'Hurricane Al' and Bubba Wallace Triumph at Bojangles' Summer Shootout
- NASCAR star Bubba Wallace made a triumphant return to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway and WBTV's "Hurricane" Al Conklin swept through a school bus slobberknocker in an action-packed night of Bojangles' Summer Shootout excitement presented by Lancaster's BBQ on Tuesday.
A wheel-to-wheel, fender-banging school bus showdown saw Conklin - chasing his third consecutive Media Mayhem win and fifth overall - start fifth ahead of only WROQ's J.D. Stone. FOX 46 Charlotte's Will Kunkel, WCCB's Zach Aldridge, WSOC's Andrew Perdue and Spectrum News' Courtney Davis rolled off on the front two rows, only to have Conklin nudge Perdue on the first lap, sending Perdue's orange bus into Kunkel's white machine. Kunkel spun, Conklin inherited the lead and held off a charge from Stone and Perdue to take the checkered flag.
"The random draw had me in the back of the pack, so I had to go through everybody to get there," Conklin said. "This one is the most satisfying of my wins. My bus was leaking all kinds of fluids, Stoneman was gunning for me, he gave me a good knock and I don't know how I hung onto it. I wasn't scared because I've done this a few times. I always look forward to June because I know this is coming and I love racing buses here but now we've got fireworks coming to the Bojangles' Summer Shootout next Tuesday, so it's going to be even more exciting then."
Bubba Wallace - known for his exploits in Richard Petty's famous No. 43 car - thrilled Tuesday night's crowd in a blue No. 76 Legend Car presented by WIX Filters. Wallace rolled off at the tail of the field of the Boston Reid Real Estate Pro Division feature and rocketed to the top five in three laps. The second-year NASCAR driver reasserted his dominance on Charlotte's frontstretch quarter-mile in short order. Wallace took the lead on the final lap of the 25-lap feature and edged Ryan Miller, Joey Padgett and Carson Ferguson to the finish line for his first Shootout victory since 2012.
"Great to be back," said Wallace, who claimed his sixth Pro win and 13th overall Shootout triumph. "It's awesome coming here, coming here to have fun. I remember 15 years ago sitting out there watching this stuff - so it's cool how it all comes full circle. Any kids with dreams out there, don't give up. But you better watch out because I'm going to move you out of the way."
Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company Masters points leader Robby Faggart made a last-gasp bid for victory on Tuesday, when the veteran driver nudged leader Mark Green entering Turn 4 on the final lap. Faggart slipped up, Green held on and Todd Midas slid by Faggart for second at the line.
"Robby raced me good," Green said. "If he hits you square, that's easy enough. I'm really proud of our guys. We raced really good tonight."
For the second straight race, a multi-car melee took place at the start of the PMG Young Lions feature.
Isabella Robusto recorded her first VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro win in unforgettable fashion. A late-race restart saw race leader Jason Alder tangle with Gracie Trotter and Braden Rogers - while Cole Dockery, situated just behind the front-runners, drove away from the accident and into the lead. Dockery crossed the line first, but his car was underweight in post-race inspection, giving Robusto the victory and her brother, Will, second.
Kaleb Bradley edged Layton Harrison by a scant 0.538 seconds in the K1 RaceGear Bandolero Bandits feature on Tuesday.
Parker Eatmon emerged victorious in the Farm Bureau Bandolero Outlaws feature. Eatmon cleared eventual runner-up Carson Ramsey for the lead in the closing laps and held on for the win.
"(That was) just hard racing," Eatmon said. "I thought I had a top-five, didn't think I'd win. Seat time is key. â€¦ Racing with people much older and with more experience (made the difference). Now that we have it tuned in, I think we can win more."
Josh Horniman's drive to victory in the Bandolero Beginner Bandit feature was all about conserving his machinery in the closing laps. Horniman avoided trouble and kept Kenton Case and Colt Johnson at bay at the finish.
Next Tuesday's Bojangles' Summer Shootout on July 2 features a spectacular fireworks show. Additionally, race fans will get to meet the entire Bojangles' Summer Shootout field in a special post-race driver autograph session on the frontstretch.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies scheduled for 6:15 p.m.
