Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wauge, Dees, Medel, Steele, Gergel Close Southern Oregon Speedway Season With Wins

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Wauge Wins IMCA Modified Finale, 
Bailey Is Southern Oregon Speedway Champion

White City,  Oregon...September 16...Seven time Southern Oregon Speedway champion Mark Wauge won the 25 lap IMCA Modified Main Event.  This was Wauge's first win of the season, and it moved him into second in the final standings.  Wauge was coming off of a $2,500 second place finish in the R. Charles Snyder Salute two weeks ago.  Jesse Bailey used a third place finish to wrap up his first track championship.

Bailey won both his six lap heat race and the four lap Trophy Dash.  Wauge won the other heat race.  Ray Kniffen Jr. blew a motor in hot laps to end his night early.  Kevin Hewitt set the early pace ahead of Tim Bailey, and Jantzen Knips spun in Turn 2 for a lap two caution flag.  Hewitt continued to lead T. Bailey and Preston Jones on the restart.  A low move in Turn 4 of the fifth lap gained Jones second as Wauge followed him past T. Bailey into third.  Wauge took second from Jones on lap seven and began to battle Hewitt for the lead.  Hewitt ran smooth on the bottom groove.  Wauge finally made a move to the outside and passed Hewitt in Turn 4 for the lead on lap 16.  Wauge pulled away from there, and Jones made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the 18th lap to take second from Hewitt.  Wauge won by a comfortable margin ahead of Jones.  J. Bailey made a Turn 3 pass on the final lap to take third from Hewitt.  T. Bailey, Knips and Rick Keggs completed the finishing order.

Race Results
IMCA Modifieds
Heat 1-Mark Wauge, Jesse Bailey, Jantzen Knips.  Heat 2-Jesse Bailey, Preston Jones, Kevin Hewitt.  Trophy Dash-Jesse Bailey, Preston Jones, Mark Wauge.  Main Event-Mark Wauge, Preston Jones, Jesse Bailey, Kevin Hewitt, Tim Bailey, Jantzen Knips, Rick Keggs, Ray Kniffen Jr. (DNS).

Medel Wraps Up IMCA Sport Modified Championship 
With Win At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...September 16...Mike Medel won the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  This was Medel's second win of the season, and he used it to wrap up his second track championship.  Medel chased down Matt Sanders and made his winning pass on lap 17.  Willie McFall wrapped up a career best second place season with a third place finish in the Main Event.

McFall won the four lap Trophy Dash in a photo finish with Medel.  McFall and David Marble won six lap heat races.  Lloyd Speer was a Main Event scratch.  Sanders raced into the early lead ahead of Randy Wright and Marble.  An inside move on the back stretch of the fifth lap gained Medel third from Marble.    Wright spun from second in Turn 2 for a lap seven caution flag.  Sanders continued to lead Medel and Marble on the restart.  Medel began to pressure Sanders for the lead, and Marble pitted from third on lap 14.  Medel made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the 17th lap top take the lead.  Medel led the rest of the way to win ahead of Sanders, McFall, Wright, Tony Bartell, Danny Rule and Marble.

Race Results
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1-David Marble, Mike Medel, Matt Sanders.  Heat 2-Willie McFall, Randy Wright, Tony Bartell.  Trophy Dash-Willie McFall, Mike Medel, Matt Sanders.  Main Event-Mike Medel, Matt Sanders, Willie McFall, Randy Wright, Tony Bartell, Danny Rule, David Marble, Lloyd Speer (DNS).

Lewman Wins First Main Event, 
Peters Is SODCA Dwarf Car Champion

White City, Oregon...September 16...Rob Gergel closed the 2017 season with his first 20 lap SODCA Dwarf Car Main Event victory.  After winning the B Dash, Gergel led all the way for the feature victory.  Despite falling out of the race early, Brock Peters successfully defended his 2016 championship ahead of Chad Cardoza.

B. Peters won his six lap heat race ahead of Cody Peters.  Cardoza won the second heat in front of Fred Hay.  Cardoza outran B. Peters to win the A Dash.  Gergel claimed the B Dash victory in front of Kalvin Morton in a preview of the Main Event.  Gergel raced into the early lead ahead of Cardoza and B. Peters.  B. Peters took second from Cardoza on lap two.  Josh King drove off of Turn 3 for a lap two caution flag.  Gergel led Cardoza and Morton on the restart, and B. Peters slowed and pitted.  A lap five caution flag flew for Ryan Smith in Turn 3.  Morton took second from Cardoza on the restart as Gergel continued to set the pace.  Gergel, Morton and Cardoza ran close up front and C. Peters moved up to battle Randy Slater for fourth.  C. Peters took fourth from Slater on lap ten.  Morton kept the pressure on Gergel the rest of the way, but Gergel drove a flawless race for the victory.  Morton settled for second ahead of Cardoza, C. Peters, Slater, Smith, Hay, Joe Sanders, King and Mark Nielson.

