Sunday, June 30, 2019

Wheeler Scores Convincing Win At Southern Oregon Speedway

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Wheeler Scores Convincing Win 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...June 29...Point leader Mike Wheeler scored a convincing win in the 25 lap Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway. This was the second straight win for the point leader. Wheeler sprinted into the lead at the drop of the green flag, and the race was destined to go without a yellow flag. Tanner Holmes and Enrique Jaime had a spirited battle for second for much of the race. Jaime ran strong on the inside with Holmes looking fast on the outside. Holmes finally made his move in Turn 2 to claim second. By then, Wheeler was far ahead as he took the checkered flag in victory. Holmes settled for second ahead of Jaime, Blaine Cory and David Hibbard.

Hunter Magnan won his his first career Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stock Main Event. David Steele charged into the lead at the start and quickly built a straightaway advantage over Trophy Dash winner Ashtin Hedges. Magnan took third from Steve Goetz on lap ten and made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the 17th lap to take second from Hedges. A yellow flag flew Dylan Irving on lap 18 wiped out a huge Steele lead. Magnan ran closely behind Steele on the restart and made his winning pass a lap later. Steele settled for second ahead of Hedges, Goetz and Kristopher Mix.

Dylan Sauer won his fourth straight 20 lap JOAT Labs Hornets Main Event. Sauer raced into the lead at the start of the non stop event, but the win wasn't easy. Rookie Quinton Tritchler took the lead with an inside pass in Turn 4 on lap 12, but the two exchanged the lead multiple times during the next four laps. A low pass in Turn 3 of the 16th lap regained Sauer the lead. Tritchler made a run on Sauer as they headed to the checkered flag, but Sauer beat him by a nose. Bree Tritchler crossed the line in third, followed by Jenna Hedges and Tim Hedges. However, Bree Tritchler failed to report to tech and was disqualified.

Dean Cast won his second straight OTRO Hardtop Main Event. This was an eventful race that saw several lead changes and yellow flags. Jay Smith led six laps before Bill Trotter took the lead with an inside pass in Turn 4. Trotter spun in Turn 2 for a lap nine yellow flag, and Cast took the lead on the restart. Trotter was back in second when the final yellow flag flew on lap 17. However, Cast continued to lead on the restart and won ahead of Trotter, Smith, Eric DeRamus and Darryl Haugh.

Greg Arnold led all 15 laps to win the Valley Store All late Model Lites Main Event. Arnold also won the eight lap heat race and four lap Trophy Dash. Charlie Eaton finished second in the Main Event, followed by Dusty Aos and Eric Aos.

Racing resumes next Saturday night with the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks, JOAT Labs Hornets and Valley Store All Late Model Lites all on the schedule. For further information, go to

Unofficial Race Results
Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Tanner Holmes, Raquel Ivie. Scramble (6 Laps)-Enrique Jaime. Main Event (25 Laps)-Mike Wheeler, Tanner Holmes, Erique Jaime, Blaine Cory, David Hibbard.

Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-David Steele, Steve Goetz. Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Ashtin Hedges. Main Event (20 Laps)-Hunter Magnan, David Steele, Ashtin Hedges, Steve Goetz, Kristopher Mix.

JOAT Labs Hornets
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Bree Tritchler. Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Dylan Sauer. Main Event (20 Laps)-Dylan Sauer, Quinton Tritchler, Jenna Hedges, Tim Hedges, Lacey Sauer.

OTRO Hardtops
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Darryl Haugh, Bill Trotter. Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Darryl Haugh. Main Event (20 Laps)-Dean Cast, Bill Trotter, Jay Smith, Eric DeRamus, Darryl Haugh.

Valley Store All Late Model Lites
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Greg Arnold. Trophy Dash (4 Laps)-Greg Arnold. Main Event (15 Laps)-Greg Arnold, Charlie Eaton, Dusty Aos, Eric Aos, Ross Payant DNS.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Sprint Cars Return To Southern Oregon Speedway Saturday Night, Plus Pit Stops

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Sprint Cars Return 
To Southern Oregon Speedway Saturday Night

White City, Oregon...The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars return to Southern Oregon Speedway this Saturday night. They've had two races with exciting conclusions so far this year. Also on the card will be the Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks, JOAT Labs Hornets, the Valley Store All Late Model Lites and OTRO Hardtops.

Family is an important part of the racing community. This is seen in the pits among the various teams in all divisions, and it's seen in the grandstands where parents bring their children to enjoy a night at the races. One prominent family in the Sprint Car class is the Wheeler family. It was two weeks ago when Mike Wheeler became the latest member of his family to win a Sprint Car race at the speedway.

Mike's father, Vern Wheeler Sr, raced Stock Cars and Sprint Cars throughout his career. He has been memorialized in recent years in an Outlaw Kart race that has happened at both the little Southern Oregon Speedway track and the Roseburg indoor track. Vern's other son, Vern Wheeler Jr, has won several Main Events at Southern Oregon Speedway in his career. When the current Sprint Car effort was rebooted in 2016, Vern won the first two races before retiring and turning over the wheel to son Jake Wheeler.

Jake Wheeler went on to win the championship that year and has won Main Events here and at other race tracks in the seasons that followed. Having pretty much won everything there is to win in Outlaw Kart racing throughout a very successful career, Jake's uncle Mike Wheeler decided to turn his attention to the Winged Sprint Car effort and has seen some impressive results so far.

Mike led all but the final lap of last season's finale, when he was passed by rising young star Tanner Holmes in the final turn. However, Mike learned a valuable lesson about using the outside groove when necessary. It served him well as he passed both Bailey Hibbard and then another Outlaw Kart graduate, Blaine Cory, in winning the most recent race. In fact, Mike has the lead over TJ Winningham in the championship battle. Mike isn't the last member of his family who has gone racing. Son Mikey Jr is racing Box Stock Karts and is already a feature winner like his father.

Wheeler will be going for his second win in a row, but he knows the competition will be tough. The Father and son team of David Hibbard and Bailey Hibbard will be there to present a challenge. Past division champions TJ Winningham and Charlie Thompson have been fast so far this season, and new competitors such as David Marble, Anissa Curtice and Jared Hood also make the field that much more competitive.

David Steele has been racing Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks for over a decade and is the all-time winner and current champion in the class. However, he's been getting a serious challenge from young Ashtin Hedges. Hedges has a feature win this season and is only a few points behind Steele in the title chase. These two drivers have been at the head of the pack, but 2017 champion Kristopher Mix, Hunter Magnan, Michael McLeod and Andrew Hall are among the drivers to watch in the battle for victory this week.

The victories have all belonged to Dylan Sauer so far in the JOAT Labs Hornets class. He has won all three Main Events as the husband-wife team of Tim Hedges and Jenna Hedges have taken turns finishing second to him. In keeping with the family theme, Jenna and Tim are the parents of Ashtin. It's a close point battle at the top between Sauer and Tim Hedges so far. However, Derrel Nelson Jr, rookie Quinton Tritchler, Chris Boynton and reigning champion Bree Tritchler are among those to watch this week in the quest to evict Sauer from the winner's circle.

The Nelson family has gotten the opportunity to race together this year. Brothers Zach and Ryan Nelson are enjoying their opportunity to race with their father Derrel. Younger brother Gabe is a part of the safety crew at the speedway and hopes to get a chance to race in the future. Zach may be the first member of the family to move up to the IMCA Sport Modified division as he has a car in the works.

Reigning champion Charlie Eaton won the season opener for The Valley Store All Late Model Lites. Chief rival Greg Arnold hopes to make a challenge on him this week. Jim Cunningham is a newcomer to the class with hopes of getting the win this week. Ross Payant and the father-son duo of Eric and Dusty Aos are other drivers to watch in what should be a spirited battle for victory.

A solid turn out of 10 OTRO Hardtop competitors were on hand two weeks ago for their race, which was won by Dean Cast. Mark Minter is the only driver to win features with the group in each of the three seasons prior to this one. He seemed to be headed for a win last time when mechanical issues sent him to the pits. He'll be out to get the win this week. The Minter family is at the heart of the association, which was founded in the 1980s in part by his grandfather, the late Harold Minter. All of Harold's sons drove the pink #33 car at one time or another through the years, and Mark is the latest driver.

Continuing the family theme, father Bill Trotter and son Dusty Trotter have fielded multiple cars in the class. Both Bill and Dusty have won races. In fact, they could win again this week. Other drivers to watch for include Jay Smith, Chris Mehrer and Eric DeRamus.

It will be a good night for some racing this Saturday night. This five-division lineup offers a little something for everybody. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with the first race at 7 pm. General Admission will be $13 with Seniors, Veterans and Juniors 7 to 12 $7. Children 6 and under are free. For further information, go to

Pit Stops

It really is an amazing thing. It seems like though there isn't a lot of fanfare, everybody knows when the IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek Tour is about to begin. Some time between late December and early January, a schedule is released highlighting the dates for the year. Then, there's almost silence at that point. About a week and a half to two weeks before it's set to go, Ben Deatherage begins his publicity blitz, and then it happens.

There's not a lot of talk between those two time periods. There are no real big announcements of drivers who are coming out this year. No real discussions at all. At least ways, it doesn't come from the Tour itself. You might see racers announce that they are going to be supporting the Tour via their own social media pages, but you don't see much from the Tour itself.

Perhaps that's a testament to how big this has become since it launched in 2011. The drivers already know the drill. The format is set, the purse is set and they know what the Tour point fund pays in the end. You either show up and run it, or you don't. One way of looking at it is there is a built-in roster of racers who will support it. You know that you're going to generally get somewhere between 35 and 45 racers. On the other hand, one can't help but wonder how much bigger it could be if there was more energy put into it.

At Southern Oregon Speedway, there are usually two storylines at play. Obviously, the Tour regulars are vying to get good finishes and get off to a good start as they compete for a championship. You know they are going to be fast, and many of them are going to claim starting spots in the 20 car Main Event. This is what affects the other ongoing storyline. Not only is there a Tour championship at stake, the local track point race is also hanging in the balance.

For the real heavy hitters of the group, one might look at the Speedweek race and the upcoming R Charles Snyder Salute as two opportunities to make up ground in the local point race, should they miss two other races during the year to run big events elsewhere. When the locals are struggling to make it into these two big events, you can make up many of the points that you lose from skipping two of the races. It also kind of puts the local racers in a lesser light. It's as if it's already a foregone conclusion that they aren't making it into these two big shows.

