CONCORD, N.C. – Jordan Black knows that his path to Bojangles’ Summer Shootout history won’t be easy, but if last season is any indication, the 19-year-old driver will be the man to beat once again.
Black, the two-time and defending Pro Division champion, begins this season on Monday with his focus on capturing an unprecedented third-consecutive Pro titleon Charlotte Motor Speedway’s frontstretch quarter-mile.
The Orlando, Florida, native won four races last year – including the final two – to wrestle the championship from now-NASCAR NEXT driver Chase Purdy.
With Purdy and fellow competitor Dillon Faggart not chasing the title this year, Black expects his challenges to come from a mix of old and new sources.
Austin Green, the son of 1994 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion David Green, begins his second year aboard the No. 48 Ladyga Motorsports car after scoring his first-career Pro win at the Shootout last summer.
Green, 16, figures to be one of the most difficult drivers to beat in the series.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Black, who moved teams from Matt Drake’s Fab Specialties organization over to Steven Ross Motorsports in the offseason. “There’s a lot of competition in the Pro Division. You’re looking at 10-15 cars driven by the best Legend car drivers in the country.”
While no driver in the Shootout’s 24-year history has ever won three straight Pro Division titles, two current NASCAR competitors – Jordan Anderson (2007-2008) and Daniel Hemric (2013-2014) – have claimed back-to-back championships.
Black already sits tied for third on the division’s all-time wins list at the Shootout with eight, and if he can win two races this summer, would join Hemric as only the second driver to record double digits in the career wins column.
However, the Floridian would like to wrest the titles record away and sit atop that particular pedestal on his own.
“It would mean a lot to get three in a row,” Black said. “Obviously, no one’s ever done it. That’s the ultimate goal … but on a weekly basis, we want to come out here and be competitive.”
“We want to try and be first in every session if we can. That’s the goal and if we can do that, the racing will take care of itself.”
Story courtesy of Charlotte Motor Speedway, with additional reporting by Jacob Seelman.