McCune Wins Must See Racing Feature at Birch Run

Jimmy McCune . (David Sink photo)

From Must See Racing

BIRCH RUN, Mich. (June 10, 2022) – Jimmy McCune readily admitted Friday night that his car wasn’t the best at Birch Run Speedway, but in the end, it was still good enough to reach the checkered flag first.

McCune sped to his first Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro victory of the season at the four-tenths-mile paved oval during the first of two Friday Night Thunder programs at Birch Run this year.

He led the final 14 laps and held off a concerted late-race charge from Charlie Schultz for top honors. However, it was McCune’s 20-year-old nephew – Jacob Dolinar – who nearly stole the spotlight.

Dolinar took control of the 30-lap feature on the third circuit and appeared to be well on his way to his first career Must See Racing sprint car triumph. He led by more than two seconds at times during the first half and was out front by a straightaway just after halfway when disaster struck in traffic.

The Sylvania, Ohio young gun’s car stepped out on him entering turn one and Dolinar couldn’t save it, spinning in a cloud of smoke in the second corner as fluid began leaking from underneath his machine.

At that moment, Dolinar’s dream of a maiden victory was dashed, while his uncle took the lead and never relinquished it from that point on.

“Honestly, that was a wild one,” said McCune in victory lane after his 38th Must See Racing score. “I couldn’t even see [out of my helmet], so I didn’t know [Schultz] was there to my outside after the restart. We were blowing oil at the end and it was getting all over my visor. By the time I could look up and see … we were at least clear.

“She spit a lot of oil out, but we made it to victory lane, and I guess that’s all that matters,” McCune added. “I was just kind of riding [behind Dolinar] because I was already feeling like it was blowing up from lap three on. It was just about biding my time and paying attention so we didn’t tear things up.”

After the event, a dejected Dolinar explained what he felt went wrong in the moments leading up to the spin.

“It felt fine until the last few moments going into turn one,” Dolinar recalled. “I overdrove it into the corner and spun out. The [engine] temperature was a little high beforehand, and once I spun it shot up and pitched all the water out. … It’s not how we wanted to end the night, but we’ll learn from this one and come back stronger for the next one. It just sucks to have a car that good and not win with it.”

Dolinar’s bad luck set up a lap-16 restart where Canadian Ryan Litt lined up alongside McCune, but the new challenger to McCune’s lead was Schultz, who raced from third up to second on the resumption and immediately went to work challenging McCune’s orange No. 88 on the outside of the banking.

For three straight laps, Schultz nearly pulled even with McCune, and each time the five-time Must See Racing national champion held serve out front. Once McCune cleared Schultz, it was all but over.

In the final two laps, Schultz mustered up one more challenge, but didn’t have enough and came .281 seconds short of earning his third career checkered flag with Must See Racing.

“We were just so close, so evenly matched at the end, that there was only so much I could do,” Schultz noted. “On the restart I could somewhat get to him, but once he realized I was there, I had to back off a bit and cool the tires down. I got back after it at two to go and just ran out of time, I think.

“Twenty years ago, I probably would have crashed us both coming for the checkered [flag] on the outside, but I guess when you get a little older, you get a little wiser too.”

Litt completed the podium finishers, followed by reigning Must See Racing Driver of the Year Joe Liguori and recent Kalamazoo Speedway winner Jason Blonde.

Rick Holley, Adam Biltz, J.J. Henes, Tom Jewell and Joshua Sexton closed the top 10.

Liguori kicked off the program by setting the fastest time during Dowker Engines Time Trials in memory of John Hamilton, turning a lap of 13.089 seconds (110.016 mph) around the four-tenths-mile, semi-banked oval and earning $100 for his efforts.

It marked the fourth top qualifying effort of Liguori’s Must See Racing career. However, he didn’t come close to the all-time Birch Run sprint car track record of 12.183 seconds (118.197 mph), set by Cameron Dodson on July 1, 2005.

Jewell, McCune and Litt won their respective eight-lap heat races prior to the feature, each banking $100 for their efforts as well.

The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro season continues Saturday, July 2 with the Star Spangled Spectacular at Illinois’ Rockford Speedway. Jimmy McCune is the most recent series winner at the Rockford quarter-mile, taking the checkered flag there in 2018.

For more information on the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series, visit

Must See Racing Sprint Car Series
Birch Run Speeedway
Birch Run, Michigan
Friday, June 10, 2022

1. 13-Joe Ligouri, 13.089[11]
2. 9S-Charlie Schultz, 13.398[15]
3. 7L-Ryan Litt, 13.449[12]
4. 42-Jason Blonde, 13.664[2]
5. 48-Jacob Dolinar, 13.680[4]
6. 88-Jimmy McCune, 13.731[13]
7. 85-Rick Holley, 13.882[9]
8. 8B-Adam Biltz, 13.944[1]
9. 26-Jeff Bloom, 14.166[3]
10. 36-JJ Henes, 14.333[7]
11. 3-Joshua Sexton, 14.411[16]
12. 2-Todd McQuillen, 14.414[14]
13. 7-Tom Jewell, 14.459[10]
14. 15-Tim Henthorne, 15.510[8]
15. 65-Junior Gould, 16.035[6]

Heat Race #1
1. 7-Tom Jewell[2]
2. 3-Joshua Sexton[4]
3. 2-Todd McQuillen[3]
4. 15-Tim Henthorne[1]
5. 65-Junior Gould[5]

Heat Race #2
1. 88-Jimmy McCune[3]
2. 85-Rick Holley[2]
3. 8B-Adam Biltz[1]
4. 36-JJ Henes[4]

Heat Race #3
1. 7L-Ryan Litt[2]
2. 13-Joe Ligouri[4]
3. 9S-Charlie Schultz[3]
4. 48-Jacob Dolinar[5]
5. 42-Jason Blonde[1]

1. 88-Jimmy McCune[3]
2. 9S-Charlie Schultz[7]
3. 7L-Ryan Litt[6]
4. 13-Joe Ligouri[8]
5. 42-Jason Blonde[5]
6. 85-Rick Holley[2]
7. 8B-Adam Biltz[1]
8. 36-JJ Henes[9]
9. 7-Tom Jewell[12]
10. 3-Joshua Sexton[10]
11. 2-Todd McQuillen[11]
12. 65-Junior Gould[14]
13. 48-Jacob Dolinar[4]
14. 26-Jeff Bloom[15]
15. 15-Tim Henthorne[13]