Jesse Williamson is coming to town. Colin Winebarger, John Campos, Kellen Chadwick. All of these drivers are fast, and it's quite remarkable to think that Winebarger is the only one of these four who's never won a Speedweek title. From further down in California, multi-time Santa Maria Speedway champion Danny Lauer is coming, and there's always a question of who else might show up. This year, Bakersfield racer Jerry Flippo made this trip. Shane DeVolder came up. This young gun is the reigning State of California champion. Gray Fernando, Mark Carroll, Matthew Drager, Lawrence O'Connor. It's understood that the competition level will be high.

The Speedweek Tour is the real deal, and it's a hot ticket for Modified fans. Some fans will try to make most or all of the dates. In this case, it's eight races in nine days. It kicks off at Siskiyou Golden Speedway on Friday, heads to Southern Oregon Speedway the next day. Coos Bay gets the Sunday date, and then it's off to everybody's favorite track, it seems, Cottage Grove Speedway. After two dates there, they hit Sunset Speedway, and then it's off to the Thursday party. An off-day to fix the cars. The big finale is two events at Willamette Speedway. If you're not there in person, you're tuning in via Speed Shift TV to catch every night of the drama. Either way, people want to see how it's going to go.

It's with this backdrop that the Southern Oregon Speedway stars nervously pull into the pits. In fact, a few competitors opted to just skip the show entirely. If you're one of those drivers hoping to win a championship, you can't skip it. You need to show up and do the best that you can. This year, Zach Fettinger decided that he must show up if he intends to make a serious championship bid. He skipped the show last year, and that may have been the difference between first and second in points. 2017 champion Jesse Bailey showed up. Not that it's much of a surprise, but three-time reigning champion Albert Gill showed up as well. Ray Kniffen Jr, Duane Orsburn and Dave Duste Jr were there to give it a go, along with rookies Justin Foux and Jimmy Lipke. Of the last five names, all but Kniffen have been making the effort to run the whole Tour as this is being written on a Thursday morning.

It's possible that people still haven't grasped how much faster Fettinger is these days. It shouldn't be a surprise. He was a three-time winner last season, and even if he hasn't won yet this year, he has still been one of the most impressive racers in the field. As if perhaps to serve notice to everybody, including himself, Zach made an impressive last lap pass on two-time Antioch Speedway champion Carl Berendsen II in the final turn of the very first heat race to score the victory.

Bottom line, you weren't keeping Fettinger out of the show. As announcer Ben Deatheridge made his way down to the front straightaway for the ceremonial pill draw for the Top 8 point earners from the heat races, both Fettinger and Gill were there to draw numbers. It was a fine showing for two of the top championship contenders. Neither of them would be watching the Main Event. They would be racing. It was a little bit more dramatic for Bailey, who had to earn a second place finish in the Last Chance Qualifier to start last on the grid.

What's interesting is that Fettinger didn't just start the race, he finished fourth and increased his point lead in the process. If he gets tripped up in his bid to win his first career championship it's not happening at Speedweek this time. He might breathe a sigh of relief that he managed to do so well, but Zach also knows that it's time to get back to work. The next race for the IMCA Modifieds at Southern Oregon Speedway is July 20th for Willamette Valley Bank Night, and he intends to be ready for it. Neither Gill nor Bailey earned a finish finish to brag about, but the 15th that Bailey earned and the 18th for Gill were still better than failing to make the transfer. It was still a moral victory for the two.

The battle that has taken place from the start through Thursday as this is being written is between 2016 Speedweek champion Chadwick and Winebarger. Both started at Yreka with Top 10 finishes, and Chadwick proceeded to dominate most of the Southern Oregon Speedway race. At times he held straightaway advantages over second place, but traffic seemed to be his undoing. Whether it was hesitation or just difficulty getting around the group of cars in front of him, Chadwick was slowed just enough for Winebarger to close in on him. Winebarger made a thrilling pass late in the race to get the win, forcing Chadwick to settle for second.

An obviously dejected Chadwick said things that might have resonated in people's minds a couple of days later. When they went to Coos Bay, Winebarger dominated the show in victory with Chadwick once again finishing second. From a point standpoint, Chadwick was doing what he needed to do to make another Speedweek championship bid, but Winebarger was off to his best start yet. When they went to Cottage Grove, Winebarger again led the way with Chadwick in second. There was another traffic scenario, but this time there was contact between second place Chadwick and Winebarger, resulting in a Winebarger spin. This enabled Chadwick to take the win and the point lead.

Chadwick was visibly unhappy with himself in the post race interview, saying that this wasn't the way he wanted to win. For Winebarger, he would brush it off and come back to Cottage Grove the next night with a victory, just ahead of Chadwick. Chadwick still held the point advantage heading into Sunset Speedway, but the rain would postpone the show.

The freak shower drenched the race track, resulting in a couple of hours of intense wheel packing. Drivers sat in the staging area a couple of minutes before 11 that night, anticipating the start of the Main Event. The checkered flag waved at that point, due to curfew. This particular Main Event will have to wait until after Friday's race at Willamette Speedway. This is where the series sits as of this writing.

Four-time Tour champion Jesse Williamson was behind the wheel of one of the Jerry Schram cars for this occasion and was the one grabbing the third place finish at Southern Oregon Speedway ahead of Fettinger. Bakersfield Speedway regular Jerry Flippo also collected a Top 5 finish. It's what highlights one of the cool things about Speedweek. Four of the Top 5 finishers were racers you don't normally see at the Medford area 3/10 mile clay oval.

Jeffrey Hudson picked up a sixth place finish. He was another racer who would be competing throughout the entire Speedweek Tour. Hudson missed the previous race at Southern Oregon Speedway to compete in the two-day show at Cottage Grove, forcing him to surrender the point lead. Word is that he was hoping he could make a run for points, but as he pilots the car for Don Roemer, he will be racing where the car owner chooses to race. You still know that this talented young man will be in the hunt for wins whenever he's behind the wheel.

Hudson had a frustrating moment prior to the pill draw. He seemed to have a good heat race effort, which included a second place finish in the first heat race and a third in the second heat. He was initially listed as one of the Top 8 racers, but as he made it to the infield, he was informed that he was ninth, and Williamson was one of the eight instead. This put Hudson into the first 15 lap B Main, which he won ahead of defending Tour champion Campos and Berendsen. It was still a good night, but Hudson had to be wondering what could have been if he'd have made the pill draw and been fortunate enough to get a low number.

The back half of the Top 10 was still stacked with talent. Behind Hudson in seventh was reigning Willamette Speedway champion Gray Ferrando. Ferrando is currently running second in a close battle with reigning Oregon State champion Bricen James at his home track this year. Finishing eighth at the checkered flag was Campos, followed by Drager and DeVolder. Drager was forced to win the Last Chance Qualifier to get into the show.

DeVolder has been a fascinating racer to watch as he's rapidly risen through the ranks in California. He's the son of past Petaluma Speedway Street Stock champion Dean DeVolder, and Dean got Shane into an IMCA Sport Modified. Shane ran a mixture of sanctioned and unsanctioned races in 2016 and was among the Top 5 at Antioch Speedway. A year later, he won the California State IMCA Sport Modified championship, and last year he surprised some people by winning the IMCA Modified State championship along with the All Star Series Modified title. Having racked up so many accomplishments so quickly, Shane decided it was time to tackle Speedweek.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds were running in support of Speedweek, and there's been quite a bit of chatter among the drivers in the group. They want to be a part of Speedweek at every show. A half-hearted attempt was made to include them in 2017, but unfortunately every track was not included on the schedule. The importance of the inclusion of all of the tracks cannot be understated. There are drivers from California who are very keen on running the Tour, but the exclusion of Cottage Grove on the 2017 attempt to have a Sport Modified Speedweek resulted in lukewarm response at best. It was deemed to be a failure, but the powers-that-be didn't take into account how much of an impact the lack of Cottage Grove had on those numbers. Speak to any of the drivers who wanted to go and didn't that year, and they'll tell you that the lack of those dates was the determining factor in their decision not to race.

It's also important to note that Southern Oregon Speedway has included the IMCA Sport Modifieds for the past four years now in this big event. Prior to Promoter Mike McCann coming to town, the Sport Modifieds were not part of this particular show. Something is happening with the Sport Modified division, and it's a good thing. When the division exploded on the scene in California in 2011, it seemed like just about every track got on board with this class. Oregon is just a few years behind them in those regards, but the same thing is starting to happen here now.

23 competitors showed up to race on the bigger stage in front of the Speedweek crowd. However, Super Dave again showed up to lead the technical inspection of the race cars once again. Every racer knows that he's going to go over each car with a magnifying glass, and if there's something he doesn't like, you'll have the IMCA rule book thrown at you. Racers are prepared for that, and in fact, many racers were looking forward to it. One driver who bore the brunt of the inspection this year was Jantzen Knips.

Knips had earned a Top 5 ranking at Southern Oregon Speedway last season in the IMCA Modified division. Seeing how well the IMCA Sport Modified division has been growing and thinking that he might be better off detuning his race car to compete in that class, Knips made the move. He had been off to a good start after three events and could be considered one of the legitimate championship contenders. After Saturday's pre-race technical inspection, it was decided that Knips would not be allowed to run with the Sport Modifieds. This left the second-year competitor scrambling to get a membership form that would enable him to race with the IMCA Modifieds that night instead.

Still in the field for the fourth event of the season was two-time champion Jorddon Braaten. Braaten himself didn't have fond memories of a previous time in which he ran a Speedweek race at Southern Oregon Speedway. It seemed he had a good night with another victory, but he was on the other end of the Super Dave magnifying glass.

Though there are critics who have attempted to throw that in Jorddon's face, he's won several races and a few championships since then and made it through tech every time. He was hungry to get another win and make another statement in tech this time. Unfortunately, he couldn't make it any further from his ninth starting position than third, but that forced him to head to tech, which he again passed with flying colors.

The Main Event had a bumpy start with no less than three restarts. It seemed like they couldn't get it going. When they finally got a lap in the books, another yellow flag waved. This would lead to a little bit of controversy a few laps into the race. Championship hopeful Branden Wilson managed to lead some laps before being overtaken by eventual winner Isaac Sanders. At one point, however, Wilson spun into the infield behind one of the big tires. Officials determined that he was safely out of the way and allowed the race to continue, causing an uproar with some of the safety crew. As they rushed one of the safety vehicles towards Wilson, he fired up his car and drove into the infield.

