CONCORD, N.C. — Audio, recap and photos by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Hello, chaos.
We knew it would strike; we just weren’t sure how soon, but chaos reigned supreme during Round 3 of the 21st annual Jack in the Box Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
No more was that evident than in the Security Force Masters class, where Tom Pistone picked up a controversial race win after starting seventh, his third straight, after John Sossoman was penalized for “divebombing”, according to officials.
After a yellow on the opening lap, Sossoman grabbed the top spot from early race leaders Robbie Woodall and Robby Faggart on Lap 8 and pulled the field for nine straight laps out in front before a caution on Lap 17 for the spinning Steve Lewis set up the run to the finish and put Sossoman from the lead to third after Race Control handed down the two-position penalty, a penalty which left even Sossoman’s competitors baffled.
From there, Sossoman tried to rebound and reel Pistone in over the final seven laps after choosing the outside to get back on the front row, but could not close the deal. Pistone took the controversial win over Sossoman again, with Carl Cormier, Robby Faggart and Jon Craig rounding out the top five at the finish.
After the race, a frustrated Sossoman left the tech area without comment, but later emerged from his trailer to speak exclusively with Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online about his view of what happened.
“I still have no idea what the guys up in the tower thought they saw that warranted a penalty,” Sossoman expressed. “Was I racing Robby hard? Absolutely. Would I wreck Robby? Never. I love racing Robbie and these guys; we have fun doing this and I might rough a few guys up, but I would never go so far as to try and take someone out for one of these wins. That’s not me and it’s not how I’ve ever raced.”
“Tonight sucked the fun out of it for me; the not knowing what happened or why. When you have other drivers coming up to you saying they didn’t understand it…I don’t know,” Sossoman added. “I’ll say this though, and you can take it to the bank. After tonight, I’m officially retired.”
Pistone echoed the rest of the field’s confusion after the race, despite notching his third straight Shootout win of the season.
“Johnny had the best car tonight; I was just the beneficiary there. I’m not even really sure what that was, but we’ll take it. I know he would too if the roles were reversed. Great night for our team, great battle, but I feel bad for Johnny there. I think he probably had this one tonight if the race stayed green. Like I said though, a win’s a win and we’ll take it,” Pistone said in Victory Lane.
In Pro division action, Daniel Hemric made a spectacular rebound under the lights. Hemric, who earlier in the day during the Round 2 make-up feature was involved in a hard crash with Tripp Gerrald while leading the event, took a repaired Ladyga Motorsports No. 48 machine to a dominating victory after setting pole time with a blistering lap of 16.994 seconds around the quarter-mile.
Hemric stormed past early-race leader Jared Irvan on Lap 5 of the 25-lap main event and never looked back despite several challenges from his protege William Byron along the way. Byron rebounded from an early-race spin to come home in second despite a second caution for a spinning Michael Torres on Lap 8. Though Byron was able to close the gap, he could never get around Hemric, who notched his 22nd career Summer Shootout Pro victory.
“That’s what you call faith, hard work and determination right there,” Hemric explained with a big smile in Victory Lane. “We thrashed to get that car fixed after the first feature and we pulled it off tonight. Now I’m not advocating wrecking the car every week, but it was interesting today,” Hemric laughed.
“William was good, and I’ve said all along he’s gonna do some special things in this sport. We were just a little better tonight, and it shows the heart of this team that we were able to make this one happen.”
In Young Lions competition, Hemric’s teammate Carson Ferguson grabbed his third consecutive win in the 20-lap feature after he had to rally from eighth place in the early going. Ferguson chose the outside lane to vault from fifth to second after race-long leader Ryan Millington spun on lap 15, then passing Stefan Parsons a lap later and holding on despite five total cautions to notch his seventh career win in the class at Charlotte. Ferguson also recorded the fastest lap of the race once out front — a 17.036 second flyer.
Ferguson and Parsons have now placed first and second, respectively, in each of the three Shootout races this season. Alex Murray scored a career-best Young Lions Shootout finish in third, with Christian Eckes and Michael Womack completing the top five.
Chandler Smith dominated the LiveWell Homes Bandolero Bandits division all day desipte having to come from seventh twice, taking a victory in both last week’s make-up race and the night’s feature race. The pre-race inversion for the Round 3 feature set up Austin Geer as the polesitter with Connor Younginer right in Geer’s tire tracks.
