Monday, March 16, 2020

Mini Stocks Begin 25th Season, Late Model Lites Return For 16th Season, More


Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE 
 
Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks Begin 25th Season 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks return as one of the featured divisions at Southern Oregon Speedway this season. Along with the IMCA Modifieds, they are the only division to crown a champion every season since the track opened in 1996. The division has served as an entry point into the racing scene, launching several racing careers through the years.

The four cylinder division has included cars from several different manufacturers through the years, including Toyotas, Nissans and Fords. Currently, the most popular model is the Ford Mustang, and it's not often you see a racer break that trend and score a feature win these days. Back in the early days, drivers like Brian Barns, Tracy Bradley, David Bishop, Rich McCoy and Mike Johnson counted themselves as champions at the speedway. Both McCoy and Johnson went on to compete in other classes, and Barns was the first Late Model Lites champion when that division was introduced. 

They didn't get much better then Jim Pope and John Derby. Both drivers had a knack for scoring feature wins and were track champions. In fact, Derby won four-consecutive titles before stepping away. It was around that time that two top notch competitors, Bob Burkett and David Steele, entered the scene. Burkett has won championships in both Mini Stocks and Late Model Lites before stepping away, and Steele has been on a major roll for the past few seasons.

You might as well put a big target on the fast #67 Mustang of Steele. Everybody is gunning for him. During the past two seasons, he's only failed to win the Main Event four times on his way to back-to-back championships. Along the way, Steele has written his name in the books as the all-time Main Event win leader in division history. In fact, he's also known to head down to Yreka on occasion and leave with the Main Event winner's hardware there as well. Simply put, Steele is the driver to beat anytime he's there.

It's the new stars who have joined this class in recent seasons who have gained valuable experience and become threats to Steele. The two Main Events he didn't win last year were won by 2018 championship runner-up Hunter Magnan and last season's point runner-up Ashtin Hedges. Hedges was a feature winner in the Hornet division prior to moving up to the Mini Stock class, and he topped the competitors with six runner-up finishes last season as the biggest threat to Steele on any given race night. Both drivers should be fast this year.

2013 champion Steve Goetz had a horrendous start to his season last year, which took him out of contention, but he'll be a threat to get back into the winner's column this year. Likewise, 2017 champion Kristopher Mix is hoping to grab another feature win this year. Though the third-generation racer Mix also had a rough start last year, he still climbed his way up the point ladder and held off Magnan to rank third in the standings. He plans to compete in both the Mini Stock and IMCA Sport Modified classes this year.

Teammates Dylan Irving and Brandyn Wonsyld were both top competitors in the Hornet division in the past, and both won Main Events in that class. Last season, Irving drove the former David Marble car to a fifth place season, which was good enough to earn him top rookie honors. He'll be out to get his first win in this class, while Wonsyld will be hoping to be a bigger threat to win races as well.

The division will gain the Hedges Racing Team in full force this year. 2016 Hornets champion Tim Hedges has a four-car team again this year. He will be behind the wheel of the 2014 division championship car of Gary Anderson. Wife Jenna Hedges has a car, although she's tentative as far as how much racing she will do. As a two-time Hornet point runner up and feature winner in that class, it stands to reason that she would get comfortable behind the wheel of a Mini Stock in short order. There's no word on who will drive the other Hedges car, and one of the cars is a championship winning machine from a little over a decade ago. 

Andrew Hall, who was a Top 5 competitor a few years ago, is hoping he will have his Ford Pinto dialed in just right this year. There are several other cars available, and there has been some speculation that we'll be seeing a few new or returning drivers in the field. Competitors such Garrett Fredrickson, Greg McDaniels and Scott Yergis could see some action this year. We might also see a visit or two from drivers in the Yreka area when scheduling allows.

The Mini Stock division serves an important role in getting new drivers on the track who eventually move up to other classes. Car count is expected to increase slightly this season during the 13 race schedule. The first race for the class will happen on May 2nd. Other races to look forward to include May 16th, May 30th as part of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute, June 13th, June 20th, June 27th, July 11th, July 25th, August 8th, August 22nd, August 29th and Championship Night on September 12th. For further information on this and other topics, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.


Late Model Lites Return For 16th Season 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway continues to offer the pinnacle of four cylinder racing. This is the Late Model Lites division, and it returns for its 16th championship season on the 3/10 mile clay oval. The division first launched in 2003, and Mini Stock graduate Brian Barns won the first two titles. As this class has evolved, it's become one of the fastest race cars at the speedway.

Following the 2013 season with a bit of controversy behind the scenes, the division was discontinued. However, a few racers wouldn't give up on the dream, led by Lee Doty . Doty lobbied for a race in 2015, which he won. He then persuaded new Promoter Mike McCann to add the class in 2016, coming on board as the title sponsor for the class in 2017. Valley Store All Self Storage in Medford sponsored three seasons for the class, but 2016 champion Doty has since retired to Arizona after selling his car to Ross Payant.

If the Payant name sounds familiar, it's because Ross was a Late Model competitor at the old Medford Raceway. He was a multi-time Late Model Lites feature winner last year on his way to third in the standings behind new champion Greg Arnold and 2018 title winner Charlie Eaton. Arnold, who also won the 2002 Super Truck championship, has moved up to full Late Models this season, putting Payant and Eaton into the position of "drivers to beat".

Eaton would love to join Joe Guider, Brian Johnsen and Barns as a two-time champion, but he knows the competition will still be tough. In addition to Payant, the Hadley Racing team is anticipated with three cars this season. Nobody in the history of the division has more feature wins than past division championship runner-up Terry Hadley. Wife Krista Hadley had multiple Top 3 feature finishes last season, and she ranked fourth in the standings. Both drivers will be threats to win.

The Aos Racing Team should again be represented. Both Eric Aos and Dusty Aos have been Top 5 ranked in recent seasons, and Dusty was fifth last year. Last year was not the kindest to either one of them, but as feature winners in the past, they should both be considered threats to win again this season.

Following a season with horrendous luck, Jim Cunningham is hoping to dial out the bugs and become a factor in the battle for wins this season. One driver who has won Main Events in the past, Danny Prewitt, is expected to return this season. The 2018 championship car of Bob Burkett has been purchased by the Naramore Racing Team and is expected to return this season. The Naramore family competed in the old Thrill Car division and were champions. We're also hoping to see 2013 champion John Barger make an appearance or two this year as well.

For the Mini Stock racer looking to continue in four cylinder competition, these fast race cars are an attractive option. They will make their first 2020 appearance on May 9th, followed by visits on May 23rd, June 20th, July 4th, July 25th, August 1st, August 15th and Championship Night on September 17th. It's hoped that the car count will be assisted by the more relaxed eight race season. For further information on this and other topics, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.


Pro Stocks, Hardtops Make Three Appearances Each 
In 2020 At Southern Oregon Speedway

Medford, Oregon...There's quite the variety on the 2020 schedule once again at Southern Oregon Speedway. Every year since the track opened in 1996, the Pro Stocks have held at least one race, and that will continue again this year with three visits on three special occasions. The Old Time Racers of Oregon Hardtops will also be back with their vintage style of racing three times.

When the speedway opened in 1996, the Pro Stocks were instrumental in helping establish a solid foundation. Frequently during those early years, the Pro Stocks delivered the biggest car counts at the track. There would be over 30 competitors at times, and the field included some of the best drivers, including Jimmy Walker Jr, Scott Lenz, Brian Poppa, Frank Word III, Tony Walker and John David Duffie. The first four drivers count themselves as champions. Walker won three of the first championships at the speedway, and Word won an incredible eight titles in nine seasons, interrupted by Poppa after his first four-consecutive titles.

When the speedway went a different route with the introduction of the IMCA Sport Modifieds in 2012, a few drivers joined the class. However, others formed the Outlaw Pro Stock Association. The group enters their ninth season. They have had an impressive roster of their own, and this includes two-time champions Ken Irving and Scott Lenz, one-time champions Steve Borror and Dave Everson. The reigning champion will be Scott Flowers. Flowers like several drivers on the roster, hails from the Klamath Falls area. He broke a five-year winner's drought with his October win in Yreka last year. After second and third place finishes in Medford last year, he's hoping to grab a victory here this time around.

Jeff Haudenshild managed to score the surprise win in the R Charles Snyder Salute last season. In an effort to help the Pro Stocks get more of an opportunity to shine, Promoter Mike McCann has booked them as the third division for the Sunday portion of the Snyder race on September 6th. There will be no fourth division this time, meaning the Pro Stocks should have a great opportunity to shine. Haudenshild and Flowers will lead an impressive line-up of competitors which should include such stars as Irving, James Flowers, Matt Harlow, Kenneth LaPlant, Rick Lukens, Colby Hammond and Dean Hackworth. We could also see 2016 champion Steve Borror among the field as well. 

The Pro Stocks have become an important part of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute race, which happens again on May 30th. With two-time series champion Scott Lenz winning the last three big shows and moving up to Late Models this year, it opens the door for somebody else to get a winner's opportunity. Borror won the race in 2016. However, there is still one other Pro Stock race on the schedule that the association will be a part of.

