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Traffic Leads Jimmy McCune To Another Midvale MSR Victory

NEW PHILIDELPHIA, Ohio – For the second year in a row, Jimmy McCune passed his young nephew to win during Saturday night's Must See Racing Sprint Car Series feature at Midvale Speedway.


The elder McCune stormed to the inside in turn two when 20-year-old Anthony McCune got hung up behind the lap car of Joshua Sexton with 13 laps left, taking command of the 40-lap Buckeye State Shootout and never looking back after that.

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Not even a late restart was enough to allow Anthony McCune to come back and challenge his uncle for the win, with Jimmy McCune holding on by .481 of a second for his third win in six starts this season.


Saturday night's effort marked Jimmy McCune's 27th career Must See Racing feature victory and his second-consecutive Buckeye State Shootout triumph at Midvale.


After the race, the three-time defending series champion and current points leader had nothing but praise for his nephew, who set fast time in qualifying and appeared to be on his way to his first win.


"He got shot out of a cannon at the start and I got stuck on the outside trying to get by guys, but I just had to be patient and in the end, it came back to us and he got stuck there in traffic," said Jimmy McCune. "He had an awesome race car tonight. I saw him bulldoze his way inside ... and I wasn't expecting that. I didn't think we had much for him, honestly.


"The one thing I knew we had in our favor was when I pulled in and saw all the (crate) cars from Lorain (County Speedway); that's when I knew traffic would be a big factor, and it surely was for us tonight," McCune added. "I could see it coming. I hate it for the kid ... he was going for his first win and he had a heck of a race car, but sometimes they fall in your lap and this one did tonight."

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An inversion roll of 10 put Joe Speakman and Tom Jewell on the front row for the initial start, which saw Speakman struggle to get up to speed and Jewell dart away to a healthy advantage in the opening laps.


Driving out to nearly a two-second margin, the race's first of two caution flags waved on lap six, when Aaron Pierce spun in turn two. Pierce then came around the track and made contact with Ryan Gillenwater during the caution period, resulting in a rough driving penalty and immediate ejection.


Anthony McCune, who drove from 10th on the grid to second before the caution, used an outside-inside sweep to pass Jewell for the lead on the lap seven restart and drove off into the distance as the leaders darted in and out of traffic through the middle stages of the event.


However, as lap traffic became more and more prevalent, Jimmy McCune's No. 88 got larger and larger behind Anthony McCune's leading machine.


Finally, with 13 laps left, the elder McCune made his move to the inside when Anthony was hung on the outside behind Sexton's slower entry. A lap later, the caution flag waved for the final time when fourth-running Jewell and Adam Biltz tangled at the bottom of the second turn.


That set up a restart with 12 to go in which Anthony McCune could stay close to his uncle's back bumper, but couldn't get back alongside him despite getting a few looks in traffic in the final laps.


"Lapped traffic was really going all over the place there in the closing laps, and when you're leading, it's really hard to both predict where they're going to go and then also defend from behind as well," said Anthony McCune. "He had the advantage to see where I was going and made a different move, and it paid off for him. I hate it, but we still had a great night. This was the most fun I've had and the best car I've ever had at a race. We're going to get one of these things soon."


Ike Beasley completed the podium ahead of Ohio veterans Charlie Schultz and Jerry Caryer.


Bronzie Lawson IV, who had to change a radiator and battled torsion bar issues in qualifying, drove from last in the 21-car field to finish seventh, earning hard charger honors for the night after passing 14 cars.


Fourteen-year-old rookie J.J. Henes, son of supermodified ace Jon Henes, finished 11th in his series debut.


The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series returns to action July 27-28 at Wisconsin's Madison Int'l Speedway and Illinois' Rockford Speedway.

