Monday, April 17, 2017

Southern Oregon Speedway Pro Stock, Dwarf Car Previews And More

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
 Can Be Heard HERE

Pro Stocks Are Coming Home To Southern Oregon Speedway

Medford, Oregon...The popular Pro Stock division is back at Southern Oregon Speedway this year.  Furthermore, and for the first time since 2011, the division will be competing for a track championship.  The longest currently active division with a lineage tracing back to the old Medford "Posse Grounds" Speedway, The Pro Stocks are an important part of Medford racing.

The old track had a healthy Street Stock division for years.  In 1988, management started the Limited Sportsman division as the #2 division to the Late Model class, while still keeping a Street Stock division.  Jim Walker Jr. won that first championship.  Interestingly enough, another Medford legend, Scott Lenz, was Street Stock champion that year, and he was a  front runner the next season before the track abruptly closed in July.  Walker, meanwhile, topped the Limited Sportsman point list that next year as well.

It took seven years before Medford racers had a home track again, and while the 1996 roster did not include Street Stocks, Pro Stocks made up the core three classes, along with Modifieds and Mini Stocks, that still compete to this day.  Lenz put his name into the record books that year as the first champion, while Walker won three of the next five championships, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest drivers to ever strap into a Pro Stock. 

Speaking of greats, Frank Word III came along and rewrote the record books with eight championships in a nine year period, interrupted only by two time champion Brian Poppa.  The battles between Word, Poppa and hard chargers like John David Duffie were some of the best ever seen at the track.  Pro Stocks were producing big fields that required B Mains, and their center piece race at the time was the Art Pollard Memorial.  In 2017, they will be part of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race on June 3rd.

Throughout the first decade of the 2000's, car count was still doing well.  After a slightly disappointing 2011 campaign, management at the time got the idea of starting a new Sport Modified class, as was being done at several West Coast venues.  This wasn't necessarily a bad idea, but it was decided to merge the Pro Stocks with that class.  Long time competitors like Ken Irving, Dave Everson, Dave Quick and Brian Johnsen gathered with the remaining competitors and formed a traveling association to preserve the class.  After a year where drivers made occasional visits to Medford as part of the Sport Mod effort, Southern Oregon Speedway started booking several Pro Stock dates every season for the class.

This brings us to 2017.  Promoter Mike McCann has heard the concerns of the drivers.  They aren't asking for big rule changes, but they want tech of the cars, a guaranteed purse and pay out at the end of the night and they want to compete more often at their home track.  Therefore, a nine race schedule has been crafted to give them a comfortable season that allows time with family or traveling to other venues.  Plus, drivers will compete for points with a track champion crowned at the end of the season awards banquet.

Several drivers have thrown their hats into the ring this season, and that includes the track's final Street Stock champion, Miles Deubert.  Deubert was faster than ever last season as his two feature wins will show.  He could very well be the driver to beat this year.  The Deubert family are no strangers to winning at the speedway.  Miles' father Jer Deubert is an Art Pollard Memorial Race winner.

Speaking of drivers familiar with winning, the strongest supporter of Pro Stocks who is currently still active is Ken Irving.  Irving is a two time division champion who usually gets a win or two during the season.  Last year saw him only finish as high as second, and that's something he intends to improve on this season.

The veteran of the group is Rocky Nash.  Everywhere he has gone, he has won, and that includes the NASCAR West Series, where he was also Top 10 ranked in points.  Rocky picked up a pair of feature wins and dash wins last season.  Brian Johnsen is also a driver to watch.  He's a two time Super 4 champion who won a Pro Stock Main Event on the circuit last year.

