Neuenschwader Romps To Must See Racing 50 Win At Anderson
ANDERSON, Ind. – Chris Neuenschwander was simply not going to be denied during Saturday night's Must See Racing Sprint Car Series stop at Anderson Speedway.
Making his first appearance with the series in a full year, Neuenschwander powered from seventh on the grid to take the lead in just three laps and never looked back. He powered away over the final 48 circuits while dancing effortlessly in and out of slower traffic, putting on a clinic at the quarter-mile.
The New Haven, Ind., driver ultimately lapped everyone in the field except for runner-up Jimmy McCune, taking the checkered flag first by an astounding margin of 7.813 seconds.
Saturday's win was Neuenschwander's third with Must See Racing, his second at Anderson and his first in the series since the 2016 finale at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway.
An emotional victory lane celebration saw Neuenschwander storm up on top of the wing and pump both fists in the air, letting out near-primal screams of jubilation after one of the most dominant performances in series history.
"I know I may have been a bit of the cause of a shakeup on the start there, and I apologize for that, but I was determined to get to the front tonight," Neuenschwander noted in victory lane. "You can't ever count out someone like Jimmy McCune. The win list on his tail tank says it all. But I knew I wasn't going to let him win tonight.
"This was one of the best cars I've ever had," added Neuenschwander. "I could do just about anything I needed to with it and put it wherever on the race track that it had to go to get by people. What a night. This is awesome."
Neuenschwander's win was made even more special by the fact that not only did he redeem a near-miss from the non-winged sprint car feature at Anderson on Aug. 2, where he blew a motor while leading, but his long-time car owner Ron Koehler was the first to meet him in victory lane during the celebration.
"This is all for Ron Koehler," an emotional Neuenschwander noted. "He gave me my only chance in a sprint car, ever. He's an amazing person and I will drive for him over anybody, at any time, just because of that. He's got a good heart, he's been racing forever and I'm just so happy he's here with us tonight."
The race ran all 50 laps uninterrupted, but a multi-car incident in the first two corners forced a complete restart after Jerry Caryer spun in turn two, collecting Adam Biltz, Anthony McCune and Derek Bischak.
That moved Neuenschwander from the inside of row four to the inside of row three, and when the green flag waved again after an eight-minute stoppage for cleanup, Neuenschwander wasted no time.
He charged from sixth to third in three corners, dispatched Jeff Bloom for second the next time around and used an outside-inside crossover off the second turn to overhaul polesitter Tom Jewell for the race lead down the backstretch on the third revolution.
After that, no one could get close to the No. 10 Pro Strip/NAPA Auto Parts machine. He opened up a three-second gap in the first 12 laps and despite hitting heavy traffic for the first time on lap 17, Neuenschwander never wavered in his command over the field.
Jimmy McCune finished a distant second and afterwards cited an ill-handling race car, as well as trouble navigating slower traffic, as the reason for his downfall in the main event.
"We've been junk all year. We just got lucky and squeezed out a few wins this year. We just haven't hit the setup all season," said a disappointed McCune. "There's not much you can say. They had a great race and we're just the bridesmaids again. We'll go forward and see if we can't figure out what's up with this monster.
"We got screwed every time we'd get to traffic tonight, too," he continued. "There were times in the open when I thought I'd start gaining on him, but then I'd lose a corner or a straightaway and it was all over after that."
Anthony McCune rallied from the tail of the field after the opening lap incident, where the right-rear wheel of his car was driven over by Bischak, to complete the podium despite a near-flat right-front tire.
Charlie Schultz and Jewell finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series returns to action on Aug. 18 at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, with the running of the Engine Pro Fast Car Dash.
1. Chris Neuenschwander, 2. Jimmy McCune, 3. Anthony McCune, 4. Charlie Schultz, 5. Tom Jewell, 6. Dameron Taylor, 7. Derek Bischak, 8. Jeff Bloom, 9. Jerry Caryer, 10. Brian Vaughn, 11. Adam Biltz, 12. Anthony Linkenhoker, 13. Jim Payne, 14. Christian Koehler.
