2019 Fast Car Dash
Must See Racing Rookies Making An Early Impact
HOLLY, Mich. – It's only one race into the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series season, but the verdict is already in that the tour's deep rookie class is going to have a big impact throughout the year.
Not only did four of those rookie drivers finish inside the top 11 during the series' season-opening event at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway on May 4, but at least two of the quartet is looking to make a concerted run at rookie-of-the-year honors this season with the 410ci winged asphalt sprint car tour.
Indiana's Tyler Roahrig led the list with a fourth-place finish in the Must See Racing 50, piloting Wayne Stickney's No. 99 to a strong result in what was Roahrig's first winged event in three years.
Must See Racing rookies Tyler Roahrig (99) and Joe Liguori (13) battle at Anderson Speedway during the season opener. (David Sink photo)
While he isn't committed to a full season as of now, Roahrig has momentum and hopes to run the next race on the schedule at Berlin Raceway in June, meaning another big performance could go a long way.
"We're just doing things a race at a time right now," Roahrig noted. "I'm pleased with our Anderson result, even though I honestly think we had a car that could have run in the top three. We just got shuffled back there in traffic and couldn't quite get back what we lost, especially with the 8 (Anthony McCune) coming through there in the last few laps. We've got speed, though, and that's a positive."
Meanwhile, Tampa, Fla., native Joe Liguori is planning a full season with Must See Racing and found himself as high as a battle for second before fading back to fifth in the closing stages of the opener.
Liguori, who has run midgets and USAC Silver Crown cars for years but is new to winged sprint cars on pavement, was pleased with his run and hopes it marks the start of a consistent first season for him.
"We were pretty decent in the opener and I was happy with how we rolled out of the box," said Liguori. "It was fun to be up there battling for the lead, but we just got too free, especially after the long red flag that we had. It's a solid start, though ... a nice step in the right direction that we can build on."
Other standout performances from the Anderson opener included 16-year-old Trey Osborne, who ran eighth in Mike Blake's iconic No. 81 car in his first winged 410 race ever; and 14-year-old Brenden Torok, who took Dave Koyan's No. 99 entry into the top 10 before finishing 11th in his Must See Racing debut.
In all, nine of the 21 starters at Anderson were drivers who fit the Must See Racing rookie criteria, which states that a rookie-of-the-year contender must have four or less appearances with the series to be considered rookie eligible.
Tim Henthorne, Todd McQuillen, Rick Holley, North Carolina's Tony Grams and Joshua Sexton were also among the rookies in action during the Anderson Speedway event on May 4.
Looking ahead to the next stop on the calendar, Grassy Creek, N.C. pilot Ivan Shaver; former 305 driver Bobby Komisarski, also from North Carolina; and Jacob Dolinar, one of the nephews of four-time Must See Racing champion Jimmy McCune, are rookies expected to join the series field at Berlin in June.
Dolinar will pilot the No. 13 car run in previous Must See Racing outings by H.D. Carter.
Across the board, Must See Racing president Jim Hanks is encouraged by the strong car count from the season opener and the infusion of new faces taking their shot at building a resume in pavement sprint car racing.
"All of us at Must See Racing are very pleased by the momentum we built during our season opener and excited to see drivers like Tyler Roahrig, Joe Liguori and the rest of our rookie class doing battle with the veterans of our series," said Hanks. "They've already generated excitement and buzz with their impressive performances early on and we look forward to continuing to see their progression as the season continues."
The June 1 appearance by the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series at Berlin will mark round one of the Engine Pro Fast Car Dash, with round two of the bonus program set during the series' return to the seven-sixteenths-mile oval in Marne, Mich., in August.
The event will be taped for tape-delay broadcast on the award-winning SPEED SPORT series on MAVTV.
Support classes for the Berlin race include modifieds, super stocks and the VROA vintage modifieds.
For more information on Must See Racing, visit www.mustseeracing.com.
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
Jimmy McCune Rules Must See Racing Opener At Anderson
ANDERSON, Ind. – Four-time defending Must See Racing Sprint Car Series champion Jimmy McCune made one thing abundantly clear Saturday night at Anderson Speedway: he's not about to slow down.
McCune charged to his milestone 30th career Must See Racing victory and sixth at Anderson during the season-opening Must See Racing 50, firing past Tom Jewell on a lap-19 restart and never looking back.
The Toledo, Ohio veteran led the final 32 laps uncontested en route to his fourth-straight season-opening victory with the 410ci winged asphalt sprint car tour.
Jimmy McCune celebrates his Must See Racing victory Saturday night at Anderson Speedway. (Chris Seelman photo)
"I'm pretty dang pleased," said McCune, who started 10th. "We made a lot of changes over the winter, and this is one of the places where we knew we had to get better. We'd been so strong over the years, but just missed something last year and I think we got a lot of it back tonight, for sure."
