Winning in a Legend Car has been known to launch the careers of many professional race car drivers including Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Joey Logano, Reed Sorenson and David Ragan.  After his win in last year’s Legends Big Money 100, the biggest event in grassroots racing, 16-year-old Kyle Plott is hoping to become one of those drivers.

At the end of the 2011 race, Plott edged out second-place finisher, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Plott’s car owner, David Ragan. Not even old enough to obtain his driver’s license at the time because he was only 15 years old, Plott took the experience as one to learn from.

“I learned a lot about how to race people and how they will race you in return,” Plott explained.

Adding to the excitement of the win was the fact that Plott had never won at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a Legend Car.  He had won in a Bandolero car and even captured a championship in the Bandits division, but Plott was still looking for that elusive win in Legends racing.

The $25,000 first-place prize all went back into his racing career. Plott’s hope is that the winnings will impact his racing career to the point where he can try and drive in larger-scale divisions; especially if given the opportunity to win the Legends Big Money 100 one more time.

“Hopefully we can win it again this year and run some ARCA races or [NASCAR] K&N Pro Series races,” Plott said.

The Big Money 100 definitely helped Plott’s confidence in his career and boosted his reputation in the garage area and on the track. 

“I hope that the other drivers look up to me more and see that I am more confident in myself and my abilities as a race car driver,” Plott said.

Plott also has high hopes for his performance in this year’s Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series. This is his seventh year racing in the series. Plott started out in Bandoleros and moved on to Legend Cars after his 2007 Bandolero Bandits championship.

Plott especially enjoys racing in the Summer Shootout Series because it takes place at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“There’s just so much more competition here than at other race tracks,” Plott said. “It’s a lot more intense, and it just means a lot more than any other race track.”

Even though Plott has finished consistently well in the point standings during the past few seasons, including third in 2011, he has never won a Summer Shootout race in a Legend Car. Plott is looking forward to the win that he and his team hope will come this summer, with the ultimate goal being a championship in the Quaker Steak and Lube Legend Car Pro division.

“I’ve won races here but I’ve never won a Legend Car championship,” Plott explained. “So it’d be huge.”

Plott’s success in the Summer Shootout Series has been heightened by his association with David Ragan Inc. After talking with David Ragan’s father Ken about how partnering with Ragan would benefit his career, Plott made the move to the race team in 2010. 

“Being on David’s team helps me learn more about the car, how to work on it and how to set it up. It also helps me learn what I need to do on and off the track to be successful.” Ragan himself got his start in Legend Car racing for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series legend Mark Martin.

Plott’s win in the Legend’s Big Money 100 proves that this is a race that could produce another young, first-time winner. Plott’s victory definitely makes him a contender to be feared, but there are many other drivers that could take his title.

Check www.charlottemotorspeedway.com in the coming weeks for Plott’s weekly Driver Diary about his participation in the Legends Big Money 100.

The third annual Legends Big Money 100 will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway, July 2-3. Competitor registration for the event is still open online at http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets/legends_big_money_100/. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults per day and children 13 and under get in free.

The 19th annual Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series continues Tuesday, June 19, with Team Spirit Night and Mascot Mania presented by Old Navy. In addition to the regular racing divisions, fans can see area mascots, including Lug Nut, compete head-to-head in go karts. The first 1,000 fans through the gates get free taco coupons provided by Jack in the Box.

Tickets for the Summer Shootout Series are $7 for adults and are available in advance at the speedway ticket office or at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Kids 13 and under get in free. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action starting at 5:10 p.m. Opening ceremonies are at 6:45 p.m. and feature races are scheduled to conclude by approximately 10 p.m.

For tickets to the Summer Shootout Series or Legends Big Money 100, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

For live updates during the Summer Shootout Series, follow hashtag #SummerShootout on Twitter. To join in on the conversation simply include #SummerShootout in your tweet.

Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.