Matt Carter Snaps Balluzzo’s Three-Race Win Streak to Earn First Modified Win

Photo: Langley Speedway

Hampton, VA – With the Late Model Stock cars having their twin features rained out the weekend prior, Langley Speedway once again called up their tier two division to headline Family Pet Center Night at the Races or as we liked to call it Twin Extravaganza. Nine races split over five divisions this past Saturday night at Langley has 10 IMCA style Modifieds took to the speedway. Matt Carter – 36-year old driver from Newport News, VA – was the fastest car in qualifying as the sun was setting over turn three. Posting a lap of record at 16.948 seconds beating Danny Harrell, Shawn Balluzzo, Andrew Fortin and Jamie Sample to the point.

Carter looked poised for the victory in the first feature leading the first nineteen circuits. Balluzzo, who ran most of the first twenty laps in the second position, was able to power under Matt and make the pass the following lap. Balluzzo immediately opened up a two to three car gap on Carter and held that for most of the race. Balluzzo was victorious in race one with Carter only a car length or two at best behind him.

Due to the new rule from NASCAR, when it comes to twin races, a minimum of eight cars are required to be inverted for the second race. Following those rules, Donnie Holston inherited the pole for race number two. However, he was unable to answer the bell citing motor issues. This moved the inside row up allowing Jamie Sample to take the point. It also moved Carter, who was slated to start in the seventh position, up to the fifth place spot on the grid. Balluzzo, who was lined up in the eighth starting position elected to go to the rear of the ten car field in search of the bonus points given by NASCAR to do so.

When the green flag waved Jamie Sample did all he could to keep the lead and did so for eleven laps. That was until Carter was able to work his way up through the field and take the position for himself. He immediately needed to work on building a gap because Balluzzo was on his way. By lap seventeen Balluzzo had made his way to the second position and set his eyes on Matt – little did we know it was going to be a barn burner to the finish.

As the laps dwindled down so did Carters lead over Balluzzo. With just two laps to go, Carter made a huge mistake off turn four and almost lost the car. This was enough for Balluzzo to pull even and the drag race was on. Powering around the 48 down the backstretch, Balluzzo gave it one more shot into three and got right to Carters rear nerf bar, paying careful attention not to make contact, but to look for an opening and boy did the opening come.

Again, Carters car stepped out on him coming off of turn four to the checkered flag. This time it was a little too much for the driver to save and around he went. Luckily for the Newport News native, Carter slid sideways across the stripe first to collect his very first Modified win in thrilling fashion. “That was a pretty wild ride there towards the end,” Carter said in victory lane. “The car got tight in the long run and I started overdriving it, I got a little excited. I’m just glad to bring this thing home to Victory Lane I mean, I cannot thank my crew enough.”

 

 Modified Race 1 Results:

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 33
  2. #78 Matt Carter; 33
  3. #5 Andrew Fortin; 33
  4. #95 Danny Harrell; 33
  5. #60 Bobby Gery; 33
  6. #28 Jamie Sample; 33
  7. #16 Eric McPherson; 33
  8. #1 Donnie Holston; 30
  9. #63 Derrick Roberts; 9

 

Modified Race 2 Results:

  1. #78 Matt Carter; 33
  2. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 33
  3. #95 Danny Harrell; 33
  4. #28 Jamie Sample; 33
  5. #60 Bobby Gery; 33
  6. #63 Derrick Roberts;32
  7. #5 Andrew Fortin; 25
  8. #16 Eric McPherson; 24
  9. #98 Matt Morgan; 4

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