On July 11th, Southern Oregon Speedway offers a $1,000 to win race with a special meaning behind it. This will be the Rocky Nash Memorial race. Nash was not only one of the top Pro Stock competitors and a longtime Medford area racer, he was also a winner on the prestigious NASCAR West Series circuit on multiple occasions. Nash passed away in 2017 following complications suffered from a crash in Yreka. This event will be promoted by the new Tri State Pro Stock Series.

Series organizer Roy Bain was excited to announce the event after negotiations fell through in the attempt to book a race in 2018. The Pro Stocks will be the headliner that night, and drivers from Oregon, California and Nevada are anticipated. Jesse Gonzalez has won the first two races held in Stockton, California this year. He figures to be a tough competitor, along with such crafty veterans as Bill Pearson, reigning series champion Mike Learn, Jerry Bartlett, Ryan Cherezian, Donny Richardson and some of the best drivers from the Oregon Outlaw Pro Stock Association.

The Vintage Coup and Sedan race cars from the Old Time Racers of Oregon will be back three times this year as well. The drivers compete in old 1930s and 1940s Ford, Chevy and Dodge bodied race cars. They have had several races each season since Promoter Mike McCann took over the track in 2016. Mark Minter counts himself as the only driver to win a feature in each of the four previous seasons. Bill Trotter has been the biggest supporter of the effort during that time, and both drivers are anticipated when the group comes to town on May 9th, May 23rd and June 13th. 

Among the drivers on the roster are Dan Fouts in the Dusty Trotter owned entry, Brian Weberg II, Matt Butler, Jay Smith, Chris Mehrer and Dean Cast. Cast was a feature winner last season, and Butler and Weberg were both preliminary race winners last year. The Hardtops are always fun to watch and are a throwback to a time when this division ruled the race tracks throughout the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Special visits from the Pro Stocks and Hardtops give the fans a little bit more variety in addition to the regular divisions being offered. There's quite a bit to be excited about at Southern Oregon Speedway this year. For further information on this and other topics, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Schedule Released For 25th Season Of Racing At Southern Oregon Speedway, 2019 Season Recap


Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Schedule Released For 25th Season Of Racing 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

Medford, Oregon...The schedule has been released for what will be the 25th championship season at Southern Oregon Speedway. Promoter Mike McCann of KJE Enterprises has kept most of the big attractions the fans enjoyed last season, but he's added a few nice touches that will make the coming season on the Jim Rodgers prepared 3/10 mile clay oval even better.

One of the big announcements at the awards banquet was the addition of Bob Valencia as the race director. Valencia has served in the capacity of race director and even flagman at various other tracks throughout his career, but the Medford racing community may be more familiar with him as the race director for the popular Speedweek Series. The announcement of him being added to the team was met with enthusiasm at the banquet. Bob will be the Southern Oregon Speedway race director and flagman in 2020.

The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars will compete several times during the season. The Ironhead Nationals is on the schedule as a $2,000 to win race on August 15th. Last season, unseasonable rain in August caused the cancellation of the highly-anticipated race. Just two weeks prior on August 1st, the 4th Annual Herz Precision Parts Cascade Wingless 360 Sprint Car Challenge race will happen. Drivers from throughout the West Coast will be competing for $3,500 to win that night. The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars will be a part of the May 2nd Spring Buster season opener along with the IMCA Modifieds, Mini Stocks and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars. They will also close the season on September 19th. The Championship Night #2 event will also include the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars.

Once again, the IMCA Modifieds and Sport Modifieds will be featured prominently throughout the season. The Sport Modifieds produced the some of the biggest car counts seen throughout the season last year. Again, both the Modified divisions will be a part of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race on May 30th. Both divisions along with the Outlaw Pro Stocks compete for bigger prize money that night. They will be joined by the Mini Stocks. On September 5th and 6th, it's the Fourth Annual R Charles Snyder Salute, which pays tribute to the popular long-time announcer and radio DJ. Modifieds will be competing for $5,000 to win on September 6th, while the Sport Modifieds get a $2,000 to win prize. Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars will be there on the 5th, while the Outlaw Pro Stocks will be there on the 6th.

At the awards banquet, McCann announced the addition of the Timber Cup for the IMCA Sport Modifieds. This race will happen on June 20th, and they will be competing for $2,000 to win. Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars will also compete that night. Southern Oregon Speedway will be teaming up with Coos Bay and Yreka to create a three-race weekend event the following week. It will be the Gambler Aces High Series. The IMCA Modifieds will compete for $1,000 to win that night, and the IMCA Sport Modifieds will race for $500 to win. Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars and Mini Stocks will also be on the card. The IMCA Sport Modifieds will begin their season on May 9th, joined by the Late Models, Late Model Lites and OTRO Hardtops.

The popular Late Model division will be entering its fifth season with much momentum established last year. They have several races throughout the season, but the highlight may be the Second Annual Cottonwood Classic on August 22nd. This event pays $4,000 to win, making it the biggest dirt Late Model race on the West Coast. Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars and Mini Stocks join them that night. The Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars will call the Medford track home this year with the majority of their races happening here. The popular Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stock and Late Model Lites divisions will also compete several times throughout the season

There are several other noteworthy races on the schedule, starting with the Memorial Day Weekend event on May 23rd. Last season this race got rained out. The Iron Giant Street Stock Series is scheduled to headline this event with their Third Annual Disorder on the Southern Border race. Joining them will be the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Model Lites and OTRO Hardtops. The Malicious Monster Truck Insanity Tour will have a two-day event on June 6th and 7th. The track will also have Pepsi Kid's Bike Night on July 11th. This will be a $1,000 to win event for the Tri State Pro Stock Series, joined by the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars and Mini Stocks. A Jet Car will be on and on July 25th to burn a car to the ground. IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks and Late Model Lites will be competing that night.

The track will salute those in the armed service with Veteran's Night on July 4th, headlined by the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, Late Model Lites and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars. Willamette Valley Bank Night has proven to be a popular event at the speedway since starting in 2017, and Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds will make this a can't miss Event. The Fourth Annual Hall of Fame night pays tribute to past Southern Oregon racing greats on August 8th. Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Mini Stocks will be competing on that occasion.

The 2020 season at Southern Oregon Speedway is stacked with great events from the season opener on May 2nd all the way to the finale on September 19th. There are several big events happening throughout the season with the heavily rotated schedule helping to create big car counts in whatever divisions are featured on any given night. McCann and his team has worked very hard to rebuild a racing program that the fans and racers can be proud of, and the numbers have continued to grow. For further information on the happenings at the speedway, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.

2020 Southern Oregon Speedway Schedule

April 25th - Play Day Test And Tune 4:00PM-7:00PM

May 2nd - Spring Buster - IMCA Modifieds, Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Mini Stocks, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

May 9th - Late Models, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Model Lites, OTRO Hardtops

May 16th - Kendell Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, Mini Stocks, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

May 23rd - Disorder On The Southern Border 3 - Iron Giant Street Stocks, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Model Lites, OTRO Hardtops

May 30th - 8th Annual Roger Haudenshild Tribute - IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Outlaw Pro Stocks, Mini Stocks

June 6th - Malicious Monster Truck Insanity Tour - Monster Trucks

June 7th - Malicious Monster Truck Insanity Tour - Monster Trucks

June 13th - Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, Late Models, Mini Stocks, OTRO Hardtops

June 20th - Timber Cup - $2,000 to win IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

June 27th - Gambler Aces High Series - $1,000 to win IMCA Modifieds, $500 to win IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks

July 4th - Veteran's Night - Late Models, Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Model Lites, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

July 11th - Pepsi Kid's Bike Night - Tri State Pro Stock Series $1,000 to win, Mini Stocks, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

July 18th - Willamette Valley Bank Night - Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds

July 25th -  Jet Car Meltdown - IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks

August 1st - 4th Annual Herz Precision Parts Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge - $3,500 to win Wingless 360 Sprint Cars, Late Models, Late Model Lites, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

August 8th - 4th Annual Hall of Fame Night - Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks

August 15th - 2nd Annual Ironhead Nationals - $2,000 to win Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Model Lites, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

August 22nd - 2nd Annual Cottonwood Classic - $4,000 to win Late Models, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars, Mini Stocks

August 29th - Late Models, Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Mini Stocks

September 5th - 4th Annual R Charles Snyder Salute - IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

September 6th - 4th Annual R Charles Snyder Salute - $5,000 to win IMCA Modifieds, $2,000 to win IMCA Sport Modifieds, Outlaw Pro Stocks

September 12th - Championship Night #1 - Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks

September 19th - Championship Night #2 - Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars

Pit Gates Open At 3:00PM, Mud Packing 5:30 PM, Hot Laps at 6:00 PM, Racing At 7:00PM

Schedule subject to change


Plenty Of Excitement In 24th Season 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Under the promotion of KJE Enterprises and Mike McCann, Southern Oregon Speedway continued to gather momentum it's 24th season of operation. McCann put together an exciting schedule that was filled with a wide variety of different things to entertain the crowd. The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars and Late Models have become established top-tier divisions, while the IMCA Modifieds remain a crowd favorite. The speedway also saw big increases in car counts for both the IMCA Sport Modifieds and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars, while the Valley Store All Late Model Lites, Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets offered the fans some exciting four cylinder powered racing.

