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Laura Devlin To Be Remembered During Must See Stop At Owosso

laura devlin

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Seelman


OVID, Mich. – Saturday's Must See Racing Sprint Car Series stop at Owosso Speedway will be about more than just the racing on the track.


It will also be about honoring the life of a long-time contributor to Michigan motorsports who tragically passed away earlier in the year.


Laura Devlin, a past board member for the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame and a long-time friend to the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series, died in April at the age of 81 after suffering burns during a tragic house fire. She and her late husband, Neal, fielded a sprint car for 2005 MMSHoF inductee Harold Reynolds, with whom the Devlins scored most of their victories as car owners in 1975 and 1976 at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway.


Though she retired years ago from team involvement, Devlin had spent time over the past several years in the Must See Racing pit area aiding teams whenever possible, including National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jeff Bloom.


In honor of her involvement with the series and in Michigan auto racing, the Must See Racing portion of Saturday's event at Owosso Speedway – just an hour west from Devlin's home in Ortonville, Mich. – will be billed as the Laura Devlin Memorial Fast Forty.


She will also be honored during the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 4.


 "Upon joining the Board of Directors of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame nearly 30 years ago, Laura was one of several who graciously welcomed me into the organization," said past MMSHoF president Dan Van Koevering. "Her kindness, generosity, and encouragement was always deeply appreciated by me. Even after she resigned her position as a board member, she continued to support the Hall of Fame and often attended our yearly induction ceremony and banquet. I will miss this special lady's sincerity and enthusiasm for the sport she dearly loved and supported."


"Laura Devlin was one of the most dedicated people in auto racing that I've ever met," added National Speedway Directory's Allan Brown. "It was a pleasure to call her friend for more than 40 years. She was always present with a smile and hug for my wife and myself. She will definitely be missed."


Devlin's two children, Karen and Doug, will be among several family members in attendance during Saturday's proceedings and will help to present the winner's trophy on the frontstretch following the Must See Racing feature.


Three-time defending series champion Jimmy McCune will lead the Must See Racing charge back into Owosso, leading his 20-year-old nephew Anthony McCune and former supermodified ace Charlie Schultz in the championship standings entering the ninth race of the season.


Former Owosso winner Jason Blonde, Anthony McCune, Tom Jewell, National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jeff Bloom and fellow series regulars Jerry Caryer and Adam Biltz are expected to compete as well.


Saturday's Must See Racing event is part of Owosso Speedway's Open Wheel Mania event, with the Illini Midgets joining 'The World's Fastest Short Track Cars' on the four-division card.


Pit gates open at noon, with hot laps kicking off at 2 p.m., qualifying taking the green flag at 5 p.m. and racing beginning at 7 p.m.


For more information on the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series, visit www.mustseeracing.com.


--
Jacob Seelman
Freelance Writer
Series Announcer for Must See Racing

Parity Reigns Supreme Entering Second Must See Stop At Owosso


HOLLY, Mich. – The overarching story of the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series season entering Saturday's Fast Forty at Owosso Speedway can be summarized in one word: parity.


The series has already seen its largest number of different winners since 2014, with five drivers – Jimmy McCune, Bronzie Lawson IV, Aaron Pierce, Brian Gerster and Bobby Santos III – visiting victory lane in the eight races contested so far this year.


Two of those five added their names to the Must See Racing record books for the first time, with Lawson topping the series at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway in April and Santos winning at Madison (Wis.) Int'l Speedway less than a week ago, marking the first new winners in the series since the 2016 season.

 

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Must See Racing sprint cars prepare to race at Owosso Speedway last August. The series returns there on Saturday. (Chris Seelman photo)


And if all that weren't enough, Charlie Schultz nearly scored his first series win last Saturday at Rockford (Ill.) Speedway, while young gun Anthony McCune and veteran Tom Jewell have both knocked on the door to victory lane at various points during the year as well.


Each of those factors together adds up to what might be the most hotly-contested visit to the three-eighths-mile Michigan oval in series history, with the ninth race of the Must See Racing season set for Aug. 4 and a myriad of potential outcomes in play.


Schultz will be looking for revenge after being passed for the win by Jimmy McCune with two laps to go at Rockford, while the three-time defending series champion and points leader has already been victorious four times this year and hopes to score his third Owosso win in the last four races.


