Stars Collide, Fireworks Light the Night Sky at Bojangles' Summer Shootout
Fireworks filled the sky and sparks populated the pavement in Tuesday night's spectacular fifth round of the Bojangles' Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Prior to an autograph session for fans and an awe-inspiring pre-Independence Day fireworks show presented by NGK Spark Plugs, plenty of excitement took place on the track. Carson Ferguson jumped out to an early lead over Joey Padgett and NASCAR star Bubba Wallace in the fifth Boston Reid Real Estate Pro feature of the season. Unlike in recent weeks - when winners Ryan Mackintosh and Wallace emerged in the closing laps - Ferguson held serve throughout the 25-lap event. The Ladyga Motorsports driver overcame a late restart for Padgett's spin to surge to his second win of the season ahead of Wallace and Zach Miller.
"I was just replaying it in my head the last two weeks," Ferguson said of his recent run of unrealized success. "It was getting really frustrating, but I was determined not to let it happen again. Thanks to Bubba for racing me clean the last two laps there."
Past Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company Masters division champion Robby Faggart rallied from fourth in the opening laps of Tuesday's 25-lap tussle to win his second race of the season. Faggart cleared title competitor Mark Green as well as runner-up Jon Craig and third-place finisher Todd Midas before driving away to a victory by nearly two seconds.
"I'm just in a hurry," Faggart said of his approach. "Stephen Ross, he's just so good with these cars. He never sleeps, he never rests and this is his result. It was really hot and slick out tonight. We came out to the good tonight."
Janson Marchbanks paced the field for much of the PMG Young Lions feature, but a tap from Landon Rapp with five laps left moved Rapp into the lead. Rapp held Marchbanks behind him for the final circuits, cruising to the victory ahead of Marchbanks and Tyler Chapman.
"I can't believe how fast we were," Rapp said. "We figured out we had a bent front clip after the first few races. It's so great to be in Victory Lane. Thanks so much to Bojangles' for sponsoring the Bojangles' Summer Shootout."
Gracie Trotter won a caution-filled VP Racing Fuels Semi-Pro feature, surviving a slew of yellow flags for multi-car accidents and avoiding the carnage to register her first win of the season.
Trotter and Isabella Robusto, last week's winner, started on the front row. Robusto finished third behind Trotter and Braden Rogers.
"I didn't think that race was ever going to end," Trotter said. "I just knew I had to get a good restart every single time. We ended up doing it, sealing the deal and we won. It's good to be back in Victory Lane. We won this same race last year. Maybe it's something about the fireworks."
On seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty's 82nd birthday, Layton Harrison took the No. 43 to the winner's circle in K1 RaceGear Bandolero Bandits competition.
"I was worried when we were in the back but I had a really fast car so I was able to keep it on the bottom," Harrison said.
Garin Mash rocketed to another Farm Bureau Bandolero Outlaws win after a hard-fought battle with runner-up Connor Yonchuk and Cameron Murray. Mash - the division points leader - held off Yonchuk by 0.328 seconds.
"He was the better car in the end," Mash said of Yonchuk. "I had great spotting from my uncle, James Edwards. I've got to thank him and AK Performance for sticking with me. It's a good night."
In the Bandolero Beginner Bandit feature, Katie Yonchuk held off Josh Horniman for her first Bojangles' Summer Shootout victory in a closely contested battle to the finish. Kenton Case won the B-feature.
"It feels good because I've never won here before," Yonchuk said. "I was worried I wasn't going to win because (Horniman) is really good and he was right behind me."
Next Tuesday's Bojangles' Summer Shootout on July 9 marks the Shootout's first "Brewsday," with special beers on sale.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies scheduled for 6:15 p.m.