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Ladies and Gentlemen, RESTART YOUR ENGINES!! 
Big Race Saturday! Lovell brings home 5th MRP title. Improvements continue.

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - September 12, 2010 --- Long time associate and MRP official Jerry Witzke told this observer that some time ago, he and Merle Shepherd talked about what they would do if anything happened to either of them. Witzke looked firmly at me and told me that Shepherd had said, “We’d go racing.” That’s just what we’re going to do when MRP continues racing this Saturday night. A spectacular show featuring the 5 primary divisions will be presented. Promoter Paul Hawes, in lieu of offering the traditional post-season special events, has opted to allow the racers who support the track all year long to complete their championship point seasons. This generous decision will allow all the members competing for championship points to have a shot at a better outcome in advance of the November 6th Championship Banquet.

Every race driver that this observer has talked to is headed to MRP to show support. Some will tow great distances to be there. With a unanimous vote of confidence from the northern California racing community, promoter Hawes and his staff went to work. The month long hiatus from racing activities has allowed them the opportunity to re-groom and freshen up Marysville Raceway Park for the final 2 events of the season. Promoter Hawes has painted nearly everything visible at the facility. The buildings, walls and every tractor tire marking track boundaries have received a fresh coat of paint. The access road from Simpson Lane to the facility will be paved before the next event.

At the last event defending MRP Winged Sprint Car Champion Korey Lovell aboard the Korey Lovell Racing, Yuba City Scrap and Steel Special secured his unprecedented 5th title with a solid 2nd place feature finish behind rising sprint car star Reyna Krueger. With only 100 points available in the final 2 contests, Lovell has clinched the title. Jimmy Steward is in 2nd position with his best season ever. Gary Paulson can still grab 2nd from Steward, but it would be a stretch. It looks like the final MRP Winged Sprint Car shows will be flat out wars for victory with little regard with respect to points.

A fine field of MRP Winged Sprint Cars is expected as all of MRP’s champions since 1998, save one, are expected to show up and support the track’s re-birth in the final 2 events of 2010. In addition to Lovell, 3-time champion and 45-time feature event winner Colby Wiesz is expected to head down the hill form Colfax. Wiesz is rolling along toward an amazing 50th feature event victory at MRP. While Wiesz no longer competes for championship points at any track, he has been the most prolific winner in the history of sprint car racing at MRP. 3-time Montana state champion and 2004 champion at MRP Mike Monahan will cruise on in from Sparks, NV for another shot at victory lane. Then there’s 3-time champ Brent Dothage. Dothage has secured additional sponsorship for his wicked-fast black car. Will it be wicked-faster now? Dothage easily could have been the champion on 2 additional occasions, but was edged by Lovell both times. This rivalry has been one of the most intense in speedway history.

Word has it that multi-time sprint car champ Andy Forsberg and the eye popping, hammer down chauffer Andy Gregg are headed to MRP to support the track’s re-opening. Both drivers have spectacular records at MRP when their schedules permit a stop here. The CONTINGENCY CONNECTION Bonus Awards Packages for sprint cars will remain in place for the concluding events as these are MRP Championship Point Races.

The closest point battle is being waged in the Performance Auto Supply Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series. Only 5 points separate Terry Schank and Taylor Simas in the run for the season championship. During the last race in the Performance Auto Supply Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series, Schank slipped into the top spot after chasing Simas for most of the year. Throw perennial hot shoes Billy Wallace, Brian Southers and perhaps another over the top performance by Jeremy Hawes into the mix and you’ve got a wingless sprint car dream race. Wingless Warriors from all over California will be making the tow for what could be the event of the night.

In the MRP Mini Stock class, MRP’s own “Blonde Bombshell” Misty Castleberry can clinch her 2nd consecutive title by merely starting the main event Saturday. This class has been a hoot this year as Castleberry went on a 10-race winning streak. This was an unprecedented fete and broke a decades old record. But… the incredible battles in the division have been furious of late with stand out stars like Jimmy Ford, Jason Clayton, Jeff Olschowka, Mike Merritt and a host of others keeping Castleberry honest.

It’s not over yet in the MRP Super Stock class. But, Corey Hall must put an end to his “bad luck” streak to have any shot at point leader Jeff Olschowka. It’s interesting to note that Olschowka, while being dominant in stock car racing action here over the last 5 years, has NEVER been the track champion. He carries a 34-point lead over Hall into the final 2 events.

The closest battle on the charts is the red-hot race for rookie of the year in this division. Only 2 points separate rookie contenders Raul Casteneda and Josh Miller. With 100 points still available to the two drivers, this one’s not over by a long shot. Casteneda has wrestled with an assortment of handling problems, but still finishes up front on nearly every occasion. Miller, on the other hand has been faster, but has endured a heart-breaking series of crashes and mechanical DNFs. Keep an eye on this one.

In the Pro 4 Sprint Cars, the hottest thing around is P.J. Petersen. Now that the youngster has found a way to win, he is cruising atop the standings in this class and appears to be a runaway winner in the title chase. It’s notable that this class is now prompting more and more drivers to drop 4-bangers into sprint car chassis and test the open wheel waters. Mini Stock stars Castleberry and recent feature event winner and 2-time Mini Stock champ Joel Giusti have found some considerable success in the division. New drivers are finding their way to victory as Gary Eckman is the most recent newcomer to victory lane. Tim Maclaughlin cannot win his 4th consecutive championship, but he sure can win the race.

MRP will pay its respects to Shepherd in a pre-race ceremonial checkered flag salute. Trik Koncepts will have Merle Shepherd Memorial t-shirts available at their on site booth Saturday. A $10 donation will get you the shirt and all the proceeds will be forwarded to the family.

The Sherm Toller Gold Fever events for sprint cars and stock cars scheduled for this October will be run as season opening events in 2011

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.