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Summer Shootout Series

Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Fades to Black

Charlotte Motor Speedway

An unforgettable, emotionally charged finale to the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout on Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway saw the most thrilling racing action in the 24-year history of the world’s ultimate grassroots racing showcase.

Champions Night presented by Stock Car Steel featured a Lead 2 Real Estate Pro division finale like no other. Jordan Black, a 19-year-old native of Orlando, Florida, entered the season finale with an 11-point lead over Austin Green in Black’s pursuit of a record third consecutive title. Black needed only an eighth-place finish and appeared to have the championship in hand with a sizable lead over Green as the 25-lap race entered its final stages, but Black’s engine began to sputter. He lost the top spot before the engine expired with five laps to go, seemingly handing the championship to Green.

A late restart left Green with two laps to clinch the win and the most incredible comeback in Shootout history – but the 16-year-old Concord, North Carolina, native saw his hopes all but evaporate when Dawson Cram nudged him out of the lead. Running fourth on the last lap, Cram was sent spinning, collecting the top three cars, putting Green back in the lead. While he sped to the victory and what appeared to be the title, a review of the last-lap accident saw Carson Ferguson disqualified for rough driving – moving Black to eighth place. By virtue of his five wins to Green’s four, the points tiebreaker, Black became the first driver to win three straight Pro titles.

“It’s hard to explain. I looked in my mirror with (eight) to go thinking, ‘We got it,’” Black said. “I was getting goose bumps. It’s kind of weird because I was thinking to myself last night, ‘We got this as long as we don’t blow a motor.’

“You get one of these Pro championships, it’s a feat. The first was to prove to everyone that I can do this – that I’m someone who is to be talked about and who is a threat. The second one was special to show everyone that the first one wasn’t a fluke. This one – I had nothing to prove. This one was for me and my guys. This was about something more meaningful for all of us – going out there week after week and doing it for my guys. … I’m still trying to secure funding for the next level of racing. This is going to do a lot for me as far as what direction I go in the future. The door’s wide open.”

Green came one victory short of a title.

“We were fast all day but I never would’ve caught Jordan if he didn’t blow up there,” Green said. “That helped us a lot. We got into the 11 yesterday and it carried over to today, which I didn’t think it would, but we won. It was my last Legend Car race, so it was great to come out on top.”

A spectacular fireworks show punctuated one hot night of grassroots racing, which also featured an autograph session and the title-deciding events for six divisions. Champions Night crowned the new kings of the Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters division (Todd Midas); the VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro division (Zach Miller); the K1 Speed Young Lions (Sam Mayer); the Bandolero Bandits (Leland Honeyman) and the Bandolero Outlaws (Cameron Bolin).

A caution-filled Masters season finale pitted Carl Cormier, defending champion Robby Faggart, Todd Midas and Jon Craig against one another for the title. Faggart and Cormier entered the race tied for the points lead with Midas one behind and Craig nine back, but Craig’s consistent driving gave the underdog a chance. The hour-long race included multiple dramatic moments: Faggart spun Cormier on Lap 20 and left both cars sent to the rear with five laps left. Michael Van Wingerden led on the restart before contact from Craig sent Van Wingerden spinning into a crowd of cars that left Jeffrey Lefcourt barrel-rolling down the backstretch and Craig in the rear of the pack. One final restart was enough for Mark Green to emerge with the victory, but the fight for the title behind him left Midas in fourth place – just enough to edge Faggart for the title.

Determined to come out on top, Sam Mayer captured the checkered flag and clinched his first K1 Speed Young Lions championship. Mayer passed D.J. Canipe for the lead and set the pace for the rest of the field. Canipe and Bryson Ruff were hot at Mayer’s tail, but neither had enough speed as Mayer dominated the closing laps and crossed the finish line as a champion.

“Farbo Motorsports puts together the best cars I’ve ever raced in my life and it’s just amazing,” Mayer said. “I’ve always wanted to get a belt.”

Two laps decided the VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro division title, as Zach Miller, Ryan Miller, Dustin Rumley and Hudson Halder dueled for the race win. Halder prevailed after a late-race caution for a multi-car crash, which set the stage for a dash for the crown. By virtue of finishing fourth, Zach Miller hung on for the championship with Rumley and brother Ryan Miller in tow.

Zack Miracle captured a convincing victory in Bandolero Bandits competition, while Bobby Elder scored the win in the Beginner Bandits finale. Justin Gareis continued his torrid run to the end of the Bandolero Outlaws season by winning his fourth consecutive race, but Bolin held on for the championship by finishing second.

