A LOT OF EXCITEMENT AT SUMMER SHOOTOUT SEASON OPENER by Jayson Kaplan
Chrissy Wallace & Brandon McReynolds Among Some of The Big Winners
Legends Semi-Pro: Wallace And Mattox Finish Declared A Tie
Famous New York sportscaster Warner Wolf used to say “let’s go to the video tape” and that’s just what officials had to do declare the winner of the Cabarrus Family Medicine Legends Car Semi-Pro Division feature. After officials looked over the tape they declared Chrissy Wallace and Jess Mattox
a tie for first place in the 2005 Summer Shootout Season opener.
“The officials called it a tie and I have never heard of a tie before”, said Wallace. “Last year it was
Jess and I who ran neck and neck all season.
"Chrissy raced me clean and it came down to the last-lap. We have always raced each other hard. This is a great way to start our season off here at the Summer Shootout.”
Casey Dohm brought home an impressive third place finish after overcoming all sorts of obstacles all day long.
“What a night,” said a satisfied Dohm. “I got into the B-main on the first-lap and a big wreck happens in front of me. I got in the infield and knocked out the metal caution stand. In the A-main the 49’er car hit me in the left front knocked the toe out of the car. My steering wheel was pointed toward the wall going down the front straightaway. Then we get going again and another caution comes out. It was another big pile up going into turn-one and then I feel my car get completely off the ground. Who knows what broke on the car from that? I still managed to finish in third. I am very happy with that run.”
It was a photo finish in the Semi-Pro. (Kevin Thorne Photo)
"We finished second and third in the points last year. I like racing Jess and I hope to come away with the best outcome.”
Despite the official’s decision at the end, Mattox was
not disappointed with his finish and is happy starting
his season with a win.
“Chrissy and I were side by side the entire race,” said
at Mattox. “It was hard to see who one this one. It
took the officials 30-minutes to decide who won this race.
Bandolero Young Gun: Brandon McReynolds Dominates Opener
Brandon McReynolds was the car to beat in the Lucas Oil Bandolero Young Guns Feature. He took the lead on lap-four and led the rest of the way. Nobody could catch the 14-year old son of former NASCAR Nextel Cup crew chief and FOX television commentator Larry McReynolds.
Young Gun Brandon McReynolds (51 Photo)
“I worked my way up from the back starting second to last in the heat race”, said Miktuk. “I would say a little bit of luck helped me and so did the cautions. The car was pretty good.
"I was fortunate to miss the oil on the track which sent a bunch of cars scattered. I was starting to catch Brandon for the lead but ran out of laps.”
Finishing up the top-three was Tyler Green who was not fortunate enough to miss the oil as well. And despite a damaged car he still finished third.
“I got into that oil and it messed the steering up on the car”, said Green. “Something was up with the front end and it was toed it out. Brandon ran a great race. We didn’t have anything for him at the end.”
“It was a great run for me and Nick Pistone who owns this car. He did a great job setting it up. We started 19th over came a few problems but we got it hooked up at the right time and had a great one two finish for Nick Pistone.”
Beau Slocumb also had a strong run resulting in a third place finish.
“I had a good car at the start”, said Beau Slocumb. “The car was good all race long. If I only had a couple of more laps I felt I could have gotten the leader but Chase ran a great race and we will be back next week.”
Thunder Roadsters: Michael Van Wingerden Off to a Great Start
Despite his bad luck in the Legends Car Pro opener, Michael Van Wingerden had much better luck in the Duragloss Thunder Roadsters race. Van Wingerden emerged from an exciting three-lap battle on lap-four to take the lead and cruise to victory lane.
“The car was just perfect tonight”, said Van Wingerden. “The choose rule helped me a lot tonight, I was able to go from fourth to second. I was able to pass guys on the outside with the grip that was put on the track from Monday’s testing. It was an easy drive. I didn’t have to make any changes on the car. I had a lot of fun and this was a great way to kick off the season for me.”
Things didn’t go as planned for series veteran Ryan Zeck, but he still took the runner-up spot.
“I had hoped to win the first race but second is not a bad start at all to build off of,” said Zeck. ”It just didn’t work out the right way for me tonight. These races are really short and the number-23 (Van Wingerden) got out to a little bit of a lead. I tried to just ride hoping for a yellow.”
For third place finisher Thomas Van Wingerden, the hardest thing for him was to lose to his brother.
Michael Van Wingerden rides with checkerd flag. (Kevin Thorne Photo).
