CONCORD, N.C. — Story by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman – CMS/John Davison photo –
DRIVER: Jordan Black
TOP FIVES: 7
TOP TENS: 9
FINAL POINTS: 403 (out of a possible 460)
BEST ON-TRACK MOMENT: Coming back from missing Round 2 of the 2015 Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Series to win the championship, all by winning the final round of the summer.
BEST OFF-TRACK MOMENT: Keeping his team in the fight and utilizing a ‘Never give up’ mantra to make what many people considered impossible, possible.
After being told numerous times over the final seven weeks of the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Series that he had ‘no chance’ at securing the points championship due to missing the second race of the summer, Floridian Jordan Black made the impossible a reality.
The teenager used a little bit of luck, taking advantage of difficult circumstances for his competitors and utilizing a well-timed bump of friend and points rival Michael Torres to stage the series’ most improbable comeback ever and win the Pro division championship by a scant four points after coming into the final race third in the standings.
While Black said at the time he ‘wasn’t proud’ of the move that got him the title, the moment was a surreal one for fans and drivers alike watching the young superstar find his way — and fight his way — back from one of the deepest points holes in series history.
“I’m still not proud of [the move] at all, by any means, but I am proud of the effort that Fab Specialties, Matt Drake and this entire team put in over the summer,” Black said. “To come back from missing Round Two and even have a shot at winning the championship was something we weren’t sure was going to be possible, but we did it.”
The season was one of extreme highs and lows for the Winter Springs, Fla. driver — despite winning a series-high four races, including his first at the Shootout in the opener and the title-clinching round to close the summer, he also had two near-disastrous races that resulted in ninth and 10th place finishes in Rounds 3 and 9 that nearly took him out of contention before the final night on July 28.
And of course, though it’s all behind him now, there was the snag of missing Round 2 in the equation as well. Black’s rally makes him the first driver in Shootout history (by all available records) to miss a race and come back to take the series crown.
“If you’d have told me that after the paperwork snafu that kept us out of Round 2 that I would even have that good of a shot at the points title coming into race 10 I’m not sure I would have believed you, but there we were,” the young star reiterated. “It just shows that this team and I don’t ever give up when the chips are down. It was a roller-coaster of emotions, though. We won the opener, we missed round two, we had issues in a couple of them but won two more before the finale — just flip after flip of the switch as far as emotions went.”
“It was hard to keep the faith, but that’s all I could do, really,” Black added. “I had to believe that no matter what the odds, I was still going to have a shot at making this happen because that’s what it takes. It wasn’t easy, but it’s like (three-time Pro division champion) Daniel Hemric always said about winning these things — ‘head down, fin up.’ That’s what I feel like we did.”
With a Pro division title now in hand — the first person since Tyler Green in 2012 to win the championship instead of Hemric — the question Black has been fielding from multiple people, friends and family alike, is: What’s next?
“To be honest, I’m really not 100 percent sure what we’re going to be doing now,” Black admitted on Champion’s Night. “I know where I’d like to be — moving into some late model stuff next year or maybe even trying to get a shot at a [NASCAR] K&N [Pro Series] or an ARCA ride, but all that depends on having the right people and partners in place if we want to go that route.”
“For now, I’m just going to take it one moment at a time — it’ll work out how it needs to for us in the end, and I’m excited to see where this championship might be able to take us.”
Hey, the philosophy worked for him over the June and July months, didn’t it?
Now, Black looks ahead to the next destination with slightly uncertain eyes, but one thing he can be sure of is this:
He’s officially a Bojangles’ Summer Shootout champion — and no one can take that away from him.
For more information on the 2015 Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Series or Charlotte Motor Speedway, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: email@example.com