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Birthday Boy Jimmy McCune Wins MSR Sprint At Birch Run

Photos credit to CSP/Chris Seelman

BIRCH RUN, Mich. – Anthony McCune may have dominated Friday night's American Racer Invitational at Birch Run Speedway, but Jimmy McCune was not to be denied in the closing stages of the 30-lap feature.

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The uncle passed his 19-year-old nephew on a late-race restart in the non-points special event, leading the final six circuits around the four-tenths-mile oval for his seventh series win of the year.

Of note, Jimmy McCune becomes the second Must See Racing driver to win on his birthday, following Chris Neuenschwander, who accomplished the same feat at Kalamazoo Speedway last August.

"Man, we had to work for this one," said Jimmy McCune in victory lane. "We were horrible for most of the night. We made every change in the book, it felt like, and it took us forever to find something that worked. Finally, in the heat race, I was able to start working the top ... and we were just a little too snug."

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"That top groove was where it was at in the feature. We could make it work well. I just can't believe the year we're having, man. (Seven wins) is unbelievable."

As Anthony McCune led the first 24 laps from the outside pole, Jimmy McCune used traffic to his advantage after rising from fifth on the grid, taking second from Doug Dietsch on lap 10 and cutting a near-three second deficit down to mere car lengths inside of 10 to go as Anthony struggled through traffic.

Just as Jimmy was making the winning pass in Turns 3 and 4 around Anthony's outside, the caution flag flew coming to five to go for the spinning cars of Kyle Edwards and Christian Koehler – who started from the pole after an invert pill of 10 – on the frontstretch.

With scoring reverting back to the last fully-completed lap, Anthony reassumed the lead for a single-file restart, with Jimmy chasing as the field returned under the green flag with six laps to run.

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Anthony remained glued to the bottom as Jimmy attacked the center groove of the race track, drawing even before another caution flew for the slowing car of Derek Snyder on the backstretch.

That set up another restart with six to go, and the second verse was the same as the first, with Jimmy using the same move to complete the pass and take a commanding lead by the time the five-to-go signal came down from the flagstand.

But the two-time champion's night wasn't quite done, as Snyder spun on the frontstretch as flagman J.D. Wilbur was set to unfurl the twin checkers, setting up a green-white-checkered restart that saw Jimmy McCune run off into the Michigan night.

Anthony McCune settled for his second runner-up finish of the year by .940 of a second, but admitted he could taste the possibility of his first-career win as the laps wound down.

"I wanted that first win," he said wistfully. "I thought we had a great shot at it ... but I knew somebody would be coming (from behind) eventually. I didn't want to see that caution; I thought maybe I could have held him off without it, but it's still a great night for us. I've just got to keep following him (Jimmy) and keep learning, and hopefully that first win will come soon."

Jason Blonde drove from seventh to complete the podium in third, followed by Jacob Wilson and Ryan Gillenwater.

In time trials, former supermodified ace Kyle Edwards scored his first-career Abe's Auto Parts Fast Time Award with a lap of 12.980 seconds (110.940 mph) around the four-tenths-mile oval.

Tom Jewell, Wilson and Gillenwater won their respective eight-lap heat races.

Friday night's event marked the inaugural appearance by Must See Racing at the recently-reopened Birch Run facility, which was purchased by Andy Suski and heavily remodeled before the start of the season.

RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Birch Run Speedway; Aug. 26, 2017

1-800-RADIATOR A-Feature (30 laps): 1. #88 – Jimmy McCune [5]; 2. #8 – Anthony McCune [2]; 3. #42 – Jason Blonde [7]; 4. #07W – Jacob Wilson [3]; 5. #45 – Ryan Gillenwater [8]; 6. #9s – Charlie Schultz [6]; 7. #0 – Doug Dietsch [4]; 8. #11 – Kyle Edwards [1]; 9. #35 – Chris Randolph [14]; 10. #98 – Kevin Feeney [12]; 11. #7 – Tom Jewell [13]; 12. #22 – Derek Snyder [9]; 13. #10k – Christian Koehler [1]; 14. #00 – Joey Irwin [15]; 15. #26 – Jeff Bloom [11]; 16. #8A – Adam Biltz [16]; 17. #13 – H.D. Carter [17] (DNS).

Lap Leader(s): A. McCune 1-24; J. McCune 25-30.

