Weekend Sweeps Lands Greg Edwards Fourth Late Model Title

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Hampton, VA – I will tell you one thing, if you are a race fan and were not at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia this weekend you better have one damn good reason. There were so many divisions running (8 divisions), I felt the need to split up the recaps to help with the reading (Eight Divisions Invade Langley Speedway For Two Part Championship Weekend). Among those divisions were a slightly altered Late Model division who originally was set to close the season out on a 125-lap feature was split into two 75-lap events. Maybe it was done to help spice up the points race, maybe it was to provide the Langley drivers with a little bit additional national points before NASCAR closed up, well actually it was more so to make up the twin race that was cancelled the weekend before hand.

Greg Edwards came into the weekend holding onto a sixteen-point lead. A lead that Matt Waltz had been aggressively hacking away at since running into issues during the annual Hampton Heat 200. Edwards and his crew had already known what needed to be done to wrap up that fourth championship; finishes six place or better in a race where Matt Waltz wins and the championship is ours by one point. When we talked to Edwards last week after the ran out he said, “I’m going for the wins but at the same time just try not to get myself into any bad situations,” and for the win he went. Edwards piloted that 97.3 The Eagle machine onto the pole in qualifying with a time of 16.034, Brenden “Butterbean” Queen would start to his outside with the best qualifying run of his career so far.

Once the field had received the green from flagman Shane Snyder it did not take long for Edwards to clear Queen as well as for Matt Waltz to start working the high line. Things started t get warm quickly for that second through fourth spot on the track, Waltz had worked to the outside of Nick Smith who was all but hood deep into the bumper of Queen. Things would settle down and these guys would start racing and by lap thirteen the leader had already built a ten-car advantage of second place.

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Mark Wertz during qualifying.

I hate to say the word surprised because that kind of takes away from the skill of Mark Wertz, maybe the word is excited to see the 55 machine applying pressure to that No. 2 car and really up on the wheel battling for the top spots on the track. More racing was taking place behind them with the likes of Danny Edwards, Jr & Casey Wyatt battling hard for their positions as well as two young talents, Connor Hall and Tyler Ankrum. You know and I have to say this, and again I say this lightly even though Casey Wyatt has struggled a little bit in the hotter months to grab top three or four finishes, if you want to watch some good clean, door to door action you need to keep your eyes on him and who he is racing.

As the laps ticked down Waltz was finally able to catch and pass the machine of Queen and on lap 35 set his sights for the leader Greg Edwards. The first caution of the evening came just after some hard racing between Wertz and Queen as the number six machine of Evan Horne went for a solo spin in four and bunching up the field. Edwards gets a great jump over Waltz on the restart and builds a solid four car lead that he would hold onto and grab win number seven on the season. Behind him Brenden Queen went the wrong way on the restart allowing several cars to jump in front of him. Matt Waltz, Mark Wertz, Tyler Ankrum and Brenden Queen made up your top five in race one.

The finishing order for race one would of course become your starting line up for race number two. Because of his win Edwards was award the pole and the choice of which lane he would like to restart in. Just as I expected Edwards took his car up to the high line to maybe throw off the game plan of Waltz Racing, taking away something he has been so good at this year. For the second time the green flag was waved over the field and Edwards was not kidding around. What is one way to keep yourself out of trouble? Keep all the other cars away from you, and that is what he did.

The three cars of Waltz, Wertz and Ankrum would clear the field pretty quickly leaving Brenden Queen to go to war with the likes of Nick Smith. It took no time at all for Matt to start working the high line, which created some pretty interesting racing with Mark Wertz. The 55 was able to duck the nose to the inside just about every corner but would have to pinch the car down to get her to turn while Waltz was able to carry a little bit more momentum through the corner.

When Edwards said he wanted to go for the win or wins in this case he was not lying. About 30 laps in Edwards had moved his car up a groove as well and were clicking off laps like they were second nature. Meanwhile some pretty good racing went on behind him with Ankrum moving up to the third position. Casey Wyatt & Danny Edwards, Jr resumed their battle, Brandon Gdovic worked his way into the top – mind you Gdovic was coming off a his ARCA debut in Kentucky, along with winning the championship in the Legends division, 4 races, 2 days, and 2 different states, I tip my hat to you sir!

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Tyler Ankrum during qualifying.

Just when we thought things had wrapped up for race number two, Waltz had finally caught the rear bumper of Edwards by lap 53 and taken the lead for the first time all night on lap 54. Edwards however was not going to roll over and play dead and would pick up where we last left the saga on these two; Waltz running the high line, Edwards making it work down low. The two fighting side by side for a solid ten laps which allowed for Tyler Ankrum to bring his #58 machine within just two cars – little deja vu from a few weeks ago where Ankrum almost stole the show while the Edwards/Waltz saga continued (Edwards & Waltz Victorious In Langley Speedway Twin).

With six laps remaining, and very anxious Ankrum looking to capture win number two in his Late Model career Edwards, for the first time this season was able to not only hang onto the position but pass Waltz on the inside, credit lap 69 to the 97.3 The Eagle Machine. Waltz being the driver he is and the hunger to get the win would try one last effort to drive his machine into the corner deep and get around Edwards but the car would not hold, the little wiggle was just enough to allow Ankrum inside of the 2 car and take away the second spot.

And for the eighth and final in 2014 Greg Edwards would take the checkered flag, sweep both twin races and lock up his fourth Langley Speedway Late Model Stock points championship. Tyler Ankrum was able to hold Waltz off and take home second; Brandon Gdovic would cross the line fourth while Mark Wertz rounded out your top five.

 

Race #1 Results:

1. #97 Greg Edwards
2. #2 Matt Waltz
3. #55 Mark Wertz
4. #58 Tyler Ankrum
5. #03 Brenden Queen
6. #11 Nick Smith
7. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.
8. #46 Brandon Gdovic
9. #77 Connor Hall
10. #92 Casey Wyatt
11. #38 Duane Shreeves
12. #7 Dude Gibbs
13. #90 Terry Carroll
14. #7x Jim Hardin
15. #56 Clayton Parrish
16. #6 Evan Horne
17. #10 Megan Creech
18. #91 Justin Carroll
19. #71 Tommy Spencer

Race #2 Results:

1. #97 Greg Edwards
2. #58 Tyler Ankrum
3. #2 Matt Waltz
4. #46 Brandon Gdovic
5. #55 Mark Wertz
6. #03 Brenden Queen
7. #92 Casey Wyatt
8. #11 Nick Smith
9. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.
10. #38 Duane Shreeves
11. #91 Justin Carroll
12. #7x Jim Hardin
13. #56 Clayton Parrish
14. #7 Dude Gibbs
15. #90 Terry Carroll
16. #71 Tommy Spencer
17. #6 Evan Horne
18. #10 Megan Creech

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