Monthly Archives: July 2019

Shawn Balluzzo Remains Almost Perfect in 2019 at Langley Speedway

Hampton, VA — As the bounty for Shawn Balluzzo continues, Chris Johnson came back to Langley looking for redemption after having mechanical issues the last time the Modifieds raced. He did just that after capturing the pole position with a lap time of 16.392 — ending one of Balluzzo’s streaks this year. Shawn Balluzzo started from the second position with a time of 16.482. Matt Carter, Bubba Johnston, and Rick Gdovic rounded out the top five qualifiers.
Side by side the field went into turns one and two as they took the green flag. Chris Johnson would take the early lead coming out of turn two while Balluzzo and Johnston made contact allowing Carter to take the second spot. Jamie Sample took sixth away from DJ Valente and looked to also make a move on Gdovic for fifth. Balluzzo worked his way back to the bumper of Carter by lap four and eventually the took second spot away.
Balluzzo got the the back bumper of Johnson going into turn three and gave him enough of a tap to let him know he was coming. Also, a three car battle between Carter, Johnston, and Gdovic began for the third position. Gdovic didn’t waste no time in getting past Johnston for fourth and went quickly to Carters bumper as well. Sample took advantage of the battling and joined the picture.

Halfway through the first feature Gdovic got the line he wanted and went to the inside of Carter to take the third position away. Carter got way out of the groove in turn two and that aloud Sample and Johnston to get by.

Looking back up front Balluzzo was able to take the lead on lap 26 and never looked back. That was until the first and only caution came out when TJ Largena made contact with Danny Harrell going into turn one. The contact ultimately sent Harrell spinning.
On the restart, Johnson took the cone to start on the outside of Balluzzo to give him one last shot at the win. Balluzzo got a great jump and Johnson fell in line to second. Going into turn three, Johnson gave it one last shot to move Balluzzo but was not able to make it work. Balluzzo would drive away to pick up his tenth straight win of the season. Chris Johnson, Rick Gdovic, Bubba Johnston, and Jamie Sample rounded out the top five.
With the eight car invert, it was Rookie of the Year contender TJ Largena starting from the pole position. Matt Carter would line up to his outside to start the second 40-lap twin feature.

Once Shane Snyder waved the green flag Carter took off into turn one with Sample taking second over Largena. It didn’t take long for Carter’s lead, however, to go to a half a straightaway over Sample. Balluzzo, who elected to drop to the rear of the field for bonus points, made his way up to fifth place in just ten laps.

The first caution of the race came on lap 10 this time for Brad Adams and Danny Harrell getting together in turn two with Adams going for a spin in the grass. On the following restart Carter got a huge jump once again but it didn’t last long as the second caution came out for Bubba Johnston who returned to track only to spin and eventually park his car again.

Restart would come and again Carter got a great start and powered off into turn one. Gdovic, using the outside line, worked his way around Sample for second. Balluzzo was able to get to fourth position and set his sights on Sample. Balluzzo gave Sample a slight tap going into turn one and was enough to get Sample out of the groove and allowing him to go right by for third. 16 laps into the feature Gdovic had a mirror full of Balluzzo trying to hold the ten time champion off. Balluzzo would eventually make the pass on lap 18 and was on a mission to catch Carter, who had put a good distance between him and the field.

Balluzzo caught Carter by lap 24 as well as took the lead from him. Carter wouldn’t let Balluzzo get too far from him as he kept up the best he could. As the checkered flag flew, Balluzzo sailed off to his eleventh straight victory of the season. Matt Carter, Rick Gdovic, Michael Johnson, and Brad Adams rounded out the top five finishers.
Race 1 Results;
  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #29 Chris Johnson; 40
  3. #64 Rick Gdovic; 40
  4. #19 Bubba Johnston; 40
  5. #28Jamie Sample; 40
  6. #19 Kyle Wood; 40
  7. #78 Matt Carter; 40
  8. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  9. #95 Danny Harrell; 40
  10. #98 Matt Morgan; 40
  11. #16 Eric McPherson; 39
  12. #18 DJ Valente; 38
  13. #3 Brad Adams; 31
  14. #7 Grant Blasingame; 16
Race 2 Results;
  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #78 Matt Carter; 40
  3. #64 Rick Gdovic; 40
  4. #29 Michael Johnson; 40
  5. #3 Brad Adams; 40
  6. #16 Eric McPherson; 40
  7. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  8. #95 Danny Harrell; 40
  9. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  10. #98 Matt Morgan; 39
  11. #19 Kyle Wood; 24
  12. #19 Bubba Johnston; 9
  13. #18 DJ Valente; 3

