White City, Oregon…The schedule for the 22nd season of racing at Southern Oregon Speedway has been released, and it’s a good one. The fans will be treated to a variety of different classes on the three-tenth mile clay oval, and the schedule is dotted with special events throughout the season. All of the divisions from last season will return this year, with some rules defined in a few of the classes that were added last year.
In an effort to make sure the racers get some practice in before the season, a Test and Tune has been booked for April 15th with a rain date Test And Tune also scheduled for April 22nd. April 29th kicks off the new season with Late Models and IMCA Sport Modifieds headlining along with Pro Stocks, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and SODCA Dwarf Cars. The popular IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds lead the charge on May 6th, along with Late Models, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks and Hornets. The season continues all the way to September 16th.
As mentioned above, there are several special events sprinkled throughout the season. On May 27th, the track will have an Open Wheel Showcase, featuring Northwest Midgets and Kendall Oil Sprint Cars. Non Wing Sprint Car enthusiasts can also mark the Herz Precision Parts Cascade Sprint Car Challenge on their calendars on August 26th, which will pay $3,000 to win. On June 3rd, the Roger Haudenshild Tribute will feature an increased purse for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Pro Stocks. June 24thwill be the annual Wild West Speedweek IMCA Modified and IMCA Sport Modified race.
The SODCA Dwarf Cars have again made the speedway the host track for the WSDCA Dwarf Car Nationals on August 4th-5th. There will also be a special Street Stock event on May 20th, billed as The Road To The Iron Giant Series. On August 12th, with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Pro Stocks, Hornets and SODCA Dwarf Cars on the schedule, the track pays tribute to Medford racing history with a special “Hall Of Fame” night. Other scheduling announcements will be forthcoming.
Most of the divisions will have a minimum of ten races as a way to help ensure driver support and more cars on race night. The regular classes will also run for a guaranteed purse, regardless of car count. Given the current times, racers are balancing family time with racing time, and there’s also the racer’s budget to consider. It’s with budget and increased driver support in mind that the track has adjusted the rules for the Pennzoil Sprint Car class. A new generation of racers is coming up through the Outlaw Kart ranks, and it’s anticipated that these rules adjustments will help make it easier for them to continue supporting open wheel racing.
David Hibbard is coming back to his home track. A past Limited Sprint Car champion who only missed the championship at Cottage Grove last season when he turned the wheel over to his son Bailey Hibbard for a race, David has enthusiastically worked behind the scenes with promoter Mike McCann to make a ten race season. Hibbard and McCann believe that this will lead to more cars, and David is looking forward to he and his son both competing at his home track. Other names to watch for include Jeffrey Hudson, Merissa Henson and rising young Outlaw Kart star Tanner Holmes.
After a year of the Open Stock experiment, the track has switched it to a Late Model division this year. Several cars are being built. The Dees family (champion father Bob and sons John and Garrett), will be back along with Mike Linder. Other names to watch for include Dustin Knight, Don Garrett Jr., Rick Hazen and Nathan Augustine. Because there are more Late Model chassis being run with 4 cylinder motors, the Super 4’s have been rebranded as Late Model Lites. Champion Lee Doty will be back along with other stars, such as past champion John Barger, Charlie Eaton, Dan Prewitt, Eric Aos and Terry and Krista Hadley.
IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds are back. Management remains committed to the IMCA sanctioning and is hoping that this leads to a car count increase. IMCA Modified stars such as two time champion Albert Gill, James Welshonse, Duane Orsburn, Bo Shields, Jay Poppa, Jesse Bailey, Andy Freeman and Nick Trenchard are just a few who are anticipated this year. Freeman will be debuting a new car. Meanwhile, Mike Medel has a new car with hopes of defending his IMCA Sport Modified track championship, but he will face stiff competition from two time champion Jorddon Braaten, David Marble, Rich McCoy, Willie McFall, A.J. Parker, Tony Bartell and more.
The track has welcomed the Pro Stocks back under its own banner, meaning the drivers will race for a Southern Oregon Speedway championship for the first time since 2011. There are no major rule changes, and drivers anticipated during the 9 race season include two time champion Ken Irving, Miles Deubert, Brian Johnsen, Mike Johnson, Derrel Nelson Jr. and more. The Pro Stocks were one of the four divisions on the track’s roster when it opened back in 1996, and it is still seen as an important part of what we do.
Mini Stocks are coming off of their best season in recent years, and that trend is expected to continue this year. Though champion Bob Burkett is moving up to Late Model Lites, he will still make several appearances in Mini Stocks. 2014 champion Gary Anderson and division super star David Steele are anticipated along with rising stars like Andrew Hall, Kristopher Mix, Dillen Lausen, Michael Johnson and many others.
