Edwards, Jr. rolls through turns one and two during final practice. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)
Hampton, VA – It wasn’t a full moon, we had already made it past the blue moon, and it was just crunch time! That is my story and I am sticking to it on the madness that was Langley Speedway this past weekend. Cars, or should I say karts mysteriously taking the lead, massive hits in bando’s, some interesting driving coming to the checkered, and drivers notching career high finishes in the Late Model Stocks – Langley’s premier division.
Things got kicked off with single car qualifying as the sun started to set behind turn three. Danny Edwards earned the right to call himself the pole sitter for race one posting a time of 15.894 (89.468 MPH) – the only one to break into the 15-second lap times. Brother Greg made it an all Edwards front row with Brenden Queen, Connor Hall, and Terry Carroll rounded out the starting five. Mind you the first and fifth place starters got pretty banged up during the Hampton Heat race. I will give major shout outs to both crews and the two cars looked phenomenal!
When it was time for the green flag to fly the two Edwards brothers battled it out door-to-door for a few laps before Greg gave up the outside and fell in line behind Queen – the top five were all tucked in nose to tail. Wyatt and Wertz would set up a pretty good battle for position before the nights first caution due to new comer Tyler Gallup going for a spin. With just seventeen laps on the board and cautions not counting Wertz took that time to head to the attention of his crew for some adjustments.
Once we were back under green flag conditions Edwards, Jr mashed the go fast pedal and checked out. Leaving Greg to deal with both Queen & Carroll – who by the way had been running very strong all night. Edwards would fall back as far as the sixth position twenty laps into the sixty-five-lap feature after Queen, Carroll, Hardin, and Wyatt got by him. It didn’t take much longer for the 90 car to get around Queen to take over the second position.
Hampton, VA – NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stocks return this weekend Langley Speedway for Twin 65-lap feature’s! With just 6 races left in 2015 its getting down to crunch time as the top five drivers (G. Edwards, D. Edwards, Queen, Hughes, and Wertz) all have a mathematical shot at the championship! These next six races could make or break some teams. Danny Edwards, Jr – the most recent winner at Langley Speedway – winning three in a row mind you, had some bad luck a few short weeks ago in the Hampton Heat. Lucky for him however it was a non points race. He sits just three points back on brother Greg Edwards! Brendan Queen, still looking for that ever elusive first victory, sits just 14 points back in third. Two solid finishes tonight could certainly change things.
Four other divisions will highlight the night – Super Streets, Legends, Grandstocks, Karts. We are set to go LIVE with our coverage approx. 4:30 PM on our Twitter (@theweeklyracer) with qualifying – Top 5 from the support divisions & both timed laps from the LMSC.
Another great points battle with just three races left on the season is the Pepsi Grandstock! Mark Frye, your current points leader over Tommy Sweeney by just three points, will look to snap is losing streak tonight. Now when I say losing streak I am not saying he is doing horrible, however finishing second to Sweeney every night will not help his chances at back to back titles!
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. – The second and final appearance of the season for the Super Late Models of the Pro All Star Series (PASS) will be held Saturday night and discounted tickets remain on sale for the event.
The green flag will wave for the start of the PASS Super Late Model 150 racing program at 7 p.m.Saturday. The night of racing action will also feature a pair of 75-lap battles for the competitors in the NASCAR Whelen All American Late Model Stock Car Division.
Advance tickets for the PASS Super Late Model 150 race program are currently on sale at the South Boston Speedway office and are priced at just $10. Advance tickets can be purchased until 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14.
Adult general admission on race day will be $15. Children, ages six and under, will be admitted free with a paid adult.
Kaz Grala, who was motoring a Kyle Busch Motorsports ride, posted his first-ever PASS Super Late Model victory in June when the series made its first stop of the campaign at the historic four-tenths mile asphalt oval. That win was also the first ever for Grala at America’s Hometown Track.
Clay Rogers, who was piloting a Coulter Motorsports machine, finished second, while Zane Smith was third. Jared Fryar, who led twice in the race and was leading before Grala made his final move to the front, finished in the fourth position, while Brandon Ward rounded out the top five drivers in the field.
Birthday: 8/24/1982 (33)
Birthplace: Newport News VA
Education: Old Dominion University (04)
Occupation: Sales Rep for Damuth Trane
Sponsors: Spartimes Bowling, Moonlight Tinting
“This is my first attempt at racing so yea it’s a late start for sure,” Hayes told us to start the interview off. “I have always been into racing my whole life.” His father and grandfather were the ones that changed his life forever pretty much by taking him to his first race at Langley Speedway, pretty much from there on out he knew he wanted to get behind the wheel. Growing up, Hayes always wanted to race just did not have the resources to do so. Now that he is at a point in his life to afford racing he is going to do just that!
