Monthly Archives: October 2015

Entries Fly In for Halloween Spooktacular At Southern National

SNMP Sook Race 2015

Ronald Renfrow (07) and Haley Moody (50) are both entered in Saturday’s Halloween Spooktacular at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Photo credit: Corey Latham/RACE22.com)

LUCAMA, NC – A stout combination of championship drivers and championship hopefuls have pre-entered for the Limited Late Model portion of Saturday’s Halloween Spooktacular at Southern National Motorsports Park.

18 drivers have already entered the race. That list includes Wake County Speedway champion Alex Fleming, former Southern National Motorsports Park champions Clay Jones and Haley Moody, former Bowman Gray Stadium champion Mack Little and regional regulars such as Bradley McCaskill, Zachary Marks, Zach Henshaw, Rusty Daniels and Ronald Renfrow.

Alex Fleming and Clay Jones are both making their first Southern National starts of the season. Jones has been competing in the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Super Late Model Tour and Fleming won the track championship at Wake County Speedway in Raleigh, North Carolina. Haley Moody is making her second Southern National start of the season and looking for her first 2015 win after scoring three wins in 2014.

Bradley McCaskill has one win and four second place finishes at Southern National in 2015 and is a favorite to win, but Rusty Daniels could be a threat to him. Daniels also has a Southern National win this season.

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Balluzzo Etches His Name In Langley Speedway’s Record Books With Eighth Title

Balluzzo 8th ChampLangley Speedway waved the checkered flag over their 65th season just over a week ago, and crowned champions in the remaining six divisions that call the facility home. Not only were champions crowned, history was re-written when Shawn Balluzzo clinched his 8th Modified division title at the tricky .395 mile oval. Now, I would be a horrible media outlet if I did not give credit where credit was due as Robbie Babb won some of the battles but was just not able to win the war.

Babb entered the season finale seven points behind Balluzzo and on a mission, if I do say so my self. Babb set the pole earlier in afternoon with a time of 16.396, citing the car was a little slow due to the cooler temps. It did not matter come race time however for Babb who set a blister pace throughout the 75-lap feature. No doubt in anyone’s mind that night on who the fastest car was. Not taking any credit away from Babb’s performance on the night but with a seven-point gap Balluzzo did not need to push the car to its limits. All he needed was a solid finish; why not take it easy when you can.

Babb, in victory lane was a bit from a celebratory mood as he locked up his sixth win in dominating fashion. “Yeah, it’s a little bittersweet,” Babb said. “There’s a lot of things I can say, but I’m gonna just leave it at that, they know what they did and it’ll come around.” Babb did have a couple less than ideal moments towards the end of the race trying to get by some slower cars who were battling for position, one almost sending the leader into the grass on the backstretch.

Needing only a seventh place finish on the night – even with the Babb win – Balluzzo took what some would call an aggressively modest approach to the night. Okay, I am pretty sure no one said those two words together as I had to sit back and look at them again. Yes, Robbie had the fastest car that night and deserved to win, but as I said before, Balluzzo was not in the position to need to push his car, his crew, or his ability to their limits

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No Sophomore Slump For Crews As He Claims Title In Second Season

Limited Sportsman31

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

South Boston, VA – After a solid Limited Sportsman debut at South Boston Speedway in 2014 that saw him win three races and finish third in the points, Trey Crews was confident 2015 could be a good year for him.

He just didn’t know exactly how good it would turn out.

Crews captured five races on the way to winning the 2015 South Boston Speedway Limited Sportsman track championship. He will be honored at South Boston Speedway’s annual awards banquet early next year, along with all other division champions.

“I knew we had a lot of support coming into this season. I think a lot of people were behind me to win the championship,” said the 20-year-old Crews. “I felt like we had the equipment and the knowledge to win a lot of races. I felt pretty confident going into the season.

”But this is a tough division at South Boston. There are a lot of good drivers, a lot of good teams. There’s a lot of good competition.”

Crews and veteran Danny Willis dominated the division in 2015, but down the stretch it was all Crews. Willis suffered a blown engine with a handful races to go and Crews went on a hot streak, winning three races in the final few weeks.

“He (Willis) had a 20-point lead with four races to go. I felt like if nothing happened it was his, but he had a motor issue,” said Crews. “Then we had a winning streak and we won it.”

Perhaps the biggest key for Crews’ championship run was his ability to avoid trouble.

