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Billy Knoop Memorial Race Sat
Winged sprints and Supers top card
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - July 22, 2013 --- It will be a night of stories, memories and some wild dirt track racing action at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park Saturday. The MRP family will honor the memory of stock car champion Billy Knoop during a spectacular 5 division show at the venerable speedway on Simpson Lane in Marysville. The 800 HP MRP Winged Sprint Cars will headline the open wheel portion of the show with the MRP Super Stocks headlining the fendered classes. The MRP Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Pro 4 Sprinters will round out the program.
 

Knoop’s heroic comeback to victory lane after a sprint car crash in 2009 nearly killed him is the stuff legends are made of. Billy’s saga fits. While Billy has left us, we were all blessed that we had him. His insatiable drive and magnetic, cheerful personality transcended any tribulations of the day. It was always better for Billy to be in the room. We’ll reflect on his impact in the sport as we offer the traditional checkered flag salute Saturday night.
 

The attention grabbing, 3-way point race for the MRP Winged Sprint Car crown will continue with just 21 points separating the top 3 championship contenders. Grass Valley’s Jeremy Burt in his and fellow Grass Valley resident Billy Wallace will be separated by only 3 markers when the mighty sprinters return. Wallace grabbed the 3 point edge last time out with a 3rd place finish. Also in the field will be fan favorite Mike Monahan out of Sparks, Nevada. Monahan is the 3rd seed in the standings. Wallace, Burt and Monahan have all visited victory lane this season. MRP’s own “5-time” Korey Lovell will also be in the field. Lovell has been quick and has a pair of seconds and a Legal Shield Fast Time Shootout win to his credit in his last 2 tries.
 

Veteran Marysville wheelmen Cort and Brandon Dozier as well as 3 time champion Brent Dothage from Kelseyville will be back in town for this one. . Peter Paulson from Woodland, will have an opportunity to repeat after his brilliant victory last time out. Heath Hall out of Oroville is “due” as is crowd favorite Jimmy Steward out of Auburn. 3 time champion Colby Wiesz “The Colfax Comet” is also expected but Wiesz indicated to this observer that he is doing some serious thrashing on his motor to be ready.

Legal Shield’s Rod Engberson will once again post an additional $100 for the fastest qualifier in the “Legal Shield Quick Time Shootout” that will open Saturday’s program. MRP is a Contingency Connection track posting some $1100 in additional contingency awards for the winner in the MRP Winged Sprint Car division. This, in addition to the $1000 in cash from the purse awarded the feature event winner.

In the MRP Super Stock class the aforementioned Cort Dozier continues to dominate and will pull double duty once again Saturday. Auburn’s Ray Trimble will challenge the Marysville veteran. The Supers have had a month off and a fine field is expected. Local stars James Castleberry, Sean Hulsey, the Magenheimer brothers (Brad and Matt), Willie Horn and the bay area’s Mike Walko will keep Dozier honest. Expect a surprise or two in the field for this one.

Shaun Merritt still leads the MRP Mini Stock contingent into Saturday’s show. Merritt, last time out, pulled off an outstanding effort by ignoring a painful leg injury and winning. Merritt stays atop the standings over Howard Law. If Merritt and Law stumble, someone else may rush into the spotlight. But, for now, the title is theirs to lose…or win. Local drivers Travis Carter, Jason Clayton and James Foster will be challengers. Watch for Misty Castleberry to dust off the Mini Stock and try for a win in the Knoop Memorial.

Speaking of Castleberry, her domination of the Pro 4 Sprint Car class continues unabaited. She will likely be looking for another double on Saturday.

The MRP Hobby Stocks will be roaring again on Saturday trying to keep the fenders on. Jeremy Hammons continues to lead the point standings in that division. Competition from Eddie Hammett continues, though brother Steve Hammett made a notable impression in his debut last time out. It will be a rip-roarin’ good time at MRP on Saturday night.

The pit gate opens at 3pm. The grandstands open at 5. Hot laps for all classes begin at 6pm with qualifying at 6:30. Racing will start after Qualifying at about 7PM.

IMPORTANT: 2013 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.