hibbard 91
Blaine Cory 85
Nick Trenchard 141
Albert Gill 124
Mark Wauge 117
David Satterfield 111
Jantzen Knips 105
IMCA Sport Modifieds
David Marble 152
Willie McFall 132
Tony Bartell 122
Tony Duste 122
Brandon Wilson 117
Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites
Charlie Eaton 102
Greg Arnold 101
Dusty Aos 81
Eric Aos 65
Bob Burkett 31
Outlaw Kart Points
Malachi Johnson 103
Carson Henson 96
Shailene Horn 95
Uriah Sanders 91
Jayme DeBenedetti 78
Keaton Augustine 102
Ryan Hirschbock 99
Taylor Fuller 96
Jacob James 91
Kiley Grimes 70
Trevor Grimes 110
Vinny DeBenedetti 95
Taylor Fuller 77
Brionna Fuller 60
Bodee Weiser 38
Josh Steinhoff 40
Mike Wheeler 39
Kyle Romociotti 35
Reece Slyter 33
Dillen Lausen 32
UAS Speedway Kart
Larry Fuller 63
Jeremy Brown 58
Steve Rambo 58
Ed Grubb 55
Lori Fuller 52
It may have been David Hibbard picking up his third Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Main Event victory last Saturday night, but the people were talking about the driver who finished second. Blaine Cory was celebrating his 21st birthday behind the wheel of a Sprint Car. It's been a good year for Blaine so far as he came into the night ranked fifth in the standings. Like several of the drivers in the division, Cory got his start at the little track, and he won the 2014 500 Open championship.
Blaine put the field on notice in his heat race when he scored his first victory in the division. What made it even more special was that he beat point leader David Hibbard to do it. He wasn't done. He followed that up by beating Hibbard to win the Scramble and gained the pole for the Main Event. Cory set the pace for most of the first half of the race before Hibbard motored by for the lead. Though Hibbard was leading, Blaine ran a rapid pace and was not too far behind him in second.
When we talk about drivers who have a shot at getting a victory, we have to include Blaine Cory in that conversation. Likewise, Jeffrey Hudson continues to make a good case for himself. He won the season finale in 2016 to cap his "Rookie Of The Year" effort, and he's also finished as high as second in the Main Event this season. With Hibbard and Cory running so well, Hudson was the driver having a tough battle as Enrique Jaime was trying for his third third place finish of the season. Enrique had to make a pass around Bailey Hibbard, but his last-ditch effort on the final lap fell just short as Hudson grabbed the third position.
It's a battle right now between Hudson, Jaime and Bailey Hibbard for second in the standings, and Hudson leads Jaime by 10 points. The question is, which one of these two drivers will be the first to get a feature win this season. As for Bailey Hubbard, he already has a win this year, but he's been battling motor issues in recent weeks. He is 22 points behind Hudson, but Cory has moved to within six points of Bailey for fourth.
Another driver getting a first-time win in the class was Merissa Henson. Merissa started her evening off with a heat race win ahead of rookie Theron Smith. Her Main Event didn't go quite as well as hoped, but she still got it to the checkered flag. The driver who has served as a mentor for Merissa since she got started in this class, 2009 champion Charlie Thompson, looked a little better this week as he finished sixth ahead of Aaron Miller. Miller used his finish to move into the Top 10 in the standings, and the second straight Top 10 finish for Thompson moved him closer to the Top 10 in points as well. Miller recently won at Coos Bay Speedway, and both of the Sprint Car veterans are feature winners at Southern Oregon Speedway in the past. You have to consider both drivers potential threats for victory in the weeks ahead.
Last week, notice had been sent that 2017 Antioch Speedway point runner-up David Newquist and teammate Joey Olschowka were coming to town to race their Late Models. However, nobody knew that past Late Model Tour champion Darren Coffell was making his first visit in several years. He had won Main Events at the track in the past, and he had plans to come to the season opener this year before rain put an end to that. He immediately positioned himself as the driver to beat just by being there, and he did nothing to dissuade those thoughts when he dominated his heat race.
The Main Event was never in question. Once the green flag waved, Coffell took off into another time zone as he lapped all the way up to fifth place. Coffell was heard commenting that he would be putting in a good word for the track to the other racers in Willamette, and you never know who might show up before the season is done.