Race Results
SODCA Dwarf Cars
Heat 1-Brock Peters, Cody Peters, Rob Gergel.  Heat 2-Chad Cardoza, Fred Hay, Josh King.  A Dash-Chad Cardoza, Brock Peters, Cody Peters.  B Dash-Rob Gergel, Kalvin Morton, Ryan Smith.  Main Event-Rob Gergel, Kalvin Morton, Chad Cardoza, Cody Peters, Randy Slater, Ryan Smith, Fred Hay, Joe Sanders, Josh King, Mark Nielson, Bill Winter, Kaycee Sheeler, Brock Peters, Mason Lewman (DNS).

Steele Wins Fifth Main Event, Mix Wins Mini Stock Championship at Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...September 16...David Steele collected another victory in the 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  This was the fifth win of the season for Steele, and it capped a clean sweep of heat, dash and Main Event.  Michael Johnson made a charge after a lap six pit stop to finish second, but Kristopher Mix wrapped up his track championship season with a third place finish.

David Steele made a last lap pass on Mix to win the four lap Trophy Dash.  Steele also beat Mix to win their six lap heat race, and Andrew Hall held off Dillen Lausen to win the other heat race.  Steele and Hall had front row starting spots for the Main Event, and Steele led the opening lap ahead of Mix.  Hall made a low pass in Turn 4 of the second lap to take second from Mix.  Johnson raced past Mix for third on lap four, but a brush with the wall left Johnson with a flat tire and drew a lap six caution flag.  Johnson pitted but rejoined the action on the restart.  Steele continued to lead Hall and Mix.  Mix made an inside pass in Turn 1 of the eighth lap to grab second.  Johnson began his charge to the front as he ran behind Lausen and Steve Goetz in the battle for fourth.  An inside move on the back stretch of the 12th lap gained Johnson fifth from Goetz, and a low move in Turn 4 of the 14th lap gained Johnson fourth from Lausen.  Johnson made an outside pass on the back stretch to take third from Hall on lap 18, and he made a high pass in Turn 2 of the last lap to take second from Mix.  However, Steele led by a straightaway as he scored the impressive victory.  Johnson was a strong second ahead of Mix, Hall, Lausen, Goetz, Garrett Fredrickson, Hunter Magnan and Jed Gillman.

Race Results
Mini Stocks
Heat 1-David Steele, Kristopher Mix, Michael Johnson.  Heat 2-Andrew Hall, Dillen Lausen, Steve Goetz.  Trophy Dash-David Steele, Kristopher Mix, Andrew Hall.  Main Event-David Steele, Michael Johnson, Kristopher Mix, Andrew Hall, Dilllen Lausen, Steve Goetz, Garrett Fredrickson, Hunter Magnan, Jed Gillman.

Bob Dees Battles Garrett Dees For Win, Augustine Late Model Champion At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...September 16...Bob Dees won the 20 lap Late Model Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  The win was the second of the year for the reigning champion, and it came after he took the lead from his son, Garrett Dees, who settled for second.  Nathan Augustine pitted late in the race, but he clinched the championship by just starting the race.

B. Dees won the four lap Trophy Dash ahead of Augustine.  G. Dees won his first six lap Late Model heat race ahead of Dave Foote.  G. Dees had the pole for the Main Event, and he charged into the lead at the start of the non stop race.  Foote was an early second ahead of B. Dees.  B. Dees made a low pass in Turn 4 of the third lap to grab second from Foote, and Augustine made a similar move to take over third a lap later.  B. Dees and Augustine reeled in the lead of Garrett Dees by lap ten.  B. Dees got a good run on the inside of G. Dees in Turn 3 to take the lead on lap 13.  Augustine was running a close third, but he pitted on lap 14.  G. Dees tried to pass B. Dees for the lead in Turn 4, but he backed off to avoid a crash.  B. Dees led the rest of the way for the win.  G. Dees was a career best second as he wrapped up a "Rookie Of The Year" winning season.  D. Foote was a solid third ahead of Chris Biggs, Kristy Grout, Don Garrett Jr. and Augustine.

Race Results
Late Models
Heat-Garrett Dees, Dave Foote, Nathan Augustine.  Trophy Dash-Bob Dees, Nathan Augustine, Don Garrett Jr.  Main Event-Bob Dees, Garrett Dees, Dave Foote, Chris Biggs, Don Garrett Jr., Kristy Grout, Nathan Augustine.

