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Winged sprints featured at MRP!
4 divisions at Shepherd Memorial Sat

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - August 13, 2013 --- The mighty Winged Pacific Sprint Cars will headline the show this Saturday night at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park. It will be the 3rd Merle Shepherd Memorial Race. The wingless warriors of the MRP Wingless Sprint Car Series, the MRP Mini Stocks and the Pro 4 Sprint Cars are also on the card. On the heels of what could be described as the race of the year, the Marysville Raceway Park championship point season is hitting the home stretch. This week there’s also a significant twist as, for the first time ever; newlyweds will be honeymooning at 100 MPH Saturday night. Read on.

The 3-way struggle at the top of the Winged Pacific Sprint Car Series remains unsettled as does the run for the title in the MRP Wingless Sprint Car Series and the MRP Mini Stocks. The only real runaway in this week’s offering is local lady racing star Misty Castleberry’s grip in the Pro 4 Sprint Car division. She leads by an almost insurmountable margin.

Championship point leader Billy Wallace of Grass Valley will look to extend his lead on fellow Grass Valley resident Jeremy Burt in the MRP Winged Sprint Car Series. Burt lies 2nd in the standings 19 points off the pace. With 4 races left on the schedule and a 50 point swing possible at each event, Burt will have an ample opportunity to knock Wallace off of the perch. Wallace is looking for his 3rd consecutive title. MRP, fan favorite Mike Monahan out of Sparks, Nevada is 3rd in the standings. It’s a 3-horse race now as the last 4 races in the series unfold. Wallace, Burt and Monahan have been formidable foes all year. Each has visited victory lane and each has been a champion at MRP. But, now, as each of the talented drivers strap into their 800 horse power racers Saturday, a title could be on the line. The intensity is becoming electric; at 100 mph. Requests from drivers and fans have prompted promoter Paul Hawes and race director Craig Hall to lengthen feature events in the MRP Winged Sprint Car Series. They will run 25 laps now as the other classes will remain at 20 laps.

3 time champion, Kelseyville’s Brent Dothage, will be back this Saturday as will be MRP’s own “5-time” champion Korey Lovell of Yuba City. Lovell is due; he has not won yet this season. Lovell would likely say he’s “over due”. Lovell has 37 victories in his career at MRP. Dothage posted a victory in April. He has 33 feature wins.

Marysville’s Performance Auto Supply team with veteran drivers Derek and Brandon Dozier will have a great shot at bringing home another trophy. Brandon has won this year and has been very quick in his last few outings. Derek Dozier roared into the lead last time out. He led early but faded. Could he be ready for his 1st winged sprint car victory? Auburn’s Jimmy Steward will be in the hunt as well. Veteran Peter Paulson from Woodland will have another opportunity to get his second win of the season.

Two remarkable lady sprint car stars are expected. Orland’s Reyna Krueger is a 4 time winner in the winged sprint cars and has been a factor every time out.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Oroville’s Heath Hall was 2nd in the Dozier Classic two weeks ago after a great late race pass on point leader Wallace. Hall won the Dozier Classic last season and was all over the leader when the checkers fell. He’ll be looking for a return trip to victory lane after being wed to Rookie of the Year sensation Raquel Jennings (now Hall) last week. She and fellow racer Heath Hall tied the knot last weekend on an off weekend at MRP

Raquel Hall (formerly Jennings) leads the MRP Rookie of the Year standings in MRP Winged Sprint Car class. They will both be entered in the event Saturday night in a 100 MPH honeymoon celebration. Hall and Hall don’t seem to mind slugging it out side by side. It is a truly remarkable husband and wife match. In almost 40 years of involvement in the sport this observer has never known of a husband and wife combination dueling wheel to wheel in motorsport’s most volatile and dangerous division. It happens this Saturday at MRP.

In addition to the $1000 in cash for the feature event winner, the Legal Shield Quick Time Shootout will pay $100 for fast time at this event. The Contingency Connection Bonus program will offer some $1100 in additional bonuses to the winner.

The wild gyrations of the MRP Wingless Sprint Cars will also be offered as Marysville’s Jeremy Hawes tries to stretch his win streak to 4 in a row in his quest for a championship in that division. Point leader Rowdy McClenon of Anderson will be there to try and keep Hawes’ out of victory lane. Three times each, Hawes and McClenon have tasted victory this season. Only 8 points separate the two with a 50 point swing possible on any night. It will also be interesting to see if 2009 champion Cort Dozier can slip in and spoil the two point leader’s fun. Dozier was 2nd last time out in this class. Dozier has been an entertaining addition since taking over the duties in the #97 wingless hot rod.

The Rookie of the Year point standings in the MRP Wingless Sprint Car division is very close. Only 1 point separates Misty Castleberry and Wheatland’s Johnny Burns. Burns got by Castleberry last time out with a 4th place finish.

The MRP Mini Stocks will return with point leader Shaun Merritt, of Marysville, trying to stretch his lead over arch-rival Howard Law. Law will have to start digging into Merritt’s 27 point lead soon or this race to the title will soon be over. Will Misty Castleberry hop in the Mini and be back to try and scoop up another victory? Will she race a triple? We’ll see. Law, Merritt and Castleberry have all reached victory lane this season.

Castleberry will also lead the Pro 4 contingent when they resume competition Saturday. Colusa’s Tim Maclaughlin and MRP’s newest occupant of victory lane, Dan Morgan, will test Castleberry all the way.

The traditional Checkered Flag Lap will be taken remembering Merle Shepherd prior to Saturday’s first event.

The pit gate opens at 3PM. Grandstands open at 5PM. Hot Laps are at 5:45 with qualifying scheduled for 6:30. Racing begins after qualifying.

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.

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