The season was sprinkled with several marquee events, including the Eighth Annual Roger Haudenshild Tribute, the Third Annual Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge race, the new Cottonwood Classic Late Model event and the Third Annual R Charles Snyder Salute. There was something for everybody to enjoy, and more people were coming to the races then in previous seasons. This has people feeling more optimistic about the future of the speedway as the tradition of great racing in the Medford area continues.

This turned out to be the most competitive Sprint Car championship battle since the division was revived at the speedway in 2016. It was also a good year for the Wheeler family. Outlaw Kart superstar Mike Wheeler made an attempt to go Sprint Car racing a few seasons back, but with brother Vern Wheeler Jr as his crew chief, he was a force on the speedway. Wheeler still found himself in a battle to the end of the season with Bailey Hibbard and Charlie Thompson. It was anticipated that David Hibbard might make another run, but he made a choice early on when son Bailey had motor issues to let him drive his car and keep his point effort alive. 

Rising young star Tanner Holmes made an appearance at the season opener and posted an impressive victory. However, Holmes elected to compete for and won the ISCS Sprint Car and Week of Speed championships. Wheeler was there to take command by winning three consecutive Main Events and followed that up with a second place feature finish. By then, Mike had built a big enough point lead to enable him to skip a race and still be in the lead. This was fortunate as he and his family had booked a Hawaii vacation on August 24th. This also wasn't a very good night for either Charlie Thompson or Bailey Hibbard, but Mike Wheeler's lead was still roughly 20 points with two races remaining.

However, when Mike Wheeler returned, motor problems put him out of the Main Event early, and past division champion Thompson seized the opportunity to score a feature win ahead of Bailey Hibbard in his second runner-up finish of the season. Hibbard emerged with a slim lead over Wheeler and Thompson. Unfortunately, Bailey would crash into a tire exiting Turn 4 to take the green flag in his heat race. It was a night that seemed like a setup for him to win the title as he had started on the front row, and suddenly the crew was left scrambling to get his front end repaired for the Main Event.

Mike Wheeler wasn't the only member of his family looking very impressive on the race track. 2016 champion Jake Wheeler, the nephew of Mike, returned thanks to Ron Osborne putting him behind the wheel of his car. Jake won the season finale ahead of Mike. It was the second win of the season for Jake, who also had a second and third and two Scramble victories. With his second place finish, Mike Wheeler managed to hold off Bailey Hibbard by just seven points for the championship. Thompson, who didn't finish the final race, was still a respectable third. 

Season highlights for Mike Wheeler included three wins, a pair of seconds, a Scramble win and a heat race victory. Bailey Hibbard's stats included his two second place finishes and a third, one Scramble triumph and two heat race victories. Thompson's one win came from his four Top 5 finishes, and he also had a Scramble win and a heat win.

Enrique Jaime wasn't far behind Thompson in the final run down as he settled for fourth. He had one third place among three Top 5 finishes. He also had a heat race win and a Scramble victory. Despite a bit of bad luck as well as surrendering his car to son Bailey on one occasion, 2018 champion David Hibbard counted three third place finishes out of his four Top 5 efforts as season-highs. He also won two Scrambles and one heat race. This put him fifth in the standings. 

Even after a late start, past Outlaw Kart champion Johnny Burke used his two Top 5 finishes and two heat race wins to move into sixth in the standings and win top rookie honors ahead of Anissa Curtice and David Marble. Those two drivers finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Curtice had a season-high third place finish and a heat race win, while Marble had a season-high fifth and a heat race win after a thrilling battle with uncle TJ Winningham in the season opener. 

Winningham, who is a past Sprint Car champion at the speedway, had two season high second place finishes among his three Top 5 efforts. He also had a heat race win to put him seventh in the final standings. Despite his late start, Jake Wheeler had two wins, a second and a third along with his Scramble victory. Wheeler also impressed at the $3,500 to win Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge race, presented by Herz Precision Parts. He had a thrilling duel for the lead with eventual winner Jeff Ensign before settling for a strong $1,500 second place finish. Cottage Grove star Kinzer Cox made a visit during the season and had a victory. Blaine Cory took a year off from running for points, but he still had a season-high second and a Scramble victory. Due to unseasonable rain in August, the $2,000 to win Ironhead Nationals race was canceled.

The popular Late Model division held their fourth-straight championship season, and it's interesting to note that over 30 drivers competed at different times during the season. Trent Elliott has become one of the top Late Model drivers in the state of Oregon, but he hasn't really been chasing points. For 2019, he and his team decided to zero in on Southern Oregon Speedway as did another Oregon Late Model star, Darren Coffell. What followed was one of the more dominant efforts from any driver at the speedway for the season. 

Following his Cottage Grove championship, Preston Luckman decided to make a successful run at the Coos Bay Speedway Late Model championship, but he made a visit at the season opener at Southern Oregon Speedway and outran Elliott for the victory. The Late Models had an interesting start as Bobby Hogge IV won the Late Model portion of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute race. Elliott won the next race, while Coffell was the fourth-straight different winner. However, Elliott's championship bid wasn't seriously in doubt as he collected five victories and three second place finishes in eight starts. He also led the class with four Trophy Dash wins while also having two heat wins and a Scramble victory. The clear highlight for Elliott in his championship effort was his dominant victory in the $4,000 to win Cottonwood Classic.

With Elliott hitting the afterburners, there was a good battle for second between Coffell and 2013 Pro Stock champion Dave Everson. Coffell had some impressive moments, which included two victories and three second place finishes. However, Everson remained very consistent down the stretch. Highlights included two third place finishes and the second he earned in the season finale. Everson also had two heat race wins and his second Trophy Dash win in the finale. Everson's impressive run in the finale, coupled with mechanical issues for Coffell, earned him runner-up honors in the point battle ahead of Coffell.

Past Coos Bay champion Dave Foote was coming off of a season with two feature victories, but he didn't have quite the same luck as the previous season. However, his season-high second place finish out of two Top 5s and his heat race win enabled him to grab fourth in the standings ahead of Miles Deubert, who had a pair of fifth place finishes. Seven-time IMCA Modified champion Mark Wauge bought a car from Trent Elliott and joined the Late Model ranks starting on the second week. Unfortunately, motor issues plagued him for a few races, eliminating any shot he had at finishing second in the standings. With four third place finishes, a Dash win and four heat triumphs, Wauge finished just a point behind Deubert to settle for sixth.

2016 champion Bob Dees had a season-high third out of three Top 5 finishes to rank seventh ahead of 2018 champion Nathan Augustine. Augustine ran a limited schedule that saw him finish fourth three times. Both Chris Biggs and Eric Massey collected one Top 5 finish to end up ninth and tenth, respectively. Another of the top Oregon Late Model stars, Rob Mayea, had a respectable showing in second in the Cottonwood Classic ahead of Hogge. Following the momentum established in 2019, optimism is high for an even better season ahead for the Late Models.

The IMCA Modified championship was decided between Jesse Bailey and Zach Fettinger. One of the interesting concerns that local stars have when they're running for the points is the fact that the track has two big events that attract some of the top drivers from the West Coast. These two events tend to shake up the standings, but Fettinger was not about to let that impact his effort. In recent seasons, we've seen that getting a second win in the IMCA Modified division isn't so easy. 2015 Pro Stock champion Jeffrey Hudson kicked things off with a victory behind the wheel of the Don Roemer car. Bobby Hogge IV had an impressive double win night on the Roger Haudenshild Tribute night with his $2,000 victory. Bailey won the third event, while Willamette star Collen Winebarger won the Speedweek race. Fettinger finally grabbed his victory in the fifth event. By then, the slightly more consistent Fettinger led Bailey in the standings, but things got interesting in August.

On Hall of Fame night, Fettinger had his worst performance of the season, while Bailey became the only two-time winner of the year. This enabled Bailey to close the gap on Fettinger, but that would prove to be his high-water mark. Bailey was unable to make it into the R Charles Snyder Salute and suffered mechanical issues in the Trophy Dash at the finale, which meant he didn't receive any points from IMCA in the finale. That dropped from second to fourth. Fettinger had a win, a second and a third out of six Top 5 finishes. He also had four heat race triumphs and two Dash victories as he scored a well-earned division championship.

Despite a late start, 2016 Yreka Sport Modified champion Jimmy Lipke used a season-high third place finish to help him finish second in the standings and win top rookie honors. Ray Kniffen Jr was fielding a new car, and getting the set up just right was a bit of a struggle. However, he made all of the races and earned two season-high sixth place finishes out of four Top 10s. He also had a heat race win to earn him a career-best third in the standings. With two wins to go with a heat race win and Trophy Dash victory, Bailey settled for fourth ahead of Justin Foux. Foux had been leading the rookie race until missing the finale. He had two season-high third-place finishes out of three Top 5s to settle for fifth in the standings.

It was a challenging season for two-time Street Stock champion Duane Orsburn. He flipped his new car early in the season, but he was back without missing too many races. Orsburn turned in an impressive performance to close the season as he won the Main Event and the Trophy Dash. He also had two heat race wins during the season. He missed fifth in the standings by just four points. Three-time champion Albert Gill had a hit and miss season. Motor issues prevented him from being a title contender, but he did have two seconds, a Dash win and a heat race victory to end up seventh in the standings ahead of the steady David Satterfield. Satterfield had two season-high eighth place finishes out of three Top 10s.

