CONCORD, N.C. – A pair of first-timers and five repeat winners made up the group of racers who stood triumphant at the end of Tuesday’s fourth round of the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with fireworks bursting both on and off the race track during Mascot Mania Night.
The night’s chaos came from the top and went all the way down, perhaps no more evident than in the In Light Wellness Pro division feature. Austin Green started from the pole position, but never led a lap as he was freight-trained up to the outside in turn three and Dillon Faggart stormed to the early lead.
The race went green from the outset to its final corner, with Steven Ross Motorsports looking poised to capture their biggest night ever at the Shootout with a podium sweep. Faggart led teammate Michael Torres at the halfway point, with Carson Ferguson slipping by Purdy for third a lap later to set up the potentially historic night.
Despite Torres ducking underneath Faggart for the lead with seven to go, all three cars were still in position to sweep the night for SRM until the final time around.
Ferguson got around Faggart for second coming to the white flag and made quick work of chasing Torres down for the win. He tried to make the bump and run work in turns three and four to take the win away, but got locked together with his teammate in a mad scrum that collected Faggart in its wake and took all three cars out just yards from the twin checkers.
Through the chaos and smoke came Mississippi native Chase Purdy, who snuck past the crash on the inside of the final corner to take his second win of the summer and 10th career Shootout triumph with a last-lap pass.
“We were fast … we just weren’t fast enough to contend with those (top three) guys,” Purdy admitted. “Dennis Lambert worked hard on this car all night and he got it good enough for us to be in contention.”
“That last lap – man, I guess they got a little too aggressive down there in turns three and four, and I just went where they weren’t when they started crashing. It’s always so much fun to come back here to the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout and maybe I was there by default, but a W’s a W.”
Robbie Faggart was the king of the Masters division for the second time in four races as well, leading the final 12 laps of the 25-lap feature en route to his sixth career division victory, tying himself with Captain John Smith for sixth on the all-time class wins list at the Shootout.
A 10-lap green flag run started the main, with Jan Ingram leading five laps from the pole before Carl Cormier snuck by to lead the next three. Mark Green was the next player to join the party, pacing two laps of his own before the yellow flag waved for a spinning Todd Midas in turn three.
That reset the field for the first time on the night, but Green held the point despite a challenge from behind on the restart to lead through a lap 12 yellow for another solo spin – this time by Tim Sipes.
The ensuing green flag was Faggart’s key to victory lane, as he pounced in turns three and four on lap 13 to get alongside Green at the stripe, before clearing him in turn one and never looking back.
“I was a little surprised it went so clean (out front),” said Faggart, who weathered three additional restarts – including a green-white-checkered finish – due to incidents further back in the pack.
“I did my best not to hit anyone, because I know I’ve got eyes on me. Just tried to tiptoe through there the best I could and it came out alright for us tonight with another win.”
Green, Cormier and Chip Ferguson finished second through fourth, with Midas rallying from his early troubles to round out the top five in the end.