Drivers are still making their plans for the season, but others we'll be watching for include Mike Johnson, Derrel Nelson Jr., Tyler Lockwood, Rick Lukens, Mike Prill, Phil Pipgras, Dave Satterfield and two time Top 3 Street Stock competitor Darron Arnold.  Top 5 Coos Bay racer Josh Kralicek will be racing in Medford too.  Rumors have circulated that we might even see past champions Scott Lenz and Dave Everson this season.  Johnson is no stranger to winning, and he's not afraid to drive anything, from Dragsters to Mini Stocks.  He is a past Mini Stock champion, while Lockwood is also a past Mini Stock star.  Nelson was a two time Hornet winner last year and second in points, while Lukens picked up a pair of Pro Stock heat wins last year in one of the nicest looking cars in the field.

The Outlaw Pro Stock Association will have four of their point races at Southern Oregon Speedway for their members, which they will run with the track's regulars.  Those dates include April 29th, June 3rd, August 12th and September 9th.  Actually, they are not booked elsewhere on most of the other dates, so racers might just show up then as well.  Steve Borror is the reigning champion and a force any time he competes.

Scott Flowers also remains one of the stars and could again be joined by his wife Ginny, son James, and daughter Julia in this four car effort.  Arlen Garrison is the car owner helping make the Flowers family fun happen.  Scott Flowers was once again the point runnerup last season.

Rocky Nash seems to be as fast as anybody when he races, and like Borror, he won multiple times last season.  Roy Bain will be back, and other stars to watch for include Matt Harlow,  Scott Bennett, John Bowers and Johnny Cobb.  You have to respect this group for fighting to keep Pro Stock racing alive in Southern Oregon after the track's previous management pretty much gave up on them.

The Pro Stocks will get a playday opportunity on April 22nd.  The season opens on April 29th, and the Roger Haudenshild Tribute on June 3rd is a race that all of the drivers mark on their calendars as one they really want to win.  The last time the track crowned its own champion, it was Dustin Knight in 2011.  The question is, who will it be this year?  Come on out to the track and find out.  For further information, go to

2017 Southern Oregon Speedway Pro Stocks Schedule

April 22 - Rain Out Make Up Playday
April 29
May 13
May 20
June 3
July 1
July 22
August 12
August 19
September 9

Past Southern Oregon Speedway Pro Stock Champions

1988  Jim Walker Jr.*
1989  Jim Walker Jr.*
1996  Scott Lenz
1997  Jim Walker Jr.
1998  Jim Walker Jr.
1999  Brian Poppa
2000  Brad Alfrey
2001  Jim Walker Jr.
2002  Frank Word III
2003  Frank Word III
2004  Frank Word III
2005  Frank Word III
2006  Brian Poppa
2007  Frank Word III
2008  Frank Word III
2009  Frank Word III
2010  Frank Word III
2011  Dustin Knight
2012  Ken Irving**
2013  Dave Everson**
2014  Ken Irving**
2015  Jeffrey Hudson**
2016  Steve Borror **
* Medford Raceway
** Outlaw Pro Stock Association

Previous Feature Winners (2013-16)
May 11, 2013:  Brian Johnsen
May 25, 2013:  Dave Everson
June 8, 2013:  Andy Freeman
June 22, 2013:  Ken Irving
July 3, 2013:  Andy Freeman
July 10, 2013:  Dave Everson
July 27, 2013:  Dave Everson
August 17, 2013:  Dave Everson
September 7, 2013:  Dave Everson
May 3, 2014:  Ken Irving
May 17, 2014:  Jeff Hudson
May 31, 2014:  Ken Irving
June 7, 2014:  Brian Johnsen
June 28, 2014:  Scott Flowers
August 16, 2014:  Dave Everson
August 23, 2014:  Ken Irving
September 13, 2014:  Jeff Hudson
September 27, 2014:  Dave Everson
April 18, 2015:  Dave Everson
May 2, 2015:  Dave Everson
May 16, 2015:  Dave Quick
July 4, 2015:  Jeffrey Hudson
August 1, 2015:  Steve Borror
August 29, 2015:  Steve Borror
September 6, 2015:  Rocky Nash
September 26, 2015:  Steve Borror
April 30, 2016:  Steve Borror
June 11, 2016:  Rocky Nash
July 4, 2016:  Mile Deubert
July 30, 2016:  Steve Borror
August 13, 2016:  Steve Borror
August 27, 2016:  Miles Deubert
September 24, 2016:  Rocky Nash