John Dees continues to run strong. It seems just a matter of time before the second generation racer scores his first Late Model feature win. Thus far, we have four different winners in four races, and John has finished no worse than third in his three starts with a pair of seconds. Last week, he grabbed second early on and held off his father, Bob Dees, to maintain the position. If not for his absence from one race, it's likely that John would be leading the standings.
That honor falls to the reigning champion Nathan Augustine despite the fact that he was taken out at the third race and his car was totaled. Augustine was able to rent the ride from Don Garrett Jr on Saturday night, and he turned in a solid performance in fourth to maintain his point lead. The car is not unfamiliar to Nathan. This is the same car he won a Main Event with at the track in 2016 while also winning the Coos Bay Speedway championship. Nathan hopes to have a new car together by the time the Late Models return on July 14th.
Augustine knows he will need to be back on his A Game. One time winner and top rookie Miles Deubert is keeping the pressure on Augustine. Deubert didn't finish too far behind David Newquist for a sixth place finish. This keeps Miles just seven points behind Augustine in a close championship race, while Trophy Dash winner Dave Foote is still within striking distance, 23 points out. Foote has the pressure on him for third with John Dees two points behind him.
Newquist has said that he and his teammate Olschowka will be back for the next race as they attempt to sell the #96 car that Olschowka was driving. That is a car that was owned by Matt Micheli, who won the 2017 Limited Late Model championship at Placerville Speedway. Newquist was leading his heat race when mental error got him. He thought he saw the checkered flag while he was leading, but it turned out to be the white flag.
Brandon Wonsyld had a prior engagement, which was good news for the other competitors in the JOAT Labs Hornets division last week. Reigning champion Jason Stoutenburgh was poised to take the point lead following what turned out to be one of the most brutal races for him a week earlier. Unfortunately for Stoutenburgh, things didn't get much better when his car caught fire to force a red flag finish to the Main Event.
2016 champion Tim Hedges seemed to be sitting pretty as the next driver in line for the point lead, and he didn't hurt his effort at all as he turned in a solid performance in fourth. A Hedges family member does have a share of the point lead, but it's not Tim. Son Ashtin continues his impressive second season. Since getting his new car, Ashtin has become perhaps the fastest driver in the field.
The Hornet division was given a Makeup Dash as their Dash the week earlier was waived due to time constraints in the Speedweek event. Ashtin won the makeup Trophy Dash, and he wasn't done there. Another driver having an amazing night was Bree Tritchler. She won the other Trophy Dash and followed that up with a heat race win. Then, Bree charged into the Main Event lead and led the first 10 laps the way she had the week before.
Once Ashtin saw his opening down low in Turn 4, he moved by and proceeded to lead the final 10 laps for his second win of the season. When the points were added, Ashtin found himself tied with Stoutenburgh for the lead. His father, Tim Hedges, is just two points behind him, and second place feature finisher Tritchler is only four points out. Bree may be the surprise of the season, but people would be wise to start taking this lady seriously. She has run consistently all season, and after her second runner-up finish last week, she seems poised to be the next driver in the Winner's Circle.
While Tritchler is making waves, her teammate, Chris Boynton, is also on the rise. Coming off of his first win at the previous race, Boynton finished a very close third to Tritchler last week. He had a bit more of a rough start than Bree, putting him further back in the standings, but Boynton finds himself just one point out of the Top 5 in the standings after five events.
There were so many problems with the Derrel Nelson Jr car that it might have been a miracle that he made it out there to race last week. Derrel came into the season figuring to be one of the championship contenders, but his first three starts have been an exercise in futility. At the previous race, he got a sign of good things to come as he brought it to the finish line in sixth. Last week, he got his first Top 5 finish of the season after earlier winning his heat race. That's not good enough for Nelson, who hopes to return to the Winner's Circle, a place visited twice in 2016.
Once again, the news wasn't so good for Dylan Irving. His bad luck continued as he was out of the event on the first lap and finished last for the second straight week. The team will go back to the drawing board for the next race on July 14th. While Tim and Ashtin seem to be riding high, Jenna Hedges got her car to the finish line in seventh. However, she is another driver who could surprise everybody with a feature win on any given week, perhaps next time.
