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Whoops - It's Chris Sine one of the organizers of the Iron Giant Series (Sorry Chris)
Focus Midgets, Sprint Cars Headline
Open Wheel Showcase Saturday Night
White City, Oregon...Southern Oregon Speedway has an exciting night of open-wheel racing on tap for this Saturday night. It is the Open Wheel Showcase, and the Northwest Focus Midgets will be coming down from Washington with a strong field of competitors. Also on the card will be the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars and OTRO Hardtops.
The biggest and most competitive field of Focus Midgets on the West Coast can be found competing in the Pacific Northwest. On any given weekend, you'll usually find the drivers racing at Grays Harbor, Deming or Skagit Speedways in Washington. They have also put together the Summer Series, which takes the group to six different tracks for a 10 race schedule. In addition to the three aforementioned venues, the Summer Series also visits Sunset Speedway, Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California and Southern Oregon Speedway.
Southern Oregon Speedway was voted the most popular track of the NW Focus Midget drivers last season. They brought 22 cars to the show and ran a race that didn't have a yellow flag until late. The racing was intense at the front of the pack as the leaders battled through slower traffic. It was 2017 Series champion Tristan Thomas picking up the win ahead of Michael Vollbrecht and Chance Crum. Crum ended up second in the standings last year ahead of 2016 champion Nick Evans.
The Focus Midgets are running a Salute To Indy this weekend, complete with a three-wide salute to the fans and a jug of milk to the winner, as is Indy tradition. All about Metal of Medford and Winningham Racing has come on board to sponsor the Big Show. Series officials report that 30 competitors are committed to coming to the speedway, and this includes such noteworthy competitors as Grays Harbor Speedway champion Garrett Thomas, Top 5 ranked Ryan Cully Jonathan Jorgenson, recent Grays Harbor winner Evan Margeson, Nik Larson, Guy Tow, Hannah Lindquist, Glenn Bittrolf and recent Kern Raceway winner Ariel Biggs.
As if watching 30 of these fast Wingless Midget race cars flying around the Jim Rodgers prepared 3/10 mile clay oval isn't enough, the track's Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Car Series will be competing as well. In fact, Ryan Cully and Eric Turner are bringing cars for this division as well as their Focus Midgets.
The last time out, David Hibbard scored an impressive Main Event victory, leaving the battle for second. Hibbard was spotted recently in Cottage Grove picking up another second place finish. He comes into the event as the driver to beat. Enrique Jaime enjoyed his best finish to date last time as the second-year competitor finished third, followed by Jeffrey Hudson.
With some support from Hays Oil and Dave's Carpet & Vinyl, track management has made its strongest commitment ever to building up a Sprint Car class. The roster boasts some talented young drivers with a half dozen of them still in their teens, including Hudson, Jaime, last year's top rookie Merissa Henson, Tanner Holmes, Bailey Hibbard and Theron Smith. All but Holmes are anticipated this week along with Camden Robustelli, Blaine Cory, Aaron Miller and the season debut of reigning track champion Kyler Barraza.
With roughly 50 cars anticipated between the top two classes, having the Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Association on the roster is icing on the cake. Last week, two-time series champion Josh King drove the Jerry Hauck car to what would be a $1,000 victory thanks to the sponsorship of Jim Nelson. To get the win, he had to battle fiercely with 2017 point runner-up Chad Cardoza, who settled for second. These two may be at the head of the pack, but they can anticipate some stiff competition from two-time reigning champion Brock Peters, Cody Peters, Randy Slater, Camden Robustelli and Kalvin Morton, among others.
The Old Time Racers of Oregon will be bringing their V6 powered Coupe and Sedan Hardtops to the speedway. These cars are a flashback to what was the main show at venues throughout the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. Recently, Jamie Britton picked up a win at Cottage Grove Speedway ahead of Mark Minter. Minter won the race on Open Wheel Showcase night last season. The Minter family is part of the foundation that formed the group in the 1980s. Other drivers to watch for this week include Bill Trotter, Dusty Trotter, Jeff Krossman and Jimmy Del Castille.
The Open Wheel showcase is sure to be an event that you won't want to miss as a roster into the seventies is anticipated between the four scheduled classes. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the first race at 7 p.m. General Admission is $15 with Seniors, Veterans and Juniors (6 to 12) $10. Children 5 and under are free. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.
