By Bob Burbach
Marysville- Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park, the Yuba-Sutter area’s only professional sports venue, will continue its 44th consecutive professional racing season Saturday night. The Mighty Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Cars will headline the program with the MRP Super Stocks headlining the fendered portion of the 4 division show. The 1st race of the season for the MRP Mini Stocks and the Pro 4 Sprinters will also be on tap. It will be the “United Rental Night at the Races.”
Weather could be a factor, but the storms that were supposed to dump such big loads of precipitation simply haven’t done so up until now. Point leader Colby Wiesz said he’ll be at MRP Saturday to try to extend his all time record win total in the winged sprint car show.
With a generous point fund offered to the champion of the Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Cars, all the usual suspects and a few surprises will be saddled up for Saturday’s program. 2011 champ Billy Wallace, 5-time champ Korey Lovell aboard his famous #71, 3-time champ Brent Dothage from Kelseyville and 2007 MRP Champ Jeremy Burt are all expected for round 2 of the 2012 Super Season. A pleasant surprise last week was the entry of Cort Dozier into the championship mix this year. Dozier told this observer last week that he’s going to try for the title. Dozier has a unique record of sorts in that he has driven a car in almost every championship point class offered at MRP over the last 20 years, perhaps with the exception of a Mini Stock (this observer didn’t check that). But his name appeared in Bomber, Late Models, Modifieds, Winged and Wingless Sprint Cars, Super Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Street Stocks. Dozier was the last Modified Champ at Grass Valley before it shut down in late 1994. Dozier was the 2009 Wingless Sprint Car Champ and finished 3rd in the points in the Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car class in the same year!!
Lady star and multi-time feature event winner Reyna Krueger is expected to make her 2nd appearance of the new season. Krueger put on a stellar performance last Saturday with a 4th place finish among a host of veteran stars. Watch for young Garry Burdick a former MRP Rookie of the Year.
The first race will go off at 6.30PM, getting everybody home at a reasonable hour. Don’t forget to visit facebook.com/marysvilleracewaypark for your opportunity to win free tickets to the races. We give away 2 free grandstand seats every Thursday at 8 PM.
The MRP Super Stocks will roar onto the MRP clay in their 2nd event of the year as well Saturday night. Antioch’s Mitch Machado has said he’ll be in the house hoping to increase his point lead after a thrilling opening night battle with Brent Hall, Phillip Shelby and Ray Trimble. Defending series champion Cory Hall didn’t have the night he was hoping for in his 2nd consecutive title defense. So he’ll be ready to go. James Castleberry will be looking to improve on last week’s performance.
Speaking of Castleberry, wife Misty Castleberry will head the opening point race of the year for the always popular MRP Mini Stocks. She should be strong. But, there are others who are confident they can knock the Blonde Bombshell off her perch.
One of the strongest contenders may be a rejuvenated Shaun Merritt. Merritt, who was wicked fast last season had far too many mechanical issues and bad luck nights to be a contender at the end. Merritt told this observer that he’s spent money in all the right places and is itching for a title. “I’m going to try to win every race.” he said with confidence. The Merritts may field as many as 4 cars in the upcoming season. One will be for brother Damian and others for the “kids”. The MRP Mini Stock saga for 2012 will begin this Saturday night.
The Pro 4s will take on MRP for the 1st time this season. It’s unclear whether defending champ Tim Maclaughlin will get back in the saddle to defend his crown, though the familiar 99 has been to several Monday practices. In this observer’s opinion a driver to watch this year may be Johnny Burns. The talented driver has shown sparks of brilliance that have been overshadowed by enormous bouts of bad luck. Could be he’s ready for a fine season. Burns, too has been testing whenever he can.
If Joel Giusti saunters into the pits with his familiar 17 this season, it could be all over for everyone else. Giusti has been flawless when the car runs right. But it’s that very problem that dashed his title hopes last year. Like Burns, just plain bad luck. Look for Giusti to be a factor every night. Add to the equation an eager Misty Castleberry to the mix and you have a very volatile field for opening night in the Pro 4s. Misty thinks she’ll be the champion. Well, there can only be one! That’s why we run the races.
It’ll be quite a show!
Pit gate opens at 3PM. Grandstands open at 5PM. Hot Laps at 5.30. 1st race at 6.30PM
Don’t forget to monitor our facebook page during the races as updates are constantly being forwarded.
IMPORTANT: 2012 minor releases must be signed by parents for all minors entering the pits.