Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE
Ironhead Nationals Winged Sprint Car Race Saturday Night
At Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon...The big month of August at Southern Oregon Speedway continues this Saturday night with another huge event scheduled. It's the Second Annual Ironhead Nationals for the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, and it will pay $2,000 to win. Joining the Sprint Cars on the action packed program will be the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modified, Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets. For fans looking to see a little bit more racing, Friday night will offer a full lineup of Karts and Motorcycles on the little track.
Southern Oregon Speedway again offers the biggest paying event in the state for the Sprint Cars using the limited rules package. The extra money in the purse is sure to bring a few surprises to the field. Last season, local Winged 360 Sprint Car star Garen Linder teamed up with TJ Winningham to claim the big prize. Word is that we may see some visitors from up north, and that may include Kinzer Cox. Last time out, Cox came to town and held off a late surge from point leader Mike Wheeler to claim the victory.
Wheeler has been the driver to beat this year with three wins. The point leader has gradually pulled away from the pack, leaving the rest to battle for second. Though he's not in the championship hunt, Tanner Holmes offers a formidable challenge whenever he's in town. Holmes picked up the win in the season opener and ran strong in third last time out. He would have to be considered a threat to get the win this week.
Likewise, David Hibbard looked strong for most of the recent race as he won both his heat and the Scramble. He was running in the Top 3 before pitting late in the race. The reigning champion is still looking for his first win of the season and would love to get it on the biggest night of the year for the class. Inaaa addition to the top drivers anticipated from out of town, top regulars such as Bailey Hibbard, Charlie Thompson, Enrique Jaime, Anissa Curtice and Johnny Burke are anticipated for the big show.
With three races in the next four weeks, this is a crucial stretch for the IMCA Modifieds. After his clean sweep performance in the fifth event, Zack Fettinger has taken a big step in his goal to win the championship. Fettinger leads 2017 title winner Jesse Bailey by 25 points. Bailey is another of the five different winners in the five races held so far. Still looking for his win is championship hopeful and top rookie Justin Foux, who ranks third in the standings. These three may be the drivers to beat this week, but three-time reigning champion Albert Gill is hoping to rebound from his motor issues at the previous race. Other stars to watch for include Ray Kniffen Jr, rookie Jimmy Lipke, David Satterfield and Duane Orsburn.
Consistency has served Jorddon Braaten and Matt Sanders well in the IMCA Sport Modified championship battle. This division will also have three races in the next four weeks. Braaten and Sanders are both feature winners this year. Jorddon has won twice, and Matt's brother Isaac has a victory as well. The span between the three drivers is 20 points as two-time champion Braaten leads the way.
IMCA Sport Modifieds continue to deliver some of the biggest car counts seen at the speedway this year. The most recent race was a flag to flag romp for Braxton Possinger, giving hope to the rest of the pack that their turn in the winner's circle could be next. Some of the stars to watch for this week include two-time champion Mike Medel, Branden Wilson, rookie Wyatt Westfall, Willie McFall and the rapidly improving Steve Lysinger.
The Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stock battle is currently being led by reigning champion David Steele. Steele recently celebrated his milestone 75th career win in a Mini Stock, and he's added four to that total this year at his home track. However, despite back-to-back clean sweeps, his advantage over second year star Ashtin Hedges is only 15 points. Like Steele, Hedges is a Main Event winner this year.
Another driver with a win to his credit is Hunter Magnan. After a rough start with motor issues, Magnan has climbed into fourth the standings, 14 markers behind 2017 champion Kristopher Mix. Mix will be gunning for his first win of the season this week, and others to watch for include top rookie Dylan Irving, Michael McLeod, Steve Goetz, Brandyn Wonsyld and Andrew Hall.
With four-straight wins to kick off his season, Dylan Sauer comes into the night leading the JOAT Labs Hornets point race. However, 2016 champion Tim Hedges has picked up back-to-back victories. Sauer still holds a nine point lead over Hedges in the hotly contested point race. Rookie Quinton Tritchler has picked up two second place finishes in the last three races and is on a quest to get his first win. He trails Jenna Hedges by just six points in another close battle for third in points. These four frontrunners are anticipated this week along with Chris Boynton, Shawn Nelson, Lacey Sauer, Ryan Nelson and Zach Nelson.