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
Anthony McCune Flies To Fast Time In MSR Qualifying At Anderson
ANDERSON, Ind. – Anthony McCune continues to close in on his first Must See Racing Sprint Car Series victory, and if Hamilton Trucking Time Trials were any indication, it may come Saturday night at Anderson Speedway.
The 20-year-old rolled to his third fast qualifying effort of the season and third of his Must See Racing career with a lap of 10.665 seconds (84.388 mph) in his familiar No. 8 Abe's Auto Parts & Sales/B&B Machinery Movers/Rev-X Oil sprinter. He leads all drivers in the series in fast times this year.
However, McCune will be looking to convert that early speed into his first win later in the evening.
"Man, the lap was really good ... really smooth," noted McCune. "Obviously this track is pretty tough to pass at, but I've got two really fast drivers starting just ahead of me, so my hope is that I can follow them through to the front and then pick them off before it's all over at the end of the race."
McCune narrowly missed qualifying for the non-winged Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson in May, something that he said Saturday pushed he and his team to get even stronger.
"It was a bit of a shove for us," admitted McCune. "We haven't really run our non-winged program that much over the past few years, but we've worked at it to get better and I think it's showing across everything we're doing. Hopefully we can break through with a win tonight and show what we've done."
Former Anderson Speedway winner Chris Neuenschwander chased the younger McCune in qualifying, just like he did in practice to kick off the day. Neuenschwander was second-fastest (10.681/84.262) in the No. 10 Pro Strip/NAPA Auto Parts/JC Automotive entry for Koehler Motorsports.
Three-time defending series champion and current points leader Jimmy McCune (10.797/83.356) landed third on the speed charts in the No. 88 Abe's Auto Parts & Sales/B&B Machinery Movers/Rev-X Oil entry. The uncle to fast qualifier Anthony McCune is a five-time Anderson winner with Must See Racing.
Charlie Schultz and Jerry Caryer completed the top five, followed by Jeff Bloom, Brian Vaughn, Tom Jewell, Christian Koehler and Derek Bischak.
The top 11 qualifiers were covered by eight tenths of a second in two-lap time trials.
McCune was a half-second off the all-time track record of 10.168 seconds (88.513 mph) at the Anderson quarter-mile, set in May of 2013 by former series champion JoJo Helberg.
QUALIFYING RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Anderson Speedway; Aug. 11, 2018
1. #8 – Anthony McCune, 10.665
2. #10 – Chris Neuenschwander, 10.681
3. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 10.797
4. #9s – Charlie Schultz, 11.087
5. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 11.119
6. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 11.141
7. #71 – Brian Vaughn, 11.151
8. #7 – Tom Jewell, 11.234
9. #10k – Christian Koehler, 11.314
10. #81 – Derek Bischak, 11.378
11. #8a – Adam Biltz, 11.465
12. #43 – Jim Payne, 11.872
13. #8t – Dameron Taylor, 12.262
14. #4L – Anthony Linkenhoker, 13.121
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
Anthony McCune Speeds During MSR Practice At Anderson
ANDERSON, Ind. – Anthony McCune has proven during the second half of the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series season that he knows how to roll off the trailer and go fast.
The 20-year-old paced the overall practice charts for the fourth time in the last five races on Saturday afternoon at Anderson Speedway, touring the high-banked quarter-mile oval in 10.996 seconds (81.848 mph) with his No. 8 Abe's Auto Parts & Sales/B&B Machinery Movers/Rev-X Oil machine.
McCune will be seeking his third fast time of the season during qualifying at 6:30 p.m.
"We've just found a lot of speed and a lot more consistency lately," noted McCune. "Hopefully we can keep it going for the rest of the night. We're really happy with our program right now, for sure."
Chris Neuenschwander, who picked up his first Must See Racing win at Anderson in 2016, was second-fastest overall with a lap of 11.106 seconds (81.037 mph) in the No. 8 Pro Strip/NAPA Auto Parts entry for Koehler Motorsports.
Neuenschwander was followed by five-time Anderson winner Jimmy McCune (11.150/80.717) in third. Charlie Schultz and Jeff Bloom completed the Fast Five.
