COOS BAY — Preston Luckman is busy as can be, excelling in two very different sports while working for his dad, caddying at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and preparing for another year of college.
The Marshfield graduate, now 23, is often found on Saturdays racing at Coos Bay Speedway and whenever he can find time during the rest of the week honing his golf game at Coos Golf Club.
That time can be hard to come by since he is working 30 to 40 hours a week at Quadel Industries and trying to get in loops as a caddie two or three days a week at the resort and tinkering on his race cars with his dad another eight or 10 hours spread over the week after work.
But he is succeeding in both sports ventures, even considering a trip to the Midwest when he didn’t fare as well in terms of results, a success for his driving.
At Coos Bay Speedway, he has won six of the eight main events he has competed in, all but one in the America’s Mattress Super Late Models division. His victories include the Tidal Wave 50, a 50-lap race, on Aug. 15 and an IMCA Modified title two days later.
He also was the winner for the America’s Mattress Super Late Models on Saturday after finishing second to Brody Montgomery of Bandon a week earlier.
“We struggled a little bit when we went back East,” Luckman said. “The tracks were bigger. That was fun.”
Luckman found himself on longer tracks with higher banking in fields of more than 30 cars, but said it was a great learning experience. In addition to not being used to the tracks, he also was running a car that didn’t have enough horsepower as most of his competitors, and he said he would fare well when there were long runs of continuous racing before struggling in restarts after caution flags.
The trip was a vacation of sorts for Luckman and his dad, Eric, who have enjoyed their time working together on cars for years.
“It’s great,” Luckman said, adding that more and more it’s him doing work on the cars during the week, though his dad still helps a bunch on race nights, which his younger brother Eli races in the Junior Stingers division as well.
“Now I know how to fix most of the stuff, he can go home,” Luckman said of his dad.
“That was nice,” Eric added. “When he started, I had to fix everything.”
The racing is only part of Luckman’s busy schedule, with as much spare time as possible centered around golf.
He will soon head to Klamath Falls for his senior year at Oregon Tech, where he is majoring in operations management.
He joined the Owls after taking two years off from competitive golf after starting his college career at Southwestern Oregon Community College, and his game appears to be in good shape.
Last week, he played a pair of Oregon Golf Association events in Medford.
At Centennial Golf Club he had shot an even-par 72, which was three shots behind individual winner Jared Charbonneau of Eugene, despite being at the race track the night before until after 10 p.m.
The following day at Rogue Valley Country Club, he won the tournament with a 2-under 70.
“I had it rolling on the front nine shooting 31,” he said, adding that he hit a pair of drives out of bounds on the back nine that led to double bogeys before a birdie helped him secure the victory.
School at OIT starts on Sept. 21, when Luckman’s life will become simpler — studying and golf.
Luckman will be playing for a former SWOCC golfer. Justin Wiles is in his first year as head coach for the Owls after two years as an assistant.
He was the individual NWAC champion and led SWOCC to the team title in 2013.