Monthly Archives: March 2018

Philip Morris Sets New Track Record at Langley Speedway in Season Opener

Philip Morris powers down the backstretch of Larry King Law's Langley Speedway during second practice on March 31, 2018. He would later set a new track record.

Philip Morris powers down the backstretch of Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway during second practice on March 31, 2018. He would later set a new track record.

Hampton, VA – As we approached the end of the off-season the talk was repave at Langley Speedway. Problems with the asphalt patch done a couple of years ago had social media buzzing there would be a repave of the corners. Following the spring Day of Destruction, it happened. Then came the talks of speeds and track records. Then Philip Morris tested on a Thursday putting down laps quicker than the official track record. When the sun started to set over Langley Speedway and “The King of Late Model Racing” hit the speedway for his official timed laps, all bets were off.

Morris clicked off a 15.095-second lap around the .395-mile oval to not only claim the pole for the first of two 75-lap twins but officially took the track record away from Hampton, VA native Nick Smith. The lap put down my Morris was an average of 94.203 MPH and we caught up with as qualifying wrapped up.

“The track was great,” Morris said after qualifying. “It was amazing, whoever paved this thing knew what they were doing because it is just as smooth as can be. All you other Late Model guys that aren’t here, shame on you. This was a lot of fun, I have qualified at places like Texas, Vegas, and Bristol – where you hold your breath – and this was really nice you are able to drive it really deep in the corner and get in the gas really soon. It felt like a D-shape track then cause your wide open all the way to the wall and back to the bottom. It was great to check this off our list because we don’t usually qualify well here.”

All the talk going into opening night came after Morris unofficially broke the track record in a private test session the Thursday prior. We asked Morris if that played into anything going into the weekend.

“All my guys will tell you I don’t pay much attention to social media,” Morris went on to say. “Matter of fact I don’t even look at social media so the only way I hear about it is if my crew tells me about it and they know I don’t want to hear it. We are going to treat this year like we are fresh. I have young guys on this team and I am going to take that fresh mindset and don’t have any bad habits and come out here and do good in the points.”

With eighteen plus cars here this weekend we do have a full field in the eyes of NASCAR so there will be at least an eight car invert for race two. We asked Morris if he has any concern should he walk away with the victory in race one.

“You have to be,” Morris commented on the invert. “That’s the only thing bad, with the new track you have a lot of tire rubber that’s peeling off and it goes up to the second groove and if we do get the win in the first one its going to put us outside row four for the second one and its like a gravel road out there. I have a lot of experience with going way to fast on gravel roads and they have always got me turned around. I am hoping that they clean the track off, they have been talking about doing that between the races. I think we got a pretty fast car and if we can get single file we can get back up front. My main concern is saving some tires in the first race.”

Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@theweeklyracer) for all of the action.

 

Taylor Waste Services Late Model Stock Care Feature 1 Line-Up

  1. #01 Philip Morris
  2. #57 Justin Carroll
  3. #02 C.E. Falk
  4. #12 Nick Smith
  5. #6 Ruben Garcia
  6. #97 Greg Edwards
  7. #03 Brenden Queen
  8. #77 Conner Hall
  9. #19 Cameron Bowen
  10. #2 Ryan Vargas
  11. #55 Mark Wertz
  12. #24 Colin Garrett
  13. #4 Anthony Alfredo
  14. #50 Garrett Bunch
  15. #8 Tyler Hughes
  16. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.
  17. #4 Chase Cabre
  18. #98 Nicholas Sanchez
  19. #75 Logan Jones
  20. #41 Woody Howard
  21. #94 Cody Carlton
  22. #25 Craig Eastep
  23. #9 Rodney Boyd
  24. #88 Thomas Marks
  25. #92 Casey Wyatt

Wilson North Carolina Firefighter Brandon Whitley Takes to Southern National’s High Banks

Brandon Whitley prepares to head onto the track for a practice run at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Andy Marquis photo)

LUCAMA, NC – During the week, 32-year-old Brandon Whitley is fighting fires and, on the weekends, he trades one fire suit for another.

Whitley, who lives in Elm City, has been a fixture on the racing scene in Eastern North Carolina since 2002, but has predominantly raced at the County Line Raceway dirt track in Elm City the past few years. This weekend, he’s making the transition back to asphalt racing and will compete in a Limited Late Model at Southern National Motorsports Park.

“I’m pretty satisfied with our car right now,” Whitely said after testing the car last week. “First time out with the car, we turned some really competitive times. I’m really looking forward to coming out on the 31st and seeing how we stack up against everybody. It’s been six years since I’ve turned any laps out here.”

