CONCORD, N.C. — Round six of the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway saw a running theme of several drivers taking their championship battles by the horns, headlined by Jordan Black’s third-straight win in the Lead 2 Real Estate Pro division.
Black, who had to start seventh as the defending race winner, was mired in traffic for much of the event, taking until almost halfway to break into the top five and only passing Dawson Cram for the runner-up spot with 10 laps to go.
However, a caution for a spinning Brody Pope set up an eight-lap sprint to the finish, in which Black was able to work around race leader Kaden Honeycutt and lead the final seven circuits en route to his 11th-career Pro win at the Shootout.
“I’ve just got great guys around me,” Black said. “I never have to worry about the car being off-balance. I’m just a small part of it and people say I’m a good driver … but it’s all (about the) car these days. It was fun coming through the field; just a little stressful those last four of five laps.”
“We had a fast car all night. We qualified pole and were quickest in each session during Monday’s practice, so I knew we had a good shot at it. It was a chaotic race. We fell so far back early that it was just go time from there on out. (Kaden) was missing the corners before the caution, so I knew we had a shot, and it was just about patience.”
Black did admit that it wasn’t all smooth sailing at the end.
“I’m not sure what was going on, but the last four or five laps … either the carb was missing, things were dirty or the motor was blowing up because it just wasn’t right at all. Thankfully we were able to hang on and bring it home.”
Honeycutt came home as the runner-up, followed by Cram, Austin Green and Jordan Stillwell.
Polesitter Daniel Wilk finished a career-best sixth after leading the first five laps.
Where Black made a statement by taking the points lead, the Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters division continued its theme of parity after Jon Craig became the sixth-different class winner in six races on Tuesday night.
Craig was the beneficiary of a Turn 3 crash that wiped out both leader Johnny Sossoman and second-running Carl Cormier in one fell swoop with 10 to go, inheriting the lead and going on to victory after two late-race restarts.
Though Craig led off the resumption following cleanup for oil on the track, he had to hold off a hard-charging Todd Midas, who led lap 17 at the line before Craig was able to retake command for good.
“It was tough. (Todd) Midas was tough and it was just slick,” Craig said. “When they all started spinning, I missed it. I knew I just had to hold the bottom line. I felt Sossoman nibble me going into the corner. He raced me clean. He always has.”
Craig’s win was the fifth of his Masters division career at the Shootout, moving him into a tie for eighth all-time with Jeff Green and Brian Weimer, as well as his first since round seven in 2015.
Sossoman charged back through the field after the incident with Cormier to battle for the win inside the final two laps, but had to settle for third after being passed by Todd Midas at the white flag.
Robbie Faggart and Cormier completed the top five.
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