The Friday night program at Little Southern Oregon Speedway has just two events left. It's been an interesting show all season long with the two-wheel and three-wheel vehicles joining forces with the Outlaw Kart program.
The youngest stars of the speedway in the Beginners Box Stock class have been putting on some good shows, and three-time winner Jayme DeBenedetti leads Isaac Grimes in the point race. While Grimes looks for his first win, Caleb Ranney scored a clean sweep last time out.
The 250 Kart division continues to be led by four-time winner Trevor Grimes as he's on a piece to win his second championship. Jacob James, reigning champion Vinny DeBenedetti and Cadyn Smith are mixing it up in a close race for second.
It will be an exciting weekend of racing at Southern Oregon Speedway. The gates open on both nights at 5 p.m. with the first race starting at 7. On Friday night, there's a $10 admission fee that gets you pit access and a bleacher seat. On Saturday night, General Admission Adults 13+ are $15, Seniors 62+, Veterans and Juniors 7 to 12 are $10 and children 6 and under are free. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
Southern Oregon Speedway Names Hall Of Fame Inductees
White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway will be hosting the third Annual Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame on August 17th. In addition to a night that will be offering up some great racing action with the Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks and JOAT Labs Hornets, Southern Oregon's racing tradition will be honored and acknowledged once again. Six people will be joining the Hall Of Fame this year.
Southern Oregon Speedway history stretches back 24 seasons now, and before that there was the famed Medford Raceway, the White City track and the track in Ashland. Racing has been going on in Southern Oregon for many decades. During that time, we've seen some great racers and some great people behind the scenes who have kept the sport alive through good times and bad times. On Saturday, August 17th, you're likely to see some faces at the speedway you haven't seen in a while as we look back on the golden era of racing.
When you enter the gate to the grandstands, you'll see some beautifully prepared clipping displays looking back at racing in Southern Oregon through the years. Racing historian Denny Deatherage and his brother Curt Deatherage put together the first three for the speedway. Sadly, Curt passed away last September, but he has been memorialized as the Historical Night at Cottage Grove Speedway has been named in his honor. Denny Deatherage is preparing a new display board with more clippings and photos from days gone by.
On those display boards, you will see the name Markey James several times. The James family has been a fixture in Southern Oregon racing for decades, going back to his father Cecil James. Markey is one of the six inductees this year. Joining him in the Southern Oregon Racing Hall Of Fame class of 2019 will be Jim Walker Sr, Sam Dykes, Jay McCleary, Dave Shinn and Freddy Higginbotham.
Markey James won many races through the years at the Medford Posse Grounds and other venues. James ran wheel-to-wheel with the best of them through the years, and he managed to win Main Events in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s. From the days of Hall of Famers Harold Hardesty and Ben Neel to the era of Hall of Famers Bruce Rayburn and Dane Smith to the early years at Southern Oregon Speedway competing with racers like Don Estermado and Tom Glover, James ran wheel to wheel with the best and beat them.
The name Jim Walker is familiar to people in Medford. Watching Jimmy Walker win races and championships in the Street Stock division was a common site. However, years earlier, Jim Walker Sr was burning up the scene at the old White City track, where he won a pair of championships. Throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, Jim was a front runner and a winner at Medford Raceway as well. He was truly one of the all time greats.
At a time when Hardesty and Neel were seen regularly at the front of the pack, Sam Dykes emerged as a worthy adversary for the two. In 1968, Dykes rose above and won the track championship ahead of Hardesty. In the 1960s and early 1970s, he was a Main Event winner on several occasions.
Jay McCleary was a fierce competitor in Stock Car racing at the Posse Grounds in the 1970s and the 1980s. He won many races along the way and had some great battles with hard chargers like Jimmy Walker Jr and Ben Neel. His last championship was at the Posse Grounds in 1988. People still consider him to be one of the greatest Street Stock racers of all time.
