Dirt Track Racing In The Pacific Northwest


(WOMR file photo of a late model)

As the Labor Day weekend comes upon us, I would like to review three dirt tracks that I had the privilege to visit on my summer tour of Oregon.

The Saturday night racing programs included the traditional local dirt track divisions of stocker classes, with a few twists on mini trucks with 4 cylinder clangers, as well as, the mini/foreign compact cars with those same 4 cylinder motors.  But  the main attractions to all three of these race tracks were the faster racers that belong to the sprint car, late models, and modifieds.

The first race track that I had the opportunity to enjoy was at Cottage Grove, OR.  This race track produced some superb racing on its 1/4 mile high banked clay surface.  The wingless sprint cars were racy and fast.  Watching the sprinters “backing it” into the turns just brings out the REDNECK in me!

However, the best race of the night was the A main for the late models!  The late models have a little more “downforce” from their body designs that allows them to carry more speed into the turns, and can also get after the throttle quicker coming through the turns.  Overall, the late models ran a faster lap time at Cottage Grove!

The next track that I hung out for a Saturday night program was Coos Bay Raceway.  On that Saturday night, again their program consisted of the lower budgeted stocker classes, mini outlaws, and the likes, but included again was the wingless sprint cars, as well as, the late models.

Coos Bay Raceway consists of a high banked, 3/8 mile lightening fast, clay surface.  The lower budgeted divisions created some very good and competitive racing.  Likewise, the wingless sprinters put on a very close and exciting race.  However, once again the most thrilling race of the evening was the late models.

The third race track that I have visited in Oregon this summer was in a small little town in central Oregon, Madras.  The Madras Speedway is a semi-banked 1/4 mile clay race track.

Like the race track in Coos Bay, the programs at Madras consisted of the lower budgeted stock classes, the late models, modifieds, wingless sprinters, and on my second visit to Madras, the dwarf cars.

For those of you who have not seen the dwarf race car, that class puts on some fantastic, competitive, fast racing.  The cars are replicas of the sedans and coups of the 20′ and 30’s.  The motors are usually 1200cc motorcycle engines.  The results are some high pitched, screaming, racing machines!  All in all, these three race tracks put on a very good program, at a reasonable price…… $6 for seniors!

I will be returning to central Oregon next summer, and no doubt a return to these three tracks are in order for some good ol REDNECK racing!

Notwithstanding the fact that the Labor Day Weekend upon us, on Monday I will be pulling up stakes, leaving central Oregon, and heading the ol Fleetwood Expedition south for some classic wingless sprint cars, winged sprint cars, including The World Of Outlaws, and the mighty midget racing at Chico, CA.  This four-day racing event is called the Gold Cup Race of Champions.  It promises to be four fantastic days of high quality, very competitive, lightening fast, and very energetic racing, with some of the biggest names in the sport!

As one of my long-time friends relayed to me, it could be called “The Earl Hickey Classic”!  (From My Name Is Earl!)

After the pit stop at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway, there will be just one more stop before I head back to Yuma for the winter.  I will be pulling onto my old hometown of Fresno to visit with my family, and see the ol cardiologist!

Needless to say:


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