Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
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Seventh Annual Roger Haudenshild Tribute
At Southern Oregon Speedway This Saturday
White City, Oregon...After back-to-back rainouts, Southern Oregon Speedway returns to action with one of the biggest events of the season. This Saturday night will be the Seventh Annual Roger Haudeshild Tribute race. IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks will be racing for increased purses, and the Late Models and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars will make this a five-division program.
Roger Haudenshild was a Destruction Derby and Stock Car competitor as well as a hot rod enthusiast. He sponsored many different racers through the years. The community was saddened by his passing, and this race was established in 2013 as a way to remember him. The Haudenshild family and Matt Duste of Dusty's Transmissions has sponsored this race and kept it going. Each year it has gotten bigger.
Another hallmark of the event is the special $200 to win Crack-the-whip race that will be held for the three featured divisions. The format calls for as many laps as there are starters in the race. Each lap, the last place car leaves the track until only one driver remains to collect the prize. These special races will be flagged by longtime flagman Maurie Skaggs.
In three of the past four races, the IMCA Modified winner has been Nick Trenchard. Trenchard has proven to be a clutch racer when the money is on the line, winning several big events at Southern Oregon Speedway and other area tracks. Trenchard was unstoppable last season in collecting the $2,000 victory. The only driver keeping him from winning four races in a row was 2016 winner Mark Wauge, who recently announced his move up to the Late Models after selling his car.
The Wauge departure from the IMCA Modifieds also will affect the championship battle. Trenchard could be the driver to beat on Saturday and in the championship race as well. Three-time reigning track champion Albert Gill is hoping to collect his biggest feature win ever this week, and other drivers to watch for include season opener winner Jeffrey Hudson, Preston Jones, Zach Fettinger and Justin Foux.
The lure of the extra money has brought some fast competitors to the IMCA Sport Modified show these past few seasons. Last year, 2015 California State champion Fred Ryland picked up the win. The year before that, reigning Oregon State champion Jorddon Braaten picked up his second win in the big race. A year earlier, Todd Cooper got the win. With the first prize set at $1,600, some fast racers are expected on Saturday.
The season opener showcased two of the toughest competitors in the state in a photo finish, won by Matt Sanders ahead of Justin McCreadie. These two drivers may be at the top of the list of potential winners this week, but other drivers to watch for include Rich McCoy, Branden Wilson, Isaac Sanders and two-time track champions Mike Medel and Dwayne Melvin.
Dr. Scott Lenz has become an unstoppable force in the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stock division. In addition to winning this year's Billy Geyer Memorial race in Yreka, Lenz has won the past two Roger Haudenshild Tribute races. He comes into Saturday's show as the odds-on favorite to win again. The two drivers nipping at his heels so far this year are the father-son team of Scott Flowers and James Flowers. They may have the best shot at beating Lenz. Other drivers to watch for this week include 2016 champion Steve Borror, Matt Harlow and Bryan Hammond.
The addition of Mark Wauge to the Late Model roster is adding more star power to the growing division. Trent Elliott is the driver many people have talked about as the one to beat in this year's championship chase, but 2017 title winner Nathan Augustine and last season's top rookie, Miles Deubert, are two others hoping to make a run for the money this year. Other drivers to watch for this week include 2016 champion Bob Dees, Dave Foote, 2013 Pro Stock champion Dave Everson and Tony Bartell.
The Dwarf Cars round out what is sure to be an action-packed program this weekend. Camden Robustelli served notice to the competition with his impressive victory a few weeks ago. Robustelli got that win after a great battle with three-time reigning champion Josh King and two-time champ Brock Peters. These three drivers will be tough to beat this week, but others, such as Chad Cardoza, Fred Hay, Jesse Lorentz, Kalvin Morton and Joe Sanders, will be out there to give it a go.
The Roger Haudenshild Tribute race is one of those events that people mark on their calendar to see. There will be many great competitors in all of the classes, and the weather report is looking good for the weekend. Gates will open at 5 pm with the first race starting at 7. General Admission will be $15 with Seniors, Veterans and Juniors 7 to 12 $10. Children 6 and under are free. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
This Saturday night, Southern Oregon Speedway will try to get their first race in the books since May 11th. It's been back to back rainouts for the 3/10 mile clay oval, but racing returns with the Seventh Annual Roger Haudenshild Tribute race. This race was created as a way to honor the beloved member of the racing community.
