Ferguson Kicks off 26th Bojangles' Summer Shootout Season with a Win
As it has many times before, a neon yellow No. 48 car visited Victory Lane on Monday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The winner wasn't four-time Coca-Cola 600 winner Jimmie Johnson, but Carson Ferguson - the top dog in the Boston Reid Real Estate Pro division on "Bark Your Engines" night of the Bojangles' Summer Shootout.
The 26th season of grassroots racing's ultimate showcase of talent kicked off with fans bringing their dogs to America's Home for Racing for the first time, and with Ferguson bringing them to their feet - and paws - with a stirring drive to the front in the final 10 laps of the Pro feature.
Ferguson pulled away from Ashton Higgins and Garrett Manes in the final laps to win by 2.021 seconds for the second Pro victory of his Shootout career.
"It's just like riding a bike: when you do something for so long, it's easy to pick back up," said Ferguson, an accomplished dirt late model competitor. "It was hard to get going in the first few laps, but we figured it out. It's always good to win in front of my home crowd. The Summer Shootout is a great opportunity and to come back and get a win is awesome."
Robby Faggart started fourth in the Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company Masters division feature and rocketed into the lead in Turn 1 on the first circuit of the 25-lap race. Faggart, a past Masters division champion, sprinted out to a two-second advantage in the early going before Mark Green entered the picture.
Green made up the deficit with five laps to go and trailed Faggart until a tap to Faggart's rear bumper on the final lap gave Green the lead entering Turn 3. Green's car slid sideways exiting Turn 4, but the veteran driver edged Faggart at the finish line by a scant 0.05 seconds.
"I didn't really mean to get into him that hard," Green said. "It was a good little bump-and-run deal. We had a really good race there. We had a good night. I usually start out pretty slow and work my way up, so it's nice to get a win (early in the season)."
Canadian driver Austin MacDonald took the checkered flag in the PMG Young Lions feature, but a post-race inspection saw MacDonald's left-front bumper wasn't attached, handing MacDonald a penalty and giving the win to runner-up Landon Rapp.
"It's amazing, coming up here and getting a win," Rapp said. "I made a mistake at the beginning, putting myself on the outside, but we got back up there. It's a tough break for Austin. I'm still glad to come out here and get a win."
Jason Alder's No. 77 Legend Car presented by WIX Filters delivered a dominant victory in the VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro feature, out-pacing Gracie Trotter, D.J. Canipe, Isabella Robusto and William Robusto by more than five seconds.
"It's an honor. I've never won at Charlotte Motor Speedway before," Alder said. "I can't thank Bojangles' enough for sponsoring this series. The Bojangles' Summer Shootout is the best Legend Car series in the world. (The key to winning) was adjusting my car to the track as the race went on."
Josh Horniman made a daring pass on Katie Youngchuck in the closing laps of the Bandolero Beginner Bandits feature, capturing the victory. Colt Johnson finished third.
Layton Harrison held off Lucas Vera's late-race charge to bring home the win in the K1 RaceGear Bandolero Bandits feature.
Rain showers forced the Farm Bureau Bandolero Outlaws feature to be postponed to Tuesday.
NASCAR star Bubba Wallace makes his return to Legend Car presented by WIX Filters racing begining with Tuesday's "School Spirit" night, featuring area school principals tussling in two-ton school buses on Charlotte's frontstretch quarter-mile oval. Gates open at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 6:15 p.m. for a night of thrilling action featuring a clear forecast.
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.
Boston Reid Real Estate Pro (25 laps): 1. Carson Ferguson; 2. Ashton Higgins; 3. Garrett Manes; 4. Joey Padgett; 5. Vince Midas; 6. Bryson Ruff; 7. Daniel Wilk; 8. Caleb Heady; 9. Zach Miller; 10. Tyler Lester; 11. Chase Scott; 12. Jason Simmons
Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company Masters (25 Laps): 1. Mark Green; 2. Robby Faggart; 3. John Craig; 4. Todd Midas; 5. Bruce Silver; 6. Rodney Tharp; 7. Jan Ingram; 8. Dwayne Holder; 9. Charles Parker
PMG Young Lions (25 Laps): 1. Landon Rapp; 2. Sam Butler; 3. Tommy Good; 4. Tristan Borkowski; 5. Jake Waltman; 6. Tyler Chapman; 7. Kade Brown; 8. Justice Calabro; 9. Zack Miracle; 10. Janson Marchbanks; 11. Jaiden Reyna; 12. Connor Jones; 13. Landen Lewis; 14. Ashton Whitener; 15. William Cox; 16. Max Hennebaul; 17. Tucker Jones; 18. Cameron Murray; 19. Cutter Love; 20. Jason Chapman; 21. David Sullivan; 22. Ethan Norfleet; 23. David Johnson; 24. Austin MacDonald; 25. Lacey Kuehl
VP Racing Fuel Semi-Pro (25 Laps): 1. Jason Alder; 2. Gracie Trotter; 3. D.J. Canipe 4. Isabella Robusto; 5. William Robusto; 6. Braden Rogers; 7. Cole Dockery; 8. Craig Biryla; 9. Justin Laduke; 10. Garrett Lowe; 11. Adam Berberich; 12. J.R. Weidman, 13. Dacin Roberson; 14. Carson Poindexter; 15. Cole Brown; 16. Faron Laney; 17. Rajah Caruth; 18. Blake Lothiam; 19. Nick Craig
Beginner Bandolero (20 Laps): 1. Josh Horniman; 2. Katie Youngchuck; 3. Colt Johnson; 4. Finn Buckley; 5. Neal Dulin; 6. Ava Grace Tobias; 7. Payton Johnson; 8. Cale Dejarnett; 9. Hunter Jordan; 10. Max Reaves
K1 RaceGear Bandolero Bandits (20 laps): 1. Layton Harrison; 2. Lucas Vera; 3. Luke Morey; 4. Tristan McKee; 5. Nate Honeycutt; 6. Kaleb Bradley; 7. Truett Miranda; 8. Aiden Garcia; 9. Bobby Elder; 10. Jacob Bradley; 11. Alex Meggs