 Pit Stops

The Mini Stocks took center stage at Southern Oregon Speedway as the division with the closest point battle on championship Night.  Kristopher Mix held a five point lead over Dillen Lausen and an eight point lead over Michael Johnson going into the night.  Plus, Mix had a chance to add more points to his lead as he was in the Trophy Dash.  He nearly won that race before settling for second behind David Steele.  Mix also had a solid second place finish to Steele in his heat race as he carried an eight point lead over Lausen into the Main Event.

Mix enjoyed an early battle with Neon Mafia teammate Andrew Hall, who won his heat race ahead of Lausen.  Mix eventually made the pass and was on his way to another season best second place finish.  However, Michael Johnson was on his way to the front.  Johnson had a brush with the wall give him a flat tire early in the race.  This happened to him at the previous race while he was driving to what would have been a point lead maintaining second.  He had to pit and ended up sixth that night.  The 15 year old phenom made his way past Mix on lap 19 for a second place finish, but Mix cliched the championship with a third place finish.  In fact, Mix led the field with six Top 3 finishes.  He may have surprised some people this year, but Mix definitely earned this championship.

Johnson would be a worthy recipient of a "Most Improved Driver" award.  The second generation racer looked impressive out there and was never afraid to put his car up on the outside groove to make a pass.  He also won a Main Event.  Perhaps his confidence got the better of him the night he hit the wall and lost second with a flat tire.  Had he maintained that position, Michael would be the champion.  As it is, he was still a strong second.  The #777 car is up for sale, and there are only rumors of where he might go next.  One possibility could be Dwarf Cars.  Andrew Hall has already said he will be making a move to Dwarf Cars and putting somebody else in the fast #007 Pinto Wagon.

In two years, Lausen has won a 250 Kart championship in Roseburg and Mini Stock "Rookie Of The Year" honors in 2016 and third in Mini Stock points this year.  He won his first Trophy Dash this year and finished as high as second in the Main Event.  He only lost second to Johnson by two points.  The Top 3 drivers can all breathe a sigh of relief that there were no more races left.  Despite three straight races with motor problems, one of which caused him to miss the Main Event, David Steele was only four points out of second and 14 out of first.  Steele won his fifth Main Event of the season and did it with another clean sweep.

Steve Goetz got the #55 car to the finish line, but his finish was a less than desired sixth in the feature.  However, Goetz had some good moments this year, including a Trophy Dash and Main Event win.  The 2013 champion is considering being a car owner next year.  Hunter Magnan was struggling enough with his car that the team bought the green #8 car from the Fettinger team.  The car was driven most recently last season by Cory Stratton.  Hunter fell out of the Main Event, but he's optimistic of better results to come next season.

The Late Model championship battle was also close, but second place Dustin Knight conceded the title to incoming point leader Nathan Augustine with his absence.  Knight had a previous commitment.  Knight had three feature wins and three seconds in his seven starts.  Augustine's stats included two seconds, three thirds and four Trophy Dash wins.  Nathan started the final Main Event knowing that he had won the championship.  He was running a close third when he got a flat tire and headed for the pits.

Taking the spotlight were Bob Dees and his son Garrett Dees.  Bob kept Augustine from winning the dash as he won for the second time.  Garrett Dees was unable to start the previous Main Event and didn't finish the two before that.  He was just trying to grab a checkered flag.  In the heat race, Garrett took it up a notch by scoring his first win.  That put him on the pole for the Main Event.  He led the race for 13 laps before being passed by his father.  Garrett held on for a second place finish and wrapped up a "Rookie Of The Year" season on a positive note.  B. Dees came within a few points of second in the standings after his second win.

Dave Foote ended his season on a high note as well with a third place feature finish and second in his heat race.  He finished fourth in the final standings ahead of Kristy Grout.  Grout recently won her first Late Model Trophy Dash at Coos Bay.  She admitted that she's still getting used to the new car that she has raced just a few times since her rollover damaged her old chassis.  She got a fifth place feature finish behind Chris Biggs.  Biggs was making his second start and looked better this time around.

Jesse Bailey is the 2017 IMCA Modified champion.  He beat Kevin Hewitt back to the line last week for his fifth Top 3 finish in third.  In the last two years, he's had eight Top 3 finishes.  His championship was basically won by his performance in the R. Charles Snyder Salute.  He made the big Main Event, while Albert Gill did not.  All Bailey needed to do was start the season finale to wrap up the championship.  Added to his heat race and Trophy Dash wins, it was a good night for Bailey.

