Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Late Model, IMCA Modified And IMCA Sport Modified Division Previews

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

IMCA Modifieds To Bring The Excitement To 
Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...If there's one thing fans of Southern Oregon Speedway have counted on since the track opened in 1996, it's the great racing provided by the IMCA Modified division. The division is booked for an exciting 11 race season this year, starting with the season opener on April 28th.

The star caliber back in those early years was second to none. You had drivers like 2 time champion Tom Glover, Dennis Silva, Jay Hinton Jr, Markey James, Dane Smith, Dave Duste Sr and Jr and 1999 champion Dan Estremado. Estremado won the championship the year they went with wings on the cars, winning an impressive 12 Main Events along the way. Then came Mark Wauge.

Wauge won his first of seven championships with a wing on his car in 2000. He's won over 50 Main Events in his illustrious career at Southern Oregon Speedway alone. Despite missing some races last year, he still made a late charge to finish second in the standings. He won the season finale and finished second in the prestigious R Charles Snyder Salute. Only three drivers have won more than one Main Event in the past two seasons in the competitive field. Wauge is one of them, along with Bobby Hogge IV and Albert Gill. As long as he is planning to compete this year on a regular basis, Wauge automatically takes the spot at the top of the list of drivers to beat.

You should not ignore Albert Gill. He was one of the nine different Main Event winners last season and for a while looked like he might win the championship before family commitments caused him to skip races. However, Gill is a two-time division champion and has been a part of Southern Oregon Speedway for the past 20 years.

The consistent Jesse Bailey emerged with the championship last year. For the past two seasons, nobody has more Top 3 finishes in this class than Bailey, and this aided him in picking up a well-earned championship. Bailey isn't likely to be worried about running for points, but if he keeps showing up for the races, he will be one of the top contenders in the championship chase.

Word is out about Jon DeBenedetti. The 2002 champion plans to compete in a Modified in at least some races this year. DeBenedetti is also a multi-time Dwarf Car champion who has won some big races at Southern Oregon Speedway and abroad in his decorated career. Reportedly, he'll be teaming up with car owner Brian Bowman to do some racing this year.

Preston Jones will be another driver to watch this year. Jones has raced in both Sprint Cars and Late Model Lites through the years, and he made his return to the IMCA Modifieds last season with a solid fourth place season. He had to hold off Ray Kniffen Jr for that position. Kniffen, who grabbed a Trophy Dash win last season, has been a competitor at the speedway for some 20 seasons, and he's looking forward to making a run for a higher point position this season.

Two drivers hailing from the Klamath Falls area, Zack Fettinger and Jeremy Ohlde, should see some action this season. Fettinger scored his first Main Event victory last season, and both drivers were Top 10 ranked. Also Top 10 ranked was rookie Jantzen Knips. Jantzen was making his move up from the Outlaw Kart ranks and did a good job. The previous season's top rookie, James Welschonse, had a disappointing effort as various mechanical issues dropped him further back in the standings. He's hoping to recover from the sophomore jinx this season.

Another driver hailing from the Klamath Falls area with a knack for winning big races is Nick Trenchard. Trenchard picked up the win in last season's Roger Haudenshild Tribute, and he will be a factor anytime he shows up. Another driver to keep an eye on is Matt Duste. He is a past runner up in the standings, and indications are that he will be doing more racing this season.

Duane Orsburn, who is a two-time Street Stock champion at the speedway, should be back and dialing in his new car. Other drivers to watch for include last year's top rookie, Shane Everson, Tim Bailey, Kevin Hewitt, Scott Crum and Max Augustine. The fact is, there are several cars in the area that could make appearances with some big-name drivers behind the wheel. People like past Dwarf Car champion CJ Putnam, past Modified and Pro Stock champion Brian Poppa and past Late Model and Modified champion Jeremy Richey are still out there. Poppa has racked up some rather impressive numbers in his career as a champion in Pro Stocks and Modifieds in the same season and a winner of over 50 Main Events.

