CONCORD, N.C. — Title battles in nearly every division of the 24th annual Bojangles’ Summer Shootout closed up on Monday night, as a first-time winner and several breakthrough performances highlighted round nine of the 10-race summer series for Legend cars and Bandoleros.
The headlining Lead 2 Real Estate Pro division feature saw second-year young gun Dawson Cram start from pole and lead 24 of the 25 laps, but just miss out on his first-career premier victory at the Shootout in a fender-banging photo finish.
Two late race cautions, after the first 21 laps ran without incident, spoiled Cram’s chances. The run to the finish began when Dillon Faggart spun in Turn 4 with four laps to go, setting up Cram on the point with championship leader and two-time defending titlist Jordan Black to his outside after the choose.
Cram got away and appeared to be on his way to victory yet again, but the yellow flag came out again and set up a green-white-checkered finish after Drew Brown came to a stop on the frontstretch.
That allowed Austin Green to line up on Cram’s bumper, follow him through on the inside at the restart and use a bump-and-run in Turn 2 on the last lap to squeeze past.
Though Cram stayed with Green on the outside coming to the checkered flag, he came up .029 of a second and a bumper short at the finish line, as Green picked up his third win of the year and closed to 10 points back of Black in the title race.
Carson Ferguson, Black and Noah Korner completed the top five, with Black’s lackluster fourth-place run marking an end to his streak of five-consecutive class victories.
The Cabarrus Brewing Company Masters division feature ran caution-free, with Todd Midas taking advantage of a pole starting spot to lead every lap and clinch his second win of the summer.
Entering the night fifth in points, the win catapulted Midas into third, one point back of the lead entering the finale.
“If you’d have told me at the beginning of the summer we’d have a shot at this thing, I might have laughed at you,” Midas admitted. “(Fighting for the championship) was always the goal, but wow. This was a great night. We needed this. I’m exhausted after that race.”
Robbie Faggart set fast time in qualifying and finished second to move into a tie for the points lead, while Michael van Wingerden debuted in the Masters class and came home third in his first Summer Shootout race in eight years.
Mark Green and Jon Craig completed the top five, followed by co-points leader Carl Cormier.
With Faggart, Cormier and Midas all split by just one point entering championship night, it creates a winner-take-all scenario for the over-40 class, with five bonus points going to the feature winner.
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