On the track, Isaac Sanders was giving a good demonstration of why Matt isn't the only Sanders people should take seriously as a threat to win. Isaac, like his brother, has won at Yreka this year. When Matt got into second, Isaac did an excellent job of holding him off for the victory. The Sanders brothers are both very much in championship contention as Braaten leads the way. There's been some speculation as to whether Jorddon really wants to win the championship here after spending a few seasons avoiding the point race in Medford, but the others will have a difficult time bumping him from the lead if he is there every week. The one thing Jorddon isn't is overconfident. He may be fast, but he knows that you take it one race at a time when competing for points.

Californian Brent Curran had an opportunity to make a visit. He's one of those racers very interested in competing in a Speedweek that includes all of the tracks for this class in the future. In fact, Curran made the trip up last year and not only ran Yreka and Medford, he headed to Coos Bay on Sunday and competed with the local Sportsman Late Model class there. After a second place finish in Yreka on Friday, his Medford visit saw him coming from the back of the pack to a fourth place finish. It was another good showing for the second-generation racer, who has four wins and is locked in a close battle with Tommy Fraser for the Antioch title. It's possible that we could see both Fraser and Curran for the R Charles Snyder Salute later this year.

Mike Medel has gotten a little bit of assistance with chassis set-up, and it seems his #30 car has been handling much better lately. He enjoyed a really good battle with Brian Johnsen for the fifth spot before settling for sixth. As his car has come around, Mike has steadily climbed up the point ladder and is fourth in the standings after Saturday. There's still enough time left in the season that some shake-ups could occur. What's still interesting about the IMCA Sport Modified race is that you can see the field is getting faster and more competitive.

In the first few years, it seemed like a few racers have held a little bit of an edge over the rest of the competition, but when you see 21 cars starting the Main Event, you know that at least half of those racers have a legitimate shot at victory. We've seen some improvement out of both Steve Lysinger and Brian Knorr this year. Both drivers have had Top 10 Main Event success as they get better in their second seasons behind the wheel. Knorr took a checkered flag in seventh behind Medel and just ahead of Donald Bandfield. Though Bandfield hasn't competed for a couple of seasons, he looks far from rusty so far. He earned his eighth place finish ahead of Yreka point leader Colt Boswell and Billy Richey.

Sport Modifieds at Southern Oregon Speedway are becoming quite a show. We've seen three different winners in four races, lots of passing and close racing at the front and even a photo finish victory for Matt Sanders at the season opener. We are just four races into the season, and there's plenty of racing left to go. Like the IMCA Modifieds, the IMCA Sport Modifieds will be a part of the big Willamette Valley Bank Night on July 20th. The inclusion of Late Models, Southern Oregon Dwarf and Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars will make that show one that people won't want to miss.

Like the Sport Modifieds, the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars are producing big numbers. Again, the 21 year old group delivered 21 competitors to the field. Josh King seems to be in a winning mode once again. Everywhere he goes, the three-time reigning champion is winning. He headed up to Willamette Speedway and grabbed the victory the week before. He adds that to his winner's trophies collected at Winnemucca, Nevada and Yreka so far this year, but he wanted to get the trophy at his home track.

Actually, King was in a racy mood on Friday and brought his Dwarf Car to the little Southern Oregon Speedway track. The Teddy Bear Racing team provided trophies for all of the Beginners Box Stock racers who showed, and Josh put his Dwarf Car on the track after all of the other competitors had done their practice laps. He didn't get up to full speed, but it was interesting watching him go somewhat fast through the turns. King has had his Dwarf Car at the little track before. He and Ryan Smith both made practice laps on that track about 6 or 7 years ago. Could Dwarf Cars invade the little track some day?

All fun aside, Saturday meant it was time to get down to some serious racing, and King knew he had to be on his game to beat Brock Peters. Peters already has a win at Southern Oregon Speedway and is looking to win his third series championship. Both drivers began the night with heat race wins, joined by the other Southern Oregon Speedway feature winner of this season, Camden Robustelli. It was Peters winning the A Dash. Robustelli was in the catbird seat as he led the opening lap of the Main Event, only to spin. While Camden played catch up, it wasn't long before King and Peters were again battling at the head of the pack. It was King who would prevail on this occasion.

Robustelli wasn't playing around. After his his earlier issues, he rapidly worked his way to the front of the pack. He made a move around B Dash winner Fred Hay to get the fourth position. Hey has been off to a good start this year and would take the checkered flag in fifth on this night. People are talking about the elder statesman of the group and speculating that if he continues to run this well, he might be winning a Main Event soon. Robustelli's bid for a podium was thwarted by Ryan Smith. Smith had everybody talking last time when he barrel rolled about seven times in Turns 1 and 2, rejoined the race and finished the sixth that night. This time, there were no such mishaps as he took the checkered flag in third.
Little Southern Oregon Speedway Pits Stops

Little Southern Oregon Speedway matched its biggest total of competitors in the pits in the Mike McCann reign as promoter. There were 54 total entries in the event last Friday night. This included competitors in the 250 Karts, Box Stocks, Beginners Box Stocks and UAS Speedway Karts. However, there was also an abundance of Trikes, Quads and Flat Track Bikes. Fans who came to watch this event definitely got their money's worth.

The 250 Kart division was very competitive. Three different drivers took checkered flags during the night. Current point leader and 2017 champion Trevor Grimes won the first heat race and reigning champion Vinny DeBenedetti won the next heat. However, the Main Event glory went to young Taylor Fuller. Fuller has now won Main Events in Beginners, Box Stocks and 250 Karts at the speedway.

DeBenedetti has been struggling just a little bit in the early goings of the season, but his heat race triumph gave indication that things were coming around. Furthermore, he ran second in the Main Event for most of the distance before mechanical issues sent him to the pits with just a few laps remaining. This opened the door for past Beginners Box Stock champion Cadyn Smith to grab his best finish yet in this class with a second. Jacob James, who is in a close battle with Grimes for the point lead, made an attempt to get around the outside of Smith in the final turn, and that opened the door for Grimes to steal third at the checkered flag. It was a nice battle between those three, but Fuller had checked out on the field.

At this point, Keaton Augustine has the Box Stock division well in hand. Keaton rolled to a clean sweep and his third-straight feature win. Rumors are circulating that Keaton could be moving up to the Junior Street Stock division that competes at Madras at some point in the near future. Malachi Johnson, the 2017 Beginners Box champion, returned after a week's absence and grabbed his best finish in this class in second, followed by Kiley Grimes. Hunter Granger was back, though his feature didn't go so well. Because Granger is locked in a point battle that he's leading in Yreka, it's likely that we may only see him one more time due to the fact that Yreka has booked on top of three of the remaining four races at the little track.

It's quite a remarkable thing to watch the youngest drivers get more confidence. While some of the kids will get on the gas the moment they get their first green flag, others are a bit more tentative and will run the low groove at a very safe speed. Jayme DeBenedetti has apparently overcome any fears she may have had in the past. DeBenedetti is putting her foot to the floor, and it is showing as she again rolled to the Beginners feature victory. In doing so, she maintains her point lead over Isaac Grimes.

Last season, we watched Isaac in the Novice Box Stock class, in which he ranked second. He had a good start to his night this time with a pair of heat race victories, but second place slipped away from him in the feature in the waning laps as he settled for third. The driver beating him is one of those racers who has definitely shown much improvement. Caleb Ranney was one of those young racers we saw get a bit nervous about racing when he first joined the class. At times he was not willing to get into his Kart last year. However, Caleb is getting more confident. He ran in the Top 3 for much of the Main Event and even made a late move around Grimes for his best effort in second.

Teddy Bear Racing, which is the Bret James and Josh King team, donated trophies so that all of the youngsters in the Beginners class would not leave empty-handed. These kids all did a good job, and Talia Colley, Saige King and Bhaltair Edwards would finish fourth through sixth in the Main Event. Colley and King were two others running very tentative speeds when they made their debut at the season opener, and both are gaining more confidence.

The old man of UAS Speedway Karts, Larry Fuller, was back in prime form as the division returned after missing the previous race. Fuller's start at the season opener didn't go so well, but he was fast and led from start to finish in winning Friday's Main Event. Ed Grubb, who is a past Yreka champion, also ran a good race in second, followed by Kenny Boardman. Boardman and Grubb had a good battle for second, which looked like it would go to Boardman.

Steve Rambo was having a heck of a time as he ended up parking his own Kart with mechanical issues. He jumped behind the wheel of the Kart that Sean Fuller was going to drive, but again, Rambo had problems and was out of the Main Event early as six competitors took the green flag, including Lori Fuller and daughter Brionna Fuller.

The Trikes, or Three Wheelers, might be viewed as the redheaded stepchild of the Quad and Flat Track Bike world. It doesn't seem like they get much of an opportunity to run at other places, but these drivers are fast, race very competitively and have lots of fun. On this occasion several racers showed up from Rainier, Washington, and we discovered last Friday night that there are actually Big Trike and Little Trike divisions.

Some of the competitors, such as Ryan Comstock, Garrett Stookey and Michael Burson Sr, ran both classes. Burson and Big Trike competitor Ben Herbert also ran the Quads, making them very busy. It looked as if the night would end before it started for Cassidy Craviotto. After what was about to happen, he may have wished it had. Craviotto had mechanical issues in practice, but Eric Melvin graciously let Craviotto ride his Big Three Wheeler.

In the heat race, Craviotto was in the midst of a good battle for third. These riders aren't afraid to go side by side, deep into the turns, and Craviotto was running a good pace. What he didn't count on, however, was a broken axle, which resulted in him flipping off the back straightaway. He was shaken up in the experience, but fortunately he was okay. The one thing about these riders is they are tough and pretty much fearless. They have a lot of fun at what they do.

Stookey and Comstock had put on a really good battle in the Trikes at the season opener, won by Comstock. The two had so much fun that they knew they would bring both of their Trikes for this occasion. However, Comstock's attempt to win another Main Event was thwarted by Ben Herbert, who was just a little bit faster in the Big Trike class. Stookey would settle for third as Herbert made the move around Comstock for the win.

Herbert wasn't content just to win in Big Trikes, however. He also held off Mike Burson Sr and Robert Hicks in winning the Quad race. Though Burson Sr finished fourth in the Big Trikes, Mike Burson Jr got in on the action along with McKayla Burson in the Little Trikes class. Burson Jr led some laps early on, but Stookey and Comstock continued their night long battle. In this case, it was Stookey getting the job done with an impressive victory. Andrew Wheaton denied Butson Jr the final podium spot as he finished third ahead of Burson.