Whitley first began racing at Southern National in 2002, while also racing some at East Carolina Motor Speedway in Robersonville, mostly in four-cylinder cars, before transitioning to dirt. He raced at Southern National again when the track reopened in 2012 in a Charger car but has not raced at Southern National since.

During his time away from the high banked track in Lucama, the surface has changed. The track surface is grittier, leading to less grip and more tire wear.

“The track definitely has more wear and tear in it,” Whitley explained. “A few more bumps here and there. We explored the track, figuring out where they were and worked through them. It’s lost a little bit of grip. I think this track was last repaved in 2006 so you can definitely tell it’s got some age on it. It doesn’t have as much grip and is a little looser.”

During the week, Whitley is a firefighter for the City of Wilson’s fire department.

“It’s a selfless job,” Whitley remarked. “I’ve been there for 11 years. Sometimes, it’s a lot of long hours. I try to stay cool and calm in intense situations and that kind of transfers over to racing.”

Now that he’s back in a racecar at Southern National, Whitley’s goal is the same as any other driver’s goal – winning.

“I wouldn’t leave the house if I didn’t think we stood a chance at winning,” Whitley commented. “I think, overall, we’ll be pretty good. There’s a lot of stiff competition in Limited Late Models. I’m just fortunate enough to have support behind me getting this car out here and I hope we can put it to the front.”

Whitley’s Limited Late Model debut will come on Saturday in the Easter Bunny 100 which will also feature racing for the USAC Easter Midgets, Mini-Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros and Any Cars. The green flag will fly at 2pm. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-12 while kids five and under are admitted free.

For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at http://www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.

Myrtle Beach CARS Tour Victory Super Sweet For Fultz and Walker

Photo: CARS Tour Press Release

MOORESVILLE, NC – It really isn’t a dream for Chris Walker. The long-time car owner in late model and ProCup circles is still pinching himself every morning since his team picked up their first win in the BakerDist.com 200 at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Saturday, the opening super late model race of the season for the CARS Response Energy Tour.

“This morning when I woke up, the check and the trophy are sitting on my fireplace mantle, but it still hasn’t sunk in,” Walker admitted. “That first one, it’s hard to top it.”

For many outside of the team’s inner circle, it was hard to believe the race was his first win in nearly a decade of car ownership. Most team owners who have had the litany of drivers in their machines as Walker has routinely are associated with winning. And though he had been close, it never happened before. “I’ve owned cars from back around ’09 in the Hedgecock late model days and Alex Yontz has driven for me, Brandon Butler, Tommy Lemons, Clay Rogers and others, but I don’t think you’ll ever top this one unless we move up and run Trucks or something like that,” the 33-year old car owner said. “That’s what so many people couldn’t believe. My close friends knew that was my first one. Other people, they knew we had ProCup cars before and I’ve been with people who’ve

“I’ve owned cars from back around ’09 in the Hedgecock late model days and Alex Yontz has driven for me, Brandon Butler, Tommy Lemons, Clay Rogers and others, but I don’t think you’ll ever top this one unless we move up and run Trucks or something like that,” the 33-year old car owner said. “That’s what so many people couldn’t believe. My close friends knew that was my first one. Other people, they knew we had ProCup cars before and I’ve been with people who’ve won, and to be a winning owner for the first time, I don’t think you’ll ever top that. It means the world to me. Me and Fultz hung out last night, and he’s won a ton of races, but I think he sees in me how excited I am.”The end result was the product of a weekend’s worth of work with a piecemeal team. In a period when many teams have paid crews dedicated to making their car perform, Walker’s crew was all-volunteer and a group of friends he and Fultz

The end result was the product of a weekend’s worth of work with a piecemeal team. In a period when many teams have paid crews dedicated to making their car perform, Walker’s crew was all-volunteer and a group of friends he and Fultz mingle with away from the track. Yes, their careers are involved in professional motorsports positions during any other weekend, but the schedules lined up to create the crew they used this past weekend. “The weekend went really smooth from tech to Saturday, getting through tech and getting tires and all of that stuff,” driver Jeff Fultz said of the weekend. “We had no issues with really anything. The car was brand new, so we had a few little things because it was new, normal stuff, but other than that I can’t say we had any issues at all. We build the cars and put them together, and they’re just built right.”

“The weekend went really smooth from tech to Saturday, getting through tech and getting tires and all of that stuff,” driver Jeff Fultz said of the weekend. “We had no issues with really anything. The car was brand new, so we had a few little things because it was new, normal stuff, but other than that I can’t say we had any issues at all. We build the cars and put them together, and they’re just built right.”During the week, Fultz runs and manages Fury Racecars, the chassis builder for Walker Motorsports, so he has intricate knowledge of each car the business creates, Walker’s included. Because of this, the 46-year old has semi-retired from the driver’s seat, racing part-time as his schedule allows with customers often needing his assistance on race weekends.

