Contributed By Peter Smith-Staff Writer LuvRacing.com
The “Fastest Short Track Show in the World” at Toledo Speedway was certainly that again this year. Through 5 heat races and 70 laps of feature racing the caution flag was only shown twice. A large field of 19 supermodifieds and 24 sprint cars was on hand to challenge the high speed ½ mile of Toledo Speedway.
However the high banks of Toledo took their toll on equipment early, as four racers would see their night’s come to an abrupt end in hot laps. In The MSA supermodifieds , the engine went sour on the 49 Stout racing machine piloted by Lou Cicconi and the 00 of Zach Gibson made hard contact with the turn one wall in hot laps destroying the machine which was just completed after an incident at the Winchester Speedway in May. Fortunately Gibson would be okay. In Auto Value Super Sprints , the 71 of Jason cox broke an axle sending the car skidding hard into the turn four wall , Jason would walk away from the wreck but be done for the evening. The 37 of Hank Lower would lose an engine in hot laps ending his night as well.
In Midwest Supermodified Association action, Mike Lichty in the 84 Reed’s salvage machine put down an amazing lap in qualifying while battling a loose car to claim the title of fastest qualifier with a lap time of 12.940. The 94 of Dave Shullick, Jr. would be second fastest and the 11 of Kyle Edwards third. In heat one Toledo native Jimmy McCune in the Biobased 88 would use his outside front row starting spot to jump to the lead and would never be challenged. Dave McKnight, Jr. would come home second and the 94 of Shullick, Jr. third.
In heat two, Charlie Schultz would also grab the top spot from outside the front row on the start. On lap four the May Motorsports 7 popped out of gear on the on the backstretch and in an few tense moments the car slowed drastically if in front of the oncoming field which brought out a caution. Shultz would restart but the bad luck would relegate him to the back of the pack. On the ensuing restart the 64 of Jim Paller pulled out to a lead. Former Toledo winner Mike Lichty would continue his march forward through the pack, which would end with a daring inside pass on Paller on the last lap of the heat. The top three at the line would be Lichty, Paller and the 22 of Mike McVetta.
The 64 of Jim Paller and 88 of Jimmy McCune paced the feature. On the start McCune drove in deep to turn one to come out with the lead. Paller settled into second and Dave McKnight, Jr. in third. The top three spaced themselves out with a pack of cars forming behind McKnight who appeared to be fighting the handling of the car.
With McCune and Paller fading in the distance on lap twenty, Mike McVetta moved into position to attempt a pass on McKnight going low, when suddenly Mike Lichty shot high. McVetta and Lichty would split Mcknight on the front stretch in front of a cheering crowd. Lichty came out the three wide move with third and McVetta advanced to fourth. McKnight in the following lap would subsequently pull his car to the pit area and out of the race.
Lichty then set his sights on Jim Paller and completed the pass for second on lap 35. By that point McCune had built up an insurmountable lead and Lichty would have to settle for a second place finish. McCune emerged from his machine in Sun Drop Victory Circle to a jubilant home town crowd and earning a popular victory for the local favorite and car owner SueEllen Wilshe. Jim Paller, Trent Stephens and Dave Shullick, Jr. rounded out the top five. The victory made Jimmy McCune the first driver to have ever won win both the sprint car and supermodified portions of this special event. The victory for McCune also perpetuated the record of MSA never having a repeat winner at Toledo. The forty lap feature was an exhibition of speed and thrilling action for the supermodifieds completing the entire distance without a caution in an amacing 9 minutes and 14 seconds.
A thank you must be given to the fans who packed the stands at the Toledo Speedway for the event. This show is always one of my favorites of the year and as a Toledoan myself, to me it’s worth the price of admission just to see the machines exact revenge on the annual mayfly swarm that we are accustomed to here on the shores of Lakes Erie.
MSA Feature Finish “Fastest Short Track Show in the World” Toledo Speedway
MSA Feature 40laps: Jimmy McCune, Mike Lichty, Jim Paller, Trent Stephens, Dave Shullick, Jr. , Mike McVetta, Charlie Schultz, Kevin Jaycox, Jr., Matt Marlowe, Kyle Edwards, Dave McKnight, Tim Ice, Danny Shirey, Rich Reid, Brad Wyatt, Bobby Dawson, Moe Lilje