Each summer, many of racing’s future stars make their way to Charlotte, North Carolina for the BoJangles’ Summer Shootout. Current NASCAR stars such as Daniel Hemric have competed and seen success at the Summer Shootout on their way up the racing ladder. With the 2016 version of the 10-round racing program kicking off tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway, our resident “Stat Boy” Elgin Traylor takes a look at the Summer Shootout “By the Numbers.”
2: Despite a total of two wins in each of the last two seasons, the number 29 Bandolero will still have DJ Canipe aboard,but now in an Outlaw car. Look for him and Matthew Davey to contend for the season-long title along with others.
4: Tom Pistone is looking to win the Summer Shootout Masters title for the fourth consecutive year. Clay Hair won three in row from 2007 to 2009, but he was derailed in 2010 by John Sossoman. We will see if Pistone can pull it off again in 2016.
6: Chase Purdy won six times a year ago on his way to the Bandolero Bandits title.
7: 2015 Bandits Champion Daniel Will won the first seven races and had to settle for some seconds to cap off the season.
7: Each night will feature eight races: Beginner Bandits, Bandits, Outlaws, Young Lions, Semi-Pro, Pro and Masters.
10: Each class will have 10 races throughout the summer pending weather.
22: Daniel Hemric won 22 features in the Pro class and was a champion three times over.
23: This season marks the 23rd year of the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Over a thousand drivers have run the Shootout since it’s first year back in 1994.
20-25: Races will be 20 to 25 laps, unless they are shortened by time.
40: The over 40 crowd, also known as the Masters, has a few faces that are eyeing a championship. Robby Taggart won three of the last five races last season. Scott Whitaker and Jon Craig also won races last year and veteran Bruce Silver is always in the mix.
Young Lions/Semi Pro: If you are looking for a diamond in the rough then look no further then here. You don’t find repeat champions at this level because if you win you move up in class. The drivers that come out of this class usually get a kick start from these divisions.
Pro Power: Looking up and down the Pro roster we see lots of powerful drivers and reasons to watch this division every week. Austin Green will be racing for Ladyga Motorsports, also in the class this year will be last year’s Young Lions Champion Chase Purdy, Dawson Cram, Dillon Taggart, Jarod Irvan, Michael Torres, Jordan Black and several other contenders.
Moving Up: Ashton Higgins, fresh off the heals of seven Outlaw wins and a champion in last years Shootout, moves up for another challenge. 2016 will find the former champion in the Young Lions ranks which is always wide open.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Charlotte Motor Speedway