From Must See Racing
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (May 28, 2022) – If Jason Blonde had ever had a race car as dominant as the piece he brought to Kalamazoo Speedway on Saturday night, he couldn’t recall it in victory lane.
Blonde cruised to his first Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro victory of the season during the American Speed U.S. Nationals, piloting the No. 42 Bingham Farms Special to a commanding half-lap triumph over five-time series champion and longtime rival Jimmy McCune.
The Litchfield, Mich., native took the top spot in traffic on lap seven of 50 and never looked back after that, blistering the three-eighths-mile, semi-banked oval and weathering a restart following a lap-17 caution period before quickly escaping to his mammoth race-winning advantage.
Afterward, Blonde admitted he never realized just how strong his car was, but felt confident all day long about his chances at claiming the trophy in his home state.
“That was pretty stout,” Blonde noted. “I still can’t believe we were that good tonight. Usually, when you lead half the race and then get a caution, it’s either really good or it goes really bad … but I have to thank [car owner] Tony Nosal and all my guys for sticking with it.
“Kalamazoo has been really good to us, but last year we ran second to [Jimmy] McCune and I was determined to not let that happen again.”
Saturday night’s score marked the eighth victory of Blonde’s Must See Racing career, moving him into a tie for fourth on the all-time list with Aaron Pierce and two-time series champion Troy DeCaire.
“It’s a fun group to run with, and we just keep plugging along here,” Blonde said with a smile. “It takes a lot of good people to do what we do, and I’m really blessed to have that kind of a group around me.”
McCune chased Blonde all night after leading the first six laps of the feature, but admitted after the race that Blonde “had the field covered” and that he was pleased to end up on the podium.
“It’s the first time that I’ve had a smile on my face to run second in quite a long time,” McCune laughed. “Congrats to Jason. He was fast all night long and his car was awfully good tonight. I tried the outside on that restart and just pushed up the race track. There wasn’t much that we could do from then on.
“I’m just pleased that we finished and the car is in one piece tonight. After all the problems we had down south last month, this feels like a much better place to get our season going from.”
Charlie Schultz took over the series point lead with his third-place run in John Reiser’s No. 9s sprinter.
The only caution during the main event waved for the slowing car of Tom Geren, who appeared to break a suspension piece with 17 laps complete in the feature.
Canadian Ryan Litt, who finished fourth in the main event in his first series start since 2019, kicked off the night by setting the fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 11.236 seconds (120.150 mph).
Teddy Alberts and Jacob Dolinar split the pair of 10-lap heat race wins.
The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro season continues Friday, June 10 with a stop at Michigan’s Birch Run Speedway. It marks the first series visit to the track since 2019.
Must See Racing Sprint Car Series; Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway; May 28, 2022
Qualifying (best of two laps): 1. Ryan Litt, 07L, 11.236-Litt; 2. Joe Liguori, 13, 11.254-Liguori; 3. Jason Blonde, 42, 11.288-Nosal; 4. Charlie Schultz, 11.427-Reiser; 5. Jimmy McCune, 88, 11.504-McCune; 6. Rick Holley, 85, 11.529; 7. Jacob Dolinar, 48, 11.571-Carter; 8. Adam Biltz, 8a, 11.759-Reiser; 9. Tom Jewell, 7, 11.942-Fogle; 10. Todd McQuillen, 2k, 12.022-Koyan; 11. Joshua Sexton, 3k, 12.026-Koyan; 12. Teddy Alberts, 44, 12.177-Alberts; 13. Joe Speakman, 72s, 12.354-Speakman; 14. Tom Geren, 11g, 12.425-Geren.
ARP Heat #1 (10 laps): 1. Teddy Alberts , 2. Adam Biltz , 3. Todd McQuillen , 4. Tom Geren , 5. Tom Jewell , 6. Joe Speakman , 7. Joshua Sexton .
Nitro Black Heat #2 (10 laps): 1. Jacob Dolinar , 2. Charlie Schultz , 3. Jimmy McCune , 4. Jason Blonde , 5. Ryan Litt , 6. Joe Liguori , 7. Rick Holley .
Engine Pro A-Feature (50 laps): 1. Jason Blonde , 2. Jimmy McCune , 3. Charlie Schultz , 4. Ryan Litt , 5. Jacob Dolinar , 6. Joe Liguori , 7. Adam Biltz , 8. Tom Jewell , 9. Todd McQuillen , 10. Joshua Sexton , 11. Joe Speakman , 12. Andrew Bogusz , 13. J.J. Henes , 14. Rick Holley , 15. Tom Geren , 16. Tim Henthorne , 17. Cody Gallogly , 18. Teddy Alberts .
Lap Leader(s): Jacob Dolinar Grid; Jimmy McCune 1-6; Jason Blonde 7-50.
Hard Charger: #36 – J.J. Henes (+5)