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McCune Family Dominate's Must See Racing's Midvale Debut

NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio – Saturday night, the McCune family completed the task they set out to accomplish two weeks ago in Must See Racing Sprint Car Series competition, finishing one-two in the Buckeye State Shootout at Midvale Speedway.

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Leading the way was two-time defending series champion Jimmy McCune, who took the lead on lap 11 of the 40-lap main event and never looked back en route to his milestone 20th-career series win.


Though he was challenged the entire way by his 19-year-old nephew, Anthony McCune, Jimmy McCune held steadfast out front despite a deflating right-rear tire in the closing stages.

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"Man, I could feel something was wrong because it was going all over the place on me," said Jimmy McCune in victory lane. "It was really, really good there early on. When I went around (Anthony) on the outside, I had found something in that mid-to-upper groove that was really working. Then it got tight and once it picked up the push ... I had to move back down to the bottom and it was just rough."


"I kept blowing the corner in two once the tire started going away on me and it was all I could just to hang on to it. It was a good race ... Anthony did a hell of a job. He's gonna win one of these soon."

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With his win Saturday night, McCune is off to the best start by a single driver in series history, having won four of the first five races this season.


Only a single caution, at lap 12 after polesitter Bronzie Lawson IV spun off the exit of turn four, slowed the pace during an action-packed night of racing that saw winged sprint cars return to Midvale for the first time in 16 years.


Leading the first 10 laps from the outside pole, Anthony McCune kept his uncle in his sights the entire way after being passed for the lead, closing in mightily over the final 10 circuits as Jimmy McCune's right-front tire began to give up.


However, despite the teenager's best efforts, he was unable to work his way around Jimmy at the end, settling for a career-best second and crossing the twin checkers .303 of a second in arrears.

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"I was trying to reel him in for most of the race, and by the time I finally got to him there just weren't enough laps left to really set him up," said Anthony McCune. "Lap traffic was really tough tonight ... I have to work on getting better at working through it, but this was a good night. I'm really happy with this finish."


Ryan Gillenwater completed the podium, making it a sweep of the top-three spots by drivers from Ohio.


"It's great to be back in the Buckeye State and be able to race in front of all my home fans," Gillenwater said. "This is a fun race track. It's a racy place in traffic. I think if we'd had about 10 more laps ... we were knocking on the door of the top two there, but just couldn't find an opening. Hopefully we can come back here again in the future and make another go at it."


Fast qualifier Brian Gerster finished fourth, ahead of National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jeff Bloom.

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South African native Jacques Roos made his first Must See Racing appearance a largely successful one, winning his heat race and coming home sixth in the main event.


The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series returns to action on July 28 at Madison Int'l Speedway.

RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Midvale Speedway; July 15, 2017


1-800-RADIATOR A-Feature (40 laps): 1. #88 – Jimmy McCune [3]; 2. #8 – Anthony McCune [2]; 3. #45 – Ryan Gillenwater [4]; 4. #50m – Brian Gerster [6]; 5. #26 – Jeff Bloom [5]; 6. #Y0 – Jacques Roos [7]; 7. #9S – Charlie Schultz [8]; 8. #7 – Tom Jewell [10]; 9. #75c – Jerry Caryer [11]; 10. #72s – Joe Speakman [9]; 11. #4X – Bronzie Lawson III [12]; 12. #85 – Rick Holley [13]; 13. #28 – Todd McQuillen [15]; 14. #8A – Adam Biltz [14]; 15. #4B – Bronzie Lawson IV [1].


Abes Auto Parts Time Trials: 1. #50m – Brian Gerster, 12.497; 2. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 12.519; 3. #45 – Ryan Gillenwater, 12.556; 4. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 12.642; 5. #8 – Anthony McCune, 12.958; 6. #4B – Bronzie Lawson IV, 12.978; 7. #Y0 – Jacques Roos, 13.007; 8. #9S – Charlie Schultz, 13.009; 9. #72s – Joe Speakman, 13.326; 10. #7 – Tom Jewell, 13.351; 11. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 13.394; 12. #4X – Bronzie Lawson III, 13.514; 13. #85 – Rick Holley, 13.705; 14. #8A – Adam Biltz, 13.956; 15. #28 – Todd McQuillen, 13.995.


