Langley Speedway Set To Wrap Up A Stellar Year
Newport News, VA –Even though the Late Models have wrapped their season up at Langley, that does not mean we are finished. Eight divisions (Modifieds, Grandstocks, Super Trucks, Super Street, UCAR, Karts, Pro Six, Enduro) are lined up and ready to go, remember though racing is scheduled to get under way at 6:00 PM to help the night flow. The speedway will be crowing champions in all of these divisions as they complete their final race of the season. Some title races are locked up, other not so much. Some are set to make history, while some will be their first!
There are a few names that stick out, and linger around the grounds of Langley Speedways rich history in the Hampton Roads area, one of those names is Phil Warren. Warren was a Late Model stock guru pretty much at Langley Speedway winning 7 track championship, the most by any one driver in the tracks 65 year history. Well folks, it is with great honor to tell you, this record could be tied Saturday night.
With just one race left in the modified division, Shawn Balluzzo enters the contest as the points leader (NASCAR Division II Points 59th (320, -227) 12 starts, 6 wins, 11 Top 5 & 10), holding onto an 18 point advantage over Danny Harrell. The whole start and park might just be out of the question as last time these guys were on the track, we saw just about twenty cars take the green flag. We had a moment to speak with Balluzzo before this weekends race and we actually learned the car had engine issues during practice. “Yes it is broke but we will be there somehow – someway,” Balluzzo said. ”We were only going to practice to make sure everything was good after the win at East Carolina.” I can report the team immediately got the car back in the shop and went to work, which has really been the back bone of Balluzzo’s success this year. Anytime you talk to him he is so grateful to all of his crew and all they do.
If you are looking for a silver lining in all of this it was better to find out on Thursday night rather than Saturday afternoon. Coming into Saturday it will be the longest this division has raced all year and everyone has to be wondering, will Balluzzo go for the win or just ride it out. ”We are doing everything to win,” Balluzzo told us.
If Balluzzo is able to pick up the victory, or at least stay within 18 position of Harrell, Balluzzo will clinch the title and tie Warren. ”It is a goal everybody has strived for all year on the team,” explained Balluzzo. ”Next to the National Championship it would probably be the most memorable thing we have done. After that it only leaves one thing to accomplish in my career at Langley and that would be to break that record at eight.” One thing is for certain Balluzzo will be back next year with the support of Heartsong Care to break that record.
Another driver looking to wrap up a championship, Grandstock points leader Mark Frye. Frye has been on the top spot since the drop of the green flag back in April. Practically running in an entirely new zip code and racking up win after win early before a huge wreck practically totaled the car. Just like the modified’s this week, last week was the longest race in the Grandstock division, 75 laps and a lot of torn up race cars. Fortunately for Frye his car was not one of them and was able to grab a third place podium finish.
Coming into the weekend Frye will only have a seven point cushion over Sweeney we had to ask if that put any extra pressure or nerves on him. ”Not really, we’ve been really consistent and improving every week since our big wreck,” Frye said. ”I think we just need to keep up the same for the last race and we will be fine.” Frye will approach this weekend just like he has approached every other weekend this season, try to get the pole and the win and keep the car in one piece and bring home his very first championship!