SODCA Dwarf Cars Are Back At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Perhaps the most reliable division at Southern Oregon Speedway in recent seasons is the SODCA Dwarf Cars.  The traveling group has been making visits to the speedway since the very early days of the track, and they always give the fans a good show.  Stars like Jon DeBenedetti and C.J. Putnam have won championships before moving on to other divisions.  With 12 races on the schedule, including championship night, the road to the SODCA tittle once again goes through Medford.

As a member of the WSDCA, the Southern Oregon based group gets to host the big Dwarf Car Nationals event.  This year, the two day extravaganza takes place on August 4th and 5th.  The best drivers on the West Coast will be in Medford that weekend.  The Dwarf Cars are scheduled for their first appearance on April 29th.  These fast, 1200cc motorcycle engined machines will provide the fans with some entertaining races every time they come to town.

Brock Peters is leading the pack this year as the reigning champion.  At times, he was unstoppable last season, and he has a new car from the shop of M&M Racing with the hopes of maintaining his top status.  With Camden Robustellli returning this year, it won't easy.  Robustellli is coming off of back to back runnerup seasons, but he has a championship in his sights this year.

While Peters and Robustelli are feature winners, Brock's son Cody Peters is looking for his first SODCA victory.  Cody did win a Sportsman feature during the Nationals last season, and he led several laps of the season finale.  It seems a good bet that he will win a Main Event this year. Also expected to race at least some this year will be Kalvin Morton.  Morton is a multi time Top 5 point runner who won several races last season before his championship hopes were dashed when he flipped hard while leading on July 4th.

You would be making a mistake if you ignored two time champion Josh King.  He didn't attempt to defend his championship last year, but he won several Main Events during the season.  Chad Cardoza is another top star who won a feature last year as well as the $1000 to win Fred Hay Dash For Cash.  A long time Dwarf Car competitor, Cardoza could assert himself in this season's championship battle. Another driver to watch is Ryan Smith.  The 2014 runerup has won features with this group in the past and was usually in the hunt when he competed last season.

Getting back to of Fred Hay, the popular long time member recently made his first laps since a terrible flip at Chico last year left him with a broken neck.  The Top 3 2015 point runner reported that he felt comfortable and the car handled well.  Outlaw Kart graduate Ashley Strain also made some practice laps recently as she will be one of the rookies this season.  She impressed last last season in Cottage Grove with her 250 Kart win in September.

After his fifth place season, Randy Slater is poised for a break out year.  Joe Sanders will be looking for better results following his "Rookie Of The Year" season.  Veteran Jerry Houck, Kaycee Sheeler, Mason Lewman, Mark Nielson, Don Gifford and James Edwards are among the other drivers to watch for in the competitive field.

Their first appearance will be April 29th, and they are scheduled for 12 visits, which includes the big Dwarf Car Nationals event on August 4th and 5th.  Fans will be in for an exciting show any time the SODCA Dwarf Cars come to town.  For further information on happenings at the speedway, go to

2017 Southern Oregon Speedway
SODCA Dwarf Car Schedule

April 22 - (Rain Date) Playday
April 29
May 20
June 3
June 24
July 8
July 22
August 4 - WSDCA Nationals
August 5 - WSDCA Nationals
August 12
September 2 - Lon Skinner Memorial
September 3 - Lon Skinner Memorial
September 16

SODCA Dwarf Car Champions

1998  Jon DeBenedetti
1999  Jon DeBenedetti
2000  Jon DeBenedetti
2001  Gary Fitzsimmons
2002  Gary Fitzsimmons
2003  Dan Van Acker
2004  Crash Jackson
2005  Jerry Apland
2006  Tom Palazollo
2007  Jim Harsha
2008  Kelly Gutches
2009  Greg Denton
2010  Kelly Gutches
2011  R.J. McGahuey
2012  R.J. McGahuey
2013  C.J. Puttnam
2014  Josh King
2015  Josh King
2016  Brock Peters

