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Wiesz & Monahan in classic duel!
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - August 31, 2013 --- No one will forget this one. Colby Wiesz (the Colfax Comet) and Sparks Nevada’s Mike (the Madman) Monahan slugged it out side by side at 100 mph for the last 3 laps in a torrid battle for the lead in the MRP Winged Pacific Sprint Car feature Saturday. It was Yuba City Scrap and Steel’s Ice Cream Night at the Races. Anderson’s Rowdy McClenon, Galt’s Ryan Winter and local racers Cort Dozier and Phillip Shelby won their respective features in a 5 division racing program.

Wiesz and Monahan wound up in the front row of the Pacific Sprint Car field after a tremendous wheelie triggered a bone jarring flip through turn 3 by point leader Billy Wallace of Grass Valley. The pole sitter at the original start, rookie sensation Raquel Hall, pulled a 30 yard wheelie off of turn 2 on the opening lap causing the rows behind her to scatter to avoid the errant racer. Wallace got a wheel and cartwheeled through turn 3, bending nearly every corner of his racer. Wallace was unhurt in the wild tumble, but his car was severely wounded. Though he restarted, he eventually retired after a gallant effort.

The new green found Monahan and Wiesz side by side for the 25 lapper. Long periods of green flag racing allowed Monahan to gain an advantage, but perfectly placed yellow flags on a couple of occasions allowed Wiesz to close. Though it appeared Monahan had set sail for his 2nd victory of the campaign, Wiesz started to close rapidly with 6 to go. With 3 to go it was a war. Monahan and Wiesz were scant inches apart as the crowd rose in unison during those last 3 circuits. Wiesz was on the top and Monahan was just as quick right beside him on the inside.

Wiesz and Monahan came across the line side by side with Wiesz ahead by a foot or less. Wiesz was .085 thousandths of a second ahead of Monahan at the stripe. It was the 3rd closest finish in the history of sprint car racing at MRP. Wallace beat Brent Dothage to the line by .032 at the Scrap and Steel event in August of 2011. Jeremy Hawes’ victory in a wingless sprint car over Tony Richards is the record in the wingless class at .067 thousandths.

The event was a sprint car fan’s dream come true with passing and thrills all race long. Oroville’s Heath Hall was 3rd in a fine performance with local drivers Derek Dozier and Korey Lovell rounding out the top 5. Hall and Wiesz won the heat races. Monahan scooped up the Legal Shield Quick Time Shootout C-Note. Wiesz picked up $1000 in cash and became eligible for some $1100 in Contingency Connection bonuses.

Grass Valley’s Jeremy Burt finished 7th, but with Wallace retiring early took another 9 point chunk out of Wallace’s point lead. Only 12 points separate the two contenders after Saturday’s race. Monahan picked up 8 points on Burt and 16 on Wallace and remains 3rd in the standings. With 1 race to go, Monahan will need to have an up front finish in that one. More than that, Wallace and Burt will both have to have poor finishes or mechanical issues. As always, there’s a 50 point swing possible at every event. This is getting very good!

The MRP Wingless Sprint Car feature was all McClenon after early race leader Josh Vieira miscued in turn 4 as McClenon and Jeremy Hawes roared by. Just a few laps later point contender Hawes slammed into an errant lapped car in turn 2; ending his night. From that point on no one had anything for McClenon.

Making his 1st start in a sprint car at MRP, dwarf car sensation Shawn Jones grabbed 2nd with Vieira coming across in 3rd. Rookie of the Year contender Johnny Burns had his most competitive outing. He was quick and smooth all race long and placed 4th. Hawes and Chico’s Gary Deemer won the heat races. It was Deemer’s 1st ever victory.

The victory catapulted McClenon into an 18 point lead in the series with 2 races left. The victory tied McClenon with Hawes in feature event wins with 4 each.

The MRP Super Stock closer was all Cort Dozier. Once again the savvy veteran completely outdistanced the field. Auburn’s Ray Trimble was 2nd and maintained his point lead heading into the final shows of the season. James Castleberry was 3rd.

In mid-race action, Sean Hulsey got everyone’s attention as his car erupted in flames on the back stretch. Hulsey kept a cool head and drove the blazing racer right to the fire truck. Hulsey was unhurt. Hulsey and Castleberry won the heat races.

The MRP Hobby Stock feature was an easy ride for Yuba City’s Phillip Shelby. Shelby started on the front row and smoked the field. Shelby is a former Super Stock and Mini Stock champion at MRP. The race for the runner up spot was a good one until defending champion Jeremy Hammons dropped off the pace and Eddie Hammett claimed the spot. Shelby also won the heat race.

Galt’s Ryan winter continued his drive to the Nor Cal Dwarf Car title with his 11th win in the series this year. He was challenged most of the way by Jeremy Blackshere for most of the race, but was able to hold on for the win after getting to the front on lap 4. For more on the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars see

MRP will be dark next week, but Saturday night September 14th two division championships will be decided. The final MRP Winged Sprint Car point race will be the headliner and the MRP Hobby Stocks will present the crown to the champion in that division. The MRP Wingless Sprint Cars will also be featured. The colorful and entertaining Nor Cal Dwarf Cars will be back with an appearance of the BCRA Midget Lites as an extra added attraction.

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.