The IMCA Modified division is poised to have its biggest season in recent years, and it all kicks off on April 28th. Other key dates to mark on your calendar include the Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race on June 2nd, the Wild West IMCA Modified Speedweek Event on June 23rd, Hall Of Fame Night on August 18th and the R Charles Snyder Salute on September 1-2. The drivers are sure to bring the Modified Excitement to Southern Oregon Speedway. For further information, go to

2018 Southern Oregon Speedway IMCA Modified Schedule
April 28
May 5
May 19
June 2 - Roger Haudenshild Tribute
June 16
June 23 - Wild West Speedweek
July 7
July 21
August 18 - Hall Off Fame Night
September 1 - R Charles Snyder Salute
September 2 - R Charles Snyder Salute
September 22

2017 IMCA Modifieds Points
68  Jesse Bailey  248
1m  Mark Wauge  226
89c  Albert Gill  195
5j  Preston Jones  189
64  Ray Kniffen Jr.  153
88 Zach Fettinger 131
46  Shane Everson  130
21  Jeremy Ohlde  126
2g  James Welshonse   122
7 Jantzen Knips 122

Past IMCA Modified Champions
1996  Tom Glover
1997  Dennis Silva
1998  Tom Glover
1999  Don Estramado
2000  Mark Wauge
2001  Jay Hinton Jr.
2002  Jon DeBenedetti
2003  Jeremy Richey
2004  Brad Alfrey
2005  Mark Wauge
2006  Brian Poppa
2007  Mark Wauge
2008  Justin Holt
2009  Mark Wauge
2010  Travis Peery
2011  Mark Wauge
2012  Mark Wauge
2013  Dustin Knight
2014  Albert Gill
2015  Albert Gill
2016  Mark Wauge
2017  Jesse Bailey

Southern Oregon Speedway Modified All Time Win List
Mark Wauge 48
Dan Estremado 27
Brian Poppa 23
Dave Duste Sr. 21
Scott Lenz 18
Tom Glover 16
Dennis Silva 14
Jon DeBenedetti 12
Nick Trenchard 9
Albert Gill 9
Bobby Hogge IV 9
Dave Duste Jr. 9
Travis Peery 8
Matt Duste 7 
Jeremy Richey 7
Bruce Rayburn Sr. 7
Jesse Williamson  6
Brad Alfrey 6
Justin Holt 5
Ken Scales 5
Monte Bischoff 4
Rich McCoy 4
Richard Papenhausen 4
Markey James 4
Kevin Hewitt 4
Jesse Bailey 3
Jay Hinton Jr. 3
Bud Walberg 3
C.J. Putnam 2
Dustin Jenks 2
Scott Weldon 2
Dane Smith 2
Duane Orsburn 1 
Travis Holt 1 
Steve Aprin 1
Jerry Severson 1 
Lenny Toolanen 1
Derek Nance 1
Kevin Putnam 1
Justin Estremado 1
Dustin Knight 1
Anthony Restad 1
Tom Berry Jr. 1 
Collen Winebarger 1
B.J. Wild  1
Andy Freeman 1
Kellen Chadwick 1
Ryan Scott Gaylord 1
James Welshonse  1
Danny Lauer 1
Zach Fettinger 1
Troy Foulger 1
Chris Biggs 1
Roger Lorenzini 1
Steven Croucher 1
Rob Gavin 1
Mike Phillips 1

Late Model Division Continues To Grow 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway will continue to feature Late Model racing on the Jim Rogers prepared 3/10 mile clay oval. Promoter Mike McCann was looking to add some touches to the program as he continues to oversee the task of growing what had been a stagnant racing program at the speedway in the immediate years prior to his arrival. Last season featured an exciting championship battle in what had been the biggest schedule for this division to date.

This season, McCann has booked 10 events for the division. Through the years, Late Models have had some big events at the speedway, including several 100 lap events. However, the division was never really cultivated. Prior to Southern Oregon Speedway, Medford Raceway featured a healthy division right up to the end in 1989. For a brief period from 2008 to 2010, the track attempted to run more races for the division, but that effort was abandoned by 2011. McCann booked what he called an Open Stock division in 2016 to see what was out there, and it was Late Model racers who responded.

