Paulson wins nail-biter at MRP

From MRP

Marysville, CA – Veteran open-wheeler Pete Paulson topped a thrilling MRP Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series feature event Saturday night at Paul and Kathy Hawes Marysville Raceway Park. It was Dilly Bar Nite sponsored by Mike Hall’s Dairy Queen of Yuba City. Mark Hill 3-peated the MRP Mini Stock field as Ryan McDaniel held off repeated challenges to grab the trophy in the MRP Super Stocks. Matt Magenheimer won the MRP Hobby stock closer.

Tempers were flaring and wheels were banging and the fans held their breath as the MRP Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series feature event was presented. After a pair of superbly competitive heat races won by Jeremy Hawes and Josh Vieira seeded the field, Hawes and arch rival Tony Richards shared the front row. When the green flag flew the front row starters got to turn 1 without incident, then it got scary as they came together headed out of 2. Richards popped sideways taking Vieira with him toward the wall as Hawes continued on to the pits for some quick repairs. All 3 went to the back, but would be factors later in this hotly contested event.

The new front row was David Sprigg and Peter Paulson. 8th starting Terry Schank was now 4th for the restart. The new green found Sprigg taking a big lead on Paulson as Schank muscled into 2nd past Paulson a couple of corners later. Sprigg’s nearly straightaway advantage was eaten up rapidly as Schank closed. On lap 5, Schank slipped past Sprigg in turn 1 then over cooked it into 3 and started a lazy slide that Sprigg could not avoid. Sprigg piled into Schank and both cars went to the pits. Schank was able to return and tagged onto the rear.

3rd running Paulson was the new leader and he went to work turning in the best performance of his career. Paulson stayed in the lead as Hawes and Richards reappeared in 2nd & 3rd respectively as they had charged back to the front. With 4 different leaders in the 1st 5 laps, it could have been anybody’s race and it was hardly over.

Vieira and Schank had started charging relentlessly through the field and had found 4th & 5th places behind Hawes and Richards. Vieira displaced Hawes and Richards and went after Paulson as Hawes, Richards and Schank slugged it out for 3rd. It might have been a short field, but it was a race that was long on thrills.

As the race went into the final circuit Paulson held on, just barely staying ahead of the charging Vieira. Schank made a last ditch effort for 2nd on the last lap, but Vieira didn’t seem to notice as he was preoccupied with Paulson. Paulson got the checkers with Vieira nearly drafting him at the line. Schank spun again in the last turn, but recovered for 4th as Richards swooped on by for the show spot. Hawes was 5th. It was a great battle all race long.

A tip of the straw hat to promoter Hawes for a splash of water on the sun baked surface that turned what could have been a slicky parade into a multi grooved thriller. It’s been a while since fans were on their feet and cheering this passionately for a wingless sprint car feature.

Not to be outdone, the MRP Super Stocks turned in a rapid-fire fender to fender slugfest that was very competitive from the word go. Front row starter Ryan McDaniel jumped into a big early lead that usually would be insurmountable given his record on the MRP clay. But, 3 time feature event winner Mitch Machado had other ideas. The 6th starting Machado roared past cars and planted himself into 2nd bringing last week’s winner James Castleberry with him.

McDaniel and Machado locked up in a great fight for the top spot for the duration of the event. McDaniel’s savvy matched Machado’s bravado as the two raced at a fever pitch. Machado’s last efforts were thwarted by McDaniel and that’s how they flashed under the checkers. Castleberry stayed 3rd and it was a good night for Castleberry in the points. Point leader and defending champion of the division Corey Hall had a multitude of problems that mired him into a 9th place finish.

Machado and Ray Trimble grabbed heat race victories in non-stop heat race action.

3-peat? Yep. The new kid on the block in MRP Mini Stock competition seems to be Mark Hill as Hill grabbed #3 Saturday night.

At the drop of the green it looked as if Howard Law was going to have his best run of the year and took a big lead right off the bat. Misty Castleberry charged into 2nd with Alan Furuta grabbing 3rd. Hill fell into 4th and was shadowing Furuta until lap 5. Castleberry couldn’t do anything with Law and Furuta was just inches behind Castleberry. Hill was effectively blocked on the inside. The veteran dirt tracker “went where they weren’t” and started a charge that would allow him to fly by the lead trio. The high side was the answer as Hill surprised the drivers in front of him. Once again, the extra moisture in the track allowed for an effective high side and Hill took particular advantage of it.

Shawn Merritt went to school on Hill and started a late race charge of his own on the top. He got to 4th before the checkers halted his progress. Castleberry got to 2nd with a slick move of her own that relegated early leader Law to a 3rd place finish. Castleberry and Hill won the heat races.

Matt Magenheimer trounced the field in the MRP Hobby Stock feature. Point leader Jeremy Hawes was a distant 2nd with his hood in his face. Mike Dehoogh had his best outing of the year getting 3rd in a smooth, mistake free run into the top 3.

Next week is the 2nd Rich Dozier 100 and Performance Auto Supply Nite as MRP will present all 5 primary classes in 20 lap features. The Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car Series, the MRP Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series, the MRP Super Stocks, Mini Stocks and Hobby Stocks will all share the outstanding offering.

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