"Cotton" Spry Among Shootout Champions
Sponsored by Stock Car Steel and Aluminum, the evening featured nail-biting drama, a pair of female racers in victory lane, several new champions and a school bus race that proved television motorsports journalists should spend their time covering the action instead of creating it.
In one of the closest battles in the 13-year history of the series, George "Cotton" Spry, of Salisbury, N.C., edged defending titlist Brian Weimer, of Cumming, Ga., by just two points to claim his third Legends Car Masters division championship in six years.
While Clay Hair, of Mt. Pleasant, N.C., was cruising to his fifth victory of the season in the 20-lap event, all eyes were on Spry and Weimer. The pair entered the night with Weimer leading by just six points. They lined up bumper to bumper in ninth and 11th and battled among the top 10 throughout the race. But when the checkered flag was unfurled, Spry was third with Weimer sixth.
Entering the Lucas Oil Bandolero Bandits feature, Cody Blackburn needed only to finish in the top 10 to claim his first championship. But it appeared as if the title had slipped through his grasp when the Stanley, N.C., driver spun on the opening lap and restarted at the back of the 24-car field.
But never giving up, Blackburn drove through the pack and was running in that coveted 10th place when Tyler Hill flipped in Turn 1, simultaneously bringing out the red and checkered flags after 15 of the scheduled 20 laps. While Hill walked away uninjured, championship challenger Clint King added to the drama by claiming his first victory. Blackburn and King ended tied in points with the title going to Blackburn as the result of his two feature victories this season to King's one.
Thirteen-year-old Casey Roderick ended the Peach Auto Body Legends Car Pro division season in grand style, winning both the 20-lap finale and the championship. All Roderick had to do was start the main event to claim the title, but the Lawrenceville, Ga., driver proved to be the class of the field. He started 10th, took the lead on lap 19 and beat Brennan Poole to the checkered flag for his second victory of the season. Scott Knox ended up third.
After leading the entire race only to spin on the last lap the previous week, Amanda Harrell became the first woman to win a feature this season, topping the 20-lap finale for the Lucas Oil Bandolero Outlaws.
Harrell, of Belmont, N.C., made a daring three-wide pass to take the point on the opening lap and then held off championship challengers Josh Turner and Bruce Benson II over the final laps to grab the victory. Turner's charge from the sixth starting spot to second proved pivotal in the caution-free race as the Concord, N.C., racer secured his first championship in the division for drivers ages 16 and older.
Ryan Zeck topped the battle while Thomas Van Wingerden won the war in the 20-lap main event for the Thunder Roadsters. As Zeck, of Harrisburg, N.C., celebrated his initial victory of the year, Van Wingerden closed the book on a dominant season that saw the Huntersville, N.C., racer win seven consecutive races en route to his second straight division title. Zeck lined up seventh in the 10-car field, drove around Van Wingerden for the lead on lap nine and was never seriously challenged during the second half of the race. Van Wingerden settled for the runner-up money with Kyle Beattie third under the checkered flag.
After struggling during the early rounds of the 10-race series, Jake Dallenbach, a third-generation racer from Spring Branch, Texas, recorded his first victory in a caution-filled finale for the National Guard Legends Car Semi-Pro division. Andrew Carlsen ended up second when Jake Crum spun while attempting to pass Dallenbach coming out of the final turn. Even though he was completely sideways, Crum crossed the stripe third in the race that was shortened to just 15 laps due to time constraints. Matt Bowers, of Mt. Dora, Fla., escaped the numerous incidents to finish sixth and claim his first Summer Shootout championship.
Needing only to finish sixth or better to claim the Lucas Oil Bandolero Young Guns championship, Matthew Stover left little to chance in the 20-lap main event. The Gastonia, N.C., racer grabbed the lead on lap three and ran at the point for most of the distance before succumbing to Ryan Glenski with just four laps remaining. While Glenski, who resides in Mooresville, N.C., drove to his third victory of the year, Stover stayed in second to secure the Young Guns title. Sam McAulay settled for third in the division for drivers ages 12 to 16.
In the School Bus slobberknocker, Wendy Venturini of SPEED Channel's "NASCAR RaceDay" program piloted a purple bus, complete with pink flames, to victory thanks to a bump-and-run move that would be the envy of any NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver.
With water spraying from her damaged radiator, Venturini rammed leader Kenny West's Stock Car Steel and Aluminum bus in Turn 4 of the final lap. The collision knocked West's bus sideways, and Venturini took advantage. She drove to the outside, bounced off the wall and beat West to the checkered flag.
Other competitors in the wild-and-crazy School Bus battle were "NASCAR RaceDay" personalities John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Rutledge Wood along with Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot.
The 14th edition of the Summer Shootout Series starts its 10-race run on Tuesday night, June 12, 2007.
