"from humble H.O. roots...."

When the big '60's and early '70's (in Oregon) slot racing craze had pretty much run its frenetic course, a few stalwart racers in Eugene, Oregon, continued to race slot cars on a H.O. scale track owned by Doug Haynes(1950-2009), a local attorney and a former SCCA Lotus 23 racer. Doug's track, known as Oregon International Raceway named for the 1:1 race track that once existed in the Eugene area was a handsomely landscaped layout underscoring the scale motif he and his 3 friends believed essential to good model slot car racing. Doug, Tom Snyder, Marv Leake, and John Hultgren started in September 1976 the tradition of weekly Wednesday night racing- 17 years HO, then by 1989 in 1/24th scale that continues to this day.

Meanwhile a group of slot car racers in Portland, Oregon were occasionally racing 1/24 RTR (ready to run)"flexi" cars. With their keen interest in 1:1 NASCAR racing they wanted to race authentic looking NASCAR slot cars. Since the only reasonably good looking stock car bodies then available were common injected plastic shelf models, they experimented with model kits mounted on custom scratch built brass chassis. Soon the Portland racers were racing competitive, authentic looking "hard body" stock cars.

Although skeptics believed hard plastic slot cars could not work, much less be competitively raced, the Portland group's efforts soon attracted the attention of the Eugene racers who saw that "big scale" racing using exclusively shelf or static models more fully satisfied their desire to accurately model and run all kinds of race cars.

Coincidentally by the mid '80's a small slot racing shop in Salem opened, then quickly closed. Its 4 lane track with no steep banked turns, relatively short straights and sweeping S turns fit hard body racing very well, and its layout required only 4 turn marshals, ideal for club racing. Doug Haynes purchased the track moving it to a rented 3 car garage in the Eugene area. Under his vision and guidance Doug inspired a number of idled commercial track slot car racers into forming a club patterned after a number of well known '60's era scale slot car clubs, such as the Cliffhurst course in Wilkes Barre, PA, and most notably the famous MESAC organization in Southern California.

From bitter experience Doug and his fellow racers realized the many difficulties that plagued commercial and club racing scene of the '60s, caused by those who drove up costs exponentially by their incessant quest for speed at the expense of all else, coupled with constant bickering over rules tweaked or modified at the whims of dominant racers would not be tolerated at any level. Pelican Park Speedway was established in 1989 as a key club.

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