Tickets, which cost only $8 for adults and are FREE for kids 13 and under, can be purchased at the gate or in advance by calling 800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets.
Follow all the thrilling Bojangles' Summer Shootout action using the hashtags #LetsBoRacing and #WeCreateLegends. 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.
Media Mayhem School Bus Slobberknocker (6 Laps): 1. Al Conklin (WBTV); 2. J.D. Stone (WROQ 101.1); 3. Andrew Perdue (WSOC); 4. Will Kunkel (FOX 46 Carolinas); 5. Zach Aldridge (WCCB); 6. Courtney Davis (Spectrum News)
Boston Reid Real Estate Pro (25 Laps): 1. Bubba Wallace; 2. Ryan Miller; 3. Joey Padgett; 4. Carson Ferguson; 5. Ryan Mackintosh; 6. Daniel Wilk; 7. Garrett Manes; 8. Davis Rochester; 9. Caleb Heady; 10. Vince Midas; 11. Hudson Halder; 12. Collin Milroy; 13. Stevie Johns; 14. Bryson Ruff; 15. Zach Miller; 16. Chase Scott; 17. Jason Simmons
Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company Masters (25 Laps): 1. Mark Green; 2. Todd Midas; 3. Robby Faggart; 4. Dwayne Holder; 5. Jan Ingram; 6. Jon Craig; 7. Charles Parker; 8. Dirk Putter
PMG Young Lions (25 Laps): 1. Sam Butler; 2. Ethan Norfleet; 3. Janson Marchbanks; 4. Zack Miracle; 5. Conner Jones; 6. Landon Rapp; 7. Ashton Whitener; 8. Christina Pedano; 9. Kade Brown; 10. William Cox; 11. Jason Chapman; 12. Tristan Borkoski; 13. David Sullivan; 14. Molly Lindner; 15. Lacy Kuehl; 16. Tyler Chapman; 17. Tommy Good; 18. Landen Lewis; 19. Jaiden Reyna; 20. Jake Waltman; 21. Justice Calabro; 22. Austin Macdonald; 23. Cutter Love
VP Racing Fuel Semi-Pro (25 Laps): 1. Isabella Robusto; 2. William Robusto; 3. Justin Laduke; 4. Justin Gareis; 5. Craig Biryla; 6. Austin Saunders; 7. Carson Poindexter; 8. Walter Reardon; 9. Rajah Caruth; 10. Dacin Roberson; 11. Faron Laney; 12. Jason Alder; 13. Braden Rogers; 14. Gracie Trotter; 15. Joshua Plummer; 16. Andrew Tagliamonte; 17. Jordan Plummer; 18. Cole Brown; 19. Blake Lothian; 20. Cole Dockery
Beginner Bandolero Bandits (20 Laps): 1. Josh Horniman; 2. Kenton Case; 3. Colt Johnson; 4. Finn Buckley; 5. Seth Helms; 6. Cale Dejarnett; 7. Neal Dulin; 8. Jonathan Pedano; 9. Natalie Richard; 10. Cameron Cox; 11. Hunter Jordan; 12. Ava Grace Tobias; 13. Hudson Canipe; 14. Payton Johnson
K1 RaceGear Bandolero Bandits (20 Laps): 1. Kaleb Bradley; 2. Layton Harrison; 3. Lucas Vera; 4. Bobby Elder; 5. Luke Morey; 6. Truett Miranda; 7. Aiden Garcia; 8. Nate Honeycutt; 9. Alex Meggs; 10. Tristan McKee; 11. Jacob Bradley
Farm Bureau Bandolero Outlaws (20 Laps): 1. Parker Eatmon; 2. Carson Ramsey; 3. Connor Yonchuk; 4. Trevor Wester; 5. Zac Fowler; 6. Skyler Chaney; 7. Logan Clark; 8. Carter Russo; 9. Santiago Hill; 10. Fran Pedano; 11. Natasha Elder; 12. Whitney Meggs; 13. Cameron Murray; 14. Sean Abell; 15. Garin Mash; 16. Jadyn Daniels; 17. Wyatt Philyaw; 18. Madison Miracle