Monthly Archives: July 2015

Brenden Queen Still Looking For First Late Model Win. Why Not The Hampton Heat?

Brenden Quenn in carChesapeake, VA – Young Brenden Queen has had quite the year you can say in 2015. Finishing up his senior year of high school, walking across that stage to receive his diploma, oh yea… and building competitive racecars! This year is easily shaping up to be Queen’s break out year with a whole lot of potential behind it. Earning his career best finish in a Late Model (2nd at Langley Speedway), the young driver from Chesapeake currently sits third in the points at his home track (Langley Speedway), currently 30th in the nation, 4th in the state of Virginia, and 4th in the UNOH National Series. He and is team are hungry for a win, why not do it in style and win the 8th Annual Hampton Heat 200.

Earlier this week (I apologize for the long delay) we had some time to chat with Brenden, anything from the new pavement to what it will take to win. The team went out to the track Monday for an open test and to see how the car would react. “It [the new pavement] was different for sure,” Queen said. “I honestly didn’t expect it to be repaved before the Hamtpon Heat. I think there is more grip for sure but only if you are on the bottom.” A lot of concern from Queen, and a few other local drivers, was it being a one-grove track.

Queen enters this years Hampton Heat coming off of an impressive 9th place finish in 2014 which really has the driver pumped for the race today! “Coming off a career best 2nd place finish I think we have as good of a shot as anybody,” Queen said. “I think if we can start up front and keep the track position we could have a shot at the end of it if all the cards fall the way we need them.” Queen is also not worried about some of the big names coming into his back yard to play this weekend either! “A name to me is just another guy in the seat that I need to beat,” said Queen. “Plus at the end of the night when you end up in victory land it looks even better seeing your name at the top of all those other [drivers].” Don’t mistake the confidence for cockiness because Queen understand these are going to be some tough names to beat, but he knows he and his crew can do it!

Queen also told us that it would be such a relief to finally get the monkey of their backs and get a win, so why not do it style and win one of the biggest races of the year right! He also told us if… no when they finally do get that win, they are going to keep working just as hard like it never happened to continue winning!

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Driver Series: S02E16 Cody Carlton Looking For A Championship in 2015

profileCody Carlton
Norfolk, VA
D.O.B: October 10, 1990 (24)
Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
Hometrack: Langley Speedway
Education: NASCAR Technical Institute
Occupation: Welder/fabricator

Sponsors: Virginia Pediatric Eye Center, Affordable Transmission. Door Engineering, Irwin’s Pharmacy, Advance Auto Parts.

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“I started racing when I was 16,” Carlton told us at the start of our interview. “One of my best friends, Jordan Wood, is really who influenced me the most to want to start racing.” A bit of a late start in the eyes of some racing enthusiast, however, looking at his production in different divisions at different tracks, you would have never known the difference. Carlton got his start in a Jr. Dragster, having fun behind the wheel of that beast for a couple years and grabbing a couple wins before moving over to the oval side.

“I decided since I had been brought up around NASCAR in my younger years, I wanted to try out some short track oval racing,” Carlton said. “What better place to start than Arena Racing!” Admitting that he and the team struggled in the early years until they teamed up with Andrew Graham who came on board to help with the set-up of the car. Since then it’s been nothing but trophy hunting and championship! Last year in fact Carlton had sixteen A-Main & Top Dog wins and received the award for the most poles in the season.

The past few years Carlton has spent most of his time running in the Pro Six division (full body, purpose built stock cars, with v6 Nissan engines) at Langley Speedway as well as Arena Racing in Richmond. Being the true driver he is, Carlton will pretty much race anything you allow him to climb into though pulling some stints in asphalt wing champ karts as well as racing the champs on dirt!

As we have almost reached the halfway point in the 2015 season Cody Carlton currently sits fourth in points at Langley Speedway. “This year has been very frustrating,” Carlton said. “We have been working our butts off and just not getting the results we want!” Carlton couldn’t help but acknowledge the fact that there have been a couple of drivers who really stepped up their game this year they just haven’t had the luck they needed. “Getting the championship has been the goal for this year since the first race,” Carlton explained. “I really think it would be awesome to win 2 championships in the same year and that would really help my attempt to move up to modified or Late Model.”

Its very clear that Carlton is determined to find his way into victory lane this year and is working very hard to accomplish that goal! He did let us know that as of right now, and I know we still have plenty of time, there is nothing in the works yet for Langley in 2016 but they may have something pretty big on the Arena Racing side here soon! In the mean time come on in and get to know Cody Carlton outside of the race track, we had a few moments to sit down with him, hope you enjoy!

