Griff Smith

Griff Smith celebrates after winning the Junior Stingers season title at Coos Bay Speedway last year.

Bandon driver Griff Smith, the defending track champion in the Junior Stingers class at Coos Bay Speedway, won the first two races of the season at the track during the past week.

The speedway got a late start to its oval dirt track season because of the coronavirus pandemic, but now is in a stretch of four days of racing in a 12-day period, including a few touring groups as well as the South Coast racers in the local divisions.

Junior Stingers is a division that grew quickly last year and had 14 different youngsters racing on Saturday, the second night of the season.

On the opening night of the season, Smith beat seven other drivers in the main event after winning his heat race earlier in the night. Fellow Bandon drivers Teagan Montgomery and Alex Butler were second and fourth, respectively, in the heat race before finishing third and eighth in the main event.

On Saturday, Smith again won both his heat race and the main event. He has won 21 of the 23 races in the division, which was created last year.

Butler was eighth in the main event. Montgomery won his heat race, but did not compete in the main event.

Also on Saturday, Brody Montgomery finished second and fellow Bandon racer Braden Fugate third in the America’s Mattress Super Late Models division season opener. Veteran Bandon racer Wayne Butler also competed, finishing sixth in his heat race before he was not able to finish the main event.

Charlie Withers, another Bandon driver, suffered the same fate in the Street Stocks division.

More than 70 drivers from up and down the western part of the state competed in the races on Saturday.

This weekend, there are races on both Saturday and Sunday, each with visiting racing groups and local drivers.

On Saturday, the Southern Oregon Dwarf Cars will make an appearance, competing along with drivers in the America’s Mattress Super Late Models, Sportsman Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Outlaws and Hornets divisions.

The grandstands open at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and students 7 to 17 years old. Kids 6 and under get in free and a family pass for two adults and up to three students is $35.

On Sunday, the speedway will host a IMCA Modified Gambler. The event will include both IMCA Modifieds and Sportmods as well as local drivers in the America’s Mattress Super Late Models, Sportsman Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Outlaws and Hornets.

The grandstands open at noon and racing starts at 2 p.m. Admission fees are the same as Saturday.

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