Matt Hein of Roseburg makes it around a turn during a race at the Douglas County Speedway in 2008.

JON AUSTRIA/News-Review file photo

Former sprint car racer Rick Brown is honored to be the namesake of the Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association winged sprints auto race at the Douglas County Speedway and excited to see his son-in-law and grandson compete for the top spot Saturday.

Brown has been battling stage-4 colon cancer for a little more than a year and even though he’s currently undergoing chemo therapy he does expect to make it to the races.

“I haven’t been real sick or anything,” Brown said. “I’d just like to see my grandson and son-in-law race. It should be a good field of cars.”

More than 20 cars are expected to competed in the opening stage of the racing circuit for the Pacific Northwest sprint car drivers.

Brown’s grandson, Kyle Alberding, is racing in his second season and was a rookie of the year contender last year.

“I’d like to see my grandson do well, but he’s only in his second season so he’ll have his hands full,” Brown said. “I enjoy watching him almost as much as I enjoy driving myself. I’d like to see Matt Hein and all the great kids that grew up in the area do well.”

Hein, who grew up in Glide but is a 2006 Roseburg High graduate, has won the Rick Brown Super Shoe trophy twice before at the speedway and is excited to see the races return to Roseburg.

“It’s exciting to be able to race in front of friends and family,” Hein said. “It’s a track we ran well at before.”

Tickets for the event are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors, military and children ages 6-16. Children 5 and under are free. The Douglas County Speedway accepts credit and debit cards.

Sports reporter Sanne Godfrey can be reached at 541-957-4203 or via email at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey

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Sanne Godfrey is a sports reporter for The News-Review.

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