Dawson Cram was born to drive a race car. Coming from a long lineage of racers, the 16-year-old Cram has been driving competitively since he was five years old. His father, Kevin Cram, is a former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series crew chief and both of his grandfathers were stock car racers.
"There is a little bit of (added) pressure because when I win, I give them good exposure, which makes them happy," said Cram, who is in his eighth season of the Bojangles' Summer Shootout. "I just try to make them happy. The Bojangles' people are great and they like having me around.
"I have a lot of fun, get a ton of exposure, and overall, (the series) is a great learning experience for me. My main goals out here are to get some wins and gain more (racing) knowledge."
The Summer Shootout is a great place for young drivers to get extra exposure and launch their racing careers. The fact that Cram is in the exact same place where stars including Bubba Wallace, Joey Logano and William Byron launched their career is nothing short of inspiring.
Cram joined the ranks of Legend Car Pro division race winners at the Bojangles' Summer Shootout, when the third-generation driver scored his first victory on July 3.
"It felt really good," Cram said of his first Pro win. "It's been a long time since I've gotten a win. I just can't thank Farbo Motorsports enough for supplying me the equipment to get that win."
Cram, who says he has always looked up to Brad Keselowski as his biggest racing role model, aspires to race in the Cup Series one day. Soon after he turned 16 last September, Cram was scheduled to compete in the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. But due to an engine failure during practice, Cram wasn't able to take part in the race. He realized his dream this spring, however - finishing a solid 17th and on the lead lap at Martinsville.
Being one of NASCAR's youngest drivers to compete in its national series doesn't faze Cram.
"My goal is to be able to make a living in the sport of auto racing," Cram said, "because it's what I love and I plan on getting there by not giving up and keeping my head up."
Cram's next bid for a victory will come with Tuesday's Round 8 of the Bojangles' Summer Shootout presented by Farm Bureau. Fans can also witness the Faster Pastor school bus race among area clergy. Gates open at 5 p.m. with make-up features starting at 5:45 p.m.