Pit Stops

The rain during the week was enough to put a halt to the planned April 15th playday.  It wasn't so much that the track itself wouldn't have been usable, but there was a concern about pit conditions, particularly on the lower end nearest the track.  It is hoped that we will be able to make the pits more usable.  If the weather pattern holds as forecast next week, chances are much better that we can make that playday happen.

There's been some buzz around town about change being in the air for the track as it enters its 22nd season.  At this point, we'll just let the rumors go and address them later, but it is something that should lead to better things for the future of the race track.  The other part of the rumor may actually elicit more excitement than the first part, which means you should just keep your eyes open for news in the future.  Management recently added some new benches to the facility as an option for people to eat under the shade.

The question at the Outlaw Kart track has centered around the addition of the Speedway Kart division.  The open cockpit Karts have been growing at other tracks, and they have been added for the first four races this year.  If all goes well, they could end up on the full schedule.  The Fuller family has been a driving force in pushing this effort.  Speaking of which, Brionna Fuller will be in a 250 Kart this year after her Yreka Box Stock championship, while Taylor Fuller has graduated to Box Stocks after his championship in Yreka in the Beginners class.  Taylor won two races at Mini Southern Oregon Speedway last year.

It might have come as a bit of a surprise, but Wyatt Pinckney has a 500 Open Kart this season.  Wyatt spent just one season in  250's after being crowned the 125 Kart champion in 2015.  We're still wondering who is on the roster with him this year.  We could be seeing past Cottage Grove champion Brody Sim, past Medford champion Stephanie Crisp, hard charger Kenny Boardman, Merissa Henson, Dillen Lausen, reigning champion Johnny Burke and Tanner Holmes among the competition for this class.

It's hoped that the numbers pick up in the 500's this year, and management is still working on an announcement for the class.  The 250 Karts, Box Stocks and Beginners Box Stocks will also be a part of the Outlaw Kart program, and it looks like there will be some newcomers in the Beginner class.  This will actually be the 20th season for Mini Southern Oregon Speedway.  As the training grounds for our future stars on the big track, and just a place for kids to have fun and race, this little one-eighth mile clay oval is an important part of what we do.

The buzz has been incredible in the Hornets division this year as several new cars are being built.  JOAT Labs has come on board as the title sponsor, and they have done cages for some of the new cars coming out, including the car of Jason Stoutenburgh.  Tylor Ray and Anthony Kniffen will both have cars this year.  Joby Shields has been showing off his ride and is also offering a second car for rent.  The car of the son of Tim Hedges is ready.  We still haven't seen pictures of Tim's ride, but Gabe Nelson is ready to take the wheel of the #8g car, driven by his father last year.  The roster is now is in double digits as the class continues to grow.

Darrel Nelson Jr. will be taking the wheel of the blue #30 car of Ken Hackoworth in the Pro Stock division.  We've also gotten word that Dave Satterfield will be joining the ranks of the Pro Stocks.  As we've been researching information for the archive section of the web site, we can report that Satterfield was a Pro Stock dash winner in 2005.  There is a red #57 IMCA Modified in the Hackworth stables this season as well. 

We previously reported the news that 2013 Mini Stock champion Steve Goetz will be back this season after a couple of seasons off.  We're still waiting to see pictures of Michael "Hercules" Johnson's Mini Stock.  Word was that he was considering running his father's #81 with an H.  We noticed Outlaw Kart promoter Bob Fredrickson was working on a Sport Modified.  We heard rumors of who would be driving, but we will not speculate on that.  It's also worth noting that the PSM Pacific Sport Modified Series is back offering an additional point race for the drivers.  Any competitors who want to support an effort that promotes the class can look up the PSM on Facebook and consider joining. 

