School Buses Battle, Legend Cars Lock Horns in Opening Week of 25th Bojangles' Summer Shootout
The 25th season of Bojangles' Summer Shootout action roared to life with a nail-biting doubleheader on Monday and Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as racing's future stars dueled in Legend Cars and Bandoleros around Charlotte's frontstretch quarter-mile oval.
A fender-banging, trash-talking, paint-swapping school bus slobberknocker among area principals served as a crowd-thrilling display of family-friendly entertainment on Tuesday. Christopher Scholl of Langtree Charter Academy prevailed in the two-ton tussle of buses, as the school bus racing rookie outlasted challenges from six rival principals to register his first win at America's Home for Racing.
"It's one of those things where you get so many famous people, so many great racers, winning at this race track, and here I am - an ordinary school principal - and now I can say the same thing," Scholl said. "This is pretty special."
Robby Faggart rebounded nicely from a seventh-place finish in the Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters feature on Monday. The 2016 division champion passed John Craig with 10 laps to go and held off all comers for his first win of the season on Tuesday.
In firmly establishing himself as a title contender, Faggart led Carl Cormier, Craig Bruce, Mark Green and John Sossoman across the line.
"That last lap, we had a cluster," Faggart said. "We had to come back swinging tonight, and that's the way it turned out. We had a really good night."
Hudson Halder spoiled Derek Lemke's second Bojangles' Summer Shootout race as the driver of the No. 48 Ladyga Motorsports machine, as Halder withstood a last-gasp bump to pull off an impressive victory. Halder didn't flinch when Lemke delivered a final-lap bump, forcing Lemke to settle for second in a photo finish over Sam Mayer.
"This is awesome. This is my first Pro win and it feels great," Lemke said. "I was just thinking about driving smooth, not looking in my mirrors and just checking out."
Isaak Love won a K1 Speed Young Lions feature in Tuesday night's penultimate race, holding off Austin MacDonald and polesitter Isabella Robusto to register his second win in as many tries.
"I'm just very thankful to win the first two races," Love said. "Hopefully, we can chase down the championship. The crew chief can't make the car perfect, so I have to give good feedback during practice and that helps get it going."
Connor Mosack won an abbreviated VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro feature, after red flags shortened the event to just 22 laps. Mosack assumed the point only moments before the race concluded, making Mosack two-for-two this season.
"I don't really know how we won, we just got lucky there late on a restart," Mosack said. "I wasn't trying to wait until the end. I guess it just worked out for me."
Landon Rapp joined Love and Mosack in the undefeated column, capturing a pair of Bandolero Outlaw features on Tuesday night.
"I don't know, it's just taken a lot of time and effort working on this car," Rapp said. Last year we had a pretty decent year, but this year I think we've come back well."
Justin Gareis took the lead on Lap 8 of the second Cabarrus Charter Academy Bandolero Outlaw feature and rocketed to the winner's circle for his second win in as many Outlaw races. Gareis padded his points lead with the triumph, while Carson Ramsey, Luke Akers, Santiago Hill and Garin Mash followed.
As he did in the final Cabarrus Charter Academy Bandolero Outlaw feature of the evening, Gareis dominated the first race en route to a victory by 4.7 seconds over Garin Mash. Landon Rapp fended off Parker Eatmon in a hotly contested Bandolero Bandit makeup feature from Monday.
Tristan McKee passed polesitter Alex Meggs on Lap 2 and sped to victory in the Beginner Bandit feature.
On a wet race track and facing a race leader in Ryan Rackley - who led the first 24 laps - Isaak Love pulled off a miracle in Monday's K1 Speed Young Lions feature. Love followed Rackley through lapped traffic for much of the race, but on the final circuit, Rackley encountered a slower car that forced him to take the lower, less stable groove for the final circuit.
Once Rackley took the low line, Love swooped in on the outside entering Turn 3. Rackley lost control of his car as the two leaders exited Turn 4, turning what appeared to be a sure win into a ninth-place finish.
Love couldn't believe his good fortune.
"The lapped cars really helped us," Love said. "I felt like I had more momentum on me but I didn't want to run into him because I didn't want to drive dirty, but that's a heck of a way to win a race."