Northwest Focus Midget Roster Of Committed Drivers
00 Alden Ostrom
2a Renee Angel
2j Jonathan Jorgenson
3h Hannah Lindquist
04 Matt Loving
5 AJ fugitt
7s Ross Rankine
9s Sawyer Lind
9t Tristin Thomas
11 Evan Margeson
11t Ray Stebbins
11r Aerial Biggs
12 Jesse Conway
14 Garrett Thomas
16 Nik Larson
17 Chris Bullock
18 Breanna Brostrom
21j Ryan Cully
24 Nick Evans
29t Eric Turner
31 Shane Biles
41 Ashley Thompson
44 Shane Smith
46 Guy Tow Sr
73 Keoni Texeira
75l Chris Greene
82 Greg Thornhill
88 Riley Vaillant
92 Katie Jackson
98 Glenn Bittrolf
2017 Northwest Focus Midget
9t Tristin Thomas 383
83c Chance Crum 362
24 Nick Evans 354
2J Jonathan Jorgenson 349
21J Ryan Cully 339
4 Michael Vollbrecht 338
N8 Nate Vaughn 329
3h Hannah Lindquist 314
14 Garrett Thomas 292
11 Evan Margeson 249
Siskiyou Speedway Honors Past Greats
On Memorial Day Weekend
Yreka, CA...Memorial Day weekend is a special time of year for the racing community at Siskiyou Motor Speedway. It's not just about the extra money being offered for the three division program that will be held on Saturday and Sunday nights. It's about the drivers being remembered. The Sunday specials are the John Arneberg Memorial for IMCA Modifieds, Bo Hittson Memorial for IMCA Sport Modifieds and Mike Cavaye Memorial for the Mini Stocks.
John Arnberg was one of the top drivers in the Northern California and Southern Oregon area and a champion racer. When he died in a tragic boating accident, the track began honoring him with the John Arnberg Memorial race. It has not been an easy race for the drivers to win. The record will show that in 14 races, only Jon DeBenedetti and Travis Peery are repeat winners. In fact, nobody has repeated in the last nine years.
Last season, Nick Trenchard came to town and dominated with the preliminary Main Event win and the big win in the Arnberg race on Sunday. Trenchard used his success that weekend to help him earn the track championship. He is one of the drivers anticipated for this race along with 2016 winner Ryan McDaniel. Race winners Mark Wauge (2015) and Dave Duste Jr (2013) are currently active at Southern Oregon Speedway.
The track announced last week that the win will pay $1,038. The 38 is a reference to the car number of Arnberg and is also the lap total. $750 will go to the second place driver, and the third place finisher will receive $500 among the prize money being offered. That kind of money is sure to bring a few top-notch competitors to town. Some of the racers anticipated include Zach Fettinger, Jeremy Ohlde, two-time champion Albert Gill, Duane Orsburn, James Welshonse and Bo Shields. This is also the second point event, and the track has scheduled the minimum four races required for it to become an official championship.
Not to be left out of the loop, the IMCA Sport Modifieds will run for $750 to win and $500 for second in the annual Bo Hittson Memorial 35 lap Main Event on Sunday. Bo was a popular racer at the speedway in the 1970s and a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. In recent seasons, the star of this race has been two time Southern Oregon Speedway champion Jorddon Braaten. Jorddon has won three of the last four races, including his dominant performance last season. He also won the race back in 2011 when it was a Street Stock show.
One driver with his eyes on the big prize is current point leader Rich McCoy. McCoy has won his share of races across three different divisions at Southern Oregon Speedway, and it would be crazy to think that he won't get a win at some point. This might be his night to shine. Some of the top drivers in the area to watch include 2016 champion Jimmy Lipke, feature winner Justin Foux, recent Medford winner David Marble, Joby Shields and Ryder Boswell. The Sanders family is now three cars strong with Isaac, Matt and Steven fielding cars last week in a show that was destined to be rained out.
Not wanting to leave the Mini Stock division out of the loop, that class had a blowout race created over a decade ago. Mike Caveye was a driver in that class as well as the Street Stocks. He was popular among his peers and the fans, and this race was named in his honor when he passed away. David Steele has won three of the last four races, including last season. No driver in the area is as hot as he is, having won eight of the last nine races in which he started.
