LIGUORI SURVIVES WRECK FEST TO WIN MUST SEE OPENER
May 14, 2021 –Williamston, SC - Joe Liguori survived a wild night that included multiple crashes to win his first career Must See Racing Sprint Series presented by Engine Pro feature event Friday night at Anderson Motor Speedway near Anderson, South Carolina.
The event was the first of two nights of racing that officially kicked off the twelfth season for the 410-winged asphalt sprint car series. The event drew drivers from six different states including two series regulars from the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series.
photo of Liguori courtesy of David Sink
Liguori bested the field to claim quick time with a lap of 13.460 seconds.
The front row for the 30-lap feature saw Jacob Dolinar on the pole and Joey Aguilar on the outside front row. When the green flag waved, polesitter Jacob Dolinar lazily spun the car while leading exiting turn two. It appeared there was no contact from any other cars. The spin started a multi-car melee that saw Charlie Schultz and Joe Speakman get upside down. Additional cars were involved that included Rick Holley, Todd McQuillen, Tom Jewell, and Adam Biltz. Several other cars including Jimmy McCune received damage but returned after minor repairs.
When the race resumed after no laps were competed, Aguilar took command of the event. Aguilar had managed to build up a sizeable lead through 15 laps but DeCaire began to reel him in only a few laps later. DeCaire was able to close the gap and put pressure on the race leader. McCune had snuck into the fray and passed an unsuspecting DeCaire as he was battling Aguilar for the lead in heavy lapped traffic.
On lap 27 McCune moved to the outside of Aguilar entering turn 1. The duo raced side-by -side down the backstretch until making contact and eliminating McCune after contacting the wall. When the race resumed, DeCaire made a challenge for the lead several times. DeCaire was able to get alongside Aguilar exiting turn 2 and race alongside Aguilar until two made contact in turn 4 on the final lap. As both spun, Liguori dipped under the spinning leaders to race across the stripe for his first career MSR victory followed by Nolan Allison and Jacob Dolinar.
In victory lane Liguori explained how surprised the final laps played out. “We were riding around in fifth forever” explained Liguori.”The motor was running hot and I was like ‘I’m content with running fifth’. Then Jimmy (McCune) kinda got stuffed in the fence, and then a yellow flag came out, and I had gotten to third.
On the restart I saw the leaders (Aguilar and DeCaire) kinda get together on the backstretch. I was thinking ‘if they wreck each other were gonna win the race. If they don’t, we’re gonna run third’. Coming to the checker there at the end they wrecked each other, and we ended up winning. Its luck, 100 percent. We did not have the greatest car, but it was good enough to do what it did. The checks gonna clear the bank, and it doesn’t matter which way you look at it” concluded Liguori.
As victory lane ceremonies were taking place, MSR officials were putting out fires from several hotly contested teams, angry how the final laps of the race played out. MSR officials explained the top three finishers were official, but the finishing positions beyond that could be subject to revisions. Positions fourth on back were not official at the time this story was written.
1. Joe Liguori (13)
2. Nolan Allison (16)
3. Jacob Dolinar (48)
4. Joey Aguilar (11)
5. Troy DeCaire (36)
6. Joshua Sexton (90)
7. Jimmy McCune (88)
8. Anthony McCune (8)
9. Jay Dunham (51)
10. Rick Holley (85)
11. Charlie Schultz (9s)
12. Adam Biltz (8a)
13. Joe Speakman (72s)
14. Todd McQuillen (6)
15. Tom Jewell (7)
DNS Steve Surniak (81)
DNS Jeff Bloom (26)