From Bob Burbach
Marysville, CA — (May 15, 2014) — The MRP Winged Sprint Cars will headline the program in their 5th appearance of the season at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park Saturday. This is the final sprint car event prior to the California Sprint Car Civil War Series return next Saturday for one of MRP’s signature events, the “Mel Hall Memorial Race”. The MRP Wingless Warrior sprint cars will also be on tap. For stock car fans the MRP Hobby Stocks and MRP Mini Stocks will also trade some paint in championship point race competition.
In the MRP Winged Sprint Car division, Paradise driver John Michael Bunch is still the point leader. The talented youngster has joined the title chase and while the first three events garnered him a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes, reality struck last week. But, Bunch bounced back. A mid race spinout last week sent Bunch to the back of the pack. It seemed as if his championship lead was in jeopardy. But, Bunch went from last to finish a fine 7th in the 8 remaining laps of the event. The drive allowed Bunch to retain his championship point lead.
It appears that another driver making a solid championship run is Oroville’s Heath Hall. Hall was quick time qualifier last week but, more than that, Hall has put his car in a position to win in each of the four previous races this season. Hall’s turn around is not really surprising. Last season he was very quick in the Hight Family ride, but could not buy a break. This year some of the pieces are beginning to fall in place. Hall is a former winner of the Rich Dozier Classic.
A knot of drivers are within 6 points of each other behind Bunch and Hall. Marysville drivers Cort Dozier and Jeremy Hawes, Kevin Lovell of Yuba City and Woodland’s Peter Paulson are right at the leader’s heals. Dozier went out last week while leading and Lovell flipped wildly in turn 3. Paulson just nipped Hall for 3rd at the stripe while Hawes continues to show consistency in his transition to the mighty 800 horsepower winged cars. There is a 50 point turn around possible at any MRP event.
Last week’s winner and 5-time champion Korey Lovell of Yuba City will return to try for two-in-a-row. Sparks Nevada’s Mike Monahan has finally got his season on track with a 2nd last week. Monahan is the 2004 winged sprint car champion. 3-time and defending champion Billy Wallace from Grass Valley is still looking for his first feature event win of the year.
After a nearly six month hiatus from the racing wars, 3-time champion of the division Brent Dothage, of Kelseyville, is expected back. After missing so much action the 34 time feature event winner will be more than ready for action.
The MRP Wingless Sprint Cars led by point leader Tim Sherman Jr. of Fair Oaks will also be on the card. Sherman will look for his 3rd victory in a row. Only 2 points behind Sherman is a tie for 2nd that includes the 2011 track champion Brett Youngman of Grass Valley and local lady racer Misty Castleberry.
Youngman has been very impressive and Castleberry might be on the cusp of doing something remarkable. She is looking for a championship in yet a 3rd division of racecar at MRP. She is a former mini stock champion and is the defending Pro 4 Sprint car champion.
The MRP Mini Stocks will be led again by championship point leader, Yuba City’s Jimmy Ford. Defending champion Shaun Merritt of Marysville won last week after a titanic struggle with Yuba City’s Kyle Davey.
The MRP Hobby Stocks will also be on the card. It’s anybody’s guess how this one will turn out. Local racer Eddie Hammet is the point leader.
Gates open at 5pm with racing starting at 7PM
GPS: Marysville Raceway Park is located at 1468 Simpson Lane in Marysville California. www.marysvilleracewaypark.com is the website. Additional information is available at our Facebook page.