Once again, sponsorship from the Haudenshild family and Matt Duste of Dusty's Transmissions will see to it that the IMCA Modified winner receives $2,000 once again, the IMCA Sport Modified winner gets $1,600 and the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stock Association winner will win $1,200. The association may be taking the money given by the Haudenshild family and distributing it amongst more than just the winner, but it will still be an increased purse for the group.
For the first few years, the race was there to offer more money, but it seemed like it still flew in under the radar. With the arrival of Mike McCann and KJE Enterprises, an effort has been made to feature this event as one of the biggest shows of the season. The goal is to make this a show that Roger himself would be very proud of, and the racing over these past few years has certainly been enjoyable.
The bounty hunter of the IMCA Modified division could be considered Nick Trenchard. Nick generally shows up at the big races in the Pacific Northwest and has won his share of them. When it comes to Roger's race, he has won three of the last four, interrupted only by seven-time IMCA Modified champion Mark Wauge. For the time being at least, Wauge is not looking to get another win in this event. He has moved on to the Late Model division and will be making his debut there this Saturday night.
The fact that Trenchard is anticipated this Saturday night makes him the early favorite to get the win. He has been breaking in a new car this year and didn't get the results he was hoping for at the season opener. At the Bill Mills race in Madras, it was even worse as he was involved in a crash that ended his race. He's looking to get his season back on track and will certainly be tough to beat.
The question will be whether Jeffrey Hudson is in town to compete after winning the season opener. This talented second-generation racer has looked very impressive through the years as a Pro Stock champion and the runner-up in Winged Sprint Car points twice in the last three seasons. He even managed to get a second place finish in the Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge race last season. If you haven't figured it out yet, Hudson is the real deal.
Albert Gill is one of the most decorated champions at the speedway in the last decade, but maybe he's not considered one of the elite racers yet. Though he has won some races through the years, he lacks that marquee victory that many of the other frontrunners have earned. Gill felt his car was running strong at the season opener before mechanical issues sidelined him. He's hoping to make his mark this Saturday night.
Weather it's Zach Fettinger, Preston Jones, Jeremy Ohlde, Duane Orsburn or the return of Travis Perry, there are some good racers hoping to earn the second biggest IMCA Modified payday being offered at Southern Oregon Speedway this year. Plus, they write their name into the record books as a winner of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute race.
The IMCA Sport Modifieds don't get a lot of bigger payday races, but Saturday night is one of them. This division is the only other class that has been a part of all of the previous Roger Haudenshild Tribute events. Only two-time division champion Jorddon Braaten, who tops the division's all time win list by a wide margin, is a multi time winer of this race. The $1,600 payday that was offered last year went to 2015 California State champion Fred Ryland. Braaten actually pocketed a few more bucks for his second win a year before that, while Todd Cooper enjoyed the big pay of the year before. Matt Duste and his Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame father Dave Duste Sr are the other winners of this race.
You can pretty much see that this division is the fastest growing class at Southern Oregon Speedway these days, and the proof was further given at the season opener when 21 racers showed up. It was a rapidly run event that featured a photo finish at the checkered flag, won by Matt Sanders ahead of race long leader Justin McCreadie. These two drivers enter the race as the ones to beat. Sanders has looked good in the early season and also has a win in Yreka.
It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of the field of drivers who will show up on Saturday night have a chance to get the win here, and it's likely that we will see some drivers coming in from California to take a shot at the money. Will Ryland again make an appearance? As of press time, we haven't heard any confirmation, but there were a few drivers that we heard could show up. One who has made plans to come up north is Brian Cooper. Brian is the 2016 California State champion.
Two-time Medford champions Mike Medel and Dwayne Melvin have something in common. Both drivers are looking for their biggest feature wins to date. Melvin showed everybody just how much of a threat he is when he ran a strong third and had a bold move to get by the two drivers in front of him wiped out when a slower car spun in his path. It's no exaggeration to say that Dwayne is a threat to win this race.
Generally, Medel will get his car to a Top 5 finish or better when he's got everything running just right, and he went to Sunset Speedway for a third place finish last weekend. Mike has enjoyed calling this his home track for the past 22 years, and he has a big win in him. It just may be that Saturday night will be his night.
