(Trevor Wester extended his championship lead with the Bandolero Outlaws feature win on Friday night at Concord Speedway / LN Photo)
CONCORD, NC : The weather finally broke for the good and Legend and Bandolero competitors assembled at Concord Speedway for the spring season finale on Friday night, along with INEX regional qualifiers for both Bandolero divisions and the Legends Young Lions class. With the uncertainity of the track’s pending sale, race fans, teams and even track employees do not know if this was the swan song for racing at the historic facility.
The Beginner Bandolero division was the first feature of the night with a solid 8 cars in the class to battle for 15 laps. After the heat race to set the lineup it was Cameron Chaney who started in first with Joshua Horniman a close second.
Chaney would get out to the lead in the early laps as he and Horniman put a gap on the third place battle between Hudson Canipe and newcomer Chris Kuhn. On lap 5, the caution flag waved after Payton Johnson made contact with Kenton Case in the first turn. That contact resulted in both cars going for a spin, but able to continue on.
It appeared that Chaney was going to have the better advantage on Horniman as he maintained his lead throughout the majority of the event. However with just a handful of laps to go, a slower car caused Chaney to check up just enough in turn two and open the inside line for Horniman to make the pass for the lead of the race.
Horniman would go on to hold off the late charge by Chaney for the feature win with Canipe in third ahead of a solid debut performance by Kuhn while Johnson rallied for fifth.
The Bandolero Bandits drivers had a field of six competitors and it was Dinwiddle, Virginia’s Layton Harrison who blistered the track at 14.851 seconds to take the pole award in qualifying. Lucas Vera put his Stillwell Racing with PR number 64 alongside Harrison on the front row for the 20 lap feature contest.
Harrison led the first lap, but it was quickly noticed that something was not all well and good with the Generac 43 car, as on lap two Harrison dropped from the lead to fifth, just ahead of Nate Honeycutt. Vera, Truett Miranda, Alex Meggs and Kaleb Bradley all disposed of Harrison’s ailing machine.
On lap 4 Miranda used the experience he gained after his most recent win at the track to take the lead away from Vera and began to gap the field. His lead would be closed back up in just a couple of laps as the caution flag waved.
On lap 6, in a battle for third, side to side contact between Bradley and Meggs in turn four sent the 18M of Meggs around to bring out the caution. The night was over for both drivers as Bradley had to pull off with a broken chain and Meggs’ car had a bent axle.
This gave some new life to Harrison as he was trying to lock in the full field win and claim a regional qualifier in the process. Miranda led the field back to green and pulled away each lap from the second place battle. Harrison was able to retake second briefly from Vera at halfway, but he would lose that spot one lap later as the engine continued to go south on his car.
With Miranda in command out front and Vera in second, the opportunity for Honeycutt to rise to the podium was there to be had. As the field got the two laps to go single from the flagstand, Honeycutt made his move around Harrison to take away third place.
Truett Miranda drove away from the field over the second half of the feature to claim his second consecutive Bandolero Bandit win at Concord Speedway. Vera crossed the line in second with Honeycutt in a career-best third place at the finish.
Jacob Bradley, who has been sidelined for over a month with a left elbow injury, is planning on returning behind the wheel next weekend during the Cheeseland Challenge in Wisconsin for Tretow Racing. The team left for Wisconsin after the races tonight.
The Bandolero Outlaws provided yet the largest car count and closest race to the finish as has been the norm in 2019. Current Bandolero Outlaws national championship leader Trevor Wester clocked in second with a 14.844 second lap in qualifying, which was just behind the 2018 INEX Bandolero Outlaws National Champion Justin Gareis’ 14.735 second lap.
On the start of the 20 lap feature, Gareis seemed to be slow to get his car in motion and it allowed Wester the advantage he needed to grab the lead of the race as the field roared into the first turn.
Garin Mash, who was also back behind the wheel in a rare start, took the third spot from Wester’s Mike Gordon Racing teammate Carson Ramsey on lap two and was in pursuit of the lead duo.
At halfway, Wester had built a lead of several car lengths on Gareis and Mash, but they were slowly able to close that gap back up as the laps dwindled down.
The final 8 laps of the race saw Wester drive his line to perfection and keep the charge of Gareis and Mash in check as he was able to cross the finish line in first and claim that all important Bandolero Outlaws regional qualifier race victory. Gareis was second at the checkers, with Mash, Ramsey and Santiago Hill the top five.
Of note in the class, Jadyn Daniels made her return to the seat for the first time since her flip several weeks ago that sidelined her with a concussion. Daniels ran a solid race and came home with a seventh place finish as she gets geared up for the Summer Shootout.
Second place driver in the INEX national championship standings, Cameron Murray was also in attendance and registered to compete in both the Bandolero Outlaws and Legends Young Lions features, but after the first round of practice the team loaded up his Bandolero and left the race track.
The Legends Young Lion division saw Zachary Miracle take another race victory on the season. The best race on track was for second as Justice Calabro and Jaiden Reyna exchanged that spot a couple of times before Reyna used a little nudge to finally clear Calabro and claim second at the finish. Landon Rapp had mechanical issues on the third lap and pulled off track to a fifth place result.
Bryson Ruff gave six-time feature winner Jason Alder a run for the win in tonight’s Legends Open feature race. On the fifth lap, Ruff moved underneath Alder off turn four and took over the lead of the race. The two drivers would run no more than three car lengths apart throughout the 25 lap event, but it was Ruff who crossed under the checkered flag first to take the win on final night of spring racing action.
Concord Speedway will now sit quiet as the teams will shift their focus to the 26th Annual Bojangles’ Summer Shootout just up the road at Charlotte Motor Speedway beginning next month. The fall series is scheduled to begin on Friday, August 23rd. For updates regarding the remainder of the season schedule stayed tuned to the Concord Speedway Facebook page for any offiicial announcements.
Friday, May 17th – Unofficial Results :
Beginner Bandoleros :
- Joshua Horniman (#43)
- Cameron Chaney (#07)
- Hudson Canipe (#2)
- Chris Kuhn (#42)
- Payton Johnson (#57)
- Kenton Case (#87)
- Darren Krantz, Jr. (#31)
- Neal Dulin (#79)
Bandolero Bandits :
- Truett Miranda (#18)
- Lucas Vera (#64)
- Nate Honeycutt (#83)
- Layton Harrison (#43)
- Alex Meggs (#18M)
- Kaleb Bradley (#44)
Bandolero Outlaws :
- Trevor Wester (#8)
- Justin Gareis (#1)
- Garin Mash (#12)
- Carson Ramsey (#77)
- Santiago Hill (#9)
- Whitney Meggs (#91)
- Jadyn Daniels (#24)
- Madison Miracle (#32)
- Carter Russo (#21)
- Laney Meggs (#92)
- Zac Fowler (#5) – Did Not Start
- Cameron Murray (#04) – Did Not Start
Legends Young Lions :
- Zachary Miracle (#32)
- Jaiden Reyna (#19)
- Justice Calabro (#25)
- Philip Abramo (#18)
- Landon Rapp (#1)
- Cameron Murray (#82) – Did Not Start
Legends Open :
- Bryson Ruff (#24)
- Jason Alder (#77)
- Garrett Lowe (#06)
- Charles Parker (#28)