Connor Hall Muscles His Way Past Nick Smith for First Hampton Heat 200 Victory of His Career

Connor Hall celebrates in Dale Lemonds victory lane after winning the 2019 Hampton Heat 200, the biggest win of his young Late Model career. (Andy Newsome/Loose In, Tight Off)

Hampton, VA – It’s not always about being the fastest car on the racetrack or even leading the most laps. It is, however, always about where you are on the final lap of the race that counts the most and boy did Connor Hall make it count – 10,000 times as a matter of fact.

Hall, who runs for his family-owned team on a regular at Langley Speedway, has certainly come into his own this season showing he knows how to mix it up with some of the best drivers at Langley Speedway as he currently sits second in the Taylor Waste Services Late Model Points standings with two wins this year. However, now with a Hampton Heat 200 win on his resume, he has certainly shown the region that he knows how to mix it up with the best in the business.

The road to victory was not an easy one for the young Hampton, VA driver has he had to keep his nose clean and work his way towards the front from his tenth place starting position. Luckily for him, the first half of the race was rather tame given what was on the line and how hot the temperatures were throughout the afternoon. As the laps wound down Hall found himself using the cone and outside groove to his advantage – something we have not seen done so well since the Matt Waltz days of racing – and eventually taking the lead from Greg Edwards.

From there, Hall had to be on his toes because former NWAAS National Champion and Hampton Heat winner Lee Pulliam was coming through the field after electing to take his two tires thirty-some laps after the lap 100 break. Hall gave it a valiant effort but eventually would give up the race lead to Pulliam and the fresher tires and what everyone thought was his shot at the win. Things took an interesting turn several laps later when Pulliam went for a spin in turn four with the help of Peyton Sellers to bring out the yellow flag and send both drivers to the rear.

Once again, Connor Hall found himself facing an incredible opportunity late in the race with the help of a barrage of late-race cautions and the Car Masters Automotive Restart Cone, in a position to win arguably the biggest race of his young Late Model career. Hall took the final restart of the evening on the outside of second-place starter Nick Smith – who had been struggling all night with clutch issues – and executed almost a textbook cross over move to take the lead. The following lap Smith answered back going into turn one as the white flag was displayed and the two would touch. The contact shot Smith up the racetrack allowing Hall to take sole possession of the lead and eventually the win.

Smith was able to recover and hang onto the second position while Greg Edwards –who hands down lead the most laps – crossed the line in the third position. Peyton Sellers rebounded from his contact and eventually spin with Lee Pulliam to finish fourth while Brenden Queen rounded out the top five finishers

“I knew it was going to come down to Nick and I having to rough house,” an exhausted Connor Hall said in victory lane under a mix of cheers and boos. “I really didn’t mean to slide up into him in one and two but once it happened I just kinda had to go with it. I have to thank all my sponsors Townebank, Blue Water Yacht Sales, Jared Bay Boat Works, Western Branch Diesel, my new guys Liquid Performance, Charles Barker Toyota, my mom and dad, my sister, and all of my guys. I am pretty speechless.”