Legends Masters: It Was a Battle of Georgia Racers in North Carolina
Randy Thorton held off a hard charging Brain Wiemer for the win in the Verizon Wirless Legends Car Masters Division. Thorton took the lead on lap-two as held off Wiemer to collect the season opener.
“Brain Weimer and I race down in Atlanta together and it is always he and I together”, said Thorton. “I have been coming here for 10 years and the best I have ever finished was second. Man, I was just glad to get this win. It’s a great way to kick off my season.”
Weimer did all he could to pass Thorton but wasn’t disappointed with the one-two Georgia finish.
Bandolero Bandits: Darrell Wallace Jr. is On His Game
Eleven-year-old Darrell Wallace Jr. was certainly on his game as he started from the pole in the 28-car field and led every lap to win the Lucas Oil Bandolero Bandits Series Opener.
““In the heat race the car was very tight” said Wallace. “My dad made some adjustments to the car before the race and what ever he did fixed it from being really loose and it was really good during the race. I wasn’t worried about anyone catching me at the end.”
Randy Thornton (#40) Brian Wiemer s(#37) battle. (Kevin Thorne Photo)
“I get to race Randy all the time in Atlanta and man he is always tough to pass once he gets up front,” said Weimer. “Us Georgia boys are coming to get these North Carolina boys. I could have ruffled Randy’s feathers a little bit to try to take a win from him but I couldn’t do that to Randy.”
Rounding out the top-three was John Barilka, who battled brake problems to finish third. “I had a blast tonight”, said Barilka. “This is such a good group of guys to race with.
Austin Hill took home second place after making a move on the 7-11 of Max Gresham.
“The car ran fine most of the race but it got a little bit loose toward the end”, said Hill. “I barely got around the 7-11 coming around the turn and he got me real loose so he could try to get under me but I was able to stop him. This was my first time here and I ran second so it was all good.”
Gresham’s podium finish was a great way to start his season on the right foot.
Darell Wallace Jr. leads the pack in the Bandits Division. (Kevin Thorne Photo)
Bandolero Outlaw: Eric Redmond Wins Three-Car Battle
Eric Redmond emerged the winner after an exciting three-car battle that saw defending Lucas Oil Bandolero Outlaw Champion Bruce Benson, II finish second and Randy Spencer third.
“The car ran great tonight”, said Redmond. “We have been working endless hours on the car and it paid off. I had two lapped cars spin in front of me in turn-four coming to the checkered. I held my breath for a moment, but it all worked out in my favor.” Benson’s second place finish was not quite the run he hoped for but he Champ will take it and look ahead to next week.
“Second is not a bad place to be,” said Benson. “The set up on the car was pretty good just not quite were we needed it. We will figure it out for next week.”
Legends Pro: Chase Pistone Back On Top At Lowe’s
Series veteran and Hooters Pro Cup Rookie Chase Pistone came
from the eighth spot in the 27-car Centex Homes Legends Car Pro Feature to capture the series opener win. Pistone went bumper to bumper with Michael Van Wingerden. But, Van Wingerden was
hit from behind by another car causing him to spin out putting him
of contention for the win. Van Wingerden’s misfortune left Pistone
to collect the win.
“I came down and drove a new car that my brother had just built”,
said Pistone. “It was a lot of fun tonight. Winning anything is nice.
I might come out and do some more races. Hey, I am leading the points race so why not?”
Second-place finisher Ben Stancill was happy to bring Team Pistone home a one-two finish.
Eric Redmond in victory-lane. (Harold Hinson Photo)
Chase Pistone in victory lane. (Harold HinsonPhoto)
“I guess I got off to a bad start off the last re-start and he got by me”, said the third place finisher Gresham. “Not a bad start at all for this year’s Summer Shootout for me. I am really excited about this year.”
Brandon almost had the win slip away, literally when he got sideways in some oil in the closing laps.
“I had a great car tonight,” said McReynolds. “My crew chief and my dad helped me with the set up and they gave me a great car. The car ran great all race long but going into turn-three with a couple of laps to go oil was spilt on the track and I drove into the oil and got a little sideways. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to hang on to it but I did and was able to win the race.”
Second place driver Cole Miktuk had a strong run coming from the back of the pack to score a second place finish.
"I thought we had the best car tonight but halfway through something went wrong with the brakes. It took everything I had to hang on. Third is not a bad way to start the season off this year.”
“It was fun out there,” said Thomas. “We got into a little beating and banging tonight and I just got rhung up on the outside. Not a bad run but I don’t like when my brother beats me though.”