Still without a win in the big event is two-time reigning champion Marilyn Yawnick. She will be hoping to change that this week. Past champion Terry Kendrick won the race in 2016 and would love another one. 2014 champion Mike Whitaker will be there to make his presence known. A good turnout is anticipated with Jason Frost, Darek Alford, Zac McMurray, and Mike Frost among those to watch for. There could be a visitor or two coming from Medford for the show, which will pay $302 to win.
The Saturday program will offer regular purses for all three divisions and full formats. The extra money will be on the line on Sunday. Both nights should offer great racing for the fans to enjoy. For further information, go to www.siskiyoumotorspeedway.com.
John Arnberg Memorial Winners
2005 John Toolanen
2006 Randy McDaniel
2007 Jon DeBenedetti
2008 Travis Peery
2009 Jon DeBenedetti
2010 Vince Bowers
2011 Brian Poppa
2012 Travis Peery
2013 Dave Duste Jr
2014 Riley Simmons
2015 Mark Wauge
2016 Ryan McDaniel
2017 Nick Trenchard
Bo Hittson Memorial Winners
2004 Jesse Morton
2005 info not available
2006 Chris Cullen
2007 info not available
2008 Ryan Haines
2009 Tony Morton
2010 Billy Jasmer
2011 Jorddon Braaten
2012 Jesse Morton
2013 Cody Hamilton
2014 Jorddon Braaten
2015 Jorddon Braaten
2016 Brian Cooper
2017 Jorddon Braaten
Mike Caveye/Mini Stock Blowout Winners
2008 John Derby
2009 Jim Pope
2010 David Steele
2011 John Derby
2012 Dan Borror
2013 Ryder Boswell
2014 David Steele
2015 David Steele
2016 Terry Kendrick
2017 David Steele
Penny Gold Rush, NASCAR Racing On Tap This Saturday
At Coos Bay Speedway
Coos Bay, Oregon...One thing about Coos Bay Speedway is it's all about bringing families together for some great racing action. This Sunday night, First Community Credit Union is sponsoring Kids Penny Gold Rush. Kids grab as many pennies as they can, and the one who collects the most wins a $25 gift card. Plus, they get all the free money they can grab as there will be $300 worth of pennies.
Action on the track will include the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Models, Sportsman Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Outlaws, Hornets and the new Junior Stingers division for competitors 7 to 14 years old.
The NASCAR prize offered at the end of the season is $3,000 to the track champion and $2,000 to the state champion for the Super Late Model division. This means a driver can win $5,000 by season's end. After three events, last season's Sportsman Late Model champion Brody Montgomery leads Chris Ray by 16 points. Montgomery has two feature victories. Since he made seven starts and ranked sixth in the Super Late Model standings last year, Montgomery isn't available for the $1,000 prize to the top rookie in the field. At the moment, fourth ranked Richard Wallace is the top driver in the group who has never had a NASCAR license before. That puts him in line for the rookie bonus, and he is only eight points behind Thor Kristensen in a close race for third in the standings.
With Montgomery making a clean break from the Sportsman Late Model class, it's Dyllan Siewell doing his best to keep two-time champion Wayne Butler out of the lead. Siewell is the only driver with four Top 5 finishes, including one win. Because three-time winner Wayne Butler had a bad night, he finds himself trailing by 44 points. Just four points behind Butler is the steady Charlie Withers. Tom Williams has competed in several different classes at the speedway and he is only two points behind Withers in a closer battle for third.
Ken Fox is off to a great start with his win in the season opener and three seconds. He has a commanding lead in the championship chase. Troy Chamberlain is a one-time winner so far this season, and he leads David Smith by two points and Jeff Thurman by six in the race for second. 2016 champion Daniel Land and Steve Dubisar are the other winners so far this year, and both are anticipated this week. Land competed in The Iron Giant Series last week and picked up a fifth place finish in a very competitive 21 car field.
Sam Talon has three Mini Outlaw wins, but he still only leads one time winner John Henry by 16 points. Talon won last week. Meanwhile, Jason Kellum leads longtime racer Carl Johnson by six points in a good race for third in the standings.
