Contributed By Peter Smith-Staff Writer LuvRacing.com
If you live in Toledo and are a fan of short track racing, odds are you’re familiar with the racing exploits of Jimmy McCune. Of you are not, let me shed a little light on his story.
Jimmy is latest in a line of racing legends in the McCune family, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father
and is now writing his own page in the family’s legacy. Jimmy McCune began racing at the age of 12 in quarter midgets quickly showing his skill in the cars and moving up to midgets by age 16. McCune’s foray into the wild and unpredictable world of sprint cars began at age 18, starting on dirt in the winged 410 sprint division at Attica Raceway Park.
As his talents developed, McCune picked up numerous rides in USAC in midgets, sprints and the occasional Silver Crown race. Despite starting on dirt, McCune quickly became recognized as a pavement ace, even notching 8 starts in ARCA stock cars with high finish of 4th at Michigan International Speedway in 1996.
As the USAC pavement scene started drying up McCune began making appearances with several winged pavement sprint car groups, rapidly becoming a prominent driver among their ranks. Jimmy is now a veteran in the pavement winged sprints , and is a fixture on The Must See Xtreme Sprint tour, now the top billing in pavement sprint car racing. The familiar Don Wilshe owned number 88 BioBased car is a weekly contender with Jimmy the behind wheel.
Even though he has long gone by the nickname “Bulldog,” leading one to believe that he’s a rough and tumble racer, the nickname has more to do with his tenacity to win rather than abuse of equipment. A staple of Jimmy’s career has been his consistency and his care of equipment, always bringing the car back to the trailer with wheels straight and usually ending the night with a top five finish.
However, if Jimmy, who always seems to keep his nose clean in any race that he competes in, and has the respect of his fellow competitors, does have an Achilles heal, it would be the famed Little 500 at Anderson Speedway. Always, one of the odds on favorites because of his smooth driving style, which, in this grueling grind of 500 laps and 33 cars, generally rewards patient racers, McCune seems yearly to get caught in a mess not of his own making. In his eleven starts in the prestigious event, including a front row start in 2008, the highest he has finished was ninth in 2007.
One of his biggest wins to date came in 2012 in the prestigious “King of Wings” event at the famed Oswego Speedway. Running with a car suffering from engine woes, McCune waxed the field and etched his name in the record books at a track primarily known as “The Home of the Supermodifieds.”
It may be that after visiting victory lane at Oswego and seeing the supermodifieds up close, that McCune decided he wanted to try his hand at these unique racing machings. With the formation of the Must See Racing Supermodified Series, McCune has made his jump to what many call “The Ultimate Short Track Race Car.” Featuring low slung roadsters and generally big block, fuel injected engines, and nearly 70% left side weight, these cars, while generally not able to lay down lap times as quick as the sprint cars, are certainly a handful to drive. Many racers that are familiar behind the wheel of a sprint car, find it somewhat tough to adapt to the different driving style required for the roadsters.
McCune seems to be the exception and after a quick learning curve is now running supermodifeds with Must See Racing as well as the Midwest Supermodified Association, and plans to make several stabs at the tough International Supermodified Association circuit. McCune with only six starts behind the wheel of the SueEllen Wilshe owned BioBased.US supermodified has already picked up a big win, running away from the field at “The Fastest Short Track Show in the World” at his home track of Toledo Speedway on June 14, 2013. With the win McCune entered the record books as the first driver to win both the supermodified and sprint car portions of the show.
Expect more big things to come from McCune as he has a busy season in store because “Bulldog” Jimmy McCune is always a contender no matter where he goes or what he drives.