MEDFORD, Ore. -- The NHRA Northwest Division Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series made its way to the beautiful Southern Oregon Dragway for the final points race of the 2000 season. The last Northwest Division points race was last held here eight years ago as part of the Winston Drag Racing Series.
For the last two years, John Skinner and Wane Selden of Southern Oregon Dragway have made the extensive improvements to the Medford, Ore. facility. Over $250,000 was spent improving the track surface, pits, and the spectator area. The drivers have had nothing but nice things to say about the improvements to the facility.
"I didn't know what to expect," said Northwest Division Federal-Mogul Dragster championship points leader, Mark Hentges of Federal Way, Wash. "I haven't run here for over eight years and that last time I ran here the track was falling into disrepair. This can now be considered one of the best tracks in the division."
Dignitaries and the local media got the first look at the newly renovated dragstrip with a ribbon cutting and media race on the Thursday before race weekend. Local sports anchor, Todd Strain of KTVL-TV Channel 10 took the media race challenge championship in his borrowed 2000 Buick LeSabre.
Oregon Trucker is Just Hooked on Going Fast
Lloyd Bandle of Jacksonville, Ore. was just happy to be racing anywhere this weekend, but racing at the home track in Medford, Ore. makes it special. Bandle, 52, has been racing in the Federal-Mogul Funny Car category for six years after building a successful trucking company in Southern Oregon, L & S Trucking.
Bandle is just happy to be at the racetrack this weekend because he had a heart attack and triple bypass 2 ½ years ago. Bandle tried to get right back in the drivers seat but the heart attack left him with only 1/3 of his heart in operation condition. The adrenaline rush of driving a Federal-Mogul Funny Car was too much and he gave the driving chore over to his good friend, Dave Hix. Hix drove the car for a few months until Bandle could get his strength back.
"After the heart attack I immediately changed my lifestyle-I stopped smoking, changed my diet, and started to exercise because I love life and racing too much," said Bandle.
Bandle didn't have quite the weekend he would have liked, but was still in good spirits after losing to Dan McGlone of Gladstone, Ore. in the first round.
"We will be back," said Bandle. " Nex t year we are going to have a little more to put into our racing program and we will be a force."
1998 Northwest Federal-Mogul Dragster Champ Back in the Cockpit
Former NHRA Northwest Division Federal-Mogul Dragster Champion, Dale Carlson of Olympia, Wash. will be part of the Duane Shields' Racing Team in three weeks at the final Pacific Division Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series event at The Strip in Las Vegas, Nev.
Carlson, working the clutch on Shields' Federal-Mogul Dragster in Medford, will make Team Shields a two-car team. He will drive the Federal-Mogul Dragster Shields drove in 1999 competition. Carlson drove for the Mike Johnson's Giant Bicycle racing team until parting company after the Federal-Mogul event in late June.
"Duane Shields' team is the finest group of people you could ever
know," said Carlson. "I'm really happy to have the opportunity to race
with such a quality team."