April Warmack took advantage of a bad night by David Pellam to gain the Hornet point lead by just two points. This close battle finds rookie Kylea Krossman just four points out of the lead, while one time winner Hannah Robison is six points back. Braden Fugate picked up his second win of the season last week and will be looking for number three this week. Other drivers to watch for include Tyler Tullos, Chris Parker, Tanner Johnson and Andrew Grisham.
The track is always looking for ways to get new drivers into the field, and the Jr Stinger division was created during the offseason for just that purpose. It puts drivers from the age 7 to 14 into their own Hornet division. Griff Smith made the first event, all by himself, and he made some good laps. He is hoping for some competition this week.
Saturday night will offer an opportunity for kids to win some money and will offer the fans a great variety of NASCAR racing once again. For further information, go to www.coosbayspeedway.us.
Nieman, Robertson Open Diamond Mountain Speedway Season With Wins
Susanville, CA...May 12...Chris Nieman opened the 2018 season at Diamond Mountain Speedway in Susanville, California with a victory in the IMCA Modified Main Event. Neiman is the 2016 champion, and he had to hold off reigning track champion Matt Murphy to collect the win. Wade Kennemore brought it home third, followed by Larry McCracken, Galen Hainline, Jeff Chew, Steve Bejeck, Rob Robles and Boyd Murchison.
A small turnout at IMCA Sport Modifieds saw Bob Feller out run Jason Emmot for the Main Event victory. The duo ended up tied for the point lead last season.
2016 champion Richard Longacre outran Rick Higby to win the Hobby Stock Main Event as Joe Marlow finished third ahead of Rudy McGowan.
The best turn out of the night was offered by the Mini Stock division, and Kate Robertson scored the feature win ahead of Johnny Moya. Taylor Micone grabbed the final podium position in third, followed by Ryan Belli and Raymond Talavera. Cody Kennemore finished sixth, followed by Anthony Havland, Colton Chew, David Wilson and Larry Foster.
Racing will continue with a two day weekend event scheduled for June 15th and 16th. IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks are all on the card. Race track information can be found at www.lassencountyfair.org/interim-events/diamond-mountain-speedway/.
Southern Oregon Speedway fans found out that Street Stock racing is still alive and well in Oregon last Saturday night. The Iron Giant Street Stock Series kicked off the first of an eight race tour of eight different tracks with their stop at the White City race track. They brought a field of 21 race cars for the show.
The Street Stock Series was the brainchild of James Whitehouse and past Cottage Grove Speedway champion Chris Sine. Both drivers still don't have their cars ready yet, so they were working behind the scenes to make sure things went smoothly for opening day. The idea of pitting the best Street Stock drivers against each other at eight different race tracks was a good one. The fact that they will be ending their point season on Labor Day Weekend with the big Iron Giant Race at Willamette is icing on the cake.
Last season, Donald Schott picked up the win at Southern Oregon Speedway. He was back to defend his race win, but the competition was twice as fierce this time around. In addition to two of last season's Top 5 point competitors, Erik Jarnport and Jessie Yankee, the field was bolstered by such top-caliber competitors as past Willamette champion David Cronk, past Coos Bay Speedway champion Daniel Land and current Cottage Grove Speedway point leader and past champion Andrew Langan.
Drivers came from all over Oregon to make this an exciting show from start to finish. After picking up wins in both his heat race and the six lap Scramble, Yankee may have been the driver to beat going into the Main Event. Langan, however, had other ideas. The Langan family has been competing at Cottage Grove Speedway and other venues for many years, and Andrew brought his A game for the Main Event.
With 50 laps of racing to do, there was plenty of time for a racer to make their move. However, it was Langan leading every lap for the $1,000 victory. Lest you think it was easy for him, he had his hands full with heat race winners Shannon Horn and Brian Cronk running closely behind in second and third. Cronk was wheeling the car of past Willamette Speedway champion Jody Tanner as his own racer wasn't quite ready.
Throughout the pack, the fans were treated to some close racing. Street Stock racing isn't something you get to see very often at Southern Oregon Speedway, and these drivers definitely entertained. Langan was just a little bit quicker to the checkered flag, though Horn was a close $500 second. Cronk grabbed the final position on the podium as Schott and Land made up the remainder of the Top 5.
