Border Wars Notebook: Sandusky Heartbreak For Schultz
SANDUSKY, Ohio – The Border Wars doubleheader produced multiple storylines across the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series field, but none was as heartbreaking as Charlie Schultz's Sunday misfortune.
Schultz was scheduled to start second at Sandusky Speedway for the matinee finale to the two-day weekend, but after initially being pushed off for the 30-lap feature, his car sputtered to a stop at the entrance to the third turn.
Charlie Schultz at speed at Sandusky Speedway on Sunday. (Jacob Seelman photo)
Two additional attempts to refire the car were unsuccessful, and Schultz was ultimately pushed silently back to the work area – and eventually his pit stall – to the disappointment of all the local fans.
A past champion of the now-defunct Midwest Supermodified Ass'n in 2010 and native of nearby Lorain, Ohio, Schultz had more laps around Sandusky than any other driver in attendance and figured to be a player in the race – had he been able to start it, that is.
The fact that he was forced to watch the main event at his home track from the grandstands was disheartening for Schultz, to put it lightly.
"It sucks," he clarified at the end of the night. "I'm not saying we would have won the thing – there's no way to know that – but I definitely feel like we would have run (inside the) top five pretty easily. I knew we had the handle on it pretty well and we knew what we had to do, I think, to make a run at it.
"I'm not sure if it was the ignition, or the mag (magneto), or a switch ... but something electrical wasn't working right and it put us out tonight," Schultz added. "It's just a downer, because you want to come to your home track and run well ... and we never even got a chance to show what we could do in this one."
Schultz's issue also dropped him out of the top two in points, after Jimmy McCune won the Sunday race.
– Ryan Litt's season of heartbreak continued Sunday afternoon, after the Canadian led a race-high 22 laps but was passed by Jimmy McCune with eight to go, relegating him to a runner-up finish.
It was the second time this season, following a similar occurrence at Birch Run Speedway in July, that Litt has led the most laps in a Must See Racing event and failed to take the checkered flag first.
In an ironic coincidence, Litt also finished second at Birch Run, though that loss was to Jason Blonde.
"It's not necessarily what you want to be known for," Litt noted. "We just want to close one out."
Litt was even scheduled to start from the pole during the season opener at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway in May, but fuel flow issues prevented him from taking the green flag in that event.
– Indiana's Tyler Roahrig returned to the Stickney Racing Team No. 99 on Sunday at Sandusky, one night after winning a non-winged 410ci sprint car event at Baer Field (Ind.) Motorsports Park.
With Saturday's Owosso winner Brian Gerster also in the Sunday field, it made for a day in which the two most-recent pavement sprint car winners were racing against one another on the same track.
Gerster finished third on Sunday at Sandusky, while Roahrig was fifth at the checkered flag.
– Series rookie Bobby Komisarski had a solid weekend, winning both his heat races on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The North Carolina hotshoe, a former 305 regular and Carolina Sprint Tour champion, has started to wrap his arms around the 410ci engine package over the course of four starts this year.
"We're not where we want to be yet, but we're definitely making progress," Komisarski said. "The additional power is fun for me and Must See is a great series. I'll tell you what, I'm glad we decided to do this deal, because we're having a blast so far."
– Veteran Jason Blonde and rookie Brenden Torok tied for hard-charger honors on Sunday at Sandusky, with both drivers advancing six positions during the 30-lap feature event.
The tiebreaker was on final finishing position, with Blonde's sixth-place run giving him the nod over Torok's solid 12th-place effort.
Torok did boast, however, the highest-finishing 602 crate-engined car in the field at Sandusky.
– Remarkably, the Must See Racing season is only half over, with five races now complete and five more features still scheduled to be run between now and mid-October.
Part of the odd schedule comes thanks to a two-month weather hiatus. Rain forced a pair of rainouts in June and left the Must See sprint cars idle from early May through early July.
– The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series travels next to Michigan's Berlin Raceway for a return visit on Sept. 7. The earlier visit to the seven-sixteenths-mile oval, back on Aug. 10, was won by Jimmy McCune.
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Speakman Released From Hospital After Sandusky Shunt
SANDUSKY, Ohio – Driver Joe Speakman was checked and released from an area hospital following an on-track incident during the third heat race of Sunday's Border Wars event at Sandusky Speedway.
David Sink Photo
Speakman, who started on the pole of the eight-lap heat, led the field to green for the second attempt at the start when he and Mike McVetta made contact on the approach to turn one.
The contact sent both cars off the racing line, with McVetta's car going straight off the outside of the first turn and ending up against a tree beyond the banking, while Speakman's machine caught air before coming down on the frame and coasting to a stop in the middle of turns one and two.
Speakman was conscious, alert and talking to medical personnel as he was extricated from his car, but was complaining of lower back pain and taken by ambulance to the hospital for further evaluation as a precaution.