David Steele continues his mission to finally notch his first Southern Oregon Speedway Mini Stock championship. As he approaches the all time winner's record in this division at Southern Oregon Speedway, his point lead continues to grow. Steele was unable to grab the clean sweep last week as teammate Steve Goetz forced him to settle for second in an entertaining Trophy Dash. However, David won his heat race and then dominated the Main Event in winning by half a lap. His lead is now 31 points over Hunter Magnan.
Magnan was also a heat race winner, but his Main Event didn't end as well as he had a late tangle with a lapped car. Hunter ended up fifth at the finish. It still seems just a matter of time before the second year competitor gets his first career feature victory. As it is, he has built a 24 point advantage over reigning champion Kristopher Mix, who again struggled in the Main Event at the back of the pack.
2014 champion Gary Anderson was a welcome return to the field. Anderson has been battling motor problems since late last year, and it has become just a bit frustrating for the team. He had second early on in the Main Event, lost it to Magnan and then regained it for good just six laps into the race. But if you know the competitive nature of Anderson, second isn't quite good enough. He'll go back to the drawing board and make a play for his first win of the season next time.
We hadn't seen 2015 champion David Marble in a Mini Stock since he won the championship. David is currently leading the IMCA Sport Modified championship chase, but he had an occasion earlier this season to take his car down to Yreka and got a second place finish there. This was his first Mini Stock start at his home track, and David ran smoothly to get himself a third place finish. A late yellow flag saved Goetz from being lapped, and he ended up fourth at the checkered flag. That finish moved Goetz back into fourth in the standings, and at the rate Mix is going, you'd have to believe that Steve has a shot at third. Not bad considering the hard crash that forced him to reclip his car earlier this season.
Ashtin Hedges made his second Mini Stock start as he had qualified for the Trophy Dash. He really gave it a good run in the Dash. The young hard charger is still getting used to the difference between the Hornet and the Mini Stock, and there's talk about him possibly going for top rookie honors next season. However, he isn't that far out of the rookie battle this year, should the team decide to keep Ashtin behind the wheel for the rest of the season.
We're still waiting to see a point list for the Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Association. The group has run five races at Southern Oregon Speedway and another two in Yreka. The only two-time winners of the group are Camden Robustelli and Kalvin Morton, and Morton has won the last two races. Robustelli has missed some races, but Morton should be looking good in the standings despite his disappointing outing at the end of May.
What we're watching with the Dwarf Cars is a resurgence as they've been bringing 18 to 20 cars for each race. The battle at the front of the pack each week has been intense, and it seems like there's anybody in a group of at least eight of them with a legitimate shot to win. While Morton, Robustelli, Guy Tow and two-time champions Brock Peters and Josh King are winners so far this season, there are some good drivers still on the outside looking in.
Brock Peters, Robustelli and Brett James were very much in the hunt last week before a backstretch crash late in the race took them all out of contention. Robustelli still salvaged a seventh place finish, while the other two watched from the sidelines. Chad Cardoza had his best finish since his second place finish in their first visit to Southern Oregon Speedway this year. On this occasion, he finished third as he made a late move around Cody Peters.
It's been a few years since we've seen ageless veteran Fred Hay pick up a feature win, but his #10 car has been running strong all season long. Hay made a late charge to finish second in the Main Event as he served notice to everybody else that he still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Heat race winner Ryan Smith is another driver that seems to be on the verge of victory. Smith had third place finishes in the first two races at Southern Oregon Speedway this year, and his fifth place finish last week should keep him in the hunt as well.
The Lorenz team was three cars strong again. Jesse Lorenz again got his Mod Lite another Top 10 finish in ninth behind Kaycee Sheeler, but his father Bud Lorenz didn't finish. Chad Lorenz got the other Mod Lite to the finish line once again further back. This was only his second start in the class as he is just getting started in racing at Southern Oregon Speedway. Jesse Lorenz points out that he started out racing in the Dwarf Car division as well.
Michael Johnson had one of his better nights since joining the class. The 2017 Mini Stock championship runner-up finished second to Brock Peters in their heat race, which put him into his first A Dash. Later, Johnson finished 11th in the Main Event. He is one of the drivers going for top rookie honors in the division. The Hard Luck honors seem to go to fellow rookie Andrew Hall just about every week as he struggles to get things going right in his #007 car. If not for an even worse night for Randy Slater, Hall would have finished last in the 19 car field.
