Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Two Champions To Race Sprint Cars At Southern Oregon Speedway And More, Plus Yreka News

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Two Champions Join The Sprint Car Revival 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

When Mike McCann announced that he was starting a Sprint Car class shortly after taking over the reigns of Southern Oregon Speedway, people began to talk.  There are several Sprint Car drivers in the area who would like to have a home track to race at, and the fast three-tenth mile dirt oval was home to a Sprint Car division for over a decade.  In recent years, Sprint Car racing was mostly booked for the traveling groups that would stop by.

The ten race schedule booked for the coming season will change all of that, and we have roughly ten drivers who have expressed interest in being a part of it.  Two of the latest names come with championship credentials.  Patrick Dills won the Extreme Sprint Car Championship last year at Cottage Grove Speedway on the strength of three feature wins.  He also finished a strong third in the 360 Sprint Car class.

The Sprint Cars haven't had a championship season at Southern Oregon Speedway since 2010.  In an effort to get the cars out there, McCann has made it an open class that will allow the winged and injected 410 and 360 Sprint Cars to race with the carbureted Sprint Cars.  The idea is to get cars back out to the track, though its not likely that the 410 Sprint Cars will appear regularly.

When last the division did have a point season, Chadd Noland won the championship.  Noland has thrown his hat into the ring to be a part of the coming season.  Noland and Dills will be fast, and they join others, including Dwarf Car ace Camden Robustelli, Orland Sprint Car champion Bill Hopper, Jeffery Hudson and Todd Whipple, on the growing roster.  Robustelli and Hudson are two of the rising young stars on the scene, and Hudson is coming off of an impressive Pro Stock championship effort.

There have been some amazing racers who have competed in this division at Southern Oregon Speedway through the years, including multi time champions Dan Menne, Bill Nutter and Randy Rodgers.  The new era means new stars will have their chance to shine, but it could also mean that Noland or Dills could add more championship hardware to their mantles.

The gates will open for the 21st season of racing at Southern Oregon Speedway on April 30th.  When they do, the Sprint Cars will be a part of the show.  It's a night that begins a new era for the track and the popular division.  For more information, check out the official Southern Oregon Speedway web page at www.sospeedway.com.

Southern Oregon Speedway Retains 
IMCA Sanctioning For Modifieds

When Mike McCann took over as promoter at Southern Oregon Speedway, he looked over all of the divisions to make plans for this season.  In looking at the Modified and Sport Modifieds, he learned one thing early on from the competitors.  They wanted to keep the IMCA sanctioning.  The oldest sanctioning body for auto racing in the United States, IMCA provides these classes with a good set of rules. The drivers know what they are getting when they show up to compete at an IMCA sanctioned race track.

The Modifieds will run a nine race schedule, which also allows the drivers to visit neighboring tracks and vise versa.  It is hoped that car count will continued to grow.  The Sport Mod drivers get 13 races, which also makes the minimum dates required to be a part of Steve Kerstulovich's NW Sport Modified Challenge Series.  The Series was added after two successful years of the NW Modified Cup, which  Southern Oregon Speedway drivers also get the opportunity to be a part of.

There have been some very talented Modified drivers who have passed through the gates of this race track throughout its 20 year history, and it could be that Albert Gill is the lesser known champion of those drivers.  Gill has sort of flown in under the radar, but he's done so as the two time defending champion.  Gill climbed up through the ranks of the track's Pro Stock division, where he was also a Top 5 driver on multiple occasions.

One of the drivers voicing his desire for IMCA sanctioning was the talented Mark Wauge.  Really, it doesn't matter if the class is sanctioned, unsanctioned or even running wings.  Over one-quarter of the times (6 of the 20 seasons), Mark has left the track as the champion.  He's also won the prestigious Lon Skinner Memorial race once among his numerous feature victories, and he's certainly among the favorites to do it again this year.