With Gill absent to attend a family function, second place was Mark Wauge's for the taking.  Wauge was coming off of a strong R. Charles Snyder Salute performance with a $2,500 second place finish, and he wanted to see if he could enter the winner's circle this season.  Wauge has already reached the 50 win mark at Southern Oregon Speedway in a career that has seen him win the track championship seven times.  Mark ran down Kevin Hewitt for the lead.  Hewitt was clinging to the bottom groove.  After running for a few laps behind him, Wauge pulled to the outside, grabbed the lead from Hewitt and pulled away for the victory.  He moved into second in the final standings.

Fourth place in the standings was still up for grabs between Ray Kniffen Jr. and Preston Jones.  Kniffen took a beating at the previous race and was hoping he could have a strong ending and grab the fourth position.  Unfortunately, he blew a motor in hot laps and will settle for a career best fifth place ranking.  This was a year that also saw him pick up a Trophy Dash win.  Jones has looked good this season, and he saved the best for last as he finished second in the finale.  This gave Jones fourth in the final standings, and he has now been Top 5 in points in this division along with Late Model Lites and Sprint Cars.

The IMCA Modifieds went the entire season without a repeat winner.  In fact, Wauge was the only repeat winner last season.  In 2015, there were 11 different winners as only Wauge and Nick Trenchard were repeat winners.  With his fifth place feature finish in the finale, Tim Bailey moved into the Top 10 in the standings as did rookie Jantzen Knips.  Knips started the season late after buying his car from James Anderson.  Bailey took last season off following his third place season a year earlier.

Mike Medel upgraded to a new car this season.  The goal wasn't just to defend his IMCA Sport Modified championship.  He wanted to get more wins this season.  After his fifth place finish in the R. Charles Snyder Salute, Mike knew that he would clinch the track championship as long as he just started the Main Event.  However, he was on a mission to end the season with a victory.  Once Medel got into second, he stalked leader Matt Sanders for several laps before making his winning pass on lap 17.  At times, Mike was tested this season, but he always came through with a good finish when it was needed.  With two feature wins and two seconds, he now joins Jorddon Braaten and Dwayne Melvin as two time Sport Modified champions.

Willie McFall enjoyed his best season as he came within a couple of points of the lead going into the R. Charles Snyder Salute.  Unfortunately, he missed the Main Event transfer by one position, costing him a shot at the title going into the finale.  He rebounded from that disappointment with a third place feature finish in the finale that clinched him second in the standings ahead of two time winner Rich McCoy.  McFall also won his second Trophy Dash.  He also had one second place finish this season, and it won't be a surprise to see him win one next season.

Matt Sanders settled for a second place finish after leading most of the race in the former Kalvin Morton car.  Sanders led Randy Wright for several laps before Wright spun.  Wright is currently third in points in Yreka, where he has two season high second place finishes.  He came back to finish fourth ahead of Tony Bartell.  David Marble had a terrible start to his season that saw his car get destroyed in a crash at Cottage Grove.  The debut of his new car saw his night end in a crash in the Crack The Whip Challenge at the Roger Haudenshild Tribute race.  David eventually got the car dialed in and had a second and a third.  He was working on another third place finish before pitting.  Marble ended the season with a respectable fifth place point ranking.

Brock Peters didn't have a very good ending to his season.  He ended the season with a heat race win before a DNF in the Main Event.  However, he had four wins and two seconds at Southern Oregon Speedway, which helped him win his second straight SODCA Dwarf Car championship.  Chad Cardoza collected his third third place finish after winning the A Dash and his heat race.  Cardoza also had second place finishes here and in Yreka this year as he secured a second place ranking.

After his third place season last year, Kalvin Morton returned late in the season and was racing hard for his first Medford win.  He had a third place finish in Day #2 of the R. Charles Snyder Salute, and he led several laps at Day #1 before his car lost power right in front of Camden Robustelli.  In the finale, Kalvin ran a close second for most of the race as Rob Gergel won his first Main Event.  Mason Lewman was hoping for two in a row, but his night ended early with a blown motor.

Cody Peters was hoping for a Main Event win to celebrate his birthday at the R. Charles Snyder Salute, but he blew a motor on Day #1.  Cody had some brilliant moments this season, including his win in the Dwarf Car Nationals with a last turn pass on Danny Wagner and another win in Yreka.  He wrapped up a good season with a fourth place feature finish ahead of Randy Slater.  Slater showed much improvement this season and finished third earlier this season for his best effort this year.  You could see that Randy was faster this year, and it won't be a surprise to see him win next season.