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March Madness at MRP
Sprint Cars take center stage

By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - February 11, 2014 --- Paul and Kathy Hawes have released the schedule for Marysville Raceway Park’s 46th consecutive season of operation. An outstanding lineup of events is scheduled with a heavy emphasis on professional winged 360 sprint car racing; especially in this upcoming March. It is only fitting as Paul Hawes’ pristine surface is now considered one of sprint car racing’s quickest and most exciting clay tracks. 66 loads of new clay have been added over the winter.

The Sherm Toller Memorial Race will kick off 2014 with an early March 1st date and will be followed up just 2 weeks later with round #1 of the California Sprint Car Civil War series. The Toller event will feature not only the wildly popular Winged 360 Sprint Cars, but will also showcase the Wingless Spec Sprints in their first big event of the 2014 season.

The Sherm Toller Memorial Race will feature every big-named star in the winged sprint car galaxy as no other races are scheduled against the March 1st date this year. The buzz has it that a number of California, Oregon, Wasington and Nevada based teams will compete at this race, one of MRP’s premiere events. The Toller race and its $2500 to win payout, is getting to be in its own zone among classic events in the west coast open wheel world. Being 1st out of the box makes this event the one everyone shoots at to start their season off right.

Last year former Sprint Car Civil War Series Champion Sean Becker claimed the big check in a thriller. King of the West superstar Kyle Hirst pulled it off in 2012 riding through the cushion in a memorable performance. Before that, the event was pretty much owned by former MRP Champion Jeremy Burt of Grass Valley. Burt pulled off consecutive victories in the event. Burt traditionally takes the checkered flag lap honoring Toller and will do so again this year. Burt was runner up in the MRP standings again last season. It appears that he’s had about enough of that and will be a solid force during MRP’s season long championship run.

The same holds true for the March 15th Civil War event as no winged 360 sprint car races are scheduled within 500 miles and it will be round 1 of the prestigious series and the start of California sprint car racing's "Triple Crown". More on that later.

MRP saw increased crowds at sprint car racing events in 2013 and fan interest spiked after the track put down new clay in late 2012 making MRP bad-fast and hooked up. Now with the added 66 loads over this last winter break, the track should be even better. The popularity of MRP from a fan perspective and its great late season crowds in 2013 made all the hard work worth it.

As a former driver, promoter Hawes always has an open ear to drivers and owners concerns. On the spectator side of the fence, everybody associated with fan comfort and improvements are always listening to fan’s concerns. The fan’s live racing experience at MRP is 2nd to none as the grandstand proximity to the track puts the fan safely up close to the cars as they whistle around the raceway. It is without a doubt the most intimate setting available in California. Many fans wander down to the 1st turn spectator area to watch a race or two each night. From there you can watch from track level as drivers throw their cars sideways into the 1st turn banking. It’s a real treat.

The MRP Winged Sprint Cars will be the premiere division in 2014 and present another full season of wicked-fast sprint car racing. Marysville Raceway Park’s car counts in 2013 season were the highest in that division. Promoter Hawes continues working feverishly on the MRP surface and configuration to maintain the spectacular high-speed, multi-groove racing showcased in late season action last year. The Wingless Warriors of the MRP Wingless 360 Sprint Cars are also penciled in. This class will be given the opportunity, once more, by promoter Hawes to show its strength.

Promoter Hawes scheduled two California Sprint Car Civil War Series events for 2014. The aforementioned Civil War is California’s premiere traveling winged 360 sprint car series. MRP will host round 1 of the series on March 15th. The mid-season Mel Hall Memorial Race will also be a Civil War event.

This year the schedule again will show fewer divisions being presented weekly. Instituting this policy, promoter Hawes will save the track for hooked up high speed, dust free action. In addition MRP will conclude its program in a time frame that allows everyone to experience the featured attractions with plenty of evening to spare. With more and more families involved, MRP is a very fan-friendly place to be. Promoter Hawes has also listened to the drivers and car owners who have said that getting back home at a reasonable hour after a night of racing is a real benefit. A vast majority of 2013 MRP events concluded well before the 10PM hour! Also, with the racers in mind, MRP will be dark one week a month in June, July and August so racers and their families can schedule some time together and take a breather from the rigors of a full season of competition.

The ever popular Super Stocks will headline the 46th consecutive year of championship stock car action at MRP. THE MRP Hobby Stocks and MRP Mini Stocks will again present full seasons of competition. The Pro 4 Sprinters will also be at MRP in 2014. Additional dates for other traveling classes will be offered and interspersed with the MRP weekly point races.

It cannot be said enough that a continued heavy emphasis on our primary classes will be foremost on the agenda of promoter Hawes in 2014. Promoter Hawes has a very healthy weekly winged 360 program in place. The rejuvenated Super Stock class is a local fan favorite and the MRP Minis continue to be the fastest 4 bangers presented anywhere. MRP offers both fendered classes the highest weekly purses for these classes anywhere.

But first it’s time for sprint car racing’s version of March Madness as two of the season’s premiere sprint car events will be featured on March 1st and March 15th. More later!

The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.

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. Go to Marysville Raceway Park’s facebook for all the latest updates or our website at

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting “Man, what a ride!”