Plenty of Fireworks during Shootout
If Tuesday night's prelude to Independence Day is any indication, the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway is in for a "bang-up" Fourth of July. With 249 race cars filling the pit area for round four of the 10-race series, the on-track action was the best of the season while a giant fireworks extravaganza thrilled the large crowd on Hanes ComfortZone Night.
The jury was out on who would take the checkered flag in the Verdict Ridge Golf and County Club Legends Car Pro division main event until the final lap of the evening's premier event. In a hotly contested race featuring the nation's best Legends Car drivers, perennial contender Thomas Van Wingerden brought the fireworks out early when his engine erupted in flames at the start-finish line on lap 19.
Van Wingerden was unscathed, but the accident brought out the red flag which allowed the Texas twosome of Chris Buescher and John Gottsacker to relax after they had battled for the lead for most of the race. Following the clean-up, officials ordered a green-white-checkered finish that extended the event to 21 laps with Buescher taking advantage of the overtime. The Prosper, Texas, resident pulled away for his first victory of the season with Gottsacker settling for second. The No. 50 machine of Steven Daniels was third across the stripe.
The dynamic duo of brothers Thomas and Michael Van Wingerden have dominated the Thunder Roadster division and tonight was no exception. It took only one lap for the two second-row starters to move to the front and leave the field a half-a-track behind.
Thomas Van Wingerden took the top spot while Michael cautiously stalked his rear bumper until the final lap. Michael nudged his brother in Turn 4 just enough to pull alongside, but as the two sleek machines got together at the finish line, Thomas maintained the edge to claim the victory while Michael slid into the infield for second. Ryan Zeck finished a distant third as the Van Wingerden brothers continued their stranglehold on the top two spots in the division points standings.
Clay Hair, of Mt. Pleasant, N.C., cut to the chase and romped to his first victory of the season in the 20-lap finale for the Fractured Prune Legends Car division. The sixth-starting Hair charged around early leader Eddie Harwell on lap three and went on to claim the 19th Summer Shootout victory of his career while extending his points lead. Dennis White, who visited victory lane on week two, finished second while two-time feature winner Brian Weimer settled for third as only one caution flag slowed the action.
After winning the Legends Car Young Lions main event during round two, Ryan Blaney graduated to the tougher Pull-A-Part Legends Car Semi-Pro division. Blaney, the 13-year-old son of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Dave Blaney, took only two races to return to his winning ways as the High Point, N.C., resident romped to his first Semi-Pro division feature victory. Blaney started 11th in the 28-car field and took advantage of the choose rule on a lap-two restart to take command. Once in front, Blaney was never seriously challenged as he led Daniel Hemric and John Ellenburg under the checkered flag.
Fourteen-year-old John Stancill, of Ayden, N.C., led all but two of the 20 laps en route to his first feature victory in the Legends Car Young Lions division. Stancill started fourth, took the lead on lap three and held off numerous challenges from points leader Jordan Penninger during the closing laps. Penninger recorded his fourth straight top-five finish in second while Trevor Farbo moved into third on the 12th lap and held on until the checkered flag was unfurled.
With a driving force from above, Kendall Sellers and Chris Morgan piloted the Methodist Motorsports sponsored machines to first- and second-place finishes in the Bandolero Outlaws division. Sellers, 16, of Kannapolis, N.C., took command of the 20-lap feature on the fourth lap and drove to his second victory of the season. Teammate Morgan emerged from a Turn 4 melee to finish second for the fourth straight time. Christopher McKinney finished third in the Bandolero division for drivers ages 17 and up.
Kyle Plott, of Marietta, Ga., secured his first victory of the season in the Fisher-Price Bandolero Bandits feature following a wheel-to-wheel battle with Davey Matthews for the first half of the 20-lap race. The 11-year-old Plott and Matthews traded the lead on virtually every lap until the ninth trip around the quarter-mile oval when Plott assumed command and pulled away. Matthews settled with the runner-up trophy in the division for racers ages 8 to 11 while Matthew Linker duplicated his best finish of the season in third.
Mooresville, N.C., resident Ryan Glenski scored his second victory of the year in the Bandolero Young Guns division which features drivers ages 12 to 16. The 14-year-old Glenski, son of former New York modified racer Randy Glenski, started fourth, but took the lead on the second lap and was never seriously challenged in the 20-lap run. Points leader Clint King grabbed second on lap two and went on to record his third consecutive runner-up finish while Bryce Walker was third under the checkered flag.
Jerry White, of Monroe, N.C., topped the wild-and-crazy CRASHCar Trailer Race of Destruction while towing a boat behind his familiar White Boy entry.
There will be plenty of fireworks again Wednesday night as the Independence Day celebration continues with round five of the Summer Shootout Series. A giant fireworks display will follow a full slate of Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing. A School Bus slobberknocker is also on tap during the Hanes ComfortZone Summer Shootout Night.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with feature racing at 7:30. Fireworks will follow the racing programs at approximately 10:30 p.m. For information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.
Verdict Ridge Golf & Country Club Legends Car Pro Feature (20 laps): 1. Chris Buescher; 2. John Gottsacker; 3. Steven Daniels; 4. Tyler Green; 5. Scott Knox; 6. Duncan Molesworth; 7. Jordan Anderson; 8. Mitchell Coble; 9. David Ragan; 10. Kyle Fowler; 11. Michael Van Wingerden; 12. Patrick Molesworth; 13. Garrett Lancaster; 14. Chrissy Wallace; 15. Dean Abbey; 16. Jake Crum; 17. Thomas Hartensveld Jr.; 18. Rich Petrucco; 19. Nick Carey; 20. Chelsea Schilling; 21. Paddy Rodenbeck; 22. Brandon Thomas; 23. Thomas Van Wingerden; 24. Darrell Wallace Jr.; 25. Casey Roderick; 26. Tyler Chrisinger; 27. Max Gresham; 29. Steven Abbey.
