Tuesday night, Daniel Wilk pulled off the hat trick.
He didn’t do it on the ice, where hockey players celebrate three goals in one game by having fans toss their caps onto the rink. Instead, the 11-year-old driver celebrated on the patch of asphalt known as Bojangles’ Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway after he scored his third-straight Bandolero Bandit division victory of the 2015 Summer Shootout. Wilk was the only driver who had won the first two Shootout rounds last week and extended that streak to three Tuesday night.
Wilk started seventh, but picked his way forward thanks to several early-race caution flags and restarts. Just past halfway, Wilk charged beneath leader DJ Canipe to take the top spot that he would not relinquish to the checkers.
“I just had to be really patient,” Wilk, of Pineville, North Carolina, told the live PRN video broadcast. “I just had to stick to the bottom and then I could pass him.”
Canipe, who was a winner in the Bandolero Bandit division at the Summer Shootout in 2014, was left second at the finish and planning his strategy to defeat the potent Wilk in future Shootout events.
“Just consistency,” said Wilk, matter-of-factly. “That’s the only thing you can do to beat him.”
With the momentum of the hat trick – three straight victories – in his back pocket, Wilk now has his sights set on winning next Tuesday’s Round 4 and even more races through the 10-event Summer Shootout series.
Can he do it?
“I don’t know, we’ll try,” said Wilk with a smile.
Round 4 of the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout comes on Tuesday, June 23. PRN, the Performance Racing Network, will have a live pay-per-view video stream of all the night’s action. To purchase the live broadcast, visit www.goprn.com/summershootout.
– By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director – Twitter: @MattKentfield
– Photo credit: Daniel Wilk Facebook