 

OFFICIAL Hampton Heat 200 Results:

  1. #77 Connor Hall; 200
  2. #12 Nick Smith; 200
  3. #21 Greg Edwards; 200
  4. #26 Peyton Sellers; 200
  5. #03 Brenden Queen; 200
  6. #5 Lee Pulliam; 200
  7. #41 Woody Howard; 200
  8. #12 Timothy Peters; 200
  9. #90 Terry Carroll; 200
  10. #91 Terry Carroll; 200
  11. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.; 196
  12. #87 Mike Looney; 193
  13. #89 Craig Estep; 181
  14. #8 Tyler Hughes; 177
  15. #8 Thomas Scott; 177
  16. #99 Layne Riggs; 177
  17. #40 CE Falk; 177
  18. #9 Trey Crews; 168
  19. #55 Mark Wertz; 165
  20. #2 Brandon Pierce; 149
  21. #29 Casey Wyatt; 149
  22. #7 Michael Hardin; 98
  23. #10 Maddy Mulligan; 97

Lee Pulliam Tops Speed Charts as Final Late Model Stock Car Practice Concludes

Lee Pulliam sails into turn one during final practice at Larry King Law Langley Speedway ahead of the 2019 Hampton Heat 200. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Hampton, Va – It would be incorect, in our opinion, to say Lee Pulliam paced final Late Model Stock Car practice this afternoon at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway but he sure did end practice in that position.

Greg Edwards, current Late Model points leader here at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway and three time race winner this season, paced practice earlier this afternoon with a 16.145-second lap. Edwards was one of the first cars to hit the speedway when practice went green at 12:30, made three laps on scuff tires – according to members of his crew – brought the car down pit road and sat her on jack stands.

Others spent the two hour session making ten or so lap runs to put the final touches on their machines in preporation for the 200-lap feature to come later tonight. Pulliam, who currently sits second in the VA Triple Crown standings, was able to break the sixteen second bracket as practice came to a close clocking in a 15.886-second (89.513 MPH). Complete practice run down of practice times can be found below.

Single car qualifying is set to get underway at 4:30 PM EDT with an on track meet and greet to follow approx. 6:30 PM EDT. The first green flag for the support races is scheduled to drop at 7:00 PM EDT.

UNOFFICIAL Hampton Heat Practice Results

  1. Lee Pulliam 15.886
  2. Nick Smith 16.013
  3. Tyler Hughes 16.024
  4. CE Falk 16.099
  5. Brenden Queen 16.119
  6. Mike Looney 16.136
  7. Greg Edwards 16.145
  8. Connor Hall 16.148
  9. Justin Carroll 16.158
  10. Woody Howard 16.183
  11. Brandon Pierce 16.192
  12. Danny Edwards 16.195
  13. Peyton Sellers 16.206
  14. Layne Riggs 16.210
  15. Trey Crews 16.230
  16. Timothy Peters 16.240
  17. Mark Wertz 16.363
  18. Terry Carroll 15.511
  19. Michael Hardin 16.523
  20. Casey Wyatt 16.647
  21. Craig Eastep 16.663
  22. Thomas Scott 16.752
  23. Maddy Mulligan 16.977

 

Nick Smith Goes Flag to Flag in Dominating Legends Feature; Ryley Music Returns to Dale Lemons Victory Lane

Hampton, VA – Nick Smith grabbed the pole out of 11 cars for the 25 lap feature. Ryan Matthews, Spencer Saunders, Connor Jones and Ryan Center were the fast five in qualifying.

As the green flag was waved, the field sailed into turn one side by side. Coming out of turn two, Smith would get the edge and take the initial lead. Saunders followed behind him while Matthews fell in line to third. It didn’t take long for Matthews to get second back as he went right around Saunders in turn two on lap two. Jones also wanted to take position away from Saunders as he was on his back bumper as well. Lap eight and Smith had already built up a half a straightaway lead over Matthews. Going into turn one, Jones got a good run to the inside of Saunders and took third away going into turn two.

Carter Wheedon and Ryan Center had a heated battle for the fifth position as they made contact in turn one result long in Center going for a spin. No caution came out as all cars kept forward momentum and continued going. With Five laps to go Nick Smith had clean racetrack in front of him. Matthews did all he could do to catch Smith but couldn’t pull it off. Checkered flag flew and Nick Smith picked up his first Cycle City Corp Legends win of the season. Ryan Mathews, Connor Jones, Spencer Saunders, and Carter Wesson rounded out the top five.