Later in the evening, Speakman confirmed to Must See Racing officials that he had been released from medical care to return home to Richwood, Ohio, and noted that a CT scan conducted at the hospital showed no broken bones or fractures from his shunt.
McVetta was able to exit his car under his own power and returned to the pits following the incident.
Jacob Seelman photo
His crew was able to make repairs in time for McVetta to start the feature, but the reigning Midwest Supermodified Series champion had to pull in after completing just five laps and finished 20th.
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McCune Rallies Back To Win Sandusky Must See Sprint
SANDUSKY, Ohio – After a solo spin during the Saturday portion of Border Wars weekend, four-time Must See Racing Sprint Car Series champion Jimmy McCune came into Sandusky Speedway fired up.
That fire was rewarded Sunday evening with a victory during the Border Wars finale, after a late-race pass of race-long leader Ryan Litt gave McCune his third win in five races this season.
Jimmy McCune (88) leads Ryan Litt Sunday afternoon at Sandusky Speedway. (David Sink photo)
A caution with 10 to go, for fluid from the ailing car of Bobby Komisarski, set up the winning move. Following a lap-21 restart, McCune charged from third to the lead in just two circuits, with a turn-three slide job giving the Toledo, Ohio native a lead he wouldn't relinquish.
McCune paced the final eight circuits for his 32nd career Must See Racing triumph, extending his own all-time series record.
To make the day even more special, he was celebrating his 44th birthday as well, becoming the first driver to win on his birthday twice in Must See Racing competition.
"How about that, huh? Happy birthday to me," McCune said in victory lane. "That's a little redemption for last night after I spun out. I hadn't done that in about 10 years, so I had a job (to do) and we had a really fast race car to do it with. We had a really fast race car last night, too; we just had to go to the tail come back up through there.
"A second last night, and a win and quick time today on my birthday? I'll take that," he smiled. "I think it's time for a Captain (Morgan). I wish I had some, but we've got to go home and get ready for Berlin."
Though McCune's nephew Anthony led the field to green from the pole after a six inversion, it was Litt who got the jump on the initial start from the outside pole – a position gifted to him when scheduled second-starter Charlie Schultz was unable to start the feature due to electrical issues on the pace laps.
From there, Litt took off like a rocketship, weaving deftly in and out of traffic lap after lap and holding the determined advances of Brian Gerster at bay for 20 hair-raising laps before the game-changing caution brought out by Komisarski's issue, later determined to be a broken radiator hose.
That put Gerster and McCune on Litt's tail tank for the lone restart of the night, and though the Canadian nailed the green flag to get away briefly, McCune tossed out his fish-hook and reeled Litt in.
McCune dove past Gerster on the outside with nine to go to take over second, then changed lanes for the winning pass the next time around and left Litt to deal with the heartbreak of a runner-up finish.
"Man, these nights bite," admitted Litt, who led a race-high 22 laps. "I thought my car was pretty good. It was a little bit loose off, but the 88 (Jimmy McCune) is just on another level right now. We're all trying to figure out what he's doing and catch up to him. Whatever he's doing, we've got to start doing.
"We were good tonight, just not good enough when it counted the most."
Jimmy McCune celebrates in victory lane at Sandusky Speedway. (Jacob Seelman photo)
Gerster completed the podium and entertained the fans after the race with his imitation of Litt in a faux interview before Litt's proper runner-up conversation on the front straightaway.
Anthony McCune and Tyler Roahrig crossed the line fourth and fifth, respectively.
RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Sandusky Speedway; Aug. 25, 2019
Hamilton Trucking Time Trials (best of two laps): 1. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 15.266; 2. #50M – Brian Gerster, 15.384; 3. #99s – Tyler Roahrig, 15.446; 4. #07L – Ryan Litt, 15.473; 5. #9s – Charlie Schultz, 15.517; 6. #8 – Anthony McCune, 15.573; 7. #8a – Adam Biltz 15.635; 8. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 15.649; 9. #7 – Tom Jewell, 15.705; 10. #7k – Mike McVetta, 15.877; 11. #13 – Joe Liguori, 15.913; 12. #6k – Kevin Feeney, 16.007; 13. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 16.081; 14. #42 – Jason Blonde, 16.163; 15. #17 – Bobby Komisarski, 16.252; 16. #72s – Joe Speakman, 16.355; 17. #13d – Jacob Dolinar 16.378; 18. #85 – Rick Holley, 16.567; 19. #51 – Joshua Sexton, 16.825; 20. #90k – Joey Wyckoff, 16.866; 21. #99k – Brenden Torok, 17.054; 22. #32 – Todd McQuillen, 17.423; 23. #15 – Tim Henthorne, 17.453
Abe's Auto Parts Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Bobby Komisarski , 2. Tyler Roahrig , 3. Kevin Feeney , 4. Tom Jewell , 5. Anthony McCune , 6. Rick Holley , 7. Brenden Torok .
