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Defending champs shine at speedway

WHITE CITY ' Last year's champions showed that they aren't planning to give up anything on Saturday night at the Southern Oregon Speedway.

After a three-week delay due to wet grounds, the speedway roared back into action with two of the track's 2002 class champions leading the way.

Jon DeBenedetti earned the checkered flag in the modified feature.

DeBenedetti and Brian Poppa traded paint for most of the race before DeBenedetti pulled away with five laps to go. He made it a clean sweep of the night with wins in his heat race and the trophy dash.

— Defending pro stock champion Frank Word III won his first feature of the season. Word came from deep in the pack, working his way up throughout the 25-lap feature before taking the top spot from Seth Carder, last year's rookie champion in the division.

Like DeBenedetti, Word III also won his heat and the trophy dash.

Patrick Lanigan won a crash-marred feature in the mini stocks after a rollover in front of the grandstand cut into the feature.

In the dwarf cars, Dave VanAcker won the main event, taking the lead on the next-to-last lap in the 15-lap main event.

Defending champion Gary Fitzsimmons had a brief hold on the top spot before VanAcker moved in for the win.

Racing continues Saturday night with the first of two visits of the Northern Sprint Tour. Gates open at 4 and racing gets underway at 6.

Southern Oregon Speedway

Mini Stocks

Heat 1

: 1. Steve Clark; 2. Kenny Ryland; 3. Ken Kitchen; 4. Belinda Duste.

Heat 2:

1. Dave Bishop; 2. Steven Babb; 3. Don Clark; 4. David Mullane.

Heat 3

: 1. Eddie Farley; 2. Kevin Gudzan; 3. Eric Hull; 4. Jeff Ford.

Heat 4

: 1. Joe Dirt; 2. Patrick Lanigan; 3. Eric Evenson; 4. Milt Carder.

Trophy Dash:

1. Steve Clark; 2. Eddie Farley; 3. Patrick Lanigan; 4. Dave Bishop.

B Main:

1. Rocky Bass; 2. Wesley Moore; 3. Steve Babb; 4. Tom Hammond; 5. Alicia Glenn.

Feature:

1. Patrick Lanigan; 2. Eddie Farley; 3. Milt Carder; 4. Rocky Bass; 5. Jeff Ford.

Modifieds

Heat 1:

1. Brian Poppa; 2. Jeremy Richey; 3. Jonathon Lewis; 4. Brett James.

Heat 2:

1. Jon DeBenedetti; 2. Dave Duste Sr.; 3. Jay Hinton Jr.; 4. Mike Johnson.

Heat 3:

1. Dennis Silva; 2. Scott Weldon; 3. Gus Cooper; 4. Eric Bray.

Heat 4:

1. Mark Wauge; 2. Ron Possinger; 3. Ryan McTaggert; 4. Jim Thomas.

Trophy Dash:

1. Jon DeBenedetti; 2. Brian Poppa; 3. Mark Wauge; 4. Dennis Silva.

B Main:

1. Dan Estremado; 2. Bruce Rayburn Jr.; 3. Skipper Klimcheck; 4. Jon Ireland; 5. Travis Peery.

Feature:

1. Jon DeBenedetti; 2. Brian Poppa; 3. Eric Bray; 4. Ron Possinger; 5. Dave Duste Sr.

Pro Stocks

Heat 1:

1. Bo Shields; 2. Chris Charlton; 3. Jim Hill; 4. Jamie McCleary.

Heat 2:

1. Frank Word III; 2. Glen McElreath; 3. Don Johnston; 4. Bob Dees.

Heat 3:

1. Mike Jones; 2. Tony Walker; 3. Albert Gill; 4. Butch Poppa.

Heat 4:

1. Seth Carder; 2. John David Duffie; 3. Albert Gill; 4. Butch Poppa.

Trophy Dash:

1. Frank Word III; 2. Bo Shields; 3. Mike Jones; 4. Seth Carder.

B Main:

1. Jim Walker; 2. Darren Provost; 3. Tracy Bradley; 4. Terry Townsend; 5. Joe Guider.

Feature:

1. Frank Word III; 2. Chris Charlton; 3. Butch Poppa; 4. Tony Walker; 5. Albert Gill.

Dwarf Cars

Heat 1:

1. Wayne VanRaven; 2. Mitch Sheeler; 3. Dave VanAcker; 4. Fred O'Nan.

Heat 2:

1. Tyler Steenslid; 2. Jim Miller; 3. Ed Asman; 4. Kyle Resnick.

Heat 3:

1. Gary Fitzsimmons; 2. Tom Palazzolo; 3. Fred Hay; 4. Barry Dresen.

Heat 4:

1. Keith Steenslid; 2. Luke VanAcker; 3. Mike Jackson; 4. Rick Sequeria.

Trophy Dash:

1. Wayne VanRaven; 2. Gary Fitzsimmons; 3. Keith Steenslid; 4. Tyler Steenslid.

Feature:

1. Dave VanAcker; 2. Gary Fitzsimmons; 3. Kyle Steenslid; 4. Wayne Van Raven; 5. Keith Steenslid.