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Get to Know the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown 2016

DHSTS_at_LANGLEY_Proof_2-972x796The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown invite list was recently released from the DHSTS Race Coordinator, Buck Reuss.   It is full of drivers that Langley Speedway fans should know well and some new names.  Lee Pulliam, Josh Berry, William Byron, Peyton Sellers, and Matt Bowling are a few of the out of towners that have raced at Langley recently.  It is looking like it will be a fantastic race for a great cause.

I asked Buck a couple questions about the DHSTS to get a look into the race that a lot of us are looking forward to.

Is there a selection process used or do y’all go off of track popularity/car counts?

For an ‘in short” answer, we look for the facilities in close proximity to RIR and hope the local race fans and racers are ready to make it a terrific show year after year.

For the additional drivers included, do you go off of previous success at Langley Speedway?

The initial invitee list is built between NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Div. I National Points, the NWAAS Virginia State Points, NWAAS Virginia Track points, a couple of NASCAR D4D drivers and winners of the Virginia Triple Crown races. Then the competitors of the previous year’s race are re-invited. Beyond that I take requests for additional invitations and will go through a process looking at their qualifications before passing drivers through for an invitation.

For the Hampton Heat they said they wouldn’t start more than 38 cars, would this be the limit for this race also?  If there is, would it go off of just qualifying times or would heat races be used?

The purse for the DHSTS is set at 36 entries for the feature race. This was designed between NASCAR and DHF. And at the moment we at DHF are working with Race Director for the DHSTS Shayne Laws (since 2010) on determining race day procedure for qualifying and or heat races.

 

With some details to still be ironed out and possibly more invitations to be sent out look to The Weekly Racer for updates through the racing off-season!

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VallyStar Credit Union 300 Review: Lemons Grabs Emotional Grandfather Clock

Front StretchAnother year and another action packed race at “The Paperclip.” Certainly one of the races every year that never disappoints! 80 of the best Late Model Stock Car teams converged on the seemingly flat half-mile track located in Ridgeway, Virginia all looking for two things; 1) a $27,000 payday and 2) the legendary grandfather clock. In a field stacked with more talent than any one person could shake a stick at Tommy Lemons, Jr. found a way to take both of those back home with him.

“Our season hasn’t been what we wanted but the win at Caraway back in July, that meant a ton to me. Rusty meant a lot to me and I think a lot of his family. To win here, it’s a pretty special year,” Lemons said after the race. “I said it a couple times tonight, you know.  When I get to hang my helmet up and my driving shoes, I get to say I’m a two time Martinsville winner.  Not a lot of people can say that.”

Besides a few technical glitches and hardware failures, and lets be honest here, when you’re messing with computers and electronic systems, things are bound to break at some point. That point just happened to be during the Mid-Atlantics most prestigious Late Model Stock race of the season. As many of you know Saturday was plagued with scoring issues, well the issue really was the lack of scoring rather. A broken wire in the scoring loop at the start/finish line, unfortunately, caused this. The wire was damaged when the track installed the new SAFER walls down the entire inside and outside walls of the track. I can tell you folks from personal experience, these wires are actually pretty small and easy to damage.

With the drivers in mind, and even talking with the drivers the track decided to keep everything rolling Saturday to allow teams maximum time on the track. When it came down to qualify they decided to stick with the five cars, five lap group qualifying. 10 officials (so if you think about it really, two officials per car) took to the stopwatches to set the 80+ car field and determine the starting line up for the heat races.

Well, when it rains it sure does pour doesn’t it? After getting someone to the track over night to fix the scoring loop we all thought we were in the clear and ready for some intense racing. Well, we sure did get the intense side-by-side action in the heat races, but what we also got were more computer issues. A computer that is located in the scoring tower that controls the infield scoreboard had crashed leaving fans, crew members, and members of the media in the dark for some time. I do have to give it to NASCAR and Martinsville Speedway for fighting through all the issues that kept coming up.

The race in its self however was nothing less than edge of the seat exciting, well if I am speaking for myself. You had your typical front-runners, just cruising till the breaks, yes I said breaks. After some calculations done by multiple teams they realized that they were not going to make it to the advertised lap 150 break, citing fuel was the issue (word I am getting was the teams were not allowed to hardly touch the car after the heat races let alone add fuel). NASCAR evaluated the situation and called for a competition caution at lap 100 for FUEL ONLY! Some teams ignored that call and were sent to the rear of the field on the restart because of it.

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