PERRYSBURG, Ohio – Must See Racing honored its top performers from the 2021 racing season on Saturday night during the sanctioning body’s Celebration of Champions presented by Engine Pro, held at the Fremont Pike Quality Inn.
More than $25,000 in prize money and contingency awards were handed out as the pavement winged sprint car sanctioning body closed the book on its 12th season of operations and looked ahead toward the new year.
Among the drivers and teams recognized were the top 15 from the Engine Pro Fast Car Dash mini-series for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series, as well as the top 10 from the Must See Racing Midwest Lights Series season-long point standings.
Charlie Schultz and Jimmy McCune were feted as co-champions for the five-race Fast Car Dash mini-series, due to a tie in the final points, while Joey Wyckoff was recognized as the second champion in as many seasons for the growing Midwest Lights division for 602 crate engine-powered machines.
“We have a fierce rivalry on the race track, but on a night like this we know how to have a little bit of fun too,” noted McCune of Schultz. “Rumor has it that after this is all over, we’re going to find a way to break that tie somehow (laughter).”
Added Wyckoff, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to compete with Must See Racing and to be standing here as the Midwest Lights champion for 2021 is something I’ll remember for a long time. We’re not sure what the future holds right now for my Must See Racing career, but we appreciate everything Jim and Nancy Hanks, as well as Maxima Racing Oil and Engine Pro have done for the series this season.”
The two highest honors handed out Saturday night came at the very end of the program, both given to unsuspecting drivers who have made a major impact in Must See Racing’s national 410 sprint car scene.
Tom Jewell was named the inaugural recipient of the new Jerry Caryer Iron Man Award, recognizing the driver who not only attended the most Must See Racing national events over the past five seasons, but also made the most consistent positive impact on the series and sanctioning body during that time.
The Jerry Caryer Iron Man Award is in memory of the late Caryer, one of Must See Racing’s longest tenured competitors who passed away unexpectedly in August of 2020. It features a plaque given to the driver as well as a perpetual trophy which will remain at Must See Racing’s Michigan base of operations.
“I’m completely blown away,” said Jewell. “I wasn’t expecting this at all. It’s a true honor, as Jerry was a friend to so many of us and a valued competitor in this series. We definitely miss him.”
Meanwhile, Joe Liguori was named Must See Racing’s 410 Driver of the Year on the strength of a breakout season that saw him record two feature victories, three fast qualifying times and – had there been a season-long points system in place for 2021 – would have given him a championship in three out of four possible scenarios.
“If there wasn’t going to be a big trophy this year, this is the award you want to bring back to the shop,” Liguori pointed out following his acceptance speech. “We had a great year with the No. 13 car and, hopefully, we can find a way to top it during the season to come.”
Must See Racing Sprint Car Series sponsor Engine Pro’s Tom Stuyvesant was the night’s keynote speaker, while Must See Racing founder and president Jim Hanks delivered the annual State of the Series Address to kick off the program.
During that speech, Hanks noted a renewed sense of enthusiasm surrounding the sanction’s upcoming campaigns for both the national 410 series and the Midwest Lights, as well as a return to a full-season points structure and season-ending points fund for the national tour this year.
“Where we’ve been was really good and provided our fans with a ton of entertainment, but I think where we’re going has the potential to be the best season we’ve ever had,” noted Hanks.
Must See Racing’s event schedule will begin April 28-30 with its national 410 sprint car tour competing at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway for the first time.