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Can Wiesz get #50 Saturday? 
3rd Toller Classic turns into “Race of Champions”

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - February 26, 2012 --- 3-time MRP Champion Winged Sprint Car driver Colby Wiesz, the Colfax Comet, will try for that illusive 50th victory at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park during the Sherm Toller Memorial Race Saturday night. Wiesz will join some 35 other drivers in a 30-lap assault on the MRP clay in the first winged sprint car race of the 2012 season. It is the 44th consecutive year of operation for Marysville Raceway Park and the track will roar with excitement as this season kicks off with 2 open shows and round 1 of the California Sprint Car Civil War in March.

The 1st event, The Sherm Toller Memorial Race is a celebration of the life and a tribute to Sherm Toller, a long time associate of Marysville Raceway Park who worked feverishly on behalf of the raceway. He was Marysville Raceway Park’s infield voice for more than a decade and a real crusader on behalf of the raceway. Toller was a resident of Grass Valley. The only winner of the 2 previous Sherm Toller Memorial Races is Jeremy Burt, also from Grass Valley and he will be there to defend his title. MRP’s defending champion, and Marysville Raceway Park’s biggest sprint car winner in 2012, Billy Wallace is from Grass Valley as well. Is there anything to it? Being from Grass Valley? Who knows? The 2012 Sherm Toller Memorial Race will be one to remember. 

Wiesz is a 3-time champion at MRP and a 6-time winner of the Mel Hall Memorial Race held each summer. Wiesz will have some tough company at this 3rd edition of the Sherm Toller event. With no other 360 sprint car events scheduled over this coming weekend the field will be packed with winged sprint car stars. While some contenders may be bent on preventing Wiesz from grabbing #50, it’s likely that most will be there to scoop up their share of the generous purse. The $2500, to win, plus contingencies, is included in one of the highest payouts of the year at Marysville Raceway Park. Wiesz is pre-entered and will be buckled into his familiar #21.

Pre-entries have been pouring in and include some of the best in the business. Some notable pre-entries worth mentioning include 6 time champion of the California Sprint Car Civil War among other championships; Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, driving the familiar house car #92. All time MRP track record holder and former Civil War champion, veteran Greg DeCaires will be driving #18 for Rudy Warrington. Mason Moore has parted company with Harley Van Dyke and will be piloting his own #22 for this show. Van Dyke’s new chauffer Logan Forler, out of the state of Washington, has secured that seat and will be ready to go Saturday. Other expected entries of note will include the aforementioned 2007 Marysville Raceway Park champ Burt and Korey Lovell (5 time Marysville Raceway Park Champ) in his nationally famous sprint car #71. Mike Monahan (2004 MRP Champ) will be in his own hot rod making the tow out of Sparks Nevada, and of course Billy Wallace (2011 MRP champ and 2-time Placerville champ/multiple Civil War victories at MRP) will try to capture his 1st open at MRP. Hard charging Brent Dothage (3-time MRP champ) and other top guns are headed toward MRP. An impressive group of newcomers are expected including lady sprint car star Reyna Krueger (with more professional race victories over the last 2 years than Danica Patrick). Former rookie of the year Garry Burdick and last year’s rookie of the year William Fielding will also be looking for their biggest paydays in this remarkable offering. Additional championship caliber entries from Washington, Oregon and Nevada will be at MRP for this one. Some 15,000 horsepower will be unleashed when the feature event green flag flies.

A representative field of championship Wingless Warrior Sprint Cars have voiced their intent to participate in that division’s $1000 to win companion feature. Terry Schank from Santa Rosa will lead that contingent of drivers. Schank has won over 100 feature events since strapping into Roger Gleeson’s quick red #1. Local hot shoe Jeremy Hawes who grabbed the honors in a stirring drive in the last Toller Memorial Race is expected to give Schank fits. 2011 Hunt Magneto Wingless Shootout Champ Taylor Simas will offer a formidable challenge in this event. Sacramento’s David Sprigg broke through with a great feature win in the final championship point event last year. He has said he’ll be vying for the feature event honors Saturday when the Wingless Warriors do battle. Local star Josh Vieira grabbed his 1st feature win last year and could be a serious contender Saturday.

It’s time to turn some wheels in anger and explode into the 2012 sprint car season. It’s time to once again experience goin’ sideways at 100 MPH, at the newly refurbished Marysville Raceway Park. 

In the words of promoter Kathy Hawes, “It’s hard to believe this is all going to start up again next weekend…here we go!!!!!” Yep, Yuba Sutter’s only professional sports facility gets going again this Saturday night.

Pit gate opens at 3PM. The grandstands open at 5PM and the first race will go off at 6.30. Saturday night’s Sherm Toller Memorial is a “must see” event. More on MRP’s own March Madness later.

IMPORTANT: 2012 minor releases must be signed by parents for all minors entering the pits. 

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.