What one can say about these Three Wheelers and the Quads is that you have to be there to see the action. This type of racing hasn't really been seen at Little Southern Oregon Speedway, but it's breathing new life into the Friday night program. The racers want to be there, and they are wanted there as well. People may not know about Trike racing, but it's certainly something to see. Hopefully, these competitors will continue to come back in force when racing resumes on July 5th as they are most welcome.

The Flat Track Bikes might have been impacted just a little bit by the fact that there was a big MX event happening in Klamath Falls. However, there were enough riders willing to come to the little track to put on a good show. There have been three events for the riders at the little track, and they are getting more comfortable and even a little bit faster out there. They will need to get a little bit faster to bump Trevor Taylor off of the top of the podium. Though Taylor wasn't winning all of the preliminaries, he did take the wins in the feature events.

Taylor brings a bike for the 250cc class and another one that he rides in the 450cc and Open classes. For the 250cc class, Taylor picked up the win with my Mya Maffei and Theo Lount in pursuit. Lount was the one chasing Taylor in the 450cc class. Maffei, however, upped her game a little bit more in the Open class as she finished a close second to Taylor with Theo Lount in third. Trevor's younger brothers, Brody Taylor and Jax Taylor, grabbed the 1-2 finish in the Small Bike class. Jax checks in at 7 years old as he makes his first laps on the bike.

What can be said is that there hasn't been a lot of oval track bike racing in the Medford area in recent years, although it has a history in the area. The opening of the MX track at Southern Oregon Speedway has served notice that bikes are more welcome at the facility. The bike program, which also includes the Quads and the Trikes, has much potential to grow and prosper, and as has been proven already, with more competitors, these races will be more exciting to watch and certainly worth the price of admission.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Winebarger Wins IMCA Modified Speedweek Race, Sanders, King Other Winners

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Winebarger Wins Speedweek Race 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...June 22...Collen Winebarger scored a thrilling victory in the 35 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway. This was the second round of the eight-race IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek Tour, and it was also the second consecutive $1,000 win in this race at this track for Winebarger. He made a late pass on race long leader Kellen Chadwick to steal the victory.

With 39 competitors signed in, the drivers were divided into four heats and would run two sets of heat races to determine points. The Top 8 point earners would go into a redraw to determine the first four rows of the Main Event. Track point leader Zach Fettinger gave an indication of the exciting racing to come when he made a last turn pass on Carl Berendsen II to win the very first heat race. Other Round A heat race winners were Travis Peery, Jesse Williamson and Jerry Flippo. Nick Trenchard, Ryan Lauer, Winebarger and Chadwick won the next round of heat races.

The Top 8 point earners from the heat races were Fettinger, Albert Gill, Peery, Ryan Lauer, Winebarger, Chadwick, Flippo and Williamson. Chadwick drew the pole for the Main Event with Winebarger lined up in the second row outside. With the first four rows set, two 15 lap B Mains and a 12 lap Last Chance Qualifier were run to determine the remainder of the 20 car Main Event lineup.

Jeffrey Hudson went flag-to-flag to win the first B Main. John Campos took over second on a lap 11 restart and would finish there ahead of Berendsen, Gray Ferrando and Mark Carrell. Coming off of his Yreka win a night earlier earlier, Nick Trenchard had to run the second B Main. He took the lead from Danny Lauer on the fifth lap and led the remaining laps for the win. California State champion Shane DeVolder finished second, followed by Danny Lauer, Lipke and Lawrence O'Connor. Only two spots were up for grabs in the Main Event via the Last Chance Qualifier race. Matthew Drager led Jesse Bailey for the entire distance to score the 1-2 finish. Jeffrey Faulkner, Dave Dusty Jr and Jerry Schram rounded out the Top 5.

The Main Event was destined to go with just one yellow flag slow down. Chadwick motored into the lead at the waving of the green flag ahead of Williamson and Winebarger. Winebarger made an inside pass in Turn 4 of the fourth lap to take second from Williamson, and Chadwick already held about a straightaway advantage. The yellow flag flew for Bailey on the backstretch on lap nine. Chadwick continued to set a blistering pace on the restart as Williamson slipped past Winebarger for second. Winebarger made a low pass on Williamson in Turn 4 a lap later to regain second. The side-by-side battle continued for two more laps as the duo exchanged the position, but Winebarger made the inside pass in Turn 4 of the 13th lap to settle the matter of second place. By then, Chadwick had pulled away from the pack yet again and held about a straightaway advantage. Winebarger begin to real in Chadwick when the leader caught slower traffic on lap 21. Winebarger moved in behind Chadwick by lap 28 and the battle was on. The two drivers crossed start-finish line on lap 33 in a dead heat, but Winebarger moved ahead on the inside as they exited Turn 2 a lap later. Winebarger went on to an impressive victory, followed by Chadwick, Williamson, Fettinger, Flippo, Hudson, Fernando, Campos, Drager and DeVolder.

The next IMCA Modified race at Southern Oregon Speedway will be Willamette Valley Bank night on July 20th. The IMCA Sport Modifieds will also be part of the show. For further information, go to

Race Results
IMCA Modifieds
Heat 1A-Zach Fettinger, Carl Berendsen II, Nick Trenchard, Grey Ferrando, John Campos, Albert Gill, Derek Young, Duane Orsburn, Mark Carrell, Jim Whisler.

Heat 1B-Travis Peery, Jimmy Lipke, Ryan Lauer, Jake Pike, Justin Faux, Jesse Bailey, Jantzen Knips, Steve Borror, Andy Freeman, Matthew Drager.

Heat 1C-Jesse Willamson, Jeffery Hudson, Jeremy Ohlde, Collen Winebarger, Jeff Faulkner, Lawrence O'Conner, Mike George, Jerry Schram, Ray Kniffen Jr, David Satterfield.

Heat 1D-Jerry Flippo, Kellen Chadwick, Shane DeVolder, Danny Lauer, Paul Rea, Eston Whisler, Dave Duste Jr, Galen Hainline, Bo Sheilds.

Heat 2A-Nick Trenchard, Albert Gill, John Campos, Duane Orsburn, Zach Fettinger, Derek Young, Grey Ferrando, Carl Berendsen II, Mark Carrell, Jim Whisler.

heat 2B-Ryan Lauer, Travis Peery, Jesse Bailey, Matthew Drager, Jake Pike, Steve Borror, Jantzen Knips, Jimmy Lipke, Justin Faux, Andy Freeman.

Heat 2C-Collen Winebarger, Jeff Faulkner, Jeffery Hudson, Jesse Willamson, Jeremy Ohlde, Jerry Schram, Mike George, Ray Kniffen Jr, Lawrence O'Conner, David Satterfield.

Heat 2D-Kellen Chadwick, Danny Lauer, Jerry Flippo, Shane DeVolder, Galen Hainline, Paul Rea, Eston Whisler, Dave Duste Jr, Bo Sheilds.

B Main 1-Jeffrey Hudson, John Campos, Carl Berendsen, Grey Ferrando, Mark Carrell, Matthew Drager, Dave Duste Jr, Derick Young, Jantzen Knips, Eston Whisler, Jeff Faulkner, Mike George, Steve Borror, David Satterfield, Jimmy Whisler, Jake Pike.

B Main 2-Nick Trenchard, Shane DeVolder, Danny Lauer, Jimmy Lipke, Lawrence O’Connor, Jesse Bailey, Duane Orsburn, Justin Foux, Paul Rea, Jerry Schram, Galen Hainline, Jeremy Ohlde, Ray Kniffen Jr, Bo Shields, Andy Freeman.

Last Chance Qualifier-Matthew Drager, Jesse Bailey, Jeff Faulkner, Paul Rea, Jerry Schram, Derick Young, Jeremy Ohlde, Jantzen Knips, Andy Freeman, Galen Hainline, Duane Orsburn, Dave Duste Jr, Jake Pike, Justin Faux, Mike George, Steve Borror DNS, Eston Whisler DNS, Ray Kniffen Jr DNS, Bo Shields DNS, Jimmy Whisler DNS.

A Main-1. Collen Winebarger, Kellen Chadwick, Jesse Williamson, Zach Fettinger, Jerry Flippo, Jeffrey Hudson, Grey Ferrando, John Campos, Matthew Drager, Shane DeVolder, Nick Trenchard, Jimmy Lipke, Carl Berendsen II, Mark Carrell, Jesse Bailey, Lawrence O’Connor, Travis Peery, Albert Gill, Danny Lauer, Ryan Lauer.

Sanders Wins IMCA Sport Modified Race 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...June 22...Isaac Sanders won the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway. He took the lead from Branden Wilson early in the event and then held off his brother Matt Sanders for the victory. Isaac becomes the third different winner in four races.

There were 23 Sport Modifieds on hand for the show, but after tech, Jantzen Knips was bumped up to the IMCA Modified class and Yreka racer Randy Wright had mechanical issues prior to the heat races. There were three eight lap heat races, and wins went to Branden Wilson, point leader Jorddon Braaten and Yreka star Ryder Boswell.

Brian Knorr and Wilson had the front row for the race with Isaac Sanders starting back in seventh. Turn 2 proved to be tricky as three separate restarts were caused due two yellow flags for Ryder Boswell, Chad Wormington and Chris Silva. Knorr led the opening lap over Wilson and Isaac Sanders before another yellow flag waved for a tangle between Willie McFall, Joby Shields and Danny Rule. Silva received a black flag for two yellow flags after spinning in Turn 2 on the next restart. Wilson raced past Knorr for the lead when the action resumed, and Isaac Sanders quickly settled into second ahead of Mike Medel. Sanders took the lead from Wilson just as Johnsen moved past Medel for third on lap 5. However, Johnson surrendered third to Matt Sanders on lap seven. Matt Sanders made a low pass in Turn 4 of the 10th lap to take second from Wilson. A lap later, Wilson spun into the Turn 4 infield as the race continued. Braaten started back in ninth and was third at that point. The yellow flag waved on lap 14 when Ryder Boswell lost a wheel. Isaac Sanders continued to lead with Matt Sanders, Braaten and Brent Curran running nose to tail behind him. Isaac Sanders hit all of his marks and brought it home to a satisfying win. Matt Sanders settled for second, followed by Braaten, Curran, Johnson, Medel, Knorr, Donald Bandfield, Colt Boswell and Billy Richey.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds will return to action along with the IMCA Modifieds on Willamette Valley Bank Night on July 20th. For further information, go to

Race Results
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1-Branden Wilson, Ethan Killingsworth, Donald Bandfield, Isaac Sanders, Brent Curran, Danny Rule, Jesse Skidmore, Chad Wormington.