Hard Charger: #35 – Chris Randolph (+5)

Abe's Auto Parts Time Trials: 1. #11 – Kyle Edwards, 12.980; 2. #22 – Derek Snyder, 12.997; 3. #45 – Ryan Gillenwater, 13.132; 4. #42 – Jason Blonde, 13.153; 5. #9s – Charlie Schultz, 13.209; 6. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 13.216; 7. #0 – Doug Dietsch, 13.261; 8. #07 – Jacob Wilson, 13.272; 9. #8 – Anthony McCune, 13.537; 10. #10k – Christian Koehler, 13.649; 11. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 13.733; 12. #98 – Kevin Feeney, 13.749; 13. #7 – Tom Jewell, 13.752; 14. #35 – Chris Randolph, 14.058; 15. #00 – Joey Irwin, 15.207; 16. #8A – Adam Biltz, 15.209; 17. #13 – H.D. Carter, 16.285

Abe's Auto Parts First Heat (8 laps): 1. Tom Jewell (3), 2. Kevin Feeney (4), 3. Chris Randolph (2), 4. Joey Irwin (1), 5. Adam Biltz (5, DNS); 6. H.D. Carter (6, DNS).

B&B Machinery Movers Second Heat (8 laps): 1. Jacob Wilson (2); 2. Jimmy McCune (4); 3. Anthony McCune (1); 4. Christian Koehler (5); 5. Jeff Bloom (6); 6. Doug Dietsch (3).

RAM Engineering Midwest Third Heat (8 laps): 1. Ryan Gillenwater (2); 2. Jason Blonde (1); 3. Kyle Edwards (4); 4. Charlie Schultz (5); 5. Derek Snyder (3).

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

McCune Staying The Course; Birch Run Up Next For MSR Sprints


BIRCH RUN, Mich. -- Anticipation is at an all-time high ahead of the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series' inaugural appearance at Birch Run Speedway this Friday night, Aug. 25.

The American Racer Invitational will mark the series' lone non-points event of the year and will pit some of the Midwest's premier 410ci asphalt winged sprint car drivers against one another in a dash for a checkered flag and bragging rights over the rest of the competition.

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With no points on the line, the pressure of the championship chase may be off, but it doesn't make the upcoming event any less important for two-time defending MSR champion Jimmy McCune.

"You always want to win, and we always go to the race track aiming for the victory, no matter what the circumstances are," McCune said. "Just because there's no points on the line ... our approach has to stay the same, and we plan for it to be that way this weekend. It's certainly won us our share of races up to now."

"Birch Run is a great track, and there's a lot of us who were really pleased to see it reopen. I'm glad we've gotten a date there and I'm looking forward to hitting the track Friday night and chasing another victory."

McCune enters Birch Run boasting a series-record six wins on the season, with no finishes worse than second in 10 series races and a 97-point lead over nephew Anthony in the point standings, as he chases a record-setting third consecutive championship.

Formerly known as Dixie Motor Speedway, recent renovations and updates to the four-tenths-mile oval by new owner Andy Suski have turned Birch Run into one of Michigan's premier short tracks.

The American Racer Invitational will feature a full program of time trials and heat races, capped off by a 30-lap main event.

In two special twists for the night, qualified teams will receive a free right rear tire for the event, and unlike in most MSR races (where teams must use the same right rear tire for the whole night), there will be no limit on the number of right rear tires that can be used at Birch Run for the invitational.

The Midwest Compact Touring Series and pro late models will accompany the Must See Racing sprint cars on the racing card for the American Racer Invitational.

Pit gates on race day at Birch Run will open at 2 p.m., with hot laps rolling off at 4:00 and qualifying taking place at 6:30. The racing program begins at 7:30, following opening ceremonies.

For more information on Birch Run Speedway, visit the track's new website at

For more information on Must See Racing, including driver and team news, race results, schedule updates, rules information and more, visit

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

MSR at Birch Run Speedway August 25th

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Gerster Captures Engine Pro Fast Car Slash At Berlin

MARNE, Mich. – Brian Gerster used a wire-to-wire performance to capture the 30-lap Engine Pro Fast Car Slash at Berlin Raceway Saturday night, starting from the pole and never looking back en route to his third Must See Racing Sprint Car Series win of the season.

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Gerster earned the prime starting position after winning the eight-lap Pole Slash earlier in the evening, charging from sixth to win the sprint and saying later on that it was a "turning point" in his team's night.

"The way I look at it is we came from sixth to win this deal tonight," Gerster said. "Track position wasn't everything ... but it was a big part of allowing us to do this tonight. We came from the third row and won, it was just that the feature was split into two parts."

The two-time series champion then added that the Dick Myers-owned No. 50m was arguably "the best it's been all season" as far as on-track performance was concerned.

