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Close, fast and tight all night. 
Ryan, Cory, Misty, P.J and Jason score. Hunt Sprint Car Shootout this Saturday.

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - May 2, 2010 --- Promoter Paul Hawes battled the weather gods that provided a steady north wind and virtually no humidity all day. The water truck stayed on the track deep into the late afternoon. But, when the show started only 3 yellow flags slowed the entire series of heat races. 2 were mechanical. The sun was still high in the sky when feature events were presented. The well prepared, hooked up surface provided superb racing with few interruptions all evening long. All 5 features were flagged by 9:15, and two provided thrilling last lap decisions. Ryan McDaniel won the Modified feature as Cory Hall, Misty Castleberry, P.J Petersen and Jason Sneed took the honors in their respective classes.

The Pro 4 Sprint Car feature provided some great racing. “Gentleman” Jim Pfifer bolted into the lead from his front row starting position and led handily during the first half of this one. Many of those in attendance were rooting for the long time competitor in this series as pre-race favorite and point leader Jeremy Hawes took his “Flyin’ Ford” to the pits early. P.J. Peterson and 3-time champion Tim Maclaughlin hooked up in a great duel for 2nd, but near ½ way Pfifer had a straightaway lead on them.

Then Pfifer lost the handle in 2 and went into a lazy slide that allowed both Petersen and Maclaughlin by. Pfifer corrected and stayed 3rd, but the race for the runner-up spot was now a stirring battle for the lead. At the white flag Maclaughlin made a last ditch effort to get around the fleet black 5 of Peterson. As the pair roared to the waving checkers, Maclaughlin was beside Petersen. Petersen nipped Maclaughlin at the line after an entertaining and tense event. Pfifer finished 3rd.

The MRP Mini Stock feature was surely as intense as the two latest champions in this series did battle throughout. The front row of Alan Furuta and Joel Giusti brought the field down for the green flag and Giusti bolted into the lead. Giusti was back to his old form as he put a lot of space between himself and the other competitors early on. Meanwhile champion Misty Castleberry was picking off one car at a time heading to the front. With some help from a couple of incidental yellows, she found herself camped on Giusti’s tail for a mid race restart. The new green saw a championship battle ensue with Castleberry slipping by Giusti after Giusti bobbled ever so slightly off of 2. There wasn’t a lead change after that, but that doesn’t really tell the story. The 2nd half of the race featured long green flag segments that allowed the leaders to become mired in lapped traffic. Giusti made several runs at Castleberry, but he just couldn’t get by. It was an exciting and well-run event, dripping with drama. Castleberry got the checkers 1st with Giusti, a hard charging Howard Law and a surprising Will Robertson following closely. Robertson may well be a new star on the rise in this class as he cut through the field with skills he has not shown up until now. Furuta was 5th in the final tally. It was Castleberry’s 3rd straight feature win in 4 tries. She has gathered all but 3 of the available championship points paid this year as she also finished 2nd on opening night.

The MRP Super Stock Feature was a thriller as well. Pole sitter James Castleberry jumped into a nice lead as he beat fellow front row starter Wille Horn to turn 1. Castleberry stretched his lead as Cory Hall and Jeff Olschowka got by Horn for 2nd and 3rd and respectively. On lap 2 Castleberry looped his #04 and Hall and Olschowka flew by. Castleberry recovered, bounced off of Horn and maintained 3rd for the time being. Point leader Ray Trimble cruised in 5th while all of this spinning and banging was going on in front of him. The race continued on through the early laps with Hall maintaining almost a straightaway lead…until a yellow flew, bunching the field.

Hall was quick, but so were the “O-Man”, Castleberry and Trimble. The rest of the race was a rough and tumble shootout that was a real crowd pleaser. Hall was smooth as glass with Olschowka in his wake. Trimble was coming hard as he finally got to 3rd after an entertaining dice with Castleberry. Trimble was on the move as he closed on Olschowka. With Trimble knocking on the door for 2nd, Hall stretched his lead as Olschowka went on the defense, protecting 2nd from his archrival in the series. The race went green to the end, as Olschowka was able to put some distance between himself and Trimble. Hall was the master of traffic on this night as he knifed through it with a veteran’s savvy. Olschowka closed ever so slightly, but the checkers belonged to Hall. Trimble stayed 3rd with Josh Miller in 4th in his finest ride to date.

The BCRA Midget Lite main event was a barnburner that went 20 straight without a yellow. Simply put, Jason Sneed was rushing to the front all race long. The early race leader was a quick Joey Hoover. Hoover was quick, but Sneed was a tick faster in his lap times. In the end, Hoover had Sneed all over his tail as the pair took the white banner. Sneed had a great turn 2 and built momentum as the pair slugged it out toward the final pair of corners. Seed guessed high, and he guessed right as Hoover stayed on the bottom. Sneed and Hoover touched ever so slightly twisting both cars into a gentle spin. Sneed recovered more quickly and was back in the gas sooner as Hoover hammered the throttle trying to respond. Snead roared across the line 1st as Hoover’s white car took a wide trajectory into turn 4. He slammed the wall with terrific force. The impact dazed the young charger and needed assistance to get out of the battered machine. Scott Kinney finished 2nd with series champ Doug Nunez getting show money.

The Mighty Modifieds brought down the curtain with a furious demonstration of power and speed. Ryan McDaniel sporting his grandfather’s numbers was the star of the show. He easily outdistanced the balance of the field. An entertaining battle between Randy McDaniel and Kenny Neu for 2nd stole the show. Randy McDaniel finally eclipsed the red 99 for 2nd. A late race caution put the senior McDaniel behind his son Ryan, but Ryan pulled away to a ½ straightaway lead at the stripe. Neu finished 3rd and the ever-improving Josh Miller got another clean 4th place finish in this one too.

Next week the Joe Hunt Magneto Wingless Sprint Car Shootout will bring a super field of Sprint Cars to MRP for round 3 in this exciting series. Wingless aficionado Roger Gleeson of Joe Hunt Magneto has put together the very series that this class needed. The 12 race series will decide who will earn a spot on the roster when this series presents its final race at this year’s Gold Cup in Chico. This will be the 2nd of 4 stops at MRP for the spectacular wingless warriors. The MRP Super Stocks will return with a trio of drivers in a knot at the top of the championship point standings. The Pro 4 Sprinters and Nor Cal Dwarf Cars will also be on the card. Then round 2 of the 2010 edition of the EXTREME BOMBERS will roll their unique brand of mechanized mayhem onto the MRP oval.

The pit gate opens at 3PM. The spectator gates will open at 5 PM with Hot Laps at 6 PM. IMPORTANT: The first race will start after hot laps at about 6:30.

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.