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MRP Winged Sprint Car title on the line Saturday.
Admission discount offered by using smart phone.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - August 28, 2012 --- Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park will host the MRP Winged Sprint Car’s Championship Night this Saturday. The MRP Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks and the Pro 4 sprinters will also be offered.

But this is sprint car night at the venerable Marysville Raceway Park’s 1566 feet of clay. The new surface has been all the rage as the sprint car gentry has given an enthusiastic “thumbs up” to promoter Paul Hawes’ efforts. The real winners in all this are the fans. The last 3 events at the track have featured rocket-fast speeds, extraordinary passing opportunities and side-by-side finishes in the process. Grass Valley’s Billy Wallace will have his hands full trying to fend off the hottest shoe in California 360 sprint car racing right now. Jeremy Burt roared into victory lane last week and put a big chink in Wallace’s armor. Burt, also of Grass Valley in his Geico hot rod has had to claw forward recently from starts that had him mired deep in the field. He has charged relentlessly, but Wallace has, up until now, always remained 1 step ahead.

Last week much of that changed when Burt forced his way into victory lane with a masterful, high side drive. The performance was Burt’s finest victory ever. However, Wallace, in Mark Moore’s bad-fast Bully Dog special is still in the driver’s seat, so to speak, and will carry a 13 point lead into the final point paying event of the 2012 season Saturday. There is a 50 point turn around possible should Wallace not make the final start of the season. Should that occur, Burt would merely have to start the main event to secure his 2nd MRP title. While that eventuality is unlikely, a more likely scenario would be that Wallace must finish 8th or better Saturday night if Burt wins in order to secure the title. So, 8th or better for Wallace and then it doesn’t matter what anyone else does. Wallace would get his 2nd title. Points are paid for feature event finishes only. Qualifying and heat race finishes are designed to establish starting positions in the feature events. No points are paid in preliminary events.

If there is a tie in the points, co-champions will be honored. There is no tie-breaker at MRP. In the 2007 MRP Super Stock season Philip Shelby and Heather Bartlett were deadlocked with 795 points each at the end of the season. Both drivers were honored as champions though Shelby had several more feature event wins than Bartlett. The closest ever point race in MRP Winged Sprint Car competition happened during the 2004 title chase. On the last lap of the last race of the season, Kyle Schield spun out of 3rd position allowing 4th running Mike Monahan to pick up an extra position at the checkers. That single position was a 2 point pass (as it is today) and Monahan beat Korey Lovell for the driving title by a single point. 

Defending champion Billy Wallace is looking for 2 titles in a row as Burt looks for a repeat of his 2007 title run. Cort Dozier’s run for the title ended last week with an early race DNF and a 17th place finish. It allowed Kelseyville’s Brent Dothage, with a 6th place finish, to secure 3rd position in the title chase by a single point. So this dynamic duo will be looking to capture the show money in the final standings Saturday night. Dothage is a 3 time champ in the division and Marysville’s Dozier won the wingless sprint car title in 2009.

Speaking of champions, MRP Winged Sprint Car Champions Korey Lovell and Mike Monahan will also be at MRP bringing a wealth of quality machinery and experience to the house Saturday. Monahan’s courageous story continues to unfold as the sun starts to set on the 2012 sprint car season at MRP. On April 3rd of this year, Monahan cut off the 4 fingers of his right hand at the palm in an industrial accident. The fingers were reattached. The prognosis was that Monahan would never drive a sprint car again. That last phrase “never drive a sprint car again” seemed to be the expressed, recurring sentiment.

On May 26th Monahan showed up for MRP’s signature annual event, the Mel Hall Memorial Race. The determined former MRP sprint car champion cleverly devised a way to glove the injured hand then Velcro the glove to the steering wheel. Monahan has, since that fateful day in April, come back not only to race, but to win. He has 2 quick times since his return and 3 heat race victories to go along with his amazing feature event victory on June 9th. His feature event win came just 9 weeks after the accident.

As always this MRP Winged Sprint Car event is a Contingency Connection event. The Contingency Connection offers some $1500 weekly to the winner in additional awards above the raceway’s cash purse payouts.

The MRP Mini stocks are back for their second-to-last appearance of the season. Misty Castleberry will be looking to put the finishing touches on a 4-year domination of the class. Her chief competition is likely to come from Kyle Davey, who has turned up the wick lately in his meticulously prepared #6 or rookie sensation Travis Carter in his now familiar #32. Both drivers have been fast. Davey has given Castleberry a run for the money on several occasions lately.

In addition the $100 Richmond Gear “Weekend Warrior” prize package will be available to each winner for the next 2 races in the MRP Mini Stock division. Each box contains a $100 retail value gift inside...including a $75.00 gift certificate, NEW official Richmond Gear T-Shirt, bottle opener, pen, and decals. 

The Pro 4s will be back to round out the open wheel program. Misty Castleberry is beginning to show that her expertise in an open wheeler is no fluke. Many railbirds look for her to move on next season, perhaps a concerted effort to be the Pro 4 titlist is in her future or? The controversy about Castleberry’s next challenge continues to be a hot topic. Champion Tim Maclaughlin is the current point leader in the series.

The Hobby Stocks will, once again, send the clay and fenders flyin’ in this class that has offered some pretty hairy slam-bang action lately. If you are a sprint car fan, stick around. This class can offer some outrageous entertainment.

Marysville Raceway Park is among the first tracks to offer a discount if you use your smart phone/device to check in when purchasing your ticket. Get $1 off your ticket to this Saturday Night’s races by “CHECKING IN” on facebook to Marysville Raceway Park. Show the person in the ticket booth when you purchase your ticket that you have checked in via your smart phone/device and you will receive your discount. Please note that only the person who makes the original check-in will receive the discount. Only 1 ticket per facebook account. 

Don’t forget to monitor our facebook page during the coming week; we’d love to hear from you. Updates are constantly being forwarded to the page on race night. Every Thursday night at 8PM MRP gives away 2 free tickets to the following week’s events. So, pop on to facebook (Marysville Raceway Park) and try to grab a couple of freebees on Thursday.

IMPORTANT: MRP management reserves the right to make final decisions regarding admission to the grounds at any time for any reason. 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.