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Champions headline re-opening. 
Bartlett wraps car with MRP memories. 2010 “Showdown of Champions” Saturday.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - September 15, 2010 --- “I’ll be there!” was the message from Placerville Speedway and former Civil War Champion Andy Forsberg. “I’ll be there,” said former MRP Champion Mike Monahan today by email. He continued, “I will be sporting a decal in his (Merle Shepherd’s) honor on my wing. We will see you Saturday.” 5-time Champion Korey Lovell will be there as this phenomenal MRP star will pick up championship trophy #5 this season. Over and over again emails and phone calls have been coming in to this observer and promoter Paul Hawes from championship drivers from all over northern California and Nevada. Regardless of the class, and there will be 5 divisions presented, champion drivers and championship caliber drivers are committing to MRP’s final point races of 2010.

The incredible outpouring of emotion and support has become almost unreal as the racing community offers its support to MRP’s decision to keep on racing after the tracks biggest challenge. Drivers who have said those ever-flexible words, “I’ll never race there again!” are headed to MRP for what has turned into a great get together and “Showdown of Champions.” The word is out and a truly outstanding field of cars and stars will be at MRP this week.

Saturday night in addition to the outstanding racing program we will honor Merle Shepherd and his contribution to MRP’s forward momentum 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.

Multi–time stock car champion at MRP (and elsewhere) Jerry Bartlett has a brand new Super Stock car for this weekend and hopes to get the bugs worked out before trying for a run at the title next year. The body wrap on his familiar #00 will feature photos of MRP drivers and officials that are no longer with us. Of course Merle Shepherd’s photo will be prominently displayed. The car will be displayed at the front gate early in the evening for everyone to see. Bartlett will then race the car. The body of the car will then be given to the track for posterity.

As a former Race Director at the facility and after a long involvement in auto racing generally, I understand the emotions and passion of those involved with the sport. I’ve been nose to nose with a number of those competitors in years past. Today, everybody is pulling together, putting whatever differences exist between them and MRP on the back burner, and coming to race. It is truly one of the most gratifying times of this observer’s 50-year love affair with the sport.

Promoter Paul Hawes’ gutsy decision to move forward with racing at MRP has garnered support from his most vocal critics. But, therein lies the magic of the people involved with this sport. When push comes to shove, we’re all in this thing together and everyone is stepping up to the plate.

Promoter Hawes has painted everything on the grounds and will have the new access road paved. MRP, with its new coat of paint has never sparkled more brightly. The track is newly cut and more clay graces the 1566 ft long-70 ft wide surface. MRP will continue to have its own fire truck, ambulance and quality personnel to man it. We have a complete fire department on staff each and every Saturday night.

Don’t forget our smoke-free family section are the best seats in this house. I think I speak for everyone associated with MRP that we truly are a family dedicated to moving just a little bit forward everytime we gather at northern California’s longest independently owned racing facility.

But, most of all, as Shepherd would have wished, we will be racing on Saturday night. Yep, hammer-down, over the top, side by side racing action.

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.