During the week, Fultz runs and manages Fury Racecars, the chassis builder for Walker Motorsports, so he has intricate knowledge of each car the business creates, Walker’s included. Because of this, the 46-year old has semi-retired from the driver’s seat, racing part-time as his schedule allows with customers often needing his assistance on race weekends. When the opportunity came from Walker to race at Myrtle Beach, one of his favorite tracks, Fultz jumped on it.

When the opportunity came from Walker to race at Myrtle Beach, one of his favorite tracks, Fultz jumped on it.”It probably took four or five laps to get back into the swing of things, but it’s one of those places I probably excel better at,” Fultz explained. “I like driving it, it’s a place I sorta adapted to, even in All-Pro. It’s one of my favorite places to race because you have different driving styles and you have to be smoother and manage the car. It’s kind of like a chess game when you’re racing at Myrtle Beach. It can play out different ways. It’s such a fun place and it really suits what I like.”

“It probably took four or five laps to get back into the swing of things, but it’s one of those places I probably excel better at,” Fultz explained. “I like driving it, it’s a place I sorta adapted to, even in All-Pro. It’s one of my favorite places to race because you have different driving styles and you have to be smoother and manage the car. It’s kind of like a chess game when you’re racing at Myrtle Beach. It can play out different ways. It’s such a fun place and it really suits what I like.”After the completion of Fivestar Bodies Knockout Qualifying, Fultz found himself the fastest car in the field for the 100-lap, $10,000-to-win race in his first outing with the team. Because of the multi-round format, he started the race in third, but it took only a minute until the No. 54 was out front. From that point forward, Fultz led the majority of the race up until the lap 70

After the completion of Fivestar Bodies Knockout Qualifying, Fultz found himself the fastest car in the field for the 100-lap, $10,000-to-win race in his first outing with the team. Because of the multi-round format, he started the race in third, but it took only a minute until the No. 54 was out front. From that point forward, Fultz led the majority of the race up until the lap 70 break for tires.”I ran just hard enough to where I wasn’t hurting the tires at all,” Fultz said of the first 70 laps of the race. “Trying not to abuse the tires was all I was trying to do. If someone wanted to push a little harder, I would just let ’em go. Preston tried to, and I pushed a little harder but still wasn’t hurting the tires. I know what it feels like when grip starts fading or if you’re sliding them. I think we all could’ve run a little faster without hurting them, especially getting new tires. I really would have raced a little harder, but it played out that way which was a lucky thing.”

“I ran just hard enough to where I wasn’t hurting the tires at all,” Fultz said of the first 70 laps of the race. “Trying not to abuse the tires was all I was trying to do. If someone wanted to push a little harder, I would just let ’em go. Preston tried to, and I pushed a little harder but still wasn’t hurting the tires. I know what it feels like when grip starts fading or if you’re sliding them. I think we all could’ve run a little faster without hurting them, especially getting new tires. I really would have raced a little harder, but it played out that way which was a lucky thing.”Walker also knew Fultz was good at tire management, likely the best in the field, but had some nervous energy entering the break.

Walker also knew Fultz was good at tire management, likely the best in the field, but had some nervous energy entering the break.”I was pretty emotional, still, with 30 laps to go at the break,” Walker said. “Weeder did a good job on the tires and gave him what he wanted, but it was a matter of how tight it was going to get with the right sides only. We had to go out low [on air pressure

“I was pretty emotional, still, with 30 laps to go at the break,” Walker said. “Weeder did a good job on the tires and gave him what he wanted, but it was a matter of how tight it was going to get with the right sides only. We had to go out low [on air pressure], but didn’t know what it would do when they built up some heat. When we jacked up the left side and Weeder said the left rear still had the centerline in it, then I knew he knew he’d been saving. When we knew that, I knew we had a pretty good piece, all we did was put some tape on the grille and cleaned it. I knew then it was good to go, I just didn’t know if he was going to stretch it out or if there was going to be a lot of cautions or if Raphael or Craig were going to come flying back up. You didn’t know who had rode because the pace was really, really slow.”Upon the green flag to resume the race, Fultz and the Walker Motorsports crew were full speed ahead. Knowing the race had been slower than normal up to that point, everyone was aware things would likely pick up rather quickly on the abrasive half-mile at Myrtle Beach Speedway. One one of the restarts, Fultz had a mental lapse and nearly cost himself the race.