Abe's Auto Parts Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Jason Blonde , 2. Brian Gerster , 3. Jerry Caryer , 4. Charlie Schultz , 5. Joe Liguori , 6. Jacob Dolinar , 7. Joey Wyckoff , 8. Tim Henthorne .
Abe's Auto Parts Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. Ryan Litt , 2. Adam Biltz , 3. Jimmy McCune , 4. Jeff Bloom , 5. Joshua Sexton , 6. Todd McQuillen , 7. Joe Speakman , 8. Mike McVetta .
Border Wars A-Feature (30 laps): 1. Jimmy McCune , 2. Ryan Litt , 3. Brian Gerster , 4. Anthony McCune , 5. Tyler Roahrig , 6. Jason Blonde , 7. Joe Liguori , 8. Jerry Caryer , 9. Adam Biltz , 10. Tom Jewell , 11. Kevin Feeney , 12. Brenden Torok , 13. Joey Wycoff , 14. Joshua Sexton , 15. Rick Holley , 16. Todd McQuillen , 17. Tim Henthorne , 18. Bobby Komisarski , 19. Jeff Bloom , 20. Mike McVetta , 21. Jacob Dolinar . 22. Charlie Schultz (DNS).
Lap Leader(s): Ryan Litt 1-22, Jimmy McCune 23-30.
Hard Charger: #42 – Jason Blonde (+6)
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Jimmy McCune Rekindles Qualifying Prowess At Sandusky
SANDUSKY, Ohio – Jimmy McCune has been counting points ever since a rare engine failure in July relegated him to the role of the pursuer in the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series championship hunt.
Jimmy McCune poses with son Jimmy IV after topping Must See Racing qualifying at Sandusky Speedway on Sunday. (Jacob Seelman photo)
McCune picked up 10 of those valuable points Sunday afternoon at Sandusky Speedway, topping Hamilton Trucking Time Trials for the finale of Border Wars weekend.
The four-time defending series champion toured the flat half-mile in 15.266 seconds (117.909 mph) with his No. 88 Abe's Auto Parts & Sales/ B&B Machinery Movers/Rev-X Oil sprinter to lead a 23-car field.
Sunday's effort was the 10th Hamilton Trucking Fast Time Award of McCune's career, third all-time.
"The car was definitely fast there," said McCune. "We went home after last night, because I was pretty disgusted with the way the car was after we spun out ... and just got to working on it because that's not anything that usually happens to me, especially with that race car. So we went home and worked for four or five hours last night and this morning, stripped it down and put it back together.
"So far, it's paid off really well. That was a consistent lap we laid down in qualifying."
McCune's longtime rival, Brian Gerster, was second-quick (15.384/117.005) with the No. 50m RAM Engineering Midwest entry for Dick Myers Racing, followed by Tyler Roahrig and Canadian Ryan Litt.
Charlie Schultz, a local favorite and former Midwest Supermodified Ass'n, completed the top five.
Anthony McCune qualified sixth, followed by Adam Biltz, Jerry Caryer, Tom Jewell and Mike McVetta.
Racing at Sandusky Speedway is scheduled to kick off shortly after 6:30 p.m.
QUALIFYING RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Sandusky Speedway; Aug. 25, 2019
#88 – Jimmy McCune, 15.266
#50M – Brian Gerster, 15.384
#99s – Tyler Roahrig, 15.446
#07L – Ryan Litt, 15.473
#9s – Charlie Schultz, 15.517
#8 – Anthony McCune, 15.573
#8a – Adam Biltz 15.635
#75c – Jerry Caryer, 15.649
#7 – Tom Jewell, 15.705
#7k – Mike McVetta, 15.877
#13 – Joe Liguori, 15.913
#6k – Kevin Feeney, 16.007
#26 – Jeff Bloom, 16.081
#42 – Jason Blonde, 16.163
#17 – Bobby Komisarski, 16.252
#72s – Joe Speakman, 16.355
#13d – Jacob Dolinar 16.378
#85 – Rick Holley, 16.567
#51 – Joshua Sexton, 16.825
#90k – Joey Wyckoff, 16.866
#99k – Brenden Torok, 17.054
#32 – Todd McQuillen, 17.423
#15 – Tim Henthorne, 17.453
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
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- Anthony McCune Tops Owosso Must See Practice
- The Border Wars
- McCune Rebounds For Must See Victory At Berlin
- Gerster Picks Up Must See Racing Fast Time At Berlin
- Berlin Up Next For Must See Sprints
- Reiser & Schultz Keeping Busy; Sandusky Welcomes MSR Sprints On Aug. 25
- 2019 Fast Car Dash - August 10th