Josh Heller ran in the Top 5 for a while before falling back to sixth. Making up the balance of the Top 10 at the finish was long time Sunset Speedway competitor Bob "Smitty" Smith, Yankee, Joey Tardio and Doug Scott. The tour is off to Madras Speedway to do a little head-to-head racing with the track's Sportsman class, but they are looking forward to the opportunity to come back for their third visit to Southern Oregon Speedway next year.
The Late Model division seems to be a bit more equal this year than it was last year. One driver who's been in the hunt for the wins in both races is reigning champion Nathan Augustine. Augustine got a little bit of a reminder that it won't be so easy this year when he was passed by Dave Foote, who ended up winning their heat race. Augustine also got second in the Trophy Dash.
The man winning the Trophy Dash as well as the first heat race was John Dees. Dees has been noticeably faster this season after two events. It looked like he was still figuring out the handle on his car in the opener when he led six laps before doing a solo spin. However, he charged his way back up to make a late pass on Mike Linder for third. This time out, Dees ran with Augustine throughout the Main Event.
What was interesting was watching John make attempts to get around on the outside. The car seemed hooked up out there, but he couldn't quite make the move. Augustine can be a difficult driver to get by when his car is running strong, and that was certainly the case on Saturday night. Nathan took the win with John Dees earning a career-best second.
When the Late Model division got rebooted at Southern Oregon Speedway in 2016, it was long time Medford area competitors Mike Linder and Bob Dees who answered the call. On Saturday night, the two veterans had a good battle going for third in the Main Event. Dees was rebounding from mechanical issues dropping him out of a Top 5 run at the season opener. However, Linder had a few tricks up his sleeve and kept Bob at bay to grab the third place finish at the checkered flag. Both drivers get to run the Trophy Dash the next time the Late Models are on the card as part of the 6th Annual Roger Haudenshild Tribite on June 2nd.
In the weeks leading up to the season opener, there were some inquiries from Pro Stock drivers about the possibility of running with the Late Models this season. Management had an opportunity to get a look at a couple of Pro Stocks competing with the Late Models on short notice this last week. This was allowed in the interest of getting some data to assess the situation.
One of the drivers was Roy Bain, but his race ended with a flat tire on the opening lap. The other driver was last season's Pro Stock champion, Dr. Scott Lenz. What was interesting was Lenz found himself in a battle with season opener winner Miles Deubert for the fifth position. Deubert held the spot for a while, but Lenz made his move and finished fifth.
Deubert still had decent points in sixth, and the battle at the top of the standings is close between he and leader Augustine, John Dees and Linder. It's certainly early in the season, but you don't want to lose ground to the others with a bad night.
The other encouraging sign is that there are other cars in the works for the Late Models. Longtime Southern Oregon Speedway competitor John DeBenedetti made an appearance in the Tom Parry Late Model. Unfortunately, they discovered a crack in the frame earlier in the evening and were forced to scratch from the Main Event. They will return to fight another day. There are rumors abounding of a Pro Stock champion coming out in a Late Model sometime this season, and we're still following this story. Certainly, it's drivers like rookie Eric Massey, Garrett Dees and Don Garrett Jr who are helping make this thing happen this year.
The Mini Stock division is in a bit of a rut. A few drivers are down for the count, and it's showing in the car count department. The heat race crash that happened two weeks ago between Cameron Hall and Steve Goetz didn't just put the #007 car out of commission. It left Goetz with severe front-end damage to his car. Andrew Hall reported that he would like to find another Pinto Wagon to replace the old car, but he's looking for a car to get Cameron Hall back out at the track as soon as possible.
2014 champion Gary Anderson is still missing after blowing a motor in the season opener, and rookie Tim Hedges has been making repairs to his car in the hopes of having a better night the next time he's out there. There are more cars to be seen in future Mini Stock events this season.
The story of the Mini Stock season so far has been how fast David Steele has looked. David gave no indication of slowing down when he opened the night with a Trophy Dash win and followed it up with a victory in his heat race. Hunter Magnan continues his strong start as he finished second in both of those races. With problems to take care of in his #89 car, reigning champion Kristopher Mix didn't start the preliminaries. This put him last on the grid in the Main Event.
