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Star studded Gold Fever Sprint Open Sat!
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - September 30, 2013 --- This is a classic sprint car event. Twenty-two years ago national driving star Jimmy Sills grabbed the first checkered flag in this storied event. It has been the final curtain for the winged sprint cars in the northern valley 21 times. Marysville Raceway Park’s annual salute to California’s Gold Country will be staged Saturday night. It’s time to put it all on the line as the 22nd Gold Fever Open returns this to Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park. This event will have one of the richest single day payouts of the year for winged 360 sprint cars. An impressive array of the west’s brightest sprint car stars will be headed toward MRP on Saturday. MRP is in its 45th consecutive year of operation.

Nine track champions are expected to converge on the Marysville facility. Among them will be 3-time MRP champion Billy Wallace. Wallace has just secured his 3rd consecutive title in Mark Moore’s bad-fast sprinter, #1m. Wallace just did grab the title from fellow Grass Valley standout Jeremy Burt in his GEICO 2b. Wallace has won 27 times in winged sprint car competition at MRP. He also has victories in sprint car Civil War series competition. Burt is the 2007 champion and has been runner up in consecutive seasons to Wallace. Burt’s season was a winner in many respects. Most notably he was back in the saddle after breaking his back in a violent crash at last year’s Gold Fever event. Both will be in the field Saturday.

With no other winged 360 sprint car events scheduled, the field is will be packed with stars. Champion drivers expected include the most successful sprint car Civil War driver in the series history. Andy Forsberg of Auburn will be making a rare appearance at MRP. Forsberg grabbed the victory last year in the Gold Fever Open after an intense battle with Wallace and fellow Civil War campaigner Sean Becker. Becker is this year’s Civil War titlist.

3-time MRP Winged Sprint Car champion Colby Wiesz, the “Colfax Comet” will try for his 54th sprint car victory at MRP in the Wiesz Motorsports #21n. He is far and away the most successful sprint car driver ever to appear at MRP. Wiesz will join some 30 other drivers to try and earn a starting position in the season’s final 30-lap sprint car assault on the MRP clay. Wiesz is also a 6-time winner of the prestigious Mel Hall Memorial race and 3-time winner of the Gold Fever Open. Wiesz also has Civil War victories and has been runner up in that prestigious series.

MRP’s own “5-time”, Korey Lovell of Yuba City in his nationally famous Yuba City Scrap & Steel #71, will also be in the field. The 5-time MRP champion and winner of 37 MRP feature events has been a fierce competitor all season long. Lovell returned this year from serious injuries suffered in a late season race last year. Lovell’s twin brother Kevin is also expected in a sister car. Kevin is a former feature event winner at MRP as well. Sprint Car Civil War veterans Justin Sanders, Andy Gregg and Greg Decaires have all found success at MRP.

Lady racers Reyna Krueger and Rookie of the Year sensation Raquel Hall are headed to MRP. Krueger has 4 winged sprint car victories to her credit. Hall has been outstanding as her rookie year has progressed. She is more than worthy of the Rookie of the Year title.

Marysville sprint car stars Cort “The Iron Man” Dozier, Brandon Dozier and cousin Derek Dozier will be entered. Brandon won earlier this season and Cort is a terror in anything he drives. Cort is the 2009 wingless sprint car champion at MRP. Derek simply hangs it out every lap. If you can, keep an eye on all three.

Other MRP regulars will be vying for top spots in this one. Woodland’s Peter Paulson, Oroville’s Heath Hall and Auburn’s Jimmy Steward, just to name a few. 3-time MRP champion Brent Dothage out of Kelseyville can be a top threat as will former title holder Mike Monahan out of Sparks, Nevada in his Superior Hydraulics #49..

With no championship points on the line in this winged sprint car free-for-all; all the gloves are off. The 22nd Gold Fever Open will be one to remember.

Speaking of Monahan, the courageous competitor had a storybook season regardless of how Saturday’s race turns out. On April 3rd of last year Monahan cut off the 4 fingers of his right hand at the palm in an industrial accident. The fingers were reattached. Six weeks later Monahan showed up for one of MRP’s signature annual events. He didn’t come to watch, but to race.

The determined former MRP sprint car champion and 4-time Montana State champion had devised a way to glove the injured hand; then Velcro the glove to the steering wheel. On June 9th 2012 Monahan sailed into victory lane at MRP once again. The emotional triumph was one of MRP’s most memorable moments. This year Monahan raced to two more feature event wins and a solid 3rd in the standings.

This is the “don’t miss” show of the year as the best in the west slug it out in 1500 lb cars with some 800 horsepower under the hood. Volatile, side by side action at over 100 mph; this is the 22nd Gold Fever Open!

The Wingless Warrior Spec Sprint Cars will also be on the program. It will be the final open wheel race of the 2013 season at MRP for this division as well. MRP’s track champion Rowdy McClenon from Anderson will head the field.

Scary-fast chauffeur Jeremy Hawes of Marysville will also be in the field. Hawes won this event two years ago. Hawes has recently switched back to a familiar seat. Hawes will slip into the #95 Ford powered sprinter for this event. After Hawes vacated the seat in the Dolner 7, it looks like Sacramento’s Tim Sherman Jr. is likely to plant himself in it.

The Hawes/McClenon rivalry this season has been electric. Watch for sparks to fly. If you have never been to a wingless sprint car race at MRP, you are in for an treat. Without the aerodynamic advantages provided by wings, the wingless warriors whip their 100mph mounts into super-slides on each and every circuit.

Pit gates open at 3pm.Grandstand gates open at 5pm. Hot laps and qualifying is set for 6pm, racing starts after qualifying at about 7pm.

IMPORTANT: MRP management reserves the right to make final decisions regarding admission to the grounds at any time for any reason. 2013 minor releases must be signed by parents for all minors entering the pits.

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.