From Jacob Seelman
OVID, Mich. (August 6, 2016) — Jason Blonde lost out on a hotly-contested battle at Owosso Speedway one month ago, and Saturday night during the Must See Fast Forty at the three-eighths-mile oval, he proved he wasn’t going to let it happen again.
Blonde started fourth but used a lap 10 restart to wage war with defending series champion and July Owosso winner Jimmy McCune, ultimately passing McCune for the race lead on lap 11 and never looking back as he cruised to his fourth career Must See Racing Sprint Car Series win.
The native of Litchfield, Mich. became the fourth different winner of the season and ended a streak of three consecutive series wins by McCune.
“That was awful fun, but if we’d had to go 10 more laps like we did here last time, we might not have hung on to it,” Blonde said in victory lane. “I love passing a lot of cars like we did tonight. Tell you what, that side-by-side we had … I hope it was a good time for the fans because I enjoyed it. He got the start, but I got the restart and it worked out.”
A look at Blonde’s right rear tire, however, showed that the end result almost didn’t happen – as Blonde was down to the cords over the final stint of the race.
“The last five laps, I was waiting for (McCune) to pass me like he did in July. I had nothing left. It’s a good thing we didn’t have to go any further than we did and thankfully, it all worked out for us tonight.”
After Ryan Litt scored his second-career quick time earlier in the day and rolled a six on the inversion die, McCune led the field to green from the pole, quickly opening up a gap over second-starter Jerry Caryer. However, the slowing No. 44 of Teddy Alberts down the backstretch drew a yellow on the opening lap and forced a complete restart.
Once the field got going again it was McCune who jetted back to the point, while Blonde spent three laps trying to work around Caryer before finally making the pass on the fourth round. As Blonde gave chase to McCune, the caution would wave on lap nine, when Kris Leming spun in turn three with a broken rear shock.
Leming would be towed back to the pit area, his night ended after a career day that saw him place in the top 10 in both practice sessions and qualifying before his premature end in the main event.
The field resumed with Blonde giving havoc to McCune on the top side, working over the No. 88 Abe’s Auto Parts/B&B Machinery Movers sprinter for two laps side-by-side before clearing him in turns one and two to take the lead for good.
McCune would quickly fall two seconds in arrears, but was afforded a chance to regroup and battle back following a caution coming to halfway, when fast qualifier Litt spun on the frontstretch trying to pass Chris Neuenschwander for fourth. Though Litt was able to keep his car fired and continue, the dust cloud across the frontstretch due to the spin forced officials to unfurl the yellow and slow the pace.
Despite a 21-lap run to the checkered flag, McCune had no answer for Blonde and was forced to settle for second, ending his streak of three consecutive wins in Must See Racing competition.
“He was just better than we were tonight,” said McCune, who closed down to less than a second behind Blonde as the leader worked three-wide around traffic on lap 34 but could never capitalize.
“The lapped cars were driving like idiots. You can’t put it any more plainly than that. When these guys a second off the pace and they’re wanting to race as you’re trying to lap them, it doesn’t make it good for somebody like me who’s trying to win a race. We had a good race car; I just didn’t know where the track was good at the start of the race. It was what it was. We’ll go on to Anderson and try to win one there.”
Chris Neuenschwander closed out the podium finishers in third, followed by Ryan Gillenwater and Litt.
Former NASCAR modified champion Bobby Santos was the final car on the lead lap in sixth.
The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series returns to action on Saturday, Aug. 13 with the Must See Racing 50 from Anderson Speedway. McCune is the defending event winner.
For more information on Must See Racing, including driver and team news, schedule updates, race results, television schedules and more, visit www.mustseeracing.com.
Must See Racing Extreme Sprint Car Series
Saturday August 6, 2016
Qualifications: 1. 07 – Ryan Litt, 13.052; 2. 42 – Jason Blonde, 13.057; 3. 45 – Ryan Gillenwater, 13.057; 4. 10N – Chris Neuenschwander, 13.213; 5. 75C – Jerry Carrier, 13.260; 6. 88 – Jimmy McCune, 13.373; 7. 11E – Kyle Edwards, 13.472; 8. 4 – Jason Cox, 13.480; 9. 22 – Bobby Santos III, 10. 9L – Kris Leming, 13.780; 11. 44 – Teddy Alberts, 13.844; 12. 10K – Kyle Henry, 13.075; 13. 25 – Doug Stepke, 14.223; 14. 1R – Chris Randolph, 14.426; 15. 72 – Joe Speakman, 14.670; 16. 11X – Kyle Moonen, 14.688; 17. 11G – Tom Geren, 15.057; 18. 5 – Don Dietsch, 15.235; 19. 13 – H.D. Carter, 17.814.
Heat Race #1 (10 Laps): 1. 1R – Chris Randolph, 2. 25 – Doug Stepke, 3. 72 – Joe Speakman, 5. 11G – Tom Garen, 5. 5 – Don Dietsch, 6. 13 – H.D. Carter, 7. 11X- Kyle Moonen
Heat Race #2 (10 Laps): 1. 22 – Bobby Santos III, 2. 11E – Kyle Edwards, 3. 9L – Kris Leming, 4. 4 – Jason Cox, 5. 44 – Teddy Alberts, 6. 10K – Kyle Henry.
Heat Race #3 (10 Laps): 1. 45 – Ryan Gillenwater, 2. 42 – Jason Blonde, 3. 10N – Chris Neuenschwanter, 4. 07 – Ryan Litt, 5. 75C – Jerry Caryer, 6. 88 – Jimmy McCune.
Feature: 1. 42 – Jason Blonde, 2. 88 – Jimmy McCune, 3. 10N – Chris Neuenschwander, 4. 45 – Ryan Gillenwater, 5. 07 – Ryan Litt, 6. 22 – Bobby Santos III, 7. 25 – Doug Stepke, 8. 75C – Jerry Caryer, 9. 10K – Kyle Henry, 10. 11G – Tom Geren, 11. 72 – Joe Speakman, 12. 4 – Jason Cox, 13. 5 – Don Dietsch, 14. 1R – Chris Randolph, 15. 9L – Kris Leming, 16. 13 – H.D. Carter, 17. 11X – Kyle Moonen, 18. 44 – Teddy Alberts, 19. 11E – Kyle Edwards.