We've been asking when Mix would get his first win, and the answer was Saturday night. Mix surprised Steele by making the pass and taking the lead. Steele then had his hands full with Magnan in a good battle for second. It looked like there might have been something wrong with the #67 car, but Steele made another rally to attempt to pass on Mix late in the race. However, Mix was up to that challenge and scored his first career win. Though the field was low on cars, this team had to work hard making sure their car was just right, and there was plenty of deserved satisfaction for this victory.
Steele continued to add to his point lead as he finished second, and the third place finish earned by Magnan means that he's still very much in this championship battle. In fact, he's currently second in a close race with Mix. Michael McLeod is making an early claim on top rookie honors this year and continues to get better with each turn behind the wheel. Garrett Fredrickson also managed to bring his car home to a checkered flag that will put him in the next Trophy Dash as he finished fourth.
There is also some concern over the slow start for the Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites. A few drivers anticipated for this season have yet to show. As Dusty Aos still doesn't have his car ready, he's been wheeling the #99 car that Bill Spencer drove last season. We've heard that Greg Arnold's old car will turn up with a new driver this year, and we've also heard that 2014 champion John Barger will be seen this season. Danny Prewitt had enough damage on his #29 car that it isn't ready, and 2016 champion Lee Doty's car was up in Portland getting repaired.
When the Valley Stor-All Late Model Lites show up on June 16th, it's anticipated that there will be at least a couple new cars in the field that we haven't seen this year. The four who have been showing up have been battling hard on the race track. Some have said that Charlie Eaton was due to have a big season. At the season opener, motor problems in preliminaries made it look like he might not even get through the night. He salvaged things pretty well with a late pass on Dusty Aos to gain second in that race, which was won by Eric Aos. Unfortunately for Eric, mechanical issues early in the most recent Main Event ended that race early for him.
Meanwhile, Eaton was on fire. After winning the Trophy Dash and the heat race, he took the lead from Greg Arnold midway through the race and proceeded to hold him off for the victory. Arnold settled for second ahead of Dusty Aos.
The Southern Oregon Dwarf Car Association got to make their first appearance of the season at their home track. They were scheduled to run a few weeks earlier before rain came. They were also scheduled to run for $1,000 to win that night courtesy of Jim Nelson, who is known for putting up money once or twice a year for the drivers of his favorite division. That money was still good, and it brought an 18 car field on Saturday night.
After picking up a big win at Cottage Grove Speedway in a shootout race that brought together the three Dwarf Car groups of Oregon, Kalvin Morton had his eyes on another big prize. It certainly looked like he would be difficult to beat when he won both his heat race in the A Dash. Unfortunately, he could not have anticipated the back straightaway crash on the opening lap that ended the race for himself, Fred Hay, Mason Lewman and newcomer Ashleigh Strain. Strain, who has raced for the past several seasons in Outlaw Karts, was making her first Dwarf Car start at Southern Oregon Speedway.
At the front of the pack, Chad Cardoza was looking like a sure winner. Josh King didn't have his car ready for the night, but Jerry Hauck graciously gave him the keys to the #4us car. Hauck watched proudly as King battled it out with Cardoza and Randy Slater in the early goings of the race. Looking the way he did early on, you have to believe that a win is in the future for Slater this year. King made the move around Slater. With four laps to go, he charged past Cardoza and became $1,000 richer as a result.
Cardoza managed to take the checkered in second ahead of Ryan Smith. Cody Peters made a late move around Slater for a fourth place finish. It was a great group of Dwarf Car competitors who put on a show for the fans. Two time reigning champion Brock Peters, who finished second at Cottage Grove the week before, was mired in mid pack for the Main Event. He salvaged a sixth place finish to go with his earlier heat race win as Joe Sanders, Michael Johnson, Mark Neilson and Bill Winter made up the remainder of the Top 10.
One encouraging sign for the Dwarf Cars this year is that several newcomers have joined the field. After his strong second place season in Mini Stocks last year, Michael Johnson is now in the former Anthony Pope Dwarf Car. We also have Mini Stock graduate Andrew Hall, Dan Halbert and Ashleigh Strain on the roster this year.