Heat 2-Ryder Boswell, Mike Medel, Matt Sanders, Colt Boswell, Billy Richey, Willie McFall.

Heat 3-Jorddon Braaten, Brian Knorr, Steve Lysinger, Brian Johnsen, Joby Shields, Michael Rule, Chris Silva.

Main Event-Isaac Sanders, Matt Sanders, Jorddon Braaten, Brent Curran, Brian Johnsen, Mike Medel, Brian Knorr, Donald Bandfield, Colt Boswell, Billy Richey, Steve Lysinger, Danny Rule, Chad Wormington, Jesse Skidmore, Ryder Boswell, Branden Wilson, Joby Shields, Ethan Killingsworth, Willie McFall, Chris Silva, Michael Rule.

King Scores Dwarf Car Victory At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...June 22...Josh King picked up the win in the 20 lap Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Main Event Saturday night Southern Oregon Speedway. The three-time reigning champion led most of the way and held off two-time champion Brock Peters for the win.

There were 21 Dwarf Car competitors on hand for this show, and Peters, Camden Robustelli and King won their respective eight lap heat races. Peters outran King to win the six lap A Dash, and ageless veteran Fred Hay held off Cody Peters to win the six lap B Dash.

Looking for his second Southern Oregon Speedway win of the season, Camden Robustelli led the opening lap, but he spun in Turn 2 for a yellow flag. Robustelli restarted at the rear of the pack as King led Peters and Chad Cardoza on the restart. A lap four yellow flag waved for rookie Trevor Davis in Turn 1 of the fourth lap. King maintained his advantage on the restart as Cardoza took second from Peters. A high pass in Turn 1 of the 10th lap gained Peters second, and he set his sights on King. Ryan Smith took third from Cardoza on lap 12. The resurgent Robustelli also got by Cardoza for the fourth position. Despite the pressure from Peters, King drove a great race and scored the well earned victory. Smith settled for third, followed by Robustelli, Hay, Cody Peters, Jesse Lorentz, Chad Cardoza, Mason Lewman and Kaycee Sheeler.

The Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars will return on July 20th as part of Willamette Valley Bank Night. Their next series race will be at Coos Bay Speedway this Saturday night. For further information, go to or

Race Results
SODCA Dwarf Cars
Heat 1-Brock Peters, Chad Cardoza, Fred Hay,  Jesse Lorentz,  Mark Nielson, Ryan Smith, Trevor Davis.

Heat 2-Camden Robustelli,  Mason Lewman, Paul Haslow, Kaycee Sheeler, Ashleigh Strain, Joe Sanders, Sean Trujillo DNS.

Heat 3-Josh King, Steve Walker, Cody Peters, Michael Johnson, Dan Penland, Reggie Ayers DNS.

A Dash-Brock Peters, Josh King, Camden, Chad Cardoza, Steve Walker, Mason Lewman.

B Dash-Fred Hay, Cody Peters, Jesse Lorentz, Michael Johnson, Paul Haslow,Kaycee Sheeler.

Main Event-Josh King, Brock Peters, Ryan Smith, Camden Robustelli, Fred Hay, Cody Peters, Jesse Lorentz, Chad Cardoza, Mason Lewman, Kaycee Sheeler, Paul Haslow, Mark Nielson, Ashleigh Strain, Dan Penland, Joe Sanders, Michael Johnson, Trevor Davis, Steve Walker, Sean Trujillo, Reggie Ayers DNS.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Collen Winebarger Wins At Southern Oregon Speedway In Closing Laps

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Collen Winebarger Wins 
At Southern Oregon Speedway In Closing Laps

By Ben Deatherage
White City, Oregon- Night two of the 2019 Wild West Modified Shootout brought the series to Southern Oregon Speedway on Saturday, June 22nd. Thirty-nine cars filled the pit area representing the states of Oregon, California, Nevada, Washington, and North Dakota as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Oakley, California’s Kellen Chadwick took full advantage of his inside front row starting position in the main event. Chadwick took to the lead early and remained there for the vast majority of the distance of the race. Kellen was cruising right along until the culminating laps when he would be briefly barricaded by traffic.

Collen Winebarger, of Corbett, managed to cut down Chadwick’s lead and for the first time in the feature put significant pressure on the leader. The two would battle briefly until lap thirty-three when Winebarger edged himself out in front.

Collen Winebarger went on to win the main event and defend his victory at SOS from the year before. It is the fourth overall occasion that he has best a field with the Wild West Modified Shootout. For the first two races of the 2019 WWMS season the defending race winner has emerged victorious.

Kellen Chadwick was a respectable second while closing out the podium, in third, was Eugene chauffeur Jesse Williamson, racing for car owner Jerry Schram. Zach Fettinger, of Klamath Falls, was an impressive fourth place while Bakersfield, California’s Jerry Flippo posted a fifth in his first career feature start.

Earlier in the program Jeffrey Hudson, of Keno and racing for car owner Don Roemer, and Klamath Falls native Nick Trenchard, piloting the Rich and Nicky Biehn owned entry, were the two drivers to cross the wire first in the two B Mains while Albany’s Matthew Drager got the job done in the Last Chance Qualifier. Heat race winners in the first round were Zach Fettinger, Williston, North Dakota driver Travis Peery, Jesse Williamson, and Jerry Flippo. In the second dose of heats Trenchard, Santa Maria, California pilot Ryan Lauer, Collen Winebarger, and Kellen Chadwick were the victors.

The Wild West Modified Shootout next head to Coos Bay Speedway on June 23rd being billed as the “Sunday Gambler”. Pit Gates open at 10:00 AM, Front Gates Noon, and as stated above Racing at 2:00 PM. Tickets are Adults $12.00, Senior/Military/Child (7-17) $10.00, and Kids (6 & Under) FREE. For more information log on to or purchase your tickets online at .

Don’t forget that Passmaster Stickers are still on sale. The winner of the Passmaster award is the driver that passes the most cars in the main events during the entire week and receives every single dollar of the money from sticker sold. You can make sticker purchases either in person at any of the races or online at .

As has been the case for the last few Wild West Modified Shootouts the fine folks at Speed Shift TV will be providing live lap-to-lap coverage of every single round. Be sure and stay tuned to the Wild West Modified Shootout Facebook page for the latest news and updates.

2019 IMCA Wild West Modified Shootout Schedule
Friday, June 21st-Siskiyou Motor Speedway-Yreka, California (Nick Trenchard)
Saturday, June 22nd-Southern Oregon Speedway-White City, Oregon (Collen Winebarger)
Sunday, June 23rd-Coos Bay Speedway-Coos Bay, Oregon
Monday, June 24th-Cottage Grove Speedway-Cottage Grove, Oregon
Tuesday, June 25th-Cottage Grove Speedway-Cottage Grove, Oregon
Wednesday, June 26th-Sunset Speedway Park-Banks, Oregon
Thursday, June 27th-Travel Date/Driver Appreciation Party presented by FinishLine Graphics
Friday, June 28th-Willamette Speedway-Lebanon, Oregon
Saturday, June 29th-Willamette Speedway-Lebanon, Oregon

Race Results:
Wild West Modified Shootout Round #2
Saturday, June 22nd, 2019
Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon

Heat Race Winners:
Round 1
Group A- Zach Fettinger
Group B- Travis Peery
Group C- Jesse Williamson
Group D- Jerry Flippo

Round 2
Group A- Nick Trenchard
Group B- Ryan Lauer
Group C- Collen Winebarger
Group D- Kellen Chadwick

B Feature 1: 1. Jeffrey Hudson; 2. John Campos; 3. Carl Berendsen; 4. Grey Ferrando; 5. Mark Carrell; 6. Matthew Drager; 7. Dave Duste Jr.; 8. Derick Young; 9. Jantzen Knips; 10. Eston Whisler; 11. Jeff Faulkner; 12. Mike George; 13. Steve Borrer; 14. David Satterfield; 15. Jimmy Whisler; 16. Jake Pike

B Feature 2: 1. Nick Trenchard; 2. Shane Devolder; 3. Danny Lauer; 4. Jimmy Lipke; 5. Lawrence O’Connor; 6. Jesse Bailey; 7. Duane Orsburn; 8. Justin Foux; 9. Paul Rea; 10. Jerry Schram; 11. Galen Hainline; 12. Jeremy Ohlde; 13. Ray Kniffen Jr.; 14. Bo Shields; 15. Andy Freeman

Last Chance Qualifier: 1. Matthew Drager; 2. Jesse Bailey; 3. Jeff Faulkner; 4. Paul Rea; 5. Jerry Schram; 6. Derick Young; 7. Jeremy Ohlde; 8. Jantzen Knips; 9. Andy Freeman; 10. Galen Hainline; 11. Duane Orsburn; 12. Dave Duste Jr.; 13. Jake Pike; 14. Justin Faux; 15. Mike George; 16. Steve Borrer; DNS Eston Whisler; DNS Ray Kniffen Jr.; DNS Bo Shields; DNS Jimmy Whisler

A Feature: 1. Collen Winebarger; 2. Kellen Chadwick; 3. Jesse Williamson; 4. Zach Fettinger; 5. Jerry Flippo; 6. Jeffrey Hudson; 7. Grey Ferrando; 8. John Campos; 9. Matthew Drager; 10. Shane Devolder; 11. Nick Trenchard; 12. Jimmy Lipke; 13. Carl Berendsen; 14. Mark Carrell; 15. Jesse Bailey; 16. Lawrence O’Connor; 17. Travis Peery; 18. Albert Gill; 19. Danny Lauer; 20. Ryan Lauer

Winebarger Wins Thrilling IMCA Modified Race 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...June 22...Collin Winebarger won a thrilling 35 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway.  Winebarger is the defending race champion, and he made a late pass on Kellen Chadwick for the impressive victory.  Chadwick led from the start with Winebarger running second.  The only yellow flag waved on lap ten, and Chadwick pulled out to a big lead when the race continued. 

