Border Wars Notebook: Sandusky Heartbreak For Schultz
SANDUSKY, Ohio – The Border Wars doubleheader produced multiple storylines across the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series field, but none was as heartbreaking as Charlie Schultz's Sunday misfortune.
Schultz was scheduled to start second at Sandusky Speedway for the matinee finale to the two-day weekend, but after initially being pushed off for the 30-lap feature, his car sputtered to a stop at the entrance to the third turn.
Charlie Schultz at speed at Sandusky Speedway on Sunday. (Jacob Seelman photo)
Two additional attempts to refire the car were unsuccessful, and Schultz was ultimately pushed silently back to the work area – and eventually his pit stall – to the disappointment of all the local fans.
A past champion of the now-defunct Midwest Supermodified Ass'n in 2010 and native of nearby Lorain, Ohio, Schultz had more laps around Sandusky than any other driver in attendance and figured to be a player in the race – had he been able to start it, that is.
The fact that he was forced to watch the main event at his home track from the grandstands was disheartening for Schultz, to put it lightly.
"It sucks," he clarified at the end of the night. "I'm not saying we would have won the thing – there's no way to know that – but I definitely feel like we would have run (inside the) top five pretty easily. I knew we had the handle on it pretty well and we knew what we had to do, I think, to make a run at it.
"I'm not sure if it was the ignition, or the mag (magneto), or a switch ... but something electrical wasn't working right and it put us out tonight," Schultz added. "It's just a downer, because you want to come to your home track and run well ... and we never even got a chance to show what we could do in this one."
Schultz's issue also dropped him out of the top two in points, after Jimmy McCune won the Sunday race.
– Ryan Litt's season of heartbreak continued Sunday afternoon, after the Canadian led a race-high 22 laps but was passed by Jimmy McCune with eight to go, relegating him to a runner-up finish.
It was the second time this season, following a similar occurrence at Birch Run Speedway in July, that Litt has led the most laps in a Must See Racing event and failed to take the checkered flag first.
In an ironic coincidence, Litt also finished second at Birch Run, though that loss was to Jason Blonde.
"It's not necessarily what you want to be known for," Litt noted. "We just want to close one out."
Litt was even scheduled to start from the pole during the season opener at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway in May, but fuel flow issues prevented him from taking the green flag in that event.
– Indiana's Tyler Roahrig returned to the Stickney Racing Team No. 99 on Sunday at Sandusky, one night after winning a non-winged 410ci sprint car event at Baer Field (Ind.) Motorsports Park.
With Saturday's Owosso winner Brian Gerster also in the Sunday field, it made for a day in which the two most-recent pavement sprint car winners were racing against one another on the same track.
Gerster finished third on Sunday at Sandusky, while Roahrig was fifth at the checkered flag.
– Series rookie Bobby Komisarski had a solid weekend, winning both his heat races on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The North Carolina hotshoe, a former 305 regular and Carolina Sprint Tour champion, has started to wrap his arms around the 410ci engine package over the course of four starts this year.
"We're not where we want to be yet, but we're definitely making progress," Komisarski said. "The additional power is fun for me and Must See is a great series. I'll tell you what, I'm glad we decided to do this deal, because we're having a blast so far."
– Veteran Jason Blonde and rookie Brenden Torok tied for hard-charger honors on Sunday at Sandusky, with both drivers advancing six positions during the 30-lap feature event.
The tiebreaker was on final finishing position, with Blonde's sixth-place run giving him the nod over Torok's solid 12th-place effort.
Torok did boast, however, the highest-finishing 602 crate-engined car in the field at Sandusky.
– Remarkably, the Must See Racing season is only half over, with five races now complete and five more features still scheduled to be run between now and mid-October.
Part of the odd schedule comes thanks to a two-month weather hiatus. Rain forced a pair of rainouts in June and left the Must See sprint cars idle from early May through early July.
– The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series travels next to Michigan's Berlin Raceway for a return visit on Sept. 7. The earlier visit to the seven-sixteenths-mile oval, back on Aug. 10, was won by Jimmy McCune.
Series Announcer for Must See Racing