The Bailey Team, Jesse Bailey and Tim Bailey, should not be counted out this season.  Tim finished a strong third in the standings last year ahead of Jesse, who has had a string of Top 5 point seasons.  In fact, Jesse was second to Gill in the 2014 point battle.  Not to be forgotten in the mix, as if he could be, was last season's fourth place point runner, Brian Poppa.  Like Gill, Poppa came up through the Pro Stocks, but Poppa actually won a championship there before doing it again in Modifieds.  Brian's impressive credentials includes three wins in the Lon Skinner Memorial race.

The fact is, there are several good racers at Southern Oregon Speedway, making this the place to be for IMCA Modified racing on any night this class is on the schedule.  Two other past champions, Travis Peery and Jon DeBeneditti, were among the competitors last season and are factors when they show up.  Add in other names, such as Zach Fettinger, Brett Provost, Eric Mobbs, Jeremy Ohlde and Monte Bischoff, and you have a competitive Modified division.

The IMCA Sport Modifieds are heading into their fifth season, and perhaps the biggest star in the division at any of the tracks in the area is Jorddon Braaten.  Jorddon backed up his 2014 title with another championship romp last year.  He is also a past Street Stock champion, but last year was an amazing season that saw him win many times at both Southern Oregon Speedway and neighboring Yreka.  Braaten may be hard to beat this year in the track championship battle as well as the NW Sport Modified Challenge.

Two names to keep an eye on are Mike Medel and Dwayne Melvin.  Medel finished second in points last year while also winning the Oregon State IMCA championship.  Melvin had a Top 5 season as well, but he also won the first two Sport Mod titles at the track.  Bob Nelson is another driver to watch.  He was sixth last season following his third place effort a year earlier.  Coming off of a strong third place season of his own last year, ahead of Randy Fernandes, Glen Severson could also be a factor in the championship chase.

The Sport Mod division continues to grow and is poised for its best season yet.  The Modified division has the talent to put on a show to rival any of the tracks in the area.  Put them both together, and under the IMCA banner, and you have a recipe for good things to happen on the fast three-tenths mile clay oval.  Who will come out a winner this year?  The best way to find out is to come see a show.  For more information on these divisions and Southern Oregon Speedway in general, check out the official track web page at www.sospeedway.com.
Modified Champions

1996  Tom Glover
1997  Dennis Silva
1998  Tom Glover
1999  Don Estermado
2000  Mark Wauge
2001  Jay Hinton Jr.
2002  Jon DeBeneditti
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

Sport Mod Champions

2012  Dwayne Melvin
2013  Dwayne Melvin
2014  Jorddon Braaten
2015  Jorddon Braaten

Three Styles Of Mini Stocks to compete 
At Southern Oregon Speedway

When Southern Oregon Speedway opened up back in 1996, one of the regular divisions of the time was the Mini Stock class. Fast forward to the 21st season, and you'll see that the Mini Stocks are still a part of the program. However, you'll see something else.

The entry level Hornet division will be back for its third season, but that's not all. The Super 4's will also be a part of the coming season. This souped up Mini Stock division had been a part of the program for over a decade, but they have been missing for the past few seasons.

Last season, a few of the Super 4 drivers approached track management about returning and were given a date. It was Lee Doty who picked up the win ahead of past champion John Barger and Charlie Eaton that night.  The event sparked the interest of other drivers to return to the track. A field of 8-12 of these cars is expected when this division gets its first race on May 14th.

If you've been following the Mini Stock division closely over the last couple of years, the three names that will jump out at you are David Marble, Gary Anderson and Bob Burkett. These three drivers have been ranked in the top 3 in the standings these last two seasons and have carved up a majority of the main event victories amongst themselves.

Marble picked up the championship last season, but that honor fell to Gary Anderson the year before. Still yet to win the championship, Burkett has been among the front runners in this division for the past several seasons.

Not to be forgotten in the mix are Eric Hanson and Mike Cloud, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, last season. Cloud had ranked 6th the year before, and both of these drivers could be factors this season.

