|Title runs start Saturday.
45th season gets green light!
|Marysville CA -
April 2, 2013 --- With
solid support from the racing community and some 60 to
80 race teams expected on the grounds, Paul and Kathy
Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park, the Yuba-Sutter area’s
only professional sports venue, will bring up the
curtain on its 45th consecutive championship point
racing season Saturday night. It will be the “Ace
Hardware-Union Lumber of Marysville-Night at the
Races.” The mighty MRP Winged Sprint Cars will
headline the program with the MRP Super Stocks
headlining the fendered portion of the 4 division
show. The MRP Wingless 360 Sprint Cars will open their
season as well along with the MRP Hobby Stocks.
The MRP Winged Sprint Car field is expected to be
an excellent one. 2-time and defending champion Billy
Wallace from Grass Valley will have some pretty stiff
competition from all over northern California, Nevada
and Oregon as MRP kicks off the 2013 season.
5-time champ Korey Lovell of Yuba City, aboard his
famous #71 has dispelled any notion of retirement.
Lovell was seriously injured for the first time in his
20 year career late last season. As a matter of fact,
if Lovell’s performance in the recent Sherm Toller
Memorial at MRP is any indication, Lovell is back, big
Also tossing his helmet in the ring for
2013 is 3-time champ Brent Dothage from Kelseyville.
Dothage is truly one of the hardest chargers ever to
wear the MRP crown. Speaking of chargers, the 2007 MRP
Champ (and runner-up last year) Jeremy Burt is
expected along with former champion Mike Monahan out
of Sparks, Nevada. Once again MRP presents a great
“Race of Champions” for opening night in the winged
sprinters. Speaking of returning champions,
Marysville’s own Cortney Dozier will be in the hunt.
While Dozier has not won the winged sprint car title
at MRP, he has won just about everything else. He is a
former wingless sprint car champion, and has numerous
wins in just about every category of racecar at MRP.
As a matter of fact, Dozier also finished 3rd in the
MRP Winged Sprint Cars in the same year he won the
title in the wingless sprinters. Dozier will also
enter a MRP Super Stock in Saturday’s program.
Burt has indicated that he will be at this year’s
opening event despite enduring severe back injuries in
an odd looking crash in last season’s final sprint car
race. He is a formidable and is likely to be intensely
focused about securing his 2nd championship at MRP.
Monahan will be back in the saddle again after
horrendous injuries nearly curtailed his career about
this time last year. His courageous comeback was
capped by a fabulous feature event win in June of last
year. One of MRP’s most popular drivers, Monahan will
make the long tow Saturday.
Promoter Paul Hawes
confirmed that sprintcarfan.com, northern California’s
most popular and well known sprint car website, has
come on board and will sponsor MRP winged sprint car
qualifying for the entire year. www.sprintcarfan.com
will post a $100 qualifying bonus at every MRP winged
sprint car event this year. Marysville Raceway Park is
part of the Contingency Connection Bonus program again
Once again promoter Hawes is
offering a championship point season to the wingless
360 spec sprints after a one year hiatus. The new
season for this division will feature some notable
contestants. There will be champions and challengers
and a couple of first rate rookies that will pepper
this field. “The Wingless Warriors” as they have come
to be known have put on outstanding races over the
years at MRP.
Amazingly enough, one of the top
contenders in this sprint car division will be the
current MRP Winged Sprint Car Champion, Billy Wallace.
For the second time in California sprint car history
at MRP a driver will contend for both winged and
wingless titles at the same time. Cortney Dozier was
the first to do it in 2009. Wallace, whose resume for
victories is getting him quickly toward the top of the
heap, will have double the opportunities for victory
this season. Wallace already has a notable individual
achievement on that resume. He is the only driver to
ever win the prestigious Mel Hall Memorial Race in
both a winged and wingless sprint cars.
will have stiff competition from local sprint car star
Jeremy Hawes. It was learned that Hawes has a new
motor in his familiar #7 and is enthusiastic about the
season. Smart money seems to indicate that Wallace and
Hawes will be slugging it out at the top of the heap.
One driver who doesn’t see it that way is veteran Josh
Vieira. Vieira told this observer that he is going top
make a run at the title. Vieira knows the way to
victory lane and he could be the fly in the ointment
at the top.
A couple of notable rookie
contenders will be entered in the wingless sprint car
ranks. The biggest hoopla surrounds 4-time MRP Mini
Stock Champion Misty Castleberry. Castleberry will be
aboard the famous “Flyin’ Ford” sprint car this
season. This car has had some significant victories in
its storied history as Castleberry takes the reins.
Lady racers are not new to the auto racing wars,
but winning lady racers are few and far between.
Castleberry is different. Castleberry has dozens of
victories to her credit in various types of machines.
She can be a serious contender. Her legions of fans
will be there to support her regardless of what see
Another driver stepping up to the plate
is Wheatland’s Johnny Burns. Burns became a factor in
Pro 4 Sprint Cars during 2012. The young charger has
made the jump to the Wingless Warriors and will be one
The MRP Super Stocks will roar onto
the MRP clay in their first event of the year as well
Saturday night. Defending series champion Brent Hall
of Yuba City will have some serious competition this
year. It looks like Brother Cory who starred in
several late season races, in a limited schedule, last
year is among those who will compete Saturday night.
As a matter of fact, success for the Hall brothers has
happened more often than other competitors liked over
the last two years. But there are a couple of other
drivers, among others, that you should watch for this
The familiar black #86 of former
champion Phillip Shelby will be back. Shelby’s new car
was remarkably quick during preliminary events in the
recent “Taxi Cab Open”. That is, until engine problems
sidelined him. Shelby has made it clear to this
observer that he is going all out for the title once
again. Shelby has had numerous successes at MRP in his
Super Stock efforts, but this young man has dominated
Mini Stock competition and has been a factor in
wingless sprint car action as well over the last
James Castleberry will be one to watch
this season. His car has sprouted a wing and is
absolutely beautiful. Time will tell whether the
changes will turn into quicker laps and additional
feature event victories for the popular veteran star.
It was Castleberry that kept Brent Hall honest last
season. Perhaps this is his year. Watch for ageless
“Wild” Willie Horn and Auburn’s Wayne Trimble try to
knock out the competition in their winged stockers.
Trimble roared to victory in the “Taxi Cab Open” two
weeks ago. A bit of a dark horse in this division is
young Sean Hulsey. Hulsey turned in a fine, come from
behind ride in the “Taxi Cab Open” and could be poised
for a fine season. A rip-roarin’ field of Supers is
ready for the first big slam-bang stock car race of
the 2013 championship season.
The MRP Hobby
Stock season opener will also be part of opening night
2013. 2012 titlist Jeremy Hammons will return to
defend. But, this year the field will be packed with
talent as Eddie Hammons and Garrett Agnew seem to have
well manicured hot rods ready. Returning veteran
driver Gentleman Jim Waller is expected to be a
contender along with young Kyle Cheney. Brian Compton
had mechanical issues in the “Cab Open”, but is likely
to be a tough contender for the title. Some more
slam-bang, ol’ fashioned stock car action is on tap in
this class, this year, starting Saturday night.
Pit gate opens at 3PM. Grandstands open at 5PM.
Hot Laps at 5.30. Qualifying at 6PM. Racing begins
after qualifying at about 6.30. The text is based on
information we have at the time of its release.
Note: Please make this observer aware of any names
that are misspelled or incorrect.