When Chadwick caught slower traffic around lap 26, Winebarger closed in quickly.  They crossed the line on lap 33 in a dead heat, and Winebarger moved ahead as they exited Turn 2. Winebarger led the final two laps for the well-earned victory  Chadwick settled for second ahead of Jesse Williamson, track point leader Zach Fettinger and Jerry Flippo.

Isaac Sanders won the 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event.  Branden Wilson took the lead on a lap two restart and held it for three laps before Isaac Sanders took over.  Wilson spun into the Turn 4 infield on lap seven as Matt Sanders moved into second.  Jorddon Braaten gained third on lap ten, and a lap 16. yellow flag bunched the field.  Matt Sanders challenged his brother Issac Sanders for the reamining laps, but Isaac kept his cool for the impessive win.  Braaten, Brent Curran and Brian Johnsen completed the Top 5.

Josh King won the 20 lap SODCA Dwarf Car Main Event.  King is the three-time reigning series champion, and he gained the lead after Camden Robustelli spun in Turn 2 for a lap two yellow flag.  Brock Peters and Chad Cardoza had a good battle going for second until Peters finally grabbed the postion for good on lap ten.  As King caught slower traffic on the white flag lap, Peters made a serious challenge for the lead.  However, King kept his cool and kept Peters behind him at the checkered flag.  Ryan Smith finished third ahead of Robustelli and Fred Hay.

Racing returns next Saturday night with the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks, JOAT Labs Hornets, Valley Store All late Model Lites and OTRO Hardtops.  For further information, go to

Unofficial Race Results
IMCA Modified Speedweek
Round 1 Heat Winners (10 Laps)-Zach Fettinger, Travis Pee.kry, Jesse Williamson, Jerry Fllippo.  Round 2 Heat Winners (10 Laps)-Nick Trenchard, Ryan Lauer, Collin Winebarger, Kellen Chadwick.  B Main 1 (25 Laps)-Jeffrey Hudson, John Campos, Carl Berendsen II.  B Main 2 (15 Laps)-Nick Trenchard, Shane DeVolder, Danny Lauer.  Last Chance Qualifier (10 Laps)-Matthew Drager, Jesse Bailey, Jeffrey Faulkner.   Main Event (30 Laps)-Collen Winebarger, Kellen Chadwick, Jesse Williamson, Zach Fettinger, Jerry Flippo.

IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Branden Wilson, Ryder Boswell, Jorddon Baaten.  Main Event (20 Laps)-Isaac Sanders, Matt Sanders, Jorddon Braaten, Brent Curran, Mike Medel.

SODCA Dwarf Cars
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Brock Peters, Camden Robustelli, Josh King.  A Dash (6 Laps)-Brock Peters.  B Dash (6 Laps)-Fred Hay.  Main Event (20 laps)-Josh King, Brock Peters, Ryan Smith, Camden Robustelli, Fred Hay.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Fuller, Taylor, Herbert, DeBenedetti Win At Little Southern Oregon Speedway

Fuller, Taylor, Herbert, DeBenedetti Win 
At Little Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...June 21...Taylor Fuller won his first 20 lap 250 Kart Main Event Friday night at Little Southern Oregon Speedway. The program had over 50 competitors across several different Kart and Motorcycle classes. Once again, Trevor Taylor won three different Flat Track Bike features, and Ben Herbert was also a double winner in Quads and Big Trikes.

After both Trevor Grimes and reigning champion Vinny DeBenedetti were heat race winners, it was Taylor Fuller setting the pace at the start of the 250 Kart Main Event. A yellow flag flew on lap nine after Grimes and DeBenedetti bumped wheels with Grimes spinning. Fuller continued to lead DeBenedetti and Cadyn Smith, and they ran in that order until DeBenedetti pitted unexpectedly off the back stretch on lap 18. Fuller brought it home to an impressive victory ahead of Smith. Jacob James made a bid to take second from Smith in the last turn, only to lose third to a Grimes inside pass in the process. James settled for fourth ahead of Emma Rodgers and DeBenedetti.

Trevor Taylor won the Open, 450cc and 250cc Flat Track Bike Main Events. Taylor took the lead at the start of the Open Bike feature ahead of Theo Lount and Mya Maffei. Maffei took second from Lount with a backstretch pass on lap four and closed in quickly on Taylor. She made a few attempts to get by on the outside, but Taylor would prevail at the checkered flag. Maffei settled for second ahead of Lount.

Taylor also led all the way to win the 450cc Bike feature with Lount finishing second. Taylor won the 250 Bike race with Maffei running close all the way to the checkered flag. Lount finished third in that race.

Though Trevor Taylor won the Open Bike heat race, Lount won the 450 Bike heat and Maffei won the 250 Bike heat. Brody Taylor won the Small Bike heat race and then outran Jax Taylor to win that division's Main Event.

Ben Herbert won the 12 lap Big Trike Main Event. Herbert trailed Ryan Comstock for a few laps before making the move into the lead. The two ran closely for a while before Herbert went on to Victory ahead of Comstock. Garrett Stookey battled Mike Burson Sr to finish third as Robert Hicks finished fifth. Herbert also won the heat race. Cassidy Craviotto broke an axle and took a tamble off the back stretch in that race. Herbert went flag-to-flag to win the 12 lap Quad feature ahead of Mike Burson Sr and Robert Hicks. Burson made a last-lap pass on Herbert to win the heat race.

Garrett Stookey won the 12 lap Small Trike Main Event. Michael Burson Jr led a pair of laps before being overtaken by Stookey. Ryan Comstock quickly moved into second and began a battle with Stookey that lasted for the duration of the race. Stookey would prevail ahead of Comstock, Andrew Wheaton, Michael Burson Jr, Joel Redfield, Elias Wheaton and Mikayla Burson. Redfield and Comstock were the heat race winners.

Jayme DeBenedetti won the 12 lap Beginners Box Stock Main Event. Double heat race winner Isaac Grimes raced into the early Main Event lead ahead of DeBenedetti. After a lap two yellow flag for Talia Colley, DeBenedetti assumed the lead from Grimes. DeBenedetti led through a pair of yellow flags. Caleb Ranney made an inside pass in Turn 2 on lap 11 to get second from Grimes, and DeBenedetti won ahead of Ranney, Grimes, Colley, Saige King and Edwards.

Keaton Augustine went flag-to-flag to win the 15 lap Box Stock Main Event. Augustine won both heat races for a clean sweep. Yreka point leader Hunter Granger was an early second before being passed by Malachi Johnson on lap four. Johnson finished second ahead of Kiley Grimes and Granger.

Larry Fuller won the UAS Speedway Kart 12 lap Main Event. Fuller led the entire distance for the impressive win. Ed Grubb finished second, followed by Kenny Boardman, Brianna Fuller, Lori Fuller and Steve Rambo. Heat race wins went to Larry Fuller and Grubb.

The next race at Little Southern Oregon Speedway will happen on July 5th. All of the divisions featured tonight will be part of the show. For further information, go to

Friday, June 21, 2019

Third Annual Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge Comes To Southern Oregon Speedway August 3rd

Third Annual Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge 
Comes To Southern Oregon Speedway August 3rd

White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway will be hosting the biggest Wingless 360 Sprint Car race in Oregon once again. It's the Third Annual Cascade Wingless 360 Sprint Car Challenge race, presented by Herz Precision Parts. The race will pay $3,500 to win, the second place finisher will receive $1,500, third is $1,000 and it's a minimum of $250 to start the Main Event.

Mike McCann of KJE Enterprises is in his fourth season as promoter of the 3/10 mile clay oval track. McCann has been known as a Sprint Car promoter throughout his decorated career, having started the Sprint Car racing programs currently happening at Cottage Grove Speedway and Marysville Raceway in California back when he promoted the two establishments. He is also the founder of the Oregon Double Shot Series that had a good run in the late 1990s and into the next decade.

McCann felt very strongly that the Medford area track would be perfect for a big Wingless 360 Sprint Car race which will run rules very similar to the ones used by the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars. When Mark Herz came on board with Herz Precision Parts as the title sponsor, the race was first held in August of 2017. Some fast competitors came from California and Oregon that year, but when the checkered flag waved, it was "The Human Highlight Reel" Geoff Ensign grabbing the rich victory. Cody Fendley enjoyed one of his best ever runs in an injected Sprint Car as he held off past Wingless champion Kyle Miller to place second.

Last season, Ensign saw a strong early challenge from past Antioch and Petaluma Winged Sprint Car champion Shawn Arriaga, but Arriaga's run ended when he contacted the front wall and flipped. Much like Ensign, Arriaga is anticipated again this year. Local standout Jeffrey Hudson took the wings off of his Sprint Car and promptly held off Wingless Sprint Series title contender Lindsay Barney for the $1,500 second prize. Though he has been running an IMCA Modified this season, Hudson has said that he intends to run the big Wingless show.

The format will call for qualifying individually on the clock. There's a $100 prize for the fast timer, and the Top 2 qualifiers can bypass the heat races and head straight to the Scramble. The Top 2 heat race finishers will make it into the Scramble, which will determine the first few rows of the 30 lap Main Event.

They don't get the opportunity to run very many big Wingless 360 Sprint Car races in Oregon, so there are teams who circle their calendar every year and make plans to show up. This year's race will happen on August 3rd. It will also be Hays Oil Night at the races. Hays Oil, which brings the Sunoco Racing Fuel to the speedway each week, has been a big supporter of Sprint Car racing at Southern Oregon Speedway through the years.

A field of at least 15 to 20 competitors is anticipated for the big event. Entry for car and driver is $80, while pit passes for the crew are $30. Pit sign in is at 4:00 pm. Camping is allowed in the pits, though there are no hookups. For further information, go to  Downloadable flier available at

About Herz Precision Parts: When you’re looking for a West Coast precision machine shop with expertise and experience, Herz Precision Parts is the natural choice. When you select Herz Precision Parts for your electronics needs, you receive personalized service from a team of highly skilled professionals who take pride in providing customers with the highest quality work, attention to detail, and quick turnaround times. The attention to detail is the standard you can expect from our master machinists. We specialize in semiconductor manufacturing equipment components & parts, and are highly skilled when it comes to assembly & finishing. Our current customer base includes both Intel Corporation and Novellus Systems, Inc. Find out more at

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Southern Oregon Speedway Ready For Traditional Saturday Wild West Modified Sopeedweek Date On June 22nd

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Southern Oregon Speedway Ready For Traditional Saturday Wild West Modified Sopeedweek Date On June 22nd

By Ben Deatherage
White City, Oregon- The second scheduled round of the 2019 IMCA Wild West Modified Shootout is to be held at Southern Oregon Speedway on Saturday, June 22nd.  It is a familiar battleground to many as it has been a staple on every WWMS schedule, except for 2014.  SOS over the years has opened and closed many speedweeks, but since 2017 the track has taken the role as the subsequent race to the opening round.  But one fact that has remained unchanged is that it has always been ran on a Saturday.

