Thursday, September 13, 2018

Championship Night #1 Set For Saturday Night At Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Championship Night #1 Set For Saturday Night 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The first of two championship nights is set for this Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway. Five divisions will be ending their 2018 season, headlined by the Late Models along with Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars, Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks, JOAT Labs Hornets and Valley Store All Late Model Lites.

The Late Model battle is between reigning champion Nathan Augustine, John Dees and rookie Miles Deubert. Augustine, who has won two Main Events this year, leads Dees by eight points. Dees has scored four second place finishes and one win, but he's been making up for missing one race and still has a shot at the championship. Augustine has had his challenges as a hard crash this year forced him to get a new car to finish the season.

Meanwhile, two-time winner Miles Deubert is only 15 points out of the lead. While these three drivers battle it out for the championship, Dave Foote is within nine points of Deubert for third in the standings. Foote ran impressively last week as he scored his second Main Event win of the season. Other drivers to watch for this week include Bob Dees, Dave Everson and Mike Linder.

The Dwarf Car division has an amazing three-way tie for the lead heading into the final race. Two-time champion Josh King, Chad Cardoza and Camden Robustelli are all tied atop the leader board. King and Robustelli have each won two Main Events at Southern Oregon Speedway, and Robustelli also has two wins at Siskiyou Motor Speedway and one in his most recent appearance at Cottage Grove Speedway. He appears to have the hot hand headed into the weekend.

Only four points out of the lead is two-time winner Kalvin Morton, but Morton is still scrambling to get a motor together for Saturday night. Reigning champion Brock Peters is six points out of the lead, while son Cody Peters trails by seven points. With these six drivers very much in contention for the championship, Saturday's Dwarf Car show will be one that you won't want to miss. Other drivers to watch for this week include Ryan Smith, Fred Hay, Joe Sanders and Michael Johnson.

Another close battle is taking place in the JOAT Labs Hornets division. Heading into the final race, rookie Bree Tritchler leads 2016 champion Tim Hedges by just seven points. Tritchler has run impressively all season long. While both she and Hedges have one Main Event win, she also has four second place finishes. After winning his third Main Event of the season, Brandyn Wonsyld now leads Chris Boynton by 18 points in the race for third. Boynton has done well in his rookie season with two wins. Other drivers to watch for this week include Dylan Irving, Jenna Hedges, Dylan Sauer and John Ferreira.

David Steele has wrapped up the Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stock championship following his impressive ninth feature win of the season last week. In fact, Hunter Magnan has locked up second in the standings following his fourth second place finish last week. Steve Goetz has a one point lead over reigning champion Kristopher Mix in a close battle for third. Other drivers to watch for this week includes Garrett Fredrickson, Michael McLeod, Ashtin Hedges and 2014 champion Gary Anderson.

The Valley Store All Late Model Lites championship battle has been decided already. Three-time winner Charlie Eaton clinched the championship last week. In fact, Greg Arnold appears to be headed for second in the standings. Following his second win of the season, Eric Aos and his son Dusty Aos are tied for third in points.

This is the second to last race of the 2018 campaign. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with the first race starting at 7 p.m. General Admission is $12. Seniors, Veterans and Juniors (7 to 12) are $6. Children 6 and under are free. For further information, go to

Southern Oregon Speedway Speedway Points
Late Models
24    Nathan Augustine  245
16    John Dees     237
38    Miles Deubert     230
75    Dave Foote     221
6    Bob Dees     203
22    Mike Linder     132
05    Don Garrett     99
66    Garrett Dees     83
7    Eric Massey     76
222    Brian Bowman    45

SODCA Dwarf Car
109    Josh King    781
71    Chad Cardoza    781
25    Camden Robustelli 781
18    Kalvin Morton    777
2    Brock Peters    775
30    Cody Peters    774
26    Ryan Smith    761
10    Fred Hay    738
06    Randy Slater    715
4    Joe Sanders    706

Bobbio’s Pizza Mini Stocks
67    David Steele    378
33m    Hunter Magnan    302
55    Steve Goetz    258
89m    Kristopher Mix    257
45g    Garrett Fredrickson 187
3    Michael McLeod    170
14t    Ashtin Hedges    153
0    Gary Anderson    143
11    Marilyn Yawnick    39
90    Mike Whitaker    38

