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“Salute to Duke Griego” Sat. at MRP
5 divisions ready to rumble.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - April 9, 2014... Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park will pay tribute to former racer, community leader and business man Duke Griego who passed away this week at his home. Griego was among the first race drivers to test the clay at what is now known as Marysville Raceway Park. Further, Griego was in attendance nearly every Saturday night. More than that Griego was a friend of racing and particularly the racing that has been staged over the last 7 seasons under the guidance of the Hawes family.

Griego’s remarkable good humor and passion for the sport was an added bonus each time he attended. On more than one occasion Duke cornered this observer, MRP officials and promoter Hawes with ideas on how to make the MRP facility more family, spectator and racer friendly. Most of those suggestions, in time, were implemented by promoter Paul Hawes. Promoter Hawes will honor his friend with a traditional racer’s Checkered Flag Lap during pre-race ceremonies. Griego was a community leader on many levels and will be sorely missed by eveyone in the racing world.

Championship Point Race #2 will be offered Saturday as the mighty MRP Winged Sprint Cars return with the MRP Wingless Sprint Cars. The MRP Super Stocks and Hobby Stocks will add some first class fender crunching excitement to the evening. The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars will also appear in their first 2014 outing.

In the MRP Winged Sprint Car division, 3-time and defending champion Billy Wallace from Grass Valley will have some pretty stout competition from 3 time champion and last week’s feature event winner Colby Wiesz of Colfax. The 2007 MRP Champ, Grass Valley’s Jeremy Burt, will be at MRP as well. Last Saturday night, while running second, Burt had throttle issues when a piece of clay lodged between the gas pedal and the floorboard. He nursed the car to a fine 3rd. Former champion Mike Monahan out of Sparks, Nevada had a difficult night last week and looks to improve his position in the standings.

Once again MRP presents a great “Race of Champions” in the winged sprinters. Returning former champion, Marysville’s own Cortney Dozier, will also be in the hunt. 5-time champ Korey Lovell of Yuba City is trying for championship #6 and twin brother Kevin Lovell also from Yuba City will be his teammate.

Others to watch for include Woodland’s Peter Paulson who continues to impress. Paulson was a factor all year in 2013. Husband and wife racers Raquel and Heath Hall of Oroville will be returning for round 2. Auburn’s Jimmy Steward has an all new car and new power for 2014. Rookie contender in the MRP Winged Sprint Car division, Marysville’s own Jeremy Hawes will be back after a fine 6th place finish on opening night.

The MRP Super Stocks are loaded with local talent including Bad-Fast James Castleberry, legendary and controversial Jerry Bartlett in his final season and Yuba City championship contenders Phillip Shelby and Cory Hall. Marysville’s Cort and Rick Dozier and Wild Willie Horn, among others, will represent talent from east of the bridges.

Rookie sensation Evan Scroggins from Sutter will try to make it 2 in a row after last Saturday’s spectacular performance in the MRP Wingless Warrior class. Oroville’s Erin Gustin, along with local stars Misty Castleberry and Johnny Burns will try to stop Sacramento’s Tim Sherman Jr. who was the fastest driver in the class last week. A flat tire kept Sherman out of victory lane. Marysville’s Josh Vieira couldn’t buy a break and he’ll return with a renewed purpose.

67 cars signed in on opening night with additional entries expected this week. Gates open at 5pm with racing getting underway at 6:30pm. More, later.

GPS: Marysville Raceway Park is located at 1468 Simpson Lane in Marysville California. www.marysvilleracewaypark.com is the website.

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. Go to Marysville Raceway Park’s facebook for all the latest updates or our website at marysvilleracewaypark.com.