 

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2015 Hampton Heat Entry List & Who To Watch For

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Hampton, VA – With just four days left before one of the biggest Late Model races in the Mid-Atlantic Region we have finally gotten our first look at the entry list for Langley Speedway. Thirty-one cars have officially registered for the 200-lap feature this weekend with an additional ten drivers who have not committed 100% just yet.

With the last minute decision from track officials to rework some of the asphalt in the corners the track was opened earlier this week for an open practice to Late Model teams that want to come out and get a feel. There will also be regular Thursday night practice where teams are invited and encouraged rather to come out and practice under the lights. If that was not enough, the track will have a dedicated test session this Friday, July 24th, 2015 for any teams that may want to come out. I can tell you know some teams will elect not to practice as they attempt to pull double duty this weekend and run the Friday night race at Motor Mile in Radford, Virginia.

General Admission Grandstands as well as the final two-hour Late Model practice session is set to get underway around 12:00 PM Saturday, July 25th. The same exact time we will kick off our non stop coverage in conjunction with Race22.com. Make sure you keep checking back with us later for the link you can follow us on your computer, tablet or mobile phone!

 

Who To Watch (in no particular order)

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C.E. Falk Optimistic For Record Fourth Hampton Heat Victory

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C.E. Falk, test day 2014 Hampton Heat. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer)

Mooresville, NC – Charles Edward Falk… better know around the shop as C.E. has proven time and time again he knows how to wheel a stock car around the flat track of Langley Speedway. Shoot, I stand corrected; the man can wheel a car pretty much anywhere you take him. Falk certainly has done a tremendous job making a name for himself in a Late Model Stock Car in the Mid-Atlantic region. Racking up four track championship – three of those were back-to-back-to-back – and winning the prestigious Hampton Heat three out of the seven times!

Falk however has not had the opportunity just yet this year to complete a race at Langley Speedway, they had made the trip up a few weeks back but of course Mother Nature had a different idea. Since then the team has still yet to take laps around the track. That however does not have the driver at all worried, even with new pavement around the corners. “Sounds okay,” Falk said, talking about the new pavement. “It’s good there was at least one race on it last weekend but honestly if Bill Mullis wanted to make half the track a dirt track I would still come up and run for a shot at $10,000.” He did tell me the team would be in town for Thursday nights practice as well as the practice Friday

We also talked about what it means and what it would mean to win for a fourth time. “Felt good [winning last year],” Falk said. “Probably going to have to free the car up a bit this year because of the pavement but we feel we have a really good package. Certainly going to be plenty of time for me to screw it up, it’s going to be tough, we just have to save our stuff.”

A 2015 Hampton Heat win will mark the second time in the events history that Falk wins back to back (’10 & ’11), it will also extend his record as the “winningest” driver of the series. “Winning a fourth would mean a lot to me,” Falk explained. “We have certainly won it a few different ways from starting in the back to dominating the whole race. I certainly know how to win but I also know how to lose.”

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The Weekly Racer & Race22.com Tag Team 8th Annual Hampton Heat 200

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Hampton, VA – It is that time of year again when the best of the best come together on one track, to battle for the prize money and the bragging rights! The 8th Annual Hampton Heat 200 is upon us here in Hampton Roads and let me tell you what; this one is on track to shatter all kinds of records. Rumor around the block is more than 40 cars have registered for the chance to take home $10,000! Names like Lee Pulliam, Tommy Lemons Jr, Greg Edwards, Matt Waltz, C.E Falk, Josh Berry, Phillip Morris ­– I could keep going but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!

In addition, for the second year in a row, yours truly will be partnering with Mark Rogers, Jr & Race22.com to bring you the absolute best coverage possible. We are talking about the type of coverage that will have you glued to your mobile device while you are sitting in your seats at the track! We will have everything covered for you; up to the minute schedule updates, connections with track officials, practice times, birds eye views, pit road reporting, and lap-by-lap coverage of the race! I am telling you folks you are not going to want to miss this race or our coverage. Can’t make it? Make sure to check back later this week to get the link to follow along with us!

A few things have changed this year right off the bat, because of pesky Mother Nature the 2015 Hampton Heat will actually be the first of three races in the VA Triple Crown trilogy. South Boston’s 200-lap race has been rescheduled for August 29th. Second, this year’s race will not be a Langley Speedway points race! Teams will still however be able to earn points to the national points standings. A huge change from last year as the Hampton Heat honestly played a pivotal role in the championship standings.

