Legends Million News and Notes from Charlotte Motor Speedway
The largest grassroots race in history, the Legends Million, is quickly approaching this Thursday through Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Below are some unique stories surrounding the one-of-a-kind race that features a $1 million purse.
At 72, Cagle is Oldest Legends Million Participant
Of the nearly 300 participants in the Legends Million, 72-year-old Will Cagle has the dubious distinction of being the oldest competitor entered in the event. Cagle's racing career started near his Tampa, Fla., home in 1953 when he was 15 years old. He has recorded more than 900 career victories and claimed more than 30 track and series championships. The majority of his success came while racing modified stock cars in the Northeast, specifically in the rough-and-tumble DIRT circuit. For his achievements, Cagle was inducted into the DIRT Hall of Fame in 1992. Cagle suffered a leg injury during a racing accident in 1985, which kept him off the track for 22 years. In 2007 at age 69, Cagle returned to racing and made his Legend Car debut in the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway where he competed in the Masters division. By comparison, there is a 60-year difference between Cagle and the youngest competitor in the Legends Million, Gray Gaulding, who is only 12 years old.
Twelve-Year-Old Gray Gaulding, Youngest Driver to Compete in the Legends Million
In just his first year racing a Legend Car, 12-year-old Gray Gaulding is already one of the youngest drivers to ever win in a Legend Car putting him in the same category with the likes of NASCAR drivers Joey Logano and Reed Sorenson. Not only is Gaulding one of the youngest to ever win in a Legend Car, he is also the youngest driver registered to compete in the largest grassroots race in history, the Legends Million. This one-of-a-kind race will provide Gaulding with the opportunity to compete against the best Legend Car drivers in the world, all the while vying for his share of the $1 million purse. Growing up with a father who works in the NASCAR industry, Gaulding has been around racing his entire life. At just 3 years of age, Gaulding first started racing motorcycles. At age 8, with encouragement from NASCAR drivers Denny Hamlin and Jason White, he began racing Bandoleros and in his first year won a championship. At that point his family knew he was serious about racing, so they packed up and moved from their Virginia home to Statesville, N.C., in the heart of NASCAR country.
SPEED to Televise Legends Million
SPEED, the nation's first and foremost cable television network dedicated to motorsports, will televise the Legends Million live on Saturday. The telecast will air from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST and will include live coverage of the 100-lap A-Feature and taped highlights from Thursday and Friday night’s action. “Big events draw national attention and that’s why we’re excited to have the Legends Million on SPEED,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “If a race fan can’t make it to Charlotte, we know they’ll be captivated by seeing the race cars that launched the careers of NASCAR drivers like Joey Logano, David Ragan and Kyle Busch. It’s going to be an amazing show.”
Legends Million A-Main Format
The starting field for the 100-lap Legends Million A-Feature will be comprised of a maximum of 33 drivers. The first 30 qualifiers will come from Friday’s Legends Million heat races and Saturday’s B-Mains. One driver will have the opportunity to advance from both the Semi-Pro/Young Lions A-Main and the Masters division A-Main, by virtue of “Deal of No Deal.” At the end of each 50-lap race, the winning driver will have the choice of walking away with the total winnings, $25,000 for Semi-Pro/Young Lions and $30,000 for Masters, or forfeit a portion of those winnings for a spot in the Legends Million A-Feature and a shot at winning $250,000. If either of the winning drivers in each division chooses to pass on the chance to race the Legends Million A-Feature, the same opportunity will be given to the second-place driver and so forth. The final spot in the $250,000 feature event will be awarded to one driver at the promoter’s discretion. The Legends Million A-Feature is scheduled for 100 laps. Caution laps will count during the first 50-lap segment. At the completion of Lap 50, the field will be given a 15-minute break to add fuel, make adjustments, change a maximum of two tires and replace their front and rear bumpers as necessary. When green-flag racing resumes for the final 50-lap segment, caution laps will not count. Once the leader has received the white flag, the field will not be restarted. If a caution occurs during the white-flag lap, the field will be allowed to race back to the checkers unless the race director deems that there is too great of a safety risk.
Geoff Bodine Racing to Raise Awareness for Florida Alzheimer’s Association
NASCAR great Geoff Bodine is scheduled to compete for the largest Legend Car purse in history during the Legends Million. With 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, a 1986 Daytona 500 victory and the 1982 Rookie of the Year award to his credit, Bodine is recognized as one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers and will bring great racing skill and experience to the Legends Million. Bodine’s car will showcase his commitment to helping those in need, carrying a special paint scheme for the Florida chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and he has pledged to donate his winnings to the organization to help Alzheimer’s patients in the state. Bodine’s car will be fielded by Carlos Moore, local architect and Charlotte Motor Speedway Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout regular. Moore has helped construct more than 65 race shops or race related buildings, including Geoff Bodine’s shop.
