Local rookies, lady stars spice sprint car
Marysville CA -
April 10, 2013 ---
A handful of local rookie contenders, quick lady
racers and sea of former champions will be in the
sprint car field Saturday as Marysville Raceway Park
features sprint car racing once again Saturday night.
It will be the “United Rental Night at the Races” and
will be headlined by the mighty MRP Winged Sprint
Cars. The MRP Wingless 360 Sprint Cars will be offered
as well. 2013’s first appearance of the MRP Mini
Stocks is also on the card with a visit by the Pro 4
This year, in the MRP Wingless Sprint
Car ranks, an especially talented trio of rookie
contenders is trying to take Rookie of the Year honors
for 2013. The most eagerly anticipated move was by 4
time MRP Mini Stock champion Misty Castleberry of
Brownsville. Her grip on the MRP Mini Stocks turned
out to be a record run in the division over the last 5
years. She has dominated. Castleberry has also won
with consistency in the Pro 4 Sprint Car ranks as
well. So, open wheelers are not new to the spirited
Castleberry. This season she settles into the famous
“Flyin’ Ford” wingless sprint car for her shot at the
Rookie of the Year trophy in that class. It could be a
perfect match. Castleberry could enter in 3 of the 4
divisions presented this week. She still has her Mini
Stock and Pro 4 in the garage. We’ll see.
Another MRP graduate, Wheatland’s Johnny Burns, will
test the waters in arguably the division that most
seriously tests driver skills. Burns became a factor
to be reckoned with in Pro 4 Sprint Car competition
last year before switching to the more powerful
wingless 360 sprinters this season.
surprise entrant into the Rookie of the Year
competition in the MRP Wingless Sprint Cars is Yuba
City’s Cameron Bartlett. This observer was informed
that Bartlett intends to run the full schedule at MRP
this year. Bartlett represents a 4th generation of
Bartlett involvement at the raceway. Al Bartlett was
the first on the scene before his son Jerry made a big
impact on stock car racing in this community, securing
multiple championships. His wife Lisa took a turn or
two at the wheel before daughter Heather Bartlett
became a stock car champion.
Cameron has taken
a different route, however. Cameron is the son of John
Bartlett (Jerry’s brother and former driver). Cameron
has worked his way up in volatile and dangerous open
wheelers, rather than stock cars to get to this stage
in his career. If his initial performance of 2013 is
any measure, he did very well. Last week he went from
8th starting position to finish an outstanding 3rd. He
passed some pretty stout hot rods with veteran drivers
to get there. This young man could be the “real deal”
Two lady racers were entered in the monster-fast
premiere sprint car class last week, the MRP Winged
Sprint Cars. Both are expected to return. Lady
speedster Reyna Krueger from Orland has several
victories in the class. Her arrival on the scene has
gotten everyone’s attention over the last couple of
seasons. Her success has been remarkable in this, the
fastest of all dirt track classes. Krueger qualified
6th last week in a star-studded field of cars and
stars in this professional class of racecar that
spawned such stars as Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Kyle
Larson and others from northern California. Kahne and
Larson have victories at MRP.
lady racer new to the MRP Winged Sprint Car scene and
she is Raquel Jennings. Jennings is just getting
started in the class, but she’ll have veteran sprint
car driver and builder Heath Hall turning the wrenches
and giving advice. Hall won the Rich Dozier Classic
last year at MRP. Speaking of Hall, he will be back in
the saddle again after a five month hiatus. He will
take over the ride vacated by injured sprint car star
The MRP Winged Sprint Car field is
expected to be a fine one once again; featuring
defending champion Billy Wallace from Grass Valley,
2007 champion (and last week’s feature event winner)
Jeremy Burt also from Grass Valley, 5-time champ Korey
Lovell of Yuba City, 3 time champ Brent Dothage from
Kelseyville, 2004 MRP champion and 3 time Montana
State Champion Mike Monahan out of Sparks, Nevada.
Also in the field will be former champion,
Marysville’s own, Cort Dozier along with 9 time
Hawaiian state champion Dean Freitas. All have
indicated that they will be at MRP this week.
Burt, Lovell and Monahan continue to recover from
significant injuries suffered last season. Two of the
wounded warriors, Monahan and Burt, dueled all race
long, last week, for the win. Burt just got by Monahan
with two laps to go. Lovell ran a fine 5th. It takes
tough guys to overcome the debilitating injuries that
these three champions have endured.
If you add
Woodland hot-shoe Peter Paulson, Krueger, Auburn’s
Jimmy Steward and Marysville’s Brandon Dozier you have
a fine field that traveling teams will have trouble
beating. Oregon ASCS star Vern Wheeler indicated to
this observer that he’d be back as well.
Promoter Paul Hawes confirmed that Legal Shield
represented by Rod Engberson and sprintcarfan.com,
will post a $100 qualifying bonus at every MRP Winged
Sprint Car event this year. Marysville Raceway Park is
a major player in the Contingency Connection Bonus
program again this year.
Perhaps the biggest
surprise of opening night was the dominant performance
of Sacramento’s Tim Sherman Jr. who swept the program
and led every lap of the main event. Absent for more
than a year, Sherman brought a brand new car to the
fight and seemingly had everybody covered. MRP
Wingless Warrior Sprint Car stars like Jeremy Hawes,
Rowdy McClenon, Peter Paulson and Josh Vieira didn’t
have anything for the fleet Sherman. They’ll all be
back for round two.
The MRP Mini Stocks will
roar onto the MRP clay in their first event of the
year. With Misty Castleberry running a limited
schedule this year, the doors are open for a new star
to walk through. Almost all of the entries in this
class are local. Some of the drivers vying for the
title this year include, Kyle Davey, Travis Carter,
Shawn Merritt, Jason Clayton, Erik Davey and Miranda
Hammons, to name a few. The Mighty Minis will roar
once again at MRP!
The Pro 4 Sprinters will be
at MRP for the first time as well featuring champion
driver Tim Maclaughlin.
Pit gate opens at 3PM.
Grandstands open at 5PM. Hot Laps at 5.30. Qualifying
at 6PM. Racing begins after qualifying at about 6.45.
The text is based on information we have at the time
of its release.
Note: Please make this observer
aware of any names that are misspelled or incorrect.