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MailTribune.com
  • AUTO RACING

    SO Speedway begins season on Saturday

    Southern Oregon Speedway opens Saturday
  • Six track records were broken at Southern Oregon Speedway last season.
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    • S.O. SPEEDWAY
      WHEN: Saturday. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m.
      • WHERE: Southern Oregon Speedway at Jackson County Sports Park (6900 Kershaw Rd.), located just outside White City.
      • COS...
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      S.O. SPEEDWAY
      WHEN: Saturday. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m.

      • WHERE: Southern Oregon Speedway at Jackson County Sports Park (6900 Kershaw Rd.), located just outside White City.
      • COST: General admission is $10.50. For special-event pricing, visit sospeedway.com.
      • MORE INFO: Visit www.facebook.com/sosspeedway, email sospeedway@yahoo.com or call 541-301-4334.
  • Six track records were broken at Southern Oregon Speedway last season.
    Operations manager Chuck Prather Jr. is expecting more of the same high-speed action this time around.
    "I think racing has gotten better," Prather says. "I really think it has. The cars are more equal. It comes down to the driver now."
    The new season at Southern Oregon Speedway kicks off Saturday at Jackson County Sports Park (6900 Kershaw Rd.). Action will include A modifieds, sports mods, pro stocks, mini stocks, street stocks and hornets. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6. General admission for most shows is $10.50, seniors and military veterans with identification $8.50, juniors (ages 6-12) $5.50 and children 5 and under free.
    Two adults and up to three children under 16 can get in for $28.50. Reserved seats are $15. For special-show rates, visit sospeedway.com.
    Last season's track champions were Steve Goetz (mini stocks), Jorddon Braaten (street stocks), CJ Putnam (dwarf cars), John Barger (Super 4s), Dave Everson (pro stocks), Dwayne Melvin (B mods) and Dustin Knight (modifieds).
    Last year saw six track records fall.
    Medford's Josh King raced a 15.071 lap in dwarf cars on July 13; Medford's John Barger 15.783 in Super 4 cylinder on Sept. 14; Duane Orsburn of Hornbrook, Calif., 17.754 in street stocks on July 3; Medford's David Steele 18.142 in mini stocks on July 3; Sams Valley's Everson 14.936 in pro stocks on July 13; and Medford's Mike Medel 15.668 in B modifieds on July 13.
    "To go out and race is a lot of work," says Everson, who will be racing occasionally at the track this season. "It doesn't look like much sitting in stands watching, but each and every car out there puts all the money they can afford and all the time they can afford into them. It doesn't matter who finishes first or last because everyone is pouring their heart and soul into it trying to put on a show for fans."
    The track, which Prather says is in top shape after plenty of hours were spent getting it prepared, is also sanctioned by the International Motor Contest Association to run by Northern Sport Mod rules.
    "It just makes an even playing field," Prather says.
    Several special shows are lined up for this season, including the 19th annual Lon Skinner Memorial, two American Sprint Car Series appearances and Southern Oregon Sprint Car Tour action.
    The season ends Oct. 12.
    The ASCS Nationals are April 22 (Thursday) and the Southern Oregon Sprint Car Tour drops by May 14. ASCS Speedway is set for May 30.
    July 3 offers racing and fireworks, and the Crate Late Model Shootout is July 12.
    Southern Oregon sprint cars and Northwest Vintage sprint cars will be featured Aug. 2.
    The Dwarf Car Nationals are Aug. 8-9.
    The Lon Skinner Memorial is Aug. 30-31. Jesse Williamson won it last year.
    "People from California are already calling about it," Prather says of the dirt modified race honoring the late local racing icon.
    The World of Outlaws visit Sept. 3 (Wednesday) and Championship Night is Sept. 27.
    The season concludes with the two-day Battle of the Border Oct. 11-12.
    "I am trying to build the (racing) pots right now," Prather says. "That definitely brings in racers."
    Prather says drones will be flying overhead filming the racing action on Saturday. Copies will be available for purchase later and Prather may continue to do similar filming if it is desired, he says.
    Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com. Find him online at twitter.com/danjonesmt
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