Joe Liguori (left) was honored with Must See Racing’s 410 Driver of the Year Award on Saturday night. (Kelly Poole photo)
PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Must See Racing honored its top performers from the 2021 racing season on Saturday night at the Celebration of Champions, presented by Engine Pro, held at the Fremont Pike Quality Inn.
More than $25,000 in prize money and contingency prizes were handed out as the winged sprint car sanctions body closed the book on its 12th season of operations and looked ahead to the new year.
Recognized drivers and teams included the top 15 from the Engine Pro Fast Car Dash miniseries for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series, as well as the top 10 from the Must See Racing Midwest Lights Series season standings.
Charlie Schultz and Jimmy McCune were honored as co-champions for the five-race Fast Car Dash miniseries, due to a final points tie, while Joey Wyckoff was recognized as the second champion in as many seasons for the growing Midwest Lights division for 602 crate motor driven machines.
“We have a fierce rivalry on the track, but on a night like this we also know how to have a little fun,” Schultz’s McCune noted. “The rumor has it that when this is all over, we’ll find a way to somehow break that bond (laughter).”
Wyckoff added: “It has been an honor and a privilege to compete with Must See Racing and standing here as the Midwest Lights champion for 2021 is something I will remember for a long time to come. We’re not sure what the future holds 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 top two awards presented on Saturday night came at the very end of the program, both awarded to unsuspecting drivers who have made a big impact on 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 national Must See Racing events over the past five seasons, but also had the most consistent positive impact on the series and the 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 serving competitors who passed away unexpectedly in August 2020. It includes a plaque given to the driver and an eternal trophy that will remain with Must. See Racing’s home base in Michigan.
“I’m completely blown away,” Jewell said. “I was not expecting this at all. It’s a real honor because Jerry was a friend to so many of us and a valued competitor in this series. We certainly miss him.”
Meanwhile, Joe Liguori was named Must See Racing’s 410 Driver of the Year for a breakout season in which he took two main wins, three fast qualifying times and – if there was a season-long points system for 2021 – would have earned him a championship in three of the four possible scenarios.
“If there wasn’t a big trophy this year, this is the prize you want to bring back to the store,” Liguori commented after his acceptance speech. “We had a great year with the No. 13 car and hopefully we can find a way to top it in the coming season.”
Must See Racing Sprint Car Series sponsor Tom Stuyvesant of Engine Pro was the keynote speaker for the evening, 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 about the sanction’s upcoming campaigns for both the National 410 Series and the Midwest Lights, as well as a return to an all-season points structure and an end-of-season points fund for the national tour this year. year.
“Where we’ve been has been really good and provided a lot of entertainment for our fans, but I think where we’re going has the potential to be the best season we’ve ever had,” Hanks commented.
Must See Racing’s event schedule kicks off April 28-30 with its national 410 sprint car tour competing for the first time at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.