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Champs Sills, Schank top Hunt entries Saturday
MRP Wingless Sprint title war continues. 
Fenders and Pro 4s also on card.

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - July 28, 2011 --- It will be a race within a race Saturday night as the touring pros of the Hunt Magneto Wingless Sprint Car Shootout invade Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park Saturday. With 2 races to go and BOTH of them at MRP, this series is taking on a larger than life persona. The MRP Wingless Sprint Car Series will also be run in conjunction with these events, so 2 wingless sprint car championships will be decided at the 43 year old raceway this season.

Last year’s champion of the series Terry Schank and Taylor Simas are tied for the runner up spot in the Hunt Series behind 3 time USAC Silver Crown Champion Jimmy Sills. Sills, who threw away his retirement this year in favor of a traditional sprint car series championship try leads the series by 23 points. Not insurmountable, but given Sills capabilities, having 23 markers in hand is sure going to make it easier for the well known national star to secure yet another open wheel title. Sills won the 1st two events in the series and has finished up front with relative ease in most of the others. Simas, Schank, Mason Myers and Alex Schutte are other winners in the series thus far this year.

While the Hunt Series brings northern California’s finest competitors in the class, MRP has a few cars and stars that can slug it out with the best of them. MRP’s Wingless Sprint Car Series is far from settled and judging from the competition level over the past 2 weeks, this could be the most entertaining point fight in the history of the series. The MRP series will be run WITH the Hunt Series on Saturday night which should make for an outstanding inter-series rivalry. Brett Youngman holds a slim 12 point edge on hard charging Jeremy Hawes in the MRP Series Championship clash. Only 2 points behind Hawes is Rookie of the Year competitor Joel Giusti. With 12 wins in wingless racing at MRP, a resurgent Tony Richards has been thrown into the mix. Richards has been sidelined most of the season and has only 2 appearances of any note thus far this season. But they have influenced the outcome of both events. Series rival Hawes and Richards have a nasty habit of finding each other again and again. Much of this rivalry goes back to a mighty last lap fight some 6 years ago when Hawes made a daring last lap, last straightaway pass on Richards to win by the slimmest margin in the raceway’s history. It is a rivalry of storied proportions 

Aside from that, Youngman is hot and dodged a real bullet last Saturday when he got past a mechanical malady and followed Hawes to a well deserved 2nd place. But Hawes keeps the hammer down and can take your breath away with a refreshing “win it or wear it” philosophy, once common but now unfortunately very rare these in open wheel racing. Grabbing victory from potential disaster last week put Hawes in a great position to attack for the MRP championship. Saturday’s additional car count may allow Hawes an opportunity to close rapidly on Youngman. By the same token, should Hawes have issues Youngman could benefit. Don’t forget Giusti who could leap to the front if Hawes and Youngman have problems. 

It’s going to be hard to ignore David Sprigg as he takes the wheel once again Saturday. Sprigg is now 4th in points with no real shot at the title as he’s missed a couple of shows. Sprigg has lead and spun, won hot laps, heat races and just about everything except a feature event. A couple of twists of fate caused him a shot at victory when leader Schank spun in front of him a couple of weeks ago and again last week when he and Schank found each other again as Hawes roared on to victory.

Saturday it will be a traditional sprint car lovers dream event. The best in the business will be there slingin’ em in sideways. The weather will be a factor, but promoter Paul Hawes has shown he doesn’t mind grabbing the keys to the water truck or grader to try to thwart Mother Natures’ powers. Wingless sprinters need some moist top bite to present their best racing program. Be prepared for a short break for promoter Hawes to put some finishing touches on the MRP clay for feature event time.

A full compliment of fendered warfare will compliment the wingless sprint car extravaganza. Champion drivers in the MRP Super Stocks, Mini Stocks and Hobby Stocks are ready to rumble.

The nip and tuck finishes in both the MRP Super Stocks and Mini Stocks lately have been heart stoppers. 2 weeks ago Ryan McDaniel held off the challenges of Mitch Machado and won by a nose. Last week 2010 MRP Super Stock Champion Corey Hall beat McDaniel by a bumper!! The MRP Mini Stock feature was decided by ½ of a car length last week as the fendered shows are becoming better as the season progresses. Increased car counts recently have been encouraging for the Super Stock division. 

Last week Howard Law and Misty Castleberry literally “fought” their way to the flag in a real Mini Stock thriller. This observer learned this week that Law is featured in the national racing publication Speedway Illustrated. More on that later. 

Even the fledgling MRP Hobby Stock class had its share of surprises as Jeremy Hawes showed us all how to “bike” a Hobby Stock and the burned and battered “Iron” Mike Dehoogh showed that persistence pays benefits.

The Pro 4 Sprinters are also on the program after a 3 week hiatus. Joel Giusti has been the star of the shows so far this year as he seeks to become the champion in that 4 cylinder sprint car series.

The pit gate opens at 3pm and the front gate opens at 5. 1st race will go off around 6:30 after hot laps.

IMPORTANT: 2011 minor releases must be signed by parents for all minors entering the pits. Concessions will be available. All classes of racecar are invited to participate. 

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.