Thunder Roadster Feature (20 laps): 1. Thomas Van Wingerden; 2. Michael Van Wingerden; 3. Ryan Zeck; 4. Brian Weimer; 5. Drew Calhoun; 6. Justin Long; 7. Nick Turner; 8. Jordan Sims; 9. Roger Simons; 10. Ed Evans; 11. Thomas Clarke; 12. Jim Gresham; 13. Todd Burlingame; 14. Matt Lassiter; 15. Tom Van Wingerden; 16. Jerry Lambert.
Fractured Prune Legends Car Masters Feature (20 laps): 1. Clay Hair; 2. Dennis White; 3. Brian Weimer; 4. Donald Hunter; 5. Jan Ingram; 6. Tom Van Wingerden; 7. Mark Moskowitz; 8. Bruce Little; 9. Tony Carper; 10. Randy Gallagher; 11. Stephen Mitcham; 12. Gary Shannon; 13. Charles Kiser; 14. Jimmy Gurley; 15. Ronnie Laney; 16. David Denham; 17. Phil Sharpe; 18. Carlos Moore; 19. Dean Lyons; 20. Chip Ferguson; 21. Bruce Silver; 22. Todd Johnson; 23; Eddie Harwell; 24. Will Cagle; 25. Jeff Turner; 26. George "Cotton" Spry; 27. Bobby Pence; 28. Roger Hefner.
Pull-A-Part Legends Car Semi-Pro Feature (20 laps): 1. Ryan Blaney; 2. Daniel Hemric; 3. John Ellenburg; 4. Sam McAulay; 5. Matthew Stover; 6. Rob Sanders; 7. Chad Hackenbracht; 8. Austin Hill; 9. Dennis Kiser; 10. Kyle Hall; 11. Kory Blevins; 12. Trevor Alspach; 13. Mike Alcaro; 14. Ty Dillon; 15. Bryan Silas; 16. Christian Pahud; 17. Justin Lloyd; 18. Zach Zimmerly; 19. Justin Swilling; 20. Luke Fleming; 21. Scott Ward; 22. Michael Brown; 23. Zach Alspach; 24. Charles Evans Jr.; 25. Ryan Jerigan; 26. Tanner Berryhill; 27. Brandon McKenzie; 28. Steven Ross.
Legends Car Young Lions Feature (20 laps): 1. John Stancill; 2. Jordan Penninger; 3. Trevor Farbo; 4. Kyle Pierce; 5. Chris Moore; 6. Andrew Lloyd; 7. Dylan Presnell; 8. Devin Layser; 9. Bailey Freeman; 10. Scott Hubler; 11. Justin Ashley; 12. Jimmy Heavlow; 13. Landon Bullock; 14. Joey Matlis; 15. Tyler Kivett; 16. Saughn McCormick; 17. Nick Hoffman; 18. Tyler Millwood; 19. Kyle Mitchell; 20. Gene Kirila III; 21. Wyatt Dallenbach.
Fisher-Price Bandolero Bandits Feature (20 laps): 1. Kyle Plott; 2. Davey Matthews; 3. Matthew Linker; 4. Matt Wallace; 5. Tyler Lester; 6. Stephen Bergh Jr.; 7. Critter Saile; 8. Dillon Bassett; 9. Justin Crider; 10. Jordan Stillwell; 11. Ryan Luza; 12. Evan Swilling; 13. Brock Newsom; 14. Charlie Gresham; 15. Caleb Calvaresi; 16. Bayley Currey; 17. Aaron Beaver; 18. Jeffrey Abbey; 19. Chandler Levan; 20. Sammy Jasper; 21. Riley Halverson; 22. Reid Wilson; 23. Trevor Collins; 24. John Holleman; 25. Corey Gordon; 26. Blake Jones; 27. Jacob Heavlow; 28. Jessie Little.
Bandolero Young Guns Feature (20 laps): 1. Ryan Glenski; 2. Clint King; 3. Bryce Walker; 4. Ronnie Bassett Jr.; 5. Nicholas Stroupe; 6. Casey Lajoie; 7. Tyler Hill; 8. Kenzie Ruston; 9. Hayden Reeves; 10. Brett Pepicelli; 11. Devin Jones; 12. Justin Grimes; 13. Brandon Lynn; 14. Robert Poole; 15. Cameron Collins; 16. Gerald Campbell; 17. Jeremy Birch; 18. Brandon Nelson; 19. Eric Sloan; 20. Daniel Gobeille; 21. Donovan Ponder; 22. Dylan Barbrian; 23. Chad Finchum; 24. Ken Van Wickle; 25. Benji Hicks; 26. Meghan Dillner; 27. Derrick Ramey; 28. Timmy Hill.
Bandolero Outlaws Feature (20 laps): 1. Kendall Sellers; 2. Chris Morgan; 3. Christopher McKinney; 4. Josh Turner; 5. Dawn Eagens; 6. Marcus Limehouse; 7. T.J. Hicks; 8. Chris Honeycutt; 9. Nathan Rodgers; 10. Tim Keener; 11. Kayla Turner; 12. Gregory Ostander; 13. Jake Morris; 14. Dave Furr; 15. Charles Long Jr.