Saturday night's marathon feature took more than an hour to complete the 50-lap distance, in part due to a 20-minute red flag with six laps complete for a track wrecker that was stuck deep in the mud in turn one, after steady morning rains drenched the already-saturated grounds.
Despite that delay, the racing on the track was fast and furious throughout the night.
Jewell and 16-year-old rookie Trey Osborne led the field to green from the front row, after engine issues for provisional polesitter Ryan Litt left the Canadian unable to take the start under power.
Osborne stumbled on the green flag, allowing Jewell to get away and pace the first four laps, before a spinning Tom Geren in turn three brought out the first caution of the night and bunched the field up.
That incident was followed two laps later by a hard crash between Christian Koehler and Joshua Sexton in turn one, eventually leading to the delay for the stuck wrecker.
Both Koehler and Sexton were uninjured in the crash, which occurred while the pair was racing for 12th.
Jewell held serve once racing finally resumed, while McCune – who was up to fifth at the time of the yellow – got up on the wheel and started making moves. He passed Tyler Roahrig for fourth on lap seven, then dispatched Geoff Kaiser for third on the 11th revolution with a dive in turn two.
A three-wide move in slower traffic gave McCune the second spot on lap 14, setting him up on Jewell's back bumper when Jerry Caryer smacked the outside wall off turn four to draw the third and final caution flag of the night with 18 laps in the books.
Jewell attempted to time the ensuing restart and get away from McCune, but McCune gave Jewell a shot in the back nerf bar that sent Jewell sideways, allowing McCune to duck to the inside and get away.
From there, it was all but over as McCune pulled away to a straightaway-plus advantage over the rest of the field, cruising to the twin checkers over a 32-lap, green-flag run to the finish.
"Unfortunately for him (Jewell), he likes to play with the starts," McCune noted. "I've told him not to do that, but he waited for me to thump him ... and he wrung the tires. I just ran on by after that."
McCune's nephew, Anthony McCune, powered past Jewell with an inside dive in turn four coming to three laps to go and hung on for second. The run tied the 21-year-old's highest Must See Racing finish.
"This was a really good night; we just started really far back and had to pick our way through the field," said Anthony McCune. "Jimmy got a really good start, got ahead of me and passed cars way before I could. That was the difference tonight, but I'm pleased with our effort tonight."
Jewell completed the podium and lamented the restart where he lost the lead, but still carried a smile after a strong run to open the season.
"If we keep running like this, a win will come," Jewell noted. "Gene (Fogel, car owner), had it dialed in. You always want to win, but we'll take this one. ... Jimmy just flat hit me, anticipating my start. I'm not really mad at him; it just happened. We'll learn from all this and come back stronger next time."
Roahrig and Joe Liguori, a pair of rookie-of-the-year contenders, were fourth and fifth, respectively.
RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Anderson Speedway; May 4, 2019
1-800-RADIATOR A-Feature (50 laps): 1. #88 – Jimmy McCune , 2. #8 – Anthony McCune , 3. #7 – Tom Jewell , 4. #99s – Tyler Roahrig , 5. #13 – Joe Liguori , 6. #10N – Geoff Kaiser , 7. #9s – Charlie Schultz , 8. #81 – Trey Osborne , 9. #71 – Brian Vaughn , 10. #11g – Tom Geren , 11. #99k – Brenden Torok , 12. #15t – Tim Henthorne , 13. #4L – Anthony Linkenhoker , 14. #32 – Todd McQuillen , 15. #26 – Jeff Bloom , 16. #75c – Jerry Caryer , 17. #85 – Rick Holley , 18. #22 – Tony Grams , 19. #51s – Joshua Sexton , 20. #10k – Christian Koehler , 21. #07L – Ryan Litt .
Lap Leader(s): Tom Jewell 1-18, Jimmy McCune 19-50.
Hard Charger: #71 – Brian Vaughn (+12)
Hamilton Trucking Time Trials (best of two laps): 1. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 11.006 seconds; 2. #9s – Charlie Schultz, 11.047 seconds; 3. #8 – Anthony McCune, 11.075 seconds; 4. #10n – Geoff Kaiser, 11.075 seconds; 5. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 11.095 seconds; 6. #13 – Joe Liguori, 11.179 seconds; 7. #99s – Tyler Roahrig, 11.207 seconds; 8. #7 – Tom Jewell, 11.217 seconds; 9. #81 – Trey Osborne, 11.268 seconds; 10. #07L – Ryan Litt, 11.361 seconds; 11. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 11.414 seconds; 12. #10k – Christian Koehler, 11.657 seconds; 13. #51s – Joshua Sexton, 11.878 seconds; 14. #85 – Rick Holley, 12.019 seconds; 15. #32 – Todd McQuillen, 12.328 seconds; 16. #22 – Tony Grams, 12.401 seconds; 17. #11g – Tom Geren, 12.421 seconds; 18. #15t – Tim Henthorne, 12.443 seconds; 19. #99k – Brendan Torok, 12.629 seconds; 20. #4L – Anthony Linkenhoker, 13.098 seconds; 21. #71 – Brian Vaughn, NT.
