Schultz wins first MSR title, Santos wins Jennerstown
Charlie Schultz celebrates atop his car after winning the Must See Racing Sprint Car Championship on Saturday at Jennerstown Speedway. (Photo MSR)
JENNERSTOWN, Pa. — Bobby Santos III may have finished an unblemished run in the Must See Racing Engine Pro Sprint Car Series on Saturday night at Jennerstown Speedway, but the most important title was crowning a new circuit champion.
Charlie Schultz rebounded from a six-point deficit entering the David D. Mateer Memorial Race on the half-mile Pennsylvania Oval, passing Joe Liguori on the final night of the season to claim his first title Must See Racing in its sixth season competing with the traveling winged asphalt sprint car series.
It marked one of the most scripted comebacks in the show’s history, after Schultz had lost his mind three weeks earlier due to an accident at Lorain (Ohio) Raceway Park and thought he was out. title hunt.
“It wasn’t so much about rallying the team as it was about not giving up,” said Schultz, who finished third in the 30-lap final to claim the crown. “I’m probably pretty stupid, because I should have retired after (the accident at) Lorain. I was pretty hard on myself, but a lot of that comeback tonight was thanks to the team that I had around me.
“JJ Henes, Kasey Jedzrejek, Sawyer Stout and (team owner) John Reiser wouldn’t let me give in when, maybe, I wanted to – and I’m glad they kept pushing me because that brought us to this moment tonight,” he added. “Adding my name to the elite list of champions who have won a title with Must See Racing is something I will carry with me no matter what I do 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 seriously considered asking her to marry me,” Schultz said, with a smirk. “I want to do this tonight in front of everyone.
“We have a lot of friends watching the livestream tonight, but let me tell you…we’re taking the party to Lorain, Ohio tomorrow and it’s going to be a big one!”
Meanwhile, Santos surged late to claim his fourth Must See Racing sprint car victory in four appearances this season, using a 20th-lap restart as fuel to chase and pass race leader Ryan Litt.
With a sweeping inside move entering the first corner, Santos passed Litt with 10 laps to go and pulled away 5.472 seconds to earn a $3,000 payday and his second career win at the David D. Mateer Memorial.
“Ryan was great; the dirty air was really hard behind him and I don’t know if we were going to get 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 big picture – that his thoughts were with a Jennerstown Speedway track worker who was hit on pit road while trying to clean up a streak of fluid which was dropped earlier in the main event.
The incident resulted in a 45-minute stoppage during the Must See Racing feature. The track worker was awake and alert, track officials said, before being airlifted to a local hospital for further observation.
“Obviously our main hope is that everyone is okay after this,” Santos said. “It was a scary ordeal, but it looks like he’s going to be able to recover and that’s the most important thing of all of this.”
Prior to the stoppage, Litt led the first 19 laps of the feature unchallenged and appeared to be on his way to his second win of the season. He ended up finishing far behind Santos in the end.
Behind Schultz, fast qualifier Mike McVetta finished fourth. Liguori, who broke a U-joint in his heat race and had to start from the back of the pack, came fifth but couldn’t advance further and lost three 2022 title points.
Liguori scored the most cumulative points in the nine races contested this season, but Schultz benefited from Must See Racing’s retirement rule, forcing drivers to throw away their worst night of the year.
Feature (30 rounds): 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. Antoine Linkenhoker 13. Tom Jewell 14. Jeff Bloom .