Additionally, longtime Summer Shootout announcer Steve Post was presented with the Tom Van Wingerden Spirit of a Legend Award for his considerable contributions to Legend Car racing.

Not to be outdone by the exhilarating racing, the speedway’s events on Monday included the first-ever Porta John race on the frontstretch. Competitors attempted to carry Porta Johns down the frontstretch on their backs – with the help of carts – before unrolling 3,000-sheet rolls of toilet paper back to the finish line to determine the winner. Josh Wilkerson proved to be the fastest man on the frontstretch, claiming what he said will be his only Porta John race win.

“That’s the most fun I’ve had with a Porta John,” Wilkerson said. “It’ll probably be my last race.”

On Monday, Austin Green rallied for a thrilling victory in Lead 2 Real Estate Pro action. Dawson Cram dominated the 25-lap feature, but a pair of late caution flags erased his lead and gave Green another shot at the win – which he collected by a scant 0.029 seconds, the division’s closest finish in recent memory. Black finished fifth, bringing the title fight to its final day.

Todd Midas picked up his second win of the season in the Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters division – a victory that ultimately decided the championship. Midas jumped to the front of the pack in the beginning stages of the feature and he had to attempt to hold off Michael Van Wingerden and Robby Faggart, who were both hungry for wins. Faggart started in the sixth spot after the invert, battled his way to second and closed the gap but Midas found enough speed to capture the win over Faggart.

The VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro feature saw Ryan Miller romp to a victory over Dustin Rumley. Miller set the pace from the drop of the green flag and set his sights on the trophy. While everyone else battled behind him, Miller put some distance between himself and the fighting second-place cars. Dustin Rumley and Zach Miller fought their way through the field to try and catch the elder Miller brother. Although Rumley was able to reach the back bumper of Ryan Miller, he was unable to pass him and Ryan Miler grabbed his second victory of the season.

In the K1 Speed Young Lions feature, Sam Mayer saw his bid for a fifth consecutive victory end in a spin and a 19th-place finish. Jak Crawford captured the victory over Nicholas Sanchez, with Ryan Heim third and D.J. Canipe fourth.

Justin Gareis stormed to his third straight victory in the Bandolero Outlaws division, while Parker Eatmon captured the win in Bandolero Bandits and Luke Cooper triumphed in Beginner Bandits.

Tuesday’s Results:

K1 Speed Young Lions (25 laps): 1. Sam Mayer; 2. Bryson Ruff; 3. D.J. Canipe; 4. Ryan Heim; 5. Nicholas Sanchez; 6. Harrison Halder; 7. Josh Kossek; 8. Sammy Smith; 9. Jak Crawford; 10. Tristan Lesik; 11. Isabella Robusto; 12. Derek Debbis; 13. Will Lambros; 14. J.R. Weidman; 15. Liz Montegomery; 16. Jett Noland; 17. Steve Chapman; 18. Dean Lambros; 19. Gracie Trotter; 20. Holt Halder; 21. Josh Stark.

VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro (20 laps): 1. Ryan Miller; 2. Dustin Rumley; 3. Zach Miller; 4. Tristen Love; 5. Vincent Midas; 6. Hudson Halder; 7. Scott Joy; 8. Garrett Manes; 9. Sam Platt; 10. Andrew Dollar; 11. Connor Mosack; 12. Jessica Dana; 13. Joshua Plummer; 14. Carson Poindexter; 15. Cory Butner; 16. Craig Biryla; 17. Zack Wells; 18. Austin Bellemare.

Lead 2 Real Estate Pro (25 laps): 1. Austin Green; 2. Dillon Faggart; 3. Daniel Wilk; 4. Jordan Stillwell; 5. Noah Korner; 6. Andrew Brown; 7. Dawson Cram; 8. Jordan Black; 9. Carson Ferguson.

Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters (25 Laps): 1. Mark Green; 2. Craig Bruce; 3. Jan Ingram; 4. Todd Midas; 5. Robby Faggart; 6. Carl Cormier; 7. Jon Craig; 8. Chip Ferguson; 9. Danny Cisson; 10. Brain McElearney; 11. Michael VanWingerden; 12. Jeffrey Lefcourt; 13. Bruce Silver; 14. David Green; 15. Dan Keaton; 16. Todd Shockman; 17. Charles Parker.