Nick Trenchard didn't really pursue points. He did finish second in the Third Annual R Charles Snyder Salute behind unlikely winner Kellen Chadwick. Chadwick had started last on the grid to score the $5,000 victory. Trenchard, meanwhile, had a second and a third out of four Top 5 finishes along with two heat race wins to finish ninth in the standings ahead of Jeremy Ohlde. Ohlde had one fourth and three sixth place finishes to secure 10th in the standings. Troy Foulger won the Preliminary Feature at the R Charles Snyder Salute ahead of 2018 California State champion Shane DeVolder. DeVolder led several laps in both events that weekend, but traffic eliminated his chance of winning the big money. Dave Duste Jr and Andy Freeman both had season-high second place finishes.

The IMCA Sport Modified division continued to grow by leaps and bounds. This made things a bit challenging for Jorddon Braaten as the high point man usually found himself starting in the sixth row in the Main Event. However, Braaten was never really seriously challenged for the championship. He led the class with three feature wins, a second and three thirds on the way to his third division championship. He also had three Trophy Dash wins and five heat race triumphs. The Sanders brothers, Isaac and Matt, tried to stay in the hunt with Braaten, but eventually Matt Sanders would skip the season finale to race elsewhere as he competed for the lucrative Pacific Sport Mod championship, which he won. 

The absence of both Sanders brothers in the season finale opened the door for two-time champion Mike Medel and Branden Wilson to battle it out for second in the standings. On that occasion, Wilson scored his season-high second place finish, but Medel's third Top 5 finish of the year meant he would get runner-up honors while Wilson settled for third. Wilson did have three Top 5 finishes and two heat race wins, while Medel had three heat race triumphs. Meanwhile, Isaac Sanders ended up fourth in the standings with one win and one second out of four Top 5 finishes as well as four heat race victories. Matt Sanders also had a win and a second with five total Top 5 finishes and a heat race win to end up fifth.

Second year racer Steve Lysinger showed marked improvement with two 10th place finishes as well as a late-season heat race victory, giving him sixth in the standings by only five points over Joby Shields. Shields came close on the strength of his season-high third place finish in the finale. Second-year racer Brian Knorr also had a better season with a season-high seventh place finish out of two Top 10s. He ended up eighth ahead of Austin Petray. Petray had a season-high second place finish, and Willie McFall managed to grab 10th in the standings despite a difficult season. He had a season-high 10th place effort.

The big car count meant getting a win was challenging as there were so many good drivers that you never knew who would win on any given week. At the $2,000 to win R Charles Snyder Salute, past Mini Stock and Sprint Car star Merissa Henson turned in a very impressive performance in driving the Donny Bottoms car to victory ahead of Braaten. In the final race, it was newcomer Bartley Foster getting the win. Other drivers adding their names to the winner's list included Braxton Possinger and R Charles Snyder Salute Preliminary Feature winner Andrew Peckham. Among other highlights were season-high second place finishes for Justin McCreadie, Tyler Rodgers and Chase Thomas. One of the victories for Braaten was in the $1,000 to win Roger Haudenshild Tribute race.

The Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stock division saw the emergence of Ashtin Hedges as a star. Hedges put up numbers that might have won him a championship in another division. Unfortunately, he happened to be competing against the division's all-time feature win leader, David Steele. Steele, who was also the incoming champion, was a hard driver to beat. If he wasn't winning the Main Event, he was finishing second. Steele racked up seven feature wins and two second place finishes to make him the most dominant driver at the speedway in 2019. He also won seven heat races and five Trophy Dashes. Because Hedges had a penchant for finishing second, the point race stayed close during the first half of the season. Hedges led the division with six second place finishes, but he also had a win. He also scored five heat race triumphs and two Trophy Dash victories. In the end, Steele won the championship and Hedges was a respectable second.

Coming off of a disappointing season, 2017 champion Kristopher Mix had high hopes of being a championship contender. He never quite hit his stride, and he found his hands full trying to hold onto third in another close battle. Mix had two season-high third place finishes out of six Top 5s and two heat race wins. With his Trophy Dash win at the season finale, he managed to clinch third in the standings, which was a good thing. He blew a motor while leading the other Trophy Dash held at night. Motor issues also hurt Hunter Magnan, who seemed poised to make a championship run himself. However, the 2018 runner-up had a win, a second and two thirds and a heat race win, which kept him within seven points of Mix in the final rundown. 

Dylan Irving topped the rookies list and finished fifth overall on the strength of two 4th place finishes out of three Top 5s. He rolled his car off the back stretch one night, but he was still able to finish the race. Motor issues sidelined Steve Goetz from the first two races. He earned two season-high third-place finishes among his five Top 5 efforts and also won two heat races to end up sixth in the standings ahead of Michael McCleod. McCleod had one third out of four Top 5 finishes. Rookie Brandyn Wonsyld ended up eighth with one Top 5 finish. Andrew Hall returned In a Ford Pinto to finish ninth in the standings ahead of 2014 champion Gary Anderson. Both drivers had a season-high fifth place finish.

Charlie Eaton came into the season as the reigning Valley Store All Late Model Lites champion, but he was about to get some serious competition from past Super Truck champion Greg Arnold. Arnold put up numbers that made him very difficult to beat as he only failed to get a Top 3 finish in the seventh and final race. It was still the closest battle at the speedway as Arnold held off Eaton by a mere eight points to claim championship honors. Arnold had four wins, a second and a third along with three heat race wins and a Trophy Dash victory. As he had taken his four cylinder motor out of his car to run the Cottonwood Classic, Arnold borrowed the Lee Doty car and won with it. Eaton won the season opener and had two seconds and two thirds along with a pair of Trophy Dash wins and a heat race victory. He would settle for second in the standings. 

Since 2016 champion Doty retired from driving, he brought past Stock Car driver Ross Payant out of retirement to wheel his fast #7 car. Payant responded with two feature wins, a second and a third to secure third in the standings. He also had a pair of Dash wins and two heat race victories. The Hadley team returned, and Krista Hadley wasn't too far behind Payant in fourth. She impressed with three-straight second place finishes to close out the season and also had a third. Krista scored a popular Trophy Dash win and a heat race victory.

Dusty Aos managed to finished fifth in the standings with a third out of three Top 5 finishes, while Eric Aos had two fourth place finishes out of four Top 5s. The division's all-time Main Event win leader, Terry Hadley, had a season-high fourth out of two Top 5s and also won two heat races. Jim Cunningham had a rough start to his season with four-straight non-starts before picking up any kind of momentum with a pair of sixth place finishes. He settled for eighth in the standings ahead of past Mini Stock racer Pete Bowne. Bowne had a third place finish at the season opener. Mike Cloud ended up 10th.

The JOAT Labs Hornets division featured a spirited duel between and Dylan Sauer and 2016 champion Tim Hedges during the first half of the season. However, a rough eighth race of the season led to the ninth race being canceled and the division being discontinued for 2020. Dylan Sauer kicked things off with four-straight feature wins, but when Hedges rattled off back-to-back victories, he stayed in the hunt. Unfortunately for Hedges, his final two starts were anything but good, and he actually didn't start the final race after contact put him hard into the front wall in the heat race. Dylan Sauer won those two races, and the second and third place finishes he had meant he had all Top 3 feature finishes. He also won four Trophy Dashes to claim the championship in impressive fashion.

Tim Hedges spent most of his time at the final race fixing the front end of wife Jenna Hedges' car to get her back out. She responded with her third season-high second place finish that night. She also had a pair of thirds, and this enabled her to beat her husband by just eight points in the race for second in the standings. In addition to his two victories, Tim Hedges had two seconds and two Trophy Dash wins. Jenna had one Trophy Dash victory. Not too far behind Tim Hedges was rookie Quentin Tritchler. Tritchler had two season-high second place finishes and one third and would claim the division's top rookie honors.

Chris Boynton ended the season with back-to-back third place finishes to give him three for the season as he maintained fifth in the final rundown. The balance of the Top 10 in the standings with made up by rookies Shawn Nelson and Lacey Sauer, Ryan Nelson, Derrel Nelson Jr and Zach Nelson. Several of the drivers have already purchased Mini Stocks or Sport Modifieds to move up in classes and continue racing in 2020.

The Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars had the majority of their races at Southern Oregon Speedway once again. Incoming champion Josh King and perennial title contender Camden Robustelli were once again the top competitors. The Dwarf Cars produced the biggest car counts at the speedway as they consistently had around 24 cars. The official point list was not made available at press time, but his four wins, two seconds and a third along with four Scramble victories helped get King the overall championship. Robustelli couldn't overcome some early-season bad luck, but he still had three wins and a second to finish second in the standings ahead of the consistent Chad Cardoza. Cardoza had a season-high second place finish along with five straight third place efforts to wrap up the season. He also had a Scramble victory. Fred Hay had a season-high third place finish to end up fourth in points.

Two-time series champion Brock Peters had one win and two seconds during the first three races, which were his best efforts at the group's home track. Cody Peters and Ryan Smith each had season-high second place finishes, while Smith also had a third. Cody Peters picked up a pair of Scramble wins. The Dwarf Cars are expected to have most of their races at Southern Oregon Speedway again next year.

