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 Press Release

A thriller: The Mel Hall Memorial Race

Halleib, Aust, Castleberry and Olmstead triumph

by Bob Burbach

Marysville, CA - June 5, 2005...Jeff Hallieb, Andy Aust, James Castleberry and Danny Olmstead won the feature events at the Mel Hall Memorial Race at Twin Cities Speedway Saturday night. A packed house witnessed the sixth annual event.


The Riebes Racing Series Pacific Sprint Car main event was a thriller from start to finish. Lake of the Pines hot shoe Jeff Halleib cruised into town pulled off a daring pass for the lead and added his name to the prestigious list of drivers who have claimed the Mel Hall Memorial trophy. Mel Hallís son Mark Hall was quick qualifier and by virtue of a 0 pill draw sat on the pole for the race named for his father. Mark Hall is a two-time champion at the lightning fast quarter mile.


Hall flew into an early lead and led the first few circuits. As Hall exited turn two on lap three he bobbled ever so slightly and fellow front row starter Joey Magurah flashed by. The pace was frightening as the field rocketed around the track. Halleib got Hall the next time around and set sail after Magurah. It was clear that Halleib was the man to beat. He closed rapidly on Magurah and camped on his tail. Three laps later Magurah moved high in three to get around a lapped car and thatís all Halleib needed. He rocketed under both Magurah and the lapped car in a daring move.


Sacramentoís Kyle Schild got by Hall for third and began to challenge Magurah. Magurah tried the high side on Halleib in turn two and folded his front end on Halleibís right rear tire. The brakeless Magurah was along for the ride as his car collected Schild and both cars rolled to a stop in three.


The rest of the fast moving event was all Halleib. He masterfully worked traffic and convincingly won the prestigious event. Point leader Brent Dothage and Renoís Mark Tabor Sr. crashed together sending Tabor to the trailer and Dothage to the rear.


Yuba Cityís Korey Lovell charged from the back of the field in a nice display of driving. Lovell had to transfer from the B main event and had his work cut out for him. But the night belonged to Halleib as he beat Herman Klein, Colby Wiesz, Mark Tabor Jr. and Hall to the checkered flag.


 Marysvilleís Andy Aust Claimed the Riebes Racing Series Stock car money. Aust simply dominated the affair after he secured the lead in the early going. Front row starter and early leader Kenny Robinson had a host of mechanical ailments that relegated him to the pits after leading the first few laps. Yuba Cityís Donnie Fortney provided the fans with the drive of the race by passing several cars to secure the runner up spot. While there were no serious crashes, an unusual number of minor skirmishes and mechanical problems sidelined many of the early contenders.


Aust led Fortney, Billy Knoop Jr. and Brad Magenheimer across the line. Austís patented driverís side salute to the fans put a period on the event. Point leader Phillip Shelby was on the sidelines early and the runner up in the standings, Chris Paquette was also an early out after a spirited drive. Aust will make up a lot of ground in the point standings when they are posted later on in the week. Aust swept the event by posting a heat race victory as well.


James Castleberry dusted off Charlie Marrsí potent mini stock and won a stirring race long battle to claim the victory in the TCS Mini Stock event. The long and short of it all is that a four-car battle for the lead kept the fans on their feet for the entire event. Point leader Ken Reische, Castleberry, Kevin Sprague and Greg Prather just plain slugged it out for most of the race. All four poked their nose into the lead at one time or another.


Reische and Sprague got together late in the event and spun out of the battle for the lead. Castleberry and Prather traded paint for several laps as the pair headed for the checkers. Castleberry edged Prather at the line. Good stuff, great race. Damien Merritt placed a career high third with brother Shaun in fourth. Robert Luster rounded out the top five.


As a driver, Rick Eversult was in critical condition last Saturday night after a horrifying flip. As a car owner, Rick Eversult was in victory lane here THIS Saturday night after his hired hand, Danny Olmstead, dominated the Hunt Magneto Speedway Sprint Car feature. When Eversult was hurt last week, the car really wasnít that bad. Mid week negotiations put SCRA star Olmstead in the car for the Hall Memorial. He won his heat and the feature. Eversult was on the grounds in a neck brace and looking surprisingly well considering he was airlifted out of the speedway just one week ago.


Besides Olmsteadís domination of the event, the real story of the race was the emergence of a couple of really fine young drivers. In the trackís biggest annual event Yuba Cityís Mark Hill and Jeremy Hawes were superb. Hill stayed within shouting distance of Olmstead and kept him honest, and Hawes again did a superb job in the passing department. Hill captured his heat and was hard on the gas during the race. He placed an excellent second in only his eighth race. Hawes didnít fool around and clicked off a number of great finesse passes late in the going garnering a solid third. Point leader Steve Stein of Vacaville motored into fourth with Jimmy Steward fifth.


Front row starter Charlie Marrs created some fireworks of his own with bonzai tries at Olmstead in the early going. Marrs continues to be a crowd pleaser with his wild and exciting maneuvers. Mechanical woes sidelined Marrs.


The race was stopped, and checkered on the final circuit when Charles Williams flipped violently in turn three. The car gyrated in a series of flips after contact with a lapped car. The car erupted into a huge ball of steam when the radiator exploded during one of the nose-in impacts. Williams was helped from the car and walked under his own power to the ambulance.


In ceremonies before the race promoter, the late Mel Hall, was remembered by the packed house. Marlyn Hall and the entire Hall family was recognized for their dedication to the sport. It is this observerís great privilege to have known Mel and I know he enjoyed the races that were presentedÖI donít think he would have cared much for the ceremony.  He was a racer.


This Saturday night the Riebes Racing Series returns to TCS with the winged Pacific Sprint Cars, the TCS Stock Cars and the TCS Mini Stocks. The BCRA Midget Lites will be the hosted traveling show. All four divisions will be offered on the same program.


Gates open at 5 with racing at 7PM at the one and only Twin Cities Speedway. Twin Cities Speedway is located at 1468 Simpson Lane in Marysville. For additional information call (530) 742-9222 or go to






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