Cycle City Corp Legends Results

1 #88 Nick Smith; 25

2 #51 Ryan Matthews; 25

3 #14 Connor Jones; 25

4 #7 Spencer Saunders; 25

5 #22 Carter Wheedon; 25

6 #33 Colby Flowers; 25

7 #88 Ryan Center; 25

8 #6 Chris Hammett; 25

9 #4 Chris Hayes; 24

10 #27 David Steele; 24

11 #51 Bradley Wilson; 23

 

Cycle City Corp Bandoleros

Cody Bryant captured the pole with a time of 21.171 over a field of seven cars. Ryley Music, Jacob Derrick, Wyatt Philyaw and Logan Clark were the fast five in qualifying. When the green flag flew to start the race, Bryant didn’t get a good start at all allowing Music to take the lead heading into turn one. Bryant would fall to second with Derrick third.

A three car battle began for fourth position between Clark, Philyaw and Paynter. With the intense battle, Paynter and Philyaw made contact coming out of turn four sending Paynter for a spin to bring the first caution out on lap three. As the field regrouped coming to the green, Music got another great start and took charge into turn one. Derrick, however, did not get the start he wanted and Clark went to his inside to take third away. Derrick would fall off the pace and fall to sixth position before getting back up to speed.

Paynter and Philyaw began battling for fourth and continued to make contact with each other. Derrick looked to get in on the battle and made it a three car battle for fourth. With just three laps to go, Bryant looked to make a late race move on Music, but the veteran Music knew better to leave the bottom lane open and didn’t allow Bryant to get past him. Checkered flag flew and Ryley Music picked up his fourth win of the season. Also coming to the checkered flag, the battle for fourth got even more physical coming out of turn four. Paynter and Philyaw made contact again, but this time sending Paynter nose first into the inside wall. Though Paynter’s car was removed from the racing surface on the hook, she was able to pop out of her car quickly and exit under her own accord.

Cycle City Corp Bandoleros Results

1 #47 Ryley Music; 15

2 #00 Cody Bryant; 15

3 #15 Logan Clark; 15

4 #8 Jacob Derrick; 15

5 #14 Aaliyah Paynter; 15

6 #22 Wyatt Philyaw; 15

7 #8 Conner Weddell; 15

Virginia Motor Speedway to host the $3000 to win Prelude to the World Championship Saturday, July 20th

Jamaica, VA – The stars and cars of the FASTRAK Pro Late Model Touring Series will invade Virginia Motor Speedway for the $3000 to win Prelude to the World Championship. Many of the Mid-Atlantic’s top Pro Late Model drivers will be on hand to not only try to take home the $3000 top prize but also get some valuable track time for the $50,000 to win FASTRAK World Championship set for September 13-14, 2019.

With the King of the Commonwealth rained out in April speedway officials worked with officials from the FASTRAK series to re-schedule the Pro Late Model portion of the event knowing that drivers up and down the East Coast would be looking for a chance to get some track time in before the big event in September.

“With that rainout in April, we thought it was important to have another chance for the FASTRAK drivers to get some track time against some of the best Pro Late Model competitors on the East coast,” commented track owner and President Bill Sawyer.

Sawyer added, “the FASTRAK Pro Late Model races are some of the best races we host here at Virginia Motor Speedway; no matter where you look there is always three and four wide action throughout the field.”

Expected to compete are Touring Series regulars point leader Carson Ferguson, Matt Long, Nick Schlager, Michael Brown and a host of our regulars that will be tough to beat, Corey Almond, Justin Ferguson, Matt Glanden, Davis Lipscombe, Matt Quade, Chuck Bowie, Jared Powell, Brad Rigdon, Ray Love Jr., Nick Love and host of other very competitive drivers.

