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Bunch on a roll! Hall Memorial Saturday.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - May 18, 2014... John-Michael bunch of Paradise continued his run for the MRP Winged Sprint Car title Saturday night by leading every lap of the featured event at Marysville Raceway Park . Tim Sherman Jr. of Citrus Heights won the companion MRP Wingless Sprint Car feature. Yuba City’s Kyle Davey got his first-ever feature event win in the MRP Mini Stock class and defending MRP Hobby Stock champion Jeremy Hammons won that feature by an eyelash.

The MRP Winged Sprint Car Series feature finally went green after a pair of aborted starts. Front row starters Bunch and Marysville’s Jeremy Hawes ran away from the rest of the field at a frantic, high speed pace. As Bunch was willing to admit later from victory lane “…sometimes everything just falls your way.” It did, indeed, fall his way on Saturday. Only lapped traffic, very late in the event, hindered Bunch’s performance. But even that, didn’t help the rest of the field close on the championship point leader.

To find some tough wheel to wheel racing the fans zeroed in on a cluster of cars, from 4th through 6th positions that included Yuba City ’s Korey Lovell, Oroville’s Heath Hall and a hard charging Peter Paulson from Woodland . That trio put on a spectacular show. Paulson, in particular was storming forward after an opening lap spin dropped him to the rear of the field.

When the checkers flew Bunch had a straightaway on Hawes who, in turn, had a good margin on 3rd place finishing Reyna Krueger. Lovell beat Hall and Paulson to the line for 4th, 5th and 6th places respectively. Hall and Kelseyville’s Brent Dothage won the heat races. Bunch was the fastest qualifier in at 13.501.

In the MRP Wingless Sprint Car class main event Marysville’s Josh Vieira bolted into a big lead at the start, but on lap 3, spun and chugged to a stop. That opened the door for Sherman who marched to almost a half-lap victory 20 circuits later.

Sherman beat Grass Valley ’s Brett Youngman and Wheatland’s Johnny Burns to the flag. During this one Vieira was the one to watch as he made his way from the back to a worthy 4th place finish after his early race miscue. Vieira and Sherman grabbed the heat race honors.

Kyle Davey finally grabbed his first MRP winner’s trophy in the MRP Mini Stock Series feature event. Davey had a race-long battle with Yuba City ’s Kyle Cheney before he was able to crowd by and take the checkers.

Davey has been one of the fastest and unluckiest drivers in the class over the last couple of seasons. He has led often, but simply could not close the deal for one reason or another.

There is nothing like a first time winner and the jubilation in the Davey victory lane celebration put an exclamation mark on how important this victory was to the fleet youngster.

Cheney stayed 2nd and championship point leader Jimmy Ford of Yuba City was 3rd. Cheney and Ford won the heat races.

A last lap pass decided the MRP Hobby Stock closer as defending champion Jeremy Hammons went door handle to door handle with race leader Eddie Hammett of Olivehurst.

Second running Hammons found the inside open off of turn four on the last lap and shot under Hammett for the narrow victory. The cars were side-by-side at the stripe and race officials relied on electronic transponders to determine the outcome. Hammett was the heat race winner.

Next Saturday night the mighty Winged Sprint Cars will return for MRP’s signature event; the 15th Annual Mel Hall Memorial Race. The event is round 2 of the prestigious California Sprint Car Civil War Series. The series is part of the California Triple Crown of Sprint Car Racing and can carry up to $40,000 in additional bonus money for a Triple Crown Champion. There will be more on all of this later. This could be a sellout so come early. The gates will open at 5 with racing at 7:00PM.

Look for the latest updates at www.marysvilleracewaypark.com or at the Marysville Raceway Park Facebook page.

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 and facebook pages.