Chris Silva and Brian Bowman are two other names you can add to the IMCA Modified roster this year.  If some of the veterans are not regulars this season, we may still see an increase in newer names.  Silva could have had an impact in last season's championship.  After Mark Wauge was involved in a wreck while racing for the lead in last season's finale, he came back out and limped to a checkered.  Had Silva not retired from the race, it might have forced a tie between Wauge and James Welshonse.  IMCA does not break ties.  It just goes to show you how every point counts. 

We're keeping our fingers crossed that there will be a playday this Saturday and we can get a look at some cars and see all of our friends at the track.  The Kendal Oil Sprint Car class has been quiet lately, and we've yet to see any pictures of the dozen or so cars being prepared.  Because there are so many young new drivers, the division may have some sort of an orientation event.  At present, David Hibbard carries a huge experience advantage over the group.  Several drivers will be making their first ever Sprint Car starts, including Outlaw Kart champion Tanner Holmes, Merissa Henson, Bartley Foster and Blaine Corey.  We're hearing rumors of a few big names getting involved this year, but we'll leave the rumors where they are for now.  When the first race happens, all will be revealed.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mini Stocks, Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites Prepare For 2017 Season

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

2017 Mini Stock Season At Southern Oregon Speedway An Opportunity For New Stars To Shine

White City, Oregon...The Mini Stocks are back for another ten race season at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Since the track opened in 1996, they have been one of the staple classes.  Car count had struggled for a few seasons leading into last year, but the track experienced some of its best Mini Stock turnouts since 2010.  In fact, the Mini Stocks were one of the more reliable divisions at the track last season.

A look into the numbers over the past three seasons finds an interesting fact.  You can count the different feature winners over the previous 47 races on one hand.  Bob Burkett, David Steele, Gary Anderson and David Marble won most of them, and James Welshonse had one win.  Welshonse is now in a Modified, and 2015 champion Marble is driving a Sport Modified these days.  2016 champion Bob Burkett has a Late Model Lite and won't run all of the Mini Stock races this year, meaning 2014 champion Anderson and 2015 Yreka champion Steele might be the drivers to beat for the championship this year.

We just received word of another champion returning to action.  Steve Goetz is back this season after a couple of years away.  Steve had three Top 3 point seasons prior to winning the 2013 championship  He returns to a division that has several new drivers on its roster since the last time he was here. 

Chances are good that there will be at least one new winner this season, but the question is who will it be?  Leading the charge is last year's third place point competitor, Andrew Hall.  Though without a feature win last season, Hall still had three second place finishes.  By ending the season with back to back runnerup finishes in his fast Pinto Wagon, Hall managed to hold off Steele for third in the standings.

Hall's Neon Mafia teammate Kristopher Mix had his moments last season with several Top 5 finishes.  The second generation racer's season took a hit at a playday in Yreka last year when his car was destroyed in a crash, but his new car turned out to be pretty competitive.  One of the young up and coming drivers to watch is past 250 Kart champion Dillen Lausen.  Dillen ended the season with a third place feature finish by holding off Bob Burkett, and he left with "Rookie Of the Year" honors.

Eric Hanson had mostly bad luck last season, but he could be a threat to win on any given night  You also have to keep an eye on other hard chargers such as second generation racer Mikey Johnson, Garrett Fredrickson, Hunter Magnum, and Randy Simmons.  Johnson's car has just been painted, and he's excited about the opportunity to try to write his name on the track's all time feature winner's list next to his father

To get those wins, the drivers will have to get past David Steele and Gary Anderson.  Steele returned a few races into the season and won six times last year, matching his season best effort from 2013.  Steele carries the experience advantage of nearly ten seasons over the rest of the pack.  Anderson took the division by storm with his 2014 championship in his rookie season, and he has racked up nine wins in the last three years.  We also can't forget that Burkett will still run some races, and  Goetz is back.  Any new winners will know they've earned it by beating these guys.

