RAIN AND FIRST TIME LOWE’S WINNERS RULE SHOOTOUT OPENER by Amy Hayes
Slick Track Met Slick Racing As Summer Shootout Gets Underway
The Lowe’s Motor Speedway Summer Shootout is usually known for being a “hot” event. The sun bears down on the competitors and the racing on the track is always pretty heated.
On opening night for the ’06 edition of the Shootout, the weather was anything but hot, but the racing was still sizzling. Dark clouds loomed over the track all day long and rain threatened the area throughout the evening. Eventually Mother Nature showed her fury; it came and went with the wind, but was annoying for competitors and fans alike. Fortunately for everyone, the entire night was completed, but not without some interesting stories.
Bandolero Outlaws: Benson Wins On Last Lap
It was Bruce Benson who beat the rest of the Outlaws to the checkered flag. Benson was able to take the lead pretty early in the race, but lost it to some fierce competition on lap five.
won. I just have to thank my dad, my Uncle Willy and my Papa for helping me and for everything that they do.”
Race Results: 1. Bruce Benson II; 2. Josh Turner; 3. Kara Clarke; 4. Chris Morgan; 5. Duke Furr; 6. Tim Keener; 7. Amanda Harrell; 8. Bailey Freeman; 9. Chris Honeycutt; 10. Nathan Rodgers; 11. Charles Long Jr.; 12. Benny Mingo; 13. Ashleigh Wilkins; 14. Dawn Eagens; 15. Marcus Limehouse; 16. Trevor Cauble.
The Thunder Roadsters were able to run the only caution-free race throughout the night as the rain kept bearing down on the competitors. 21-year-old Kyle Beattie was able to claim the initial victory of the Summer Shootout season on his way to the championship.
“The win was really exciting,” said Beattie, who is a former Pro Cup competitor. “The track was a little bit slick, but usually when it rains, everybody drives a little bit more carefully because most of these guys own their own equipment and nobody wants to tear anything up out there.”
Defending class champion Bruce Benson took the win in the Bandolero Masters. (51 Photo)
“I rounded the corner there a little too hard on the restart after one of the cautions,” said Benson. “That is where I lost the lead at.”
In an exciting last-lap battle with Josh Turner, Benson was able to reclaim his lead and take home the checkered flag. As the saying goes, it doesn’t matter how many laps you lead, as long as you lead the last one.
“I had to drive it in there pretty hard again on the last corner of the last lap and it was interesting because it was very wet out there. I usually like a track with a little bit more grip, but I can’t complain too much because I
Kyle Beattie (right) leads a pack of Thunder Roadsters at LMS. (Harold Hinson Photo)
Legends Masters: Cotton Is The Man Again
When the Masters division feature started, 52-year-old “Cotton” Spry took off to a pretty commanding lead. It didn’t seem as if anyone could catch him as he let the rest of his competitors work it out amongst themselves behind him.
Race Results: 1. George "Cotton" Spry; 2. John Sossoman; 3. Tom Van Wingerden; 4. Chuck Dohm; 5. Dr. Mark Moskowitz 6. John Barilka; 7. "Crazy" Eddie Harwell; 8. Bobby Pence; 9. Phil "Razor" Sharpe; 10. Bruce Sawicki; 11. Bruce Little; 12. Clay Hair; 13. Brian Weimer; 14. Danny Williams; 15. Tony Carper; 16. W. Gary Shannon; 17. Jeff Turner; 18. Dave Winston; 19. Bill Mathers; 20. David Sugg; 21. Keith Breabois; 22. Todd Johnson; 23. Jan Ingram; 24. Bill Gardner.
Bandolero Bandits: LMS First For Blackburn
It was a night of first’s at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the Lucas Oil Bandolero Bandits were no different. Cody Blackburn was able to get his first win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in his first-ever year of Bando racing.
It was a caution-filled race, with many of the competitors slipping and sliding on the wet track, yet Blackburn scorched the competition.
“It’s pretty exciting to win here in Charlotte,” said Blackburn. “Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway are my two favorite tracks, and we are planning on running the whole season. Being able to win the championship even though this is only my first season of racing would be awesome. This is my seventh win this year (in Bandoleros).”
John Gottsacker's #91 was the class of the field in the Pro Division. (51 Photo)
The Legends Pro Division has gone Western. Dallas, Texas-native John Gottsacker was able to beat out stockcar standouts David Ragan (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) and Andrew Rogers (Hooters Pro Cup Series) to claim his first win in the Summer Shootout.
“I am just really happy to get my first win here at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (in the Pro Division),” said Gottsacker. “ We came all the way from Dallas, Texas because I love this place.”
He did have some help in the setting up of his car and in getting around the track from a couple of local experts.
“I have had four other wins at Concord, but this is my first win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway,” said Stover. “It’s really exciting to finally win here.”
The wet track prevented the Young Guns from getting on the track on time for the heat race, but it worked out well for Stover in the end for the feature.
“The race was pretty good; we got out front and just tried to stay with it. I was kind of surprised; I figured the track would be pretty slick since it had been raining all evening long and all of the rubber would be washed off the track, but since several other divisions had been running before us, it had put some back on there.”
