CONCORD, N.C. — Story, audio and photo by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman —
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Burt Myers and local dirt late model veteran Chris Ferguson are scheduled to compete on July 28 as part of the finale of the 22nd annual Bojangles Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS).
The duo will compete in a 10-lap, one-on-one grudge match — made popular at the Shootout by NASCAR stars and personalities back in the early 2000s at CMS.
The news was confirmed to Race Chaser Online by representatives from U.S. Legend Cars International (USLCI) and CMS on Monday ahead of Round Nine of the annual summer series.
“This is a big moment for this year’s Bojangles’ Summer Shootout and for Charlotte Motor Speedway, being able to have two drivers with the resumes that Burt and Chris have on hand to compete at one of the showcases of Legends car racing anywhere in the country,” said Lenny Batycki, director of communications for CMS. “I personally am so jacked up to see them here — it’s going to add a spark to the entertainment and action that we have every summer here at the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout.”
Ferguson was fitted for his seat at the end of June in preparation for his run at summer glory on the flat CMS frontstretch quarter mile, while Myers first got behind the wheel of his Legend car on arrival at CMS Monday for practice.
“Both Erik and Chris came and we fitted them in the cars a few weeks ago, so we know they’ll fit in the cars and be comfortable,” said Walter Stillwell, the Driving School Coordinator and Instructor for USLCI. “We’re running the blue and the red [USLCI] school cars — that’s what they’ll be using to race.”
Neither Myers nor Ferguson has ever driven a Legends car in their racing career. Ferguson’s cousin Carson won the Young Lions division national championship, as well as the Summer Shootout championship, in 2014 driving for Ladyga Motorsports.
“We think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun,” Stillwell added. “It’s going to be a blast having both of those guys come and sit in the cars — neither one of them has ever driven [one] before so it’ll be interesting to see how they adapt as they turn laps in practice.”
“If they’re smooth, they’ll be really good — that’s what it takes to have speed in one of these cars, so we’ll just have to see what happens. We’re definitely anticipating having them out to compete at the Shootout, that’s for sure.”
Myers, 39, is the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified tour champion and the all-time poles leader in the class for tour-type modifieds in the Southeastern United States. The veteran has 16 wins, 65 top-fives, 102 top-1os and 28 pole awards in 123 career NWSMT starts, and also has former experience in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown late model invitational and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The modified veteran says that he may be in for a struggle after learning that driving a Legends car takes “finesse rather than aggression.”
“I was asking [Walter] earlier about what it takes to go fast in these things, and when he said that I was like, ‘Oh, that might be a problem.’ In modifieds, you have to hustle it, so I don’t know what we’re going to have or what might happen, but either way I plan on having a blast getting to do it.”
“And even though the car will be a challenge, I love racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway and I have a lot of luck here,” added Myers, a three-time winner of the UNOH Southern Slam 150 for the Southern Modifieds at CMS. “I think it will be fun to compete against a dirt racer. I grew up being taught that dirt was for farming and asphalt was for racing.”
Ferguson, 26, has notched six dirt late model victories so far in 2015, including two Carolina Clash Late Model Series wins, two Ultimate Super Late Model Series wins and his first two career World of Outlaws Late Model Series victories at Friendship (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
He also wasn’t afraid to stir the pot slightly in advance of the showdown under the lights.
“I definitely have watched a few asphalt modified guys race, and I know they like to rub fenders,” Ferguson laughed. “Unfortunately, they don’t throw slide jobs like we do on the dirt, but any time you can get a chance to race someone that’s at the top of their game in their division it’s a big deal. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun out here tomorrow night.”
“I’ve seen Burt race at the Madhouse and I’m really looking forward to showing all the fans the madness we can have in these Legend Cars.”
Ferguson was originally slated to compete against NASCAR Camping World Truck Series star Erik Jones, however sponsor and team commitments to Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing prevented the 19-year-old from being able to jump behind the wheel at CMS in a Legends car.
Audio with Burt Myers and Chris Ferguson ahead of Tuesday night’s grudge match at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: firstname.lastname@example.org