Tight Points Battles Create Suspense on Championship Night
Championship night of the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway was full of thrills and suspense as tight points battles in four divisions made for exciting on-track action.
Coming into the night with a 152-point lead in the standings, Daniel Hemric didn't need to win the Bath Fitter Legends Car Pro division feature to claim the title. However, Hemric dominated the race and celebrated his fourth-consecutive victory and first series championship by back flipping from the roof of his car onto the Victory Lane stage.
The Kannapolis, N.C., resident started the race from the sixth position and passed Steven Ross for the lead on lap eight. Once in front, Hemric cruised to his sixth win of the season.
Andrew Smith held just a one-point advantage for second in the championship standings over John Freeman before the race, but an early spin caused him to finish seventh, while Freeman followed Hemric across the line to finish second in both the race and the championship. Ross came across the stripe in third.
The closest point battle going into the evening was in the Briggs Collision Semi-Pro Legends Car division, where Jeffrey Bolen, of Lexington, S.C., led Andrew Carlsen, of Cornelius, N.C., by just 12 points.
Starting side-by-side on the fifth row, Bolen and Carlsen traded paint for several laps before Bolen was black flagged after his bumper came loose during a fierce wreck on lap four. A lap five caution worked to Bolen's advantage as he was able to repair his car and return to action.
After quickly moving through the field, Bolen caught Carlsen and traded positions in the middle of the pack before a lengthy red flag set up a dramatic green-white-checkered finish.
Carlsen started the last lap in the fourth position with Bolen in fifth, but Carlsen was black flagged for rough driving, giving Bolen the advantage. Instead of cruising to a top-five finish, Bolen was turned into the Turn 4 wall coming to the checkered flag. Determined to finish the feature, he restarted his car and crossed the finish line on three wheels.
Bolen finished eighth and was crowned the division champion by a 39-point margin over Carlsen, who was scored in the 16th position.
At the front of the field, Kenzie Ruston, of El Reno, Okla., captured her first Summer Shootout Series feature win after leading the final four laps. Zach Weaver came home second while Duke Furr finished third.
Evan Bell, of Buford, Ga., came into the night second in the Bandolero Young Gun/Outlaw standings, 32 points behind Justin Carroll. It was survival of the fittest as Bell was able to take home the title after a broken front wheel took Carroll out of contention on the first lap.
Reid Wilson started in the first position, but Bell quickly took the point. He drove away from the field and held on for his third victory of the season, but not before a hard charging Annabeth Barnes gave him a run for his money in the closing laps. The two were side-by-side coming out of the fourth turn until Bell edged her at the line. Luke Demis followed closely behind in third.
In other feature action, Clay Hair, of Mt. Pleasant, N.C., scored his sixth feature victory of the season and claimed his fourth Legends Car Masters division championship. Travis Braden, of Wheeling, W.Va., captured his second win of the season in the Legends Car Young Lions 20-lap finale, while Scott Hensley, of Olive Branch, Miss., earned his first division championship. In the Bandolero Bandits division Dalton Sargeant, of Dearfield Beach, Fla., claimed his second victory of the season, while Clayton Weatherman, of Wentzville, Mo., celebrated his first championship title.
Championship point standings are unofficial pending post-race inspection and points tabulation by race officials.
In the second annual Cabarrus County Principals School Bus Race, local elementary and middle school principals went head-to-head in an intense school bus slobberknocker, where Chuck Borders, of Pitt School Road Elementary, emerged victorious. Finishing closely behind in the second position was Janet Smith, of Weddington Hills Elementary and coming home in third was Phil Hull, of Cox Mill Elementary.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Summer Shootout Series this year, Charlotte Motor Speedway has added a bonus round of racing. Summer Shootout Overdrive will be a double purse, non-Shootout points event held Tuesday evening, Aug. 18. In addition to Legends Car and Bandolero action, school bus racing is slated to return for the final time this season.
Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free. Admission is just $7 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with heat racing at 5:25 p.m. Feature action begins at 7:30 p.m. Contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for information or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
Bath Fitter Legends Car Pro Feature (20 laps): 1. Daniel Hemric; 2. John Freeman; 3. Steven Ross; 4. Chris Buescher; 5. Samuel McAulay; 6. Justin Lloyd; 7. Andrew Smith; 8. Tyler Green; 9. Ronnie Bassett; 10. Will Prance; 11. Michael Van Wingerden; 12. Austin Hill; 13. Jimmy Heavlow; 14. Dylan Kwasniewski; 15. Bayley Currey; 16. Chris Dilbeck; 17. Brecken Snow; 18. Brian Ouimette; 19. Steven Cantrell; 20. Chrissy Wallace; 21. Zac Kittle; 22. Trey Eidson.
Briggs Collision Legends Car Semi-Pro Feature (16 laps): 1. Kenzie Ruston; 2. Zach Weaver; 3. Duke Furr; 4. Bailey Freeman; 5. Brett Coon; 6. Gregory Lang; 7. Hunter Bledsoe; 8. Jeff Bolen; 9. Dennis Kiser; 10. Brandon McKenzie; 11. Robert Kuczmarski; 12. Matt Kurzejewski; 13. Tyler Kivett; 14. Kyle Pierce; 15. Chase Catania; 16. Andrew Carlsen; 17. Kodi Sunley.
Legends Car Masters Feature (20 laps): 1. Clay Hair; 2. John Sossoman; 3. Todd Johnson; 4. Eddie Harwell; 5. Charles Kiser; 6. Hoyt Demis; 7. Dennis White; 8. Christian Chapman; 9. Jan Ingram; 10. Gary Shannon; 11. Chip Ferguson; 12. Phil Sharpe; 13. Todd Adams; 14. Bruce Silver; 15. Jimmy Gurley; 16. Brad Green; 17. Roger Hefner; 18. Glen Aikenhead; 19. Carlos Moore; 20. David Reed; 21. Kevin Aube; 22. Jamie Smith; 23. Jackie Ryan.
Legends Car Young Lions Feature (20 laps): 1. Travis Braden; 2. Blake Jones; 3. Jake Morris; 4. Dusty Summers; 5. Zachary Hausler; 6. Jesse Little; 7. Corey Gordon; 8. William Cunningham; 9. Jake Knight; 10. Harrison Rhodes; 11. Justin Grimes; 12. Austin McDaniel; 13. Kyle Plott; 14. Tyler Lester; 15. Jordan Stillwell; 16. Chris Young; 17. Josh Morris; 18. Dillon Bassett; 19. Scott Hensley; 20. Cody Humphreys; 21. Sean Shalvoy; 22. Justin Thomas; 23. Bryan Kolb; 24. Hayden Reeves; 25. Evan Swilling; 26. Chandler Levan; 27. Chad Finchum; 28. William Allen.
Bandolero Bandits Feature (19 laps): 1. Dalton Sargeant; 2. T.J. Michael; 3. Carson Ferguson; 4. Logan Sargeant; 5. Kason Plott; 6. Brandon Bassett; 7. Clayton Weatherman; 8. Tyler Dayton; 9. Layton Sullivan; 10. Payton Ryan; 11. Trey Smith; 12. John Holleman; 13. Jeffery Abbey; 14. Ray Beebe; 15. Austin Cindric; 16. Jordan Plummer; 17. Hayden Humphrey; 18. Jon Meeks; 19. Kodie Conner; 20. Kyle Weatherman; 21. A.J. Davis; 22. Jeffrey Stanton; 23. John "Matt" Murphy; 24. Austin Green; 25. Brady Ward; 26. Cole Timm; 27. Garrett Sargeant.
Bandolero Young Guns/Outlaws Feature (20 laps): 1. Evan Bell; 2. Annabeth Barnes; 3. Luke Demis; 4. Reid Wilson; 5. Andrew Brown; 6. Tyler Hill; 7. Tanner Rumburg; 8. Ryan Mackintosh; 9. Dillon Latour; 10. Joshua Plummer; 11. Austin Langenstein; 12. Kayla Marshall; 13. Matthew Linker; 14. Myatt Snider; 15. Justin Carroll; 16. Ben Klatt; 17. Riley Halverson; 18. Dillon Spain.
Cabarrus County Principal School Bus Race (6 laps): 1.Chuck Borders; 2. Janet Smith; 3. Phil Hull; 4. Jim Carroll; 5. Jim Williams; 6. Lug Nut; 7. Greg Liddle.