Race Results: 1. Matthew Stover; 2. Ryan Glenski; 3. Daniel Hemric; 4. Sam McAulay; 5. Christopher Moore;
Matthew Stover took the win in the Young Guns. (51 Photo)
“That is a lot of fun to be out there,” said Varnadoe. “It was a lot different; it was the first time that I had ever raced in the rain and so I didn’t know what to expect. I just kind of unloaded it out of the trailer and said we would just have fun. I didn’t touch the setup and I didn’t change anything, but I’ll tell you what… that Jasper Engine Ford was really good. My crew chief, Preston, and my teammate, David Ragan, really helped me out by putting me into a great car, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys.”
Varnadoe pretty much dominated the race. A late-race incident cut the race short to 17-laps. In that incident Jake Crum got loose on a wet racetrack, hit the wall and
However, the track was still wet and contact between other competitors in addition to slick conditions resulted in the caution coming out on lap five. The caution allowed John Sossoman to get right up on Spry and fight him for the lead, but in the end it was Spry who was able to fend off his challengers.
“The car was pretty good to begin with,” said Spry. “Then it tightened up just a little bit. The 14 (Sossoman) tried to make a run on us, but we were able to hold him off.”
“I had a pretty good lead out there at the start of the race, and that caution bunched us back up and I hated to see it, but it was some good racing and we are just out there to have fun.”
Tim Varnado won the final feature of the night in the Semi-Pros. (Harold Hinson Photo)
6. Trevor Farbo; 7. Ty Dillon; 8. Austin Hill; 9. Ryan Blaney; 10. Zac Kittle; 11. Nick Hoffman; 12. Kendall Sellers; 13. Jordan Coker; 14. John Stancill; 15. Dylan Pack; 16. Gerald White Jr.; 17. Kenny Brown; 18. Kyle Pierce; 19. Taylor Bryant; 20. Timmy Hill; 21. Tyler Fedrizzi; 22. Bailey Daniels; 23. Robert Poole; 24. Ryan Rust.
Legends Semi-Pro: Varnado Wins In Semi-Pro
Atlanta Native and Concord resident 21-year-old Tim Varnadoe was able to wrap up the win in the highly-competitive Semi-Pro Division.
The win is a good way for him to start off his championship quest, and he has high hopes to finish what he wasn’t able to do last year.
“We took a little while off a few years ago and came back last year to try and win the championship, and we ended up finishing second, so hopefully we can come back this year and get the job done.”
Race Results: 1. Kyle Beattie; 2. Thomas Van Wingerden; 3. Ryan Zeck; 4. Tom Van Wingerden; 5. Jim Gresham; 6. Chris White; 7. Jon Michael; 8. Eric Harrington; 9. Roger Simons; 10. Michael Van Wingerden.
“Nick Pistone and Chase Pistone (of Nick Pistone Racing) work on my cars and they set up my cars and everything for me up in Mooresville. We plan on doing the whole Summer Shootout; my goal is to take after Chase Pistone. He won the Summer Shootout last year and that is what I want to do this year, so I have to try and keep the Nick Pistone tradition going.”
Race Results: 1. John Gottsacker; 2. Ben Stancill; 3. Brandon Thomas; 4. Tyler Green; 5. Casey Roderick; 6. Thomas Van Wingerden; 7. Jeremy Kalina; 8. Michael Van Wingerden; 9. Chris Eggleston; 10. Chrissy Wallace; 11. Daniel Moskowitz; 12. Jason Reisman; 13. Patrick Molesworth; 14. Kyle Fowler; 15. Cole Miktuk; 16. Mark Whitley; 17. Jordan Anderson; 18. Bobby Skinger; 19. Scott Knox; 20. Steve Abbey; 21. Andrew Rogers; 22. David Ragan; 23. Andy Diggs; 24. Brennan Poole.
Bandolero Young Guns: Stover Another First Time Winner
15-year-old Matthew Stover was finally able to claim his first win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Tuesday night as he competed in the Bandolero Young Guns Division.
Cotton Spry (#16) lead early, but then fought off John Sossoman at the end. (Harold Hinson Photo)
bounced into Aaron’s Pro Challenge Series national point leader Zach Stroupe. Stroupe had moved from 13th to 3rd before the incident. His 51 Designs car was destroyed.
Paddy Rodenback had made a run at Varnadoe and wished he had those extra three laps to challenge the eventual winner.
“I am going to run all the races that we can,” said Varnadoe. “I just came into the summer series here at Lowe’s to have a good time. That is what we are all after, so if I don’t make all of them, it’s been a good ride up until this point.”
Race Results: 1. Tim Varnadoe; 2. Paddy Rodenbeck; 3. Matt Bowers; 4. Thomas Hartensueld Jr.; 5. Austin Dillon; 6. Robby Innella; 7. John Ellenburg; 8. Jake Crum; 9. Mitchell Coble; 10. J.R. Allen; 11. Trey Edison; 12. Charles Kiser; 13. Dennis Kiser; 14. Kara Clarke; 15. Max Gresham; 16. Andrew Carlsen; 17. Bryan Silas; 18. A.J. Slattery; 19. Zach Stroupe; 20. Justin Lloyd; 21. Beau Browning; 22. Kory Blevins; 23. Drew Denham; 24. Daniel Hemric.