Prior to the Hornets being added to the roster in 2014, the Mini Stocks were the most affordable entry point into racing, and it's still a pretty reasonable option for the budget minded racer.  In fact, three competitors moved up from Hornets to Mini Stocks last season.   The competition is still pretty close on the track, and the racing is good.  The ten race season kicks off on April 29th after back to back playdays on April 15th and 22nd.  For further information, check out

2017 Southern Oregon Speedway Schedule

April 15 - Playday
April 22 - Playday (Rain Makeup)
April 29
May 6
May 20
June 10
June 17
July 1
July 8
July 22
August 26
September 26

Mini Stock Champions

1996  Brian Barns
1997  Scott Holt
1998  Rich McCoy
1999  Tracy Bradley
2000  Tracy Bradley
2001  Tom Lanigan
2002  Mike Johnson
2003  David Bishop
2004  David Bishop
2005  Tony Christopher
2006  Milton Carter
2007  Jim Pope
2008  John Derby
2009  John Derby
2010  John Derby
2011  John Derby
2012  Toby Judd
2013  Steve Goetz
2014  Gary Anderson
2015  David Marble
2016  Bob Burkett

New Era For Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...For several seasons, the Super 4's were a featured division at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Drivers like Brian Barns, Parker Jones, Joe Guider and Brian Johnsen battled at the front of the pack.  By 2012, car count had fallen off.  After John Barker won the 2013 season championship, the division disappeared from the roster.  It was because of long time competitors Lee Doty and Barger that the division managed to get their foot in the door for a late season date in 2015.

When Mike McCann took over the promoting duties of Southern Oregon Speedway last year, Doty and the others knocked on the door once again.  They were brought back for seven races.  The Super 4's once established themselves as a place for Mini Stock drivers to make the move up, and even drivers from other classes gave it a shot.  Doty was somebody leading the charge to get cars back to the track last year.  By season's end, the division had its best turnout going back a few years into their previous run with back to back ten car fields.  The Super 4's were back and growing.

One of the trends in rebuilding the class has been for the drivers to take their 4 cylinder motors and drop them into older Late Model chassis.  This is largely due to the fact that the older chassis are out there and they are affordable options.  During the offseason, it was suggested that the division be rebranded as the Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites. Valley Stor-All of Medford has come on board as the title sponsor.

The class has evolved just a little bit from those earlier days, they are going just a bit faster now and they have the look of the popular Late Model class.  This is not an entry level division, but it remains an option for Mini Stock drivers moving up   Making it more enticing is the fact that the Late Model Lites are back for an eight race season that will begin with the April 29th season opener.

To highlight the fact that Mini Stock drivers can move up, Mike Cloud moved from Mini Stocks to Late Model Lites late last season.  Perhaps the most consistently fast Mini Stock driver of the current decade, Bob Burkett, is also moving up.  Burkett has racked up four runner up point seasons in Mini Stocks and was the champion last year.  Furthermore, he's won a Mini Stock division leading 20 races in the last five years.  He is a welcome addition to the Late Model Lites.

It is Doty leading the charge as the defending champion.  He won five times last season, but he didn't overtake Barger until the end of the season.  Doty not only won often, he did it with class.  Getting this division built up seems to be an even bigger goal than winning for Doty.  Barger, meanwhile, will be out to try to return to the winner's circle this season.  As with Doty, he brings years of experience into his effort.

Speaking of experience, you need not look any further than the husband and wife duo of Terry and Krista Hadley.  Both have had Top 5 seasons in the past, and Terry is a two time runnerup.  Both have also won Main Events through the years, and they were fast when they raced last year.  Word is that they have a new car in the works and may be fielding a third car this year.

Speaking of fast, Dan Prewett is fast as well, and he was one of two other drivers to get a feature win last year as he finished fifth in points.  Steve Thompson, another driver with feature wins through the years, won last year's opener before blowing a motor and falling out of the action.  Eric Aos is a winner of a prestigious Battle At The Border Late Model Lites race not too many years ago.  He had his moments last year and is anticipated this year along with Dustin Aos, who is up from the Outlaw Karts this season.