“I have always liked the division,” Hayes said. “These cars are extremely fast and not too pricey to maintain.” Running in a “spec” division, or a class that has certain rules and limits of things you can do to the car helps keep the cost down and lower budget teams running. Not to mention it helps try and keep the competition on a level playing field.
Hayes has not has the easiest of starts for his rookie year in the division with rear end issues, clutch issues, and Mother Nature not playing very nice this year. The number one goal for Hayes this year really is to run at Langley and get some seat time. “Next season I plan to get out and run as mush as my budget allows!”
Robersonville, VA – With a few weeks off to make some needed track repairs racing was back underway this weekend at East Carolina with 8 races in 6 divisions. Late Models – the featured divisions of the night would take to the track in two fifty-lap features that would see some great racing as well as some tempers flaring! Thomas Burbage was the fastest man in qualifying time trials earlier in the evening with a time of 15.585 seconds or 81.399 MPH! Giving him the honor to bring the field to the green at the start of the first race.
Burbage tried wasting no time at the drop of the green flag to put some distance between he and the rest of the pack. Burbage had something going for him early but Daniels was able to work past by Louis much sooner than Burbage would have liked and capture the lead on lap 9. Leaving the wide door open Jeff Shiflett took the chance while he could and advanced to the second position.
Shiflett, now running in the second position, gave race leader Rusty Daniels a good run for his money for a few laps but would eventually peak and gain no more ground. Behind them were some pretty impressive battles though – Tyler Matthews had some good moves to work his way around the #51 of Taylor Howard and into the fifth spot. Louis White would also work on the rear bumper of Burbage for a lap before taking the third position away.
The yellow flag was only displayed once in the race for a pre-planned competition caution. With laps not counting a couple drivers would take the chance to hit pit road and make some much-needed adjustments for the final twenty laps.
With the green flag back in the air Rusty Daniels hit the go fast pedal and hit it hard! Within three laps Daniels had already built a five-car lead leaving Shiflett to try and fight of White, which ultimately wouldn’t work out and Shiflett be regulated to third. Bobby Gower, in probably one of the best-looking cars of the night, was able to fight back through the field after his lap 30 pit stop to finish fifth.
Hampton, Va. – With only two weeks of racing for the division at Langley remaining, the championship picture for Langley’s Modifieds is now becoming clear. Saturday Night’s racing started off with a 20 lap feature for the Rhonda Claiborne HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts, and produced a one of two first time winners in 2015.
The 50 lap feature for the IMCA Modifieds sure proved to be a hectic one, as the division brought a handful of drivers and a close battle for the track championship. Robbie Babb qualified on pole with a speed of 86.999 mph and dominated the entire race. The race became hectic before it even started when Shawn Balluzzo stopped on the backstretch during the pace laps. “A ball joint broke in two and the crew changed it an amazing amount of time,” Balluzzo commented. Balluzzo rejoined the field one lap into the race, when a caution came out as a result of Wayne Hartley and Jon Largena getting together, collecting Jack Sharkey. More chaos took place when the race director had Balluzzo as two laps down, while most agree he was only down one. On the restart, Babb took off, and assumed a lead the size of a straightaway. Chris Humblet would be the first out of the race after blowing the clutch out on his machine. “At that point, I just tried limping around for a few,” Humblet commented. Humblet is sponsored by Tommy’s Racing Engines and Tony Culley Racing Fabrication and races for Racing 2 Cure.
Midlothian, VA – IMCA Modifieds were another feature division in our Friday night program at Southside Speedway. Eleven drivers were in the house for their 30-lap feature. Chris Johnson was fastest earlier in the evening with a 14.947 second (80.203 MPH) lap – the only car to break into the 14-second time. However, due to drawing a #3 on the poker chip, Johnson would invert the top three starters. Could have been worse with a five, but either way no one in the field had anything for that rocket ship!
With the help of Mr. Jimmy Walker the green flag was displayed over the field and Johnson was not playing around! To be perfectly honest not sure if Johnson helped pole sitter Kyle Wood into one or if the 19 had to drive her to deep, either way Wood pushed up the banking forcing the #17 of Shawn Hopkins to push up too. Warren Lipford wasn’t not waiting for that door to close before he could capitalize – he had second as they exited turn two.
By the fifth lap C. Johnson had already built a full straightaway lead over the second place machine who had third through fifth lines up bumper to bumper behind him. Lipford, Wood, Hopkins, and M. Johnson were all fighting for the same piece of real estate. Do have to give credit to Michael Johnson who gave a nice little nudge to the 17 car – “excuse me coming through – just before the half way mark of the race.
The field was only slowed once with 11 laps to go to bring the caution car out. The #2 of Eric Fowlkes went around in turn four. Did not see any contact to cause the spin, either way Fowlkes would need a push away from the scene. Was a pretty quick caution and Race Director, Chris Stefi orders for the cone to be placed on the front stretch. Chris Johnson electing the low line while Wood tried his luck up top.