Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Champions Honored At 24th Annual Southern Oregon Speedway Awards Banquet

Southern Oregon Speedway Racing Discussion
Can Be Heard HERE

Champions Honored At 24th Annual 
Southern Oregon Speedway Awards Banquet

Medford, Oregon...This past weekend, Southern Oregon Speedway celebrated the accomplishments of their 24th championship season by honoring the top drivers. Promoter Mike McCann gave a brief state of the race track address to highlight the accomplishments of the season and give a glimpse of some of the plans for the coming season.

McCann, who has promoted the speedway for the past four years, announced the addition of Bob Valencia to the speedway staff. Valencia has served as Director of Competition and flagman at various times throughout his extensive career, most recently for the popular IMCA Modified Wild West Speedweek Series. He will be taking on Director of Competition and flagman duties at Southern Oregon Speedway this year.

McCann gave those present a glimpse of the coming schedule by saying that most of the big events featured at the speedway last season will continue this year. This will include the Roger Haudenshild Tribute, R Charles Snyder Salute, Cascade Wingless Sprint Car Challenge, Ironhead Nationals and Cottonwood Classic. He added that the IMCA Sport Modified division will have another special big race. It will be the $2,000 to win Timber Cup, slated for June. McCann mentioned that the new schedule will be released within the next two weeks.

Speedway announcer Cory Penfold served as Master of Ceremonies. The Top 10 drivers in the six divisions being honored at the banquet received trophies. Champions included Trent Elliott (Late Models), Mike Wheeler (Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars), Zach Fettinger (IMCA Modifieds), Jorddon Braaten (IMCA Sport Modifieds), David Steele (Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks) and Greg Arnold (Valley Store All Late Model Lites). 

Rookie of the Year winners included Johnny Burke (Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars), Mark Wauge (Late Models), Jimmy Lipke (IMCA Modifieds), Austin Petray (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Dylan Irving (Bobbio's Pizza Mini Stocks) and Jim Cunningham (Valley Store All Late Model Lites).

There were a few interesting news items mentioned during the night. Late Model champion Elliott indicated that he will continue to compete this season, though he has plans to leave the state for a big race during the season. Wauge has acquired a former Joey Tanner Willamette Speedway championship car as he hopes to make a more serious run at the Late Model championship. Word.is that there will be several new Late Model drivers this season.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds, which were the biggest regular car count at the speedway last season, will be seeing a few new drivers in the field as well. Braaten is one of the five champions honored this past weekend who intends to continue competing in their respective divisions next season. Late Model Lites champion Arnold is the one exception as he will be running full time in the Late Models this year. 

Steele will be back to defend his Mini Stock championship. In this past two seasons, he has finished no worse than second in Main Event competition, but he'll be facing stiff competition this coming season. Most of his top challengers from last season will be back, and championship runner-up Ashtin Hedges will be joined by father Tim Hedges, who has acquired the former Gary Anderson championship car. Tim has two other cars as his team will be adding to the Mini Stock car count.

Penfold did a great job as MC of the event, and it wrapped up with new Director of Competition Valencia receiving a warm welcome from the packed room. He gave a brief statement regarding his plans for how the weekly program will be run this coming season.

The coming race schedule, rules updates and other news can be found at the Southern Oregon Speedway Facebook page or by checking out www.southernoregonspeedway.com.