Two of the biggest supporters of this revival are longtime Medford area racers Mike Linder and Bob Dees. Dees comes from a background of Stock Car racing and was a Pro Stock Main Event winner prior to getting into Late Models. Linder raced both Late Models and Sprint Cars prior to getting on board with the Late Model movement. The two drivers had a good battle for the championship that season, won by Dees after two time feature winner Linder had a bad final race. Linder's luck didn't improve much last year, but he's out to turn that around this season.

For Dees, Late Model racing is a family affair. His son Garrett won the "Rookie Of The Year" award and picked up his first heat race win in the final race last year before getting a Top 3 feature finish. Son John was also a Trophy Dash winner during the season. Bob picked up a pair of Main Event victories on the way to a third place ranking in the standings. The older Dees is poised to make a run at the championship once again.

To get to that championship, however, he has to get through Nathan Augustine. Augustine was a model of consistency last season when he won more Trophy Dashes than anybody and scored two Main Event victories. He left with the championship trophy. Nathan made one appearance at the speedway in 2016 and won, but he was unable to race more due to his commitment to winning the Coos Bay championship that year. There had been rumors as to whether Nathan would try to defend his championship this year, but he confirmed at the Outlaw Kart banquet in March that he will be back for more this season.

Chris Biggs has driven different types of race cars through the years, including being a participant in the wild and crazy Thrill Car division some 15 years ago. Chris had a Late Model chassis that he was wanting to use, and the addition of the division at Southern Oregon Speedway gave him that chance. He made a pair of visits last season, and he's looking forward to doing more racing this year. In fact, Chris has a second chassis, which he has indicated he would like to build, possibly for IMCA Sport Modified competitor Justin McCreadie to race.

Dave Foote does a lot of driving before he even gets to Southern Oregon Speedway. This is because the Coos Bay resident, who is a past champion of Late Model racing there, chooses to come to Southern Oregon Speedway to race. Dave enjoys the competition and the fast, hooked up race track. After multiple Top 3 finishes last season, Foote has his eyes on a Main Event victory this year.

Like Linder, Don Garrett Jr has Stock Car and Sprint Car racing in his background. Don couldn't resist getting involved in the Late Model division and purchased the 2016 Augustine Coos Bay championship car to go racing last season. His season was a mixed bag of results, but he kept coming back enthusiastically. He is hoping for better results this season.

The status of perhaps the most exciting and entertaining competitor, Dustin Knight, is uncertain. All eyes were usually on the white #77 car last year as he charged his way through the pack for three Main Event victories. Running a close second in the standings headed into the finale, Knight made the decision to race elsewhere and conceded the championship. There has been no word from the team as to whether or not the past Pro Stock and Modified champion will be racing again this year, but he's certainly a welcome addition to the roster.

Kristy Grout is reportedly planning to do more racing at Coos Bay this year, but word is we will still see her sometimes this season. However, we will get another champion on the roster this year. This is because Miles Deuert, the 2014 Street Stock champion, has a Late Model. The Deubert family has been very supportive of Southern Oregon Speedway through the years, and Miles operates JOAT Labs, the title sponsor of the Hornet division. Deubert won some Pro Stock Main Events in recent seasons and is definitely up to the challenge of driving a Late Model. He's very much looking forward to it.

You never know who might show up in the field throughout the season as we saw visits from such hard chargers as Trent Elliott, David Newquist and Joey Olschowka last season. They will have 10 opportunities to go racing at Southern Oregon Speedway, including the season opener on April 28th. Late Model racing is part of the exciting show that the fans expect from Southern Oregon Speedway. For further information, go to

2018 Southern Oregon Speedway Late Model Schedule
April 28
May 12
May 19
June 2
June 30
July 14
August 18
August 25
September 8
September 15

2017 Late Model Points
24 Nathan Augustine  259
77 Dustin Knight  226
6 Bob Dees 221
75 Dave Foote  194
24k Kristy Grout  149
22 Mike Linder 140
66 Garrett Dees 131
5 Don Garrett  93
16 John Dees 80
X Chris Biggs 43

Past Late Model Champions
2008  Chris Salyer and Roger Lorenzini Jr.
2009  Andy Freeman
2010  Jeremy Richey
2016  Bob Dees
2017  Nathan Augustine

