By Jacob Seelman
Jimmy McCune broke Charlie Schultz’s heart on Saturday night at
Rockford Speedway, stealing the lead with two laps left and going on
to win the Must See Racing Sprintacular at the semi-banked
McCune, who was running third with five laps left in the 50-lap main
event, executed a pair of perfectly-timed slide jobs in turns one and
two to leapfrog both Jacob Wilson and then Schultz in the final laps.
The three-time defending series champion forced his way to Wilson’s
inside with four to go and then stalked Schultz, who led the first 48
circuits from the outside pole. Finally, coming to two laps remaining,
McCune got a run to the inside exiting turn four and muscled his way
past on the opposite end of the track, charging into the top spot and
darting away into the Illinois night.
Saturday night’s victory was the 28th of McCune’s Must See Racing
career, as well as his fourth of the season and his fourth at
Rockford. He ran the closing stages with little to no brakes onboard
“I don’t even know where to start with this one,” said McCune, driver
of the Abe’s Auto Parts & Sales/B&B Machinery Movers/Rev-X Oil
sprinter. “We worked our tails off all day on this car. We changed
every ounces of brakes … all three calipers … bled the brakes like 18
times, and somehow it all worked out.
“Those last five laps, I don’t even know where that came from, to be
honest with you,” McCune continued. “It was hard tonight, but for some
reason we started getting a good run on the high side and started
catching the guys in front of us. They took that lane away, so I knew
I had to go back to the bottom. We used up a lot of race track, but we
got the W and that’s what counts at the end of the day.”
Jimmy McCune celebrates after winning Saturday night at Rockford
Speedway. (Chris Seelman photo)
Combined with his five wins at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, nearly a
third of McCune’s series wins have come on quarter-mile bullrings, a
type of track that McCune simply says suits his driving style “to a
“I grew up doing the quarter-mile stuff,” noted McCune. “I came to
these types of tracks 15 or 20 years ago in a midget … maybe even
longer than that. I’ve always loved these little places and how you
can root and gouge for space when you need to. It’s just fun, hard
Schultz jumped into the lead off the initial start and fended off
multiple advances from Wilson for the first three-quarters of the
race, with only a caution flag on lap eight for the blown motor on Joe
Speakman’s car slowing the roll of the Lorain, Ohio veteran.
As the laps wore on, however, Schultz’s car got “wicked tight” until
he finally pushed too wide in turns three and four. He led lap 48 by a
half car length, but McCune’s run through turns one and two was just
too strong and Schultz was forced to settle for second in the end,
1.114 seconds adrift.
Despite the heartbreak of just missing out on his first Must See
Racing win, Schultz climbed from his car with a smile on his face and
his head held high after a career-best performance.
“With about five laps to go, the car just started getting tighter and
tighter. Earlier in the run, the 07 (Wilson) stuck a nose underneath
me, but I was able to get back going again and get moving through
traffic,” said Schultz. “The lapped cars didn’t hurt me any; we just
got a little too snug.
“Last year here, we were a lap down in sixth, so to come out with this
kind of a performance is big for this being only my second time here,”
Schultz added. “To finish second tonight was a huge confidence
builder. It’s both frustrating and rewarding … but we’re happy with
where we’re headed as a team.”
Wilson completed the podium in third, followed by Anthony McCune and
Johnny Petrozelle III, who was the final car on the lead lap in fifth.
Even in spite of the lap eight caution flag, Saturday night’s feature
was completed in just 13 minutes and 19 seconds, at an average race
pace of 56.316 mph.
Anthony McCune kicked off the night by scoring his second-career
Hamilton Trucking Fast Time Award with a lap of 11.601 seconds (77.580
mph) in qualifying. Joe Speakman and Jacob Wilson won their respective
WARE, RUDE & FINSTAD CAPTURE WINS DURING ‘SPRINTACULAR’
By: Tom Ace
Bargain Hunter Sportsman points leader Howie Ware has done just about
everything this year but win a feature race on track. His only
credited victory came after a disqualification in a race where the
South Beloit resident crossed the finish line in second place.
Saturday night, Ware used a combination of speed and good fortune to
finally cross the line first in his division’s 25 lap feature race.
The evening’s Fast Qualifier, Ware established himself as a contender
in the main event but it looked like as if the veteran racer may come
close-but-not-close-enough once again. But on a lap 12 restart, leader
Johnny Robinson II developed a flat tire and washed up the track,
opening the door for Ware to slip into the lead. Ware never looked
back, winning the feature in convincing fashion. Josh Thiering charged
through the field to take second place, with rookies John Featherston,
Richie Schinderling and Adam Cartwright rounding out the top five.
Aaron Rude parked his ‘fabulous Ford Pinto’ in victory lane for the
fourth time this year, once again outrunning point leader Franc
Beldowski en route to winning the 25 lap main event for the Miller
Lite American Short Tracker division. Beldowski notched his sixth
second place finish of the year, which coupled with his five feature
wins give him a 64 point lead in the championship standings. Shannon
Stoltz continued his recent string of success with a third place
finish. Steve Rubeck led the race early before succumbing to the
challenges from Rude. Rubeck ended the race in fourth place while
Justin Pearson rounded out the top five.
Poynette Wisconsin’s Tim Finstad turned in the most dominant
performance of the night during a caution-free 30 lap feature for the
Midwest Compact Touring Series. Finstad won his race by nearly
three-quarters of a lap, besting Stoughton Wisconsin’s Brandon DeLacy
for the win. Devon Dixon took third place after a daring last-lap pass
of George Sparkman, who settled for fourth. Phil Malouf rounded out
the top five.