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Arbogast, the “O-man” and Castleberry win at Taxi Cab Open.
Open Playday Sat. Schwab Race Car Show and Opening Day April 3rd.

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - March 22, 2010 --- Paul and Kathy Hawes’ 2010 Taxi Cab Open was offered at Marysville Raceway Park Saturday. Tom Arbogast of Auburn won the featured Pro-Stock feature and the $1000 first prize paycheck. Jeff Olschowka of Yuba City took the honors in the companion Pure Stock main event and 2009 Mini Stock champion Misty Castleberry got the laurels in that class.

Arbogast started the trend toward sprint car wings on stock cars with an appearance at MRP 2 years ago. He was monster fast and only a mechanical ailment on that occasion prohibited him from winning on that occasion. Since then wings and panels have grown on nearly every stock car competing at MRP. Saturday night was the first time this innovator was able to bring his potent #88 to victory lane here. It was sweet success too. Arbogast took the lead at the green flag and never looked back. Only a lap 14 yellow flag kept this one from being a complete runaway.

Multi-time feature event winner in 2009, Ray Trimble had forged his way into 2nd by lap 14 but was nearly a ˝ lap in arrears and needed some yellow flag help. That’s when the yellow banner waved. But, at the new green Arbogast simply drew away from Trimble and the pack at will. However, as the white flag flew on Arbogast it was apparent something was awry. His car was shaking furiously. His right rear tire was down and Trimble was closing fast. The fans got to their feet as one when Arbogast tip-toed through 3 and 4 for the final time. Trimble ran out of time and Arbogast dodged a big bullet and got to the checkers 1st. Trimble finished 2nd ahead of Craig Neimans and a fast closing Ryan McDaniel was 4th. Olschowka finished in 5th.

Arbogast said, “They didn’t have anything for us tonight.” He was right.

The Pure Stock 20 lapper was anything but a runaway. The perfectly prepped track allowed this field to slug it out all race long. Again, few yellow flags were created allowing for tight clean racing. 6th starting Olschowka (doing triple duty) was on the move at the drop of starter Robin Davies green. Early race leader Phil Marino showed why he in one of the best at wheeling a stock car. Marino looked untouchable as he sliced and diced through traffic.

With cars all around the MRP ribbon of clay, Olschowka started to get through traffic a little better than Marino. Olschowka closed ever so slightly at first and then Marino got held up big time coming out of 4. Olschowka made up 20 yards in one big scoop and pressed Marino relentlessly. Marino and Olschowka have had some pretty rugged duels here in the past and this one was no different. As this event pressed to it’s conclusion Olschowka got a great run off of turn 2 and pulled even with Marino. At the same time Marino got to a lapped car and headed toward the bottom. But, Olschowka’s great run off 2 got him there first. It was three wide for an instant and it all looked like it all would come unglued as Olschowka, Marino and the lapped car of Mike Gomez all arrived at the same place at the same time. When everyone took a breath, Olschowka was by and in the lead with Marino in close pursuit with Gomez spun and parked in 3. The race to the yellow was won by Olschowka. 

The rest of the race was Olschowka’s with Marino leaning on and threatening the “O-man” all the way to the checkers. Ryan McDaniel was 3rd.

In the Mini stock feature it was a Misty Castleberry benefit. The champion in this division simply showed, once again, that the championship was no fluke. She pulled for the pole, but it probably really didn’t make a difference as she trounced the entire field. Well, almost. There was a quick #53 wheeled by the very busy Jeff Olschowka that, at least, kept her honest.

Olschowka, in a brand new car of his own making, got to 2nd place after a fierce battle with Jimmy Ford (also in a new ride), a “topless” Howard Law and 2-time champ Joel Giusti. This battle kept Olschowka’s attention while Castleberry piled up a sizable lead. Once Olschowka got to 2nd he was running out of laps and Castleberry was on cruise control. Castleberry swept under the checkers ahead of a closing Olschowka, Law, Ford and Giusti.

With the pre-season on the shelf, the championship point season at MRP starts in earnest on Saturday April 3rd. The mighty Winged Outlaw 360 Sprint Cars will headline the program. The MRP Wingless Warrior Sprint Cars will also be featured with their “sling it sideways” brand of thrills & spills. The MRP Super Stocks and the MRP Mini Stocks will provide thrilling fendered race action as well. The event will present the first appearance of the ever-popular Nor Cal Dwarf Cars in a complete program. The pit gate opens at 3PM. The spectator gates will open at 5 PM with practice at 6 PM. IMPORTANT: The first race is to start after hot laps.

In advance of the racing program on Saturday night the 3rd annual Les Schwab Tire Race Car Show will be held at the Linda Les Schwab Tire store. Festivities will get underway at 11 AM.

Saturday March 27 will be the final playday of the pre-season. It is scheduled from 11AM to 4PM. Pit passes will be $20.00 pit pass car & driver, regular pit pass $10.00. The grandstands are free. Come one, come all!

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 and points become official and available at the close of business on Tuesday and will be posted to the web site.