Sam Mayer prevailed over Nick Sanchez in the Legend Car Pro feature. Mayer, the son of former Indy car driver Scott Mayer, took the lead on Lap 4 and withstood a spirited battle from Sanchez to capture his first Pro win at America's Home for Racing.
"Farbo Motorsports always puts together a great car for us to run at Charlotte Motor Speedway," Mayer said. "It was just tire strategy. It seemed to work for us."
Parker Steele, Hudson Halder and Dawson Cram completed the top five.
Connor Mosack cleared Drew Dollar coming to the white flag in the VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro feature and held on for a thrilling victory in a race slowed by a slew of cautions.
"We'd been watching him the last few restarts to see what he was going to do and we made it happen on the last one," Mosack said. "It's amazing to win here."
Todd Midas had all the right stuff in Monday's Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters feature. Midas kept veteran John Sossoman at bay in an all-out battle for supremacy among the elder statesmen of the Bojangles' Summer Shootout.
Midas - the defending Masters champion - kicked off his title defense in perfect fashion.
"I've got to start where I left off, I guess, but it was tough," Midas said. "It's a pretty big deal."
Alex Meggs delivered his first Beginner Bandit victory in dominating fashion on Monday night, as the driver of the No. 18 machine prevailed by one second over Luke Morey.
K1 Speed Young Lions (25 laps): 1. Isaak Love; 2. Austin MacDonald; 3. Isabella Robusto; 4. Holt Halder; 5. Ryan Rackley; 6. Bryson Ruff; 7.Jason Alder; 8. Jake Waltman; 9. Tyler Chapman; 10. JR Weidman; 11. Trent Dockery; 12. David Sullivan; 13.Justice Calabro; 14. Tommy Good; 15. William Robusto; 16. George Hayes; 17. Molly Lindner; 18. Trista Borkowski.
VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro (22 laps): 1. Connor Mosack; 2. Sammy Smith; 3. Gracie Trotter; 4. Dustin Rumley; 5. Dj Canipe; 6. Vince Midas; 7. Garrett Lowe; 8. Drew Dollar; 9. Tristan Lesik; 10. Harrison Halder; 11. Ryan Heim; 12. Cole Dockery; 13. Craig Biryla; 14. Ryan Demartini; 15. Ryo Ogata; 16. Faron Laney; 17. Brandon McKenzie; 18. Carson Poindexter; 19. Kaylee Bryson; 20. Adam Berberich; 21.Cole Brown; 22. Tristian Love; 23. Seth Henry; 24. Joshua Plummer; 25. Amber Slagle; 26. Hayden Swank
Legend Car Pro (25 laps): 1. Hudson Halder; 2. Derek Lemke; 3. Sam Mayer; 4. Daniel Wilk; 5. Garrett Manes; 6. Zach Miller; 7. Dillon Spain; 8. Dawson Cram; 9. Gus Dean; 10. Parker Steele; 11. Tyler Lester; 12. Walker Yates; 13. Johnathan Parsons; 14. Nick Sanchez.
Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters (25 laps): 1. Robby Faggart; 2. Carl Cormier; 3. Craig Bruce; 4. Mark Green; 5. John Sossoman; 6. John Craig; 7. Smoky Jun; 8. Danny Cisson; 9. Joel Carlyle; 10. Charles Parker; 11. Rodney Tharp; 12. Bruce Silver; 13. Jan Ingram.
Beginner Bandits (20 laps): 1. Tristan McKee; 2. Luke Morey; 3. London McKenzie; 4. Sean McElearney; 5. Skylar Chaney; 6. Alex Meggs; 7.Natasha Elder; 8. Jordan Hunter; 9. Josh Horniman; 10. Johnathan Speas; 11. Lucas Vera; 12. Luke Cooper; 13. Zack Miracle.
Cabarrus Charter Academy Bandolero Outlaws Race No. 1 (20 laps): 1. Justin Gareis; 2. Garin Mash; 3. Santiago Hill; 4. Carson Ramsey; 5. Luke Akers; 6. Jadyn Daniels; 7. Josh Speas; 8. Zac Fowler; 9. Jordan Plummer; 10. Ethan Norfleet; 11. Caleb Williams; 12. Whitney Meggs; 13. Trevor Wester; 14. Jonathan Lesik; 15. Jacob Gantz.
