Sanders Holds off Abreu at Marysville Raceway

Sanders Holds off Abreu at Marysville Raceway

(Marysville, CA 2-28-15)…Watsonville’s Justin Sanders won the 25-lap main event at the Sherm and Loree Toller Memorial on Saturday night at Marysville Raceway. Sanders held off a charging Rico Abreu to capture the big win. “I have to thank Rudy and all my guys for working so hard and giving me a great car to drive,” said Sanders post race. A total of 25 winged 360 sprint cars entered the first event of the season.

Earlier in the afternoon it was revealed that Sanders and team are concentrating on a Marysville Raceway track championship. Sander’s is already registered to compete in this weekend’s upcoming Silver Cup at Chico. With the win, Sanders is the only driver now eligible to win the pick six $10,000 bonus offered by promoter Dennis Gage. Gage offered the bonus to a sprint car driver that could win the first six 360 races between Chico and Marysville. “That is what we had hoped to achieve when we set this up,” said Gage. “I was hoping that a local team could contend for the $10,000 bonus.”

The night started with Willie Croft turning the fastest lap in qualifying. Croft earned a $100 bonus from Mel’s Transmission for the fast lap of 12.848. Three heat races were needed. The only big mishap took place when Brandon Dozier flipped wildly into the turn one catch fence. His car was broken and so was the fence but Dozier walked away. After a delay to repair the fence we resumed racing. Abreu went on to win heat race number one. Jeremy Hawes won the second ten-lap heat race. By doing so, Hawes was placed in the redraw and earned the pole position of the upcoming main event. Mason Moore beat Andy Forsberg to the finish line to grab the third heat race win.

Justyn Cox dominated the 12-lap B main event. Cox is scheduled to compete at nearly 70 sprint car races in 2015. It is good to have a 20-year old local driver able to support so many local races.

Jeremy Hawes led the 20 car field to the green flag. However, contact with Mike Monahan and Cody Lamar brought out the first caution of the race. When the field was realigned it was outside front row starting Justin Sanders who took the lead. Rico Abreu quickly moved around Hawes to grab to the second spot. Fifth place starting Mason Moore moved into third spot on lap nine. Unfortunately for Moore a few laps later contact with another driver sidelined the #22 Coors Light sprint car for the remaining laps. Dominic Scelzi started in the seventh spot and worked his way around Willie Croft on lap 17 to gather the third position. Andy Forsberg drove the PitStopUSA #7c up to the fourth spot on lap 21. Forsberg started in the ninth spot.

The hard charger of the night was Tulare’s Shawn Wright. After starting in the 15th spot, Wright methodically picked his way through the field and finished a respectable sixth place. After earning the fast time award, Croft bounced around inside the top five until finally finishing in fifth. 

Up front Sanders and Abreu were the class of the field. Sander’s was better in turns one and two while Abreu worked the bottom better in three and four. With about seven laps to go, Abreu was side-by-side with Sanders at the start finish line. Yet, Sanders had the outside spot and it was the preferred entry point into turn one. Sanders held Abreu at bay for the lap and the remaining five to get the popular win. 

The winged 360 sprint cars are back at this Friday and Saturday night at the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico as part of the Silver Cup Race of Champions. The next scheduled event at Marysville is slated for March 14th.

Full results are located at