CONCORD, NC — Drivers revved their engines Monday night around Charlotte Motor Speedway’s frontstretch quarter-mile, signifying the start of the summer racing season at America’s Home for Racing. The first of back-to-back nights of racing to start the 30th anniversary season of the Cook Out Summer Shootout was highlighted by 156 drivers from across the United States, Canada and Mexico battling for the first trophies of the season. When the dust settled, Bryson Nichols (Beginner Bandits), Colt Johnson (Bandits), Alison Johnson (Outlaws), Neal Dulin (Young Lions), George Phillips (VP Racing Fuel Semi-Pro), Robbie Woodall (Masters) and Cameron Bolin (Boston Reid & Co Pro) claimed victory.
Boston Reed & Co. Pro Division
What looked like a land-slide win for Alex McCollum became a monumental final lap for the Boston Reid & Co. Pro Division and an emotional win for Cameron Bolin. From beginning to end, McCollum had most of the drivers in his rearview, it wasn’t until, the white flag waved, Daniel Wilk who too had his short-lived lead, crept up behind McCollum on turn four ultimately knocking himself and McCollum out of the running. Bolin, who battled the leaders all night long, saw an opening and snuck around to claim the checkered flag.
After four cautions and six lead changes, the Pro Legend Car driver honored his grandfather at winners’ circle as he took the Round 1 win by 0.002 seconds to close off the night with the first Pro division trophy of the summer.
“I wasn’t driving that car tonight; he was,” Bolin said of his grandfather who passed away on Friday. “To do this in Round 1 was pretty special.”
VP Racing Fuel Semi-Pro Division
The VP Racing Fuel Semi-Pro feature revealed the need for speed and patience as Charlotte native George Phillips kept his eye on the prize and ultimately prevailed. Adam Congrove and Preston Wrisley started the race head-to-head. Canadian Parker Traves, took the lead after an early red flag and kept the pedal to the metal, leading from Lap 2 through Lap 7.
Phillips worked his way from starting 11th to second place on Lap 8. Weaving through traffic, the young hotshoe used the inside line of Turn 4 to steal the lead and never looked back. The 13-year-old showed perseverance and skill to take home his first checkered flag in the VP Racing Fuel division.
“We started from qualifying in 11th, then we made our way through the field. I can’t believe it,” said Phillips. “It is so amazing to win at the Summer Shootout, it’s so amazing.”
School may be out for the summer, but class will be in session during Round 2 as Cook Out Summer Shootout resumes Tuesday. Seven local principals will take the ultimate test as they race to see who will become the valedictorian of this year’s school bus race. Students’ school spirit will be on full display as they cheer on their own school’s personalized clunker around the quarter-mile.
TICKETS: Adult tickets are just $10; kids 12 and under get in FREE. For tickets, schedules and more details about all the happenings at Charlotte Motor Speedway, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.