Medel didn't do so well at the season opener as he had a flat tire, and last season's championship runner-up, Branden Wilson, didn't do as well as hoped. Wilson has a newer car this year and is hoping to make a challenge for more wins. He has his eyes on the big prize as does long time Speedway racer Rich McCoy in the Lightning McQueen #95 car. McCoy had a strong Top 5 effort at the season opener. Just watching this division and the Modifieds alone this weekend will be worth the price of admission, but there's much more.
In the Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks division, Dr. Scott Lenz is the odds on favorite to win this race for the third straight year. Lenz has been an unstoppable force in this class, and the only thing that's beat him on the track has been mechanical issues. So, it may just be that the speculation could be who will finish second behind him on Saturday night.
There have been unconfirmed rumors that long time Chico and Vallejo Stock Car competitor Gary Newman and Brent Lawrence might be coming to town from the Chico area, and both generally run pretty well. Two regulars from the Outlaw Pro Stock group, Scott Flowers and his son James Flowers, are the next best bet. Scott finishes second so often that a case could be made to rename second the Scott Flowers position. He's hoping to get his first win of the past few years, and a win for him on Saturday night would certainly be huge.
The 2016 winner of this race was the champion of that year, Steve Borror. The last time Lenz got beat in a regular association point race, it was Borror, who did it in Yreka. The list of drivers hoping to take a shot at beating Lenz includes long time Medford Pro Stock racer John David Duffie, Jeff Haudenshild, Matt Harlow, Bryan Hammond, two-time champion Ken Irving and Scott Bennett
There has been some speculation as to the possibility of Lenz eventually moving up to a Late Model. The Late Model division has been included on this weekend's card, and people in Medford are talking about this class. Much interest has been shown, and seven-time Modified champion Mark Wauge made good on his intentions to move up to the division. Wauge got a good deal on one of the Trent Elliott cars and is excited about this next challenge.
Elliott would seem to be the driver to beat this Saturday night. Last time out, he was beat by Coos Bay star Preston Luckman, who isn't anticipated this week. The two drivers hoping to have the best shot at beating Elliott would be 2017 champion Nathan Augustine and last season's stop rookie, Miles Deubert. Deubert got a new car this year in the hopes of stepping up his game a little bit. Both drivers came from the back to get Top 5 finishes at the season opener.
There are some good drivers waiting in the wings to go Late Model racing, and we anxiously await the arrival of track record holder Dustin Knight to the group. It may be a couple of weeks before we see the past Modified and Pro Stock champion in the field, but we anticipate 2016 champion Bob Dees, 2012 Coos Bay title winner Dave Foote, 2013 Pro Stock champion Dave Everson and Tony Bartell to be among the field this week. Might we see the season debut of reigning champion John Dees?
the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars have managed to be a part of most of the big events happening at the speedway in recent years. This weekend will be no different. They've been included in all but one of the Roger Haudenshild Tribute races. Brock Peters is not only a two time champion, but he's the winner of the last two races, beating season opening winner Camden Robustelli last year and his son Cody Peters the year before that. Another two-time winner of the race is three-time Southern Oregon Speedway champion Josh King. CJ Putnam is the other winner.
Kalvin Morton had a disappointing season opener this year, but he has earned Top 3 finishes in this event three times with a second and two thirds. He'll be hoping to get his first win this time around. One nice thing about the Dwarf Cars is they bring a good field of racers when they come to town. At the season opener, there were 20 drivers as people like Sean Trujillo, Shane Hines, and Dan Halbert have helped grow the roster, and more drivers continue to join.
The season opener featured another good battle as long time racer Fred Hay and Mason Lewman went at it all night. Lewman held off Hay to win their heat race, and Hay won the battle for fourth in the Main Event. Jesse Lorentz continues to dial in his Mod Lite and is on the verge of a victory. Another driver who's always in the hunt is perennial championship contender Chad Cardoza. There is sure to be lots of excitement and plenty of speed when the Dwarf Cars get on the track.
The Southern Oregon Speedway show will be the perfect cure for the people suffering from the rainy day blues. Rain has not been our friend as we've lost a pair of races, but the Roger Haudenshild Tribute race is the perfect way to get back into racing. Roger was an important member of our racing community. Not just somebody who loved being a Destruction Derby and Stock Car competitor, but somebody who helped out his fellow racers whenever he could. This will be a fitting race honoring his memory.