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By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - March 5, 2010 --- This observer talked to promoter Kathy Hawes at about 7:45 this morning. It’s simple… “We’re going for it”, she said. So bring a jacket to what could turn out to be one of the biggest events in the track’s storied history. A tip of the straw hat to the Hawes for not turning their backs on a big bunch of sprint car fans itching to see this race. All too often promoters in this neck of the woods have pulled the plug when a cloud shows up on the western skyline or the temperature drops below 60. Not here. It seems that it’s a good thing to have a hard bitten ex-racer at the helm of this ship. We’ll see you tomorrow night at the great Marysville Raceway Park.

2-time MRP (‘93/’94) champion Rich Tiner is bringing son Steven as the newest pre-entry for this one; adding to a field that features over a dozen (16) other sprint car champions that will strap in. 

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A PRESS RELEASE EARLIER regarding format and payout for the event: 

It’s time to bolt on the wings (or not as the case may be) and make it to the decade’s first open sprint car extravaganza. The 3rd Spring Sprint Car Open will be staged by promoters Paul and Kathy Hawes Saturday night March 6 at Marysville Raceway Park The sparkling touches that promoter Hawes has added to the track for 2010 are nearly finished. Once again, while other venues wrestle with various issues during this difficult time, Marysville Raceway Park continues to improve.

The hammers and saws are humming as MRP gets ready to host the season’s first major sprint car race. The Winged 360 Outlaw Sprint Cars will headline the show in a $2500 to win ($300 to start), 30-lap slugfest. As a companion program, promoter Hawes will offer a $1000 to win ($150 to start) Wingless Warrior Spec Sprint program on the same night.

MRP’s new “Race for It” sprint car format will be in place for this event. There will be no qualifying. The fan friendly twin heat race format will determine starting positions in the feature. Points will be awarded in each of the dual heat races the cars will run. The drivers will be seeded into the feature based on the point total accumulated in the heat races… in other words you have to race for it. 20 cars will take the green flag in each of the main events. Heat race points will determine 16 of the feature event starters. The final 4 starters will be the top 4 finishers in the B main event.

Who’s expected? Just the best 360 Outlaw Winged sprint car drivers in the west. Former MRP Champions are just the start, though they may have an edge. 9 other champions from 7 other California venues are headed to MRP. Washington and Oregon will be represented as well in this opening salvo of spectacular racing action for the new decade. Same drill for the wingless cars. Champion drivers from all over will make their way to MRP for this class’s opening race of the season. Being the first event on the schedule for 2010, this event will draw everybody who is anybody in these two classes.

Promoter Hawes has reconfigured a good portion of the raceway in his annual winter surge to improve the facility. The entire turn 3-4 complex has been revamped. The track is now entirely surrounded by a crash wall for safety protection purposes. In doing this Hawes still maintains the widest turns available in west coast short track, dirt track racing. The new wall and catch fencing on either end of the raceway should maintain a much nicer high line cushion than in the past. Rather than stripping the clay and throwing it over a bank, the new wall and screening should trap the clay and provide a build-up on the outside similar to Perris or (for those who remember) Ascot. 

The idea is to provide rocket fast, multi groove racing with a hooked up sticky cushion. Each year promoter Hawes steps a little closer to that worthy goal.

New vendors are on the horizon for MRP making the food choices among the best at any raceway. A new concession stand behind the turn 4 grandstands will measurably reduce the time that fans have to stand in line. The business office and sales booth have been enlarged and will be among the first things fans will notice upon their arrival at MRP.

The pit gate will open at 3PM. The grandstands will open at 5PM. Hot Lap sessions start at 6 with the first race scheduled to hit the track at 7PM sharp. Get there early for the 1st sprint car race of the decade at MRP. Have dinner and renew old friendships and start new ones.

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.