Upon the green flag to resume the race, Fultz and the Walker Motorsports crew were full speed ahead. Knowing the race had been slower than normal up to that point, everyone was aware things would likely pick up rather quickly on the abrasive half-mile at Myrtle Beach Speedway. One one of the restarts, Fultz had a mental lapse and nearly cost himself the race.”I was nervous, almost with every caution,” Walker said. “Like, one time, he got to the white line and got confused on where to start because CARS has a little different way of restarting, so when he launched I was hoping it didn’t get us put to the rear of the field just for that, they said that was our warning. I would say I was nervous the whole time.”

“I was nervous, almost with every caution,” Walker said. “Like, one time, he got to the white line and got confused on where to start because CARS has a little different way of restarting, so when he launched I was hoping it didn’t get us put to the rear of the field just for that, they said that was our warning. I would say I was nervous the whole time.”Walker’s nerves continued for another 30 laps until Fultz cruised underneath the white flag, en route to what appeared to be a relatively easy win. Seconds later, again, a small mental mistake nearly cost the team victory within sight of the checkered flag.

Walker’s nerves continued for another 30 laps until Fultz cruised underneath the white flag, en route to what appeared to be a relatively easy win. Seconds later, again, a small mental mistake nearly cost the team victory within sight of the checkered flag.”There was never an ‘oh crap,’ until turn three on the last lap, and I just got in too low, and I never do that,” Fultz recalled of the final circuit. “I almost slipped up. If it would’ve been anyone but Chandler (Smith) there, they would’ve run into me. I had to stop it so I wouldn’t give up too much of the bottom. Then, I spun the tires all the way up to the

“There was never an ‘oh crap,’ until turn three on the last lap, and I just got in too low, and I never do that,” Fultz recalled of the final circuit. “I almost slipped up. If it would’ve been anyone but Chandler (Smith) there, they would’ve run into me. I had to stop it so I wouldn’t give up too much of the bottom. Then, I spun the tires all the way up to the start finish line and it looked like he got a good run. He raced me clean, but if I was racing someone else I would’ve been a little bit more nervous they would’ve run into the back of me or something like that.”Walker recalled those moments in real-time, thinking back to everything which came together to make it happen.

Walker recalled those moments in real-time, thinking back to everything which came together to make it happen.”That’s when all the emotions hit,” he said. “Fultz just got in the zone, and Fritz up there talking to him in his ear is really good. He just had to get up on the wheel, and I think that’s what he did. I felt like Chandler would race him, but not dump him to get the win. He had ’em, he just parked it in the center when it got tight, and he barely caught him at the end. His emotions were high too, I know he was feeling exactly what I was feeling. He worked all night Wednesday night by himself at the shop, and we worked around the clock the last three weeks because they were busy over there already building cars and putting clips on. He’s selling cars, talking to customers, traveling with Steven (Wallace), every weekend he’s raced. So, I think me and him had pretty much the same emotion. We both put everything we had into it.”

“That’s when all the emotions hit,” he said. “Fultz just got in the zone, and Fritz up there talking to him in his ear is really good. He just had to get up on the wheel, and I think that’s what he did. I felt like Chandler would race him, but not dump him to get the win. He had ’em, he just parked it in the center when it got tight, and he barely caught him at the end. His emotions were high too, I know he was feeling exactly what I was feeling. He worked all night Wednesday night by himself at the shop, and we worked around the clock the last three weeks because they were busy over there already building cars and putting clips on. He’s selling cars, talking to customers, traveling with Steven (Wallace), every weekend he’s raced. So, I think me and him had pretty much the same emotion. We both put everything we had into it.””You do lose a little bit when you get a bit older, but I still get in cars quite a bit,” Fultz said, laughing off the moniker he’s been given as an ‘old man’ in the car. “This just shows how much the program is built here to help our customers. I still love to do it, if I just had to show up and race a car, I’d do it all day in any series. When you have to do everything – work on the car, build ’em, worry about business, worry about this, this, and make a living, we’ve kind of gone past it. This still gives me the drive to do it, and keeps a little bit of that fire inside because I love helping our customers, too.”

“You do lose a little bit when you get a bit older, but I still get in cars quite a bit,” Fultz said, laughing off the moniker he’s been given as an ‘old man’ in the car. “This just shows how much the program is built here to help our customers. I still love to do it, if I just had to show up and race a car, I’d do it all day in any series. When you have to do everything – work on the car, build ’em, worry about business, worry about this, this, and make a living, we’ve kind of gone past it. This still gives me the drive to do it, and keeps a little bit of that fire inside because I love helping our customers, too.”And for Walker, that’s exactly what he needed.