Siskiyou Motor Speedway had high hopes for last week. The Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks were in town along with the track's IMCA Sport Modified and Mini Stock divisions, and a field of some 40 competitors across the rosters were there to do some racing. Much like a few weeks earlier, the drivers got through hot laps before rain came and claimed the show. In this case, there was only a slight chance of rain in the forecast. It was a disappointing night that had drivers wanting to go down to Southern Oregon Speedway to get some racing in.
The Calculated Comfort Outlaw Pro Stocks brought in some 18 competitors, and it was a talent loaded field. In addition to reigning champion Dr. Scott Lenz and 2016 champion Steve Borror, past Pro Stock champion Dustin Knight, two time Late Model Lites champion Brian Johnsen and Pro Stock veteran John David Duffie were there to do some racing. You also had the Flowers family with their cars, two cars from the Hackworth team, Matt Harlow, Roy Bain and Bryan Hammond in the mix. Unfortunately, they'll have to wait until next time to do some racing.
For the IMCA Sport Modified class, this was the final tune-up before the big Bo Hittson Memorial race. The Hittson has been an important race on the schedule in Yreka for many years. After a disappointing car count at the previous race, there were a dozen racers ready to put on a show for the fans. This included point leader Rich McCoy, who is still looking for his first win after three events. Likewise, Top 3 ranked competitors Ryder Boswell and Trevor Tiffee are also hoping to put a notch in the win column. Other drivers who were there included reigning champion DJ Bottoms, 2016 champion Jimmy Lipke, recent Chico feature winner Justin Foux and three cars from the Sanders Racing Team, driven by Isaac, Matt and Steven. Fortunately, they get two racing opportunities as part of the Memorial Day Weekend festivities.
In the Mini Stock division, three of their biggest stars, two-time reigning champion Marilyn Yawnick, past champion Terry Kendrick and 2014 champion Mike Whitaker, were all ready to do battle once again. The division has seen some new drivers on the roster this year, including 14 year old Zac McMurray, Darek Alford and Tiffany Cobb, who was making her racing debut. Like the IMCA Sport Modified class, they get two racing opportunities this Saturday and Sunday.
Coos Bay Speedway continues to offer some fan friendly activities each time they have a Saturday night show. Not only was it a night in which several kids won free bikes and also got free Hot Wheels, they had the second race for the Interstate Sprint Car Series. The Sprint Cars brought a field of 22 cars, which included people from Cottage Grove, Roseburg and Medford in addition to some of the track's regular racers. It was past Southern Oregon Sprint Car Tour champion and reigning Medford champion Kyler Barraza making it look easy in a dominant performance out front. The win paid $1,000 as he collected the victory ahead of Tyler Thompson, Tyrell Mead, David Hibbard and Kinzer Cox.
There was some question about who would be willing to tow to Coos Bay as it's not anticipated that Coos Bay competitors will be towing to the other tracks. There was heavy support from Cottage Grove regulars, but the addition of several Medford regulars, including Top 10 finishers Camden Robustelli and Bailey Hibbard, meant that there could be some life in this Interstate Sprint Car Series.
The other part of the program that's getting some traction is the Hornets division. We have three ladies in the division who are beginning to become breakout stars as April Warmack, Hannah Robison and rookie Kylea Krossman are all in title contention. Warmack is the current point leader, and both she and Robison are feature winners so far. The most recent Main Event winner, Braden Fugate, become the first two-time winner in the group. With 2017 champion Ryan Siewell and 2016 champion Jeremiah Reiber moving on from the class, it's an opportunity for other drivers to break out from the pack.
Coos Bay decided to run a Street Stock show against The Iron Giant race at Southern Oregon Speedway and only had point leader Ken Fox and hard charger Steve Dubisar show up. Dubisar was the driver with the most feature wins last season. When things return to normal, the Main Event could get very interesting in this class as there are four different winners in four races.
In addition to their NASCAR Super Late Model and Sportsman Late Model programs that are offering nice point fund prizes at the end of the year, the track has started a Junior Stinger division. This is essentially a Hornet class for drivers 11 to 14 years old. Last time, there was one driver to give it a go, and it's hoped that this division will gain some traction. Speedway management is hoping to bring new drivers into the fold.
