Craig Masters the Bojangles' Summer Shootout
Tuesday's Bojangles' Summer Shootout was heavy on action and championship drama, as the seventh round of racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway featured lots of on-track battles in addition to an autograph session featuring NASCAR standouts Erik Jones, Matt DiBenedetto, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer.
Like the sixth round of the season, Tuesday's Bojangles' Summer Shootout brought to a close an eventful day of action at Charlotte. Jones joined Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars - and former Bojangles' Summer Shootout drivers - William Byron and Joey Logano as well as other big names at the second ROVAL™ Test Fest. The shakedown saw NASCAR's biggest names testing the 2.28-mile, 17-turn ROVAL™ road course oval before the quarter-mile, four-turn frontstretch oval took center stage in the evening.
John Craig shook up the championship picture in the Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters division, as the driver of the No. 1 Legend Car grabbed the No. 1 finishing position for the first time this season. Robby Faggart rocketed to second place by Lap 15, but the 2016 Masters division champion saw his run to the front - as well as his bid for victory - evaporate with six laps to go. Faggart's car jumped to the inside of Craig's as the cars exited Turn 2, but the cars made slight contact, which sent Faggart spinning to the infield grass. He finished 10th.
Craig rode to the finish line ahead of Rodney Tharp and Carl Cormier to score the win.
"I saw him coming," Craig said of the late-race battle with Faggart. "Robby's fast. They were hitting on something and he could get down in the corner really well. Somehow, we hooked there and I guess it turned him. I hate it for him. I knew that whoever got the lead there was going to run away and win."
JR Motorsports development driver Sam Mayer invited members of his late model race team to catch the Bojangles' Summer Shootout on Tuesday night. The Legend Car Pro division title contender delivered a show, too - rallying from eighth place and an early-race "moment" - in which Mayer nearly went for a spin - to collect the victory.
"We just had to gather it in and get it going again," Mayer said. "Farbo Motorsports put together a great car for me. I've got to thank JR Motorsports and the crew's families for coming out here and seeing the race."
Two red flags and a slew of yellow ones populated the K1 Speed Young Lions feature, which saw Isaak Love avoid the trouble and finish in front.
A caution-filled VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro feature saw Harrison Halder take the checkered flag after a slew of accidents shortened the 25-lap race to 18 circuits.
Halder nailed the final restart and pulled away to register the win over Tristan Love, Sammy Smith, Gracie Trotter and Tristan Lesik.
"On that last restart, I was expecting a big bump and I got one," Halder said. "I knew there was going to be a caution with how hard everybody was racing. This is my first one this summer since we've had some bad luck, but we've had speed all summer."
Cameron Bolin made his first start of the year in the Schools USA Bandolero Outlaw division count on Tuesday night. Bolin, a regular visitor to the winner's circle in recent Shootout seasons, prevailed over Garin Mash and Justin Gareis. While the top three drivers' fastest laps were separated by a scant 0.008 seconds - in favor of Gareis, the points leader - Bolin prevailed by a convincing 1.35 seconds. Jadyn Daniels and Ethan Norfleet rounded out the top five.
"Everything that went in that car goes to my dad and granddad," Bolin said. "They're why we won tonight. This thing was on a rail."
Kade Brown, Zack Miracle and Landon Rapp engaged in a spirited, three-wide battle for Bandolero Bandit supremacy on Tuesday night. In a feature resembling the two- and three-wide racing in May's Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, Miracle managed to pull away in the closing stages to grab a well-earned victory.
"I knew I had a good enough run and I just stuck it in there," Miracle said.
For the second week in a row, Luke Morey beat Sean McElearney to the finish line in the Beginner Bandit feature.
Tuesday's Unofficial Results:
Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters (25 laps): 1. John Craig; 2. Rodney Tharp; 3. Carl Cormier; 4. Chip Ferguson; 5. Jan Ingram; 6. Dwayne Holder; 7. Todd Midas; 8. Brian McElearney; 9. Scott Wessel; 10. Robby Faggart; 11. Charles Parker; 12. Jamie Smith
K1 Speed Young Lions (25 laps): 1. Isaak Love; 2. Jason Alder; 3.Tommy Good; 4. Ryan Rackley; 5. Tyler Chapman; 6. Isabella Robusto; 7. Justice Calabro; 8. Steven Chapman; 9. J.R. Weidman; 10. Tristian Borkowski; 11. David Sullivan; 12. Trent Dockery; 13. Austin Macdonald; 14. William Robusto; 15. Holt Halder; 16.Jake Waltman; 17. Bryson Ruff; 18. Cameron Murray
VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro (18 laps): 1. Harrison Halder; 2. Tristan Love; 3. Sammy Smith; 4. Gracie Trotter; 5. Tristian Lesik; 6. Adam Berberich; 7.Caleb Day; 8.Connor Mosak; 9. D.J. Canipe; 10. Carson Poindexter; 11. Brandon McKenzie; 12. Joshua Plummer; 13. Dacin Roberson; 14. Faron Laney; 15. Kaylee Bryson; 16. Hayden Swank; 17. Cole Brown; 18. Dustin Rumley; 19. Cole Dockery; 20. Drew Dollar; 21. Will Bristle; 22. Craig Biryla
Legend Car Pro (25 laps): 1. Sam Mayer; 2. Joey Padgett; 3. Dawson Cram; 4. Garrett Manes; 5. Hudson Halder; 6. Daniel Wilk; 7. Nick Sanchez; 8. Derek Lemke; 9. Gus Dean; 10. Tyler Lester; 11. Walker Yates
Bandolero Bandits (20 laps): 1. Zack Miracle; 2. Stanley Hayes; 3. Kade Brown; 4.Bobby Elder; 5. Landon Rapp; 6. Parker Eatmon; 7. Truett Miranda; 8. Sean Abell; 9. Jaiden Reyna; 10. Hank Hall; 11. Lucas Vera; 12. Alex Meggs; 13. Adam Eades; 14. Carter Russo
Charter Schools USA Bandolero Outlaws (20 laps): 1. Cameron Bolin; 2. Garin Mash; 3. Justin Gareis; 4. Jayden Daniels; 5. Ethan Norfleet; 6. Trevor Wester; 7. Jake Tretow; 8. Carson Ramsey; 9. Jason Chapman; 10. Zac Fowler; 11. Santiago Hill; 12. Luke Akers; 13. Whitney Meggs; 14. Donovan Ponder; 15. Josh Speas; 16. Emily Hedstrom; 17. Jordan Plummer; 18. Jacob Gantz; 19. Caleb Williams
Beginner Bandits (20 laps): 1. Luke Morey; 2. Sean McElearney; 3. Natasha Elder; 4. Skyler Chaney; 5. Laney Meggs; 6. Jonathan Speas 7. Hunter Jordan 8. London McKenzie