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SRO crowd sees 108 cars in season finale. Championships decided.
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - October 10, 2010 --- Marysville Raceway Park provided the stage for a record-breaking night of action Saturday. Paul and Kathy Hawes hosted a record 108 entries and a standing room only crowd for the 2010 season finale. Terry Schank and Corey Hall scooped up titles in the 2 remaining class rivalries that needed to be decided as Colby Wiesz, Misty Castleberry, Schank, Howard Law and Jerry Bartlett won the featured events. Close “Rookie of the Year” battles in both fendered divisions were also decided.

The sea of spectators arrived early and stayed late as a party like atmosphere surrounded the proceedings. Stores of food and beverages ran out quickly and had to be replenished or in some cases some food venders at the raceway simply closed as few could have predicted the enormous crowd. T-shirts and hats all sol out. Staff had to find additional wristbands as they ran out quickly as the pits swelled with drivers and their crews. 

The last 2 events of this season have truly been inspirational to this observer. Emerging from the dark events of August 14th required tenacity and courage from all those associated with Marysville Raceway Park. But, in the end, it was the unbelievable support from the racers who came here and the fans who flooded the grandstands that really sent the signal that MRP should and could continue to present the Yuba Sutter areas only professional sports events. From this observer, a tip of the straw hat to you all. From the headlines in the Sunday paper came the words of A/D Motorsports reporter Ryan Klocke, “Yuba Sutter sure likes it’s speedway”. That says it all.

Preliminary heat race action went into the books quickly and with few yellow flags as 13 heat races were presented. But in MRP Super Stock heat race #1 title hopeful Corey Hall almost had a disaster. On lap 1 Kevin Ward lost the handle in turn 2 and Hall got into the mess and hammered the backstretch wall a ton. He was actually able to restart and keep his title hopes alive.

The 1st of the 5 feature events to be showcased was the MRP Mini Stocks. With the title tucked away Misty Castleberry and her fellow combatants went at it. A complete inversion pill was drawn and all of the hot shoes, save Jimmy Ford were mired in the back. A surprising newcomer, Travis Carter, led the first few laps of the race. Carter ran mistake free as the stars of the class roared to the front.

Veteran campaigner Scott Kames flipped hard in turn 3 after dominating his heat race earlier in the evening. Kames, ever the showman, got out of his wrinkled racer and waved to the crowd.

The red flag bunched the field and an all out war ensued as Castleberry, Mike Merritt, Jason Clayton and Howard Law had made it to the front. Together with Ford, this group really put on a show. When all the leaning and paint exchanging was done it came down to a last lap shootout between Merritt and Law. Law got inside Merritt as the pair flew under the white flag. Law inched ahead on the backstretch and picked up the victory. Law won the 1st race of the year and the last. Clayton, Castleberry and Ford completed the top 5

The Super Stock feature would crown a champion. Point leader Jeff Olschowka was ahead by a single marker when the race began. If the “O” man finished ahead of Hall, he would be the champ. If Hall finished ahead of Olschowka, Hall would be the champ. Pole sitter Jerry Bartlett easily grabbed the lead when the green flew and Olschowka dropped immediately into the runner up spot. Hall who was mired in the pack started to fight his way to the front.

Some significant fender shredding spins and crashes started to fill up the middle laps of this one. Actually leader Bartlett slowed before a yellow flag flew and gave up the lead to Olschowka. Then Bartlett spun in turn 1 at ½ way and had to go to the rear. Hall meanwhile had crept into 2nd just behind Olschowka. It was a whirlwind if excitement.

At the new green Olschowka led Hall into 1. The pair got together with apparently no harm. But, Olschowka’s left rear was cut. Olschowka limped around looking for a yellow flag, but it never came and he exited the raceway. Hall seemed to be in control, but at the next yellow flag he was penalized and sent to the rear of the field. 

Bartlett, who had been on the button since his spin had charged to 2nd and amazingly enough, at the new green he was the leader. Bartlett cruised into victory lane with ease as impressive Scott Rogers roared into 2nd in his Ford powered hot rod. Hall garnered his 1st ever title. The crowd pleasing slam-bang action of this one won’t soon be forgotten. The Rookie of the Year battle was decided as Raul Casteneda won it by running a smooth, trouble-free race while rival Josh Miller had difficulty all race long.

The Pro 4 Sprint Car feature provided yet another storybook ending. Rookie of the Year Misty Castleberry won her 1st Pro 4 main event after a great tussle with race leader John Cardoni. Castleberry and Cardoni had a clean but intense dice for the lead near ½ way. Castleberry got by on the inside of 1 and was never seriously challenged after that. What a spectacular season ending run this was for Castleberry who is now the 2nd MRP Mini Stock graduate to grab a victory in the open wheeled Pro 4s.

The MRP Winged Sprint Car feature was next up with 6 winged sprint car champions in the field. Brad Bumgarner was on the front row with youngster Garry Burdick. Burdick got the jump on the first start but Hawaiian sprint car champ Dean Freitas flipped in turn 3. Freitas was OK but done for the evening. The next restart saw Bumgarner surprise Burdick and jump to a big lead.

Wiesz was on the gas early and appeared in 2nd position almost like magic. Wiesz ran down Bumgarner and slipped by him in 3. It was over from there, as Wiesz cruised to his 46th victory at Marysville Raceway Park. Late race heroics got Brent Dothage a fine 3rd when the checkers flew.

The Performance Auto Supply Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series title was still undecided at the drop of their feature event green flag, but point leader Terry Schank ended all the speculation with a wire to wire trouncing of the field. Schank was flawless as he slipped through lapped traffic with ease. Billy Wallace tried to keep Schank honest during several restarts, but Schank just motored away to his 3rd wingless sprint car title this year! Jeremy Hawes kept the pressure on Wallace near the end but settled for 3rd. Schank was the Silver Dollar champion, the Joe Hunt Shootout champion and MRP’s new wingless sprint car champion.

The next event on MRP’s calendar is the annual awards banquet that will honor top finishers in each class. That event is at the Thunder Valley Casino on Saturday November 6th. The annual MRP Racers Swap Meet will be on Saturday morning November 27th.

The 1st event of 2011 will be the annual New Year’s Day Playday on…yep, you guessed it, New Years Day.

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.