Shawn Balluzzo Returns to Dale Lemonds Victory Lane After Emotional Off-Season

Hampton, VA – By now it is no secret that Shawn Balluzzo, defending and record holding ten-time Modified champion, and family has had a roller coaster offseason dealing with off tracks things. Towards the end of the 2018 race season, it was announced that his youngest daughter Bryce was diagnosed with leukemia – a cancer of the blood. However, if you don’t know a Balluzzo or their family, then you don’t know how much of fighters they are. Bryce with the help of family, friends, and Fanschoice stayed strong even in the hardest times and is pushing through. Much like her father did at the end of last season to secure his tenth division title and come back just as strong in 2019.

After being fastest all day in practice, Shawn Balluzzo was the man to beat in qualifying as well, putting down a lap time of 15.961. Filling out the top five would be Matt Carter, Bubba Johnston, Jamie Sample, and Kyle Wood. Fourteen Modifieds would enter the contest this past Saturday for twin 40-lap races tonight.

As the first 40 lap feature got underway, Balluzzo jumped out to an early lead and pulled away from Matt Carter. After several laps of hard racing for the third position, Jamie Sample spun out to bring out the first caution of the race. The restart would come and Balluzzo would pull away from the field once again. Sample would make his way back to the top five until he made contact with Louie Pasderetz, who made his move up from the Grand Stock division and will be competing for Rookie of the Year and spun him around to bring out the caution.

At the halfway point Balluzzo still showed the way over Matt Carter, Bubba Johnston, Bobby Gery, and Kyle Wood. Battles throughout the field would start to begin as Danny Harrell, TJ Largena and Rick Gdovick fought for the eighth position. With only three laps to go, Gery did all he could to get past Carter the for third position but couldn’t manage. The checkered flag waved for the driver of the No. 48 machine Shawn Balluzzo followed by Bubba Johnston, Matt Carter, Bobby Gery, and Jamie Sample rounding out your top five.

The second twin 40 of the night, as usual on twin nights, was an exciting one. Due to NASCAR rules, the field had to invert up to the top eight from the first race putting TJ Largena on the pole. Danny Harrell would line up second, Kyle Wood third, Jamie Sample fourth and Bobby Gery starting fifth. After just one lap, the majority of the field didn’t make it out of turn one. Bubba Johnston’s and Matt Carter’s cars were unable to continue the race. On the following restart, Kyle Wood would take over the lead for a good fifteen laps as things began to heat up throughout the field.

The second caution of the race would come after Balluzzo and Gery were battling for position and made contact with each other sending both to the rear of the field. Jamie Sample would take the lead away from Kyle Wood on the restart and start to pull away. Balluzzo would make his charge back through the field and into the top five just a few laps later. With only nine laps left in the race, Bobby Gery hit the backstretch wall hard ultimately bringing out the red flag.

Once back green and with only five laps to go, Balluzzo would battle Sample for the lead and ultimately take it from him. From there Balluzzo would hold on to the win and double down on the night and open 2019 with two wins. Jamie Sample, Matt Morgan, Rick Gdovick and Louie Pasderetz rounded out your top five.

Larry King Law Modified Race Results #1:

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #51 Bubba Johnston; 40
  3. #78 Matt Carter; 40
  4. #60 Bobby Gery; 40
  5. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  6. #19 Kyle Wood; 40
  7. #95 Danny Harrell; 40
  8. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  9. #47 Rick Gdovic; 40
  10. #26 Louie Pasderetz; 40
  11. #7 Grant Blasingame; 40
  12. #16 Eric McPherson; 40
  13. #98 Matt Morgan; 26
  14. #3 Brad Adams; 14

Larry King Law Modified Race Results #2:

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  3. #98 Matt Morgan; 40
  4. #47 Rick Gdovic; 40
  5. #26 Louie Pasderetz; 40
  6. #19 Kyle Wood; 40
  7. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  8. #7 Grant Blasingame; 40
  9. #16 Eric McPherson; 39
  10. #60 Bobby Gery; 31
  11. #95 Danny Harrell; 16
  12. #78 Matt Carter; 1
  13. #51 Bubba Johnston; 1

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