Also see the tracks Budweiser Modified, Truckin Thunder Sportsman and Collision One Limited Stocks in action.

Competitor gates for Saturday, July 20th, will open at 3 pm with spectator gates opening at 4 pm. On track activities will begin at 6:00 pm with hot laps.

Adult tickets are just $15; seniors (60+) $12; military $8; students 13 – 17 years old $6; and children 12 and under free. Pit passes, regardless of age, will be $25. All tickets will be sold the day of the event.

16” coolers are welcomed, but no glass is allowed. There is plenty of free lit parking, and camping (no hookups) is allowed at no charge on a first come, first served basis.

Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway is a ½ mile dirt oval track located on U.S. Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda, VA and 25 miles south of Tappahannock, VA in Jamaica, VA. The speedway is just a short drive from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Southern Maryland, and the Hampton Roads area.

Race fans can go to www.vamotorspeedway.com to view the complete schedule Virginia Motor Speedway’s 2019 season, find detailed event information, get the latest news, and get complete ticket and camping information. Also, fans can get social with Virginia Motor Speedway by following @vamotorspeedway on Twitter, clicking “Like” at www.facebook.com/VaMotorSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/VaMotorSpeedway.

Shawn Balluzzo Doubles Down at Langley Speedway; $1,000 Balluzzo Bounty Still on the Line

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Hampton, VA– Shawn Balluzzo was once again big man on campus earlier in the afternoon during qualifying time trials when he laid down a 16.360-second (86.919 MPH) lap. Chris Johnson, who has run both Modifieds and Late Models at Langley Speedway, made the trip to Hampton with one thing on his mind; Bounty Hunting. Running Southside Speedway’s regular Adam Medek’s No. 29, Johnson was more than two-tenths of a second slower than Balluzzo as he earned the ability to start to Shawn’s outside.

Balluzzo did what he does best when Shane Snider let the field go out of turn four as the sun started to set over turn three; lead the race. Balluzzo was able to clear the field on the exit of turn number two in the opening lap and never really looked back from there. Chris Johnson gave it an honest go but would develop a mechanical issue that pushed a lot of smoke from the back of his machine for most of the race. Matt Carter, who has made it his mission this year to end Balluzzo’s win streak was only able to fall into third where he ran for most of the night before Sample was able to get by. Bubba Johnston would complete the top five.

Per the NASCAR rulebook, no less than eight cars were inverted for race number two which handed the pole position over to the No. 64 of Rick Gdovic. However, he and his crew would change a right front tire between races, which regulated him to the rear of the field as well as took away his ability to take the cone and free pass. This handed the pole position over to TJ Largena while Danny Harrell lined up to his right side.

Things got a little interesting on the start of the race going into turn one as everyone tried to settle in. The first and only caution of the evening would come one lap one as Rick Gdovic ended up going around in turn three. This allowed teams the ability to take the cone for the restart. Danny Harrell and Jamie Sample elected to stay low while Chris Johnson and Bubba Johnston went high. Chris Johnson would get the better start on the outside and the lead out of two. He would only hold onto that lead for about fifteen laps, however, as Balluzzo sliced and diced his way through the field.

Once out front, and with some mechanical failures from Johnson, Balluzzo was able to cruise to his ninth victory on the season. Jamie Sample and TJ Largena both had excellent runs during the nightcap finishing second and third respectively. Bubba Johnston and Rick Gdovic rounded out the top five finishers.