And for Walker, that’s exactly what he needed.”I just build the car and love to go racing,” Walker said. “I don’t want to drive and don’t care

“I just build the car and love to go racing,” Walker said. “I don’t want to drive and don’t care to. I would rather put him in it, or if we can rent it, because there’s no more house cars at Fury, that’s fine. If we can go play and have fun, like this one because it all worked out, that’s fine too. We’re all good friends off the track, go out to eat together, hang out, call, whether racing or not. I think the knowledge is what got us there. Without our core guys, sure, it was a fluke win, but with Fultz, Fritz, Mike Darne, Weeder — everyone together put us there.”I couldn’t talk,” Walker said in reference to the end of the race. “I stayed up on top of the pit box because we had enough people to change tires and pit the car. It was emotional, and that’s why I sat on the pit box because it wasn’t going to do me any good to work on it. All I did was clean the grille screen. Anything else, I get too nervous because that’s like my baby out there. I have a lot tied up in that car and it has the best of everything you can get, the latest and greatest. Walking down pit road, I don’t think it hit. When he first pulled up, that’s when I started crying. Then, here came everyone, and it was just emotional. I gave it all I had and we kind of put the group of us together, and since we’re all friends on and off the track, I think that’s what meant more to me than anything. It still really hasn’t sunk in. Everyone’s called, texted, emailed, it just hasn’t really sunk in yet. It

“I couldn’t talk,” Walker said in reference to the end of the race. “I stayed up on top of the pit box because we had enough people to change tires and pit the car. It was emotional, and that’s why I sat on the pit box because it wasn’t going to do me any good to work on it. All I did was clean the grille screen. Anything else, I get too nervous because that’s like my baby out there. I have a lot tied up in that car and it has the best of everything you can get, the latest and greatest. Walking down pit road, I don’t think it hit. When he first pulled up, that’s when I started crying. Then, here came everyone, and it was just emotional. I gave it all I had and we kind of put the group of us together, and since we’re all friends on and off the track, I think that’s what meant more to me than anything. It still really hasn’t sunk in. Everyone’s called, texted, emailed, it just hasn’t really sunk in yet. It kinda, sorta has, but not yet.” While the story is one for storybooks and Hollywood movies, this tale is real. In a sense, Walker is a throwback to old-school car owners who do it for the love of the sport and the

While the story is one for storybooks and Hollywood movies, this tale is real. In a sense, Walker is a throwback to old-school car owners who do it for the love of the sport and the comraderie of their buddies. Although he and Fultz have been friends for years, it was an otherwise casual conversation which lit the fire for what has already been a successful partnership.”He called me up after I sold him some furniture and said, ‘Man, if you wanna go racing, I can put it together.’ It took longer than we wanted it to, but it paid off.”

“He called me up after I sold him some furniture and said, ‘Man, if you wanna go racing, I can put it together.’ It took longer than we wanted it to, but it paid off.”

For more information on Walker Motorsports, visit their website at ChrisWalkerMotorsports.com, follow them on Facebook (@ChrisWalkerMotorsportsInc), Twitter (@CWMTeam), and Instagram (@WalkerMotorsports).

Driver Jeff Fultz can also be found on various social media including Facebook (@JeffFultzRacing), Twitter (@JeffFultz) and Instagram (@JeffFultz).

Racing Returns to Hampton this Weekend at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway

Sellers Racing driver Logan Jones at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway open practice. (Shawn Dulin/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Hampton, VA – Towards the end of every race season drivers, crew, and some might experience some case of “burn out” when it comes to racing. When you stop and think about it, it is totally understandable. For four weeks a month, six months or more out of the year, guys and girls are thrashing on these race cars in some of the hottest and coldest conditions. We get it; everyone needs a good break to recharge the batteries, right? Then we get to the middle of February, everyone gets charged up from the Daytona 500 and is ready to get back to the racetrack. Well, that time has finally come and we are set to go racing this weekend at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway.

Six divisions and seven races are slated for Pomoco Auto Group Opening night at Langley Speedway and for those planning to make an entire day out it, you can find the race day schedule below. As usual general admission gates will open at 2:00 PM just in time for practice to get underway. Qualifying will follow at 4:30 PM with the green flag slated to drop approx. 7:00 PM EDT. Make sure you get there early to grab your seat for the show; you will not want to miss opening night.

This year is going to be a year like no other at the historic .395-mile oval, located just on the other side of the highway from Langley Air Force Base. With defending Late Model series Matt Waltz announcing he will not be returning to full-time competition in 2018, long time series veteran Mark Wertz announcing this will be his final full-time season behind the wheel, we are set up for a classic battle of the ages between drivers like Greg and Danny Edwards, Brenden Queen, Nick Smith, and Connor Hall – Youth vs. Experience.

“We want win number one-hundred, be a contender every week, and go out a champion,” Wertz told The Weekly Racer this week during an afternoon test session. “We reworked the entire car and upgraded a lot of stuff to try and make a full 110% effort. We will race more big races next year and pick and choose races. That keeps us out of the weekly points grind and stress.”