Bandelero Outlaws (20 laps): 1. Justin Gareis; 2. Cameron Bolin; 3. Tommy Good; 4. Austin MacDonald; 5. Matt Emery; 6. Matthew Davey; 7. Trevor Wester; 8. Ethan Norfleet; 9. Josh Speas; 10. Franklin Caricofe; 11. Jadyn Daniels; 12. Carson Ramsey; 13. Garrett Lowe; 14. Garin Mash; 15. Jordan Plummer; 16. Benjamin Johnson; 17. Logan Clark; 18. David Sullivan; 19. Cameron Murray; 20. Johnathan Lesik; 21. Andrew Faircloth; 22. Luke Akers.

Bandolero Bandits (20 Laps): 1. Zack Miracle; 2. Landon Rapp; 3. Parker Eatmon; 4. Leland Honeyman; 5. Jason Chapman; 6. Kade Brown; 7. Zac Fowler; 8. Luke Cooper; 9. Santiago Hill; 10. Jacob Putnam; 11. Truett Miranda; 12. Tyler Chapman; 13. Conner Jones; 14. Jaiden Reyna.

Beginner Bandits (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Elder; 2. Sean Abell; 3. Lucas Vera; 4. Emily Hedstrom; 5. Adam Eades; 6. Kaleb Bradley; 7. Jacob Bradley; 8. Graham DeJarnett; 9. Sean McElearney; 10. Sarah Sullivan; 11. Daniel Sell; 12. Wyatt Philyaw; 13. Cooper Henry.

Monday’s Results:

K1 Speed Young Lions (25 laps): 1. Jak Crawford; 2. Nicholas Sanchez; 3. Ryan Heim; 4. D.J. Canipe; 5. Gracie Trotter; 6. Bryson Ruff; 7. Will Lambros; 8. Dean Lambros; 9. Steve Chapman; 10. Isaballa Robusto; 11. Liz Montgomery; 12. Holt Halder; 13. Derek Debbis; 14. Sammy Smith; 15. Tristan Lesik; 16. Josh Stark; 17. J.R. Weidman; 18. Jett Noland; 19. Sam Mayer; 20. Harrison Halder; 21. Austin MacDonald; 22. Josh Kossek.

VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro (20 laps): 1. Ryan Miller; 2. Dustin Rumley; 3. Zach Miller; 4. Tristen Love; 5. Vincent Midas; 6. Hudson Halder; 7. Scott Joy; 8. Garrett Manes; 9. Sam Platt; 10. Andrew Dollar; 11. Connor Mosack; 12. Jessica Dana; 13. Joshua Plummer; 14. Carson Poindexter; 15. Cory Butner; 16. Craig Biryla; 17. Zack Wells; 18. Austin Bellemare.

Lead 2 Real Estate Pro (25 laps): 1. Austin Green; 2. Dawson Cram; 3. Carson Ferguson; 4. Jordan Black; 5. Noah Korner; 6. Daniel Wilk; 7. Dillon Faggart; 8. Andrew Brown; 9. Jordan Stillwell.

Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters (25 Laps): 1. Todd Midas; 2. Robby Faggart; 3. Michael Van Wingerden; 4. Mark Green; 5. Jon Craig; 6. Carl Cormier; 7. Chip Ferguson; 8. David Green; 9. Danny Cisson; 10. Craig Bruce; 11. Jan Ingram; 12. Dan Keaton; 13. Brian McElearney; 14. Charles Parker; 15. Todd Shockman.

Bandelero Outlaws (20 laps): 1. Justin Gareis; 2. Cameron Bolin; 3. Matthew Emery; 4. Matthew Davey; 5. Ethan Norfleet; 6. Carson Ramsey; 7. Andrew Faircloth; 8. Josh Speas; 9. Luke Akers; 10. Logan Clark; 11. Austin MacDonald; 12. Jadyn Daniels; 13. David Sullivan; 14. Cameron Murray; 15. Jordan Plummer; 16. Franklin Caricofe; 17. Garin Mash; 18. Johnathan Lesik; 19. Tommy Good; 20. Trevor Wester; 21. Garrett Lowe; 22. Cameron Johnson; 23. Benjamin Johnson.

Bandolero Bandits (20 Laps): 1. Parker Eatmon; 2. Landon Rapp; 3. Leland Honeyman; 4. Kade Brown; 5. Jaiden Reyna; 6. Santiago Hill; 7. Conner Jones; 8. Truett Miranda; 9. Jacob Putnam; 10. Zack Miracle; 11. Grant Thompson; 12. Zac Fowler.

Beginner Bandits (20 Laps): 1. Luke Cooper; 2. Bobby Elder; 3. Sean Abbel; 4. Jacob Bradley; 5. Kaleb Bradley; 6. Wyatt Philyaw; 7. Sean McElearney; 8. Emily Hedstrom; 9. Sarah Sullivan; 10. Adam Eades; 11. Steve Mitch.

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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