Charlie Eaton came on very strong late last year with a pair of dash wins and two Main Event seconds in the last three races.  The steady Bill Spencer finished right behind him in fourth in points.  These drivers are all anticipated this year along with others who the fans may be familiar with.

The Late Model Lites are a fast and exciting brand of racing that will continue to entertain the fans when they are in town.  After the playdays on April 15th and 22nd, their ten race season kicks off on April 29th.  For further information, check out

2017 Southern Oregon Speedway
Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites Schedule

April 15 - Playday
April 22 - (Rain Date) Playday
April 29
May 6
May 20
June 10
July 8
Auugust 5
August 26
September 9

Past Late Model Lites Champions

2003  Brian Barns
2004  Brian Barns
2005  Reggie DeVore
2006  Joe Guider
2007  Jacob Cole
2008  Brian Johnsen
2009  Parker "Hollywood" Jones
2010  Brian Johnsen
2011  Joe Guider
2012  Jamie Guider Newberg
2013  John Barger
2016  Lee Doty

There's Nothing Like Opening Day At The Races

There's nothing like opening day at the race track.  We're in the heart of spring after a wet winter, and there is so much green around the race track and the pits.  It really is a beautiful time of year.  It's not so beautiful when the rain comes and forces the races to be canceled, but it does add to the beauty of the area.

It's a clean slate for all of the racers.  Consider the fact that every racer at the track on opening day is technically tied for the point lead until that first heat race pulls out onto the track.  The preparations have been made, the car is ready and anything is possible.

That brings us to the other thing about that preparation.  We've already seen some pictures of the cars, and there are some beautiful race cars.  Some of them could win the prize for best looking car.  Several cars will be on display this weekend at the 64th Annual Pear Blossom Festival Parade.  For the fans, it's their first chance to look at these race cars this year.

The teams put all of that work into their cars with the knowledge that the car won't stay pristine for long.  The first ding will be put on that car soon, maybe as eaerly as hot laps.  That's okay.  It's to be expected.  It's all about the competition.  The pre season preparation is itself a competition.  My car is better looking than your car.

Some people haven't seen each other since the last race.  The opener is the first chance to visit with everybody and get caught up on what's been happening.  We're stll a family, and that doesn't change because it's been a few months since we last spoke.  The racing family is a special fraternity.

The clean slate makes it special too.  You were the champion last year?  That's fine, but you have to go back out there and earn it again this year.  You had a bad season?  That's okay.  It's a new year.  That was then, this is now.  The beautiful thing about auto racing is that anything can happen on any given week.

Goals can be set and achieved if the dedication is there to make it happen.  Maybe a driver simply wants to take a checkered flag.  That happens, and now they want to win a heat race.  Maybe a Main Event?  It's all possible for those who put in the effort.  The offseason was the time to get everything lined up.  Now the green flag waves, and it's time to make it happen.

The sound of the race track.  That first motor is fired up as the car backs out of the trailer.  The sound of the cars going around the track on the pace lap, followed by the roar of the engines as the green flag waves.  The announcer is  calling the action as the crowd cheers.  The sound of multiple conversations in the stands.   You can hear the pit board official call the next race to staging.  It's on now.

The smell of opening day is unique.  Racing fuel and oil.  The smell of barbecue wafting through the pits, or the smell of the food being prepared at the concessions stand.  Just being out in the open air at one of your favorite places to be, the racetrack.  You've waited all winter for this, and now it's time.

This is the 22nd time we've had an opening day at Southern Oregon Speedway, and no other race day is quite like it.  This night doesn't need a special promotion to make it better.  It's finally time to go racing again, and you've been looking forward to this.  Whether you win or lose, you're enjoying a night at the races.  That's what it's all about.