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Wallace triumphs as Hall, Castleberry and Giusti also score.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - July 22, 2012 --- An intense non-stop 25 lap Winged Sprint Car feature event found point leader Billy Wallace in victory lane at Paul and Kathy Hawes Marysville Raceway Park Saturday. Point leader Brent Hall outdistanced the large MRP Super Stock field as Joel Giusti came out on top in the Pro 4 closer. Point leader Misty Castleberry won another feature in the MRP Mini Stock class beating a big, quality field as most of the stars in the class returned home. The 100+ degree temperatures at race time had virtually no effect on the well groomed, bullet fast surface as MRP continues to present a tight, well organized program. The crowd was a sizable one, given the temperatures, and they were treated to some of the finest wheel to wheel, high speed action of the year. The final checkered flag waved a little before 10PM allowing fans plenty of time to roam the pits and talk to their favorite drivers.

The sprint car show was another amazing display of hooked up-hammer down racing. The intensity of the wheel to wheel racing throughout the field could defy description. It was yet another whirlwind of 100 mph action. 

Cort Dozier broke from his pole position start and beat 50 time feature event winner Colby Wiesz to turn 1. Wallace, from his row 2 start had to watch this one for a while before he started to move.

Dozier was on fire. The white 97c motored easily away from the field and had a straightaway lead as the first 5 laps went quickly into the books. While this torrid pace had the leaders stretching out the field, 10th starting Jeremy Burt was on the move. Burt was startlingly fast as he picked his way to the front. Burt has shown a new fire and maturity as a sprint car star in recent weeks. Whether high or low, Burt was the fastest car on the raceway.

Dozier quickly was in heavy lapped traffic by lap 8 and 2nd running Wallace started to close with precision efficiency. Then with a slick move off of 4 Wallace drew even with Dozier and had the line into 1. The defending champ had grabbed the lead. Dozier was still wicked-fast but Wallace had picked through traffic better. Wallace then improved his lead as he started to dissect faster traffic perfectly.

Burt was still coming and forced his way into 4th as the race headed into its final 5 circuits.

As the white flag flew Dozier had more troubles with lapped traffic and Wiesz slipped by into the runner-up spot. Wallace, Wiesz, Dozier, Burt and a surprisingly fast Jimmy Steward flew under the checkers in that order. The event was a non-stop blur of hammer-down racing prowess from all of the participants. As a matter of fact, the entire MRP Winged Sprint Car program was run without a caution flag.

The amazing return of Mike Monahan continues as the “Madman” won his heat race and soldiered through another non-stop feature and grabbed 6th place at the end.

The other heat race was won by young Michael Tarter aboard the family #35. Tarter’s convincing win in the event had the crowd screaming as a much needed emotional push and renewal seemed to follow Michael across the finish line. Just a short few weeks ago rising sprint car star David Tarter lost his life at Silver Dollar Speedway in an accident unrelated to on track activities. The shockwaves were felt throughout the racing community. Brother Michael told this observer earlier in the pits that he was going to fill the vacated seat. Not only did Michael hold off 3 time track champion Brent Dothage for the heat race win, but the effort prompted Dothage to pull up along side Michael Tarter and provide the winner with a much deserved thumbs up during the cool down lap after the checkered flag. It is a moment in MRP history that will not soon be forgotten. The crowd let out a ferocious cheer as Tarter headed slowly up the straightaway and into the pits after the event.

Wallace grabbed quick time qualifying honors.

In the MRP Super Stock feature, Brent Hall simply drove away from the other competitors after an early race tussle with visiting driver Fred Ryland. Ryland, who competes regularly at another venue, and Hall were front row starters in the event. For someone who had never raced at MRP before, Ryland was a rocket right out of the box. 

Only 2 yellow flags would slow the event and amazingly enough one of them was Ryland. He cranked his swift #7 into turn #1 and saw his chance at victory disappear as his car chugged to a stop. Ryland, however, restarted and charged from the back to a credible 6th place finish at the end.

With Ryland out of the picture it was clear sailing for Hall who notched another win on what, at this point seems an easy run to his 1st title at MRP. Lapped traffic prevented Ray Trimble from challenging Hall in the last ˝ of the event and he wound up 2nd just ahead of Willie Horn. James Castleberry, once again had a great night coming across the line in 4th, but Hall extended his point lead with the win.

The Pro 4 Sprint Car feature was another Joel Giusti victory as the young charger pretty much had it his own way after a spirited dice with rookie contender Charlie Holt. Holt took a nice lead into the last ˝ of the event. A great battle between Giusti and Holt kept everybody interested with 6 to go. Holt was passed by defending champ Tim Maclaughlin near the end, but Holt made a strong impression in only his 2nd run in a Pro 4 finishing 3rd. Johnny Burns took heat race honors again.

The MRP Mini Stock feature was easily dominated by Castleberry who rushed to the front from her 2nd row start. But the big story was the race going on behind her. 9th starting Shaun Merritt was impressive as he went from row 5 to 2nd place. He grabbed the runner up spot with just a few laps to go. Merritt’s return to MRP after a long hiatus proved fruitful for the driver of #77m. Another contender was fast moving Howard Law. Clutch problems sidelined the fast 00. Jason Clayton was a competitive 3rd at the end with Kyle Davey in 4th. Rookie of the Year candidate Travis Carter wound up 5th.

It was great to see a strong field of MRP Mini Stocks in race that had few cautions and some really outstanding competitive, fender to fender action. Castleberry and Derik Gallier won the heat races.

MRP will be dark for two weekends of racing action returning on August 11th for the 2nd Merle Shepherd Memorial Race. All 4 MRP primary classes will be showcased as the mighty MRP Winged Sprint Cars will headline the program. The MRP Super Stocks, Mini Stocks and Hobby Stocks will provide the fendered action. MRP promoter Paul Hawes will continue improvements to the facility during this hiatus. Stay tuned.

Life’s short. Live it. Race hard. 

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, assessed penalties and points become official and available at the close of business on Tuesday and will be posted to the web site.