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$2500 to win in 17th running of MRP fall classic

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - October 2, 2012 --- It’s time to put it all on the line as the GEICO/Econo Lube & Tune Gold Fever Open happens this Saturday night at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park. This event will have one of the richest single day payouts of the year for winged 360 sprint cars. 3-time MRP Champion Winged Sprint Car driver Colby Wiesz, the “Colfax Comet” will try for that illusive 51st victory during the GEICO/Econo Lube & Tune Gold Fever Open. Wiesz will join some 40 other drivers to try and earn a starting position in the 30-lap assault on the MRP clay in the final winged sprint car race of the 2012 season. Wiesz is also a 6-time winner of the prestigious Mel Hall Memorial race and 3 time winner of the Gold Fever Open. Wiesz grabbed victory #50 earlier in the year, but has been shut out since.

Look for a lightning fast hooked up track as MRP’s reputation for having a superb racing surface continues to be all the buzz. The clay has terrific grip and plenty of places to go for passing. The new track surface has really helped the sprint car show. The side by side racing is almost frightening sometimes, but with multiple grooves available, the chargers are finding additional ways to get by.

With no other winged 360 sprint car events scheduled the field is will be packed with stars. MRP’s 2011-12 champion Billy Wallace from Grass Valley, has to be an odds-on favorite in this one along with his closest rival at MRP Jeremy Burt also from Grass Valley. 4 time Placerville champ Andy Forsberg of Auburn will be making a rare appearance. 3-time Champ Brent Dothage out of Kelseyville will be a top threat as will former title holder Mike Monahan out of Sparks Nevada. With no points on the line all the gloves are off. The 2012 GEICO/Econo Lube & Tune Gold Fever Open will be one to remember.

Speaking of Monahan, the courageous competitor had a storybook season regardless of how Saturday’s race unfolds. On April 3rd of this year Monahan cut off the 4 fingers of his right hand at the palm in an industrial accident. The fingers were reattached. The prognosis was, depending on whom you listened to, that Monahan would never drive a sprint car again…or he’ll be 6 months to a year in rehab and the healing fingers would, one day, work again, maybe, but he’ll never drive a sprint car again. Or, he’ll be gone a year and maybe he’ll go back to work, but he’ll never drive a sprint car again. That last phrase “he’ll never drive a sprint car again” seemed to be the expressed, recurring sentiment.

On May 26th Monahan showed up for one of MRP’s signature annual events, the Mel Hall Memorial Race, a California Sprint Car Civil War Series event. These guys were among the best sprint car drivers in northern California. He didn’t come to watch, but to race. 

The determined former MRP sprint car champion and 4-time Montana State Champ had devised a way to glove the injured hand then Velcro the glove to the steering wheel. Monahan couldn’t transfer out of the “B” that night, but he had finished the race. His battered and beaten body had not regained its full capabilities as Monahan had to deal with his body refurbishing itself from the massive blood loss incurred during the accident. The next day Monahan hauled to another California Sprint Car Civil War Series event. This time he transferred and finished the feature. On June 9th Monahan sailed into victory lane at MRP once again. The emotional triumph was one of MRP’s most memorable moments. 6 champions from 4 other tracks in northern California will make the trek to MRP this Saturday.

The Wingless Warrior Sprint Cars with a sweet $1000 to win purse will also be on the program. It will be the final open wheel race of the 2012 season at MRP for this division as well. Terry Schank will be among the wingless warriors scheduled to be at MRP. Schank has over 125 feature event victories over the last 4 years at the wheel of his familiar #1. Scary-fast chauffeur Jeremy Hawes, will be in the field. Hawes won this event last year when this race paid tribute to fallen friend Sherm Toller. Hawes’ daring runs and one-handed driving style is not for the faint hearted. The “Man in Black” David Sprigg will be in the field. Sprigg won last year and has been a factor every time out over the last couple of seasons. 

Amazingly enough Wallace, who will be aboard his championship winning Mark Moore Bully Dog Special in the winged class will also bring the familiar 6w house car. Wallace has a unique position in the MRP history book as he is the only driver to win the prestigious Mel Hall Memorial Race in both wingless and winged sprint cars. According to dad Larry, Billy is looking for a double. Other wingless sprint car notables like Scott Hall, Cody Smith, lady star Angelique Bell, Joe Stornetta, Rowdy McClenon, Travis Moore and “Wild Bill” Aton are all making their way to MRP. If you have never been to a wingless sprint car race at MRP, you are in for an exciting experience. Without the aerodynamic advantages provided by wings, the wingless warriors whip their 100mph mounts into super-slides on each and every circuit. 

Gates open at 5pm. Hot laps and qualifying is set for 6pm, racing starts after qualifying. Don’t miss this one!

Marysville Raceway Park is among the first tracks to offer a discount if you use your smart phone/device to check in when purchasing your ticket. Get $1 off your ticket to this Saturday Night’s races by “CHECKING IN” on facebook to Marysville Raceway Park. Show the person in the ticket booth when you purchase your ticket that you have checked in via your smart phone/device and you will receive your discount. Please note that only the person who makes the original check-in will receive the discount. Only 1 ticket per facebook account. 

Don’t forget to monitor our facebook page during the coming week; we’d love to hear from you. Updates are constantly being forwarded to the page on race night. Every Thursday night at 8PM MRP gives away 2 free tickets to the following week’s events. So, pop on to facebook (Marysville Raceway Park) and try to grab a couple of freebees on Thursday.

IMPORTANT: MRP management reserves the right to make final decisions regarding admission to the grounds at any time for any reason. 2012 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.