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

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