All Time Late Model Winners
Dustin Knight 4
Trevor Glaser 4
Rob Mayea 4
Chris Salyer 3
Richard Papenhausen 3
Nathan Augustine 3
Bob Boyd 3
Bob Dees 2
Clay Daly 2
Jon DeBenedetti 2
Mike Linder 2
Jeremy Richey 2
Darren Coffell 2
Jason Wines 2
Casey Vitale 1
Steve Croucher 1
John Silva 1
Bill Pearson 1
Steve Moore 1
Ron Haggard 1
Jeremy Shank 1
Dane Smith 1
Jim Whisler 1
Trent Elliott 1

Excitement Building For 7th IMCA Sport Modified Season 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...There's been a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the IMCA Sport Modified division at Southern Oregon Speedway. The division is entering its seventh season at the speedway, and from the sound of things, car count is expected to be bigger than ever. There are some big names planning to compete this season, and it's anybody's guess who will emerge with the championship trophy by season's end.

Only three drivers have earned the right to call themselves IMCA Sport Modified champions at Southern Oregon Speedway. Dwayne Melvin kicked things off with the first two championships, Jorddon Braaten won the next two and Mike Medel is the current two-time reigning champion. All three drivers are still on the roster and could be in line to become the first three time champion.

The division was started in somewhat controversial fashion back in 2012 when management at the time decided to drop the Pro Stock division in favor of the Sport Modifieds. A few drivers, including Medel, Melvin and Bob Nelsen, got on board and helped establish the new class. After winning his Street Stock championship, Braaten made the move up to this class. Braaten has scored some of the biggest wins in this division's history at the track so far.

Medel made a dream come true last year. For the most part, he's raced in cars that he's purchased from somebody else, but he had a brand new car built just for him from the shops of Ryland Racing prior to last season. The goal was to repeat as track champion, and as a two-time feature winner, he made it happen. He solidified that with his impressive Top 5 run in the R Charles Snyder Salute and left little doubt when he won the finale. Medel could very well be the man to beat this year.

The big question is will Jorddon Braaten make the commitment to run for the track championship? In the past two seasons, Jorddon has visited other tracks during the season. He didn't end the season empty-handed either. Jordan has won the Pacific Sport Mod Challenge championship for the past two seasons and was the 2016 IMCA State champion. He won the R Charles Snyder Salute and Roger Haudenshild Tribute events last year and the bigger prize offered on both occasions. Nobody has won more Sport Modified Main Events at Southern Oregon Speedway than him.

Melvin has shied away from point racing over the past two seasons, but he was a feature winner in 2016. He decided to start racing a little more often last year and earned multiple Top 5 finishes before he blew a motor to end his season. Dwayne is gearing up to do more racing this season, and he should not be counted out in the battle.

Willie McFall is hoping to add his name to the championships list. He's coming off of his best career points season yet in second. It was a year in which he finished as high as second in the Main Event with a pair of Trophy Dash victories. Willie is certainly somebody to watch as he competes for his first Main Event victory.

Justin McCreadie picked up a pair of feature victories in Yreka last year and looked like he could do the same at Southern Oregon Speedway. He only made three visits to the track last year, and he will be hard to keep off of the winner's list this year if he does more racing at the home track. Another driver to keep an eye on in the race for victory is Jesse Merriman. In his rookie season last year, he ranked 4th and picked up top rookie honors along the way.

Tony Duste is the third generation of his family to go racing at Southern Oregon Speedway. His father, uncle and grandfather are all multi time feature winners at the speedway. Tony only ran a few times last year, but he shows great promise already. We also saw the debut of both Matt Sanders and Isaac Sanders, who also raced at Yreka last season. Matt Sanders recently got a new car as he hopes to step up his game this season.

Both AJ Parker and Tony Bartell had their highs and lows last season, but they still managed to rank in the Top 10. Both have been good supporters of the program in the past couple of seasons. Bob Thomas was all set to go racing last year when an injury took him out for the season. With a clean bill of health and a car that's ready to go, Thomas is looking forward to racing at Southern Oregon Speedway.