The Old Time Racers of Oregon Hardtops made five visits to the speedway as they lost two visits due to rain outs. Dean Cast and Mark Minter both had a pair of feature wins, while Cast had a second and two thirds. Driving the Dusty Trotter car, Dan Fouts also had a win and a second along with one Trophy Dash win. Season-high second place finishes were earned by division mainstay Bill Trotter, Justin Krossman and Matt Butler, while Daryl Haugh and Jay Smith each had a third place finish. Bill Trotter also had a third place finish. Other Trophy Dash wins were earned by Butler, Haugh and Brian Weberg II. The group that brings vintage Coup and Sedan race cars to the speedway will be back for several appearances again in 2020.

The Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks made three appearances. This included their annual visits for the Roger Haudenshild Tribute and R Charles Snyder Salute. They also headlined Pepsi Kid's Bike Night on July 13th, which was perhaps their highlight of the season. Dr Scott Lenz won the first two visits, but association bylaws stripped an apparent second place finish from him at their final Medford race. Lenz ultimately lost the championship to Scott Flowers, who won the second to last race of the season in Yreka. That was the first win for Flowers in five years. His highlights in Medford included a second and a third.

Tragedy struck the group at the R Charles Snyder Salute. Following a Top 10 finish that maintained the Top 5 point status he had going into the night, Bryan Hammond suffered a heart attack moments later in the pits. He would not recover. Jeff Haudenshild won that Main Event ahead of 2015 champion Jeffrey Hudson and Matt Harlow. Haudenshild had a third place finish earlier in the season, while 2016 champion Steve Borror finished second at the July event. Trophy Dash wins went to Scott Lenz and James Flowers. The Pro Stocks will again make visits to the speedway in 2020.

As mentioned above, the 2019 season had several big events. There was a huge car count of over 80 competitors at the Roger Haudenshild Tribute, and the R Charles Snyder Salute had well over 100 racers once again. The track continued to honor Southern Oregon racing heritage with Hall of Fame night in August, and there was once again a big Monster Truck event in June. Several big events have been established in recent seasons at the speedway, and that's expected to continue heading into 2020 and beyond. There's lots of reasons to be excited about racing at Southern Oregon Speedway.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Champions Honored At 24th Annual Southern Oregon Speedway Awards Banquet


Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Champions Honored At 24th Annual 
Southern Oregon Speedway Awards Banquet

Medford, Oregon...This past weekend, Southern Oregon Speedway celebrated the accomplishments of their 24th championship season by honoring the top drivers. Promoter Mike McCann gave a brief state of the race track address to highlight the accomplishments of the season and give a glimpse of some of the plans for the coming season.

McCann, who has promoted the speedway for the past four years, announced the addition of Bob Valencia to the speedway staff. Valencia has served as Director of Competition and flagman at various times throughout his extensive career, most recently for the popular IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek Series. He will be taking on Director of Competition and flagman duties at Southern Oregon Speedway this year.

McCann gave those present a glimpse of the coming schedule by saying that most of the big events featured at the speedway last season will continue this year. This will include the Roger Haudenshild Tribute, R Charles Snyder Salute, Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge, Ironhead Nationals and Cottonwood Classic. He added that the IMCA Sport Modified division will have another special big race. It will be the $2,000 to win Timber Cup, slated for June. McCann mentioned that the new schedule will be released within the next two weeks.

Speedway announcer Cory Penfold served as Master of Ceremonies. The Top 10 drivers in the six divisions being honored at the banquet received trophies. Champions included Trent Elliott (Late Models), Mike Wheeler (Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars), Zach Fettinger (IMCA Modifieds), Jorddon Braaten (IMCA Sport Modifieds), David Steele (Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks) and Greg Arnold (Valley Store All Late Model Lites). 

Rookie of the Year winners included Johnny Burke (Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars), Mark Wauge (Late Models), Jimmy Lipke (IMCA Modifieds), Austin Petray (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Dylan Irving (Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks) and Jim Cunningham (Valley Store All Late Model Lites).

There were a few interesting news items mentioned during the night. Late Model champion Elliott indicated that he will continue to compete this season, though he has plans to leave the state for a big race during the season. Wauge has acquired a former Joey Tanner Willamette Speedway championship car as he hopes to make a more serious run at the Late Model championship. Word.is that there will be several new Late Model drivers this season.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds, which were the biggest regular car count at the speedway last season, will be seeing a few new drivers in the field as well. Braaten is one of the five champions honored this past weekend who intends to continue competing in their respective divisions next season. Late Model Lites champion Arnold is the one exception as he will be running full time in the Late Models this year. 

Steele will be back to defend his Mini Stock championship. In this past two seasons, he has finished no worse than second in Main Event competition, but he'll be facing stiff competition this coming season. Most of his top challengers from last season will be back, and championship runner-up Ashtin Hedges will be joined by father Tim Hedges, who has acquired the former Gary Anderson championship car. Tim has two other cars as his team will be adding to the Mini Stock car count.

Penfold did a great job as MC of the event, and it wrapped up with new Director of Competition Valencia receiving a warm welcome from the packed room. He gave a brief statement regarding his plans for how the weekly program will be run this coming season.

The coming race schedule, rules updates and other news can be found at the Southern Oregon Speedway Facebook page or by checking out www.southernoregonspeedway.com.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Southern Oregon Speedway Awards Banquet, Pit Stops



Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE



Southern Oregon Speedway Awards Banquet
January 25, 2020
Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant
Sage Road in Medford
Bring a dish or dessert

Doors Open at 5:00 PM
Food Served at 6:00 PM
Trophy Presentation at 7:00 PM

Kendall Oil Sprint Cars
1    Mike Wheeler
2    Bailey Hibbard
3    Charlie Thompson
4    Enrique Jaime
5    David Hibbard
6    Johnny Burke
7    TJ Winningham
8    Anissa Curtice
9    David Marble
10    Jake Wheeler

Rookie Of The Year - Johnny Burke

Late Models
1    Trent Elliott
2    Dave Everson
3    Darren Coffell
4    Dave Foote
5    Miles Deubert
6    Mark Wauge
7    Bob Dees
8    Nathan Augustine
9    Chris Biggs
10    Eric Massey

Rookie Of The Year - Chris Biggs

IMCA Modifieds
1    Zach Fe∆ętinger
2    Jimmy Lipke
3    Ray Kniffen Jr
4    Jesse Bailey
5    Justin Foux
6    Duane Orsburn
7    Albert Gill
8    David Satterfield
9    Nick Trenchard
10    Jeremy Ohlde

Rookie Of The Year - Jimmy Lipke

IMCA Sport Modifieds
1    Jorddon Braaten
2    Mike Medel
3    Branden Wilson
4    Isaac Sanders
5    Matt Sanders
6    Steve Lysinger
7    Joby Shields
8    Brian Knorr
9    Austin Petrey
10    Willie McFall

Rookie Of The Year - Austin Petrey

Valley Store All Late Model Lites
1    Greg Arnold
2    Charlie Eaton
3    Ross Payant
4    Krista Hadley
5    Dusty Aos
6    Eric Aos
7    Terry Hadley
8    Pete Bowne
9    Jim Cunningham
10    Mike Cloud

Rookie Of The Year - Pete Bowne

Bobbio’s Pizza Mini Stocks
1    David Steele
2    Ashtin Hedges
3    Kristopher Mix
4    Hunter Magnan
5    Dylan Irving
6    Steve Goetz
7    Michael McLeod
8    Brandyn Wonsyld
9    Andrew Hall
10    Gary Anderson

Rookie Of The Year - Dylan Irving


Hornet Class Trophies Pick Up at Miles Deubert's JOAT Labs after January 28th

JOAT Labs Hornets
1    Dylan Sauer
2    Jenna Hedges
3    Tim Hedges
4    Quentin Tritchler
5    Chris Boynton
6    Shawn Nelson
7    Lacey Sauer
8    Ryan Nelson
9    Derrel Nelson
10    Zach Nelson

Rookie Of The Year - Quentin Tritchler




Pit Stops

The rumor is that Southern Oregon Speedway will have their banquet on January 25th. Who gets what trophies was the subject of some debate during the last month. In reporting the IMCA Modified finish in the season finale, the name of Jesse Bailey was included. There seemed to be a gray area in what Bailey had done. He took a green flag in an IMCA Modified Trophy Dash, but to the letter of the IMCA rule book, that doesn't count for anything. He broke in that race and didn't take a green flag in his heat race. Had he taken a green flag in his heat race, though he scratched from the Main Event, he still would have received his minimum 11 points. IMCA rendered its verdict, and Bailey was dropped from his podium point position as Jimmy Lipke will wrap up top rookie honors in second. Ray Kniffen Jr will enjoy his best career effort in third.

Interestingly enough, Zach Fettinger wasn't leaving anything to chance at the last race. Knowing he could break in his heat race, Fettinger asked track officials if he could save his car for the Main Event and start last. As there weren't enough cars to offer a B Main, he was perfectly within his rights to start last on the Main Event grid, thereby ensuring that he would at least get last place points. With Bailey breaking in the Trophy Dash, Zach had nothing to worry about. He is the 2019 IMCA Modified champion at Southern Oregon Speedway.

