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Modified drivers come off big weekend

Several top-flight modified drivers will try to build on momentum from strong showings last weekend in Washington when stock car racing resumes Saturday at Southern Oregon Speedway in White City.

This weekend is points championship night for sprint cars. In addition, super 4's, dwarfs and mini stocks will run.

Gates open at 4 p.m. and racing begins at 6.

Last Saturday in the 11th annual Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals at Gray's Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., Scott Lenz of Eagle Point and Brian Poppa of Medford finished second and third, respectively, in the A main behind winner Jason Beaulieu of Campbell River, B.C.

Three others — Travis Perry of Fort Jones, Calif., and Medford's Mark Wauge and Albert Gill — placed fourth, seventh and eighth on the 3/10ths-mile dirt track.

Perry is the season points leader at Southern Oregon Speedway, and Wauge and Lenz were one-two in last season's final standings.

The 40-lap main event had 24 drivers start, including another local racer, Jon DeBenedetti.

On Saturday, DeBenedetti had the lead through in Lap 8, but going into Turn 3, a rear suspension part broke, bringing to an end his bid.

Beaulieu took the lead and didn't' relinquish it despite constant pressure from Lenz, who charged from third to second on the restart after DeBenedetti's trouble.

The leaders reached lapped traffic on Lap 17, where Lenz got on Beaulieu's bumper but couldn't overtake him.

Poppa moved into third on Lap 26 but was still a straightaway behind the leaders.

A caution flag bunched the eight cars left on the lead lap with 10 remaining. However, the top three didn't change.

Drag Racing

AUSTIN WINS — Mike Austin of Medford captured the top-alcohol class at the National Hot Rod Association Lucas Oil Series Northwest Thunderfest at Spokane, County raceway in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday.

The win was the second this season for Austin and moved him into the points lead in the Northwest Division and catapulted him into eighth place overall nationally.

Austin ran his best pass of the weekend, posting a 5.483 second pass at 258.96 mph in the final round. Austin had a bye run in the final when Woodburn's Joey Severance blew an engine in the previous round.

Austin will race again on Aug. 14-15 in a national event in Brainerd, Minn.