Abe's Auto Parts Heat #1 (10 laps): 1. Jerry Caryer [3]; 2. Rick Holley [1]; 3. Bronzie Lawson III [2]; 4. Todd McQuillen [4]; 5. Adam Biltz [5].


B&B Machinery Movers Heat #2 (10 laps): 1. Jacques Roos [3]; 2. Joe Speakman [1]; 3. Charlie Schultz [2]; 4. Bronzie Lawson IV [4]; 5. Tom Jewell [5].


RAM Engineering Midwest Heat #3 (10 laps): 1. Ryan Gillenwater [2]; 2. Jimmy McCune [1]; 3. Brian Gerster [4]; 4. Anthony McCune [5]; 5. Jeff Bloom [3].

--
Jacob Seelman
RaceChaserOnline.com, Managing Editor
Performance Motorsports Network, Radio Co-Host
Must See Racing, Series Announcer

 

All photos credit to CSP/Chris Seelman

South African Jacques Roos Joining MSR Sprint Field At Midvale

NEW PHILIDELPHIA, Ohio – The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series is set to invade Ohio's Midvale Speedway for the first time on July 15, with one home state team opening up a seat for a unique series rookie to make his debut.


Two-time defending owner's champions McCune Motorsports will campaign a third entry during the inaugural Buckeye State Shootout at the three-tenths-mile, slightly banked oval, with South African native Jacques Roos piloting the No. 0X Emerald Towing/Emerald Auto Body entry for the event.


The connection between the Roos family and the McCune family goes back some eight years, when two-time defending series champion Jimmy McCune first traveled to South Africa and raced for Roos' father Johan.


Now, nearly a decade later, that tie has continued and strengthened.

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Jacques Roos, seen here competing in his native South Africa in February, will make his Must See Racing sprint car debut this weekend at Midvale Speedway in Ohio. (EAC Racing photo)


The last two times McCune has traveled to South Africa to compete in sprint car events, he has driven a car for Jacques Roos, and actually won his most recent start in the country over the offseason on Feb. 4 at Ultimate Raceway Vereeniging.


Now, McCune will get the chance to return the favor and says he is looking forward to competing with his long-time friend on "home turf."


"It's going to be a lot of fun seeing that (No.) 0 car on track this weekend; I can tell you that much," said McCune. "This is something that Jacques and I have talked about for a while and it's great to see it finally come to fruition. His family has been great to us over the years and we're glad to have him in our corner this weekend."


McCune did point out though, that while Roos is a friend, it's all business once the helmets go on.


"Once we get out on track, I want to beat him just as much as I do anyone else there," he laughed. "I know he feels the same way when we race down in South Africa because he's beaten me down there before! It'll be fun to race him though. I'm looking forward to that and to hopefully picking up a win in front of our home fans."


Roos has a decorated history in sprint car racing in his own right, being a former winner of the United States vs. South Africa sprint car invitational as well as the current championship leader in the winged sprint car division at Ultimate Raceway this season in a career that stretches back to the turn of the millenium.


But while Roos has three wins in four races at the Vereeniging oval this season and was beaten out by McCune in the fourth, he recognizes that Saturday's race at Midvale may be his toughest challenge yet.


"It's not going to be easy, because Jimmy is a very tough competitor!" said Roos, who will be the first South African national to compete in a Must See Racing event. "I'm just excited to have this opportunity to race in the United States and drive for my long-time friend. Jimmy and I ... we have always had very close battles and I am sure this race will be no different."


Though Roos has never seen the Midvale oval before, he did say he has been studying up as much as he can in advance of the race.


"I have spent plenty of time on Google trying to learn as much as I can for the race; I've asked Jimmy some questions but he wants to beat me just like I want to beat him so he hasn't told me everything," Roos laughed.


And what would the personable driver consider a successful debut with Must See Racing?


"You always come to a track with a want to win, but I want to just finish the race and hopefully we can have a top-10 or top-five run," Roos explained. "The last time I was here (in the U.S.) we were unable to finish, so I definitely want to cross the checkered flag this time around, for sure."


McCune enters the Midvale event, which is the only series stop in the state of Ohio this season, with a 55-point lead over National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jeff Bloom in the championship standings.