We asked Mark, who is not only a veteran Late Model racer but a Langley Speedway veteran holding back-to-back track championships along with two regional championships, if this youth movement in racing changed the way he looked at his final full-time season at his home track and what advice he might have for these young racers, can’t say that we were all that surprised with his answer, and that is a good thing.

“I view a car as a number,” Wertz went on to say. “Once the green drops I try to race it hard and as clean as I can with hopes that’s how I’m raced in return. Some numbered cars you might have a little memory of more than others or in other words precede with caution. As for the younger drivers coming along all I can say is

Stay focused on your dreams. Learn the car and how things work – action to reaction – try to understand a change and why you’re making it. Represent yourself as a gentleman, or a lady whichever it may be, represent your sponsors to the fullest if you want them to stay with you. Respect your crew and team and those who make it all happen. Most of all don’t show your tail, try to get out of the car and think about the situation and cool off before you go do something you regret later. Oh and always, always mention your sponsor’s name, contact info and what they are about don’t just say ‘I would like to thank my sponsors.’”

Connor Hall just happens to be one of those “Young Guns” moving up in the sport and really looking to make a name for himself in 2018. After collecting three wins last season under the “adult supervision” – and we might use that word loosely – of Mark Wertz and veteran spotter Dave Oshman ­with one of those wins came at his home track of Langley Speedway beating eventual track champ Matt Waltz and eventual national champ Lee Pulliam, Hall cannot wait to get back to the racetrack.

“Having the win here [Langley Speedway] as well as two other NASCAR tracks [Dominion and Carteret] has helped me build on my book of experience,” Hall told The Weekly Racer. “It has definitely helped me start to realize that I am starting to get to the crest of the learning curve. I ran well all last season and truly believe one or two most definitely slipped away however we are confident going into the 2018 season and I believe that we were a challenger last season for the win in most instances.”

Towards the end of last season Hall and Wertz formed somewhat of an unofficial teammate scenario with Mark stepping into a mentoring role or ‘crew chief’ as described by Hall in various post-race interviews. Seems like things sure did start to fire on all cylinders though towards the end of the year.

“I know I am racing some of Late Model Stock Cars best competition and some of the most experienced,” Hall went on to say when asked about the Youth vs. Veteran side of racing. “However, I do believe I will be the ‘young gun’ to watch this year!”

It is hard to talk about experience, champions, and seasoned veterans without making mention of the Edwards brothers – who actually hold ten Late Model Stock track championships between the two of them dating back as early as 1989. With that much experience on the race track between the two, won’t it is hard to count either of these veterans out of wins or even championships. Competing in his first Late Model Stock race in 1991 – just before some of the current class of drivers were even born – Poquoson, Virginia driver Greg Edwards realizes that he’s not getting any younger while most of his competition is, however, it won’t change how he races.

“It won’t change the way I race at all,” Edwards said when asked about some of these younger kids running late models this year but also went on to say he will help them grow in the sport as much as he can. “Yes, I’m not getting younger so it’s inevitable that younger people and kids are coming in so sure, I’ll help them all I can. I was there at one time so that’s great for the sport you know, I won’t be doing this forever so I want to win as many races as I can while I still can or possibly as many championships. I love the sport and I’ll help out anybody I can.”

Given the recent track record and success Greg has shown over the last couple years the 97.3 The Eagle car has to be on the top of your list of teams battling for the champion, I know he makes The Weekly Racer short list of contenders. We also asked Greg with the changes to the racing surface in the corners if that would affect much this year for him and his team, he seems to think that the track won’t be that much different.

There is only one true fire way to see if Greg is right about the racing surface, or if Connor Hall is the next hottest thing to come out of Langley Speedway and that is to be there this Saturday night when the green flag drops over the 2018 season. You don’t want to be that one person who misses out what could be a fairytale ending to one local driver’s legendary career, we will see you all trackside. Make sure to follow us on our Twitter feed @theweeklyracer to keep up with all the action throughout the night.