There's been lots of talk in the Late Model ranks lately. There's a persistent rumor that two-time Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stock champion Dr Scott Lenz will finally be moving up to take on the challenge of racing with the Late Model stars. If this is true, it's certainly welcome news. The rumors that Pete Bowne purchased the Joey Tanner championship #111 Late Model were true. He put second-generation star Bruce Rayburn Jr behind the wheel at Yreka, and this resulted in victory. Rayburn gives us another star to watch in Late Models next year.

It's been rather interesting watching the development of Late Model racing at Southern Oregon Speedway. For years, management didn't give this division a second thought. The season might end with a special show, and there might even be a special show during the year, but there appeared to be no interest in having a regular championship race for this class, as was done back at the old Posse Grounds. When Mike McCann entered the picture, that changed. Three of the first people to jump on board to help build this class were 2016 champion Bob Dees, 2017 champion Nathan Augustine and longtime racer Mike Linder, who has since retired. All three can be proud that if the Late Model division has a fighting chance at Southern Oregon Speedway, they were on the ground floor in making it happen.

With a little more notoriety and money on the line, however, it was Trent Elliott taking the glory this year. He won most of the Main Events, picked up the $4,000 victory in the Cottonwood Classic and can call himself the champion this year. Elliott wasn't really challenged, and that left an interesting battle for second between past Pro Stock champion Dave Everson and Darren Coffell. However, Everson grabbed a podium finish in the finale, and that insured  him runner-up status in this year's chase ahead of Coffell. From the rumors we are hearing, car count is going to continue to grow next season.

Obviously, the division growing by leaps and bounds this year was the IMCA Sport Modified class. Frequently, their numbers reached into the twenties, and we're still hearing about drivers looking to join the ranks next year. The cream of the crop in Oregon seems to be three-time champion Jorddon Braaten, who again won State championship honors as well. Having clinched the track championship, Braaten has indicated that he's interested in testing his skills against some of the top drivers out of state, meaning we may not see him at Southern Oregon Speedway very often next year.

We're likely to see two-time champion Mike Medel. Mike didn't really have a banner year this season, but he was still a consistent Top 10 finisher. It seemed like the brakes started to go his way as the season came to a close, and then came the surprising absence of feature winner Isaac Sanders in the final race. Medel saved his best for last with a Top 5 effort that netted him second in the standings ahead of Branden Wilson. Wilson turned a few heads as he brought his Limited Sprint to that division's final race to make hot laps. It looks like he'll be doing more racing in that class next year, though no announcements have been made to suggest that he won't be competing in IMCA Sport Modifieds as well.

The competition level is at an all-time high in IMCA Sport Modifieds at Southern Oregon Speedway, as evidenced by the winner of the final feature. Past Outlaw Kart champion Bartley Foster shocked the field with a feature victory in that final race. This came just a couple of weeks after Merissa Henson won the $2,000 prize in the Sport Modified portion of the R Charles Snyder Salute. Like Foster, Henson got her start at the little track. This has many people looking at the division and thinking that they can shock the field next year as well.

There has been some Mini Stock activity as well, which has possibly been hastened by the discontinuation of the Hornet class. Two drivers responsible for giving the Hornet division the jump-start it needed, Tim Hedges and Derrel Nelson Jr, both have Mini Stocks for next season. We would not be surprised to see word that Jenna Hedges will join her husband and her son Ashtin to make it three family members in the class next year. Greg McDaniels showed up at the end of the season race and is likely to be seen more often next year. It's been sort of a transitional year for the Mini Stocks with newer drivers in the field, which has led to the dominance of seasoned veteran David Steele in winning his second-straight championship ahead of Ashtin Hedges and Kristopher Mix. However, it's expected that things are going to become even more competitive in the track's entry-level class next year.

People keep pointing to the Late Model Lites class and wondering if Steele would like to take on the next challenge. Lee Doty has been the chief instigator in getting this class fired back up during these past four years. We are also hearing of more drivers getting involved next year. We were happy to see the return of the Hadley family, and Krista Hadley certainly made her presence known with some strong performances. Husband Terry, the division's all-time win leader, had his mechanical problems or might have been tougher to beat. Likewise, longtime class supporter Eric Aos and son Dusty Aos didn't have the best of years.

Greg Arnold seems to be up for a race wherever he can get it. When Late Model Lites weren't competing, he might put a Late Model motor in his car and go out and run with those guys. One night, he had the Late Model motor in his car, but Lee Doty graciously allowed him to drive his car to keep his points up. The Doty car has since been bought by longtime competitor Ross Payant. Arnold did accomplish his championship goal, outrunning last year's title winner, Charlie Eaton. These three drivers are certainly expected to make their presence known next year, but they won't go alone.

Word has it that we will be seeing another member of the Walker family back in action again, the grandson of Hall of Famer Jim Walker and son of Tony Walker. Furthermore, the Narramore family has reportedly purchased the car driven to the 2017 championship by Bob Burkett. Though it seems to be a challenge trying to establish a car count in this division, nobody's giving up on the cause, and a fifth-consecutive season is anticipated.

The speedway has also had its strongest support for the Sprint Car class yet. The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars came off of a very entertaining season, made more entertaining when Mike Wheeler skipped a race to go on a Hawaiian vacation. This opened the door for Wheeler to surrender his point lead to Bailey Hibbard, while past champion Charlie Thompson also set himself up for a shot at the championship in the final race. It was a night filled with drama, but Mike Wheeler didn't miss a beat in that final race as he reclaimed the point lead and the championship. He joins his nephew Jake Wheeler as a Southern Oregon Speedway champion.

Upon winning his second Sprint Car feature of the year at Southern Oregon Speedway, Jake Wheeler made the comment that he might actually run for points again next year. Wheeler was lured back into this class by Ron Osborne, who put him behind the wheel of his fast #42 car. Add in the knowledge of crew chief and longtime Sprint Car racer for Vern Wheeler Jr, and you have a winning combination. Having two Wheeler family members as a part of this class in 2020 will make things that much more interesting.

Chief instigator of the Limited Sprint movement, 2018 champion David Hibbard, is anticipated. He and his son Bailey have been strong supporters of the class for the past three seasons, and David could certainly not be accused of ignoring his race track when it needed his help. He's an example of somebody who has risen above and beyond to help keep the momentum that is being established here going. Drivers like Enrique Jaime, Aaron Miller and Blaine Cory still support this division. With new stars such as David Marble, Anissa Curtice and top rookie Johnny Burke, Sprint Car racing will continue at Southern Oregon Speedway going into 2020.

Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars have continued to be a reliable class at the speedway on any night in which they are booked. Frequently, they were bringing two dozen competitors, which produced some of the more entertaining action you would see on the 3/10th mile clay oval. It's a combination of drivers who have experience, such as reigning champion Josh King, two-time champion Brock Peters, Chad Cardoza, Ryan Smith and ageless veteran Fred Hay, and newer competitors such as Ashleigh Strain, Michael Johnson, Sean Trujillo, Shane Hines and Trevor Davis. When the Dwarf Cars come to Southern Oregon Speedway, they bring the speed and the excitement. They recently held their awards banquet, and King was crowned champion over Camden Robustelli, Cardoza and Hay.

Management is carefully looking at the things that happened this past season to figure out what adjustments might be needed or what additions might be added. Southern Oregon Speedway had its Third Annual Hall of Fame night, which has served as a way to get some of the old family names back to the track again. Thus, you're seeing names like Walker and Rayburn returning to the racing action. This is also a special night, because it honors the great heritage that is Southern Oregon racing.

The R Charles Snyder Salute is the marquee event of the season, but this year's Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge, presented by Herz Precision Parts, was one that had everybody talking. Some are even referring to this as the race of the year. The Cottonwood Classic showed that Southern Oregon Speedway can still host a marquee Late Model show and had a good turnout. The IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek race and the Seventh Annual Roger Haudenshild Tribute race were also very special nights. There's lots of things to talk about for what was accomplished in 2019, but there is much work to be done to make it even better in 2020. Rest assured, the planning stages have begun.


From My Point Of View

It's been quiet here on the Southern Oregon Speedway racing blog, which was my intention. For one thing, once the season came to a conclusion, I was on a train back to my old home track in Antioch, California. I spent a month down there helping out and visiting old friends. Also, I tend to shut everything down on my end for a couple of months after the season is up. I'm usually pretty worn out at that time. I always intend to do a little bit more, but for one reason or another, I shut down until a month or so before the new season begins.

Normally, you're not going to see my opinion shared on this blog. On my DCRR Racing Media sites, I tend to be more vocal in my observations. When it comes to this blog and Southern Oregon Speedway, I tend to just want to put the news out there so everybody knows what's going on. In my opinion, the state of Southern Oregon Speedway is pretty darn good right now. It's not as good as it could be, but it's better than it was before KJE Enterprises came along prior to the 2016 season. It's a work-in-progress.

Our promoter, Mike McCann, will deliver his annual State of the Race Track Address at the banquet, which will take place on January 25th at Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant in Medford. I know Mike will look around and see where we've made progress this year and where there's work to be done. Overall, however, numbers are up once again.

