Jimmy McCune Hits Must See Racing Milestone With Season-Opening Win
PHOTOS CREDIT TO: CSP/Chris Seelman
WILLIAMSTON, S.C. – At the end of a marathon night that was anything but easy, Jimmy McCune cruised to his milestone 25th Must See Racing Sprint Car Series win at Anderson Motor Speedway.
McCune led all 50 laps for the second year running, completing a hat trick of victories at the three-eighths-mile South Carolina oval. The three-time defending series champion has now led 139 consecutive laps at AMS in Must See Racing competition, winning in each of the last three years.
Though McCune made his performance look effortless, he had to endure a six-caution epic that included a fuel stop with three laps left, as well as nurse an ailing motor to the finish before he could take home the spoils of victory in the winner's circle.
"I've never been through a race that crazy. I didn't think we were going to be able to weather that storm, to be honest with you," said McCune. "At lap 14 or 15, the motor dropped a cylinder and all those restarts we had just killed me. I had no power up off the corners and I was nervous. I didn't know what we had ... but we had enough to hold on."
McCune jumped to the lead from the outside pole on the initial start, pacing the first 18 circuits uninterrupted before the caution flag waved for the first time.
After that, chaos erupted into a flurry of incidents that saw challengers like fast qualifier Johnny Bridges, Aaron Pierce and Florida top gun John Inman all fall from contention due to various issues.
Bridges and Pierce both ran out of fuel with four laps left, while Inman tangled with Tom Jewell in turn three with three to go, sparking the night's final slowdown. That caution eventually went red for refueling as well.
None of that was any consequence to McCune, however, as he pulled away from Shane Butler on the final restart despite his motor issues and crossed under the twin checkered flags 1.191 seconds in front.
Butler came home second in his first Must See Racing appearance, pleased with his opening night performance.
"I just didn't get a good enough run up off the corner on that last restart," explained Butler. "My car was so much better on long runs and we didn't really have one there at the end that I could work with. Catching Aaron (Pierce) and then Jimmy on those long runs was what we needed; we just didn't have enough time. We'll take second against a field of great race car drivers and try to do it again at Hickory."
McCune's nephew Anthony completed the podium in third, followed by National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jeff Bloom, who was the last car on the lead lap in fourth.
Former MSA supermodified ace Charlie Schultz completed the top five finishers.
In Hamilton Trucking Time Trials, Bridges came within eight one-thousandths of a second of breaking his own track record, posting a time of 13.048 seconds (103.464 mph) around the three-eighths-mile Anderson oval and earning $100 for his efforts.
The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series continues its two-race Carolina doubleheader at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway on April 21, where McCune is the three-time defending race winner.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Anderson Motor Speedway; April 20, 2018
Sam Pierce Chevrolet A-Feature (50 laps): 1. 88-Jimmy McCune; 2. 55-Shane Butler; 3. 8-Anthony McCune; 4. 26B-Jeff Bloom; 5. 9S-Charlie Schultz; 6. 75C-Jerry Caryer; 7. B4-Bronzie Lawson IV; 8. 59X-John Inman; 9. 29-Johnny Bridges; 10. 26-Aaron Pierce; 11. 4X-Bronzie Lawson III; 12. 7-Tom Jewell; 13. 8A-Adam Biltz; 14. 4L-Anthony Linkenhoker.
Series Announcer for Must See Racing