Philip Morris Doubles Down in Wild Season Opener at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway

Hampton, VA – The entire week leading up to Pomoco Auto Group Opening Night at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway, the talk around town was the speed the Late Model Stock Cars were producing during private test sessions and practice. Philip Morris, “The King of Late Model Racing” drummed up plenty of talks Thursday afternoon when he unofficially broke the track record. He continued to have people talking Saturday afternoon through qualifying when he laid down a lap almost a full two-tenths quicker than the record to claim it for himself. The buzz continued throughout the night after some controversy followed his wins.

When the green flag flew for the first of two 75-lap features, four-time track champion, C.E. Falk jumped out to an early lead from the third starting position. Falk looked to have the car to beat early on, however, that would all change just past the halfway point of the race when the two were attempting to put slower cars a lap down. Morris had a helping hand, so to speak, from the slower machine of Cameron Bowen going into turn one when the two leaders split Bowen. Falk was forced up the track into the marbles allowing Morris to get by on the low line.

Falk would have a shot at redemptions several laps later when the caution was displayed after Carlton spun going into turn three while going a lap down to Morris but Falk was not able to capitalize on the restart and would have to settle with second has they powered off turn two. The next handful of laps behind the leaders were interesting, however, the race was able to stay green and Morris picked up the first Late Model victory of the 2018 season. C.E. Falk, Justin T. Carroll, Mark Wertz, and Anthony Alfredo were the top five finishers.

Per the NASCAR rulebook, there was an eight-car invert from the first race to the second. This put Brenden Queen on the pole with Connor Hall lined up to his outside. Chalk it up to a cool and semi-green track, drivers needing to make moves or the full moon that was over the speedway but race number two got interesting and fast followed by a little drama and controversy.For the cautions and carnage that was missed in the first race, we found it in the second. Not but two laps in the “big one” happens in turns one and two forcing several drivers to end their nights early. After extensive cleanup was complete the cars were allowed to go back to green flag racing and there were battles all over the place. Queen had to work overtime to keep his position at the head of the field, however, Connor Hall and Philip Morris were doing everything in their power to keep him honest.

A handful of just purely awesome battles for position – along with wrecks took place behind the incredible fight for the lead. Seriously, everyone, we were seeing power moves under cars, crossovers down the backstretch, it was an amazing sight to see until there were ten laps to go and then things just got weird. Philip Morris, who had started to fall way off the pace and the wrong way spun going into turn three. Flat tires and a little help from a lapped car was the culprit behind his spin. Morris would bring his car to the attention of his crew where they changed both right side tires. A change that was later confirmed by track officials with photographic proof that Morris did, in fact, have two punctures to the right side tires. Either way, the change had both fans in the stands and fans watching LIVE via Fanschoice questioning what was going on.

We weren’t done there, everyone. Once the field was let loose for what should have been the final ten lap shootout to the checkers we witnessed an incident in turn three that brought out the yellow flag yet again after Queen was shoved into the corner by the No. 4 machine of Chase Cabre forcing Queen into Greg Edwards – who was really charging through the field – around. Luckily Edwards was able to keep it off the wall and avoid being hit. The call came down from the tower that the No. 03 machine of Queen would be sent to the rear of the field for aggressive driving. Both driver and crew chief not happy with the call sat on the front stretch. Queen’s car was ultimately removed from the racing surface and the lead was handed over to Hall.

The caution and lack of available racecars on the track played very well in the hands of Morris who was eventually able to track down and pass Connor Hall for the race lead and eventual win. Hall was able to hang on for a second place finish while Rev Racings Ryan Vargas held onto a third-place finish in his first official Late Model Stock car start. Danny Edward Jr. was able to survive the mayhem to finish fourth while brother Greg Edwards rebounded from his spin to finish fifth.

We caught up with Morris after the race to get his thoughts on how the evening unfolded.

“We looked like we had the car to beat that second race,” Morris told The Weekly Racer on pit road following the race. “When I got behind Brenden it looked like were going to be able to pass him pretty good and I don’t know if I made contact with him but we made contact with somebody and the tire started going down. I told the guys there was nothing I could do but ride it out so I was just trying to ride it till the end and stay up in the points for the track. It finally went down coming out of two and I couldn’t get out of the way. Someone was behind me but with these cars, you cant see anything out the mirror because they are so raked now. My spotter was telling me to move but I couldn’t because there was a lap car to my inside and I got turned and when I did all the air went out of it [the tire].

