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 Posted: Saturday Jun 17th, 2017 12:35 AM
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Don Martin II
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Stacked Six Division Show
At Southern Oregon Speedway

White City, Oregon...The June storm that passed through Oregon didn't spare any of the racing programs as the tracks all canceled one by one.  So far, Southern Oregon Speedway has managed to hold four of the seven races this year.  Forecasts are calling for a nice day on Saturday as IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, Mini Stocks and OTRO Hardtops are all on the schedule.

The IMCA Modifieds and Sport Modifieds will be running two weeks in a row, and this is a tuneup race for the big Wild West Speedweek race on June 24th.  The locals know that the best the state of Oregon has to offer will be there on the 24th, as well of stars from California and Washington, so getting their cars dialed in will be important.  It's also a crucial time in the IMCA Modified point battle.  After this week's race, the regulars have the pressure of just making the Main Event the following week.  That in itself will be a challenge.


Point leader Monte Bischoff #F1 won the IMCA Modified Season Opener.
Two drivers you know are up to the challenge are Monte Bischoff and Mark Wauge.  Bischoff earned Top 5 finishes in both the Roger Haudenshild Tribute and the John Arnberg Memorial this year in Yreka.  It's no secret to the success of racers like these two.  You'll find their cars up on jacks between races as their crews make adjustments.  "The track can change during the night, " said Monte.  "You have to make adjustments to loosen or tighten the setup.  It can make the difference between having a chance to win or being an also ran that night."

Bischoff leads Jesse Bailey and past champions Wauge and Albert Gill in a close four car battle at the top of the standings.  This Saturday will still be an important night of racing for the division, but the 24th will be the big test.  The drop in points from making the Main Event to not getting out of the B Main can be pretty steep, so these drivers are hoping to end June on a positive note.


Reigning champion Mike Medel #30 is looking for his first win of the season.
The Sport Modifieds will get to race at most of the tracks during Speedweek after this week's race.  Jorddon Braaten and Mike Medel are doing what you'd expect these two champions to do so far.  They are running at the head of the pack.  They've had 1-2 finishes in the first two races, but Medel is hoping to take a step up to a feature victory.  "The new car is running pretty well, " Medel admitted.  "I've had some good finishes. but I've also been caught up in a few crashes.  I think we're pretty close on things, and I feel that win will be coming soon."

With Willie McFall and Rich McCoy running as well as they are now, and other tough competitors like A.J. Parker, Tony Bartell, David Marble and Jason Zimmerman in the field, it should be another good night of racing this week.

The Kendall Oil Winged Sprint Cars are doing better this year.  It is a work in progress establishing this class at the speedway.  Prior to last season, 2010 was the last time a champion was crowned, and car count had been going down during the previous two years.  However, Promoter Mike McCann is committed to building this class, and car count is up from last year.


Bailey Hibbard #1 finished a strong second in the recent race.

One positive factor in that is past Cottage Grove Limited Sprint Car champion David Hibbard.  Behind the scenes, David is working hard to get new drivers on board, and he also fields cars for his father Calvin and his son Bailey.  There's a reason for what he's doing.  "I want to see a strong Sprint Car presence here, " said David, who has won his share of races at Southern Oregon Speedway.  "The track has had some good races and good drivers through the years.  Fans like seeing Sprint Car racing, and what we're doing here is bringing in a whole new generation of drivers to the roster.  It's just what is needed for the continued success of the division."

When Hibbard speaks of young drivers, he's not only talking about his son Bailey, who finished a strong second last time.  He's also talking about teen leadfoots like Merissa Henson, Enrique Jaime, Jeffrey Hudson and the soon to be season debut of Outlaw Kart star Tanner Holmes.  Because of the sensible rules the class offers, word out of California is that David Johnson and Jeff Crossman will be racing this week as well.  They all will have their work cut out for the when it comes to battling the most recent winner, Kyler Barraza.  Kyler is a two time Southern Oregon Sprint Car Tour champion.

  
Nathan Augustine #24 has won his two Late Model Starts at the track.
f you aren't getting enough speed with these three divisions, there's also the Late Model division.  With three races getting rained out, the competitors are chomping at the bit to get some more seat time.  Last week's rainout was actually a make up race for one of the other rainouts.  Word is that our most recent two winners, Nathan Augustine  and Dustin Knight, will be back to renew their battle.  Krity Grout and Dave Foot plan on being there, and Dees Racing, Mike Linder and Steve Lemley are others to watch for this week.
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David Steele #67 is the early Mini Stock point leader.

With the experience advantage that he carries, David Steele leads the way in the Mini Stock class.  He's already won both races here and three in Yreka.  Not surprisingly, he leads the standings.  He knows the young talent in the division will present a challenge for him as the season moves along.  "A lot of these drivers have only been racing for a few years, " said David.  "They just need a bit more seat time.  I don't take it for granted that I'm going to win, because I know one of these drivers could win on any give week."

Dillen Lausen is the driver taking up pursuit of Steele at the moment.  Last year's top rookie is second in the standings following his career best second place finish last time.  Add in the Pinto Wagon of Andrew Hall, Kristopher Mix, Michael Johnson, Patrick Stringer-Stine and Eric Hanson, and you can expect a first time winner soon.  Plus, past champions Gary Anderson and Steve Goetz will be at the front of the pack once they get their motor issues sorted out.


Mark Minter #33 won the OTRO Hardtop season opener.
OTRO Hardtops round out an exciting program with their old Coupe and Sedan bodied race cars.  These drivers tow in mostly from Roseburg and enjoy the opportunity to race on the dirt.  The Trotter family is fielding three cars with Bill owning two of them and son Dusty owning one car.  Both drivers were heat race winners last time, but it was Mark Minter driving the family car to a feature win last time.  That particular car was an OTRO original from when the group was founded in 1988.  Brian Crouch, Jamie Britton, Jimmy Del Castille and the Sedan owned by Vic & Louise Bridges are among the other competitors to watch for this week.]

[size=The gates open for this six division show at 5 PM with the first race starting at 7 PM.  General Admission prices are $12 with Seniors and Juniors $6 and Children 5 and under free.  For further information, go to http://www.southernoregonspeedway.com.



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