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Monahan smokes ‘em in runaway
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - June 9, 2013 --- Almost one year to the day after a dramatic personal comeback, veteran charger Mike Monahan put on a clinic as he smoked the MRP Winged Sprint Car field at Paul and Kathy Hawes Marysville Raceway Park. The temperature was at 104 degrees at race time Saturday night, but the MRP surface was hooked up and rocket fast to the final checkered flag. It was Dairy Queen of Yuba City’s Dilly Bar Night.

52 weeks ago (June 11, 2012) Monahan won the MRP Winged Sprint Car feature after suffering a terrible injury to his right hand. That was his 1st victory after the injury. Saturday, the Sparks Nevada driver simply ran away from the field in a dominating performance. Monahan started outside the pole and out-gunned fellow front row starter Reyna Krueger to turn 1 and set sail. Midway through the event Monahan was slowed by lapped traffic, but maneuvered through it with relative ease and drew away from any competitor as soon as he cleared the traffic.

Krueger and point leader Jeremy Burt had a great dice for 2nd before Krueger suffered a mechanical failure just after way. She lost control and took Burt with her. Burt restarted and with 7 laps to go, had some work to do to get to his final 7th place finish. A very quick Billy Wallace inherited 2nd after the crash, but was no match for the high flying Monahan who pulled away from the defending champ at the new green.

Monahan, one of MRP’s most popular sprint car stars, was greeted in victory lane by shouts of congratulations from the appreciative crowd that rose to their feet during the final lap. Since Monahan’s heroic return to the sprint car wars at MRP the crowd typically stands for his qualifying laps and now maybe a new tradition of standing should Monahan be headed for a feature event victory may have been started.

Monahan took a big chunk out of Burt’s championship point lead and after a review of the points awarded, remains 2nd in the chase for the title. Burt’s late race charge into 7th place reduced the impact of his crash where the point standings were concerned. Monahan was the 2004 MRP champion and has several Montana State titles to his credit. Peter Paulson placed 3rd as fast rising sprint car star Raquel Jennings got 4th. Colby Wiesz rounded out the top 5. Wiesz and Burt won the heats. Billy Wallace was the winner of the Legal Shield Quick Time Shootout and the additional $100 that went along with it. Monahan also won the Contingency Connection bonuses associated with his win.

The MRP Super Stock closer was all Phillip Shelby, until, with 2 to go, his black 86 went up in a cloud of smoke. Runner up and current point leader Cort Dozier took advantage and cruised to victory ahead of Mark Hill and Mike Walko. The race was a rip roaring, fast trip around the perfectly prepared surface.

Notably, championship point contender James Castleberry suffered a catastrophic engine failure in his heat race. It was the 2nd consecutive event that Castleberry’s car has failed him. Shelby and Ray Trimble won the heats.

The MRP Mini Stock feature was captured by Misty Castleberry after a torrid mid-race duel with Howard Law. A rejuvenated Travis Carter picked up a well deserved 3rd. The passing job of the night was turned in by point leader Shaun Merritt. Merritt completed his charge to 4th with 2 laps remaining. Castleberry and Kyle Davey grabbed heat race honors, but Davey suffered a disheartening, night ending mechanical failure after he took the checkered flag.

Ryan Winter easily won a non stop Nor Cal Dwarf Car feature. He led every lap. Mike Grenert and Kevin Bender were a distant 2nd and 3rd respectfully.

Next week, the MRP Wingless Warriors return with their 100mph sideways slides. The championship fight between point leader Rowdy McClenon and local favorite Jeremy Hawes will be renewed among a host of other challengers. If you haven’t experienced the Wingless Warriors riding the right rear on MRP’s hooked up surface, it is time to do so. It is a breath taking ride on the wild side. The MRP Super Stocks will return with the Pro 4 Sprint Cars and BCRA Midget Lites. We’ll see you there!

Pit Gates open at 3. Grandstands open at 5. Legal Shield Quick Time Shootout is at 6PM with races starting at 6:30.

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 site.