Saturday marks the eighth WWMS event at SOS and in the previous seven features there have been six different winners.  Jesse Williamson is the only repeat victor, with two trips to victory lane, while Ryan Gaylord, Danny Lauer, Brian Poppa, Anthony Restad, and most recently Collen Winebarger have gotten the job done once. In 2019 local competition Bobby Hogge, Jeffery Hudson, and Jesse Bailey have all accumulated one win to their credit.

Front Gates open at 5:00 PM with Racing kicking off at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $15.00 for General Admission, Veterans/Juniors (7-12) $10.00, and Kids (6 & Under) FREE. For additional information log on to

As has been the case for the past few Wild West Modified Shootouts the fine folks at Speed Shift TV will be providing live lap-to-lap coverage of every single round. Be sure and stay tuned to the Wild West Modified Shootout Facebook page for the latest news and updates.

2019 IMCA Wild West Modified Shootout Schedule
Friday, June 21st-Siskiyou Motor Speedway-Yreka, California
Saturday, June 22nd-Southern Oregon Speedway-White City, Oregon
Sunday, June 23rd-Coos Bay Speedway-Coos Bay, Oregon
Monday, June 24th-Cottage Grove Speedway-Cottage Grove, Oregon
Tuesday, June 25th-Cottage Grove Speedway-Cottage Grove, Oregon
Wednesday, June 26th-Sunset Speedway Park-Banks, Oregon
Thursday, June 27th-Travel Date/Driver Appreciation Party presented by FinishLine Graphics
Friday, June 28th-Willamette Speedway-Lebanon, Oregon
Saturday, June 29th-Willamette Speedway-Lebanon, Oregon

Past Wild West Modified Shootout Winners At Southern Oregon Speedway
2011- Brian Poppa on June 18th
2012- Jesse Williamson on June 16th
2013- Anthony Restad on June 22nd
2015- Jesse Williamson on June 13th
2016- Ryan Gaylord on June 11th
2017- Danny Lauer on June 24th
2018- Collen Winebarger on June 23rd

Former IMCA Wild West Modified Shootout Champions
2011- Brian Poppa
2012- Jesse Williamson
2013- Jesse Williamson
2014- Alex Stanford
2015- Jesse Williamson
2016- Kellen Chadwick
2017- Jesse Williamson
2018- John Campos

All-Time IMCA Wild West Modified Shootout Win List
Jesse Williamson- 12
Alex Stanford- 6
Kellen Chadwick- 4
Brian Poppa
Ethan Dotson-3
Nick Trenchard
Collen Winebarger
Travis Peery-2
Ken Schrader
Mark Wauge
John Campos- 1
Mark Carrell
Ryan Gaylord
Braedon Hand
Danny Lauer
Scott Lenz
Brad Martin
Anthony Restad
Wade Taylor
Grey Ferrando
Bricen James

Former Southern Oregon Speedway Modified Track Champions
1996- Tom Glover
1997- Dennis Silva
1998- Tom Glover
1999- Don Estremado
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
2018- Albert Gill

Wild West IMCA Modified Speedweek Series Comes 
To Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway is set for another big event this Saturday night. The IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek Series is coming to town, and that means there will be a bigger field of competitors in the class. Joining them on the card will be the IMCA Sport Modifieds and Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars. It's sure to be another exciting event.

This is the ninth season for the popular Speedweek Series. It was created as a means to bring together some of the top competitors on the West Coast in the spirit of good competition. They will compete in eight different events in a nine race span at six different race tracks. After the final race at Willamette Speedway, they will crown a champion of the week-long series.

The Speedweek Series was kicked off in 2011 with Medford star Brian Poppa winning the championship. In three of the next four years, Jesse Williamson emerged with the championship, interrupted only in 2014 by Chowchilla, California's Alex Stanford. The last three seasons have seen the championship honors go to Oakley, California's Kellen Chadwick in 2016, Williamson for the fourth time in 2017 and last season to John Campos.

The format calls for two sets of heat races with the starting lineup for the first heat race inverted for the second heat. Drivers earn finishing and passing points to determine who makes it into the show and who is forced to run B Mains and Last Chance Qualifiers, if necessary. Just making it into the show can be a challenge, and this also plays into the track's own championship battle.

Going into each season, the racers know that the Speedweek race and Labor Day Weekend's special R Charles Snyder Salute will have a huge impact on the track championship. With the increase in top name drivers coming from out of town, just making it into the show and therefore earning points can be a challenge. After three races, feature wins have been earned by Jeffrey Hudson, Bobby Hogge IV and Jesse Bailey. Fettinger currently leads the standings by two points ahead of rookie Justin Foux and six in front of Preston Jones. Reigning champion Albert Gill and Bailey are within 11 points of the lead. This will be the first test for the local racers.

Last season, Collen Winebarger scored the Speedweek victory at Southern Oregon Speedway. Winebarger, along with Williamson and Campos, made it a close Speedweek championship race last year before Campos emerged with the title. Winebarger has done well in the Southern Oregon Speedway race with third place finishes in 2017 and 2016 and a fourth in 2015. He's looking forward to coming to town and making a run at his second-straight victory. Williamson and Campos are sure to make their presence known. Chadwick will be back to make a run at another Speedweek crown, and the car count could reach into the 30s in this division alone.

Car count has been on the rise in the IMCA Sport Modified division, prompting some of the racers to lobby to be included in the entire Speedweek Series. Southern Oregon Speedway has remained supportive of the class and included them in the show for the past three seasons. Point leader Jorddon Braaten has the hot hand coming into the night after posting back-to-back clean sweep efforts. His win last week came ahead of Isaac Sanders, and it's Matt Sanders running second to Braaten in the standings by 10 points. Rookie Wyatt Westfall is surprising a few people as he holds down third in the standings.

Saturday's race could see an increase in drivers in the IMCA Sport Modified division as well. Jantzen Knips had a strong effort last week with a third place finish, while two-time reigning champion Mike Medel had his best effort of the year in fifth. Both will be looking to get the win this week, and others to keep an eye on include Branden Wilson, Willie McFall, Rich McCoy and Braxton Possinger.

The Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars round out what is sure to be an action-packed evening. Feature winners so far this year at Southern Oregon Speedway include two-time champion Brock Peters and Camden Robustelli. These two drivers come in as favorites to win, but three-time reigning champion Josh King has been on a roll with wins in Yreka, Willamette and Winnemucca, Nevada already this year. Beating this trio will be difficult, but ageless veteran Fred Hay, Chad Cardoza, Kalvin Morton and Jesse Lorentz will be among those hoping to get the job done.

To those looking for more racing, there is another full lineup of Outlaw Karts and Flat Track Motorcycles at the little track on Friday. The gates will open there at 5 p.m. with the first race starting at 7 pm. $10 gets you pit access and a bleacher seat.

On Saturday, the IMCA Wild West Speedweek Series show will see the gates open at 5 with the first race starting at 7. General Admission Adult tickets are $15 with Seniors, Juniors and Children 7 to 12 $10. Children 6 and under are free. For further information, go to

Pit Stops

Due to the lateness in which this column is being written, we're going to be a little bit briefer than usual. We are trying to keep our deadline and have been fighting that battle all week.

Southern Oregon Speedway had a test last Saturday night. It was what we call a kitchen sink event. Seven of the ten divisions that get rotated in the lineup were all competing, meaning it was a full program of racing. Conservatively, a car count of somewhere between 70 to 80 cars was anticipated, but there ended up being 93 drivers for the show. While track officials were able to keep the show moving and keep cars on the race track, other factors slowed it down.

Track conditions were a little bit challenging for some of the racers, resulting in yellow flags and making the show go later and later. The fans who hung in there were treated to some really good racing by the time the Late Models, IMCA Modifieds and Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars rolled onto the track. Even the IMCA Sport Modifieds put on a good show as Jorddon Braaten came from the sixth row to get the lead, putting on a passing clinic.

It seems like every time the IMCA Modifieds are called upon to run a fast and exciting program, they do just that. In this case, it was a battle between 2017 champion Jesse Bailey and three-time reigning champion Albert Gill. Gill was never quite able to attempt a pass on Bailey, but he ran with him in a race that had a complete restart and then no yellow flags after that. Third place went to division rookie Jimmy Lipke, who has been a star and champion in Yreka in the IMCA Sport Modifieds. He is adapting quite well to this division.

With a couple of the championship contenders opting to go elsewhere, other racers are more than willing to step up and be counted. Being a championship contender with IMCA can be a blessing and a curse. The bad part is your high average will put you deeper in the pack, which is where Zack Fettinger found himself at the start. He was able to get as far as fifth behind Jeremy Ohlde. The finish was still good enough to move Fettinger into the lead in the standings by two points ahead of rookie Justin Foux, who finished sixth. Only one point behind Foux is Preston Jones, while Gill is now ten points out of the lead, making this a close battle.

It's been highlighted that the Wild West Speedweek format makes it a challenge for the local point competitors, as does the R Charles Snyder Salute that will take place on Labor Day Weekend. You'll have a big group of drivers coming in from out of town to race, meaning the local drivers aren't assured they're going to get into the show. They have to race hard, and some drivers won't make the cut. Saturday night's Speedweek event will not only offer some of the best Modified racing seen all season, it will certainly test the locals.

The Late Models made a big statement on Saturday night with 16 competitors pulling through the gates. Never has Southern Oregon Speedway seen such a big car count for a regular Late Model show, though there have been huge gatherings for special events. Two drivers making a long trip to go racing at Southern Oregon Speedway are point leader Trent Elliott and Darren Coffell. These two drivers figured to be tough to beat this year, and they didn't prove that speculation wrong on this occasion.

The battle between Coffell and Elliott at the front of the pack was epic as they worked slower traffic. Coffell was doing fine until he got slowed up just a bit on the bottom groove, allowing Elliott to make a pass on the 24th lap to take the lead and victory. In doing so, Elliot has managed to stretch his point lead to 31 points over Coffell. What's interesting, however, is there is a very close battle going on for second.

