Shawn Balluzzo Remains Undefeated in Modifieds at Langley Speedway

Shawn Balluzzo picks up win number twelve and thirteen to remain undefeated at Larry King Law Langley Speedway. (Charlie Alexander/Langley Speedway)

Hampton, VA– The saying has always been, “if you want to be the best you have to beat the best.”  So far no one in the Hampton Roads area has been able to do so in the Larry King Law Modified division at Langley Speedway.

Shawn Balluzzo, the defending and ten time series champion, once again proved why he will go down as, one of, if not the best Modified drivers in Langley history. Balluzzo laid a lap down a solid lap two-tenths faster – 16.617 (85.575 mph) – than the rest of field. Bubba Johnston would line up to Balluzzo’s outside with his 16.842-second lap, Jamie Sample, Rick Gdovic, and Matt Morgan rounded out the fastest five starters.

Once the green flag was displayed from Shane Snyder, Balluzzo, like always, wasted zero time getting the loud pedal down to the floor and clearing the field out of turn two. As hard as it is to believe, Balluzzo got into his normal rhythm and took off to a little more than a three-quarter of a straightaway lead over the rest of the field. The two best battles to watch throughout the entire feature was between Bubba Johnston and Matt Carter for third and Rick Gdovic and Brad Adams for sixth. Carter was able to get around Johnston just past halfway. Adams was never able to get around Gdovic and had to settle for seventh. Jamie Sample, Mat Carter, Bubba Johnston, and TJ Largena rounded out the top five.

As usual race number two provided much more excitement, some not the kind you really ever want to see, after an eight-car invert allowed DJ Valente and Brad Adams the opportunity to start on the pole. Balluzzo, again per usual, elected to come down pit road under pace laps, forfeit his eighth place starting position and take the green from the rear of the field.

Valente took full advantage of having not only the preferred line around Langley Speedway but also the clean track and led the first handful of laps. Even held off the field on an early restart after Rick Gdovic went for a spin out of turn two to bring out the first yellow flag. NASCAR officials would send Balluzzo to the rear of the field after they determined Gdovic went around off the nose of the defending race winner.

On the ensuing restart Brad Adams was the first to utilize the cone and went to the outside of Valente essentially recreating the initial start of the race – Jamie Sample also elected to use the cone and lines up behind the No. 3 of Adams. With the green flag in the air Valente once again got back on the loud pedal looking to clear the field. He was able to do so around the middle of the backstretch and into turn three. The race, however, would be halted once more following a big wreck involving the No. 78 of Matt Carter and No. 98 of Matt Morgan. Carter was able to climb out of his machine under his own power with assistance of Langley’s incredible safety team. He would be transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. The No. 4 of TJ was later sent to the rear of the field for his involvement in the wreck.

Once Carter was transported outside of the track, the racing surface was cleared and lineup set, Valente was once again showed the cone. He once again elected to stay low. Bubba Johnston, however, took the bate this time and elected to restart on the outside front row – oddly enough Balluzzo did not elect to use the cone to better his starting position after being sent to the rear.

The ten time champion did not need the outside lane to make things happen as he worked his way back into the top five by lap ten. The following lap he was able to work his nose under Samples machine taking his position away. The very next lap Balluzzo got around Adams for the third position. Two laps later Balluzzo collapsed the gap on Jonhston and worked his way around him for second. It only took the champ a single lap to catch and pass Valente to take the lead for the first time of the feature. From there it was lights out, Balluzzo would cruise his way back to victory lane for the thirteenth consecutive time.

“A lot of these guys are coming around,”Balluzzo said in victory lane. “A lot of this stuff was avoidable tonight. [The] clutch felt funny but I thought I was imagining stuff and when I tried to do a burn out, I pushed the clutch in then bam, the transmission broke. Thanks to everybody, thanks to the fans that stuck around.”

In other racing action Jake Harberts picked up the win in the opening HRKC Pro Wing Champ Kart feature, Tim Wilson was your winner in the Pepsi Grand Stocks, Colby Vance toped the 30+ car Parts Barn Enduro 30-lap feature, Michael Waters took home the hardware in the 25-lap Bojangles UCAR feature and Rick Poust out dueled Chase McAdams in a thrilling photo finish in the night ending 25-lap Harris Truck Shop Super Truck feature.

Langley Speedway will return to action next weekend with a stacked schedule to include a 100-lap NWAAS Late Model feature. The Modifieds will return to the speedway for an amazing double-header weekend. Super Streets, Pro Six, Legends, and Bando’s are also on the docket.

 

Larry King Law Modified UNOFFICAL Race 1 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  3. #78 Matt Carter; 40
  4. #19 Bubba Johnston; 40
  5. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  6. #47 Rick Gdovic; 40
  7. #3 Brad Adams; 40
  8. #18 DJ Valente; 40
  9. #16 Eric McPherson; 40
  10. #98 Matt Morgan; 39
  11. #95 Danny Harrell; 39

 

Larry King Law Modified UNOFFICAL Race 2 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #3 Brad Adams; 40
  3. #16 Eric McPherson; 40
  4. #95 Danny Harrell; 40
  5. #4 TJ Largena (R); 40
  6. #19 Bubba Johnston; 40
  7. #18 DJ Valente; 40
  8. #47 Rick Gdovic; 40
  9. #28 Jamie Sample; 22
  10. #78 Matt Carter; 8
  11. #98 Matt Morgan; 8

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