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“Elbows up” thriller to Wiesz. Olschowka and Clayton also score. 
Sprinters, Bombers & Stockers next week as Big Rigs also debut.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - August 8, 2010 --- Marysville Raceway Park provided the stage for a fan friendly sprint car feature that will not soon be forgotten. For the 45th time the “Colfax Comet” Colby Wiesz roared to victory at MRP. Jeff Olschowka grabbed the checkers in the non-stop MRP Super Stock feature. Jason Clayton won a last lap victory in the MRP Mini Stock feature. Plus, for the 1st time in MRP history Big Rig Trucks took to the MRP clay in a practice session in advance of their racing debut next week. It was Dilly Bar Nite sponsored by the Hall family and the Dairy Queen of Yuba City.

In the MRP Winged Sprint Car closer Wiesz took the lead from his 6th starting position from leader Brent Dothage with a monster outside move that had the crowd buzzing. The thrilling Dothage/Wiesz duel took place after a series of yellow flag incidents slowed the early race pace. In the 1st 3 laps of the race, 4 of the top 6 drivers in the feature were eliminated or had to effect repairs. Early race favorites Mike Monahan, Richard Brace and Jeremy Phillips (among others) all had to make pit stops after incidents sent their cars to the pits.

But, once this one got going, it was a race fan’s delight as cars ran from the bottom to the top all race long in a dizzying display of driving skill. This was not one for the weak-hearted. You were going to have to get up on the wheel and blast your way through the turns using true “elbows up” skill and daring if you were going to be competitive on this night.

Pole sitter Tony Richards seemed unconcerned with the action going on behind him as he easily controlled the lead from the start. Dothage found 2nd quickly as he whisked his way to the front from his 9th starting position. 6th starting Wiesz encountered problems in his run to the front and was 3rd behind Richards and Dothage. A lap 4 green flag flew and the event went into an extended green flag segment. Wiesz and Dothage started a dangerous, high-speed battle for 2nd behind Richards. Wiesz had a couple of great turn 1 runs on the high side after the green appeared and gained ground on Dothage rapidly. On one occasion, Dothage drifted to the wall off of 2 and appeared to tangle with Wiesz, causing Wiesz to glance off of the back stretch wall. As Dothage reached the 3rd turn he simply could not slow down quickly enough to avoid a collision with race leader Richards who was cruising along on the bottom in 3. Dothage tagged Richards and Richards started a long lazy spin into the infield. The yellow flew again as Richards was silent in turn 3 after a great run at the front. During the yellow, Wiesz seemed furious with Dothage’s move off of 2 and was animated about his displeasure as he pulled along side Dothage, and the normally very popular Dothage endured a shower of boos after his tangle with Richards.

The new green had Dothage at the top of the charts and a re-awakened Wiesz glued to his tail. It didn’t take Wiesz long to ride the rim and as the pair arrived at precisely the same spot off of 2 where the earlier incident took place, Wiesz flew by Dothage. Wiesz was untouchable from that point on. By ½ way, Wiesz was ripping around the MRP clay with a reckless abandon. He was on fire. Dothage was hampered by lapped traffic that did not seem to slow Wiesz to the same degree. Dothage stayed 2nd until the last lap when his sprinter started to sputter, craving fuel. Kevin Lovell, in a mad dash to the finish, was the star of the show in the late laps as he wrestled his way from 7th into 3rd at the white flag. When Dothage’s car balked, Lovell flashed by in a surprising run to 2nd. Dothage was 3rd with point leader Korey Lovell picking up 4th. Hard charging Jeremy Phillips, after restarting in 15th place after his early race problems, got to 5th at the checkers in a dazzling ride.

Wiesz was uncharacteristically vocal in his criticism of Dothage in victory lane, but in the end said “It was one of the most physically demanding tracks I’ve run on… I love this. Thank the Lord for letting me do this… sure felt sorry for the 19 car (Richards). Don’t know what that was about”. Wiesz, Monahan, Gary Paulson and Devon Ostmeir claimed the 4 heats. The MRP dual heat race format continues to be an over the top crowd pleaser and it was gratifying to see another major west coast racing series adapt it to their program over the weekend.

In the MRP Mini Stock feature Jason Clayton passed race leader Jimmy Ford with 1 lap to go in a real eye-popper of an event. Ford bolted into a big, early race lead as a big battle for 2nd began with Howard Law, Jeff Olschowka (doing double duty) and Mike Merritt slugging it out. Misty Castleberry joined the fray as last row starting Clayton began his charge to the front.

Then as lapped traffic got into the mix, Law made it 3-wide out of 4 with lapped traffic. Well, that simply didn’t work as Law glanced off of Derek Dallier and Jake Davis. Dallier and Davis crashed and ricocheted across the track hitting Castleberry in the process. The yellow flew as Castleberry limped to the pits. Law survived the melee and stayed in 4th. Castleberry was done for the night.

The new green, again saw Ford take off. But, this time, Olschowka stayed with him. Try as he might, Olschowka could not get by Ford who was brilliant as he stayed on the gas on the high side, maintaining his momentum. During this intense duel Clayton made his way to 3rd. Another yellow flag allowed Clayton to close on the leaders.

At the new green Olschowka still could not get past Ford. But Clayton was flying. Off of turn 2, as the race headed to its conclusion, the quick 53 of Clayton tagged Olschowka sending Olschowka around off of 2. The yellow flag flew. Clayton was warned by race officials, but he restarted on Ford’s bumper. It was a great dice that Clayton won with a slick, last lap maneuver that Ford simply could not respond to. Clayton flashed under the checkers to a mixed chorus in the grandstands as he finally grabbed his 1st win of 2010. But, “to finish first, you first must finish” …and this week Clayton finished. He had also clawed his way from the back and needed all 20 laps to beat the high-flying Jimmy Ford. Clayton thanked his…“fiancé, kids and pit crew”…for sticking with him. Mike Merritt and Law picked up heat race victories.

In the MRP Super Stock feature, Willie Horn jumped to an early, relatively commanding lead in an event that would go from green to checkered without a yellow. Point leader Jeff Olschowka started to march to the front and had a terrific side by side battle with James Castleberry for 2nd early on. Castleberry clipped the front stretch wall while racing with Olschowka and soon faded. Olschowka was a straightaway behind Horn when Castleberry left the scene and Horn seemed destined for another feature win. Then Olschowka turned up the wick and started reel in the veteran campaigner. The crowd rose as Olschowka closed on Horn. A nice dice for the top spot resulted in Olschowka diving for the bottom as Horn stayed steady in the middle.

Olschowka finally inched his way past Horn and set sail for the checkered flag. Horn stayed 2nd as Ray Trimble came in 3rd. Olschowka, with this victory padded his point lead in the division as last week’s winner Cory Hall (2nd in points) again experienced mechanical woes that hindered his #56. Olschowka was a gracious winner in victory lane, but he, too was uncharacteristically vocal about Clayton’s turn 2 move late in the MRP Mini Stock feature. He was none to happy about it. Horn won the heat race as the MRP Super Stocks ran close and caution free all night long.

After the main events were in the books, a trio of the IBRRA Big Rig Trucks took to the track for the first ever practice session. The class will have its 1st race next Saturday night during Taco Bell Night. The Big Rigs 1st official race will share billing with the MRP Winged Sprint Cars, the MRP Super and Mini Stocks, the Pro 4 Sprints and another slam-bang edition of MRP’s own EXTREME BOMBERS. It is truly an event you will not want to miss.

The pit gate opens at 3PM. The spectator gates will open at 5 PM with Hot Laps at 6 PM. The first event will be underway immediately 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.