Dave Shinn was one of the stars of the Stock Car/Super Stock scene in the 1970s and 1980s. At a time when the POSSE Super Stock Tour was at its pinnacle, Shinn beat the best that California and Oregon had to offer to win the 1987 championship.
The man throwing the flags during some of the most legendary battles in Medford Raceway history was Freddy Higginbotham. He won the respect of all of the competitors for the way he handled his duties, and that also got him the flagman position at other venues for some of the biggest races through the years.
Racing is about family and friends and good times. When you're out there enjoying a show, it's the stars of the speedway who keep you enthralled and entertained. They are the ones who compel you to come back to the speedway week in and week out. They are the ones who inspire the next generation of competitors and capture the imagination of the new fans growing up. On Saturday, August 17th, Southern Oregon Speedway honors six people who made a huge impact in auto racing in Southern Oregon. It will be a night you won't want to miss. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
Cottonwood Classic Format And Purse Announced For Southern Oregon Speedway
White City, Oregon...All year long, people have been talking about the First Annual Cottonwood Classic at Southern Oregon Speedway. The date is set for August 24th, and it's been known that the speedway will be paying $4,000 to win, making this the highest paying Late Model race on the West Coast this year. However, Promoter Mike McCann recently released more details for this big event, which will also include the support of the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks, Valley Store All Late Model Lites, JOAT Labs Hornets and OTRO Hardtops.
The money at the top of the purse will be quite attractive for the top Oregon and California Late Model competitors. Besides the $4,000 winner's prize, second place will earn a cool $2,000 in cash. Third place will receive $1,000, and even fourth place will pay more than most regular shows at $700. Just to take the green flag in 30 lap race will assure the racers that they will receive $200 minimum at the pay window.
Entry for the show is $100 for car and driver, and pit crews will be charged the regular $30 fee. Drivers will draw a pill to determine their lineup in the four scheduled 10 lap heat races. The Top 3 finishers in each heat race will earn Main Event starting positions. The Top 2 finishers will earn starting births in the eight lap Scramble race. Drivers will again draw for starting positions in the Scramble, and the finishing order in that race will set the first four rows for the high dollar Main Event. All other non transfers will run a 12 lap B Main, sending the Top 4 finishers into the show. B Main non transfers will receive $150.
That money is sure to attract several racers to town. Reportedly, car owner Paul Guglielmoni will be bringing multiple cars to the show, and one of them is likely to be piloted by Bobby Hogge IV. Hogge has a knack for winning big shows everywhere he goes and was a winner in the second Late Model race at Southern Oregon Speedway. He has won several big money races at the track in the past and could be the driver to beat.
Trent Elliott currently leads the standings by a comfortable margin as he looks to win the Southern Oregon Speedway championship. Elliott has won three Main Events so far this year and may be the top regular competitor in the battle to get the win on this occasion. Two Southern Oregon Speedway champions, 2017 title winner Nathan Augustine and 2016 champ Bob Dees are both anticipated.
Darren Coffell has looked very impressive this year with a win and a pair of second place finishes. He ranks third in the current standings behind 2013 Pro Stock champion Dave Everson. Everson has been rapidly improving this year with a pair of third place feature finishes and a win in the most recent Trophy Dash. The Medford regulars will be lining up to take a shot at the money, led by seven-time IMCA Modified champion Mark Wauge, 2012 Coos Bay champion Dave Foote, last season's "Rookie Of The Year" Miles Deubert, Eric Massey and Chris Biggs. There have been unconfirmed reports that Biggs was talking with a certain California star to put him behind the wheel of his fast #20 car. There are further rumors of track record holder Dustin Knight making his new car debut, though none of this has been confirmed yet.
As the purse information and race details have just been released, you're likely to hear some big name drivers from other tracks declare their intent to make a run for the big money being offered at Southern Oregon Speedway. The Cottonwood Classic has been established to bring big time Late Model racing back to the area, and this is sure to be a race you won't want to miss. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com. The Cottonwood Classic Flier is viewable at http://www.southernoregonspeedway.com/Cottonwood19.pdf.