Coffell isn't the only driver who missed the season opener that is still in the hunt. Mark Wauge also didn't join until the second race, an event that saw him finish third. Last Saturday, he won the Trophy Dash and then won a good battle with 2017 champion Nathan Augustine to finish third in the Main Event once again. This will keep him five points out of second in a tie with 2012 Coos Bay champion Dave Foote. Wauge is definitely finding Late Models to his liking.

Dave Everson and Miles Deubert are both within seven points of Coffell. To highlight just how much the Late Model division is growing, last Saturday saw the season debut of both Eric Massey and Chris Biggs. Massey has a car that came out of the shop of Rapp Racing. We should be seeing another car from that shop, driven by the hard-charging Dustin Knight, in the future. As for Saturday, Biggs managed to grab a seventh place finish, followed by Massey.

What's nice is there is an excitement surrounding the Late Model division, and other drivers are wanting to join the fun. When Promoter Mike McCann added the class in 2016, it was with the hope and belief that something could develop in the Medford Area. Fans and racers have been starving for some Late Model racing, and now they're getting it.

The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car division is proving something this year. It doesn't appear to just be a one-man show at the front of the pack. The racers are stepping up their game, and it's making for some exciting racing. Mike Wheeler has set the Outlaw Kart world on fire through the years, but he's always wanted to go Sprint Car racing. He's finally getting his chance, and he served notice last season when he led most of the Main Event in the season finale before finishing second. Early in the race, Wheeler ran a close third behind the season debut of Blaine Cory and Bailey Hibbard.

Where Wheeler may have learned the lesson last year that helped him this time was his willingness to put his car up on the outside. He lost the lead last year in that race to an outside pass. This time, he made not one, but two outside passes to get around Hibbard and then eventually Cory to grab the lead. Wheeler led the second half of the race for a well-earned first career victory and has moved into the point lead. Wheeler had some help from his brother Vern Wheeler Jr. Vern has won several Main Events at the speedway through the years and is able to impart his knowledge in helping Mike be more competitive.

Drivers are still jockeying for position in the Sprint Car battle, meaning that two past Southern Oregon Speedway champions, TJ Winningham and Charlie Thompson, are both within 11 points of the lead. Thompson did a good job of getting his car to a fourth place finish last week ahead of Enrique Jaime.

Looking at the field that competed last week, it's fair to say that most of these drivers can strike for a win at some point. Even rookie Jared Hood looked good in preliminaries when he finished second in his heat race, though he joined Johnny Burke in the pits early in the Main Event.

It's still unclear whether Jorddon Braaten is going for points at Southern Oregon Speedway. The only clear message that he's sending everybody is that he will be difficult to beat any time he's in town. Nobody would doubt that as he approaches 50 career wins at Southern Oregon Speedway in his impressive career. The two-time Southern Oregon Speedway and reigning Oregon State champion started back in the sixth row while Jantzen Knips and Mike Medel mixed it up at the front of the pack.

Medel has had two races that he'd rather forget, but it was plain to see that he had things figured out with his car this time. No sooner had Medel taken the lead from Knips then Braaten came charging past him to take the lead. For Braaten, it would be another clean sweep performance as he stretched his point lead to 10 points over Matt Sanders, who would finish a respectable fourth ahead of Medel in the Main Event. It was another Sanders, Isaac, taking second from Knips before the finish. Rookie Wyatt Westfall is surprising everybody as he is third in the standings, right behind Matt Sanders.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds are probably the most competitive division at the speedway, and they are certainly delivering the biggest car counts. It's making for some great racing on the track as the drivers have to be on their game or they're certainly not going to be in the hunt. Since the IMCA Sport Modifieds are on the card this week, it's possible that we could see an increase in car count.

Several stars from Oregon and California have been vocal about their desire for the Sport Modified class to be included as part of the IMCA Speedweek Series. For the record, Southern Oregon Speedway is not opposed to this idea and has booked the class for the past three years as part of this date. In any case, Top 10 competitors such as Branden Wilson, Willie McFall and Steve Lysinger will be out giving it their best this week. Lysinger is in his second year, and he's shown quite a bit of improvement as he takes aim at his first Top 5 finish.

Other things that sparked the car count increase at the speedway last week included the season-high 10 car field that the Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks delivered, the 12 that came from the JOAT Labs Hornets and the 10 OTRO Hardtops. For the Hardtops, this was the biggest count they've delivered since being a part of the schedule in 2016.

The one thing you can say about the Hardtops is if other things seemed to be slowing the program down last week, it certainly was not the drivers in this class. Dean Cast won the Main Event, but it's likely that those honors would have went to Mark Minter. Minter led 13 laps, but mechanical issues sent him to the pits. Driving the Dusty Trotter car, Justin Krossman made a last turn pass on Bill Trotter to finish second, while Jay Smith did his usual competent job of driving the truck to a fourth place finish. Chris Mehrer has a new motor in his green #17 car, and he took a lead lap finish in fifth.

OTRO generally puts drivers who don't get much glory into the Trophy Dash to give them a shot at a trophy. In this case, it was Matt Butler holding off the debut of Brian Weberg II to get the win. Unfortunately for Weberg, his night ended after the heat race. Eric DeRamus saw his night end after a crash in the Trophy Dash when he hit the wall hard. His car suffered damage, but fans donated money to help him get the car repaired. The car Eric is driving was driven by his father, Teddy DeRamus, in years past.

David Steele is still proving to be formidable in the Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks, but he's finding some good competition from Ashtin Hedges. Though Ashtin is not a rookie, he is in his first full season and was coming off of an impressive win last time out. Ashtin did lead briefly in the race, but a pit stop had him playing catch-up in the closing laps. Steele won, and Hunter Magnan was a happy second after winning his heat race earlier in the evening.

Much like 2013 champion Steve Goetz, Magnan has been battling motor problems. However, Goetz still didn't have them sorted out as he scratched after the heat race. He was joined on the sidelines by 2014 champion Gary Anderson, who also had motor issues. Megnan seems to have the #33m car running strong once again, and looking as good as he did last week, you have to believe a feature win is just around the corner

With his third place finish, Hedges is still just five points behind Steele in a close championship battle. It was not the best of nights for some of the racers, but despite losing a lap in the pits, 2017 champ Kristopher Mix still holds down third after his Main Event run. He leads Mike McLeod by four points and fourth place finisher Dylan Irving by six. Mix was joined by teammate Andrew Hall, who is back in action with a new Ford Pinto. Andrew was fast all night, but it looks like he's got some handling issues to sort out.

The JOAT Labs Hornets have the same thing going on these days. Dylan Sauer just keeps winning. Last Saturday he roared to his third straight victory. After having some problems early in the race, 2016 champ Tim Hedges had worked his way into second before being eliminated in a crash involving Derrel Nelson Jr. Hedges will still hold second in the standings, seven behind Sauer. For Nelson, it was a third place finish as he was passed late by Trophy Dash winner Jenna Hedges. However, Derrel seems to be back in form again. He is fourth in the standings, six behind Jenna Hedges and four ahead of rookie Quinton Tritchler.

The bad news for the Hornets was that the race was rather brutal as there was much contact. Only four of the 11 starters took the checkered flag, including a career-best fourth-place effort for Shawn Nelson. One who didn't take the checkered flag was Bree Tritchler, despite debuting a new car. The reigning champion commented prior to the races that she's looking at making a move up and hopes that this will happen in the Dwarf Car division. No timetable is set, but Bree has certainly accomplished what she set out to do in the Hornet class.

Little Southern Oregon Speedway had an event last Friday night and will be back in action again this Friday. The addition of the Flat Track Bikes has certainly helped the program as the Kart count has sort of struggled during the past 3 seasons. The Bikes were also important as there were several Kart teams who were not competing Friday. The Kart racers who did show up certainly put on a good race, but it is hoped that the numbers will increase across the boards and things can start to happen that people have been looking for at the little track in the future.

The 250 Kart class has been putting on a good show all season long. Trevor Grimes is back to see if he can return to championship form. He was forced to settle for second last season behind Vinny DeBenedetti, but he did win the 2017 title. This year, Grimes is finding some tough competition from rookie Jacob James.

James shared heat race winner's honors with Grimes and then proceeded to lead 17 laps of the Main Event. There was a bit of contact in Turns 1 and 2 as Grimes passed James for the lead and went on to victory. James was second. One would have to believe that a win is just around the corner for him. Cadyn Smith was also a welcome return. Though there were mechanical issues early in the night for him, he still took a checkered flag in third in the feature.

Jayme DeBenedetti had her best night yet. Hoping to see her get more aggressive, her father Jon DeBenedetti put her in the Novice class for last season's finale, and she promptly won that race. In the Beginner's class on Friday, DeBenedetti got the lead and then she promptly pulled away from the rest of the pack. She was never challenged as she got her first win in this class.

Also looking very good last week was Urijah Boardman, who had a career-best second ahead of Bhaltair Edwards in his best finish in the Beginners class in third. Another driver showing marked improvement was Isaac Grimes. He led much of the first heat before finishing second to DeBenedetti, and then he won his first career heat race next time around. His Main Event didn't go as hoped, but it was still a good night.

Keaton Augustine was able to win another Box Stock Main Event. The reigning champion got the lead early on and left Kiley Grimes and Albert Gill Jr to battle for second. Gill would eventually wrestle the position away from Grimes for his division debut second place effort, but Grimes still looked good in her third place finish. Hopefully, there will be a few more competitors next time around.

The Flat Track Bikes had 19 competitors and ran four different classifications. The star of the night was clearly Trevor Taylor, who turned in a rather dominant performance in winning the Open Bike, 450cc Bike and 250cc Bike Main Events. Theo Lount competed in all three classes as well and finished second in both the 250 and 500 classes, while Mya Maffei got a third in the 250s and a second in the Open Bike class. Another Rider looking good was Brooke Lozano, who finished third in both the Open and 450 Bike classes.

Word is getting out there about the Flat Track Bikes program being established at the little track. One of the riders who showed up this week was Carl Tresser, the owner of Worden Speedway. Tresser was the founding force behind the Sportsman Sprint Car division that ran in Yreka in the 1990s. Unfortunately, he had mechanical issues, but Tresser should be back this week. Another of the older competitors was Steve Williamson, who came in from Willits, California and finished fourth in both the 450 and Open Bike classes.