COOS BAY — Coos Bay Speedway was the first of the state’s dirt tracks to reopen to racing, and the regular season opener Saturday came with a great showing of drivers from around the western part of the state.
After a limited opening featuring a touring series last Wednesday, more than 70 drivers made their way to the speedway over the weekend, competing in seven different divisions.
“We had a great turnout Saturday,” speedway owner Drake Nelson said.
He’s hoping for another big showing of drivers this weekend, when the speedway hosts two more days of racing, each with a different touring group and the local drivers.
Saturday’s racing included a number of drivers from outside the area in the Winged Sprints division, which is normal, but also in several of the other divisions.
They included racers from Gresham, Salem, Scio, Toledo and Medford, as well as closer cities.
Local racers took home the titles in several of the divisions.
Trace Fugate of Bandon won the Sportsman Late Models division, one of the smaller groups Saturday, with the other three racers coming from Corvallis, Albany and Springfield. Phil Lovvorn of Corvallis was second. Fugate was making his first start in the division, graduating up from the Hornets class.
Coquille’s Steve Dubisar was the winner in the Street Stocks division, followed by Dakota Goddard of Corvallis, Ken Fox of North Bend and Michael Hollingsworth of Corvallis.
Hannah Robison of Myrtle Point was champion in the Hornets division, ahead of Isaac Stere of Cottage Grove and William Hitner of Coos Bay. That division included five drivers from Florence.
Meanwhile, Coquille and Myrtle Point, as well as Florence, have several new drivers in the Junior Stingers division, for younger racers.
The winner there, as was the case nearly all of last year, was Griff Smith of Bandon, followed by Lane Hitner of Myrtle Point and Riley Rockwell of Florence.
In the Winged Sprints division, the winner was Tyrell Mead of Winston, followed by Shane Forte of Junction City and R.J. Baker of Orland, Calif. The top local driver was North Bend racer Lawrence VanHoof, who was fourth.
BJ Donofrio of Salem won the America’s Mattress Super Late Models division ahead of Bandon drivers Brody Montgomery and Braden Fugate. Jason Johnson of Gresham was fourth. Donofrio got a win in his first visit to the speedway by holding off Montgomery, who started in the 10th position.
The smallest division Saturday was the Mini Outlaws, which included just three racers. Brad Hicks of Creswell won the main event, followed by Dusty Shingelton of Florence and John Henry of Hillsboro.
Many of the same drivers will be back at the speedway this weekend.
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.
For more information, visit www.coosbayspeedway.us.