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Thunderbird Speedway, Salina Highbanks Speedway host Sooner Late Models this weekend

Hayden Ross Memorial to pay $6,600-to-win

By John Rittenoure

TULSA, Okla. (June 24, 2024) - Two nights of racing are on tap for the APEX Healthcare Partners Sooner Late Model Series this weekend.

Night one takes place Friday night at Thunderbird Speedway with the running of the Hayden Ross Memorial. In honor of Hayden Ross and the number 66 he drove, the winner of Friday’s main event will pocket $6,600. Prior to Hayden’s tragic death in late 2022 at the age of 20, Ross had locked up the Sooner Late Model Series and Southern Tour Late Model Series championships.

Sixteen year old Eli Ross is following in his brothers footsteps and will be racing the number 66 hoping to get a victory at his home track. Eli Ross is in his second season driving the number 66 and won his first career victory at May 18 at Oklahoma Sports Park. Ross currently sits fourth in Sooner point standings.

Last season the Sooner Series visited the historic Thunderbird half-mile on May 6 and Brett Hansen came away with a victory. Hansen went on to win the season championship.

Saturday the Sooner Series returns to Salina Highbanks Speedway for the Freedom Classic. Last years inaugural visit to the high banked 3/8’s mile oval on June 24 produced one of the most exciting races of the season with Jace Parmley battling his way to victory over Brett Hansen and Eli Ross in third.

Gates open at Thunderbird Speedway at 4 p.m. Friday, grandstands at 6 with racing getting underway at 8. The track will be open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for drivers wishing to get in practice laps prior to Friday’s race.

Pit gates open at Salina at 3 p.m. Saturday. Grandstands open at 5 with driver hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7.

2024 Winners: 4/6 - Kip Hughes, Enid Speedway; 4/13 - Jon Herring, Jr., Beaver County Raceway; 5/11 - Joe Godsey, Caney Valley Speedway; 5/17 - Kip Hughes, Longdale Speedway; 5/18 - Eli Ross, Oklahoma Sports Park; 5/26 - Geoff Aitken, Crawford County Speedway; 6/8 - Brandon Conkwright, 81 Speedway.

Next race: Thunderbird Speedway, June 28, Salina Highbanks Speedway, June 29.

2024 Top 10: 1. Dalon Helm, 2660; 2. Dakota Dillinger, 2450; 3. Zach Nichell, 2350; 4.Eli Ross 2010; 5. Steve Hewitt Sr., 1845; 6. Troy Bynum 1690; 7. Jon Herring, Jr. 1335; 8. Damian Patocka 1180; 9. Kenny Sweet 1100; 10. Adrien Hickman 1055.

Sooner Late Model Series

The Sooner Late Model Series was formed in 2016 by Enid Speedway co-promoter Mark Brill. Brill felt there was not many opportunities for late model competitors to race in Oklahoma and the Sooner Late Model Series was formed. Now the series has grown beyond the borders of Oklahoma with events held in the neighboring states of Kansas, Texas and Arkansas.

APEX Healthcare Partners

Specializing in Multidisciplinary Care Across Specialties, at APEX Healthcare Partners, a team of skilled and experienced providers, therapists, and support staff work together to provide personalized and compassionate care for patients with spinal and neurological conditions in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas.

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