For those who say the Old Time Racers of Oregon don't race hard, last week proved otherwise. The cars do run on slick tires, which can make getting a handle on the track a challenge, especially in preliminaries. The Trophy Dash has belonged to Jay Smith for the first two races, but Dusty Trotter was hoping to beat him last week. The two drivers were battling fiercely for the lead as they went down the back straightaway. Just as Smith's truck was getting a little bit squirrelly, Trotter also lost the handle, causing both drivers to crash and ending the night for Trotter.
Meanwhile, Mark Minter and Dean Cast we're having a close battle for the heat race win. This one went down to the final checkered flag with Mark putting the Minter family entry into the Winner's Circle by mere inches ahead of Cast. For Cast, this would be his best night yet at Southern Oregon Speedway, but it didn't result in a feature victory. He led the first few laps before surrendering first to Minter and settling for second. Minter led the rest of the way and now holds the distinct honor of being the only driver in the group to win Main Events at Southern Oregon Speedway in each of the three seasons. We are told that there will be another Minter coming out to race when the group returns on July 21st.
Bill Trotter was not about to be shown up by the pickup truck, which he also owns. Smith has done a good job of getting the most out of that truck, but it was Trotter making a late pass on Smith to get the third place finish. Justin Krossman, who ended up with the Trophy Dash win after the crash, would finish fifth in the Main Event.
We haven't talked much about Chris Mehrer, who is wheeling the green #17 Sedan. Mehrer is definitely a little bit light on horsepower compared to the others. He won the very first Trophy Dash the group had in 2016. The track conditions were a little challenging, and Chris was feeling a little bit confident after the Dash win, but he promptly put the truck into the front wall in the heat race. Chris has still been getting his new car to the finish line, and word is that he has another car that he is working on for next season.
Fifth Round Of Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Series Set For Saturday At Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon...On the heels of the exciting night of racing last week at Southern Oregon Speedway, the drivers in the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Series get set to do it again this Saturday night. There were some good battles throughout the field last week as 12 competitors came to race.
David Hibbard collected his third feature win of the season as he increased his point lead to 31 ahead of Jeffrey Hudson, but the talk of the night had to be Blaine Cory. Blaine was celebrating his 21st birthday as he continues is quest for top rookie honors this season.
Cory, who won the 500 Open Kart championship at the little track back in 2014, started his evening right by winning his heat race ahead of Hibbard. He also outran Hibbard to win the Scramble, which determines the front rows of the Main Event. For about 10 laps, Blaine set the pace before Hibbard finally made his move by.
However, Cory did not falter. He continued to run smooth and consistent laps and finished second, not too far behind Hibbard at the checkered flag. The finish also moved him to within six points of Bailey Hibbard for fourth in the standings.
As David Hibbard continues to pull away on the field in the point race, there is still in very close battle going on for second. Jeffrey Hudson currently holds the position, but he only leads Enrique Jaime by 10 tallies after their battle last week. Jaime, who has a pair of third place feature finishes this season, was going for his third third place finish and attempted a last turn pass. However, Hudson managed to hold on and get the finish. These two young guns are definitely in the hunt for the Main Event win. Hudson had a win at the end of the 2016 season, but a win for Jaime would be his first.
Two veteran racers who have won at the speedway in the past are Charlie Thompson and Aaron Miller. Thompson outran Miller to get the sixth place finish last week as he gets closer to the Top 10 in the standings after a late start. The 2009 champion would have to be considered a threat to get a win. Miller, who used his seventh place finish to move into ninth in the standings, recently won a Main Event at Coos Bay Speedway.
After winning her first heat race earlier in the evening, Merissa Henson is another driver to keep an eye on in the quest for a feature victory. Hanson was the top rookie last season and finished second in the standings. She continues to have a knack for making smooth laps and getting her car to the finish line each week. She is also just 21 points out of the Top 5 in the current standings.
Though David Hibbard, Charlie Thompson and Aaron Miller carry a bit more experience over the rest of the competition, these young drivers are getting faster every week. They are setting the stage now to become the future stars of Sprint Car racing at Southern Oregon Speedway. Saturday night's racing program should be a good one. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.