From David Sink
JENNERSTOWN, Penn. (August 27, 2022) — Bobby Santos III may have completed an unblemished run through the Must See Racing Engine Pro Sprint Car Series on Saturday night at Jennerstown Speedway, but the bigger headline was the crowning of a new tour champion.
Ohio’s Charlie Schultz rallied from a six-point deficit entering the David D. Mateer Memorial Race at the half-mile Pennsylvania oval, overtaking Joe Liguori on the final night of the season to secure his first Must See Racing title in his sixth season competing with the traveling winged asphalt sprint car series.
It marked one of the most storybook comebacks in series history, after Schultz lost the point lead three weeks earlier due to a crash at Lorain (Ohio) Raceway Park and thought he was out of the title hunt.
“It wasn’t so much a matter of rallying the team as it was that we just don’t quit,” said Schultz, who finished third in the 30-lap feature to capture the crown. “I’m probably pretty dumb, because I should have just quit after (the crash at) Lorain. I was pretty hard on myself, but a lot of this comeback tonight was thanks to the crew I had around me.
“J.J. Henes … , Kasey Jedzrejek, Sawyer Stout and (team owner) John Reiser didn’t let me give in when, maybe, I wanted to … and I’m glad they kept pushing me because it got us here to this moment tonight,” he added. “To add my name to the elite list of champions that have won a title with Must See Racing is something that I’ll carry with me no matter what I do going forward in my racing career. It’s special.”
After celebrating atop the wing and enduring a champagne shower from an elated Reiser, Schultz made it a night to remember by surprising his longtime girlfriend, Debbie Walker, with a marriage proposal.
“Debbie and I have been together for about four and a half years, and I’ve been seriously considering asking her to marry me,” said Schultz, with a sly smile. “I want to do that tonight in front of everyone.
“We have a lot of friends watching the livestream tonight, but let me tell you … we’re bringing the party to Lorain, Ohio tomorrow and it’s going to be a big one!”
Meanwhile, Santos surged late to capture his fourth Must See Racing sprint car win in four appearances this season, using a lap-20 restart as fuel to chase down and pass race-long leader Ryan Litt.
With a sweeping, inside move entering the first turn, Santos passed Litt with 10 laps left and drove away by 5.472 seconds to earn a $3,000 payday and his second career David D. Mateer Memorial victory.
“Ryan was great; dirty air was really tough behind him and I’m not sure if we were going to have anything for him if not for the restart,” explained Santos. “I got the right yellow and it worked for us.”
Despite the elation of victory, Santos noted the bigger picture – that his thoughts were with a Jennerstown Speedway track worker who was struck on pit road while attempting to clean up a trail of fluid that had been laid down earlier in the main event.
The incident led to a 45-minute stoppage during the Must See Racing feature. The track worker was awake and alert, according to track officials, before being transported by air to a local hospital for further observation.
“Obviously, our main hope is that everyone is OK after that,” Santos said. “It was a scary ordeal, but it sounds like he’s going to be able to make a recovery and that’s the most important thing from all this.”
Prior to the stoppage, Litt led the first 19 laps of the feature uncontested and appeared to be on his way to his second win of the season. He ultimately finished a distant second to Santos in the end.
Behind Schultz, fast qualifier Mike McVetta ran fourth. Liguori, who broke a u-joint in his heat race and had to start from the tail of the feature field, got to fifth but could advance no further and fell three points shy of the 2022 title.
Liguori scored the most aggregate points during the nine races run this season, but Schultz was the beneficiary of Must See Racing’s drop rule, requiring drivers to throw out their worst night of the year.
McVetta kicked off the program by setting the fastest time in qualifying at the .522-mile, polymer-asphalt oval with a lap of 15.321 seconds (122.655 mph). It marked the second time in McVetta’s Must See Racing career that he topped the qualifying charts, as well as the first time this season.
McVetta collected a $500 bonus from American Racer Tires, in memory of David D. Mateer, for his fast qualifying effort behind the wheel of the Dick Myers Racing-prepared No. 50m sprint car.
Todd McQuillen and Litt split the pair of eight-lap heat races held prior to the title-deciding main event.
While the Must See Racing national sprint car season has concluded, three races remain for the crate-engined Must See Racing Midwest Lights Series, starting with a doubleheader weekend during the Bev Jaycox Memorial Cavalcade, Oct. 1-2 at Sandusky Speedway.
For more information on Must See Racing, visit the sanctioning body’s website at www.mustseeracing.com.
Must See Racing Sprint Car Series
Saturday, August 27, 2022
Dowker Engines Time Trials
1. Mike McVetta, 50m, Myers-15.321
2. Bobby Santos III, 22a, Fieler-15.357
3. Joe Liguori, 13, Liguori-15.382
4. Charlie Schultz, 9s, Reiser-15.594
5. Ryan Litt, 07L, Litt-15.741
6. Rick Holley, 85, Holley-16.097
7. Jason Blonde, 42, Nosal-16.150
8. Todd McQuillen, 2k, Koyan-16.763
9. Adam Biltz, 8a, Reiser-17.153
10. Tom Geren, 11g, Geren-17.216
11. Joshua Sexton, 3k, Koyan-17.529
12. Anthony Linkenhoker, 4, Linkenhoker-19.154
13. Jeff Bloom, 26, Bloom-NT
14. Tom Jewell, 7, Fogle-NT.
ARP Heat Race #1 (8 laps, all transfer)
1. Todd McQuillen 
2. Tom Geren 
3. Adam Biltz 
4. Joshua Sexton 
5. Anthony Linkenhoker 
6. Jeff Bloom (DNS)
7. Tom Jewell (DNS)
Nitro Black Heat Race #2 (8 laps, all transfer)
1. Ryan Litt 
2. Charlie Schultz 
3. Mike McVetta 
4. Jason Blonde 
5. Bobby Santos III 
6. Rick Holley 
7. Joe Liguori 
American Racer David D. Mateer Tribute (30 laps)
1. Bobby Santos III 
2. Ryan Litt 
3. Charlie Schultz 
4. Mike McVetta 
5. Joe Liguori 
6. Jason Blonde 
7. Rick Holley 
8. Todd McQuillen 
9. Adam Biltz 
10. Tom Geren 
11. Joshua Sexton 
12. Anthony Linkenhoker 
13. Tom Jewell 
14. Jeff Bloom