By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA –It’s one of the best times of the year at MRP this Saturday. It’s the annual KIDZ NITE celebration at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park Saturday. The mighty MRP Winged Sprint Cars will return in a 4 division show that features primary MRP classes. The 3 fendered divisions will compliment the open wheel madness of the MRP Winged Sprint Car Series. The spectacular action of the MRP Super Stocks, Mini Stocks and Hobby stocks will all be showcased.
All children 12 and under are admitted FREE when accompanied by adult supervision. It’s a great family night at the races. There will be a number of giveaways during the course of the evening. There will be bicycle giveaways and lots of goodies for the youngsters.
The return of the MRP Winged Sprint Car will bring them back in mid-season form with a more tightly bunched group of drivers at the top than one might have anticipated at this time of the season. Grass Valley’s Jeremy Burt stays on top after the last outing here at MRP. But, both Billy Wallace also of Grass Valley and Spark’s Nevada’s Mike Monahan have closed the gap on the high flying Burt. After Monahan’s brilliant wire to wire win he is within 6 points of leader Burt. Wallace is just 14 points off the pace after a relatively (for Wallace) slow start to the season. Auburn’s Jimmy Steward and Oroville’s Heath Hall have raced into 4th and 5th positions respectively.
A fine field of the winged cars is expected including the return of 3 time champion Brent Dothage. The Kelseyville hot shoe had catastrophic engine problems last month that have kept him absent from the last two shows. 5time champ Korey Lovell is expected to return Saturday as well. MRP’s own “5-Time” has been sorely missed. Woodland’s Peter Paulson and a host of other great drivers are expected on the grounds. If this year’s fields have taught us anything it is to expect the unexpected. There’s no telling who will pop into the west’s finest short track for a run at the gold.
Legal Shield’s Rod Engberson will once again post an additional $100 for the fastest qualifier in the “Legal Shield Quick Time Shootout” that will open Saturday’s program. MRP remains a contingency Connection track posting some $1100 in additional contingency awards for the winner in the MRP Winged Sprint Car division. This, in addition to the cool $1000 in cash from the purse awarded the feature event winner.
In the MRP Super Stock class Cort Dozier continues to dominate. But, if last week was any measure, watch Auburn’s Ray Trimble challenge the Marysville veteran. A race long duel between the two had the crowd roaring last week. Trimble is just 13 markers out of the top spot and a resurgent Sean Hulsey has raced his way into 3rd. The Magenheimer brothers, Brad and Matt, are just off the pace in 4th and 5th. The Super Stocks at MRP have been a Super Show lately. Watch for Dozier to pull double duty as he will enter the MRP Winged Sprint Car field as well…and he is due.
Shaun Merritt leads the MRP Mini Stock contingent into Saturday’s show. Merritt, last time out, pulled off a season saving effort. Merritt came from deep in the pack to a fine 4th place with significant leg injuries. It was a noteworthy effort on the point leader’s part. Misty Castleberry still owns victory lane in the division and will compete again on Saturday, but Merritt stays atop the standings with an 8 point cushion over Howard Law. If Merritt and Law stumble, someone else may rush into the spotlight. But, for now, it’s a 2-horse race. Local drivers Travis Carter, Jason Clayton and James Foster are locked in a 3 way duel for 3rd with just 1 point separating the trio.
Defending champ Jeremy Hammons of Yuba City has a wide lead in the MRP Hobby stock points. Amazingly enough Richard “Killer” Sinnott is in 2nd place in the points!!! Sinnott’s driving days at MRP started a significant time ago. His spotted, somewhat controversial and ever entertaining driving reputation precedes him by about 30 years. Sinnott has not challenged for the lead on a regular basis and by his own admission the leaders are by him before he can “take them out” while they are lapping him. Sinnott takes passengers with him on race night and it is any wonder why the actually go!But, in the Hobby Stock Wars it is all great fun and Eddie Hammett has been giving Hammons fits up front. Former winner of the Great Taxi Cab Open Mike Dehoogh indicated he’ll be back. Mike has won in “Bomber” and Hobby Stock competition at MRP.
So, make your plans to be at MRP this Saturday night for a wild show and celebrate the drivers and fans of the future on KIDZ NITE at the Yuba Sutter area’s only professional sporting event! Bad fast speeds and fender-crunching action…and maybe a free bike! What could be better?
The pit gate opens at 3PM. Grandstands open at 5PM. Hot Laps are at 5:30 with qualifying scheduled for 6:15. Racing begins after qualifying.