The business of trying to make a race track better isn't easy. It becomes a full-time effort. You stress on things quite a bit, and even when you pull off a good night, it's not always easy to stand back and enjoy it. We do work pretty hard at what we do. However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that we couldn't do what we do without all of the great support of the drivers and their crews, the awesome fans and the sponsors of the speedway. Sponsorship certainly helps make what we do possible.

It's been an education for me. Though I've long since had an understanding of what goes into making a race track work, I've been educated in ways that I never imagined. Moving up to Oregon wasn't an easy decision for a lifelong Californian such as myself. However, there were two things that swayed my decision. Firstly, Mike McCann has built a reputation of going to race tracks that have been on the down slide and turning them around. I've respected his work from afar for years, so being offered the opportunity to come in here and do what I do was certainly very tempting. I was interested in being a part of this. 

Secondly, I'm somebody who believes in racing tradition. That means great racers, champions and all of that means something to me. Racing history matters. We may be where we are now, but it was the people who came along before us who helped make it all possible. I was very well aware of the history of Medford racing before coming up here, so being a part of the effort to help bring things back to respectability was something I was keenly interested in. I wanted to make people proud to be a part of the racing program at Southern Oregon Speedway again.

Southern Oregon Speedway has some of the most passionate fans and racers. They believe in this race track. They are always watching what we are doing. They will certainly let you know what you are doing wrong, but they are also willing to support you if you make a sincere effort. There were many skeptical racers when we came into the picture, and I honestly don't blame them. They had the last 10 years to look back on in frustration. Plus, they've heard it all before. You're going to make things better, just like the last guy, the guy before that and so on. Show me. 

The biggest issue we were dealing with when we came into the picture was dwindling car counts. Other than the traveling Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars and Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks, numbers weren't looking so good in the other classes unless there were special events being held. We knew we had work to do to convince the racers in the established classes that they needed to be a part of this. We also knew that we needed more on the card so that we could strengthen the car counts in whatever divisions we booked on any given night.

IMCA Modifieds and Sport Modifieds are staple classes at the speedway. The fans enjoy them, and nights in which these classes are booked tend to get some of the best crowd support. In their eighth season on the roster, the Sport Modifieds had their best car counts yet. I don't know if we saw a night in which this division didn't deliver at least 20 cars. The competition level is tough, and if you win in this class, you certainly earned it. Anybody can win, not just the established names you might expect. This was proven twice late in the season with the huge victory of Merissa Henson and the season finale triumph of Bartley Foster. 

I personally feel like the IMCA Modified car count could be a little bit stronger. However, I also want to point out that I don't think we've had a car count with less than 10 entries in the last three years. This may not seem huge, but in the three or four years prior to our arrival, seeing double digits in the IMCA Modified class at any non special event was not the norm. You don't get yourself to the numbers you'd like to see overnight. I personally believe this division should be in the 16 to 20 car range, but we are still a work-in-progress. I'm happy to take the 12 cars per race we get now as there are some tracks that wish they had that. 

Southern Oregon Speedway also remains committed to IMCA sanctioning. Prior to last season, we were honored for five consecutive years under the banner of the oldest sanctioning body for auto racing in the United States. Next year will actually be our eighth season. Racers like the IMCA sanctioning because they know there's a consistent set of rules that most of the tracks run. Therefore, when we do big events under the sanctioning, drivers are more interested in coming out to support them. Also, if drivers have concerns over something that's going on in their division, they can always contact IMCA. Southern Oregon Speedway remains committed to maintaining this sanctioning for our two Modified classes.

In 2016, Mike made the commitment that race tracks rarely make these days. He decided to add both a Sprint Car and Late Model division to the rotation. This didn't just mean special races, but rather championship divisions. Not knowing exactly who was willing to do what, Mike took an open rule approach to both divisions. Our Late Model division came from the Open Stock class, while Sprint Cars running a limited rules package came from an open rules effort. Both divisions required investment on the track's part to make them fly. Southern Oregon Speedway has never made a serious commitment to establishing Late Model racing here, and there hasn't been that great of an effort behind establishing Sprint Cars either, despite the fact that we've had over a decade worth of championship seasons  prior to our arrival, the last being in 2010.

With the Sprint Car division, we've managed to build something thanks to several young drivers who have graduated from Outlaw Kart racing. This is good reason to be optimistic. Not only because we've got a Sprint Car division for the fans to enjoy, but given the age of the drivers on this roster, it bodes well for this division to continue to get stronger in the years ahead. However, we're not taking anything for granted. We will remain committed to running this class. Much like the IMCA Modifieds, we will continue to have special Sprint Car races during the season. 

Mike assessed the progress of the Late Model division as it entered its fourth season and decided it was time to give them a special race. With the August 24th Cottonwood Classic, Southern Oregon Speedway again became a track that showcased a big race for the popular class. Fans got to enjoy 24 of these high speed machines competing for a $4,000 for prize. We had approaching 40 different drivers come out for at least one appearance in this class, and new drivers are joining. Next season looks to be even bigger and better for Late Model racing in Medford.

It's important that we have Sprint Cars, Late Models and IMCA Modifieds for another reason. On almost every occasion in which we have a race scheduled, you will see at least one of these divisions competing. Fans like a nice variety of racing, but they also like the speed. These three divisions certainly bring the speed. By giving them nights off and rotating the classes, it helps keep the local drivers ready for any night in which they are booked. Personally, I wish we could book these divisions on a heavier schedule, but doing such would put the car count in jeopardy again and be a reason for fans to question whether they want to come out to be with us on a Saturday night.

 I couldn't discuss this year without mentioning something that turned out to be a big disappointment. After the rough-and-tumble way our second to last scheduled Hornets race went, the division was dropped from the season finale and subsequently isn't being considered for the 2020 schedule. I don't really want to get into the particulars of what happened that night or even attempt to point any fingers of blame. There's really no point to that.

When I was making my plans to come up here prior to 2016, I tried to get myself up to speed on what was happening at the track. I noticed the Hornet division was there, but it was almost an afterthought. In speaking with Mike, I suggested we needed to do what we could to grow this division. It's the most affordable way to get into the world of racing, and I saw much potential. What was neat was that it didn't take long before Miles Deubert of JOAT Labs saw the same potential, started building cages for these cars and came on board as the title sponsor. We made an effort to grow this class, and the numbers increased early on.

There were some good people who were involved in this class, and they are why the class did start to grow and was putting on some good races. My disappointment is that we were only getting started. I saw so much more potential with this class, but there were problems holding it back as well. Being the booster that I was, I'd like to have looked over at Mike and said that he got this one wrong, but I really can't. It was the only course of action that could be taken. 

In the end, it was decided that what was going on in the division could have a negative impact on the effort to turn this racing program around. The only other thing I can say is I'm sorry for the people who were not involved in what caused the decision to be made. Had there been enough support from these people all season long, another decision might have been possible, and Hornets could have been on the schedule for 2020. This is just my observation. For now, at least, it looks like the division has been put on hiatus.

What I do see is that the Mini Stock division continues to move forward, and it looks like there will be some new drivers joining the class next year. When we came here, we saw the car count grow to as many as 17 cars on one night in 2016. Everything looked to be going pretty well, but numbers went down a little bit after that. It was suggested to me by a few people that maybe the Hornet division being on the roster negatively impacted the Mini Stocks. Is that the case? I don't know. What I do know is the Mini Stocks put on a good show and we saw some new drivers on the roster that got much better during the year. Racing will only get better in this class in 2020, and I think we're going to have a bigger field as well.

Late Model Lites gave us three 4 Cylinder classes, though this division is a bit pricier than the Mini Stock class. They get around the track very quickly and do put on a good show when we have enough competitors in the field. As the season came to a close, we were seeing more drivers at the track. It is a good division, and there are people behind the scenes trying to get more drivers out there. From what I hear, numbers will be bigger next year. I also have nothing but respect for Lee Doty of Valley Store All, who was a big booster in getting the division back on the roster and has gone above and beyond as a title sponsor to give this division a fighting chance for the last three seasons.

The biggest car count was witnessed in the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars. The association booked the majority of their races in Medford, and they again seemed to be a part of many of the big events we had throughout the season. They've got an impressive group of championship-caliber racers, but they've also attracted some good up-and-coming stars as well. What's good to see is that car count has risen to the point where we're in need of B Mains to help make the races go smoother and make for a better show. In terms of car count, Dwarf Cars and Sport Modifieds were certainly the MVP classes at the track.

If there was a class I could add to the roster, it would be a Street Stock or Hobby Stock division. When I say Street Stock, I mean more in line with the Oregon Street Stock than the California class. In California, you would probably call them Hobby Stocks. Technology is changing in such a way that this beloved division is fading away as cars are getting harder to find. What has been gaining some momentum is the IMCA Stock Car, which uses the metric race car, rather than the Camaros and Firebirds that have been widely popular in this division.

I can clearly look at the speedway and say that it's not necessary to have an IMCA Stock Car or Street Stock division. The Mini Stock class handles things okay. However, there are people who like their fendered Stock Car divisions with a little more horsepower. Southern Oregon Speedway has certainly not done much in its lifetime to build this type of class, and it would be nice to see. I couldn't tell you that this division will be added to the roster next year, because there's been no particular talk. However, it's possible we could see a race or two booked during the season. 

