Schultz Gunning For MSR Redemption At Rockford
HOLLY, Mich. – Charlie Schultz doesn’t need any extra motivation going into this weekend’s Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro event at Illinois’ Rockford Speedway.
He’s been ready to chase redemption at the quarter-mile bullring for more than a year.
Schultz will take aim at the victory in Sunday’s Must See Racing event at Rockford after leading the first 48 laps of last year’s 50-lap feature before being passed by Jimmy McCune coming to the white flag.
In that event, Schultz ultimately crossed the finish line a heartbreaking second, and he’s looking to move the needle by one position this time around.
“Man, I think everyone figures that this one is definitely high on the priority list to get it done this time after that race last summer. We were so strong then,” Schultz lamented. “It was definitely a heartbreaker to lose it after leading that many laps, but I think it actually pushed us to be even stronger.
Charlie Schultz (9s) leads Jimmy McCune during Must See Racing Sprint Car Series action at Rockford Speedway. (Chris Seelman photo)
“When you consider that we came back a month later after that one and won (at Berlin), I think it was motivation for all of us on the team, even though it still stings even now. Rockford owes us one.”
Schultz noted that Rockford, being one of the shortest tracks on the series schedule, is a facility that suits his driving style well – given that he came from a karting background in his youth.
“I do think it’s a good place for us because of the fact that it’s a tight, small ratio (in the corners),” said Schultz of Rockford. “It’s a lot like indoor racing in that respect. I’ve run indoors at Columbus and Marion for a number of years in flat karts, and you just have to get up on the wheel.
“Rockford is one of those types of tracks and that suits my style, or my style suits it, however you want to say it,” Schultz added. “You have to be aggressive to be successful there, and I feel like we will be.”
Considering that Schultz hasn’t been back to Must See Racing victory lane since his win at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway in August of 2018, he’s feeling the impact of a 13-month winless drought.
That’s meant that for he and team owner John Reiser, the chase to end that dry spell is in high gear.
“There's always the push to win races, especially from a team perspective, and that’s why we keep coming to the race track. We go because we enjoy it and have fun, too, but ultimately at the end of the day you want to win races and run up front,” said Schultz. “We’ve been running up front and just haven’t quite gotten to a point where we’ve closed up the deal that last little bit.
“It seems like we don't always start off real strong, but usually by the middle of the summer we get along pretty well. And by the end of the year we’re right where we need to be,” Schultz added. “I think we just need to work on getting off to a little bit stronger of a start. We started (doing some of that) at the beginning of the season, so we’re not quite so far behind, but losing some races to the rain and scheduling issues has been frustrating.
“That’s cost us a couple of races that we could have been building on, but we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep fighting and see where that gets us.
Schultz, who sits well inside the top five in points entering the weekend, will have to contend in a field including the likes of defending series champion Jimmy McCune; his nephew Anthony McCune; National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jeff Bloom; Canadian Ryan Litt and Brian Gerster, Must See Racing’s all-time fast qualifier over its 10-year history.
Saturday’s program features the Rumble for the Record time-attack special, before heat racing and a special 54-lap main event takes center stage on Sunday afternoon alongside the ARCA Midwest Tour.
Pit gates at Rockford open at 8:30 a.m. CT on Saturday, with hot laps rolling off at 11 a.m. CT and the first round of qualifying beginning at 2:15 p.m. CT. The remaining rounds will start at 5 p.m. CT.
On Sunday, pit gates open at 8 a.m. CT, with hot laps at 10:45 a.m. Heat racing will commence at 1 p.m. sharp and the feature will follow later in the afternoon.