Peach Auto Body Legends Car Pro Feature (20 laps): 1. Casey Roderick; 2. Brennan Poole; 3. Scott Knox; 4. Michael Van Wingerden; 5. Jordan Anderson; 6. Jason Reisman; 7. Kyle Fowler; 8. Duncan Molesworth; 9. Chris Eggleston; 10. Brandon Weber; 11. Brandon Thomson; 12. Jordan Richardson; 13. Cole Miktuk; 14. Steven Abbey; 15. Joshua Mullins; 16. Josh Gross; 17. Thomas Van Wingerden; 18. John Gottsacker; 19. Dean Abbey; 20. Ben Stancill; 21. Tyler Green; 22. Jeremy Kalina; 23. Patrick Molesworth; 24. Chris Buescher. Champion: Casey Roderick.
Thunder Roadster Feature (20 laps): 1. Ryan Zeck; 2. Thomas Van Wingerden; 3. Kyle Beattie; 4. Tom Van Wingerden; 5. Adam Welch; 6. Todd Adams; 7. Roger Simons; 8. Michael Van Wingerden; 9. Ed Evans; 10. Jim Gresham. Champion: Thomas Van Wingerden.
National Guard Legends Car Semi-Pro Feature (15 laps): 1. Jake Dallenbach; 2. Andrew Carlsen; 3. Jake Crum; 4. Max Gresham; 5. J.R. Allen; 6. Matt Bowers; 7. Mitchell Coble; 8. Tyler Chrisinger; 9. Dennis Kiser; 10. John Ellenburg; 11. Brett Butler; 12. Charles Kiser; 13. Trey Edison; 14. Drew Denham; 15. Parker Hammons; 16. Justin Lloyd; 17. Josh Williams; 18. Thomas Hartensveld Jr.; 19. Kara Clarke; 20. Austin Dillon; 21. Michael Brown; 22. Justin Petcosky; 23. Paddy Rodenbeck; 24. Ty Dillon. Champion: Matt Bowers.
Legends Car Masters Feature (20 laps): 1. Clay Hair; 2. John Sossoman; 3. George "Cotton" Spry; 4. Chuck Dohm; 5. Eddie Harwell; 6. Brian Weimer; 7. Phil Sharpe; 8. Keith Breasbois; 9. Todd Laney; 10. Bruce Little; 11. Dave Winston; 12. Jeff Turner; 13. Bruce Sawicki; 14. James Stanton; 15. Tony Carper; 16. W. Gary Shannon; 17. Jan Ingram; 18. Tom Van Wingerden; 19. Jimmy Gurley; 20. Dr. Mark Moskowitz; 21. Danny Williams; 22. Tim Lightfoot; 23. Terry Cochran; 24. Bill Gardner; 25. Todd Johnson; 26. Dennis White; 27. David Denham; 28. Bobby Pence. Champion: George "Cotton" Spry.
Lucas Oil Bandolero Young Guns Feature (20 laps): 1. Ryan Glenski; 2. Matthew Stover; 3. Sam McAulay; 4. Austin Hill; 5. Cameron Collins; 6. Kendall Sellers; 7. Ryan Blaney; 8. Timmy Hill; 9. Currie Pierce; 10. Kenny Brown; 11. William Cunningham; 12. Blake Eden; 13. Jordan Coker; 14. Zack Kittle; 15. Kyle Pierce; 16. Robert Poole; 17. Brett Pepicelli; 18. Jimmy Heavlow; 19. Daniel Hemric; 20. Luke Marr; 21. John Stancill; 22. Dylan Pack. Champion: Matthew Stover.
Lucas Oil Bandolero Bandits Feature (15 laps): 1. Clint King; 2. Ronnie Bassett Jr.; 3. Corey LaJoie; 4. Nicholas Stroupe; 5. Corey Gordon; 6. Kyle Plott; 7. Dylan Presnell; 8. Landon Bullock; 9. Bodie Bellinger; 10. Cody Blackburn; 11. Mason Massey; 12. Judson Kittle; 13. Hayden Reeves; 14. Chad Finchum; 15. Maxx Bennett; 16. Brock Newsom; 17. Matt Wallace; 18. Justin Crider; 19. Tyler Hill; 20. Stephen Bergh Jr.; 21. Evan Bell; 22. Andrew Lloyd; 23. Megan Dillner; 24. Daniel Gobeille. Champion: Cody Blackburn.
Lucas Oil Bandolero Outlaws Feature (20 laps): 1. Amanda Harrell; 2. Josh Turner; 3. Bruce Benson II; 4. Benny Mingo; 5. Trevor Cauble; 6. Dawn Eagens; 7. Chris Morgan; 8. Marcus Limehouse; 9. Tim Keener; 10. Ashleigh Wilkins; 11. Charles Long Jr.; 12. Kara Clarke; 13. Duke Furr; 14. T.J. Hicks; 15. Jams Parson; 16. Nathan Rogers; 17. Bailey Freeman; 18. Jake Morris. Champion: Josh Turner.