Members of the local media will take it four wide on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the popular Media Mayhem school bus race, presented by R&R Bar-B-Que, during Round Four of the Summer Shootout Series on Tuesday night, June 28.

Charlotte Motor Speedway's Media Mayhem Series began in 2009 and pits area media outlets against one another in a three-race series across three racing disciplines. While the first race is the school bus slobberknocker on Tuesday at the Summer Shootout, media members will also race at the Bellagio of drag strips, zMAX Dragway, and the 16-turn go-kart road course in the speedway's infield later in the summer.  FOX Charlotte is the 2010 champion of the Media Mayhem competition, while NewsChannel 36 won the first title in 2009.

The 2011 Media Mayhem participants include several local meteorologists, including Al Conklin from WBTV, Matthew East from News 14 Carolina, Chris Justus from FOX Charlotte, and Brad Panovich from NewsChannel 36. It's the first Media Mayhem bus race for East, Justus and Panovich, but Conklin has already had track time at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the six-wheeled, 30-foot, 13-ton school buses, finishing third in last year's Media Mayhem event.

"Day in and day out, I beat these guys with my superior weather forecasting skills," Conklin boasted. "I can't wait to beat them on the track Tuesday evening in the Storm Chasin' No. 3 bus!"

While Conklin is openly calling-out his competitors, Panovich plans to let his racing skill do the talking.

"I am looking forward to the friendly competition in the bus race," he said. "I'll save my smack talking 'til after the race when I lap everyone else."

The weather forecasters will be joined by additional first-time Media Mayhem school bus race competitors WSOC-TV reporter Andrew Doud; Jim Slade, on-air personality with "Tanner in the Morning" on 103.7 WSOC FM; and Chuck "Dzl" Thompson, assistant program director at WEND "The End," 106.5 FM.

In addition to the Media Mayhem school bus race, Round Four of the Summer Shootout Series will include a full docket of Legend Car and Bandolero racing action.

The seven-week, 10-race Summer Shootout Series runs each Tuesday night through July 26, with select Monday night races on July 4 and July 25.

Each week, tickets for the 18th annual Summer Shootout Series are just $7 for adults and $3 for kids 6 to 12. Children 5 and under get in free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free. Spectator gates open at 4:30 p.m. with racing action beginning at 5 p.m.

During Summer Shootout Round Four on June 28, the first 1,000 kids through the gate will receive a free pair of swim goggles. Moms and dads can enter to win a free family vacation at the Dunes Village Resort, courtesy of

For more information on the Summer Shootout Series, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit

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