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97 cars sign in as Bernal takes Hunt cash. 
Hall, Maclaughlin, Bender and Sarcomo also win.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - May 10, 2010 --- Paul and Kathy Hawes welcomed a whopping 97 cars into the pits Saturday night for J.E. Pistons night at Marysville Raceway Park. The latest round of the Joe Hunt Magneto Wingless Sprint Car Shootout was the featured attraction. Ryan Bernal grabbed the victory, his 2nd, in the Joe Hunt Series that drew 29 competitors from all over northern California. Cory Hall won the MRP Super Stock slugfest for his 2nd consecutive victory in that class. Kevin Bender won in a photo finish as round 2 of the Silver State vs. Golden State Cup was presented. It was his 2nd consecutive win in the series. Tim Maclaughlin grabbed another victory in the Pro 4 Sprint Car class and Armand Sarcomo slammed his way to victory in the EXTREME BOMBER closer.

An absolutely lightning fast Marysville Raceway Park greeted the throng of competitors and 10 heat races and the sprint car B main went into the books with only 2 slowdowns for spins and one wall-banger. That incident KO’d wingless warrior Wayne Trimble for the night with a big hit into the turn 1 concrete. 

It should be noted here that endless truckloads of new clay and tireless efforts of the MRP crew over the last week created a surface that prompted awe-inspiring speeds and multi groove racing throughout each of the preliminary events.

With all of the preliminary events concluded with so few hitches, the racing gods lit the fireworks and some wild heart stopping action would pepper each of the 5 remaining feature events.

The Pro 4 Sprint Car feature provided a look at the future of open wheel racing at MRP. Mini Stock graduates Misty Castleberry, Joel Giusti and Brent Hall were competitive from the outset in this entertaining event. Castleberry even lead for a while before perennial champion Tim “The Colusa Comet” Maclaughlin grabbed the lead and controlled the event to its conclusion. But, with Giusti’s car running for a change and Hall continuing to show smooth clean laps, Castleberry is going to have some company creating “rookie” highlights. Castleberry’s lead was impressive, but Maclaughlin closed quickly from 2nd and said, “I showed her my front end and she started going in harder” (instead of taking away Maclaughlin’s line). “Finally she went in too hard and I got by. It’s a rookie mistake, but she’ll get better and she’s doing a great job.” 

Giusti was actually closing on Maclaughlin as the checkers waved for a fine 2nd place showing. Last week’s feature winner P.J Petersen got the show money with Hall getting 4th.

The stock car feature was a knockdown; drag it out free for all that that was wildly entertaining. Jeff Olschowka popped into an early lead with Willie Horn, Craig Neiman and point leader Ray Trimble all vying for the top spot. Horn and Olschowka were together almost immediately on the front chute rearranging the sheet metal on their cars. Olschowka and Horn saved their cars but Neiman and Trimble flew past as Olschowka dropped through the field. The first of 7 yellow flags flew with Trimble at the front having nipped Neiman at the line on lap 2.

Horn was still in the mix, but Olschowka’s car seemed wounded and tiptoed through the balance of the event. The racing was furious in between the yellow flags. One of the yellows was actually for the leaders Trimble and Neiman. They slammed together off of 2. When they went to the rear a surprised Josh Miller took the top spot and lead the race handily over Ryan McDaniel and a 10th starting Cory Hall. Hall had simply moved through the field with a veteran’s finesse as the “veteran’s” crashed their way to the rear. A fender-banging duel ensued between Hall and 2nd running McDaniel that had the crowd screaming. This duel would eventually decide the winner as Miller’s great ride at the front came to an end in a shower of sparks in turn 4.

The Hall/McDaniel tussle ended with McDaniel’s car headed for the pits with left side damage. The amazing part of this race was the race itself. Everyone had a shot at it, but Hall was measured and cool as he finally outdistanced James Castleberry at the checkered flag. ½ the field led this event at one time or another. This is a race that will not soon be forgotten. Neiman came from the very back after his spin to get 3rd with Horn hanging on to 4th. This was Hall’s 2nd consecutive victory in the class. This together with Trimble’s misfortunes and Olschowka’s 5th place finish should make the knot at the top of this division’s point sheet tighter than ever.

The Hunt Magneto Wingless Shootout was pared to 20 starters at starter Robin Davies green banner. Bernal shared the front row with rocket fast Cody Myers. A relentless wind and 97 contestants wore the new surface a bit as Bernal outgunned Myers into turn 1 and with that, he would never be seriously challenged again. Myers fell into 2nd as Billy Wallace, James Sweeney and 5th starting Taylor Simas headed for the top looking for a way forward. Simas had some early success, but Wallace and Sweeney bravely would pass 2 or three competitors at a time only to give it all back while riding on the rim. That pair flirted with disaster on every circuit but provided the fans with some unparalleled thrills.

The late race story was Simas. The MRP Championship Point leader started to systematically pick his way into contention as this event headed to its conclusion. A series of incidental yellow flags helped keep the leaders in sight, and then it was Simas that stole the show. His tenacious effort got him to 2nd behind Bernal but Simas ran out of time. Simas shadowed the leader at the checkers with Myers, Terry Schank and Josh Vieira rounding out the top 5. Vieira was particularly impressive in arguably his best performance against a stellar field of competitors.

The Golden State vs. Silver State Challenge Cup for Dwarf cars ended with a stirring side-by-side finish. The event was marred by an opening lap double flip that hushed the crowd right away.

When the event got going, a terrific dice between “Hollywood” Kevin Bender, Jeremy Blackshere, Mike “Spanky” Grenert, Ryan Winters and Derek Rosse began. This quintet traded the top 5 positions with such regularity that scoring each lap was a real challenge. After countless lead changes the white flag flew on Bender and Winter in 1st and 2nd with lapped traffic in the mix. The others were not going to catch the lead duo. As Winter and Bender roared into turn 3 they were side by side. Off of 4 a lapped car impeded heir progress. Winter went high…Bender went low. With the lapped car as the meat in the sandwich, Bender got to the line first by a nose!…maybe by a nose hair…it was that good. Blackshere, Grenert and Rosse followed the lead duo. This victory was Bender’s 2nd in the series that brings together stars from Nevada and California in a shootout style format.

The 2nd outrageous appearance of the crazy-wild Extreme Bombers closed the show and once again the mayhem was amazing. Armand Sarcomo in his wicked quick #21 grabbed the checkers in this one after dominating a number of events in the past. Sarcomo bumped, slid and banged his way through cars that were in various states of destruction when the checkers flew. In this winner take all series we think it would be appropriate to note that crowd favorite “Crazy Casey” did actually complete 1.3 laps in this one. That is a total of 1.8 laps total in the last 3 races.

Next week the mighty Winged 360 Sprint Cars return after a two-week hiatus. The MRP Wingless Warriors will also return with the slam-bang action of the MRP Super Stocks and the MRP Mini Stocks. 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.