 

Pomoco Auto Group Night Schedule

2:00 PM                                          GENERAL ADMISSION GATES OPEN

2:00 PM                                          PRACTICE BEGINS

4:15 PM                                          DRIVER’S MEETING

4:30 PM                                          QUALIFYING

6:50 PM                                          INVOCATION BY REV. POTTER / NATIONAL ANTHEM

7:00 PM                                          1ST RACE BEGINS

Race Line-Up

  1. CYCLE CITY CORP. Bandolero’s – 15 laps
  2. TAYLOR WASTE SERVICES Late Model Stock Cars – 75 laps
  3. CYCLE CITY CORP. Legend’s – 25 laps
  4. HARRIS TRUCK SHOP Super Trucks – 25 laps
  5. PEPSI Grand Stocks – 40 laps
  6. TAYLOR WASTE SERVICES Late Model Stock Cars – 75 laps
  1. BOJANGLES Enduros – 30 laps

Limited Late Models Prove Competitive in Recent SNMP History

Daryn Cockram on track during practice for the Spooktacular at Southern National Motorsports Park in October 2017. (Photo credit: Andy Marquis/SNMP)

LUCAMA, NC – Three different drivers have won in the last three Limited Late Model races held at Southern National Motorsports Park. Now the stage could be set for a fourth on March 31st.

Rusty Daniels, Jamie York, and Mini Tyrrell have won in the last three Limited Late Model races at Southern National. Daniels’ win came in October during the Spooktacular, while York and Tyrrell each scored victories in the Thanksgiving Classic.

Now, another competitive field is set to take to the high banks.

Daryn Cockram will be making the trip from Blacksburg, Virginia to compete in his black and yellow Limited Late Model. Cockram raced predominantly at Motor Mile Speedway but has made the decision to race at Southern National this season when Motor Mile canceled their oval track racing program.

“The Limited Late Models at Southern National are very competitive,” Cockram said. “You’ve got people like Bradley McCaskill and Deac McCaskill’s daughter is racing now, Tony and Andrew Grady as well. It’s the luck of the draw. That track changes daily. We were fast last year in practice, came back two weeks later with the same car and everything, and we were a seventh-place car. That track is one of its own and everybody is so close. If you’re not dead on, you’re going to lose four or five positions easily.”

Cockram has had strong runs at Southern National, even if the results have not done his performances justice. After racing in a handful of races in 2014, Cockram had been wanting to race full-time one season at Southern National. With his home track no longer hosting races, Cockram committed to a full season at the 4/10-mile track in Lucama, North Carolina.

“We’re going to run the full season at Southern National and South Boston,” Cockram explained. “Motor Mile affected a bunch of people when they closed. I always loved that track and have always been competitive. I always wanted to come down to Southern National and run a full season. When Motor Mile closed its doors, the first thing I said was I was fixing our car and heading down there.”

Kenansville, North Carolina’s Paul Williamson knows first-hand how competitive the Limited Late Model division is at Southern National Motorsports Park and he expects it to remain competitive in 2018.

“I think the Limited Late Model division will be stout,” Williamson said. “I expect there to be a lot of competitive racing in this division all season out at Southern National.”

Williamson has run regularly at Southern National for the past several seasons and knocked on the door of his first Late Model win. He scored seven top-five finishes in the regular season in the Late Model class last year and could be poised for a breakthrough Limited Late Model victory this season.

“I’m looking forward to racing this weekend at Southern National,” Williamson remarked. “We’re hoping to bring what we learned last year into this year and continue to get better. I feel we have a strong car and strong team.”

Cockram and Williamson will both join what is expected to be a very competitive field of Limited Late Models, which includes Rusty Daniels, Ashlyn McCaskill, Brandon Whitley and a host of others.

The Limited Late Model season will get underway on Saturday afternoon with the Easter Bunny 100. In addition to the 100-lap Limited Late Model race, Saturday’s program will feature the USAC Eastern Midgets, Mini-Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros and Any Cars. The green flag will fly at 2pm.

Saturday’s Easter Bunny 100-lap Limited Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park will be run under a segmented race format similar to what is used in NASCAR racing.

The first two segments of the Easter Bunny 100, which are sponsored by Mike Darne Racing, will run for 30 laps each while the final stage will run for 40 laps.  Following each of the first two stages, which will pay $50-to-win, a five-minute segment break will take place allowing teams to make adjustments.

“Making the race a segmented race will be exciting for the fans watching in the stands,” Southern National Motorsports Park general manager Charlie Hansen said.  “With each segment paying $50 to the winner, it gives the drivers something to race for in the middle of the race.  Hopefully, the fans and the drivers will enjoy this.”

The first segment will run through lap 30, followed by a five-minute break.  Then, the second segment will run through lap 60, followed by another five-minute segment break.  After that, the final 40 lap segment will be run under normal race conditions.

For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at http://www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.

Hunt-Sellers Racing Adds Late model Driver Colin Garrett to 2018 Lineup

DANVILLE, Va., March 21, 2018 – Hunt-Sellers Racing (HSR) announced on Wednesday that Colin Garrett, South Boston Speedway’s 2017 Limited Sportsman champion, has signed with the team for three races of the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (KNPSE) schedule.  Garrett joins HSR’s driver development program while he competes in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series full-time, focusing on the Dominion Raceway track championship. For his partial KNPSE campaign, Garrett has partnered with Propel GPS.