Heat #1 (10 laps): 1. Tony Grams , 2. Brenden Torok , 3. Tim Henthorne , 4. Todd McQuillen , 5. Anthony Linkenhoker , 6. Tom Geren , 7. Brian Vaughn (DNS).
Heat #2 (10 laps): 1. Ryan Litt , 2. Jerry Caryer , 3. Trey Osborne , 4. Tom Jewell , 5. Joshua Sexton , 6. Rick Holley , 7. Christian Koehler .
Heat #3 (10 laps): 1. Jeff Bloom , 2. Charlie Schultz , 3. Joe Liguori , 4. Jimmy McCune , 5. Tyler Roahrig , 6. Anthony McCune , 7. Geoff Kaiser .
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
Jimmy McCune Keeps Rolling With Anderson MSR Fast Time
ANDERSON, Ind. – Jimmy McCune kept his dream of sweeping Saturday's Must See Racing Sprint Car Series opener alive by rolling to the fastest lap in Hamilton Trucking Time Trials at Anderson Speedway.
The four-time and defending series champion, who was the final driver to qualify among the 21-car field, toured the quarter-mile, high-banked oval in 11.006 seconds (81.774 mph) with the familiar No. 88 Abe's Auto Parts/B&B Machinery Movers/Rev-X Oil sprinter.
Jimmy McCune at speed on Saturday at Anderson Speedway. (Jacob Seelman photo)
"The car is good," McCune said. "We changed some things from last year to hopefully fix some of our struggles on the short tracks, and I feel like we're closer. Hopefully we made the right changes for tonight's heat race and feature, but it's been an extremely chilly day and challenging, as well. The track is cold and doesn't have a lot of grip.
"We've fought that and tried to find the happy spot, but this is a good start, for sure."
Saturday evening's effort marked McCune's ninth Must See Racing Fast Time Award and his fourth at Anderson, a track where he's won five times before in his Must See Racing career.
That success and familiarity lends itself to a level of comfort, McCune noted.
"This is one of my favorite places to come to, so that's always a plus," he said. "I love racing this joint."
Charlie Schultz, who McCune bumped from the top spot right at the end of qualifying, ended up second-fastest and just .041 seconds off of the pole time.
Anthony McCune, Jimmy McCune's nephew, followed in third. Geoff Kaiser and Jeff Bloom followed in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Joe Liguori, Tyler Roahrig, Tom Jewell, Trey Osborne and Canadian Ryan Litt completed the top 10.
Racing at Anderson Speedway is slated to kick off shortly after 8:15 p.m. local time.
QUALIFYING RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Anderson Speedway; May 4, 2019
1. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 11.006 seconds
2. #9s – Charlie Schultz, 11.047 seconds
3. #8 – Anthony McCune, 11.075 seconds
4. #10n – Geoff Kaiser, 11.075 seconds
5. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 11.095 seconds
6. #13 – Joe Liguori, 11.179 seconds
7. #99s – Tyler Roahrig, 11.207 seconds
8. #7 – Tom Jewell, 11.217 seconds
9. #81 – Trey Osborne, 11.268 seconds
10. #07L – Ryan Litt, 11.361 seconds
11. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 11.414 seconds
12. #10k – Christian Koehler, 11.657 seconds
13. #51s – Joshua Sexton, 11.878 seconds
14. #85 – Rick Holley, 12.019 seconds
15. #32 – Todd McQuillen, 12.328 seconds
16. #22 – Tony Grams, 12.401 seconds
17. #11g – Tom Geren, 12.421 seconds
18. #15t – Tim Henthorne, 12.443 seconds
19. #99k – Brendan Torok, 12.629 seconds
20. #4L – Anthony Linkenhoker, 13.098 seconds
21. #71 – Brian Vaughn, NT
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
- Jimmy McCune Sweeps Saturday Must See Practice At Anderson
- Roahrig Finds Fun Factor In Return To Winged Sprint Car Racing
- Fifteen Teams On-Site During Must See Sprint Practice At Anderson
- Torok Eager For Must See Sprint Debut At Anderson
- Loaded Rookie Class Set For Must See Sprint Opener
- Must See Sprint Season Set To Ignite At Anderson In May
- April 2019 TV Alert
- SPEED SPORT & Must See Racing Renew Television Partnership
- Must See Sprints Book Return to Owosso Speedway
- The Border Wars