McCune's nephew Anthony sits a career-high third in points through four events, three back of Bloom.


Gates at Midvale Speedway open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, with hot laps kicking off at that time. Qualifying will roll off at 5 p.m., as the Must See Racing sprint cars take aim at the all-time Midvale track record, followed by racing action at 6:30 p.m.


For more information on Must See Racing, including driver and team news, points standings, results, schedule updates and more, visit www.mustseeracing.com.


--
Jacob Seelman
RaceChaserOnline.com, Managing Editor
Performance Motorsports Network, Radio Co-Host
Must See Racing, Series Announcer

Joe Speakman Excited For Must See Racing's Ohio Invasion

NEW PHILIDELPHIA, Ohio – When the 2017 Must See Racing Sprint Car Series schedule was first announced during the offseason, among those most excited about the tour's inaugural trip to Midvale Speedway was Richwood, Ohio veteran Joe Speakman.


After all, as his son and crew chief Braden put it, "It's less than four hours from our house!"

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Joe Speakman will race in front of his home state fans this weekend at Ohio's Midvale Speedway. (CSP/Chris Seelman photo)


With a smaller-budget, family-run race team, the Speakman family savors any chance they have to be able to race a little bit closer to home.


Not only will they get to accomplish that on Saturday during the inaugural Buckeye State Shootout, they'll be able to fly the state flag as one of several Ohio representatives running full-time in the series this season.


Alongside two-time defending champion Jimmy McCune and his nephew Anthony, along with fellow veteran Jerry Caryer, Speakman makes up part of a strong and committed Buckeye State contingent for the Midvale event, admitting that it is a little bit extra-sweet to be able to race in front of a home crowd.


"It's not just important because of the race being in Ohio, but it's important because we want to keep improving every race," said Speakman.


Driving a 1980s Shores Chassis that he modified years ago, Speakman has spent the early season fine-tuning the car, following a rebuild from a vicious crash at Shady Bowl Speedway last May.


Now, he feels like he and the team have found something going into their home race on Saturday.


"We're making a pretty big change to the top wing," Speakman explained. "The way it was, when I would slide it back it would get really steep. The new mounting brackets should make it more consistent as the wing slider moves it."


"I really feel like our Wasserbeck engine is right up there on power. I know we've got the right tools, so now it's just about getting better and meeting our goals."


Speakman enters the weekend tied for sixth in points with Caryer, with a best finish this season of seventh, scored last time out at Owosso Speedway on July 1.

His hope is to improve that mark by a handful of positions by the end of race day.


"Man, my goal this year has been to break into the top five," Speakman explained. "We got closer at Owosso, but we weren't quite there yet. The way I see it, there's no better place to check off that goal than in my home state."


Speakman adds that while it may not be obvious to outsiders, he and his car have made many strides compared to where they were last season.


"We have definitely been running faster lap times this year ... and doing so with two-race old tires," Speakman said. "Also, our finishes have improved. Part of that is just my getting used to running the 410, plus working with my setup. Thanks to Braden for his help. I love doing this but if he ever decided to quit, I would probably have to call it quits also. Racing is a family sport and I couldn't do this without him."


"I would also like to thank Jeff and Linda Bloom for making me feel comfortable to come and talk to Jeff for advice, or just to hang out and chat. Also a big thank you to Jim and Jimmy McCune for their help at the track, borrowing stuff from them and the helpful advice they give; it's all been a benefit to me this year."


Jimmy McCune enters the Midvale event, which is the only series stop in the state of Ohio this season, with a 55-point lead over National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Bloom in the championship standings.


McCune's nephew Anthony sits a career-high third in points through four events, three back of Bloom.


Gates at Midvale Speedway open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, with hot laps kicking off at that time. Qualifying will roll off at 5 p.m., as the Must See Racing sprint cars take aim at the all-time Midvale track record, followed by racing action at 6:30 p.m.


For more information on Must See Racing, including driver and team news, points standings, results, schedule updates and more, visit www.mustseeracing.com.

 

Jacob Seelman
RaceChaserOnline.com, Managing Editor
Performance Motorsports Network, Radio Co-Host
Must See Racing, Series Announcer

Middle Speedway July 15th 2017

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