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THE BIG ONE! Hall Memorial Sprint Car Civil War
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - May 21, 2014 ---The nation’s most competitive dirt track show is headed to Marysville Raceway Park this Saturday night. The Flowmaster Muffler California Sprint Car Civil War Series heads back into action as the premiere western traveling series for 360 winged sprint cars returns to Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park. The event is the 15th Annual Mel Hall Memorial Race. The Hall Memorial is Marysville Raceway Park ’s cornerstone annual event. By any measurement it is "The Big One" in sprint car racing this weekend. Some 40 Winged sprint cars approaching 800 horsepower each will test the west’s finest short track and it’s now famous “hooked up” surface. With some $21,000 + in purse and another $40,000 in contingencies and Sprint Car Triple Crown bonuses it can lead to one of the biggest payday offered in California sprint car racing this year.

The giant race car haulers of the Civil War participants will begin to arrive in the Yuba Sutter area late in the week. Drivers, owners and crews will fill up hotels and restaurants in the area.

The leader at the top of the Civil War standings is veteran winged sprint car star Andy Gregg of Eldorado Hills. Gregg won the initial Civil War outing at MRP in March and the weatherman has interfered and rained out each of the scheduled events ever since. As fate would have it MRP will host round two of the series as well; ten weeks later.

Colfax driver Colby Wiesz will be gunning for another victory. Wiesz has won a record 6 Mel Hall Memorial races in his 20 year career in professional sprint car racing. Wiesz is a 3 time champion and has 53 total feature event wins at the quick MRP oval. Wiesz has 6 other Civil War wins to his credit and was runner-up in the series in 2012.

7-time Civil War Champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn will be in the house as will World of Outlaws feature event winner and Civil War champion Sean Becker. MRP’s current point leader and one of the fastest rising stars in California sprint car racing ranks John Michael Bunch of Paradise is entered.

King of the West superstar Jonathan Allard will be aboard the famous Tri-C 3 sprint car. Yuba City ’s own Korey Lovell will be in his nationally famous Yuba City Scrap and Steel special. Both teams have competed at sprint car racing’s hallowed ground at the Knoxville Nationals. Lovell is a 5-time MRP champion.

Former champions at MRP that will test the travelers include Grass Valley ’s Jeremy Burt and 3 time champ Billy Wallace. “The Madman” Mike Monahan of Sparks Nevada will also be in the field. A fan favorite, Monahan is also a 3 time Montana State Champion. Wallace and Monahan are former Civil War Series feature event winners so they know the way to victory lane against the top guns in the sport.

Civil War Series stars include former Hall winners like Willie Croft and last year's winner Justyn Cox of Sacramento . Southern California travelers include the always exciting Tommy Tarlton, "The Man in Black". Other notable traveling racers expected include lady racer Alissa Geving of San Francisco . Geving has received some notable national press over the last couple of seasons. MRP’s own lady racers expected include last year’s Rookie of the Year at MRP Raquel Hall of Oroville and 4 time feature event winner Reyna Krueger of Orland. Gridley’s Christine Zaveson is also expected.

Along with Korey Lovell, other local Yuba/Sutter entries expected will include twin brother Kevin Lovell, also from Yuba City and the Marysville team of Brandon Dozier and journeyman sprint car star Cort Dozier. Also entered from Marysville is rookie racer Jeremy Hawes who has been smooth as glass in his first six outings in the class. Any one of the five local entrants can pull into victory lane on Saturday. Woodland's Peter Paulson and Oroville's Heath Hall are other area drivers who will compete on Saturday.

Other notables representing some sixty track championships and hundreds of feature event victories will be on the grounds. This is but a sampling of the sprint car stars that will be at MRP Saturday night.

It was Mel Hall who, in 1991, teamed with other California racing promoters and brought several California tracks together to form a traveling series for the winged sprint car division. The tour was originally called the North vs. South Civil War Series and was designed to allow drivers to compete in a traveling campaign while still being able to compete at their local weekly tracks. The formula works to this day. All other participating tracks will be dark in this division so their cars can compete at MRP.

The event is expected to have a full grandstand as fans and drivers alike gather to remember Hall, who not only was involved with the birth of the Civil War Sprint Car Series but was known best for his successful promotion of Marysville Raceway Park . It was Hall who took over the Marysville facility in late 1994. Hall is credited with bringing professional sprint car racing to the Yuba-Sutter facility. Hall passed away in 1999 and left behind a legacy we celebrate Saturday night. Marysville Raceway Park is in its 46th year of continuous operation now under the watchful eye of promoter Paul Hawes. Hawes is a former driver, car owner and local businessman. Hawes has spent the last 7 years bringing MRP to the status of being one of the finest short tracks in the nation. Hawes' racetracks have been rocket fast and heavy providing bullet-fast racing programs.

MRP’s finest drivers will have some stiff competition as the most competitive winged sprint car traveling show in the country comes to MRP. A beautiful evening is forecast; perfect for elbows up sprint car racing in MRP’s fan friendly environment that includes the "greatest racetrack food on the planet".

Bad-fast open wheel thrills makes “MRP…the place to be” Saturday.

California Sprint Car Civil War Series Rules will be in force for this event.

The grandstands open at 5PM. Hot Laps are at 5:30 with qualifying scheduled for 6:30. Racing begins after qualifying at about 7:30.