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"We were solid all might long," Gerster explained. "Before this car crashed last year, it wanted some different things setup-wise that we've still been trying to work out, but it was as close (to where it was) as we've been and that's a credit to Dick Myers and Rick Ferguson. It feels good to take one back from that Toledo mafia tonight."

An early caution on the opening lap, after Bronzie Lawson IV spun exiting Turn 4 and slapped the outside wall on the frontstretch, set up a restart with Jimmy McCune on Gerster's tail tank, but after that lapped traffic became the key to Gerster's success.

He opened up as much as a second and a half on McCune before the next yellow flag flew with 13 to go, when Teddy Alberts spun to the bottom of Turn 4, and the same song and dance repeated itself with five to go after Jerry Caryer slowed to a stop on the backstretch and triggered the final caution.

Though McCune had been closing on Gerster slightly in traffic before the last yellow, he was trapped behind the lapped car of Kevin Feeney and lost just enough time when green flag conditions resumed to be able to make a run for the win.

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"We just didn't have quite enough tonight," McCune said. "I was running him down and then the yellow came out. I didn't want to see it ... but what can you do? That's racing."

May Berlin winner Jason Blonde was third ahead of Bobby Santos, who crossed the line on the podium but was docked one position after review of a procedural violation on the final restart.

Doug Dietsch finished a strong fifth, with Derek Snyder, Anthony McCune, Charlie Schultz, Kevin Feeney and Tom Jewell making up the balance of the top 10.

The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series returns to action on Aug. 25, with the non-points American Racer Invitational at Michigan's Birch Run Speedway and Event Center.


RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Berlin Raceway; Aug. 19, 2017

1-800-RADIATOR A-Feature (30 laps): 1. #50m – Brian Gerster (1); 2. #88 – Jimmy McCune (2);  3. #42 – Jason Blonde (7); 4. #22a – Bobby Santos (3); 5. #0 – Doug Dietsch (4); 6. #22 – Derek Snyder (5); 7. #8 – Anthony McCune (15); 8. #9s – Charlie Schultz (6); 9. #98 – Kevin Feeney (12); 10. #7 – Tom Jewell (13); 11. #8A – Adam Biltz (11); 12. #10k – Christian Koehler (10); 13. #75c – Jerry Caryer (8); 14. #44a – Teddy Alberts (9); 15. #13 – H.D. Carter (17); 16. #72s – Joe Speakman (14); 17. #4B – Bronzie Lawson IV (16); 18. #35 – Chris Randolph (18, DNS).

Abe's Auto Parts Time Trials: 1. #22a – Bobby Santos, 12.913; 2. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 12.914; 3. #50m – Brian Gerster, 13.080; 4. #22 – Derek Snyder, 13.337; 5. #42 – Jason Blonde, 13.377; 6. #0 – Doug Dietsch, 13.659; 7. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 13.818; 8. #9s – Charlie Schultz, 13.865; 9. #44A – Teddy Alberts, 13.950; 10. #10k – Christian Koehler, 14.151; 11. #8A – Adam Biltz, 14.301; 12. #98 – Kevin Feeney, 14.337; 13. #7 – Tom Jewell, 14.424; 14. #72s – Joe Speakman, 14.633; 15. #8 – Anthony McCune, 14.803; 16. #B4 – Bronzie Lawson IV, 14.844; 17. #13 – H.D. Carter, 19.592; 18. #35 – Chris Randolph, NT.

Abe's Auto Parts First Heat (8 laps): 1. Anthony McCune (2); 2. Bronzie Lawson IV (1); 3. Tom Jewell (4); 4. Joe Speakman (3); 5. H.D. Carter (5); 6. Chris Randolph (6, DNS).

B&B Machinery Movers Second Heat (8 laps): 1. Teddy Alberts (2); 2. Christian Koehler (1); 3. Kevin Feeney (6); 4. Charlie Schultz (3); 5. Jerry Caryer (4); 6. Adam Biltz (5).

RAM Engineering Midwest Third Heat (8 laps): 1. Derek Snyder (1); 2. Brian Gerster (2); 3. Bobby Santos (4); 4. Jimmy McCune (3); 5. Jason Blonde (5); 6. Doug Dietsch (6).

Engine Pro Fast Car Slash (8 laps, set first four rows of feature lineup): 1. Brian Gerster (6); 2. Jimmy McCune (7); 3. Bobby Santos (8); 4. Doug Dietsch (6) / 5. Derek Snyder (5); 6. Charlie Schultz (1); 7. Jason Blonde (4); 8. Jerry Caryer (2).

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