Both veterans will have to overcome a loaded field in order to hoist the trophy, however, with former Owosso winner Jason Blonde, Anthony McCune, Jewell, National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jeff Bloom and fellow Must See Racing regulars Jerry Caryer and Adam Biltz all rejoining the battle as well.


Perhaps the best description of the Must See Racing parity this season came from Rockford Speedway general manager David Deery following the tour's most recent event on July 28.


In that race, the top-four drivers spent the last 15 laps jockeying for position around the quarter-mile bullring while navigating slower traffic, all while separated by just more than one second.


The race may have featured a slightly lower-than-average car count compared to the rest of the season, but it didn't matter at that juncture, Deery noted. What mattered was the close competition out front.


"The fun part for the fans at Rockford was that the Must See guys were doing 12-second laps, so that made it even more exciting," Deery said. "I told (series president) Jim (Hanks) before the weekend that really, all we needed was about six good cars and we were going to have a hell of a show. As the crowd saw Saturday, it didn't take much to accomplish exactly that.


"When you have the talented drivers that Must See Racing brings racing within inches of one another and putting on that kind of a show, that's the thing people remember and I think that's what has made the series' season this year so memorable up to this point."


Saturday's Must See Racing event is part of Owosso Speedway's Open Wheel Mania event, with the Illini Midgets joining 'The World's Fastest Short Track Cars' on the four-division card.


Pit gates open at noon, with hot laps kicking off at 2 p.m., qualifying taking the green flag at 5 p.m. and racing beginning at 7 p.m.


For more information on the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series, visit www.mustseeracing.com.


--
Jacob Seelman
Freelance Writer
Series Announcer for Must See Racing

Open Wheel Mania - August 4th at Owosso Speedway

2018 owosso aug4 promo

McCune Breaks Schultz's Heart For Rockford MSR Victory


LOVES PARK, Ill. – 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 quarter-mile.


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.

mccune schultz

PHOTOS CREDIT TO CHRIS SEELMAN


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 his car.


"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."


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 tee."


"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 racing, man."


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 heat races.


The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series season continues with the Fast Forty at Owosso (Mich.) Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 4. Jimmy McCune is the defending event winner.

RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Rockford Speedway; July 28, 2018


1-800-RADIATOR A-Feature (50 laps): 1. #88 – Jimmy McCune [5]; 2. #9s – Charlie Schultz [2]; 3. #07 – Jacob Wilson [4]; 4. #8 – Anthony McCune [6]; 5. #81 – Johnny Petrozelle [1]; 6. #75c – Jerry Caryer [7]; 7. #8a – Adam Biltz [10]; 8. #4L – Anthony Linkenhoker [9]; 9. #72s – Joe Speakman [8]; 10. #26 – Jeff Bloom [3]; 11. #7 – Tom Jewell [11].


Lap Leader(s): Schultz 1-48, J. McCune 49-50.


Hard Charger: #88 – Jimmy McCune (+4)


Hamilton Trucking Time Trials (best of two laps): 1. #8 – Anthony McCune, 11.601; 2. #88 – Jimmy McCune, 11.736; 3. #07 – Jacob Wilson, 11.753; 4. #26 – Jeff Bloom, 12.098; 5. #9s – Charlie Schultz, 12.105; 6. #7 – Tom Jewell, 12.212; 7. #81 – Johnny Petrozelle, 12.404; 8. #75c – Jerry Caryer, 12.526; 9. #72s – Joe Speakman, 12.608; 10. #4L – Anthony Linkenhoker, 13.616; 11. #8a – Adam Biltz, no time.


Abe's Auto Parts Heat #1 (10 laps): 1. Joe Speakman [2], 2. Johnny Petrozelle [4], 3. Jerry Caryer [3], 4. Adam Biltz [5], 5. Anthony Linkenhoker [1]. (2:07.553)


Abe's Auto Parts Heat #2 (10 laps): 1. Jacob Wilson [2], 2. Anthony McCune [4], 3. Jimmy McCune [3], 4. Charlie Schultz [5], 5. Jeff Bloom [1], 6. Tom Jewell [6]. (2:02.881)


--
Jacob Seelman
Freelance Writer
Series Announcer for Must See Racing