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Summer Shootout Series Crowns Eight Champions
Some championship contenders were as strong as steel while others bent like aluminum Tuesday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway as Stock Car Steel and Aluminum presented the final night of the 10-race Summer Shootout Series.
In the Verdict Ridge Golf and Country Club Legends Car Pro division, Jordan Anderson saved his best performances for the end of the season, winning the final two races and taking home the championship trophy.
The Columbia, S.C., racer entered the night as the points leader in the series' premier Legends Car division, but had several drivers nipping at his heels. Anderson started fifth in the 20-lap feature and needed only eight laps to power his way to the front and pass Steven Abbey for the lead. Tyler Green then gave chase, but Anderson left nothing to chance in the championship chase as he held off Green for a one-car length victory. Abbey rolled home third for his best finish of the season.
Thomas and Michael Van Wingerden shared the spotlight all season in the Thunder Roadster division, combining to win the first nine races. But on this night, a new victor emerged from the battle while a familiar face won the war.
With the 10-lap feature for the sleek open-wheel machines run on the 1.5-mile superspeedway, Rob Hall, of Concord, N.C., used an old-fashioned slingshot draft on the backstretch during the final lap to propel him past Michael Van Wingerden and into victory lane. Brian Weimer finished second with Thomas Van Wingerden third across the stripe as the trio finished under a blanket. Thomas Van Wingerden's effort was enough for the Huntersville, N.C., veteran to claim his second consecutive division title while his older brother, Michael, ended up second, 44 points behind.
After sitting out most of the season, veteran John Sossoman, of New London, N.C, returned to his winning ways in the main event for the Fractured Prune Legends Car Masters division. Sossoman started sixth, took the lead on lap three and was never seriously challenged in the caution-filled feature that was shortened to just 18 laps due to the 15-minute time limit. George "Cotton" Spry chased Sossoman under the checkered flag with Eddie Harwell banking the show money in the division for drivers ages 40 and over.
Clay Hair, of Mt. Pleasant, N.C., entered the night with a 35-point lead over Dennis White in the Masters division championship chase and, despite a late-race spin, held on to edge White for the title by a single point.
Christopher McKinney did all he could to claim the Bandolero Outlaws championship, but the Maynardville, Tenn., driver saw his effort fall just short. McKinney started second, took the lead at the green flag and led the entire distance in the 20-lap feature for drivers ages 17 and over. However, McKinney's primary title rival, Kendall Sellers, of Kannapolis, N.C., finished second and the two drivers ended tied atop the point standings. Sellers earned the championship by virtue of his five victories to McKinney's three. Chris Morgan finished third in both the race and the final standings.
Ronnie Bassett Jr. not only claimed the victory, but also earned the championship in the Bandolero Young Guns division for drivers ages 12 to 16. Bassett, of Winston-Salem, N.C., assumed command on lap 12 and never looked back in the caution-filled event that was shortened to 18 laps due to the time limit. Chad Finchum finished second with Nicholas Stroupe third across the stripe.
Ryan Glenski entered the race with a 50-point lead over Bassett, but fell out of championship contention when he hit the backstretch wall on lap eight. Despite recording six feature victories, Glenski's misfortune dropped him to second in the final standings.
Christian Pahud picked the perfect night to record his first victory of the season as the 14-year-old driver led from start to finish in the 20-lap feature for the Pull-A-Part Legends Car Semi-Pro division. His dominant drive was just enough for the Harrisburg, N.C., racer to edge Daniel Hemric by nine points in the championship chase.
Hemric entered the night atop the standings with Pahud a distant fourth, 61 points behind. But while Pahud was cruising at the front of the pack, Hemric was involved in two separate accidents and ended up 16th in the final rundown. John Ellenburg posted his best finish of the season in second while Kyle Hall took the checkered flag third.
