Cabarrus Virtual Academy Principal Ken Simeone Top of the Class In CookOut Summer Shootout School Bus Slobberknocker
Schools out, however, class was still in session Tuesday night as six area principals hit the quarter-mile track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the CookOut Summer Shootout with hopes of being named top of the class in the long-awaited return of principal school bus racing.
Cabarrus County Schools Virtual Academy principal Kenneth Simeone bested the field, which also included Northwest Cabarrus Middle school principal Chasity Szabo, J.N. Fries Magnet school principal Sherry Lee, Hickory Ridge Middle school principal Tim Taylor, Winecoff Elementary School principal Trisha Cook and Diocese of Charlotte Catholic School principal Greg Monroe.
Simeone took the lead early and never looked back. Behind him, Taylor was the big mover of the race, starting in the sixth and final spot before bulldozing his way to the front to finish in the runner-up position. Chasity Szabo, principal at Northwest Cabarrus STEM Middle, filled out the podium with a third-place finish in the wildly popular school bus slobberknocker.
Smoke poured out of the engine of Simeone’s orange-painted machine, but the hotshoe driver pulled away from the competition late in the race.
“That was awesome,” Simeone said as he climbed out of his bus victoriously. “That was one of the coolest things I’ve done.”
While Simeone took home the trophy, fans were the real winners Tuesday night. The final two finishers, J.N. Fries Magent’s Sherry Lee and Winecoff Elementary school’s Trish Cook, got sent to detention – and in a pie in the face – for bringing up the rear of the field, much to the delight of their respective cheering sections.
Following the school pride event, Round 2 took place with the competition between the Bandolero and Legend Cars drivers.
Beating, Banging, Bandoleros
In the Bandolero Bandits division, Beckham Malone took the early lead heading into the first corner by going three-wide, but lost the position to Darren Krantz Jr., who pulled away from the field.
Ben Morabito brought out caution No. 1 with a spin on lap four. Malone and Krantz battled on the restart, opening the door for Colt Johnson, who moved up to second in a three-way battle for the lead.
Contact between Malone and Johnson sent Johnson spinning and bringing out the second caution of the night on lap eight. On the ensuing restart, Krantz took control. Morabito, charging back from his earlier spin, moved into second, while Johnson held off Mardy Roberts III for third.
The caution flew for a third time when Bryson Brinkley’s machine came to a stop on the frontstretch. Krantz’s dominance on restarts proved to be the difference as the young driver pulled away on the final restart of the contest, leading Morabito, Johnson, Malon and Carson Cauble to the checkered flag.
“It feels great,” he said of the Round 2 win. “I was trying to stay calm, make sure I got good starts, make my line better and just be faster on the restarts.”
Brown Takes VP Racing Semi-Pro Win
Carson Brown went wire-to-wire in a time-shortened VP Racing Semi-Pro division victory. The 21-lap affair was marred by a lengthy red flag after hard-charging Jayden Daniels and Michael Crafton got tangled up in Turn 2, with Crafton driving over the front of Daniels’ Legend Car.
With his strongest competition relegated to the pits, Brown, who finished runner-up to Daniels in last night’s opening round of the CookOut Summer Shootout, pulled away from the field to earn his first win of the young season.
“I was struggling there at the end on exit,” Brown said. “It’s awesome to win here at Charlotte. It’s a big track to win at – a big accomplishment.”
Round 3 continues next Tuesday night.
Top 10 in each division of Tuesday’s races (unofficial results):
Beginner Bandoleros: 1. Gavin Holland; 2. Jack Smith; 3. Wyatt Coffey; 4. Aidan Zschiedrich; 5. Delaney Gray; 6. Hendrick Case; 7. Mason Roberts; 8. Carson Wise; 9. Brantley Brooks; 10. Camden Truett
Bandolero Bandits: 1. Darren Krantz Jr; 2. Ben Morabito; 3. Colt Johnson; 4. Beckham Malone; 5. Carson Cauble; 6. Owen Zacharias; 7. Mardy Roberts III; 8. Bryson Brinkley; 9. Hudson Canipe; 10. LaQuan McCoy
Bandolero Outlaws: 1. Bobby Gossett; 2. Joshua Lowe; 3. Alison Johnson; 4. Carson Smith; 5. Kaeden Ballos; 6. Killian McMann; 7. Ellie Gossett; 8. Atley Wiese; 9. Makenna Crocker; 10. Josh Shine
Young Lions: 1. TJ Decaire; 2. George Phillips; 3. Brody Gunter; 4. London McKenzie; 5. Carson Haislip; 6. Luke Baldwin; 7. David Snook Jr; 8. Sean Hingorani; 9. Taylor Corum; 10. Trevor Cline
VP Racing Semi-Pro: 1. Carson Brown; 2. Connor Zilisch; 3. Andres Perez; 4. Carson Poindexter; 5. Justin Campbell; 6. Sterling Wrisley; 7. Farron Laney; 8. Byron Daley; 9. Jayden Daniels; 10. Trevor Wester
Boston Reid & Company Pro: 1. Ethan Norfleet; 2. Garrett Lowe; 3. Landen Lewis; 4. Cameron Bolin; 5. Parker Eatmon; 6. Gavin Graham; 7. Kade Brown; 8. Jordan Black; 9. Justice Calabro; 10. Cole Dockery
Masters: 1. Doug Stevens; 2. Robby Faggart; 3. Brandon McKenzie; 4. Lee Jordan; 5. Dwayne Holder; 6. Rusty Young; 7. Tom Sherman; 8. Charles Parker; 9. Carl Cormier; 10. Robbie Woodall
Entry is $10 for adults and kids 12 and under are FREE. Tickets can be purchased at the gate, by calling 800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets.