Christian Koehler Carrying Momentum Into MSR Return To Berlin
HOLLY, Mich. – After a career showing at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway last weekend, Must See Racing Sprint Car Series young gun Christian Koehler hopes to carry his positive momentum into this weekend's Engine Pro Fast Car Dash at Berlin Raceway.
The series' return to Berlin marks the 10th race of the season and Koehler comes to the seven-sixteenths-mile oval fresh off the strongest outing of his career.
The third-generation driver and grandson of former Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series champion Ron Koehler started ninth but ran his way up through the field during the first half of the 50-lap feature at Anderson. He was running fourth when overheating problems forced him to retire his No. 10k sprinter.
Despite the disappointment of not finishing after such an increase in speed with his team, Koehler has been looking at the positives and took away plenty of notes from what he called "a career day."
"Man, to have the kind of run going that we had going and not be able to close it out was a real bummer, but I'm so proud of the effort our team put in and the speed we showed at Anderson," said Christian Koehler. "The engine just got hot on us. We had to richen it up a little bit for the feature anyways, because we saw it running a little warm during the heat (race) and we thought we could get away with it. It just couldn't quite make it all 50 laps.
"It felt great to show everyone what I'm really capable of tonight," he added. "I've had some good luck, but I've had a lot of bad luck over the past few years and just haven't felt like we've gotten the breaks we've needed. That's racing though, and sometimes things don't go your way. They certainly were going our way for a while tonight, and that felt really good while it lasted out there."
Koehler said Saturday's race at Anderson was motivation for him to keep pushing forward.
"I'm glad we still had a car in one piece last weekend to be able to bring to Berlin on Saturday, because I feel like we can be really strong there and contend for another good day," Koehler noted. "We're motivated and we're hungry, so we'll go out and see what we can do this weekend and hopefully surprise a few more people."
Three-time defending series champion Jimmy McCune leads the Must See Racing field into Berlin, having won the series' most recent appearance there in June for his first-career victory at the track. He carries a lead of more than 50 points on nephew Anthony coming into the Fast Car Dash.
Other contenders expected to challenge for the win include Charlie Schultz, Adam Biltz and Tom Jewell, who ran second to Jimmy McCune in June after leading the first 23 laps of the feature and is seeking his first Must See Racing victory.
The event will again feature the Fast Car Dash format, which pits the top eight qualifiers against one another in a fully-inverted, eight-lap heat race that pays points towards a prize fund at the end of the season.
In addition, series officials have confirmed that the planned two-day season finale at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Nov. 16-17, has been cancelled.
The 2018 season will now conclude with the $4,000-to-win, $700-to-start David D. Mateer Tribute presented by American Racer at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway on Sept. 15.
For more information on Must See Racing, visit the series website at www.mustseeracing.com.
Series Announcer for Must See Racing
Engine Pro Fast Car Dash - Saturday, August 18th
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
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