Nick Smith & Mark Wertz Split Smithfield Food Twin Bill at Langley Speedway

Nick Smith wins race one on Smithfield Food Night.

Hampton, VA ­­– Conner Hall from Hampton, VA was the man to beat early in the afternoon at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division. After being forced to take several weeks off due to various rainouts, Hall clocked in 15.645-second lap (90.892 MPH) to earn his first pole award of the year. Nick Smith, Danny Edwards Jr., Brenden Queen, Mark Wertz completed the fastest five cars.Per usual, when you have twin features on the evening the first race is rather calm. Drivers tend to do a lot of riding, plenty of room is given by all, and we all go into the

Per usual, when you have twin features on the evening the first race is rather calm. Drivers tend to do a lot of riding, plenty of room is given by all, and we all go into the eight car invert happy – race one was no different this weekend at Langley Speedway. Hall and Smith would spend the first lap door-to-door battling for the top spot, however, it would be Conner leading the first four of the 75-lap feature. Nick Smith would mount a charge the following lap and take the lead from Conner on lap five a drive away from the rest of the field and crews to victory.

Behind them, however, witnessed some amazing racing between some of the young guns and seasoned veterans of the sport. The biggest shock of the first race came on lap 49 when pole sitter Conner Hall went up in smoke to bring out the races first and only caution. On the ensuing restart, Nick Smith made quick work of the field and powered back into the lead over Danny Edwards Jr., Mark Wertz, Danny Edwards, Justin Carroll, Brenden Queen, Thomas Marks, and Rodney Boyd completed the top eight.

“This race means so much to me,” Smith said after the race in victory lane. “We worked our butts off, I didn’t know if we had a win in us. I thought, the hard work is going to pay off and it did so will see what happens in this second race. What else can I say, great race and glad to be back in Victory Lane.”

Following the NASCAR rule book the top eight cars were inverted for the second feature giving Rodney Boyd the pole, Thomas Marks lined up to his outside. Mark Wertz, who was supposed to roll off sixth, elected to start from the rear. Conner Hall was able to get his back up car to the track and unloaded to also start in the rear. Shawn Balluzzo, who was making his return to Late Model racing after more than a decade, was unable to answer the bell after transmission issues plagued him in the first race.

At the drop of the green flag Chesapeake native, Brenden Queen was quick to the throttle and dove under Boyd into turn one to take the lead. Justin Carroll would follow him into the second position with the Edwards brothers hot on their tails. There was plenty of racing to watch from the front of the field – Queen & Carroll working to hold off Greg Edwards, Mark Wertz rocketing through the field, as well as Cameron Bowen flexing his muscles after overheating issues in race one.

The first of two lead changes took place on lap 28 when Greg Edwards finally got around Queen after battling door-to-door for a handful of laps. Mark Wertz made the pass soon after on Queen, who started to fall backwards after his car tightened up.

It was just past the halfway point of the race when Wertz got around Greg Edwards for the lead and fully mashed the “Check Out Button” and eventually opening up more than a straightaway lead. Behind that, however, saw some very exciting and intense racing between Brenden Queen, Justin Carroll, Cameron Bowan, and Danny Edwards Jr trading more than their fair share of “paint.”

Several cars fell off the pace later in the race. Pole sitter Conner Hall was one of them after deciding to park the backup car after contact with another racer and not wanting to damage the car, Nick Smith also pulled off early with issues. The first and only caution in the second race came with just under five laps to go after a scary moment in turn two. Thomas Marks lost a right front tire right in front of Greg Edwards, Justin Carroll, and Cameron Bowen. Luckily everyone stayed off of each other, Marks stayed off the wall and was able to limp his machine back down pit road.

After the field was bunched back up, drivers either took the cone or didn’t, the race was resumed with two Langley Speedway vets Mark Wertz and Greg Edwards on the front row. Edwards, making one last attempt at the lead, pinched Wertz down to the apron going into the corner but did not have enough to get the double nickel down and Wertz powered back to the lead out of two and the eventual race win. Justin Carroll took full advantage of the restart falling into the second position, however would lose the spot to Greg before the end of the race. Danny Edwards Jr., and Brenden Queen would complete the top five finishers.

The victory marked win number 100 for the Chesapeake native who announced earlier this year that 2018 will be his last year of full-time racing.

“We’ve been testing a lot, lots of shop time, the guys been busting their butts,” Wertz said in victory lane. “We learned a little bit, I knew we had a pretty good car in the first race, we were just one adjustment away. I knew those last three laps were gonna be rough, I was not going to be denied, we were either going to wreck em or win. This is number one hundred for me and I’ve spent thirty years trying to get em.”

 In other divisions, Danny Millard was able to get around Aaron Leach in the closing laps of the Hampton Roads Kart Club Wing Champ Kart race to take the win. Sean Calway was deemed the winner of the very physical Super Street feature after Dale Paro, who was first to take the checkered flag, was disqualified due to a carburetor issue. Adam Florian picked up another victory in the Pro Six series to remain undefeated and Mike Joyner grabbed another win in the Bojangle’s Enduro nightcap.

Racing will return to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway next weekend for a Fathers Day special – twin Late Model features along with Modifieds, Grand Stocks, Super Trucks, Legends, Bando’s, and Enduro’s.

 

Taylor Waste Services Late Model Race 1 OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #12 Nick Smith; 75
  2. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.; 75
  3. #55 Mark Wertz; 75
  4. #97 Greg Edwards; 75
  5. #91 Justin Carroll; 75
  6. #03 Brenden Queen; 75
  7. #88 Thomas Marks; 75
  8. #9 Rodney Boyd; 75
  9. #25 Craig Eastep; 75
  10. #16 Chris Flowers; 75
  11. #75 Logan Jones; 75
  12. #77 Conner Hall; 49
  13. #20 Shawn Balluzzo; 44
  14. #4 Duane Shreeves; 37
  15. #19 Cameron Bowen; 14

 

Taylor Waste Services Late Model Race 2 OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #55 Mark Wertz; 75
  2. #97 Greg Edwards; 75
  3. #91 Justin Carroll; 75
  4. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.; 75
  5. #03 Brenden Queen; 75
  6. #25 Craig Eastep; 75
  7. #19 Cameron Bowen; 75
  8. #9 Rodney Boyd; 75
  9. #16 Chris Flowers; 74
  10. #75 Logan Jones; 74
  11. #88 Thomas Marks; 70
  12. #12 Nick Smith; 59
  13. #77 Conner Hall; 44
  14. #4 Duane Shreeves; 6

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