In a surprise turn of events, apparent second-place finisher Davey Matthews, of Douglasville, Ga., inherited the victory in the Fisher-Price Bandolero Bandits division. Jesse Little, son of former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Chad Little, led the race for drivers ages 8 to 11 from start to finish, but was disqualified during post-race inspection for a restrictor-plate violation. It was the first victory of the season for Matthews and broke Kyle Plott's six-week stranglehold on the victory podium. Plott settled for second in the 20-lap race, but his effort was enough for the 11-year-old driver from Marietta, Ga., to claim his first series championship.
Jordan Penninger, of Huntersville, N.C., went wire-to-wire in claiming his second consecutive victory in the 20-lap finale for the Legends Car Young Lions division while Kyle Pierce, of Statesville, N.C., cruised home in second to earn his first series championship. Penninger started from the pole and was clearly the class of the field while Pierce had to carefully work forward from the seventh-starting spot to earn his eighth top-10 finish. Tyler Kivett finished third.
Two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race winner Jimmy Spencer was the class of the field in the School Bus slobberknocker that featured the crew from SPEED Channel's "NASCAR RaceDay." Spencer was sent to the rear of the eight-bus field for missing the drivers' meeting, but used a four-wide pass around the outside on lap two to take the lead and never looked back. Spencer held off fourth-generation racer Austin Petty following a late-race caution flag for debris while last year's School Bus winner, Wendy Venturini, finished third.
Prior to the racing action, 12-year-old Bandolero racer Corey Gordon, of Charlotte, N.C., received the prestigious Spirit of a Legend award. The honor is presented annually to the Summer Shootout Series competitor who best exemplifies the spirit of friendly competition upon which the Legends Cars, Bandoleros and Thunder Roadsters are based.
Highlights from each round of the 10-race Summer Shootout Series will be televised by SPEED Channel beginning in late November. Check local listings for dates and times.
Verdict Ridge Golf & Country Club Legends Car Pro Feature (20 laps): 1. Jordan Anderson; 2. Tyler Green; 3. Steven Abbey; 4. Chrissy Wallace; 5. Casey Roderick; 6. Jake Crum; 7. Garrett Lancaster; 8. Dean Abbey; 9. Chris Buescher; 10. David Ragan; 11. Scott Knox; 12. Duncan Molesworth; 13. Michael Van Wingerden; 14. Thomas Van Wingerden; 15. Rich Petrucco; 16. Adam Gay; 17. Nick Carey; 18. Tyler Chrisinger; 19. Max Gresham; 20. Leon Simmons; 21. Darrell Wallace Jr.; 22. Mitchell Coble; 23. Rowan Carey; 24. Thomas Hartensveld Jr.; 25. Paddy Rodenbeck; 26. Tolliver Smith; 27. Cole Miktuk. Champion: Jordan Anderson.
Thunder Roadster Feature (10 laps): 1. Rob Hall; 2. Brian Weimer; 3. Thomas Van Wingerden; 4. Nick Tucker; 5. Drew Calhoun; 6. Mike Ferre; 7. Michael Van Wingerden; 8. Ed Evans; 9. Jordan Sims; 10. Jim Fluharty; 11. Tom Van Wingerden; 12. Todd Burlingame; 13. Brennan Poole; 14. Thomas Clarke; 15. Matt Lassiter 16. Jim Gresham. Champion: Thomas Van Wingerden.
Fractured Prune Legends Car Masters Feature (18 laps): 1. John Sossoman; 2. George "Cotton" Spry; 3. Eddie Harwell; 4. Will Cagle; 5. Dennis White; 6. Tom Van Wingerden; 7. Tony Carper; 8. Jan Ingram; 9. Jimmy Gurley; 10. Dave Winston; 11. Carlos Moore; 12. Bobby Beekeef; 13. Dean Lyons; 14. Clay Hair; 15. Gary Shannon; 16. Bill Gardner; 17. Chip Ferguson; 18. Charles Kiser; 19. Jeff Turner; 20. Mark Moskowitz; 21. Brad Taylor; 22. Ronnie Laney; 23. Bruce Silver; 24. Todd Johnson; 25. Bobby Pence; 26. Brian Weimer; 27. Bruce Little. Champion: Clay Hair.