Another driver looking to make his first laps in a Sport Modified is Joby Shields. Joby became quite dominant in his short time in a Hornet, and the second generation racer is looking forward to the next challenge. Brandon Wilson is another new name on the list, and other competitors, such as Danny Rule, Cory Biggs, Braxton Possenger and Lloyd Speer will be others to watch for. Though past Mini Stock champion David Marble has made plans to race elsewhere this year, it won't be a surprise to see the two-time Top 5 ranked Sport Modified competitor for at least some visits. He is certainly due for another win.

Erroneous reports suggested that last year's third-ranked competitor, Rich McCoy, had sold his race car. However, the past Mini Stock champion was seen competing and earning a Top 3 finish recently in Yreka. No word as to whether Rich will be competing at Southern Oregon Speedway this year, but he certainly becomes an instant contender if he does.

The IMCA Sport Modified division is definitely gathering momentum, and there's been some speculation that the car count average could reach into the 12-16 area. They kick their season off on April 28th and are a part of the big Roger Haudenshild Tribute Race on June 2nd, the IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek race on June 23rd, the Hall Of Fame Night on August 18th and the R Charles Snyder Salute on September 1-2. It should be a great year for IMCA Sport Modified racing at Southern Oregon Speedway. For further information, go to

2018 Southern Oregon Speedway IMCA Modified Schedule
April 28
May 5
June 2 - Roger Haudenshild Tribute
June 16
June 23 - Wild West Speedweek
July 7
July 21
August 18 - Hall Of Fame Night
September 1 - R Charles Snyder Salute
September 2 - R Charles Snyder Salute
September 22

2017 IMCA Sport Modified Points
30m  Mike Medel  280
7m  Willie McFall  237
95  Rich McCoy  218
11j  Jesse Merriman  189
4m  David Marble  171
69  Dwayne Melvin  163
84 Jorddon Braaten 152
51n  Jayson Nelson  134
27b  Tony Bartell  127
76  A.J. Parker  123

Past IMCA Sport Modified Champions
2012  Dwayne Melvin
2013  Dwayne Melvin
2014  Jorddon Braaten
2015  Jorddon Braaten
2016  Mike Medel
2017  Mike Medel

IMCA Sport Modified All Time Win List
Jorddon Braaten 28
Rob Fitzsimmons 8
Dwayne Melvin  6
Bob Nelsen  5
Mike Medel  5
Rich McCoy 3
Brad Alfrey 2
Matt Duste  2
Glen Severson 1
Brian Cooper 1
Todd Cooper 1
Fred Ryland 1 
Howard Law 1
Justin Holt 1
Dave Duste Sr. 1
Jimmy Ford 1
Mark Wauge 1
Donald Bandfield 1

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 **
2017  Scott Lenz
* Medford Raceway
** Outlaw Pro Stock Association

Southern Oregon Speedway Pro Stock All Time Win List
Frank Word III 61
Jim Walker Jr. 34
Brian Poppa 31
Dave Everson 18
John David Duffie 17
Cal Lanfear 13
Kurt Slama 13
Tony Walker 9
Jeremy Richey 7
Steve Borror 6
Brian Johnsen 6
Gary Rotarius 5
Scott Lenz 5
Ken Irving 4
Brad Alfrey 4
Jamie McCleary 4
Rob Fitzsimmons 4
Andy Freeman 3
Rocky Nash 3
Dustin Knight 3
Seth Carder 3
Jeffrey Hudson 3
Dan Thomas 3
Miles Deubert 2
Jeff Hudson 2
Jake Word 2
Terry Townsend 2
Mark Wauge 2
Jer Deubert 2
Chris Charleton 2
Jarred Morrill 2
Bob Dees 2
Gerald Robeson 2
Jay McCleary 1
Glen Severson 1
Butch Poppa 1
Scott Flowers 1
Dave Quick 1
Scott Martin 1
Rusty Azvedo 1
Jay Poppa 1
Scott Bennett  1
Derrel Nelson Jr. 1
Eric Ralph 1
Ron Willis 1
John Wayne Cahill 1
Jim Hill 1
Rick Hunsley 1
Chris Charlton 1
Dave Duste Jr. 1