Jerry Caryer, Brian Vaughn, Tom Jewell, Derek Bischak and Adam Biltz were the rest of the top 10.
Two-time Kenyon Midget Series champion Dameron Taylor struggled to get his car fired and did not turn a lap during either of the two rounds of practice on Saturday afternoon.
COMBINED PRACTICE RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Anderson Speedway; Aug. 11, 2018
1. #8 – Anthony McCune, 10.996
2. #10N – Chris Neuenschwander, 11.106
3. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 11.150
4. #9S – Charlie Schultz, 11.568
5. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 11.589
6. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 11.674
7. #71 – Brian Vaughn, 11.706
8. #7 – Tom Jewell, 11.759
9. #81 – Derek Bischak, 11.852
10. #8a – Adam Biltz, 11.854
11. #10 – Christian Koehler, 11.899
12. #43 – Jim Payne, 12.660
13. #4L – Anthony Linkenhoker, 13.408
14. #8T – Dameron Taylor, NT
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
Neuenschwander Hoping To Repeat Past Must See Success At Anderson
HOLLY, Mich. – The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series will invade the Hoosier State for its one and only visit this season on Saturday night, and there's arguably no driver more excited to compete at the tight quarter-mile bullring than Chris Neuenschwander.
After all, it was at Anderson in 2016 that Neuenschwander picked up his first of two career series victories, leading all 60 laps in May of that year to deliver car owner Ron Koehler a memorable win – on Koehler's birthday, no less.
Chris Neuenschwander won with the Must See Racing Spritn Car Series at Anderson Speedway in 2016. (Chris Seelman photo)
The 'New Haven Nightmare' has also had plenty of speed at Anderson in non-winged competition as well, qualifying on the front row and leading 10 laps during the Pay Less Little 500 two years ago, as well as setting fast time during the most recent Thursday Night Sprints non-winged event at the quarter-mile.
All of that adds up to a tangible level of excitement for Neuenschwander entering Saturday's Must See Racing 50. He last competed with the series at Anderson one year ago.
"It's been a while," said Neuenschwander of his year-long absence. "We love coming to Anderson, though. It's a special place for me and for my family."
Neuenschwander's father Tony said that the team's return was partially about timing and scheduling, but also about honoring Koehler, whose health has struggled somewhat since that 2016 victory.
"The big thing about us doing this, personally, is that Ron Koehler has done a lot for us and his health hasn't been too good recently. His eyesight has faded a good bit ... and Chris and I wanted to run for Ron and drive his car in honor of all he's meant to our family and to Chris' career, especially," noted Tony Neuenschwander. "We love coming and running with Must See Racing; Jim and Nancy (Hanks) have always treated us very well and we're excited to chase another victory this weekend."
Racing at Anderson this time out isn't the only tribute that the Neuenschwanders have planned in Koehler's honor, either.
"It'd be special to win on Saturday, but through the wintertime, we're going to transform our Little 500 car into a throwback that pays homage to Ron as well," added the elder Neuenschwander. "I'm gonna redo that whole race car to look like his car, and we're excited about that because of the race and what it and the track mean to us. It's a special time for our team, for sure."
Neuenschwander will have a loaded list of challengers to get through, however, before he can park on the frontstretch and celebrate another Anderson victory. That list starts with three-time defending series champion Jimmy McCune, who is a five-time Anderson winner with Must See Racing and was victorious in the Must See Racing 50 last season.
McCune's nephew Anthony has been close to a win several times this season, as has Ohio's Charlie Schultz, who nearly won at the similarly-designed Rockford (Ill.) Speedway two weeks ago before being passed by Jimmy McCune in the final two laps.
Other contenders expected include Tom Jewell, Jerry Caryer, Frank Neill, Tom Nichols and Anthony Linkenhoker, who is making the haul up from Virginia to compete with the series for the fifth time this year.
Pit gates at Anderson open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, with hot laps rolling at 5 p.m. Qualifying is at 6:30, followed by racing at 8 p.m.
For more information on Must See Racing, visit the series on the web at www.mustseeracing.com.
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
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