Wiesz finally gets #51.
and Beardslee also win.
Marysville CA -
April 14, 2013 ---
3 time champion of the MRP Winged Sprint Car class,
Colby Wiesz, the “Colfax Comet”, finally grabbed
victory #51 at Marysville Raceway park after a year’s
absence from victory lane. Shaun Merritt won a hard
fought battle and captured the 2013 MRP Mini Stock
opener and Billy Wallace won the MRP Wingless Sprint
Car main. Matt Beardslee grabbed the honors in the Pro
4 main for his 1st victory of the new season. It was
United Rentals Night at the Races.
In the MRP
Wined Sprint Car feature, Wiesz outgunned fellow front
row starter Cort Dozier at the start and was scored
the leader of every lap. It was not as easy as it
sounds. Defending champion of the division Billy
Wallace from Grass Valley dipped into 2nd past Dozier
and hounded Wiesz for the first half of the event. A
spirited dice for 3rd that included Dozier, Brent
Dothage, and last week’s winner Jeremy Burt had the
fans on the edge of their collective seats throughout
most of the event. Also included in that tussle was
Oregon ’s Vern Wheeler.
At half way Wallace
seemed to startle Wiesz and flew on by into the lead
off of turn 2. At that very instant, however, the
yellow lights flashed on as Wheeler had a mechanical
issue that caused his car to chug to a stop. Wiesz got
the wake-up call on that situation and got up on the
wheel for the final 10 circuits distancing himself
from Wallace and the rest of the field. It took Wiesz
nearly a year to post his 51st win at the historic MRP
oval. Wiesz was candid in victory lane by admitting
they had some “problems” in 2012. Wiesz finished his
motor on Thursday and commented in pre-race
conversation that he had only “started it up in the
driveway” prior to pushing off to race Saturday night.
Wallace stayed 2nd with Dozier, Dothage and
Burt flashing under the checkers in that order.
Dothage and Heath Hall won the heats. Wallace secured
his 2nd consecutive $100 Legal Shield quick time
qualifier award offered by Legal shield representative
Rod Engberson. 2013 Contingency Connection bonuses
were also awarded during this event.
Wallace was doing double duty Saturday as he got the
jump on Jeremy Hawes as the pair drag raced for turn 1
at the drop of the green. Wallace was scored the
leader on every lap thereafter in a convincing win in
the MRP Wingless Sprint Car feature event.
Hawes kept Wallace in his sights, but could never
quite get to the fleet #Xj. The event was red flagged
early on when Josh Vieira biked in turn 1, saved it
from rolling over, then pounded the turn 1 concrete.
It appeared to be a vicious blow, but Vieira shook it
off and walked away.
The new green provided
some outstanding wheel to wheel dicing and Wallace,
with Hawes in tow, approached lapped traffic rapidly.
Hawes, whos night would soon become a memorable one,
started to close on Wallace as traffic became a
factor. Then, with 6 laps to go Misty Castleberry lost
it in turn 3 right in front of Hawes. Hawes did
everything but stand his yellow #7 on its nose trying
to miss Castleberry. But, Hawes was committed and
banged into the errant Castleberry. Hawes car gently
tipped onto its roll cage after the collision
prompting the 2nd red flag of the event. When fire and
safety officials righted Hawes mount it caught fire
for a couple of long, frightening moments. A hushed
crowd looked on as the fire was extinguished.
Then from turn 3 it sounded like Hawes restarted his
car. To a wave of cheers, Hawes had done just that and
joined the back of the pack for the restart.
At the new green, Wallace was gone as Rowdy McClenon
and Peter Paulson raced hard just behind for 2nd. The
final 6 laps allowed for some heroics from Hawes as he
jumped on the pedal and moved forward quickly. Hawes
pulled off some breathtaking passes in the final laps
and wound up an amazing 5th after all the trials and
tribulations he had encountered in this event.
McClenon stayed ahead of Paulson for 2nd and Gary
Deemer put together a nice race finishing 4th just
ahead of the charging Hawes. Hawes and Wallace won the
In the MRP Mini Stock feature,
Shaun Merritt battled his way into 2nd place and then
had a monumental battle with early leader Kyle Davey.
Front row starter Davey seemed to have this one in the
bag at half way when Merritt started to close. The
fender to fender action was incredible as two of the
leading contenders for this year’s title slugged it
out for the lead. It was arguably the best
side-by-side race of the evening.
the pass for the lead with a handful of laps
remaining, but Davey had a huge mechanical failure and
pulled off leaving a big gap between Merritt and Jason
Clayton, who inherited 2nd with Davey’s departure.
But, with 2 to go, Kyle Cheney appeared to blow his
motor on the front stretch prompting a crash that drew
the yellow flag.
With a green-white-checkered
ahead Clayton drew up behind Merritt for the final
rush to the checkers. But Merritt had this one handled
and pulled away to a fine win in his familiar #77m.
Clayton stayed 2nd ahead of Greg Prather and Travis
Carter. Merritt was composed, but emotional when he
noted from victory lane that sister-in-law Jen Merritt
had passed away after a long, brave bout with a
terminal illness. It was a great victory for the
Merritt family that had endured unusual hardship over
the last couple of years. Brother Damian was arm in
arm with brother Shaun in a Merritt family victory
Matt Beardslee won the
companion Pro 4 feature event. He ran away from the
field in a dominating performance beating defending
champion Tim Maclaughlin to the checkers by a wide
margin. Maclaughlin won the heat race. Go to
pro4sprints.com for additional information on the
Next week the MRP Winged Sprint Cars
will once again headline the program as all three
fendered divisions will be back for point racing
competition as well. The MRP Super Stocks, Mini Stocks
and Hobby Stocks will bring their slam-bang style of
racing back to MRP’s spectacular clay surface.
Pit Gates open at 3. Grandstands open at 5.
Qualifying at 6. The 1st race will roll off right
Next week, the mighty sprint
cars return. Both divisions will again present full
programs. The MRP Mini Stocks will make their first
2013 appearance as will the Pro 4 Sprint Cars. Stay
Life’s short. Live it. Race hard.
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, assessed penalties and
points become official and available at the close of
business on Tuesday and will be posted to the web