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Best o’ the Best at Big Dance Saturday. 
Wiesz can make history. Wallace can clinch. Wingless war goes on.

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - September 12, 2011... Marysville Raceway Park will again turn on the lights on Saturday night for the biggest race of the season thus far. It’s the Big Dance. The postponed Mel Hall Memorial Race will be staged. This signature event for the Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car Series at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park will feature every star in the Winged 360 Sprint Car western galaxy. This annual event has turned into a rip-roaring affair with anybody who is anybody in this form of motorsport on the grounds. The Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprint Car Series 30 lap feature event will pay $2500 to win. The Mel Hall Memorial Race honors the former promoter here at MRP and his influence on the facility and on racing in general in northern California.

History may be in the offering as well. 3-time champion Colby Wiesz will be trying for his 50th feature event win at MRP during this gala event. Wiesz, who has won more Mel Hall Memorial events than anyone on the planet will have a star studded field trying to prevent him from that landmark 50th victory. Chauffeurs from California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and even Canada were geared up and ready for this one before it was postponed in June by unseasonably bitter weather. Most will return to MRP Saturday as weekly point racing competition in every western region has been concluded except at MRP. 2 events remain on the MRP championship point racing calendar. The Mel Hall Memorial Race is an MRP championship point race. 

Promoter Paul Hawes and the staff have worked hard, changed some things and produced spectacular surfaces for the last handful of events at MRP. It seems to have benefited the mighty winged cars the most. If conditions dictate the need to take a few moments to rework the surface, promoter Hawes simply does it these days. The results have been such that superior feature events have been presented lately that include wholesale passing and mystifyingly close finishes. At this writing the weatherman says clear and about 88 degrees. The water truck is at the ready should conditions require its help in providing a better racing program on MRP’s biggest night.

Speaking in terms of Championship implications, “Bad” Billy Wallace aboard Mark Moore’s sleek black beauty with “Old Glory” emblazoned on the wing could clinch his 1st ever Performance Auto Supply winged sprint car title at MRP with a strong run at the Hall Memorial. Wallace is the only driver ever to win this classic event in both 360 sprint car classes, winged and wingless. The formidable cast of characters that will be trying to grab this prestigious trophy and this big “Fistful of Dollars” will include champion racers from every area track and regions beyond. 2004 MRP Champion and 3 time Montana State Champion Mike Monahan will be back to throw his hat in the ring and try for a victory at the Hall Memorial. The “Madman” confirmed that he will be at MRP for the balance of the season starting with the Hall Memorial. Monahan will surely like promoter Hawes new approach to track preparation. When Monahan has something to hook up to, he can fly. The blue 49 will be a welcome addition to the cast offered this Saturday.

Former MRP champions Brent Dothage and Jeremy Burt will be in the house to renew the great fight they had here the last time the Performance Auto Supply Winged Sprinters were in town. That event showcased a daring drive to the front by Burt in his finest effort to date. 3-time champ Dothage is rocket fast and is not likely to be all that happy with 2nd place ever again. Korey Lovell, the 5-time champion at the Raceway, has not had his dream season thus far. But Lovell is well known for his late season efforts. The Hall Memorial trophy would look pretty good sitting next to the hardware his 5 championships have garnered.

Powerful contenders from the younger side of the spectrum include fabulous lady racer Reyna Krueger. Krueger is almost like a ghost in her approach to feature events. She seems to be effortlessly cruising around and then…wham!…she’s by and pulling away. Her battles with some of the best in the business lately are starting to border on legendary, as she gets better with every outing. Rookie sensation William Fielding could be the surprise winner in this edition of the Hall Memorial. But, it wouldn’t be that big of a surprise would it? He’s ready for a trip to victory lane. Garry Burdick has been peeling the numbers off his wing lately with daring high speed, high line maneuvers that are keeping the fans on their feet. Burdick tries to pass people…all the time. A little luck would help, but he may not need it. The youngster is due.

Expected entries include champion racers Greg Decaires, Andy Forsberg, Steven Tiner, Mason Moore, High Flyin’ Herman Klein and Mike Henry, just to name a few.

The Wingless Sprint Car Series and its championship point race implications will also be on the card with the winged cars. Jeremy Hawes in E. J Dolner’s yellow hot rod will bring a 1-point advantage into Saturday’s program with but 2 races to go in the season. Brett Youngman is right there in his own XX. This season long bout has finally twisted Hawes’ way, but only just.

Watch for David Sprigg in this one as he has been steadily in the mix lately and nearly pulled off the upset of the year a couple of weeks ago. But, the title is on the line and this situation is far from being resolved.

Don’t miss this race…………………………..

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

IMPORTANT: 2011 minor releases must be signed by parents for all minors entering the pits. 

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.