Who will win the 2015 Hampton Heat 200? Well shoot, your guess is as good as mine! Langley so far this year has seen seven different winners… a few of which do not call Langley their home track. This years event is going to bring big names from some pretty big stables in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Lee Pulliam – who has a victory this year – will be in the running. Josh Berry, driver for JR Motorsports, took home a win in his very first attempt at the track. Greg Edwards, the current points leader, looking to bounce back after rebuilding his primary color. I could honestly go on forever BUT we will save that for a different post later this week with our very carefully and thought out predictions!

Make sure you check back through out the week for more stories and interviews leading up to the 8th annual Hampton Heat 200.

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Robbie Babb Goes Wire To Wire – Largena New Points Leader

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Hampton, VA – Drivers and their teams converged to the grounds of Langley Speedway this weekend with fingers crossed to get some racing in. For the past four weeks tracks all over the Mid-Atlantic have been waging war with Mother Nature who keeps sticking her nose into business she doesn’t belong! She let us get all the way through practice, qualifying, pre-race festivities and even three and a half races before she had to ruin the fun. Bando’s, Legends, got their races in, the mods were able to get their first race in, and the Super Streets (running more than half the distance) got their race in as well.

A crazy mix of events proved to be one interesting night for the Larry King Law Modifieds, and this didn’t even revolve around the new patches of asphalt in the corners. Earlier in the week points leader Shawn Balluzzo had an accident that left him with some bruised ribs and a snapped wrist, needless to say the chances of him racing were slim to none. This left the points to Jon Largena – who would end up packing his car up frantically to head back to the shop to replace a bolt that snapped in the rear end during the first practice.

The crew was able to make the repairs and head back to the track in time for qualifying where Largena was able to post the second fastest time of the fifteen cars who completed time trials. Robbie Babb, who had been fast all afternoon in practice again showed his power, posting the only time in the 15 second range with a 15.921 (90.447 MPH). Jimmy Humblet, Bobby Gery, and Chris Humblet would make up the rest of the starting five. Donnie Holston who hit the wall a ton during practice was not able to get his car repaired, he went home early. Starting shotgun on the field… none other than Shawn Balluzzo! Having help from his crew of course the points leader’s goal was to merely start and park the car.

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Langley Speedway: Back In The Saddle Again On Twitter – @theweeklyracer

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Hampton, VA – We’re back!!! After an eventful three weeks with rain, and couch crippling illnesses, car accidents and a few other things to say the least – I swear this summer my family just needs to go into a bubble – we have found our way back to the race track along with the IMCA style mods, Grandstocks, Super Streets & Legends! The last time these machines hit the pavement was a little more than a month ago, June 6th to be exact, where Jimmy Humblet found himself in the box (victory lane that is) after making the pass for the lead with just eight circuits to go.

Current points leader Shawn Balluzzo will not be behind the wheel tonight after a work accident left him with a broken wrist and some bruised ribs. “I was going to still attempt to get in the race car this weekend,” Balluzzo said. “But it does not appear that will happen at least according to the doctors for a couple of months. Besides the pain in the wrist and the ribs Balluzzo did let everyone know on Facebook earlier this week that for the most part he is okay and things will go on somewhat normal for the sign business. Never want to hear a driver get injured but luckily all things will heal, get better soon Shawn, all of your racing family is supporting you.

This unfortunate event will certainly shake things up in the points standings as #4 John Largena sit just 11 points out of first place, a solid finish and good car counts could just hand him over the points lead tonight. He will have two shots to climb closer to the top as they go center stage in the second race and second to last race of the evening.

Though the Mods are the higher division according to NASCAR these guys are not the only main event of the night. Every year Langley Speedway extends the race for on of the most interesting divisions to watch hands down. The annual 65-lap Pepsi Grandstock feature rolls off tonight – a battle that will not only take patients from a driver, but perseverance from a crew chief. For those who have never seen this race you may think, “well jeez it’s just an extra 25 laps…” An extra 25 laps given to the guys who give it 120% every lap. You think these cars were slipping and sliding around lap 30, you’re in for a treat tonight.

Mark Frye & Tommy Sweeney enter the night in one of the tightest points battles of the year at Langley Speedway. Both drivers have proven they can win, both drivers have had their fair share of mix ups on the 4/10 flat speedway. The Pepsi Grandstocks are set to roll off fifth tonight. For a full schedule of this evenings racing action, take a peak bellow.

You can follow us LIVE on Twitter (@theweeklyracer) starting at 4:30 PM EDT

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