Monthly Archives: May 2015

Deac McCaskill Returns to Victory Lane at Southern National; Christopher Bell Also Wins

Deac McCaskill (left) and his mother, Kay (right), who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, celebrate in victory lane after Deac's triumph in the 125-lap CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race. (Photo credit: Andy Marquis/RACE22.com for Southern National Motorsports Park)

Deac McCaskill (left) and his mother, Kay (right), who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, celebrate in victory lane after Deac’s triumph in the 125-lap CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race. (Photo credit: Andy Marquis/RACE22.com for Southern National Motorsports Park)

LUCAMA, NC – Four-time Southern National Motorsports Park track champion Deac McCaskill scored his first win at Southern National Motorsports Park since 2013, leading wire-to-wire to score an emotional victory in Saturday night’s CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car feature race.

McCaskill’s victory was his first at Southern National Motorsports Park since September 14, 2013, when he clinched his record-tying fourth track championship, and his first win of any kind in the 2015 season. It comes two months after finishing second in the CARS Tour season opener, which was held at Southern National, back on March 28th. But the win has even more sentimental value to McCaskill because his mother, Kay, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was so focused on those lapped cars, I didn’t know that was the end of the race,” McCaskill said in victory lane after his triumph in the 125 lap race. “They said ‘checkered flag’ and I busted into tears. I cried the whole way around. I had to do a Polish Victory Lap to get myself together. It’s been a rough couple weeks for this family. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer but sometimes God puts things in your life. You’ve just got to hope and pray for the best and things happen for a reason. We’re strongly behind her, we’re supporting her and hopefully we can raise awareness for breast cancer.”

McCaskill has scored countless wins at Southern National and four track championships, but his win on Saturday is one of the most memorable wins for the 38-year-old veteran from Raleigh, North Carolina.

“This ranks right up there with the Thanksgiving Classic back [in 2006] when I raced with Denny Hamlin,” McCaskill remarked. “To still get emotional about it, that’s really cool. I’m just real proud to be standing here in victory lane. That’s awesome.”

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Driver Series: S02E10 Sammy Gaita Looking For Repeat Success

Sammy Gaita
Newport News, VA
DOB: June 30, 1978
Hometown: Hampton, VA
Education: Degree in Network Engineering
Occupation: Owner of Gaita Graphics & Frontline Vapes

Sponsors: Brian Grilli (country musician), 7 Cities Vapes, Shawn Havron Tattoo, AMSOIL – East Coast Synthetics, Berge’s Lawn Care, AYSO Region 1310, Gaita Graphics, Bay Custom Auto, Sherwin Williams Automotive Paints, Erin Goodman Photography, Tony Spivey Engines, Gene Nichols, Doug Sample, Randy Sample.

Facebook-Logo-Cracked

 

You know it seems like a common theme in this crazy sport we call auto racing is to have the “love of the game” so to speak handed down to you. I guess this is a good example on why hand me downs, or family traditions aren’t such a bad thing. Our next driver, as we have mentioned above, is no different. When we talked with Sammy during this interview he told us that racing had always been apart of his life. “I can’t remember a time without racing in my life,” Gaita said. “My family has always done it.”

Growing up he ran karts for a bit but spent most of his time in the garage helping out his uncle and his father! Sammy didn’t get behind the wheel much until about 2008 when the family got a UCAR. “That was a disaster,” explained Gaita. “So we built another one our selves and ran decent with that one until we moved up to Super Streets.” Gaita would actually go on to win the 2014 Super Street Track Championship at Langley Speedway. He has since returned to the track looking to make it a repeat. So far the team has had moderate success and have been battling with what I can hear over the radio, a loose car.

The season is still young and we have not seen the end of Sammy’s hunt to return to victory lane. We were however, able to chat a little bit to find out more about the man behind the driver suite bellow!

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Balluzzo & Babb Split First Twin Night At Langley Speedway

 

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Robbie Babb, who in my opinion has really been the Achilles Heel to Balluzzo over the years had the pole for a while but would have to start second on the night. Semi rookie – I call him semi rookie because he ran just enough races last year to take away his rookie stripe – had the third fastest time during time trials. Evan Horne and Darrell Vance would end up rounding out your Larry King Law Starting Five!

I saw things going one of two ways, 1. The first race is a bore and drivers save their stuff for the second race, or 2. All hell breaks loose, as drivers know they only have thirty laps to get their work done. I was right in my first guess! Race number one for the lack of better terms was a bit of a snooze fest. Balluzzo and Babb jumped out to a pretty decent lead and would play cat and mouse with each other. Maybe just trying to see what the car would do under certain situations, maybe even trying to make the other burn their equipment up. Jon Largena completed all thirty laps in the third spot, slowly losing ground on the leaders but at the same time pulling away from the rest of the pack. We had a few swaps of the fifth spot on the track between a few drivers but other than that, Balluzzo would drive away to lead wire to wire in a caution free feature.

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Langley Speedway: 4CDL.com TNCC Night – LIVE on Twitter (@theweeklyracer)

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Hampton, VA – With the Late Model’s off this weekend we will turn most of our attention to the rumbling , ground pounding sound of the modifieds. Running their first set of twins this season 7-time track champ, Shawn Balluzzo, will look to extend his dominance on the season. Balluzzo told us earlier this season they are really hunting for that Div. II National Title so every win will count. Balluzzo has really taken to the road this season to help his chances, running at South Boston and East Carolina in addition to his home track. Being blatantly honest here the 48 team has struggle some kind of bad at SoBo somehow always running into either motor or distributor troubles.

However, the past is the past right? Balluzzo is coming into this weekend with two victories on the road sweeping the twin bill down at East Carolina and looking to do the same tonight. He will have to be on is toes as Jon Largena – who only ran a very limited schedule last year – has really started to get a handle on these much more powerful machines. Watch out for the black and white number 4 to be up there in contention for the win.

