Fireworks and Fur Fly in Bojangles' Summer Shootout
Fireworks illuminated the night sky and mascots dueled on the track below it as Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted the area's first July 4 fireworks show and a bumper-banging Mascot Mania go-kart race during an action-packed fourth round of Bojangles' Summer Shootout racing on Tuesday.
One of racing's mascots ruled the roost as Champ the Cheetah from the NASCAR Hall of Fame edged out the Demon Deacon from Wake Forest University in a fur-flying fight to the finish during the Mascot Mania go-kart donnybrook on the frontstretch quarter-mile. Norm the Niner from UNC-Charlotte was scored third ahead of Blue from the Charlotte Hounds, who dominated the early stages before surrendering the lead on a late restart. Sir Purr, the Carolina Panthers' mascot, rounded out the top five in a wreck-filled battle for mascot supremacy.
Chase Purdy was the last man standing after a wild conclusion to the In Light Wellness Legend Car Pro feature, as a Turn 4 collision between leaders Michael Torres and Carson Ferguson enabled Purdy to slide under the carnage and escape with Win No. 2 on the season.
Torres appeared to have the win in hand before Ferguson cleared Dillon Faggart for second with less than a lap to go. Ferguson drove deep into Turn 3 on the final lap, made contact with Torres and started an accident that put both drivers in the back and Purdy in victory lane.
"Down there in Turn 3, I guess they got a little bit too aggressive and I was there by default," Purdy said, "but a W's a W. The Bojangles' Summer Shootout is a big deal, and I love coming back to race these things. These things are so much fun."
Austin Green emerged with second and Stevie Johns Jr. was third.
Matt Mead ran down Tyler Truex in the final 10 laps of the AAA Carolinas Legend Car Semi-Pro feature and used a 17.214-second lap on Lap 19 - the quickest time of the race - to pull away from Truex for his first win of the season.
Truex gave chase over the final five circuits, but Mead kept him at bay after Truex slipped high in Turn 2 and Mead took advantage. Truex finished second while Jordan Stillwell, Gus Dean and Nolan Pope rounded out the top five.
"All the hard work paid off," Mead said. "I can't thank my team enough for their hard work, and also (a big thanks to) my family."
Cameron Bolin held off Bryson Ruff on the last lap to score an impressive Bandolero Bandit victory by a half a car length.
Points leader Josh Kossek left the race early after making contact with the barrier out of Turn 2, which created a trail of sparks that followed him to the garage. Up front, Ruff battled Bolin in the final laps, but couldn't get by him.
"We just had the best car all night," Bolin said. "We took off good and the last caution that came out I got a little scared. Other than that, we had a long run car more than a short-run car and I knew we only had three laps to go when they dropped the green flag, so the only thing other than that is (to thank) my grandpa and all my sponsors that kept me out front."
Garrett Lowe continued his hot streak with another win in the Beginner Bandolero Bandit feature. Giovanni Bromante held off Eddie Fatscher by .004 seconds in the K1 Speed Legend Car Young Lions race, while D.J. Canipe (Bandolero Outlaws), Cameron Bolin (Bandolero Bandits) and Robbie Faggart (Masters) also collected victories.
Fans can find a free live stream of the Bojangles' Summer Shootout at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com, USLegendCars.com and GoPRN.com as well as on the US Legend Cars YouTube channel starting at 7 p.m. each night.
Beginner Bandolero Bandits (20 laps): 1.Garrett Lowe; 2. Stanley Hayes; 3. Caden Kvapil; 4. Zack Miracle; 5. Parker Eatmon; 6. Brent Crews; 7. Tyler Bartoszewicz; 8. David Sullivan; 9. Santiago Hill; 10.Jayson Didonna; 11. Logan Clark; 12. Adam Eades; 13. Luke Cooper; 14. Benjamin Johnson; 15. Ethan Norfleet; 16. Truett Miranda.
K1 Speed Legend Car Young Lions (15 laps): 1. Giovanni Bromante; 2. Eddie Fatscher; 3. Carson Kvapil; 4. Brody Pope; 5. Garrett Manes; 6. Vincent Midas; 7. Seth Henry; 8. Sam Mayer; 9. Daniel Wilk; 10. Austin Greer; 11. Sammy Smith; 12. Alex Verhagen; 13. Isabella Robusto; 14. Ryan Heim; 15. Harrison Holder; 16. Hailie Deegan; 17. Ashton Higgins; 18. Gracie Trotter; 19. Kyle Craker; 20. Roy Hayes.
In Light Wellness Legend Car Pros (20 laps): 1. Chase Purdy; 2. Austin Green; 3. Stevie Johns Jr.; 4. Jordan Black; 5. Michael Womack; 6. Alex Pacheco; 7. Dawson Cram; 8. John Holleman; 9. Ryan Barnard; 10. Michael Torres; 11. Dillon Faggart; 12. Carson Ferguson; 13. Jared Irvan.
Bandolero Outlaws (17 laps): 1. D.J. Canipe; 2. Tommy Good; 3. Matthew Davey; 4. Matt Emery; 5. Blaise Maddox; 6. Dylan Notero; 7. Cameron Johnson; 8. Justin Gareis; 9. Jordan Plummer; 10. Jacob Gantz; 11. Liz Montgomery; 12. Trevor Wester; 13. Isaak Love; 14. Triston Lesik; 15. Ethan Elder; 16. Hayden Swank.
Mascot Mania: 1. Champ the Cheetah; 2. Demon Deacon; 3. Norm the Niner; 4. Blue; 5. Sir Purr; 6. Big Stuff; 7. RevPar; 8. Hugo the Hornet; 9. Big Bo; 10. Lug Nut; 11. Chubby; 12. Left Shark (did not start).
AAA Carolinas Legend Car Semi-Pro (25 laps): 1. Matt Mead; 2. Tyler Truex; 3. Jordan Stillwell; 4. Gus Dean; 5. Nolan Pope; 6. Austin Langenstein; 7. Jacob Heafner; 8. Craig Biryla; 9. Scott Joy; 10. Jack Fread; 11. Austin Halder; 12. Josh Plummer; 13. Willie Ridenhour; 14. Christopher Clanton; 15. Robert Norfleet; 16. Nate Tretow; 17. Holden German; 18. Grant Winchester; 19. Matt Moermond; 20. Jessica Dean; 21. Ryo Ogata; 22. Garrett Biggers.
Bandolero Bandits (20 laps): 1. Cameron Bolin; 2. Bryson Ruff; 3. Leland Honeyman; 4. Landon Rapp; 5. William Robusto; 6. Conner Jones; 7. Jaiden Reyna; 8. Holt Halder; 9. Josh Speas; 10. Josh Kossek.
Legend Car Masters (25 laps): 1. Robbie Faggart; 2. Mark Green; 3. . Carl Cormier; 4. Chip Ferguson; 5. Todd Midas; 6. Bruce Silver; 7. Scott Whitaker; 8. Jeffrey Lefcourt; 9. Jan Ingram; 10. Timothy Sipes; 11. Jamie Smith; 12. David Green.
Tickets, which cost only $8 for adults and FREE for kids 13 and under, can be purchased at the gate or in advance by calling 800-455-FANS or online at charlottemotorspeedway.com. Check local Bojangles' locations for a $2 off coupon. Fans can also watch half-hour weekly Bojangles' Summer Shootout shows on MAVtv.
Follow all the thrilling Bojangles' Summer Shootout action using the hashtag #LetsBoRacing. Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or get all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.