The Hornets are back for their fourth season, and most of last year’s stars are back again for the upcoming eight racer season. Champion Tim Hedges is planning to field three cars with his son and another driver wheeling the other cars. He recently purchased the Jesse Merriman car. Gabe Nelson will reportedly take the wheel of his dad’s car, while John Hoult and hard charger Joby Shields will also be back. Other cars are being built, and this should be the biggest season yet for the entry level class.
The SODCA Dwarf Cars race at other venues, but they are proud to call Southern Oregon Speedway their home track. They will run most of their races here. In a bid to repeat as champion, Brock Peters has a new car from the shops of M&M Racing. Following back to back runnerup seasons, Camden Robustelli has his sites set on a championship and will make racing his Dwarf Car a bigger priority than racing his Sprint Car. Rising young star Cody Peters, two time champion Josh King, Chad Cardoza, Randy Slater, Rob Sanders and other hard chargers will keep things very competitive.
Also back for more in 2017 will be the OTRO Hardtops. The popular vintage division features some beautiful Coupe and Sedan bodied race cars and has been featured on the paved race tracks in the Northwest for several years. OTRO President Vic Bridges negotiated some dates last season, and the group enjoyed racing at Southern Oregon Speedway so much that they’re back for eight more races this year. Some of the competitors in the group include Trevor Thomason, Bill Trotter, Wylie Powell, Jimmy Del Castille and Dean Cast.
Outlaw Kart enthusiasts may be wondering where the schedule is for the one-eighth mile oval. They can rest assured that a schedule will be forthcoming and will be bigger than the 2016 offering. Things are being finalized before the announcement can be made, and it will be good. The awards banquet announcement will also make February a big month for the Outlaw Karts. The 500 Open Karts, 250 Karts, Box Stocks and Beginners Box Stocks will all be a part of the coming season. Stay tuned for all of that information.
It all gets started with the April 29th season opener. With the exceptions of Jackson County Fair week on July 15th and the Country Music Festival on July 29th, racing will continue all the way through to championship night for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Mini Stocks and SODCA Dwarf Cars on September 16. Stay tuned for further announcements and look for other information at www.southernoregonspeedway.com
2017 Southern Oregon Speedway Schedule
Saturday April 15 – Test & Tune – 3PM-7PM
Saturday April 22 – (Rain Date Test & Tune)
Saturday April 29 – Late Models, IMCA Sport Modifeds, Pro Stocks, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Saturday May 6 – IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks, Hornets.
Saturday May 13 – IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Pro Stocks, Hornets, OTRO Hardtops.
Saturday May 20 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, Road To The Iron Giant Street Stocks, Pro Stocks, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Saturday May 27 – “Open Wheel Showcase” Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, Northwest Midgets, OTRO Hardtops, Pro 4 Modified West Association.
Saturday June 3 – “Haudenshild Tribute” IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Pro Stocks, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Saturday June 10 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, Late Models, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks, Hornets, OTRO Hardtops.
Saturday June 17 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks, OTRO Hardtops.
Saturday June 24 – “Wild West IMCA Speedweek” IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Saturday July 1 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, Late Models, Pro Stocks, Mini Stocks, Hornets, OTRO Hardtops.
Monday July 3 – Monster Truck Mania – Monster Truck Invasion
Saturday July 8 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks, Hornets, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Saturday July 15 – No Racing (Fair)
Saturday July 22 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, Late Models, Pro Stocks, Mini Stocks, SODCA Dwarf Cars, OTRO Hardtops.
Saturday July 29 – No Racing
Friday August 4 – WSDCA Dwarf Car Nationals
Saturday August 5 – WSDCA Dwarf Car Nationals, Pennzoil Sprint Cars, Late Model Lites, OTRO Hardtops.
Saturday August 12 – “Hall Of Fame Night” IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Pro Stocks, Hornets, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Saturday August 19 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars (Non Wing), Late Models, Pro Stocks, OTRO Hardtops.
Saturday August 26 – “Herz Precision Parts Cascade Sprint Challenge” ($3000 To Win Non Wing) , Late Model Lites, Mini Stocks, Hornets.
Friday September 1 – “Lon Skinner Memorial” (Registration Day)
Saturday September 2 – “Lon Skinner Memorial” IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Sunday September 3 – “Lon Skinner Memorial” IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Saturday September 9 – Kendall Oil Sprint Cars, Late Models, Pro Stocks, Late Model Lites, Hornets.
Saturday September 16 – IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Mini Stocks, SODCA Dwarf Cars.
Schedule Subject To Change