Not much news has come out from Hayfork Speedway. Entering May, it was announced that they wouldn't have the scheduled opener due to the track not being ready and insurance issues. The day given for the opener was May 26th. It is May 23rd as of this writing and no announcement has been made as to when the track will be running. Hopefully, they'll be able to get things up and functional soon.
Orland Raceway held their annual Friday night racing event as part of the Glenn County Fair, and car count was up across the board. It's interesting to note that Richard Vanderploeg came in and snapped the Jeremy Langenderfer Pure Stock winning streak with a win of his own. It was a photo finish victory for Josh Tucker as seven Wingless Gas Sprints were in action. Reigning Mini Truck champion Keith Ross claimed the victory in an 11 truck field, while Paul Stevens claimed the win in the Mini Stocks.
Sprint Cars, Focus Midgets Headline Open Wheel Showcase
At Southern Oregon Speedway Saturday Night
White City, Oregon..Saturday night is the Open Wheel Showcase event at Southern Oregon Speedway. The open-wheel themed night was started by promoter Mike McCann in 2017 and built around the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars and the Northwest Focus Midgets. The strongest running Focus Midget group on the West Coast is based out of the Washington area, and this event is one of their six track, ten race Summer Series events.
For the Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, this is an opportunity for Southern Oregon Speedway to have a stronger Sprint Car presence than the track has ever had. Though Sprint Cars have been involved on the schedule at this track since it opened in 1996, there's never been a real serious attempt made to start a strong series here. McCann wanted to change all of that when he took over as promoter in 2016.
A year later, David Hibbard had the idea of going to the limited rules package that has been used successfully at Cottage Grove and in Yreka before that. The idea is to keep a sensible and fair set of rules that makes the class very competitive. When the track went this direction with the rules, it opened the floodgates for younger drivers coming up from the little Southern Oregon Speedway Kart Racing program.
The closest battle at the season opener was between two teen sensations, Tanner Holmes and Enrique Jaime. Both drivers are champions on the Kart level who started racing this class last season. Jaime finished fifth in the standings. As for the season opener, Jaime led Holmes for most of the race before Holmes made the pass to claim second. Jaime settled for third to go with an earlier heat race win.
At the head of the pack was David Hibbard. Hibbard carries an experience advantage and is a past champion at Cottage Grove Speedway. However, his motivation for being involved in the Medford effort is not for his own personal glory. That was Illustrated clearly last season when he abandoned a second-place effort in the season finale to allow his son, Bailey Hibbard, and Marissa Henson to battle for that position.
Henson ended up finishing second by just one point over Bailey, who was a three-time feature winner last year. The younger Hibbard got off to a good start in the opener by winning his heat race and the Scramble, but his Main Event ended with mechanical failure early. Henson, meanwhile, took a checkered flag in sixth at the opener. Both drivers are also part of the youth movement in this division.
Further up in the pack you'll find yet another teen competitor, Jeffrey Hudson. Hudson won the Outlaw Pro Stock championship two seasons ago at the age of 15. He won his first Sprint Car Main Event at Southern Oregon Speedway a year later, but his Sprint Car effort was derailed last year when he blew a motor on opening day. To get his car to a fourth place finish in this season's opener has Jeffrey confident heading into this week's race.
You'll find a nice mixture of teen competitors and a few drivers who have been around for a while. Reigning champion Kyler Barraza recently won the Main Event at Coos Bay Speedway, and he is anticipated this week along with another past Kart champion, Blaine Cory, Theron Smith, Camden Robustelli, Calvin Hibbard, Aaron Miller and Todd Whipple. Word it is that two of the Focus Midget teams will also be bringing Sportsman Sprints to compete in this class.
As for the Focus Midgets, word from up north is that 30 drivers are coming down to compete, which is up eight cars from the 22 car field they brought to the show last year. Reigning champion Tristin Thomas will be out to repeat as the Medford race winner, but he can expect some stiff competition from the likes of 2016 champion Nick Evans, Ariel Biggs, Jonathan Jorgenson, Hannah Lindquist and Nick Larson, to name a few.
The Open Wheel themed night will also include the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars and some vintage race cars from the Old Time Racers of Oregon Hardtop group. It should be a good night of racing at Southern Oregon Speedway this Saturday night. For further information, go to www.southernoregonspeedway.com.