Legend Car Drivers Travel Extreme Distances to Compete in the Legends Million
Legend Car drivers from near and far will converge on the Mecca of Motorsports, Charlotte Motor Speedway, to compete in the Legends Million. Nearly 300 drivers from 36 states and two foreign countries have registered for the event. The A-Feature winner is guaranteed to take home an unprecedented $250,000, while the final spot in the feature is assured $10,000. They come from as far west as Snohomish, Wash., as far north as Alberta, Canada, and two drivers will even be making a journey across the Atlantic Ocean from the Netherlands, trying to find glory on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s frontstretch quarter-mile oval. Some racers will travel by air, others will drive and some have even packed their bags and relocated to Charlotte, N.C., for the summer. Whatever mode of transportation they use, they all come with dreams of competing against some of the best Legend Car drivers in the world, in hopes of bringing home the top prize. Cees Visser, Bert De Heus, George “Spike” Schultze, Grant McDonald, Chris Reid and Nick Carey are among those who will travel great distances, all journeying more than 2,000 miles to compete in the Legends Million.
UNCC Engineering Students to Test Their Knowledge in the Legends Million
Located in the heart of NASCAR country, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s engineering program attracts students from all over the county who are pursuing a career in motorsports. Four of those students will put the knowledge they have gained in the classroom to the ultimate test as they participate in the Legends Million. Classmates John Hilliker, Brian Ouimette, Sam McAulay and Chris Davis will compete against each other for bragging rights and their share of the $1 million purse. Hilliker, a freshman at UNCC, began racing at age nine. The first time he climbed into a race car he knew he wanted to make a profession out of it, and a little more than a year ago the Montana native moved to North Carolina to follow his dream of pursuing a job in motorsports. Ouimette, a sophomore at UNCC, began his racing career driving go-karts near his home in Connecticut. In 2005 he won four championships in four divisions, and in 2009 he began racing in the Summer Shootout Series. McAulay, also a sophomore at UNCC, began driving a Bandolero Car at 13, and three years later, he stepped into a Legend Car for the first time. Davis, a freshman at UNCC, began his racing career on two wheels instead of four. Starting in motocross when he was eight, Davis won two American Motorcyclist Association championships before age 16 when he moved to a Legend Car.
The Legends Million a Family Affair for the Pistones
The Legends Million is not only bringing Legend Car drivers from all over the country together, but it also brings the Pistone family closer as they will be making the event a family affair this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Pistone clan will go head-to-head as three brothers and a cousin will compete for their share of the unprecedented $1 million purse. The Pistone family’s passion for racing started when their grandfather Tiger Tom Pistone drove stock cars in the NASCAR Grand National Series, now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, in the ’50s and ’60s making the Pistone name synonymous with racing. Tiger has since passed his love for the sport on to his grandsons, Tom, Tommy III, Nick and Chase Pistone, each of whom he will anxiously watch battle it out Saturday on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval.
Bandolero Triple Crown Event Added to Legends Million Schedule
Recently added to the Legends Million schedule, the Bandolero Triple Crown gives Bandolero racers the opportunity to participate in a practice session on Thursday with heat lap and feature events spanning all three days. A Bandolero engine, chassis, body, set of tires and racing gear are just a few of the awards that will be given to the top finishers in the event. Points will be awarded at the end of each day. The highest cumulative point total at the end of Saturday’s racing action will determine an overall champion in the Beginner Bandits, Bandits and Outlaws divisions. Interested racers can register for the Bandolero Triple Crown at Gate 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday and Tuesday.
Nearly 300 drivers from 36 states and two foreign countries have registered for the Legends Million which features a total purse of $1 million. The A-Feature winner is guaranteed to take home an unprecedented $250,000, while the final spot in the feature is assured $10,000.
Competitors who register for the Legends Million must register in one of three divisions: Young Lions/Semi-Pro, Masters or The Legends Million, which is open to all drivers.
Each division will run heat races and an A-Main race, with the Legends Million A-Feature serving as the grand finale of the three-day event. The winners of the Masters and Semi-Pro/Young Lions division A-Main races will earn an unprecedented $30,000 and $25,000, respectively.
For additional information on competitor registration for the Legends Million, go online or call the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205.