We did have an Iron Giant race scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend this year, but rain had other plans. This was particularly disappointing to me as the touring group delivered over 20 competitors in their visit the year before. From everything I was hearing, those numbers might have increased just a little bit this year, and I was greatly looking forward to their visit. Unfortunately, after the rain out, we were unable to schedule a makeup date that worked for both parties. As for next year, we'll see what comes.

The division that's been there when we need them is the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks. In my mind, we certainly haven't seen enough races for them in the past couple of seasons. The speedway was built in part on the strength of Pro Stock racing, which in the early days delivered such a car count that C Mains were needed. Some talented drivers have been a part of this class through the years, and they still have a good roster. When they come to town, we can see car count in the low twenties. We booked them three times this season, and the highlight was certainly the night they headlined in July.

The biggest problem with the Pro Stocks that I can see on the schedule is that they might not be needed for the R Charles Snyder Salute. We need to speed up a couple of programs we have during the year that are special races. That's one of those nights. The show certainly hasn't gone well for them in their two appearances at this race, and that's led to yellow-checkered finishes on both occasions. I've certainly got other ideas on where they could fit in, but I won't say much. I'd just like to see them more, and we'll see how things work out on the schedule. They put on a good show in general. I know some people will say they have their rough spots, but I see rough spots in other divisions too. It happens.

I can't talk about the Pro Stocks without mentioning the passing of Bryan Hammond. This was a night that was very emotional for me as I stood in the pits watching things unfold. Bryan was a staunch supporter of Pro Stock racing and was in the midst of his best season in points with the group as a Top 5 driver. Moments after taking the checkered flag, he suffered a heart attack in the pits. Depending on what the family might have in mind, I wouldn't mind seeing a night that paid tribute to Bryan. Not only was he a good racing supporter, he also sponsored the group on multiple occasions to help keep it going.

During the course of the season, we did different things to give the fans a nice variety of things to enjoy. I mentioned the rain out of what should have been a big Street Stock race. We did have a two-day Monster Truck event that went pretty well in June. A rare August rainout wiped out the $2,000 to win Ironhead Nationals for the Winged Sprint Car class.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to find a makeup date for them, but that race should be back next year.

Another race that I could make a case for being the most exciting race of the season was the Herz Precision Parts Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge. This year, several local drivers took their wings off to challenge themselves, and Jake Wheeler clearly demonstrated that he is one of the top Sprint Car drivers in Southern Oregon. He nearly pulled off the upset victory over Geoff Ensign before settling for a still respectable second. They exchanged the lead back and forth on multiple occasions. It didn't take long after the checkered flag waved before this race's title sponsor, Mark Herz, signed on to support this race for another season. 

What was nice to see was how the locals embraced wingless racing just a little bit more. There was a better turnout in the stands as well. I heard more than a few people talk about how the Wingless Sprint Cars put on a good show. This was what Mike had in mind when he added this event. It was never about changing things over to wingless racing, though he did feature wingless racing at Sunset Speedway back in the day. It was about giving the fans different Sprint Car attractions. Given the fact that Wingless Sprint Series champion Rob Lindsay showed up and had a good finish in third, I would love to see that group come in for a visit or two next year. Then again, I enjoy Wingless Sprint Car racing as well as winged. Different disciplines, but both entertain the fans.

I'd love to put together a list of my 10 favorite moments, which would be the subject for another column. However, I'm very proud of the event we put on in June honoring Roger Haudenshild. We even cut a division from last year because we wanted to make the show go quicker. However, car count increased in the other divisions. We might be looking at a night that only needs IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Pro Stocks. Though we went late, the racing was good and the fans were still entertained. Going late and just accepting that as an "oh well" type of thing is not an option for us. We'll make it better. However, I do remain very proud that we've turned this race into something I know Roger would be proud of.

Our goal on any given week is to give the fans a good show that doesn't drag on. One of the reasons we scheduled as many divisions as we did on any given week is because we were growing the car count. At the time, we needed to do that to give fans 40 or 50 cars so they knew they were getting a respectable turn out. Car count in all divisions has grown to the point where we can actually run less divisions on any given week. This will all be stuff that Mike will factor in when he puts the new schedule together. You want to give the fans a good show so they'll be there to watch next week. It's not just about how many cars you have in the pits or what happens on the track, but you want to end at a decent hour.

I've heard other promoters even talk about the two and a half to three hour show. We're starting at 7 and it would be nice to end at 9:30 to 10. Obviously, you're going to have nights where things get a little bit out of control, but that's not the norm. The other thing I would like to see is getting back to Trophy Dash presentations after the Trophy Dashes. We were doing that during the first couple of years, but after we brought in the new clay and track conditions became more challenging, we started pushing the presentations off until the end of the evening in order to keep the show going. I think we can do better here. 

When I talk about track conditions, I have to mention how hard Jim Rodgers works to make things right. He's out there every week doing what needs to be done. He knows Southern Oregon Speedway pretty damn well, so generally speaking, he delivers exactly the kind of track he's going after. You can't control when rain happens the night before or certain things like that, but he does his best with what he works with. Though the clay has proven to be a challenge for him at times, I think he delivered some great racing surfaces throughout the year.

Presentation of program is pretty important, and this year we made the change to bring announcer Cory Penfold and Moxie Media on board. Cory was walking into new territory. Though he was familiar with the racers and the happenings at Willamette Speedway, he was learning a whole new roster at Southern Oregon Speedway. However, he and his enthusiastic crew endeavored to learn as much as they could and gave Southern Oregon Speedway the best coverage they could through their Moxie Media platform. Cory is already chomping at the bit to get back on the microphone and help make things even better. He's learned a lot, and he's ready to take things up another notch.

Getting back to the heritage idea, I'm so proud of what we've been able to establish with Hall of Fame night. Seeing people who have meant so much to this racing community through the years being honored with the recognition they deserve was exactly what I had in mind. I want the fans of racing past to know that we honor our heritage. It's helped get us to where we are today. Even better is the fact that we're seeing some of those family names getting back into racing again. 

We've only scratched the surface. I know there are people who wonder why this person or that person hasn't been inducted, but I know one thing for sure. There are many great racers and people behind the scenes who will ultimately be honored as Southern Oregon Racing Hall of Fame members in the years to come. Hall of Fame night will continue to be part of what we do, and I am so honored to have been part of the effort to establish this night on our schedule.

It's with honoring racing tradition in mind that I pushed for a race for R Charles Snyder. The Labor Day show became his night, and it's been wonderful to see the community embrace it. I know what Charles meant to the community, and every time people come up to me and talk to me about him, it's with love and respect for what he did. Again, we had another big car count with over 100 competitors at the second day of the event. The Sport Modifieds again knocked it out of the ballpark with just shy of 50 cars. It was again one of our biggest shows of the year.

There's so many people to thank from the people that I work with on the staff to people in the pits and in the grandstands that I've had the pleasure of interacting with. People who have helped make my job a little bit easier with their help. This is why I say we are a racing family. We are all a part of making this race track better than it's been in years and something we can truly be proud of. I hear other race track's names get thrown out there as the example, and my goal is to see people throwing Southern Oregon Speedway out as the example of how you do things right and make things better. We are a work in progress, but I defy anybody who was here four years ago and here this year to tell me things haven't gotten better.

There's certainly a few areas where we can improve when we're presenting the program on any given night. We're looking into a few of those areas. We know we can do better. I know where I have sort of lagged a little bit compared to previous years. I could do a better job of getting information out in a more timely manner. I know that within 48 hours of a show, all the information should be out there, and it was during the first three years. It's only this last year, as I felt a little bit more of the stress, that I've let things lag more than I should have. Articles should be up quicker, results should be up quicker and we need to do a better job of handling the MyLaps situation. We should be able to have those stats posted before we leave the track that night. 

I've analyzed the way I'm presenting things to see if there are things that I can do better. Obviously, putting the word out there has a direct impact on getting racers motivated to come out and race and fans more motivated to come out and spectate. Have I truly done the best that I can to make this happen? Numbers are better, but are they where they should be? I'm looking at other aspects of what we do on any given week to see what touches I can put in there that I haven't done yet. The souvenir program will get a good looking over as I enter my fifth year of putting those together. There is much room for improvement.

Cory and I recently had a conversation about the presentation of each race and making every event special and a night in which everybody wants to be there. Obviously, every race isn't going to be of the high caliber of an R Charles Snyder Salute or Roger Haudenshild Tribute, but that doesn't mean that every race can't be special in its own right. We do want to showcase every division on the roster. As I said coming in here, every division and every driver matters. I want to continue to do what I can to spread the word about the great racers that we have at Southern Oregon Speedway.

Hopefully I covered everything I wanted to cover here as I don't want to drag this on any longer than I have. It's been my distinct pleasure to be a part of Southern Oregon Speedway, to get to know all the great people in this community and to do what I can to help make things better than they were when I got here. There's more work to be done. After a little bit of a break, it's going to be time to get back to work. I look forward to seeing everybody at the banquet in January. More details will be forthcoming regarding the 2020 schedule, any rule adjustments and those sorts of things. Until then, thank you for reading and thank you for making the 2019 season at Southern Oregon Speedway such a success...

Don