Winebarger, Braaten collect Cottage Grove openers

Collen Winebarger was the IMCA Modified winner on opening night at Cottage Grove Speedway. (Photo by Stephanie Deatherage)

By Ben Deatherage 

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (April 26) – Collen Winebarger and Jorddon Braaten took opening night IMCA checkers Friday at Cottage Grove Speedway. 

Despite early stoppages, Curtis Towns put his machine out in front of the IMCA Modified pack.  Towns stayed there before eventually losing the coveted top spot on lap seven, shortly after a restart, to Winebarger. 

It was no stroll through the park for Winebarger as he had to deal with several lapped cars as well a number of restarts.  When it was all said and done, Winebarger crossed the wire in first for his first win of 2019. Towns held on to be the runner-up while Aaron Sheelar was third.  

The Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods had a good race as Braaten returned to his prime form after winning the track and state titles last season.

Braaten obtained the lead on the opening lap.  But just like Winebarger, Braaten had to deal with similar factors including restarts, traffic, and a couple of challengers but all in all he managed to maintain his position and win in his first outing of the season.  

Brothers Braedon and Shawn Hand finished second and third respectively.