Two-time second place finisher this season, D.J. Canipe, blasted from fourth to first on lap 2 following an early caution and restart. But after another quick caution, Smith began his march, passing Geer in fourth on lap 4, then blowing the doors off of Younginer and Daniel Wilk three laps later.
Smith used the momentum from a lap 8 restart to pass Canipe for the lead in turn 1 and take the top spot for the remainder of the race. Canipe finished in second for the third straight race, Younginer followed with a very strong run to hold third at the finish, and Geer and Ryleigh Lemonds rounded out the top five.
The special event of the night was go-kart racing, and Lug Nut, the world’s fastest mascot, ran away with the win in the Mascot Mania go-kart race.
Revpar, the brand new mascot of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau jumped out to an early lead in the Mascot Mania go-kart race. Lug Nut moved from the back of the pack to third by lap 2, and was fighting for the lead soon after.
Each mascot had a dodge ball that they could use to hit another mascot and send them to the back and several had to drop to the rear of the field after being hit. In the end, Lug Nut defended his turf and took home the checkered flag. Revpar finished second, Coop, of Quaker Steak & Lube finished third, Bucky the Pirate of East Tennessee State University finished fourth, and the Davidson Wildcat capped the front five.
Chubby Checker of the Charlotte Checkers finished sixth, Tim E. Gator of the Kannpolis Intimidators finished seventh, Monkey Joe finished eighth and Blue the Hound of the Charlotte Hounds came home shotgun in ninth.
Other winners on the night included Devin O’Connell, who notched his first-ever Summer Shootout win in the Quaker Steak & Lube Semi-Pro division; Ashton Winger (Bandolero Outlaws) and Elijah Todd (Beginner Bandits).
Winners of the June 10 features postponed due to rain were Byron (Pro), Chase Purdy (Bandolero Outlaws), Smith (Bandolero Bandits) and Cameron Bolin (Beginner Bandits).
The 21st annual Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series continues Tuesday, June 24, with Media Mayhem bus racing. In addition to the regular racing divisions, fans can see local TV and radio personalities go head-to-head in 13-ton school buses for a spectacular school bus slobberknocker.
For live updates during the Summer Shootout Series, follow hashtag #SummerShootout on Twitter. To join in on the conversation simply include #SummerShootout in your tweet, or tweet us @Speed77Radio or @RaceChaserNews for all the latest updates from down on pit lane!
RESULTS: 21st annual Jack in the Box Summer Shootout; Charlotte Motor Speedway; Round 3 — June 17, 2014
Legend Car Pro Feature (25 laps): 1. Daniel Hemric; 2. William Byron; 3. Kason Plott; 4. Steven Cantrell; 5. Gregory Lang; 6. Jordan Black; 7. Jared Irvan; 8. Michael Torres; 9. Trey Jarrell; 10. Brandon Mackenzie; 11. Zane Smith; 12. Evan Swilling; 13. Joey Padgett.
Security Force Legend Car Masters Feature (25 laps): 1. Tom Pistone; 2. John Sossoman; 3. Carl Cormier; 4. Robby Faggart; 5. Jon Craig; 6. Bruce Silver; 7. Chip Ferguson; 8. Shawn Geisel; 9. Steve Lewis; 10. Robbie Woodall; 11. Jan Ingram; 12. Ron Mander.
Legend Car Semi-Pro Feature (25 laps): 1. Devin O’Connell; 2. Josh Brimecombe; 3. Tyler Truex; 4. Jake Tretow; 5. Jordan Stillwell; 6. Riley Halverson; 7. William Cunningham; 8. Robby Lyons; 9. Craig Biryla; 10. Sheldon Crouse; 11. Joe Gregory; 12. Enrique Limon; 13. Alex Urbina; 14. Casey Brown; 15. Austin Langenstein; 16. Billy Webb; 17. Dillon Faggart; 18. John Holleman; 19. Josh Turner; 20. Grant Winchester; 21. Connor Pyle.
