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Wiesz gets #49 as Hall, Giusti and Foster also score. 
Simas gets Hunt Crown. Dilly Bar Nite Saturday.

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - August 28, 2011 --- 3 time MRP Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car champion Colby Wiesz rolled out of the hills, jumped on the gas and put together the 49th Marysville Raceway Park feature event victory of his illustrious career. Scott Hall bagged the hardware in the Joe Hunt Magneto Wingless Sprint Car Shootout feature as Taylor Simas nearly swept the program to grab the title. Joel Giusti won feature #6 in the Pro 4 finale as “Quick Nick” Foster won the BCRA feature. It was Yuba City Scrap and Steel’s 12th Ice Cream Night and birthday celebration for drivers (and twin brothers) Korey and Kevin Lovell. Skipper and Ken from sprintcarfan.com provided the post race grub for everyone in attendance with a gala barbeque.

It was a 100-degree day and the wrestling match with Mother Nature was not an easy one. The all open wheel extravaganza featured full fields in the winged and wingless 360s and the BCRA brought a representative field of cars and stars for their program.

Wiesz won by a wide margin in the MRP Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car feature, but it wasn’t as easy as the box score would indicate. Rookie sensation William Fielding was on the front row with point leader Billy Wallace at the start. There were not many who thought Fielding had much of a shot in the drag race to turn 1 against the vastly more experienced Wallace. Well, that’s why we run the laps. Fielding rocketed into the lead as Wallace fell rapidly to 4th spot in the early laps. Wiesz seemed poised and ready to strike when he quickly arrived in 2nd place and camped on Fielding’s tail.

Again, to everyone’s amazement, the outstanding rookie contender started to draw away from Wiesz. There were a couple of slowdowns, but nothing really aided Wiesz as Fielding drew away ever so slightly after every restart. However, as the event drew towards ½ way Wiesz really got up on the wheel and showed what he can do. Fielding’s lead began to shrink as the leaders approached lapped traffic. Again, a yellow flag interrupted the proceedings and Wiesz gunned his 23r high and low during the slow down looking for the right place to grab some traction.

The dizzying swirl started again as the green flag waved and Wiesz was all over Fielding. Wiesz feigned high in turn 1 and shot down low off of 2; maybe even surprising Fielding. Wiesz was by in a flash as the pair approached turn 3 and it was over from there. With a clear track in front of him Wiesz closed the gap on some lapped cars and tried to get them between himself and Fielding. It all worked and Wiesz survived a final yellow flag segment and easily held Fielding at bay.

It may not quite be the time for a changing of the guard at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park just yet, but Fielding is part of a trio of great young drivers who are headed toward the front. One is there already. The biggest mover of the night was 3rd finishing Reyna Krueger. Krueger has already won 5 times and when you consider fast rising young stars, Krueger has to be near the top of the list. She outgunned champions Wallace, Korey Lovell and Jeremy Burt to gain her 3rd place money in this one. Her battle with 3 champion racers was one of the brightest spots of this quickly run main event. Garry Burdick is another young contender that seems ready for a win. Burt, Wallace, Fielding and Burdick picked up heat race wins in the Yuba City Scrap and Steel Night at the Races presentation.

Wiesz will take a couple of weeks off and return to MRP for the Mel Hall Memorial Race on September 17th. Wiesz who has had significant success in this event since its inaugural running in 1999 will try for his historic win #50 on one of the biggest nights on MRP’s Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car calendar. The Hall Memorial was rescheduled from its original date in June due to inclement weather conditions at that time. It is not printed on the schedule, so put it on your calendar right now. The $2500 to win Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car event celebrates the life of former promoter Mel Hall. Every winged sprint car driver of note will be at MRP on September 17th. The MRP Wingless Warriors will also be featured with a make up date as well. The Hall Memorial is also an MRP point paying event that will have a huge impact on final positions in the point standings. The final race in both MRP sprint car series’ will be one week later on September 24th.

It was the most unlikely of possible outcomes in the Joe Hunt Magneto Wingless Sprint Car Shootout finale. Scott Hall won again in his sleek black #56 and he pretty much ran away with it after a tight entertaining struggle with Joel Giusti’s “Flyin’ Ford”. But it was Taylor Simas who grabbed the crown in the final event of the season in the series. Almost every logical scenario had point leader Jimmy Sills easing his way to the title as all he really had to do was cruise and a 4th dirt track title could be his. Terry Schank was close, but it seemed surely the 3-time USAC national champ, Sills, could hold on. Simas had to make up 15 points in 1 night to be the champion and that seemed unlikely given the talent ahead of him. But that young man (Simas) came to race.

Simas Started the night by turning quick time and gathering the 5 markers offered for that event. Schank grabbed 2 points, but Sills got none. Simas then rushed to the lead in his heat race from 6th and picked up another 5; Schank got 3 and Sills got 4. Simas was almost imperceptibly chipping away at the leaders.

In the feature Sills was KO’d early in a turn 2 incident that never really should have happened. Schank and Simas were in the march and were slugging it out with a vastly improved wingless warrior, Brad Bumgardner. Bumgardner went from the front to the back and then back to the front as he got used to his new ride without a board on top. Bumgardner was fun to watch as he mixed it up with a quartet of experienced wingless warriors in the later stages.

