By Bob Burbach
Marysville- For the 47th time in his illustrious career the “ Colfax Comet” Colby Wiesz picked up the hardware in a wire-to-wire victory in the Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car feature. James Castleberry trounced the MRP Super Stock field with a straightaway victory. P. J. Petersen returned to his winning ways in the Pro 4 Sprint Car finale. Jason Sneep and Mike Grenert posted rwins in the BCRA Lite and Nor Cal Dwarf Car features respectively.
After 4 dazzlingly quick heat races, Wiesz and fellow front row starter Greg Decaires jumped into positions 1 and 2 at the drop of the green in the Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car feature. Decaires stayed glued to Wiesz and on several occasions pulled side by side with the 3-time MRP champ. Each time Wiesz was able to turn back the challenge. Brent Dothage dropped into 3rd spot right away and was immediately joined by a quartet of racers that had a terrific, crowd-pleasing struggle for 3rd. Dothage, William Fielding, Reyna Krueger, Jeremy Phillips and point leader Billy Wallace were all in this heated battle for position.
Just past ½ way Dothage made an uncharacteristic mistake and twirled into a tight 360 in turn 1. The other competitors in that tight knot of cars split away and did everything to miss the spinning champion. Problem was they all hit each other with only Wallace and Fielding popping out of that mess unscathed. Dothage also saved it and rejoined the field in his original 3rd place. Phillips who was pulling off mystifying passes prior to the crash was taken to the pits with a folded front end. Krueger restarted at the rear.
With 8 to go Wiesz got up on the wheel and put a couple of car lengths on Decaires and flew under the checkers ahead of Decaires, Dothage and Fielding. Once again, rookie contender Fielding was impressive as he slugged it out all night long with some of the best. Wallace, Brandon Dozier, Decaires and Wiesz posted heat race victories.
A vicious turn 1 flip during heat race competition once again KO’d Robbie Hight from the night’s activities. Hight was OK after the harrowing ride that tested the catch fencing that protects the pit grandstand. Photographic evidence shows Hight’s car some 15 feet in the air when it impacts the catch fence at terrific speed. Hight was unhurt, but the luckless veteran with some 275 feature event victories in Modified Midget competition has some work to do.
The non-stop MRP Super Stock main event was a thriller as James Castleberry pulled away from a fast field of charging racers to claim his 1st victory of the season. Currently 2nd in points and the only driver with a realistic shot at point leader Corey Hall did what he had to do to stay in the hunt…he won.
The feature race looked as if it was going to be a Sean Hulsey benefit as the fleet chauffer pulled to nice lead in the opening laps. Castleberry, Billy Knoop, Ray Trimble, Kyle Cheney, Corey Hall and Willie Horn were tied up in a spectacular dice for 2nd as Hulsey edged away from the pack. Then it all went wrong for Hulsey as he overcooked it in turn 2 and spun. The group behind scattered and Castleberry slipped by Knoop into what was the runner up spot. But with Hulsey’s misfortune, Castleberry was the leader. Castleberry then turned the smoothest laps of his career as he distanced himself from the field.
Hall started picking off cars and got to 2nd in another impressive drive. But, on this night nobody was going to beat Castleberry. He roared under the checkers a straightaway ahead of his nearest challenger. Horn got 3rd with Kyle Cheney putting together a great ride to gather up 4th. Hulsey recovered with a charge of his own and wound up 5th in the final tally.
P. J. Petersen finally took the ride that everyone knew he was capable of and simply smoked the Pro 4 Sprint Car field in dominating fashion. His “Flyin Ford” was impossible to catch all race long. Tim Maclaughlin tried to stay in touch with Petersen, but it was “no deal” as Petersen was in a class by himself. Shawn Ternora kept the fans interested though as he wrestled to the front and had an entertaining dice with Joel Giusti who was going for his 6th straight victory. Ternora and Maclaughlin hooked up for a little while in a battle for 2nd but Maclaughlin prevailed. Giusti had motor problems and pulled off ending his bid for 6 straight.
Jason Sneep won the BCRA Midget Lite feature and Spanky Grenert won a hotly contested Nor Cal Dwarf Car feature. See bcraracing.com for more on the BCRA Lite show and dwarfworld.com for more on the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars.
Next week is Dilly Bar Night at MRP. Mike Hall and the folks at Dairy Queen of Yuba City will host the MRP Super Stocks, The MRP Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series, the always popular MRP Mini Stocks and a visit by the MRP Hobby Stock racers.
FREE Dilly Bars for everyone in attendance this Saturday night. See you there!
The Pit Gate opens at 3pm. The front gates open at 5pm with racing at 6.30pm.