CONCORD, N.C. – It took Bubba Wallace a couple of weeks to shake the rust off at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but Tuesday night he found his way back to Bojangles’ Summer Shootout victory lane in grand fashion.
Wallace executed a last-lap, last-corner bump-and-run pass of Zach Miller to secure the win in the headlining 25-lap Pro division feature, after a late yellow flag set up a green-white-checkered finish.
Mark Green (Masters), Isabella Robusto (Semi-Pro), Sam Butler (Young Lions), Parker Eatmon (Outlaws), Kaleb Bradley (Bandits) and Josh Horniman (Beginner Bandolero) also won in their respective classes during the fourth of 10 rounds during the annual summer series for Legend cars and Bandoleros.
Wallace’s thrilling victory was set up after spins by Hudson Halder and Ryan Miller in turn four brought out a game-changing caution. Outside polesitter Carson Ferguson, who led 22 of the first 23 laps, appeared to be the dominant force but was little more than a sitting duck on the race-defining restart.
When the green flag waved, the Ladyga Motorsports No. 48 found itself shoved out of the way for the second-straight week, as second-running Zach Miller drove past on the inside and led at the white flag.
However, Miller washed up just high enough to give Wallace a lane on the last lap, and Wallace took full advantage with a dive down into turn three that gave him the lead and the victory in the end.
Tuesday night’s victory was Wallace’s 13th career Summer Shootout triumph, his sixth in the premier class and first in seven years.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect tonight,” noted Wallace. “We got from ninth up to fourth there in the early going, but I was watching the 48 (Ferguson) pull away again … and it’s been a bit of an ego thing between (Tim) Ladyga and myself because we see each other on Sundays, as far as who outruns who. It’s a bit of a rivalry, but I’ve got the momentum on my side this week, at least.
“I was licking my chops when that caution came out, and it all worked out. It’s good to be back,” Wallace added. “I’ve wanted to come back out here for so long, and some people were holding me back, but now they’re not and we’re here to have some fun. I remember 15 years ago sitting here watching this stuff, and now I’m out here doing this on Tuesday nights, so don’t give up on your dreams.”
Miller hung on to finish second, with Joey Padgett sneaking through the final-lap chaos to cross third. Ferguson dropped to fourth at the checkered flag, while Ryan Mackintosh completed the top five.
Green led from start to finish in the 25-lap Masters division main event, seizing the point from the outside pole and never looking back after that en route to his fifth career Summer Shootout victory.
His main challenger for most of the race was Jon Craig, but Craig collided with a lapped car in turn two with four to go, eliminating him from contention and setting up a one-mile sprint to the finish.
After that, Green held off Todd Midas and Robby Faggart at the checkered flag, with Dwayne Holder and Jan Ingram completing the top five.
“Robby raced me clean there at the end,” said Green. “When a guy hits you square in the middle of the corner … that’s easy enough and means I’m slowing up too much. I hope the fans enjoyed that show.”
Isabella Robusto inherited her first Summer Shootout victory after a crazy Semi-Pro feature that ended up being decided in post-race tech, when apparent race winner Cole Dockery was light at the scales.
Dockery went from third to first on the final restart after race-long leader Jason Alder and Braden Rogers crashed in turn two while racing for the victory.
Robusto crossed the stripe in second, but secured the trophy following Dockery’s disqualification.
“We were hoping for a double-file restart, but it actually ended up being a good thing that we were inside of five to go and it was single-file, because I was on the bottom and able to miss the chaos in turn two,” Robusto noted. “Then, when first and second took each other out, I was able to slide through.
“When they made (Dockery) go back across a second time, I let myself think ‘maybe’, but I didn’t know for sure until they told us we had won it. After all our family’s hard work, this feels amazing tonight.”
Her brother, William Robusto, officially finished second ahead of Justin Laduke, Justin Gareis and Craig Biryla.
A controversial Young Lions feature was decided in the officiating tower after two red flags extended the race far beyond its scheduled 25-minute time limit. On the final restart, second-place Sam Butler made contact with leader Tyler Chapman entering turn one. Chapman ultimately spun out as a result.
The time-shortened, 16-lap affair went under review, but it was determined that Butler was pushed into Chapman’s back bumper in a chain-reaction, as opposed to initiating the contact unassisted.
Butler kept the win because of that decision, with Ethan Norfleet, Janson Marchbanks, Zack Miracle and Conner Jones filling out the top five.
“Waiting was the hardest part,” said Butler, who wasn’t notified he was the winner until the end of the night. “I was worried they might take it away from us. I feel bad for Tyler (Chapman), but I saw a lane and I had to go for it. It’s just a great feeling to win here at the Summer Shootout.”
Eatmon collected his maiden Bandolero Outlaw win in Shootout competition with a perfect restart at five to go, ducking underneath Carson Ramsey and going on to victory.
Eatmon’s win was the fifth of his Shootout career. Ramsey came home second, followed by Connor Yonchuk, Trevor Wester and Zac Fowler.
Garin Mash, who won the first three rounds of Outlaw competition, was involved in a crash on lap eight while racing with Cameron Murray for second that ended his night. Mash was credited with 15th.
Bradley was dominant en route to victory in the 20-lap Bandolero Bandit feature, leading every lap from the pole and holding off national title contender Layton Harrison in a race-ending six-lap dash.
Lucas Vera completed the podium ahead of Bobby Elder and Luke Morey.
Horniman took the race lead on lap six and drove on to win his second Beginner Bandolero feature of the summer in a time-shortened, 16-lap feature. Kenton Case and Colt Johnson capped the podium.
To view full race results from all seven divisions, advance to the next page.