The 17-year-old, South Boston, Va. native will move to the cockpit of the No. 18 Propel GPS Toyota Camry beginning at Langley Speedway on April 28. He will later compete at Iowa Speedway and the fall race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, two first time visits. With the guidance of team owner, series veteran, and driver coach Sam Hunt, Garrett will be learning valuable skills to compete against the KNPSE field while focusing on winning races.

“It means a lot for me to have the opportunity to be able to run one of these cars for Hunt-Sellers Racing in the K&N series,” said Garrett. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to get to the top of our sport, and I believe making this step at this point in time is the thing to do to further work towards making my dream come true.”

Garrett began racing in 2015 when he joined Sellers Racing Inc. in the Pure Stock division at South Boston Speedway. He later began racing Limited Late Models (LLM) and Late Model Stock Cars (LMSC), and, in 2017, he won the Limited Sportsman championship title at South Boston Speedway.

“I’m looking forward to working with Colin,” said Sam Hunt. “Since his racing debut in 2015, he has shown a lot of promise. We are excited to see him succeed this season, and we’re lucky to have him as part of our driver development program. But, more importantly, we’re looking ahead to winning races this season with him behind the wheel.”

Hunt also notes that two of the three tracks that Garrett will be competing at will be new to him.

“We’re looking to capitalize on his South Boston Speedway championship last year and the lessons that will be learned this season as Colin chases the Dominion Raceway championship. We’re looking forward to developing his skills to adapt to different scenarios that he will face in the future. He has shown versatility, and he has the drive and determination to win.”

As part of the program, Garrett will be competing in LMSC’s throughout the 2018 season in addition to the three KNPSE races he has signed for. He will be racing with Sellers Racing Inc. for the Dominion Raceway track championship in Thornburg, Va. Garrett will also be competing in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown and Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway, the Valley Star Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway, the South Boston Speedway 200 and more.

In February, Garrett had the opportunity to test with HSR in a KNPSE car at Dominion Raceway. The test was a kick-start to the team’s driver development deal with Garrett.

“It was so fun. I was actually pretty nervous at first, but once I got in, it came so naturally to me,” he said.

Propel GPS will be aboard the No. 18 Toyota Camry for all three races. “We’re looking forward to supporting Colin as he is an up-and-coming driver, especially as he is still a teen,” said Propel GPS CEO Rick Burtner. “Colin is a part of our platform for driver safety which has an emphasis on teen and family safe driving.”

“I can’t thank Propel GPS enough for coming on board with us this season,” said Colin Garrett. “I’m looking forward to representing them, and I look forward to tackling these three races with HSR.”

 

About Hunt-Sellers Racing

Hunt-Sellers Racing (HSR) is a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (KNPSE) competing team. The team is owned and operated by veteran KNPSE competitor Sam Hunt and veteran late model stock car driver Peyton Sellers in Danville, Va. 2018 is HSR’s third year in KNPSE competition.

About Propel GPS

Propel GPS is a Virginia-based solution provider, also with an office in North Carolina and a shipping warehouse in the Los Angeles area, that offers an IoT/Cloud-based platform for assets of all types with vertical market applications in commercial vehicle fleet, transportation, utilities and construction equipment management. The Propel GPS solution delivers asset and temperature monitoring, along-route virtual geographic boundaries and fleet tracking. The software supports full reporting capabilities by vehicle, fleet, driver or team, allowing for a reduction in cost and an increase in productivity.

South Boston Speedway Offering Free Admission To Season Opener For Anyone With Martinsville Speedway Ticket

Photo: South Boston Speedway Facebook

SOUTH BOSTON, VA – South Boston Speedway wants you to double your fun if you plan on going to one of Martinsville Speedway’s two big race days next weekend.

The speedway announced Wednesday free admission to the Danville Toyota Twin 100s on March 24 for anyone presenting a ticket or ticket stub from either the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race or the STP 500 NASCAR Monster Energy Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

The Danville Toyota Twin 100s are slated to take the green flag at 7 p.m. on March 24. The Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville is an afternoon race on March 24 while the STP 500 is on March 25.

“We think this is a great way to introduce some folks to racing at South Boston Speedway that has never been here before and at the same time offer a real bargain to any of our longtime fans who may be going to either of the Martinsville races,” said Cathy Rice, South Boston Speedway’s general manager.

South Boston Speedway’s season-opening Danville Toyota Twin 100s on March 24 will feature twin 100-lap Late Model Stock races, a 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race and a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race.

Tickets are $10 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Fan gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the first race taking the green flag at 7 p.m.

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