R Charles Snyder Salute Returns August 31st - September 1st At Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon...The biggest IMCA Modified and IMCA Sport Modified event in Oregon returns this year on Labor Day Weekend. It's the Third Annual R Charles Snyder Saute, and it will once again pay $5,000 to the winner of the IMCA Modified Main Event on Sunday, while the IMCA Sport Modified winner will receive $2,000 on Sunday.
The event was started in 2017 to pay tribute to long time Medford Area Radio DJ and Southern Oregon Racing announcer R Charles Snyder. Snyder was beloved among the community for not only being a great DJ and supporter of racing, but also for his efforts to help raise money for local causes and for promoting various concerts through the years. When he passed away in 2015, the community mourned the loss.
Charles announced at Southern Oregon Speedway for several seasons. He also announced in Yreka and had his first opportunities to announce at the old Medford Speedway in the late 1970s. He merely came to the old Posse Grounds track to find out how racing announcers did it. Little did he know that he would end up announcing that night when the announcer didn't show up. It sparked a love of motorsports that continued right up until his passing in 2015.
Some of the best racers on the West Coast make the trek to Medford on Labor Day Weekend to make a run for the money. It makes for some of the best competition you'll find anywhere. The format is set to encourage drivers to support both days of competition with further incentive in the form of an Invitational Main Event at the end of the Saturday qualifying show.
Drivers will run a similar format to that of the popular IMCA Wild West Speedweek Tour. They draw for their lineup. The posted lineup for the first set of heat races will be reversed for the second set, and finishing and passing points will help determine the top 16 qualifiers. Those racers will be locked into the big show on Sunday, with the Top 8 point earners redrawing for their lineup position at the front of the 50 lap Modified and 30 lap Sport Modified races. The last starting spots will be determined by finishes in the Mains.
The finish of the first set of heat races will lock the drivers into the Invitational Feature on Saturday night. This will be determined by total heat races with the Top 3 to 5 finishers in each heat making the start. The IMCA Modified Invitational will be a 25 lap affair that pays $1,000 to win, $700 for second and $500 for third with everybody getting at least $100 for the start. The IMCA Sport Modified Invitational Feature will pay a standard Main Event purse of $300 to win, $200 for second and $50 minimum to start.
The money gets bigger on Sunday. All IMCA Modified Main Event starters will receive a minimum of $200, and everybody who started the B Main and didn't transfer receives at least $125. The winner of the big show will cash a $5,000 paycheck with second place good for $2,500, third $1,500 and fourth $1,000. The IMCA Sport Modified division seldom gets an opportunity to race for $2,000 to win anywhere, but that will be the prize on Sunday. Second receives a cool $1,000 with third getting $700. All Main Event starters receive at least $150.
The Race Director for the weekend will be Bob Valencia. Valencia served in that capacity last year in what turned out to be a smoothly run affair. He also does the Speedweek Tour each year.
When the race was started in 2017, there was a classic battle at the front of the pack between the Bowers Racing Modified of Troy Foulger and Bobby Hogge IV. Hogge is known as a bounty hunter as he frequently turns up at the biggest paying events on the West Coast. He won the $1,000 Invitational Feature, but it was Foulger pocketing the big $5,000 prize in his win ahead of seven-time Southern Oregon Speedway champion Mark Wauge. Hogge spun at the start of the race and still managed to charge back to a respectable third place finish. You don't keep Hogge down for long, and he returned last year to claim the big prize money in his win ahead of reigning Merced Speedway champion Darrell Hughes II and Willamette Speedway champion Bricen James. CJ Putnam won the $1,000 Invitational the night before.
One of the most challenging drivers to beat at Southern Oregon Speedway when he's on his game is Jorddon Braaten. He's won over 100 Main Events in his career on the circuit. The two-time Southern Oregon Speedway IMCA Sport Modified champion won the inaugural R Charles Snyder Salute for his division, adding the Invitational win as well. His win in the big show came ahead of Alan Furuta and 2017 Oregon State champion Jayson Nelson. Last season, Braaten made a run to the front of the pack, but he was thwarted by current California State point leader Guy Ahlwardt, who claimed the big $2,000 victory. Daniel Ray ended up third. It was Tyler Rodgers winning the Invitational.
The money will be good, and it's sure to attract some top competitors once again in both divisions. Camping at the speedway will be available for free with no hookups. Entry fee will be $100 for car and driver for the IMCA Modifieds and $80 for car and driver in the IMCA Sport Modifieds. Pit passes will be available for $40 each day. Flier information with more details can be found at www.southernoregonspeedway.com/RCharles19.pdf and the official track web page is www.southernoregonspeedway.com.