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Driver Series: S02E09 Mike Perkins Juggles ODU, Internships, and A Race Car But Fulfills His Passion For Racing

ProfileMichael Perkins
DOB: September 14, 1993
Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
Hometrack: Langley Speedway
Occupation: Student (ODU ’15) and Clark Nexsen (mechanical engineering intern)

Sponsors: Still searching

Website: www.mikeperkinsracing.com
Facebook-Logo-Cracked Instagram-cracked

 

Getting introduced much later to the racing community than most, Michael Perkins has not let that slow him down in the chase of a dream. “I got my start helping Bill Eaker in 2013, driver of the #22 Super Street,” Perkins said. “I ran in the UCAR division a bit last year and will do so again this year.” An ODU student and intern at a local A&E firm Perkins told us that he has always had a passion for racing and he is excited to finally be able to live out that dream.

“I’ve been really busy,” said Perkins. “Between finishing up my degree at ODU, interning and racing, there really isn’t much time for anything else. Its all worth it though because racing is what I have always wanted to do.” Looking to learn as much as he can in the support divisions at Langley Speedway he hopes to be able to move up the ladder as far as his talent and wallet will let him.

Michael is currently sitting second in the point’s standings at Langley Speedway with nothing but top five finishes, few top three finishes as well. He is also currently looking for sponsorship help this season to help this streak going, please make sure you check him out with the links provided above, hope you enjoy the rest of this interview.

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Waltz & Pulliam Mix Things Up at Langley Speedway

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Pulliam leading Matt Waltz in first twin race.

 

Hampton, VA – I am not going to lie, when the 2015 season got underway at Langley Speedway I figured it was going to be a runaway freight train with Greg Edwards sitting in the conductor’s chair. That’s the path we looked like we were going down once this season got underway with Edwards snatching up three wins just like that. However in the past two weeks we have seen four different winners pull into Dale Lemonds Victory Lane, Mark Wertz & Tyler Hughes shred the top spot two weeks ago May 9th, now two more drivers add their names to the win column in 2015 at Langley Speedway.

Lee Pulliam in just his second trip – third start – to the flat 4/10 mile track nestled in Hampton, Virginia found himself up against some pretty stout competition. All of your “Langley Regulars” of course were in attendance, Matt Waltz made his debut back to Langley, and Tommy Lemons brought his machine back into town. Both Mark Wertz and Tyler Hughes were looking to continue their success from the previous week, and both Connor Hall and Brenden Queen were hungry for their first victories of the year!

Nineteen cars took the green flag lead by the two-time national champion Lee Pulliam who earlier in the afternoon qualified his #5 Kiker Motorsports machine on the pole. Pulliam as a matter of fact was the only car to break into the 15 second lap times, 15.984 seconds (88.964 MPH). Waltz would have the pleasure of starting just to his outside for the first race of the evening. Brenden Queen would roll off third followed by Greg Edwards and Tyler Hughes to round out the top five.

Race one was nothing to shake a stick at if we are being honest, and that is what is to be expected on nights where you have a full field (in the eyes of NASCAR) and twin races. Or at least that’s what it should be in my opinion. I am not a driver myself but, I can only imagine race number one is a “save what we got” type cat and mouse game. Once the green flag was in the air Pulliam took control of things pretty quickly and never looked back. If he did he would have seen the car of Matt Waltz in his rearview for quite some time. Both incredibly smart racers seemed to actually be conserving a lot even though they were both running away from the rest of the field.

Looking deeper than just the top two this week well because we had some awesome racing all the way back to the tenth or twelfth spots! Queen was able to keep his car under him and hold onto the third spot for a while until he developed a pretty severe right rear tire issue that pushed him just outside the top five. Other cars that were mixing it up were the 8 of Hughes and 97 of Edwards – which go head and mark my words now we have not seen the end of these two…. 2015 track championship will either go back to the 97 crew or fall into the hands of Tyler Hughes. Things didn’t stop there either, we had three and four way battles as far back as the tenth and eleventh positions!

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Langley Speedway: NAPA Night At The Races – LIVE on Twitter (@theweeklyracer)

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Hampton, VA – Another weekend of racing is upon us here in Hampton Roads as Langley Speedway opens it’s gates for NAPA Night. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Cars will be back in action for their twin features to kick off and complete the evening. We have already seen through out the week some of the heavy hitters that will be in attendance. Lee Pulliam and Tommy Lemons, Jr have decided to make their return to the flag 4/10 mile oval – both with unfinished business – along with them has come G.R. Waldrop looking to tackle Langley Speedway.

In addition to “the new kids on the block” we look to some of the Langley Speedway veterans; Greg Edwards, Mark Wertz, Danny Edwards Jr. Lets not count out some of the young up and coming stars with the likes of Tyler Hughes, Brenden Queen, and Connor Hall. That’s just some of the names you have to look out for in tonight’s twin bill!

Practice is set to get under way at 2:00 PM for all of the divisions – Grandstocks, Pro Six, and UCARS – with qualifying set to get underway shortly after, approximately 4:30ish. Our plan is to go LIVE today starting at 4:30 PM EDT over on our Twitter (@theweeklyracer), if you do not have a Twitter you can always follow along on the side bar here, you may have to refresh the page every so often. As in the past we will have both timed laps for the LMSC and work to get you the starting five for the support divisions as well.

The race schedule for this evening can be found bellow;

1. ComServe Verizon Wireless LMSC – 65 laps
2. KeesVacations.com Pro 6– 30 laps
3. Pepsi Grand Stocks 40 laps
4. Carroll’s Autumotice UCARS – 25 laps
5. ComServe Verizon Wireless LMSC – 65 laps

*subject to change

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