There was a lot of controversy following the race from fans in the stands and those watching the live stream of the race on Fanschoice that Morris bolted on two tires during his pit stop. Track officials later confirmed with the press box that Morris did, in fact, have two puncture’s in both tires and officials on pit road approved them at the time of the change. There was an attempted protest at the conclusion of the second feature that essentially did not have enough merit to stick. We asked Morris about the

“We were just trying to figure out a way to finish as far up as we could. I don’t know what everyone is fussing about, I didn’t want to come in but we had too, I cant just keep going around sparking so that’s what we did. Came in and put old tires on. They probably had fifty-some laps on them where we were testing Thursday and today.”

Philip was ultimately happy with heading back home with two victories in a full field situation as well as leading the points. He left Langley Speedway with a new found respect so to speak of the competition.

“I saw a lot of really good talent out here from some young guys who I did not realize had that much skill and control,” Morris explained. “It’s encouraging to me, you know it’s a great race track, they have a lot of great talent, a lot of good cars, they got the car count, they got it all out here at Langley. I would like to race here again but I don’t want to make anybody mad, I am just driving the car so I am doing all I can in the seat.”

 

Rodney Boyd, who was pulling double duty in the Grand Stocks and Late Model’s drove his way to victory lane in a physical but entertaining Pepsi Grand Stock feature. Dustin Mullins took the victory in the Harris Truck Shop Super Truck feature after pole sitter Jacob Carr has issues early and Alex Florof got back to his winning ways in the Bojangles Enduro’s nightcap.Racing returns to Larry King Law’s Langley

Racing returns to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway next Saturday night with another pair of twin Late Model Stock Car features. The Modifieds, Super Streets, Pro Six, UCAR, and Karts also look to kick off their season.

 

 

Taylor Waste Service Late Model Stock Race #1 OFFICIAL Results

  1. #01 Philip Morris; 75
  2. #02 C.E. Falk; 75
  3. #57 Justin Carroll; 75
  4. #55 Mark Wertz; 75
  5. #4 Anthony Alfredo; 75
  6. #4 Chase Cabre; 75
  7. #77 Conner Hall; 75
  8. #03 Brenden Queen; 75
  9. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.; 75
  10. #50 Garrett Bunch; 75
  11. #2 Ryan Vargas; 75
  12. #98 Nicholas Sanchez; 75
  13. #97 Greg Edwards; 75
  14. #24 Colin Garrett; 75
  15. #12 Nick Smith; 74
  16. #88 Thomas Marks; 74
  17. #75 Logan Jones; 73
  18. #94 Cody Carlton; 73
  19. #41 Woody Howard; 63
  20. #92 Casey Wyatt; 39
  21. #19 Cameron Bowen; 39
  22. #25 Craig Eastep; 36
  23. #8 Tyler Hughes; 35
  24. #9 Rodney Boyd; 23
  25. #6 Ruben Garcia; 1

Taylor Waste Service Late Model Stock Race #2 OFFICIAL Results

  1. #01 Philip Morris; 75
  2. #77 Connor Hall; 75
  3. #2 Ryan Varga; 75
  4. #26 Danny Edwards Jr; 75
  5. #97 Greg Edwards; 75
  6. #94 Cody Carlton; 75
  7. #55 Mart Wertz; 75
  8. #41 Woody Howard; 75
  9. #4 Chase Cabre; 67
  10. #03 Brenden Queen; 65
  11. #8 Tyler Hughes; 65
  12. #12 Nick Smith; 37
  13. #92 Casey Wyatt; 36
  14. #25 Craig Eastep; 35
  15. #88 Thomas Marks; 26
  16. #24 Colin Garrett; 10
  17. #19 Cameron Bowen; 7
  18. #50 Garrett Bunch: 7
  19. #98 Nicholas Sanchez; 7
  20. #6 Ruben Garcia; 7
  21. #4 Anthony Alfredo; 2
  22. #02 C.E. Falk; 2
  23. #57 Justin Carroll; 2
  24. #75 Logan Jones; 2

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