As Hall turned in some eye-popping laps up front flirting with the crash walls, Simas muscled his way into 2nd. Schank fought valiantly with Bumgardner for the show spot. Defending champion Schank tried to close on Simas in the final laps but could not get it done. Simas stayed 2nd and had raced his way to the season title with a sparkling performance and nearly swept the show. It was the ONLY way he could do it. Hall drove a mistake free race that got him the well-deserved win.

Almost unnoticed early, with all the action going on up front, was a desperate run to the front by 12th starting Jeremy Hawes. Hawes, who is in a big fight for the MRP Wingless Sprint Car title (more on that in a moment) was charging like a madman through this talented field. Hawes had issues in his heat race that put him deep in the starting field. Hawes showed up in about 8th after a couple of daring moves and at that point it was hard to know where to look. Hawes was charging forward as the quartet up front was slugging it out for the Hunt title.

The event was really 2 races in 1 as the point battle in the MRP standings was tighter that he Hunt battle it was paired with. Point leader in the MRP Series Brett Youngman brought a 7-point lead into the show. But Youngman fired off his familiar XX and it was apparent that his car had issues…BIG issues. Youngman was parked and was apparently going to have to watch his point lead evaporate.

Well, this story wasn’t over yet. Enter James and Misty Castleberry and their whole crew. Castleberry had just finished a fine run to 3rd in her Pro 4 hot rod and offered it to Youngman…a Pro 4? Yep. Pro 4s are sprint cars with 4 cylinder motors. As the rules in the MRP Wingless Sprint Car Series provide no MINIMUM cubic inch requirement officials ruled that the Pro 4 could be used in the Wingless Sprint Car program. As Youngman had not competed in any event in his own car it was ruled he could compete in the Castleberry Pro 4.

Youngman took the green flag with the other drivers starting 20th. Most thought he’d just take the green, grab some points, pull off and say thanks to everyone. Not so. Youngman’s 2011 story continues to have some remarkable sidebars left to examine. While Hawes was charging to a remarkable 5th from 12th, Youngman went from 20th to 12th. Youngman had raced to a 12th place finish in the event with a 4-cylinder car! With a 7-position spread and after the first 5 are awarded points there is a single point drop for each position. Youngman had amazingly turned the trick and stayed in the hunt heading into next week’s event. Youngman and Hawes are now tied with 3 races to go.

This extraordinary twist to this extraordinary race puts this event right up there in the top 5 (anyway) of the greatest wingless sprint car races ever staged at MRP. It was an open candy store for sprint car nuts. This observer can’t really think of a single race here that has ever decided a championship and influenced another in the amazing way that this race did.

The Hunt point format put the bulk of the points on the hardest chargers all season and tonight Taylor Simas took advantage of the system in every event. The amiable Simas will be a great champion for this series. The MRP title contenders on the other hand have their horns locked with 3 races to go.

Tip of the straw hat to a couple of real racers who showed their stuff tonight. First, the Castleberrys; what can you say about a group of racers that worked as hard for a competitor as they did for themselves. The Castleberry 95 had to shed the wing and be set up for it’s first ride wingless and against V8 cars. How about Youngman’s ride forward? Not bad in a Pro 4. Then there was the Skipper and Ken who showed up and fed everyone after this great open wheel show. Here’s to you all.

The Pro 4 feature was all Giusti as he got to the front with relative ease and pulled away in the non-stop event. Tim Maclaughlin tagged on for a ride to the runner up spot and Misty Castleberry charged into 3rd. Without yellow flag help the others just never had a shot at the high flying 17.

BCRA Champion Nick Foster finally got to victory lane at MRP after years of trying. A stirring battle early on between Foster, Shannon McQueen and Pete Davis kept this one interesting. For more on the BCRA show go to bcraracing.com. 

Next week the slugfest for the MRP Wingless Sprint Car title continues as Jeremy Hawes and Brett Youngman saddle up. It will be Dilly Bar Night II sponsored by our good friends at Dairy Queen of Yuba City. Everyone in attendance gets a FREE Dilly Bar. Billy Wallace will lead the MRP Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car field as he marches toward his first title at our house. The MRP Super Stocks will thunder back into town with their very own brand of thrills and spills. Point leader Corey Hall brings a 32-point lead into Saturday’s event. James Castleberry still has a shot at Hall, but the defending champ remains strong even on nights when he has some problems to overcome. Brother Brent has been very quick lately and won the last time out. With impressive fields this year there are a number of contenders for every feature event trophy in the MRP Super Stock class.

The MRP Mini Stocks return with point leader Misty Castleberry in a commanding lead for her 3rd straight championship. Mark Hill remains the hottest driver around and took home the trophy and the cash for a great birthday present last time out.

“Iron” Mike Dehoogh will try for his 3trd straight triumph in the MRP Hobby Stock class. Jeremy Hawes has a commanding lead in the points, but Dehoogh is getting smoother and quicker every time out. Eliminating the mistakes seems to have made the difference in Dehoogh’s season. This will be the last time that all of MRP’s primary divisions will run on the same night for the rest of the season. With a FREE Dilly Bar thrown in, this is the one you’ll want to see. 

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

Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled or incorrect. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release. Complete finishes, stats and points become official and available at the close of business on Tuesday and will be posted to the web site.