RACE RESULTS: Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Midvale Speedway; July 14, 2018


Fast Qualifier: 8-Anthony McCune, 12.383 seconds (first-career MSR fast time)


Heat Race Winners: Bronzie Lawson IV; Tom Geren; Ike Beasley


Sam Pierce Chevrolet A-Feature (40 laps): 1. Jimmy McCune, 2. Anthony McCune, 3. Ike Beasley, 4. Charlie Schultz, 5. Jerry Caryer, 6. Tom Jewell, 7. Bronzie Lawson IV, 8. Tom Geren, 9. Todd McQuillen, 10. Joshua Sexton, 11. J.J. Henes, 12. Rick Holley, 13. Jim Paller, 14. Anthony Linkenhoker, 15. Tony Grams, 16. Adam Biltz, 17. Tim Henthorne, 18. Kyle Watson, 19. Ryan Gillenwater, 20. Joe Speakman, 21. Aaron Pierce.

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Jacob Seelman
Freelance Writer
Series Announcer for Must See Racing

Sprints Coming to Midvale

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July 2018 TV Alert

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Pierce Stops McCune's Owosso Winning Streak With Firecracker 50 Win

PHOTOS CREDIT TO JACOB SEELMAN


OVID, Mich. – Aaron Pierce ended Jimmy McCune's quest for a double hat trick at Owosso Speedway with a come-from-behind victory in Saturday night's Must See Racing Sprint Car Series Firecracker 50 at the three-eighths-mile oval.

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McCune was gunning for his third straight Firecracker 50 win and his third straight Must See Racing feature win at Owosso and took the lead at the halfway point of the 50-lap main, but Pierce was simply not to be denied, despite starting 10th after the inversion and having to come from the rear of the field due to a deflating right rear tire during an open red flag period with 10 laps complete.


Through it all, Pierce rallied back to end a lengthy Must See Racing winless drought, passing McCune with an inside sweep down the backstretch and leading the final three circuits for the win.


"I knew how good all the cars I was going through and passing were, so I knew this thing was bad fast. I moved the wing just a little bit and she absolutely took off," said Pierce in victory lane. "I got by Blonde with 15 to go ... and I was driving my guts out at that point just to have a shot at it. When I could see Jimmy and that I was catching him, I knew it was game on.


"He was loose, I used that to my advantage and it all worked out. I wasn't sure if our night might not be over after that flat tire," Pierce added. "Somehow it all worked out and we came all the way back through there. What an awesome night."

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A rash of caution flags in the first 10 laps led to a stoppage for refueling, with Anthony McCune having led every lap up to that point. However, his car began to fade as a long run finally broke out after lap 12, and he finally ceded the top spot to his uncle Jimmy as the field came by to complete the halfway lap.


From there, Jimmy McCune opened up a margin of three seconds before traffic and an ill-handling race car began to be his undoing. Pierce finally took second from Jason Blonde with 15 to go nd quickly carved a 2.5-second deficit to the three-time defending series champion into mincemeat.


While the elder McCune held on to second at the finish, he noted that lack of grip in his rear tires was much of his downfall.


"We just got loose and started spinning the tires," lamented McCune. "We wore them off and here, there's nothing you can do once that happens but hang on. Fifty laps around here runs the wheels off these things. I'm not sure how we got beat, but we missed the setup and ran second. It is what it is."


Jason Blonde completed the podium and shared similar thoughts after the race.


"Right from the start tonight, this track was greasy and we were slipping and sliding, but that's what makes it fun," said Blonde. "It made for a lot of passing tonight ... even if it was a long one. We got to halfway and I was thinking, 'We're only halfway? Holy cow, I'm gonna die out here,'" he laughed.


"The tires held up, for dirt-tracking it the last 30 laps anyways. It's not what we came here to achieve, but it's a good night for us as a team and I knew I had to get moving, no matter what. Just not quite enough tonight."


Brian Gerster came home fourth and NASCAR modified ace Bobby Santos, who finished second in the USAC Silver Crown race at Madison Int'l Speedway on Friday night, was fifth.


Anthony McCune faded to sixth at the checkered flag, the final car on the lead lap.


The finish:

Aaron Pierce, Jimmy McCune, Jason Blonde, Brian Gerster, Bobby Santos, Anthony McCune, Jeff Bloom, Ike Beasley, Tom Jewell, Charlie Schultz, Ryan Gillenwater, Frank Neill, Adam Biltz, Doug Dietsch, Tom Nichols, Joe Speakman, Joey Schmidt, Tom Geren, Teddy Alberts, Jerry Caryer, Joey Irwin.


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