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Netto wins classic duel in Hall Memorial
By Bob Burbach
Marysville CA - May 25, 2014... The 15th running of the Mel Hall Memorial Race is history. A full house and 38 winged sprint cars were on the grounds. Making his first start at the Marysville Raceway Park, Hanford, CA driver, 19 year old DJ Netto found himself in victory lane as he picked up his first career Civil War Series feature event.
With MRP sprint car stars John Michael Bunch of Paradise and Cody Lamar of Sacramento on the original front row, a false start put them in the second row, with Mason Moore and 7 time Civil War champion, Andy Forsberg taking over the front row for a second attempt at a start. Moore got the jump and took off on the hooked up Marysville Raceway Park with Andy Forsberg and Bunch chasing after him.
The complexion of the race changed on the ninth lap when the leaders hit thick lapped traffic, Moore hit a lapped car and flipped over out of the lead. This gave the lead to Forsberg. With Forsberg out front, he quickly stretched out his lead, though behind him some moving and shaking was going on, as Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, San Francisco’s Shane Golobic, Netto, and Petaluma’s Geoff Ensign were working their way forward.
Getting around Lamar and Bunch, Netto became a factor as he took over the second spot and began chasing after Forsberg. Mechanical gremlins caused Forsberg to pit giving Netto the lead. The restart saw Netto lead the field to green but he had his hands full as Golobic was hot on his tail.
Getting into lapped traffic with just a handful of laps to go, Netto carefully picked his lines, as Golobic looked for an opening. The white flag lap saw Golobic get the opening he was looking for in the last pair of corners, but Netto was able to hang on and beat him to the checkered flag by a car length with Golobic holding on to second, and Lamar capping off a very strong night crossed the stripe in the third position. “It has just been one of those years, and it is awesome to get a win with the Civil War Series,” a jubilant Netto said in victory lane. “I saw Golobic show me his nose in the last corner, and I just stood on the throttle and here we are.”
After opting to skip his college graduation Saturday morning, Golobic rebounded from a rough start to his night to finish in the second spot. “We would have liked to be one spot better, but after the way our night started, we are pretty happy with a second place finish,” Golobic said. “I had one shot at DJ Netto on the last lap and went for it, but he was able to beat us to the line, and I have to congratulate him.”
Capping off a stellar night, Cody Lamar took the final spot on the podium, and was pleased with how his new team performed. “We have been running at Marysville Raceway Park for the 2014 season, and to run up front with the Civil War Series is pretty cool,” Lamar said.
Following the top three across the line was Dash winner, John Michael Bunch, 20th starting Geoff Ensign, 19th starting Jason Statler, Jimmy Trulli, Sean Becker, Colby Wiesz, and Steven Tiner rounding out the Top-10.
MRP’s championship point leader, John Michael Bunch started the night off by timing in fastest in qualifications, and heat race wins went to Becker, Andy Forsberg, Lamar and Netto. Alissa Geving won the C main, and Golobic won the night’s B Main event.
Four spectacular flip-over crashes marred the proceedings, though none of the drivers was injured.
Next Saturday night the mighty MRP Wingless Sprint Cars will return along with the MRP Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Pro 4 Sprint Cars. The gates will open at 5 with racing at 7:00PM.

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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 and facebook pages.