Pull-A-Part Legends Car Semi-Pro Feature (20 laps): 1. Christian Pahud; 2. John Ellenburg; 3. Kyle Hall; 4. Trey Poole; 5. Justin Lloyd; 6. Josh Williams; 7. Gene Kirila III; 8. Ty Dillon; 9. Dennis Kiser; 10. Rob Sanders; 11. Parker Hammons; 12. Jeff Bolen; 13. Justin Swilling; 14. Zack Alspach; 15. Jordan Webb; 16. Daniel Hemric; 17. Matthew Stover; 18. Bryan Silas; 19. Jake Dallenbach; 20. Chad Hackenbracht; 21. Zach Zimmerly; 22. Jonathan Ross; 23. Mike Alcaro; 24. Ryan Blaney; 25. J.R. Allen; 26. Michael Brown; 27. Steven Ross; 28. Austin Hill. Champion: Christian Pahud.
Legends Car Young Lions Feature (20 laps): 1. Jordan Penninger; 2, Kyle Pierce; 3. Tyler Kivett; 4. John Stancill; 5. Devin Layser; 6. Andrew Lloyd; 7. Landon Bullock; 8. Jimmy Heavlow; 9. Scott Hubler; 10. Joey Matlis; 11. Tyler Millwood; 12. Brecken Snow; 13. Dillon Presnell; 14. Trevor Farbo; 15. Chase Fleming; 16. Nick Hoffman; 17. Wyatt Dallenbach; 18. Chris Moore. Champion: Kyle Pierce.
Fisher-Price Bandolero Bandits Feature (20 laps): 1. Davey Matthews; 2. Kyle Plott; 3. Dillon Bassett; 4. Chase Elliott; 5. Sean Shalvoy; 6. Tyler Lester; 7. Layne Clifton; 8. Evan Swilling; 9. Justin Crider; 10. Stephen Bergh Jr.; 11. Jordan Stillwell; 12. Matt Wallace; 13. Corey Gordon; 14. Jeffrey Abbey; 15. John Holleman; 16. Blake Jones; 17. Trevor Collins; 18. T.J. Michael; 19. Brock Newsom; 20. Reid Wilson; 21. Caleb Calvaresi; 22. Jacob Heavlow; 23. Nicholas Drake; 24. Kyle Weatherman; 25. Charlie Gresham; 26. Matthew Linker; 27. Clayton Weatherman; 28. Jesse Little. Champion: Kyle Plott.
Bandolero Young Guns Feature (18 laps): 1. Ronnie Bassett Jr.; 2. Chad Finchum; 3. Nicholas Stroupe; 4. Robert Poole; 5. Dylan Pack; 6. Brandon Lynn; 7. William Cunningham; 8. Tyler Hill; 9. Daniel Gobeille; 10. Dylan Barbrian; 11. Tripp Ellis; 12. Justin Grimes; 13. Hayden; Reeves; 14. Brett Pepicelli; 15. Benji Hicks; 16. Jordan Coker; 17. Kyle Nelson; 18. Bryce Walker; 19. Devin Jones; 20. Blake Eden; 21. Clink King; 22. Chase Ferguson; 23. Ryan Glenski; 24. Jeremy Birch; 25. Timmy Hill; 26. Casey Lajoie; 27. Cameron Collins; 28. Gregory Lang. Champion: Ronnie Bassett Jr.
Bandolero Outlaws Feature (20 laps): 1. Christopher McKinney 2. Kendall Sellers; 3. Chris Morgan; 4. Nathan Rodgers; 5. Bruce Benson; 6. Dawn Eagens; 7. Chris Honeycutt; 8. Josh Turner; 9. Jarod Hicks; 10. Jake Morris; 11. Tim Keener; 12. Marcus Limehouse; 13. Charles Long Jr.; 14. Kayla Turner; 15. Adrian Williamson. Champion: Kendall Sellers.