Rookie Welshonse finishes close second at Southern Oregon

By Ben Deatherage

MEDFORD, Ore. – The IMCA Modified division is considered one of the toughest classes to compete in no matter what the track is. For James Welshonse, he would make his debut in 2016 in this stacked group of drivers at White City’s Southern Oregon Speedway.

The nearby Medford native had limited experience prior to the campaign including a handful of SportMod starts and a couple of years in both the street stock and mini stock ranks. The year would feature an unbelievable amount of success beyond Welshonse’s dreams.

“It was a really good experience and we had a blast,” commented Welshonse, “it was really just a learning year for me and trying to figure out how these cars work.”

The year would see four top-five finishes at White City had just only one finish outside of the top 10, an 11th place result.

Without a doubt, Welshonse’s greatest achievement was his main event victory on Sept. 17 to cap the 2016 race season off.

In addition to his main event performances, he would also accomplish four trophy dash and numerous heat race wins. Welshonse ended the year a close second in points, two markers back in the final standings.

With the 2017 season quickly approaching, the plans for Welshonse and his team still remain a bit up in the air at this point.

“I want to travel a little bit more this year and go to Cottage Grove and Yreka and maybe even try Las Vegas and Elma. I know we’ll make the Medford through Cottage Grove shows for Speedweek,” he said.