JOAT Labs Hornets
17    Bree Tritchler    322
14t    Tim Hedges    315
7    Brandyn Wonsyld    292
28    Chris Boynton    274
11    Dylan Irving    265
27j    Jenna Hedges    201
54d    Ashtin Hedges    163
007    Jason Stoutenburgh 139
7s    Dylan Sauer    138
26    Zach Nelson    135

Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites
5    Charlie Eaton    236
39    Greg Arnold    184
66    Eric Aos    155
3    Dusty Aos    155
7    Lee Doty    132
43    Bob Burkett    93
99    Danny Prewitt    63
18    Terry Hadley    24
16    Krista Hadley    24

Pit Stops

The season is coming to a close at Southern Oregon Speedway. We have just two races left as each of the regular divisions will have just one more point event to decide things. Several of the championships have been decided, and a couple of championships will be decided once the point leader takes a green flag in their respective Main Events.

The previous few weeks leading up to last week's Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car event were a test of David Hibbard. When last the Winged Sprint Car division was at Southern Oregon Speedway on August 11th, Hibbard suffered a double whammy. First, he lost a heat race when he failed to go to the scales after his win. Forced to come from the back of the pack, he made it about halfway through before his motor gave up on him. Week of Speed began two days later at Coos Bay, and Hibbard decided to give that a run. A couple races into the series, he flipped and destroyed his chassis.

However, David had done so well in the previous seven point events, winning five times and finishing second twice, that all he needed to do was take a green flag in the Main Event to assure himself his first championship at his home track. He did that and took the checkered flag in the Main Event in fourth. It was a job well done for the man who has certainly risen above and beyond to help get a Sprint Car division established at Southern Oregon Speedway.

The battle for second in points took a turn for the ugly when Jeffrey Hudson and Blaine Cory got together and flipped coming out of Turn 2 during the Main Event. Both drivers have been doing well lately. Cory had a string of Top 3 finishes going in previous point races, and Hudson was coming off of a third in the Iron Head Nationals and a second in the Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge race. Both drivers were forced to watch the finish of the race from the sidelines. Hudson would still hold on to second in the points, but Bailey Hibbard had his best finish in several races in second. This enabled him to overtake Cory for third in the standings. It's still close between the three drivers.

Tanner Holmes seemed poised to be a contender in this year's championship race, but the team elected not to run full time as he still enjoys running special Outlaw Kart races. He did finish second in Week of Speed and 10th in Speedweek, which is pretty impressive for the driver who just turned 15 years old. On Saturday night, Tanner gave a glimpse of things to come when he led all 25 laps for an impressive first career feature win.

There's also a battle happening for fifth in the standings. Aaron Miller held the position going into the night, but he arrived after the heat races as he was putting the last-minute touches on his car. He looked good for a while, but he was out of the Main Event  early. Charlie Thompson looked good in winning the Scramble and running second until lap 18 in the Main Event when he retired from the race. This opened the door for Enrique Jaime to move into fifth in points after a seventh place feature finish, but his lead over Miller is just three points.

The division welomed back a couple of drivers we haven't seen in awhile, Merissa Henson and Steve Thompson. Thompson, who raced in the Late Model Lites division in the past, finished ninth. Henson looked good in her heat race with a second place finish and brought it home to a respectable fifth in the Main Event. Another driver making a rare appearance was past Cottage Grove champion Hedge Carter. The last time we saw him, he was flipping on the front straightaway. On this occasion, he won his heat race and finished third in the Main Event.

Another championship that has been wrapped up is the Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks. Merely by taking the green flag in last week's Main Event, David Steele staked his claim to his first Southern Oregon Speedway championship. He was the Mini Stock champion in Yreka back in 2015. Steele won his heat race, but a clean sweep was out of the question as 2014 champion Gary Anderson won both his heat race and the Trophy Dash. Second in the Dash was the only blemish to Steele's night as he led all the way in the Main Event for his impressive ninth win of the season.

For a while there, it looked like 2017 "Rookie of the Year" Hunter Magnum might let second in the standings slip away. However, he has stepped up big when he needed good finishes the most. Last time out, Hunter scored a second place finish. He did it again last Saturday, making it four times he's finished as high as second. Could a Main Event win happen for him this week? Kristopher Mix had miserable luck once again last week. He finished last to eliminate him from contention in the race for second. As it is, he trails 2013 champion Steve Goetz by just one point for third. The reigning champion may get a reprieve as Goetz has said he will miss this week's race to attend his grandmother's birthday party.

