Robbie Faggart wraps up another Summer Shootout season at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Robbie Faggart debriefs with a crew member prior to the start of the Masters division feature of the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway on July 26, 2022 (Photo: Brandon White/NASCAR)

One constant during the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the past decade has been the presence of veteran Robbie Faggart.

A two-time champion of the Masters division, Faggart has served as a veteran presence amongst the young group of drivers, all of whom are attempting to follow the same path as NASCAR Cup Series champions like Chase Elliott and Joey Logano.

Faggart initially entered the Summer Shootout to help develop the racing career of his son, Dillon Faggart, but quickly fell in love with the culture surrounding the series and wanted to become more involved with the weeknight festivities.

“Dillon started running back in 2013,” Faggart said. “He ran in the Young Lions division and then moved up to the Pros. We both love racing a lot, and when he didn’t need me so much, I inherited the second car we had and started doing this. It’s a lot of fun to race [in the Summer Shootout] every year.”

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Unlike most of the drivers he races against during the summer, Faggart brings an extensive auto racing background to the Summer Shootout’s Masters division.

Among the accomplishments Faggart has accumulated during his career include a Super Late Model title at the now defunct Concord Speedway along with a NASCAR Sportsman Division championship in 1992, during which all four of his victories came at Charlotte.

Faggart also made 16 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts between 1987 and ’02, scoring a career-best finish of 19th at Charlotte in 1997. He also attempted to qualify for a handful of Cup Series events but ultimately did not make the starting grid on each occasion.

After racing for more than 50 years, Faggart sees the Summer Shootout primarily as a hobby, but admitted that he enjoys the intense racing offered in the Masters division, especially against other seasoned veterans like former NASCAR drivers Jeff, David and Mark Green, the latter of which still actively competes and has three wins this year.

Going up against Green and the rest of the regulars in the Masters division is much different for Faggart compared to weekly racing at Concord in the lats 1980s and early 1990s, yet he said every driver in the garage area possesses a tremendous amount of passion for the sport despite how chaotic races can get.

“These guys out here in the Legends cars will bump you around in a minute,” Faggart said. “Myself and the Greens have bumped heads forever. The temperaments don’t change, we just get older.”

Robbie Faggart’s accomplishments include a Super Late Model title at Concord Speedway and a NASCAR Sportsman Division championship. (Photo: Brandon White/NASCAR)

Watching his father race side-by-side with the other veterans around Charlotte’s miniature frontstretch oval can be a nerve-wracking experience for Dillon, who now serves as a driver coach for his dad after electing to scale back his own schedule a few years ago.

Dillon enjoyed plenty of success himself in the Summer Shootout during his own career and attempted to pass that knowledge to Robbie once he started actively competing in Legends cars, though he joked about his father being headstrong when it comes to his needs on the track.

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“I try to help my dad out with the line and everything else, but he’s a little bit stubborn,” Dillon said. “These cars are a lot different compared to what I use to drive, so I just tell him to go out there, have fun and to not tear the car up. He’s fallen in love with the Legends cars and certainly has the itch to race.”

While Robbie and Dillon have enjoyed working together in the Summer Shootout, the 2022 season has been slightly more challenging compared to previous campaigns.

Robbie has yet to win a feature in the Masters division with the season set to wrap up on Tuesday evening. He recorded four consecutive Top 3 finishes to open the year but gradually lost ground to his competition in July, with his best performance during the month being a fifth on July 12.

Dillon has been equally as puzzled as his father over the shortcomings of the car and spent all of July attempting to diagnose the issue in order to give Robbie a chance at adding another Masters division championship belt to his trophy case.

Even though they face significant odds towards winning that title, Dillon believes he is close to getting Robbie’s car back into its early-season condition and is optimistic that they will close out the 2022 campaign by once again celebrating in Victory Lane.

“I’m trying to tune this car in for [my dad],” Dillon said. “I finally got some GoPro footage that I can use to see what his hands are doing inside the car. I can tell that he’s pretty tight center off, so if we can loosen the car up a little bit, I think he’ll be a rocket.”

The 2022 Summer Shootout season has been a struggle for Robbie Faggart, as he has yet to win a race heading into Tuesday’s season finale. (Photo: Brandon White/NASCAR)

Robbie promised himself that he would keep competing in the Summer Shootout as long as he could still win races. While he has yet to accomplish that goal in 2022, Robbie believes he is a couple of adjustments away from returning to his winning form in the Masters division.

Although he wishes the year had played out different, Robbie said there are hardly any stressful evenings at the Summer Shootout and said that his primary goals with each event are to have fun and to enjoy watching the younger drivers develop their skills around the track.

Robbie has seen so many prospects come and go at the Summer Shootout throughout the years and has tried to pass down his expertise at every available opportunity. Among those who have shared the track with Robbie in 2022 include Super Late Model standout William Sawalich and ARCA Menards Series West winner Landen Lewis.

As expenses with auto racing continue to rise, Robbie still sees the Summer Shootout as an ideal steppingstone for up-and-coming drivers to not only get acclimated with each other on track, but also build connections that could enable them to one day race at NASCAR’s top levels.

“These young kids coming up through the ranks have to start somewhere,” Robbie said. “[The Summer Shootout] is a great way for them to get that track time, especially for the inexpensive racers.”

Robbie anticipates plenty of changes for the Summer Shootout at Charlotte as the motorsports industry continues to evolve, but he intends to keep fully supporting the track and the series that have had such a positive impact on his life throughout his career.

He hopes at least one more Masters division championship is in the cards before eventually deciding to hang up his helmet, whenever that may be.