Cabarrus Charter Academy Bandolero Outlaws Race No. 2 (20 laps): 1. Justin Gareis; 2. Carson Ramsey; 3. Luke Akers; 4. Santiago Hill; 5. Garin Marsh; 6. Josh Speas; 7. Jadyn Daniels; 8. Ethan Norfleet; 9. Jake Tretow; 10. Jonathan Lesik; 11. Trevor Wester; 12. Whitney Meggs; 13. Caleb Williams; 14. Jordan Plummer; 15. Jacob Gantz; 16. Zac Fowler.
Bandolero Bandits Race No. 1 (20 laps): 1. Landon Rapp; 2. Parker Eatmon; 3. Kade Brown; 4. Jaiden Reyna; 5. Truett Miranda; 6. Sean Abell; 7. Bobby Elder; 8. Adam Eades; 9. Wyatt Philyaw; 10. Stanley Hayes;11. Lucas Vera; 12. Luke Cooper; 13. Zack Miracle.
Bandolero Bandits Race No. 2 (20 laps): 1. Landon Rapp; 2. Zack Miracle; 3. Kade Brown; 4. Parker Eatmon; 5. Jaiden Reyna; 6. Truett Miranda; 7. Luke Cooper; 8. Adam Eades; 9. Stanley Hayes; 10. Lucas Vera; 11. Sean Abell; 12. Bobby Elder; 13. Wyatt Philyaw.
K1 Speed Young Lions (25 laps): 1. Isaak Love; 2. William Robusto; 3. Isabella Robusto; 4. Bryson Ruff; 5. Austin Macdonald; 6.George Hayes; 7.Tommy Good; 8. Tyler Chapman; 9. Ryan Rackley; 10. JR Weidman; 11. Jason Alder; 12. Trista Borkowski; 13. Trent Dockery; 14. Holt Halder; 15. Jake Waltman; 16. David Sullivan; 17. Justice Calabro; 18. Molly Lindner.
VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro (25 laps): 1. Connor Mosack; 2. Dustin Rumley; 3. Drew Dollar; 4. Tristen Love; 5. Vince Midas; 6. Gracie Trotter; 7. Craig Biryla; 8. Dj Canipe; 9. Ryo Ogata; 10. Garrett Lowe; 11. McKenzie Brandon; 12. Joshua Plummer; 13. Kaylee Bryson; 14. Carson Poindexter; 15. Amber Slagle; 16. Seth Henry; 17. Hayden Swank; 18. Ryan Heim; 19. Faron Laney; 20. Sammy Smith; 21. Harrison Halder; 22. Tristan Lesik; 23. Adam Berberich; 24. Cole Brown; 25. Cole Dockery; 25. Daniel Knight.
Legend Car Pro (25 laps): 1. Sam Mayer; 2. Nick Sanchez; 3. Parker Steele; 4. Halder Hudson; 5. Cram Dawson; 6. Tyler Lester; 7. Garrett Manes; 8. Derek Lemke; 9. Zach Miller; 10. Johnathan Parsons; 11. Daniel Wilk; 12. Walker Yates; 13. Gus Dean.
Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters (25 laps): 1. Todd Midas; 2. John Sossoman; 3. Craig Bruce; 4. Mark Green; 5. Smoky Jun; 6. Danny Cisson; 7. Robby Faggart; 8. Bruce Silver; 9. Jan Ingram; 10. Carl Cormier; 11. Rodney Tharp; 12. Scott Wessel; 13. Chip Ferguson; 14. Joel Carlyle; 15. Ira Laughy; 16. John Craig; 17. Dwayne Rumsey; 18. Jamie Smith; 19. Charles Parker.
Beginner Bandits(20 laps): 1. Alex Meggs; 2. Luke Morey; 3. Josh Horniman; 4. Tristian McKee; 5. Natasha Elder; 6. London McKenzie; 7. Sean McElearney; 8. Johnathan Spears.