Bunch holds off Hall at the line
Marysville CA -
June 29, 2014... Saturday’s five division
show at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park
once again produced a thrilling end to the MRP Winged
Sprint Car main event. John Michael Bunch of Paradise
returned to victory lane Saturday. The Bay Area’s
Mitch Machado won his eighth career MRP Super Stock
feature as Misty Castleberry and Olivehurst’s Eddie
Hammett also grabbed feature event trophies in
championship point race competition. Concord’s Jim
Perry grabbed a victory in the added California Hard
The featured event in the
premiere division, the MRP Winged 360 Sprint Cars, was
an absolute, high-speed thriller. Bunch jumped into an
early lead as Marysville’s Brandon Dozier and Jeremy
Hawes immediately went to the cushion and started to
rocket past competitors in the early going.
lap three, Dozier over-cooked it into turn three and
flipped wildly; bringing out the red flag and taking
him out of the competition. He walked away from his
The restart found Bunch in
command, but Oroville’s Heath Hall was flying around
the bottom of the wicked-fast MRP clay. Hall went from
sixth to second by half way and started to hunt down
Behind the leaders Hawes and three-time
champion Billy Wallace of Grass Valley were in a
titanic battle for fourth. In front of them Grass
Valley’s Jeremy Burt, Yuba City’s Korey Lovell and
Woodland’s Pete Paulson diced back and forth for
third. It was hard to know where to look.
late race crash and flip by championship contender
Kevin Lovell of Yuba City closed up the field for a
dash to the finish. Lovell walked away from his banged
up hot rod.
At the new green Hall was all over
Bunch and Paulson slipped by Burt for third. Hawes
seemed to surprise Wallace with a dazzling outside
move and twisted his way into fifth.
it one last try on the final lap and Bunch struggled
to take away the line. The crowd rose in unison as the
pair raced for the checkers with Bunch just getting
the nod over Hall.
Paulson got third just ahead
of Burt and Hawes came home fifth. Korey Lovell had a
tough couple of laps at the end and came home seventh
When Bunch hopped out of
his car in victory lane he quipped, “…who was that
behind me, Lovell?” (sprint cars do not allow rear
view mirrors). When told it was Hall, he wasn’t
surprised. Hall was up on the wheel and pressing
forward all night from his sixth starting position. He
is also Bunch’s closest rival in the point standings.
It was a spectacular sprint car race by any
standard. Bunch was eligible for the Contingency
In the companion MRP Super
Stock closer a number of issues clouded what was
another spectacular finish. Machado led the event from
green to checkers, but what went on behind him could
An early race, front stretch
collision between championship hopefuls, Marysville’s
Rick Dozier and Yuba City’s Phillip Shelby resulted in
Shelby’s retirement from the event and a black flag
disqualification for Dozier.
At the restart,
with emotions high, point leader Jerry Bartlett was
quickly moving through the field after having to start
in the last row. Bartlett did not participate in his
heat race. With three to go Bartlett was all over
Machado and, once again, this was a race that was
worth standing for.
Machado just held off
Bartlett at the checkers. The Bay Area’s Mike Walko
was third in another sensational run for the veteran
racer. Yuba City’s Corey Hall kept his championship
hopes alive with a fine fourth place finish with
brother Brent finishing fifth.
Castleberry made short work of the Pro 4 Sprint Car
field and easily won the event.
competitive MRP Hobby Stock feature found Olivehurst’s
Eddie Hammett back in victory lane keeping his
championship hopes alive. Chico’s Brian Compton and
two time champ, Yuba City’s Jeremy Hammons, were third
and fourth respectively.
An exhibition race of
California Hardtops was an entertaining addition to
the evening’s program. The drivers of this association
were going after it hard in a nostalgic look at racing
as it was presented in the 60s and early 70s. Jim
Perry of Concord came home the winner.
take a week off in observance of the Fourth of July.
The MRP Winged Sprint Cars will head the card on H & H
Trenching Night at the Races on July 12th. More later.
Gates open at 5 with racing at 7,
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.