The Mini Stock car count had started to rise as the season headed down the stretch last year. Optimism is high that this momentum will continue this season. Word is that several cars are being prepared.

Two years ago, the speedway launched the Hornet division as a way to get new drivers out there. About 10 cars are known to be built at this time, and the record shows that Robert Jones and Drew Fielder are the past two champions. Neil Coaty was another front runner last year, and other competitors included Mikey Johnson and Garrett Frederickson.

Mini Stocks begin their busy season when the track opens its gates for the first time on April 30th. The Super 4 and Hornet divisions have their first race on May 14th. For further information on the happenings at Southern Oregon Speedway, check out the official website at www.sospeedway.com.

Mini Stock Champions

1996  Brian Barns
1997  Scott Holt
1998  Rich McCoy
1999  Tracy Bradley
2000  Tracy Bradley
2001  Tom Lanigan
2002  Mike Johnson
2003  David Bishop
2004  David Bishop
2005  Tony Christopher
2006  Milton Carter
2007  Jim Pope
2008  John Derby
2009  John Derby
2010  John Derby
2011  John Derby
2012  Toby Judd
2013  Steve Goetz
2014  Gary Anderson
2015  David Marble

 Hornet Champions

2014  Robert Jones
2015  Drew Fielder

Super 4 Mini Stock Champions

2003  Brian Barns
2004  Brian Barns
2005  Reggie DeVore
2006  Joe Guider
2007  Jacob Cole
2008  Brian Johnsen
2009  Parker "Hollywood" Jones
2010  Brian Johnsen
2011  Joe Guider
2012  Jamie Guider Newberg
2013  John Barger

Siskiyou Motor Speedway Well Represented 
At Sportsman's Expo

The Sportsman's Expo took place in Yreka this past weekend.  It was a chance for the racers of Siskiyou Motor Speedway to display their cars, interact with the fans and distribute the 2016 schedule and information.  Despite the rainy weather, about a dozen competitors came out to support the event.

This included 2015 Yreka Sport Mod champion Doug Franklin, who defended his 2014 championship, but only after a close battle with past Mini Stock champion Colter Boswell.  One of the drivers gunning for Franklin this year is Trevor Tiffee.  Tiffee's beautiful black and teal #19 Rayburn Race Car/Coco's Sushi sponsored entry already got him his first victory of the year.  He won the "Best Of Show" trophy. 

Not only is Trevor going for track championship honors this season, he's also signed up to make a run at the new Northwest Sport Mod Challenge title.  As a past Yreka Sport Mod point runner up, he should not be counted out.

Garrett Hamilton had his pretty yellow and purple #83 Cheffey Machine sponsored Sport Mod on display.  Garrett was a feature winner last season on his way to a fourth place ranking.  Young up and comer D.J. Bottoms had his black #1 Dave Smith Insurance/Round Table Pizza sponsored Sport Mod on display.  D.J. made a good effort last season, and he'll be back to try to step it up a notch this season.

There were also McDonald's Mini Stocks on display, owned by Heather Ryan and Ryder Boswell.  Boswell's truck served him well last year as he won multiple features.  The 2013 point runner up just barely lost a close battle with Mike Whitaker as he settled for a still respectable third place ranking last season.

There's excitement in the air at the Siskiyou Fairgrounds as they are adding a one-eighth mile Go-Kart dirt track to the facility.  The scheduling and rules information was available at the Expo.  The track is seen as a way to bring younger competitors into the sport, and Go Karts on display at this event included the entries of Jim Berry, Kyle Morris and Drew Berry.  The first race at the smaller track is scheduled for April 16.

The season opener for Siskiyou Motor Speedway is slated for April 9th.  The track's regular IMCA  Modified, IMCA Sport Mod and McDonald's Mini Stock divisions will be joined by the Outlaw Pro Stock Association.  Lots of great things are planned for this year.  For more information, check out the track's official website at www.siskiyoumotorspeedway.com.