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 Press Release

Wild championship night at TCS

Biggest crowd ever for point show; 4 champions crowned

Powder-Puff finale goes to Cathy Derr
by Bob Burbach

Marysville, CA - September 4, 2005...Promoters Greg and Linda Kearns decided to have a fan appreciation night at Twin Cities. Not only did the fans come out in record numbers, but the Riebes Racing Series Championship Night turned out to be one of the wildest nights at the speedway ever. It was a crowd pleaser to say the least.


Both championship contenders in the Pacific Sprint Car division flipped in the feature and BOTH repaired their cars in time for their respective restarts. In the TCS Stock Cars the tight point race was overshadowed by a monumental side-by-side struggle for second place in the race between Craig Eubanks and Jeff Olshowka. Then tempers flared between two other drivers. Grass Valley’s Jay Youngman took a wild gyrating flip up the back chute in the Wingless Warrior Hunt Magneto Speedway Sprint Car Series as BCRA and USAC midget star John Sarale roared to his first win. A Mini Stock went flipping through turn one…. AND five points or fewer decided two of the division championships. OK, here we go.


In the Riebes Racing Series Stock Cars, Marysville’s Andy Aust came into the night with a one point lead on Live Oak’s Chris Paquette. There are sixty points available per event. As a matter of fact five drivers had a mathematical shot at the title. “Big Jake” Cavasos (fourth in points going into the race) parlayed his front row starting slot into a nice hole shot into turn one. He led easily as the field entered the turn. Cavasos extended his lead lap after lap and was never headed. Behind Cavasos former track champion Craig Eubanks and one of the young lions in the division, Jeff Olshowka hooked up in a stirring side-by-side duel for the runner up spot. For seven consecutive laps the pair stayed that way, never bumping or banging beyond the spark producing rubbing on the straightaways. The large audience was on their feet cheering.


Aust faded from the top three, as he knew that as long as he could not see Paquette he would be the new champion. What he didn’t know was that Paquette was nearly drafting him the entire distance. Paquette just couldn’t get close enough to make a passing attempt. A bone jarring collision on the front stretch added some spice to what would become a remarkable finish to the event.


As the race progressed into its second half some rough driving was going on further back in the field. Track officials took action and the incident appeared over. While under caution for a minor incident, two-time track Champion George Magenheimer and rookie contender Jeremy Blackshere became embroiled in a car banging argument that got both drivers tossed for the night. The incident and the related problems associated with it prompted race officials to flag the event to its conclusion with Cavasos the winner. Eubanks won out in the dramatic tussle for second with Olshowka third. Aust finished a careful fourth with Paquette in fifth. The final tally showed Aust to be the champion with a five-point advantage at the end.


The Riebes Racing Series winged Pacific Sprint Car finale was a thriller from start to finish. Yuba City’s Korey Lovell was just seven points out with sixty available. By feature time it was ten and Lovell had his work cut out for him if he was to challenge point leader Brent Dothage. Heat race competition had eliminated any other contenders and it was time to slug it out for the crown.


Lovell bolted toward the front as the field took the green. He started sixth and was third in two laps. Then, as he challenged for second, he caught a wheel and cartwheeled over the banking in turn three. As ugly as the crash looked, the wing and tail had taken most of the impact. Lovell’s crew patched the car together and pushed it off, hoping for the best. The wing looked like rumpled tin foil, but it’s all they had for the restart. Seventh starter Dothage seemed to have the championship won.


Pole sitter Randy Lathrop of Santa Rosa had led from the start. With seventeen to go the green was unfurled. Lovell put on a clinic in his banged and dented racer. He flew through the field on the high side and never gave up. He sliced and diced his into the top ten in just five circuits. Then the unbelievable happened as the race approached three quarter distance.


Dothage and four other racers got together in turn two and three of the winged rockets flipped, including Dothage. You could cut through the drama with a knife. Now Lovell had a chance and Dothage would have to come from the rear. And come he did. As Lovell found third by the white flag lap, Dothage had battled back, like Lovell, to seventh with a dazzling display of fast and brave driving. It was just enough and he secured the championship by just four points. It was an unbelievable conclusion to an incredible season.


Both embattled racers earn a tip of the hat from this observer. In the forty some years I’ve been watching championship night racing I’ve never seen a more hard fought battle royal, in one night, than this one. Both championship contenders flipped, passed and struggled their way through the night. The huge throng of fans on hand will not soon forget this one.


And, oh yeah, Randy Lathrop beat everyone in his wire-to-wire trouncing of the full field of sprinters. Quick timer Mike Wasina finished second with Korey Lovell, Kevin Lovell and Nevada City’s Pat Harvey in tow.


Robert Luster had a chance somewhere between slim and none as he took to the featured event in the TCS Mini Stock race. Point leader Ken Reische merely had to start the main event to clinch his first ever championship in the mighty minis. That being the case Luster decided to go hard and let the chips fall where they would. They fell his way.


Luster survived race long pressure from a charging Shane Stoker in his run to his second checker of the campaign. In a race that went by very quickly, Reische challenged early but faded to an easy eighth and his championship. Mike Merritt spent the race charging to third with James Gillaspie and James Foster following to round out the top five.


A late race flip by Zach Johnson got everyone’s attention. It was an odd looking incident. Johnson’s blue racer flipped in turn one and landed on its wheels…well, it landed on the three remaining wheels. Then it accelerated across the infield finally coming to rest in the infield on the backstretch. Johnson was OK.


BCRA and USAC midget racer John Sarale of Stockton bolted into the lead and led the field to an easy victory in the Hunt Magneto Speedway Sprint Car finale. A hard charging Steve Stein ran out of laps as he was catching the fleet Sarale and settled for second. Stein, of Davis, is the 2005 Speedway Sprint Car champion. When he’s not worried about points, he’s a rocket. Stein was the show as he drove past competitors, high side and low. His nifty pass of Dr. David Goodwill late in the race was an eye opener.


With the overall championship decided last week, the rookie of the year battle was decided with but two laps to go. James Castleberry and Charlie Marrs came into the event just a point apart with Castleberry on top. As the field approached the white flag Castleberry had himself placed just right to grab the honors. A skirmish in front of him caused Castleberry to check up and Marrs secured the needed positions to become rookie of the year by a single marker. Derek Dozier will be rookie of the year in the Pacific Sprints and James Foster will win in the Mini Stocks. Brad Magenheimer will take the trophy in the TCS Stock Cars.


Cathy Derr won the Powder-Puff Race that brought the curtain down on the evening’s festivities. The complete finish was unavailable as the other competitors gave it their all in the slam-bang event.


The California Sprint Car Civil War will come to town on September 24th with the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars added in advance of the 10th Annual Dwarf Car Nationals.


Gates open at 5 with the first race scheduled for 7PM. Call 530.742.9222 or the business office at 530.675.2050 for more information. Visit the website at for all of the latest updates and scheduling.






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