Legend Car Young Lions Feature (20 laps): 1. Carson Ferguson; 2. Stefan Parsons; 3. Alex Murray; 4. Christian Eckes; 5. Michael Womack; 6. Ryan Millington; 7. Austin Green; 8. Enzo Fittipaldi; 9. Matt Craig; 10. Stevie Johns Jr.; 11. Matt Thomas; 12. Woodrow Mullis; 13. Jacob Heafner; 14. Scott Joy; 15. Amber Burchette; 16. AJ Davis; 17. Joseph Graf; 18. Walter Thomas; 19. Dawson Cram; 20. Alex Reece.
Bandolero Beginner Bandits Feature (20 laps): 1. Elijah Todd; 2. Cameron Bolin; 3. Carson Kvapil; 4. Bryson Ruff; 5. Isabella Robusto; 6. Roy Hayes; 7. Carson Poindexter; 8. Josh Spears; 9. George Hayes; 10. Brandon Grants; 11. Jagger Parker; 12. Gauntt Hudgins; 13. Autumn Weaver; 14. Kyle Campbell; 15. Dylan Notaro; 15. Ashley Pantoulas.
LiveWell Homes Bandolero Bandits Feature (20 laps): 1. Chandler Smith; 2. DJ Canipe; 3. Connor Younginer; 4. Austin Geer; 5. Ryleigh Lemonds; 6. Daniel Wilk; 7. Ryan Israel; 8. Ashton Higgins; 9. Blake Cisneros; 10. Mini Tyrell; 11. William Robusto; 12. Liz Montgomery; 13. Braydn Mander; 14. Richie Kuty; 15. Mark Durgin Jr.; 16. Brayde Miranda; 17. Eddie Fatscher; 18. Josh Kossek.
Bandolero Outlaws Feature (20 laps): 1. Ashton Winger; 2. Miguel Cesar; 3. Chase Purdy; 4. Austin Powell; 5. Matthew Davey; 6. Jack Fread; 7. Kamera McDonald; 8. Nick MacMillan; 9. Trevor Rizzo; 10. Matt Mead; 11. Kayla Lyons; 12. Jordan Plummer; 13. Jackson Combis; 14. Hannah Bell; 15. Justin Taylor; 16. Eric Brown; 17. Nate Tretow; 18. Jensen Jorgenson
Bandolero Beginner Bandits June 10 Feature Make-up (15 laps): 1. Cameron Bolin; 2. Elijah Todd; 3. Carson Kvapil; 4. Bryson Ruff; 5. Isabella Robusto; 6. Carson Poindexter; 7. Dylan Notaro; 8. Roy Hayes; 9. Jagger Parker; 10. Kyle Campbell; 11. Brandon Grants; 12. George Hayes; 13. Gauntt Hudgins; 14. Autumn Weaver; 15. Josh Speas.
LiveWell Homes Bandolero Bandits June 10 Feature Make-up (15 laps): 1. Chandler Smith; 2. DJ Canipe; 3. Kayla Lyons; 4. Ashton Higgins; 5. William Robusto; 6. Austin Geer; 7. Daniel Wilk; 8. Liz Montgomery; 9. Braydn Mander; 10. Brayde Miranda; 11. Josh Kossek; 12. Blake Cisneros; 13. Richie Kuty; 14. Connor Younginer; 15. Eddie Fatscher; 16. Mini Tyrell.
Bandolero Outlaws June 10 Feature Make-up (15 laps): 1. Chase Purdy; 2. Miguel Cesar; 3. Nate Tretow; 4. Jensen Jorgenson; 5. Austin Powell; 6. Kamera McDonald; 7. Jack Fread; 8. Matthew Davey; 9. Matt Mead; 10. Matthew Emery; 11. Kayla Lyons; 12. Hannah Bell; 13. Trevor Rizzo; 14. Jordan Plummer; 15. Justin Taylor; 16. Ashton Winger; 17. Nick Macmillon; 18. Eric Brown.
Legend Car Pro June 10 Feature Make-up (25 laps): 1. William Byron; 2. Kason Plott; 3. Joey Padgett; 4. Trey Jarrell; 5. Steven Cantrell; 6. Zane Smith; 7. Michael Torres; 8. Jared Irvan; 9. Gregory Lang; 10. Daniel Hemric; 11. Tripp Gerrald III; 12. Evan Swilling; 13. Jordan Black.