CONCORD — All dirt roads led to The Dirt Track at Charlotte this past weekend, and for local driver Chris Ferguson, his journey is just beginning.
Ferguson competed in the Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals, one of the biggest spectacles in dirt track racing, and marking the end of the championship season. Ferguson, 25, from Mount Holly, turned heads earlier this year when he pulled off what many would call an upset at Friendship Motor Speedway in the World of Outlaws (WoO) Late Model series. Ferguson followed that up with a win at Fayetteville, finishing with 13 wins overall this year.
It’s been a long road just to get to one of the crown jewels of racing for Ferguson, but he was happy to have the opportunity.
“It definitely says a lot because anytime you get the premier series, the WoO Sprint Cars, the Late Models, and the big-blocks all together in one big show, you have fans from all different types of racing,” Ferguson said. “Everybody really wants to stand out in front of a crowd like this.”
It didn’t take long for Ferguson to stand out, turning the fastest time in qualifying for Friday’s race. However, Friday night was plagued with mechanical issues. As Ferguson was leading the heat race, he broke a camber shim, and during the feature the fuel cell broke. Ferguson said he wished he could have finished better in the features, but compared to last year, the improvement is clear.
“A lot better than last year, and it’s just kind of a stamp on the end of the year. Everybody expects me to make these shows now, it’s just that we’ve got to get to the point where we can win them,” Ferguson said.
The underdog in a field of 84, Ferguson’s small team comprised of family members and locals, in many ways is like Friendship Motor Speedway. Full of local racers and fans, the small dirt track is put on the spotlight every May, and its where Ferguson earned his first career win on the national circuit.
“We tried for so long to win a national event. We were so close, and I’d like to think we had a pretty large following before then, but when that happened it set the tone for our year,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson has one last chance to shine before he calls it a season this upcoming weekend at County Line Raceway in Elm City. Follow him along on social media by searching for ChrisFerguson22.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.