Wheeler gets hard fought victory

By Bob Burbach

Marysville- Oregon hot shoe Vern Wheeler stopped by Paul and Kathy Hawes Marysville Raceway Park Saturday night and won the featured Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car main event. Ryan McDaniel cruised to victory in the MRP Super Stock feature and Joel Giusti got win #2 of the season in the Pro 4 Sprint Car finale. Jeremy Hawes won again in the MRP Hobby Stock feature.

Wheeler, fresh off of a victory last Saturday night at Southern Oregon Speedway, dueled track point leader Billy Wallace for the lead in a crowd-pleasing tussle that put a cap on a very good main event. Mother nature, for the 3rd consecutive week, blew 20 mph winds across the MRP clay relentlessly. The cool, breezy night could have ruined the raceway, but as it turned out this main event was a dandy.

Wallace started on the front row with Jeremy Phillips and jumped to an early lead. Phillips camped on the 3rd turn cushion and surprised Wallace with a daring turn 4 pass as Wheeler started to pick off cars from his 7th starting spot.

2 laps later Wallace regained the top spot as Phillips began to slow and fade from the battle up front. Wallace managed to keep the top spot through much of the race and through a couple of incidental yellow flag periods. He seemed destined for another feature win. Wheeler had other ideas. Wheeler got to 2nd right away at the new green and hounded Wallace relentlessly for a couple of laps. Then, he simply threw his white #21 against the cushion in turn 3. It stuck and arched around Wallace as the pair headed onto the front chute. Wallace tried to respond, but Wheeler had everybody covered from that point on.

Wallace remained 2nd at the checkers with Kyle Hirst coming in 3rd from 12th. It was a night for passing as Colby Wiesz came from 10th to 4th and World of Outlaws star Johnny Herrera showed his considerable talents in a charge from 15th to 5th in the rapid fire 20 lapper.

Wheeler was a very happy winner grabbing the microphone in victory lane and then circling his car reading off sponsors. He didn’t want to forget anybody. Wheeler picked up $1200 in cash for the win and some $1100 in Contingency Connection bonuses. Wheeler, Herman Klein, Herrera and Jeff Paraday were the heat race winners.

In the Pro 4 feature Giusti took advantage of early race leader P. J. Petersen’s bad luck and took the checkers going away. The Pro 4 feature had a number of long green flag segments that showcased Petersen as he romped to a straightaway lead. His night came to an immediate end when a series of ugly sounding pops and bangs slowed the Flyin’ Ford #01.

From that point forward Giusti was in charge. Tim Maclaughlin was a distant 2nd at the wire. Jeff Olschowka taking his 1st ever ride in a Pro 4 nailed down 3rd with a solid run from last starting spot.

Ryan McDaniel put an end to the domination of Mitch Machado in the MRP Super Stock main event. McDaniel and Machado sparred in the early laps before McDaniel started to inch away from his winged rival. This race, too, had long green flag segments that allowed lapped cars into the mix. McDaniel was better in traffic, especially late, and cruised to the victory. Point leader Corey Hall padded his point lead with a solid 3rd place finish ahead of Willie Horn.

This race had some great racing action all through the field and many drivers had their best finishes of the year. McDaniel and Machado captured heat race honors.

Veteran MRP Wingless Warrior Sprint Car star Jeremy Hawes continued his successful diversion to stock car racing by sweeping the MRP Hobby Stock program. Hawes was uncatchable all night long. Kyle Cheney finished 2nd in the main event followed by Raul Casteneda.

Next week, the mighty MRP Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series will be back with their awesome, slide for life style of racing action. Red Horse night will also feature the wildly popular MRP Super Stocks, Pro 4 Sprint Cars and a return of the MRP Mini Stocks and Hobby Stocks.

The Pit Gate opens at 3pm. The front gates open at 5pm with racing at 6.30pm.