 

OFFICIAL Larry King Law’s Modified Race 1 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #29 Chris Johnson; 40
  3. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  4. #78 Matt Carter; 40
  5. #19 Bubba Johnston; 40
  6. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  7. #95 Danny Harrell; 40
  8. #64 Rick Gdovic; 39
  9. #98 Matt Morgan; 39
  10. #7 Grant Blasingame; 25
  11. #18 DJ Valente; 22

 

OFFICIAL Larry King Law’s Modified Race 2 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  3. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  4. #19 Bubba Johnston; 40
  5. #64 Rick Gdovic; 40
  6. #7 Grant Blasingame; 39
  7. #98 Matt Morgan; 39
  8. #95 Danny Harrell; 39
  9. #18 DJ Valente; 27
  10. #29 Chris Johnson; 20
  11. #78 Matt Carter; 3

Just-In Time for Pruitt to Collect Big Win at Dixieland Speedway; Mark Overman Wins Sportsman Feature

Elizabeth City, NC – Justin Pruitt cruised his Chevrolet Monte Carlo to victory lane Friday night to score the special 40-lap Little Caesars Super Street win at Elizabeth City’s Dixieland Speedway. Pruitt, 24, of Chesapeake, collected his second checkered flag of the 2019 season and earned $500 for his efforts. He held off Kevin Bray and Josh Letson, who finished second and third respectively.

With the win and his sixth finish of second or better, Pruitt padded his points lead by eight markers over Dennis Barnes headed into this weekend’s event.  He is considered a favorite for the championship and the season stats show he has the momentum to propel him to a first possible title.  In seven starts, his worst finish is fourth, reflecting the consistency the young driver has headed into the second half of the season.

Billy Hubbard continued his dominance by winning the 30-lap Budweiser Allstar Late Model event over Chesapeake native and veteran racer John Staton.  Curtis Hughes of Bohannon, Virginia, crossed the finish line in third, earning his season-best finish.  The win was Hubbard’s fifth in 2019 and allowed him to nearly catch points leader Larry Jackson by just two points headed into this weekend’s races. Jackson has earned 162 points thus far, while Hubbard now has 160.

Mark Overman showed his continued improvement throughout the season and finally parked his Chevrolet in the winner’s circle after earning the victory in the Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman division.  It was Overman’s first win after finishes of sixth, fourth, third and second before Friday. To accomplish the victory, he had to hold off powerhouse drivers Troy Brickhouse and Joe Weiss, who finished second and third.

Mark Gonzales didn’t have the night he was planning after unofficially finishing in eighth place. With that result, he gave up the points lead to Troy Brickhouse.  Brickhouse, of Elizabeth City, now leads with 168 markers, 10 ahead of Gonzales.

James Hissom, Jr’s. baby shark painted car ate everyone else’s lunch Friday as he continued to show his strength in 2019 by earning his fifth win of the season.  Hissom held off Trevor Battoia, who finished second and Louise Pasderetz earned the final podium finish of third.  Hissom continues to lead the points by 26 over second place Battoia, whose runner-up finish allowed him to surpass Kolton Stevens, who falls to third, just 28 points behind.

Racing resumes Friday, July 19thand includes a special 40-lap Budweiser Allstar Late Model event with a $1,200 winner’s purse.  Kids in Go-Karts action also returns.  Additionally, the Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman, Little Caesars Super Streets, Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours and R & D Excavating Super Fours will compete.  Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and the action kicks off at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets will be available for purchase in person.  For more information dial 252-771-5151 or visit online at dixielandspeedway.net.

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About Dixieland Speedway:

 

Dixieland Speedway is northeastern North Carolina’s premier action track.  The 3/8-mile dirt oval has hosted exciting Friday night racing since 1983.  Long straightaways and tight turns lead to intense on-track action.  The clay track is 55 feet wide and turns one and two are banked at 12 degrees, while turns three and four are eight-degrees.  Race fans from all over the region have come to witness spectacular side by side racing through the years.  The family-friendly facility offers something for everyone as on-track action keeps fans on the edge of their seats all night long.  Refreshment and souvenir stands are on site.  Tickets for all events are available for purchase in person.  Don’t miss your chance to see why they call Dixieland, the track that started it all. To learn more, visit dixielandspeedway.net or follow Dixieland Speedway on Facebook (Dixieland Speedway), Twitter (@DixielandSpdwy) and Instagram (@dixielandspeedway).  Information by phone, dial 252-771-5151.  Dixieland Speedway is located at 1520 Northside Road in Elizabeth City.