Despite some bad luck this last week, Garrett Fredrickson holds a 17 point lead over rookie Michael McCloud in the race for fifth in the standings. Garrett hit the wall hard during the Main Event and lost power on the final lap. Ashtin Hedges has been doing everything possible to reel in McLoud in the rookie race. After his fourth place finish, Hedges is 17 points behind McLeod. It just may be that time will run out on Hedges in his quest, but anything can happen. Because of his hard crash earlier this year forcing him to miss a couple of races, points aren't really a factor for Gary Anderson, who finished fifth last week after winning his heat and the Dash. However, he would certainly love to get a feature win before the season ends.

The Valley Store All Late Model Lites championship belongs to Charlie Eaton following his third place finish last week. Although his latest start may not have been anything to brag about, it did the trick for the three-time winner in his quest for the title. He finished behind second place finisher Greg Arnold, who used that finish to lock up second in the standings. Eric Aos won for the second time this year, and that put him in a tie with his son Dusty, who didn't finish the Main Event.

The driver who looked to be the star of the evening was Lee Doty. Doty won both his heat race and the Trophy Dash and was well on his way to a clean sweep when motor issues sent him to the pits during a lap seven caution period. This division has been at the speedway for the past three seasons in no small part thanks to the support Doty has offered. The division will be back again this week, and he will try for his second win of the season. It's interesting to note that we have had four different drivers win Main Events in this class this year as nobody has dominated things.

The Late Model division has turned out to be one heck of a battle, and Nathan Augustine may be a bit surprised that he leads the standings with one race left to go. Things seemed to be going all right early in the year, but when a lapped car took him out, it also did severe damage to his race car. This left Nathan scrapping to get a ride for a race. Thanks to Don Garrett Jr, he came back out for the next race and earned his points. The next time, he had his new car. Nathan has won two Main Events this year, and he clings to a slim eight point lead over John Dees.

Dees has certainly been the most improved driver in the field this season. He has a division-leading four second place finishes and one win, but he had to miss a race for a family gathering. Had even just been there and taken a green flag in the Main Event, John would be leading the points right now. He finished fourth in the Main Event last week, which was not one of his better runs. It was nothing to write home about for Augustine either as he finished fifth. However, John has point earning potential coming into the finale as he has a pole position start secured for the Trophy Dash. Augustine did not qualify unless there's a scratch from one of the Top 4 finishers from last week.

Longtime Late Model competitor Dave Foote has not given up on the possibility that he could still finish third in the standings. To that end, he jumped out to the Main Event lead at the start and led all the way for his second win of the season. It's been an up-and-down season for Dave, but when things have been right, he's been as competitive as anybody in the field. Bob Dees had been working on a clean sweep and ran second in the Main Event for several laps before he started to fade in the waning laps.

It was Miles Deubert who got by the elder Dees first. Miles is the top rookie in the field this year, and by scoring a second place finish, he stays within seven points of John Dees and 15 of Augustine. It may still be a bit of a long shot for Deubert in the championship battle, but anything can happen. There have been five different winners in the Late Models this season, and it may be that the winner of this week's Main Event will end up being the champion.

That could also be the case in the JOAT Labs Hornets. By far and away, the star of the season has been Brandyn Wonsyld. The second-year competitor got off to a really strong start this year and led the early stages of the season. His impressive numbers include three wins and five second place finishes. His undoing was his absence from two races, but his win last week keeps him 18 points ahead of rookie Chris Boynton in the battle for third. One-time winner Dylan Irving still has a shot at fourth in the standings, he trails Boynton by nine points.

The championship, however, will be decided between rookie Bree Tritchler and Tim Hedges. Tritchler leads Hedges by seven points going into the finale. Both drivers have one win, but Tritchler has four second place finishes. Both Tritchler and Hedges struggled just a bit in the most recent race and were lapped at the finish. However, Tritchler had gotten around Hedges, as did her teammate Boynton, which enabled her to add a point to her lead by the end of the night. Neither Tritchler, nor Hedges qualified for this week's Trophy Dash.

However, Tricthler could find herself in the Trophy Dash if the rumors of Dylan Sauer not being there are true. Sauer has struggled just a little bit since starting later in the season. However, he's gotten faster with each start. Last week was a breakout night for Dylan as he won his first heat race and then took second from Jenna Hedges to get his best feature finish yet. He might be tempted to take the night off, but it could just be that he would get his first feature win this week if he showed up. Jenna Hedges, meanwhile, was driving the car her son Ashtin drove to a pair of feature wins earlier this season. She settled for a third place finish.