After I started on the pole, Howard smoked me in the first corner and never looked back. It was a lot of fun racing and if I get another chance next year I vow to be faster –Mark Plemmons
Hot night of racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway
CONCORD, N.C. – Historically, rookies struggle at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but that didn’t stop first-time school bus racer Joe “Hot Wheels” Howard who ran away from the field to win the Media Mayhem School Bus Slobberknocker during Round 4 of the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. Ashton Higgins and Jordan Black also took home the hardware during a full night of Legend Car and Bandolero action.
Howard, a producer from Charlotte-based NBC News Channel, started on the pole and fought off hard-charging veteran bus racers Chris Rozak (WEND) and Matthew East (Time Warner Cable News) to earn the Media Mayhem title. WCCB’s Brandon Davidow and the Independent Tribune’s Mark Plemmons rounded out the top five finishers.
“I had a good bus. I have to thank the pit crew for that,” Howard joked. “I got the luck of the draw, starting on the inside of the front row, so I got the holeshot and was able to pull away. It was great fun.”
Although this race was his first behind the wheel, Howard admitted that he got some advice from co-worker and Security Force Masters division racer Herman Towe, who has also competed in several previous Media Mayhem events.
“We have a little bit of a trophy collection at work because of Herman,” Howard said. “I think this one might be a little bit bigger than Herman’s, so I can’t wait to show it to him.”
Higgins took home his third win in four rounds of Bojangles’ Summer Shootout action. With a four-wide battle for the lead on the opening lap, Higgins took charge after lap five. Even after three cautions, Higgins never lost his lead. The young driver pulled away from Blaise Brinkly and Connor Younginer, who finished second and third respectively.
Black won Tuesday night’s Pro division feature, taking home his second win of the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Series season. Joey Padgett was dominant during the first 15 laps of the race, while Black battled Dillon Faggart, Jared Irvan and Michael Torres for the second position before taking the lead from Padgett on lap 16. The race had a single caution on lap 7 when Carson Ferguson made contact with Reid Wilson and Alex Murray in Turn 4.
The Bojangles’ Summer Shootout continues at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday, June 30, with the Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza. Fans will see fireworks of the season on and off the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Tuesday night spectacular will highlight the very best Legend Car and Bandolero racers as well as feature a Champ truck display. Kick the Fourth of July holiday with Charlotte Motor Speedway with the firework extravaganza.
For more information on the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Series call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit the website.
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Independent Tribune photographer James Nix is working a video feature from the Media Mayhem race that will be posted later on the Independent Tribune website.
Beginner Bandolero (20 laps): 1. Landon Rapp; 2. Josh Speas; 3. Jacob Gantz; 4. Autumn Weaver; 5. Mason Dejarnett; 6. Zachary Miracle; 7. Stanley Hays; 8. Parker Eatmon; 9. David Selvik; 10. Jaiden Reyna; 11. Jackson Moore
Security Force Masters (25 laps): 1. Tom Pistone; 2. Scott Whitaker; 3. Carl Cormier; 4. Bruce Silver; 5. Chip Ferguson; 6. Tom Sherman; 7. Jan Ingram; 8. Ron Mander; 9. Jamie Smith; 10. Dan Keaton; 11. Charles Parker; 12. Robbie Faggart
Young Lions (20 laps): 1. Dawson Cram; 2. Chase Purdy; 3. Ryan Millington; 4. Austin Green; 5. Eddie Fatscher; 6. Alex Reece; 7. Jacob Heafner; 8. Conner Snow; 9. Garrett Manes; 10. Jack Fread; 11. Ryo Ogata; 12. Same Mayer; 13. Carson Pointdexter
Outlaws (20 laps): 1. Ashton Higgins; 2. Blaise Brinkley; 3. Connor Younginer; 4. Matthew Davey; 5. Matthew Eades; 6. Gracie Trotter; 7. Tristan Lesik; 8. Nick MacMillan; 9. Austin Geer; 10. Jordan Plummer; 11. Matthew Emery; 12. Ray Maynard; 13. Ashley Pantoulas; 14. Trevor Rizzo; 15. Elysia Potter; 16. Alberto Limon; 17. Austin Powell; 18. Liz Montgomery; 19. Roy Hayes
Semi-Pro (25 laps): 1. Sheldon Crouse; 2. John Holleman IV; 3. Jensen Jorgensen; 4. Devin O’Connell; 5. Stevie Johns Jr.; 6. Conner Pyle; 7. Scott Joy; 8. Craig Biryla; 9. Sprout Royal; 10. Joshua Plummer; 11. Holden German; 12. Joe Graf Jr.; 13. Jordan Stillwell; 14. Bronson Butcher; 15. Austin Langenstein; 16. Jake Tretow; 17. Enrique Limon; 18. Matthew Craig; 19. Taylor Jorgensen
LiveWell Homes Bandits (20 laps):1. Daniel Wilk; 2. Carson Kvapil; 3. DJ Canipe; 4. Cameron Bolen; 5. William Robusto; 6. Isabella Robusto; 7. Tommy Good; 8. Josh Kossek; 9. Blaise Maddox; 10. Bryson Ruff; 11. George Hayes; 12. Dylan Notaro; 13. Leland Honeyman; 14. Hunter Hutches
Pro (25 laps): 1. Jordan Black; 2. Michael Torres; 3. Joey Padgett; 4. Jared Irvan; 5. Greg Lang; 6. Dillon Faggart; 7. Carson Ferguson; 8. Reid Wilson; 9. Alex Murray