Southern Oregon Speedway owner John Skinner announced today the hiring of a new management team for the upcoming season.

Southern Oregon Speedway owner John Skinner announced today the hiring of a new management team for the upcoming season.

Richard Barney, the owner of RJB Consulting Services, and Ric Donnelly, the owner of Lava Lanes and Donnelly's Sports Bar and Grill, have formed B & D Racing, LLC and will operate the one-third-mile clay oval track in the Jackson County Sports Park in White City.

"We're both businessmen and promoters," said Barney, who has a background in promotions, including with the Southern Oregon Speedway until 2007. "That part of it will run a lot more smoothly. Our whole idea is to bring the track to the next level."

Barney and Donnelly plan to meet with other track promoters to coordinate schedules and hope to bring sprint tours to town as well as other shows.

"The whole idea is to build this as an economic asset to our area," Barney said.

Donnelly's specialty will be in operating the food and beverage services at the track. He also plans to make Donnelly's Sports Bar and Grill the off-track headquarters for the area racing community.

"We expect to have a great time providing the racers with a great facility for racing and a location for them to get together after the races and during the week," Donnelly said.

RVR Racing handled the management and promotions of Southern Oregon Speedway the last two years.

"I feel the combination of Barney and Donnelly is a great team to take the Speedway to the next level," Skinner said. "Due to the economy, I was successful in negotiating with the new team to freeze the driver entry fee and pit pass price for the 2009 season, and to not make any significant rule changes to help hold down costs for the racers."

The track schedule, which typically begins in mid-April, should be released by the end of the year, Barney said.

"It's really all about teamwork," Barney said. "The more drivers that participate mean more spectators will come to the races. A high level of driver and fan involvement brings more sponsorship and media interest, which is good for everyone, and the overall health of the sport of auto racing in southern Oregon."