Bojangles Summer ShootOut Championship Night!
This week wrapped up our final round of the 2016 Bojangles' Summer ShootOut at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This summer's series brought some of the tightest point battles we've ever seen.
Going into round ten, top five and even top ten were only separated by a few points throughout divisions. Our Bandit division was locked in a three with tie between Josh Kossek (44), Cameron Bolin (67) and Bryson Ruff (24). Going into round ten, Matthew Davey held onto his points lead over first year Outlaw, Tommy Good, then D.J. Canipe, who followed behind Davey by ten.
In our Legend's divisions, Eddie Fatscher (51) and Ashton Higgins (9), both with 361 points, were tied for first in Young Lions, with Giovanni Bromante in third, only three points back from his competitors. Semi-Pro was led by Gus Dean, followed closely by Tyler Truex, and Matt Mead. In our Pro division, throughout the summer the points lead bounced between last year's Bojangles' Summer ShootOut Young Lion Champion, Chase Purdy and last summer's Pro Champion, Jordan Black. Going into round nine, Purdy took the points lead from Black by two, making round nine one of the most important races of the series for the drivers. Ultimately, Black won round nine, with Purdy finishing in second, giving Black back his lead by three. This summer's Masters Division was dominated by Robby Faggart, with a 30 point lead going into the last round; however, the battle for second and third between teammates Carl Cormier and Todd Midas was one to watch.
With the threat of weather quickly approaching, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials rearranged the event schedule, putting our Bandoleros on track first and setting lineups based on current points, putting our tied drivers together for their final race. Throughout the race the lead moved back and forth between our top three, with 11 year old Bryson Ruff (24) taking the checkered flag, and naming him the 2016 Bojangles' Summer ShootOut Bandit Champion. This was Ruff's first Summer ShootOut Championship.
In the night's Outlaw race, again set by points, with the top three, Matthew Davey (10), Tommy Good (19) and D.J. Canipe (29) lead the field. After a mostly smooth race, Matthew Emery (11) crossed the finish line first, bumping him from fourth in points to third, Tommy Good's second place finish ended his ShootOut series in second place over all, and Mathew Davey, who went into round ten ahead eight points, finished the nights race in third, but took home the 2016 Bojangles' Summer ShooOut Outlaw Championship.
Our first Legend Car race of the night was the Young Lion's division. For the first time this summer their race went green to checkered, which was almost as exciting as the race outcome. Brody Pope (43) began the race on the pole, with Giovanni Bromante in second. Once the race went green Bromante, Pope, Eddie Fatscher and Ashton Higgins battled it out for the top spot. With 17 to go, Bromante began to lock in his first place lead. Pope stayed behind Bromate for the remainder of the race to finish in second, and come in fourth overall in his first ever Summer ShootOut. Higgins and Fatscher continued fighting to take the third place spot in round ten, with Fatscher ultimately taking third, and Higgins following up closely in forth. This feature win for Bromante tied him and Fatscher with 406 points for the Championship. In the event of a points tie, the championship comes down to wins. Giovanni Bromante's four first place wins, over Eddie Fatscher's three first place wins named him the 2016 Bojangles' Summer ShootOut Young Lion Champion.
The Semi-Pros took the track next for the roughest race of the night. Gus Dean (56) started on the pole. Dean held the top spot until lap eight, when on track contact brought out the caution, and sent him and Matt Mead (24) to the tail. This restart put Jacob Heafner (95) on the pole and in the lead for the next lap, and through the next caution, and the next restart until Tyler Truex (69) made a pass going into turn two on lap nine. This move locked in the championship for Truex. Heafner and Nolan Pope (34) spent much of the second half racing back and forth for second in the feature, until an incident on the last lap involving the 95, 34 and 56 pushed all three cars to the back of the field, putting Mead in second, and Grant Winchester in third. This was Tyler Truex's first Summer ShootOut Championship win.
The 2016 Bojangles' Summer ShootOut Masters Champion, Robby Faggart (12), had already been decided before the cars hit the track for the second to last feature of the night. Robby wrapped up the feature race with a first place finish, making this his fifth ShootOut win this summer. Mark Green (20) finished his summer out with the second place in round ten, and Thursday Thunder regular, Scott Mosley (22) took third. Mosely was also our Red, White and Blue Series Masters Champion.
The Pro division, our last feature of the night, did not disappoint. Chase Purdy (8), last summer's Young Lion Champion, and Jordan Black (14), the returning Pro Champion we're in a close point's battle for the title. The race went green with Dawson Cram (11) on the pole, but lost the lead to Austin Green (48) going into lap two following the restart. Green held his lead, but Purdy was able to pass him going into turn three with 20 to go. Purdy held a strong lead with Black three positions back; a caution with 18 laps to go allowed drivers to choose, putting Black and Purdy side by on the restart. With Black behind him, Purdy held a consistent lead for the next seven laps, until Black was able to pass him along the front stretch, putting the 14 in the lead. An on track incident involving Green, Purdy, Cram and Dillon Faggart (12) caused a caution, and ended with Faggart, Cram Prudy being unable to complete the race. Black maintained the lead for the remained of the feature, confirming his championship title. The caution and restarts allowed Cameron Morga, Las Vegas Motor Speedway regular, to finish the night in second, and another LVMS regular, Donny St.Ours to take third. This win gave Jordan Black his second Bojangles' Summer ShootOut Pro Championship.
We'd like to thank everyone who joined us at Charlotte Motor Speedway for this summer's Bojangles' Summer ShootOut. We'd also like to thank all of our U.S. Legend Cars partners for all they've done to help add to this summer's ShootOut; Bilstiein, Federal Tyers, G-Force Racing Gear, zMax Mirco-lubricant, Maxima, Raceceiver, Racing Electronics, Stock Car Steel, MPI and Aero Wheels.