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Sprints and Supers head show Sat.
Bartlett and Castleberry: local stars from different generations
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - July 8, 2014... Marysville Raceway Park will host H & H Trenching’s Night at the Races Saturday. The mighty MRP Winged 360 Sprint Cars will headline the program. The Pro 4 Sprint Cars will also be on the card. For stock car fans the MRP Super Stocks, Mini Stocks and MRP Hobby Stocks will compete in more outrageous, fender slamming championship point racing competition as well.

In the MRP Winged Sprint Car division, Paradise driver John Michael Bunch remains the point leader with Oroville’s Heath Hall in second. Rookie star Jeremy Hawes of Marysville is right on the leader’s heels and just seven points behind Hall in third.

MRP’s premiere division has had impressive events of late and spectacular finishes in three consecutive races. Last time out Bunch just nipped Hall at the line. The week before, Bunch flipped wildly while leading opening the door for Hall and Hawes to close in the championship point chase. The race prior to that featured an outstanding run to the checkers by five time champion Korey Lovell of Yuba City. This race will be a Contingency Connection event offering bonus awards to the feature event winner.

The MRP Super Stock entries are filled with local chauffeurs including Yuba City championship contenders Corey Hall, Phillip Shelby and point leader Jerry Bartlett. The Super Stocks have put on some fan friendly fender crunching events this season. Bartlett has won the last two out of three.

The MRP Hobby Stocks will also be on the card with Olivehurst’s Eddie Hammett leading the way in points and Linda’s James Foster holds a slim four point edge in the MRP Mini Stock standings. Defending champion Misty Castleberry will lead the Pro 4 contingent into Saturday’s program. The local lady star has won every feature event offered by the Pro 4s this season.

It seems it’s worth noting, speaking of Castleberry, that her quest for a perfect season in Pro 4 competition is unprecedented. Never in the history of the facility has a driver won every feature event, in any class. Castleberry, who spends most of her week running the local Marysville Flea Market, came close a couple of years ago when she bettered the long-standing record of nine feature events in a row. That record was set by Yuba City’s Jerry Bartlett. Castleberry did it in her Mini Stock getting her tenth in a row on July 26th, 2010. Bartlett’s streak came in the opening season of Pure Stock racing at MRP in 1996.

The 1996 Pure Stocks morphed into the fire breathing Super Stocks that will run on Saturday and Bartlett has rocketed to the top of that class. In contrast, Castleberry’s win streak this year has been in the open wheeled Pro 4 Sprint Cars.

While there are seven races remaining on the schedule in Pro 4 competition, no other driver has shown an ability to run with Castleberry. Her dominance of the class comes after stellar Rookie of the Year performances and a multitude of feature event victories. Her efforts resulted in a championship in the division last season. Castleberry also competes in MRP’s Wingless Sprint Car class with an occasional return to her Mini Stock as well.

For Bartlett, this is his last hurrah. Earning the moniker, “Mr. Controversy”, he intends to retire at the conclusion of this season. He is traveled and he has won often and with regularity in many of his seasons and at many different tracks. Like it or not, he is a local legend and with his foot on the throttle once again he intends to be a champion in his final year. Bartlett told this observer late last year that this would be his last season and he wanted one more title and he wanted to grab it at his home track.

After working out some mechanical issues early in the season, Bartlett has been on a tear in a division that features no fewer than four former champions on any given Saturday night. Bartlett has been patient and has been remarkably consistent in making late race moves after the early race fender crunching carnage has taken place. Bartlett has won the last two of three at MRP, finishing second last time out while challenging for the lead.

Castleberry’s take has been different. She has rushed to the front early and stayed there in each of her victories. Castleberry and Bartlett are generations apart and while their strategies are different, the ultimate quest for both is yet another championship.

Gates open at 5pm with racing starting at 7 pm.

GPS: Marysville Raceway Park is located at 1468 Simpson Lane in Marysville California. www.marysvilleracewaypark.com is the website. Additional information is available at our Facebook page.

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.