Willison Captures First MSR Sprint Win At Owosso; Henes Rules Midwest Lights

Aaron Willison David Sink Photo

From Must See Racing
OVID, Mich. (June 22, 2024) – Canadian Aaron Willison dominated to capture his first Must See Racing Perfit Sprint Car Series victory Saturday night at Owosso Speedway.

Willison, a multi-time asphalt sprint car champion from Langley, British Columbia, raced from fifth to first in eight laps at the three-eighths-mile oval and then led the rest of the way in the No. 50m RAM Engineering Midwest sprinter for legendary car owner Dick Myers.

Despite three caution flags during the 40-lap main event, Willison still drove to a mammoth 10.762-second margin of victory over runner-up Joe Liguori, putting together one of the most impressive Must See Racing performances in recent memory.

“Dick and the whole RAM Engineering crew brought an absolutely outstanding race car to the track this weekend,” said Willison in victory lane. “For an old pail, she rolls hard and I’m honored to be driving it. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities lately to contend for wins, and to come out here and get my first Must See Racing win is a great feeling.”

Willison’s winning move came courtesy of an outside sweep in turn one, when he drove around early leader and reigning series champion Jason Blonde in commanding fashion.

“In the warm-up laps before the feature, I got up [in the high lane] and felt around a bit, so from that point I knew we had a stellar piece and the field might be in trouble,” he added with a big grin. “I had that move in my back pocket from the drop of the green and we made it pay off there.”

Behind Willison and Liguori, reigning Must See Racing rookie-of-the-year Kevin Mingus crossed the finish line in third place, earning a career-best finish for his family-owned No. Z10 team and putting himself into the conversation of contenders going forward.

Michigan’s Dorman Snyder was fourth and 2022 series champion Charlie Schultz, who started from the pole but had to rally back from a lap-20 spin in turn four, completed the top five.

Rick Holley, John Inman, Tommy Nichols, Teddy Alberts, and reigning series champion Jason Blonde were the balance of the top-10 finishers.

Blonde was in position to finish third Saturday night, but fell out of contention with a broken water line coming to two laps to go in the main event.

Schultz’s spin at the halfway point caused the only yellow flag during the 410 sprint car feature.

By virtue of his runner-up finish, Liguori assumed the unofficial point lead in the battle for the season championship.

In other racing action Saturday, inaugural Must See Racing Maxima Midwest Lights Series champion J.J. Henes opened his 2024 account with a victory in the night’s 30-lap Midwest Lights feature.

JJ Henes
David Sink Photo

The third-generation racer powered from fourth to the lead on the outside lane during the opening lap and never trailed after that, defeating runner-up Andrew Bogusz by 5.858 seconds in the end.

Bogusz and two-time defending series champion Cody Gallogly filled out the podium, followed by sprint car rookie Luke Krick – a three-time Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway track champion – and polesitter Charlie Baur.

Cautions at laps three and eight – both for issues befalling the No. 38 of John Dale Evans – set up a pair of double-file restarts, but Henes got the advantage on the bottom groove both times and was never seriously threatened.

Bogusz eventually passed Gallogly with six laps left after the latter had a right-rear tire that began to delaminate, forcing Gallogly to nurse his familiar No. 27 to the checkered flag.

Scattered showers throughout the evening led to a two-hour rain delay just after qualifying had begun, leading track and series officials to move to an expedited program and scrap time trials and heat races.

As a result, practice times and an inversion dice roll set the lineups for both sprint car classes Saturday, but the weather held off long enough for both feature races to be completed.

Must See Racing will continue its season Friday night, July 5 at Birch Run Speedway and Event Center, where the tour’s national 410 sprint cars will race on the four-tenths-mile and the Midwest Lights will do battle on the facility’s inner, one-third-mile flat track.

For more information, visit the series website at https://mustseeracing.com/.

The results:

410 sprint car feature (40 laps): 1. Aaron Willison, 2. Joe Liguori, 3. Kevin Mingus, 4. Dorman Snyder, 5. Charlie Schultz, 6. Rick Holley, 7. John Inman, 8. Tommy Nichols, 9. Teddy Alberts, 10. Jason Blonde, 11. Bobby Komisarski, 12. Jeff Bloom, 13. Shane Butler, 14. Tom Geren, 15. Joe Speakman (DNS).

Midwest Lights crate sprints (30 laps): 1. J.J. Henes, 2. Andrew Bogusz, 3. Cody Gallogly, 4. Luke Krick, 5. Charlie Baur, 6. Josh Sexton, 7. Brandon Tregembo, 8. Matt Double, 9. Richard Wichtner, 10. J.D. Evans.