Sam Palian

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49ers tie Phoenix in overtime

The two teams get into a scuffle,. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers (2-1-1) were unable to secure a win over Elon (3-0-2), finishing play with a 1-1 draw in double overtime.

A goal by Teddy Chaouche in the 32nd minute of play, through the effort of Joe Brito with a cross from inside the box to Daniel Bruce who then kicked the ball back up to the top of the box for Teddy Chaouche to send the ball into the back of the net in the upper left corner, gaining his first career goal with Charlotte.

“Teddy did very well. He’s growing from game to game, he brings a wonderful maturity and calmness to the team,”Chrlotte head coach Kevin Langan said.

In the 64th minute a yellow card was given to Elon’s Jonathan Coleby and in the 66th minute Elon added another yellow card by way of Nicholas O’Callaghan, greatly raising the intensity between the 49ers and Phoenix.

Within the 88th minute, Ronnie Mleczkovicz created a tied game, scoring a goal made off of a corner kick. Charlotte’s Marco Sunol-Rojas had almost secured a win over the Phoenix in the 96th minute of play, putting a ball right inside the goal, only to be called offsides therefore dismissing the 49er’s goal.

“We’re all very disappointed, because we let them get away from us there. But, we’ve got to look at the performance, the performance was very good and early on in the season you want to look at performances,” Langan said.

Overall, Charlotte outplayed Elon, with seventeen shots over Elon’s eight and thirteen corner kicks over their seven. After just the first forty-five minutes of play, the 49ers led in shots 11-1. Of the 49ers’ seventeen shots on goal, Ryan Spaulding led the team with four while Chaouche, Sunol-Rojas, Myles Brown and Callum Montgomery each contributed two shots, and Tommy Madden, Zhuvonte Wilson, Luke Johnson and Fernando Garcia all took a single shot.

The Charlotte 49ers will finish up this round of games at home on Sunday, Sept. 17 against Jacksonville at 7 p.m. at Transamerica Field.

Racing to the gold mine

Many students grow up having a dream school, and for Carson Poindexter of Huntersville, NC that school is UNC Charlotte. Carson, who graduated from Lake Norman Charter this past spring has always wanted to be a 49er and this fall he will finally get to be one.

When asked about his love for the University he quickly responds with a smile and explains that he is very interested in Charlotte’s engineering program, particularly in motorsports.

What is unique about Carson’s interest is the level he takes it to and how he shows his fandom for the Charlotte 49ers.

He chose to race the #49 car to show his love for the Niners in the Bojangles Summer Shootout races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This past Independence Day when fans were welcomed down onto the track to meet the drivers and get their autographs after the races, he was pleasantly surprised by the large number of fans who made a point to tell him how much they loved his 49ers themed car.

Poindexter began racing with a Summer Youth League at Victory Lane karting in Charlotte in 2012, eventually obtaining a championship win in the league and from then on, he raced with a Winter Youth league through VLK as well. He then began racing in the Bojangles Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his #49 car in 2014, tallying up five second-place finishes along with one fourth-place finish in the bandolero Beginner Bandits division.

Carson also began racing with Cram Racing Enterprises (CRE) in 2014. Cram Racing was started by Kevin Cram, a Nascar crew chief from 1998 to 2008, who then decided to focus on helping kids and their families pursue their racing desires.

In the 2015 Summer Shootout Carson moved up to the Legends Young Lions Division and ended his summer season with a third place points finish in that division.

He was racing bandoleros up until that year when he moved up to legends and then in 2016, when he moved up to the Semi Pro Division, he would then be racing a #49 legend for both the Summer Shootout races and the Winter Heats. Carson has since been racing in the Semi Pro Division at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his Charlotte themed #49 legends car.

The switch from bandoleros to legends was largely because he was simply getting older and needed to move on to a new division.

“Legends drive very different than bandos. In the legends you have to keep pushing on and off of the gas, and letting off the gas more often to turn. Bandos are more lightweight, they accelerate a little faster, so they were easier to drive than the legends,” Poindexter said.

Carson had quite impressive seasons when driving a bandolero in 2014 and then a legend in 2015, but his past two years in the Semi Pro Division have not been quite as noteworthy, with several finishes within the last five cars of seventeen to twenty-two cars in the first few races of the 2017 Summer Shootout season.

By the fourth round he was in fourteenth of twenty-six in points with 203 points, but in the final point standings of this summer season, he finished thirteenth of twenty-six with 299 points in the Semi-Pro Division.

Beside legends cars being more difficult to drive than bandoleros and this beingCarson’s third year in the new car, he largely attributes the change in success to his mindset.

“I lay down decent lap times alone, but during actual races I think I sort of anticipate the wrecks too much,” Poindexter said.

Although he knows it can be good to be cautious when racing and will certainly continue to do so, he does also hope to become a little more aggressive in the field.

Carson doesn’t have a Legends win under his belt yet, but he has been and intends to continue to improve and work hard to get one and maybe more.

Carson’s support of UNC Charlotte seems to be almost as great as his family’s support of him and his racing. His mother Selah and his sisters Kendall and Miranda spend their time in the pits with Carson and other team members of Cram Racing Enterprises (CRE), the team Carson is a part of, as well as in the pit suites watching Carson and other racers throughout the night. His father Kenneth certainly supports him in the same way, but through CRE their young drivers as well as some of the family members of the racers, including Kenneth are sure to pay attention to what those working on the vehicles are doing and learn as much as they can.

As he is now a Niner, it shouldn’t be too much longer before Carson strikes gold and wins a legends race.