CHARLOTTE, N.C. – "You dream about days like this when you are in any sport, you just don't have them happen that often," said 16-year-old Amherst native Ryan Mackintosh after a big day on the track in North Carolina.
The Mecca of stock car racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway, hosted a rare doubleheader event to open the 2012-13 INEX Winter Heat Series on Saturday. Drivers from three Bandolero and four Legend Car divisions took to the storied speedway's quarter-mile front stretch track.
"The Winter Heat Series is our chance to have the spotlight in the Charlotte area. Teams, owners and drivers from NASCAR show up every weekend to watch what we can do," stated Mackintosh in an email from the Cup garage after the #03 NorthEastLegends.comSemi-Pro Legend cleared tech inspection for the second time of the day.
Mackintosh showed them exactly what he can do as he started his second season behind the wheel of a Legend Car. Mackintosh placed first in both qualifying sessions in the morning. The Canadian driver then went on to win his heat race for event one before battling with North Carolina's Reid Wilson for the win in the 25-lap feature. Mackintosh led the entire race with the exception of half a lap in the early stages.
Mackintosh's Chris Woods Racing team came back for the afternoon session and repeated the script once more.
Mackintosh dominated his heat race then led from flag to flag in the 25-lap second feature of the day to take the win in front of Wilson and Pennsylvania's Joe Ryan Osbourne.
The two wins give Mackintosh the early lead in the seven-event series that will see two more races on the quarter -mile and three on the Speedway's mile and a half road course.
Team owner Chris ‘Woody’ Woods stated, "It was a great start to this important series. It is rare we race twice in one day but I couldn't be happier with the result."
The next race will be Jan. 5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.