Greg Edwards Shakes Losing Monkey; Mark Wertz Continues to Ride Momentum to Dale Lemonds Victory Lane

Mark Wertz returns to victory lane in the Taylor Waste Service Late Model’s as a part-time competitor for 2020. (📸 Sara Langley)

Hampton, VA – It was a cool, chilly night, but the action on the track was hot and intense. The Taylor Waste Services Late Models were back in action to headline the evening with twin 50-lap features. 13 Late Models showed up for an action-packed night. With just eight races left on the season, it was time for teams crackdown and focus on the championship. Brenden Queen came into the night with a 9 point lead over Casey Wyatt, and an 11 point lead over Danny Edwards Jr.

Queen put his machine on the pole earlier in the afternoon with a lap of 15.774 (90.148 MPH). Danny Edwards, Greg Edwards, Casey Wyatt, and Mark Wertz rounded out the fast five. The field doubled up and got the green flag for the first of two 50 lappers. Queen jumped to the lead and after just one lap the field went single file. Wertz gave Wyatt a little nudge for the fourth but couldn’t get the momentum to get around him. Lap 16, Greg got to the inside of Danny for second and took it away. By lap 20 Queen had a two-car length lead over the field.

A battle between Rodney Boyd and Craig Eastep began for the tenth position. The two made contact but both held onto it, Eastep would get the tenth spot while Boyd battled back. With 15 laps to go, Bubba Johnston and Thomas Marks began to battle for the eighth spot to see who would start on the pole for the second 50 lap race. Greg had caught up to Queen and got to his inside to battle for the lead. His momentum came to a holt as the caution came out for Johnston and Marks going for a synchronized spin in turn one. Queen would take the outside for the cone, allowing Greg to start to his inside. On the start, Queen didn’t go allowing Greg to take the lead. Danny took over second and Queen fell to third. Wyatt got the short end of the deal and fell from fourth to tenth. Greg Edwards would go on to get his first victory of the season. Both Queen and Wyatt would come to a stop at the start-finish line, exiting their machines, and showing their displeasure to both the starter and the tower expressing that Edwards (who was not the control car) went before the restart line in turn four.

Even after the spin in the first race, Thomas Marks worked his way back to an eighth-place finish to put him on the pole for the second twin. Bubba Johnston, Craig Eastep, Connor Hall, and Mark Wertz were the starting five. The Green flag flew and the first caution came out for Casey Wyatt making contact with Rodney Boyd, sending Boyd hard into turn one wall. We would later find out that Wyatt’s throttle hung going into the corner. Back to green, and Eastep had the issues getting going causing the bottom row to stack up. Johnson jumped to the lead going into turn one. Hall began to battle Marks for second while Queen joined in. Queen ended up pushing Hall past Marks before eventually working his way around as well. With the battle for second going on, Johnston had built a sizable lead on the rest of the field.

The first caution of the second feature would come at the hands of Craig Eastep spinning through the backstretch grass on lap 13. The tride and true saying of cautions breed cautions were true this weekend because no sooner than the race restarted the field was slowed yet again. This time due to Eastep spinning the 9 of Brock between turns one and two. Back to green and the field made it one lap this time before the third caution was displayed. Contact between Johnston, who looked to try and pull up in front of Hall after losing the lead, and Connor Hall going into turn one cause early depatures for both competitors.

Back to green once again, Queen jumped to the lead with Wertz falling in line in second. Another caution would come out on lap 22 for Wyatt’s machine coming to a stop in turn four. Later reports would confirm Wyatt once again had issues with his throttle and decided to shut the car down to avoid further issues and bring the car to the garage. Wertz took the cone again and would restart on Queens outside. Wertz would clear Queen on lap 24 to take the lead. The two battled side by side for nearly the rest of the race with Greg riding in third waiting for his opportunity to make his move. His opportunity wouldn’t come, Mark Wertz went on to pick up his first Late Model win of the season.

 

Farley Financial UCARS

With a very impressive field of 13 cars, everyone was still chasing Michael Waters. Jamie Hite grabbed the pole by .003-seconds over Michael Waters. Rookies Christian Keller, Robert Dezero, and Nicholas Deans rounded out the fast five. Hite jumped to the lead in the start while Keller stuck his nose to second with Waters falling to third. Waters made his way around Keller for second and wasted no time to get to Hite. Hite and Waters made contact coming out of turn four causing Waters to get loose and almost went nose-first into the inside wall. Waters night would be over sooner than he had hoped meaning there would finally be a new winner this season. The second caution came out for Zachary Lindsey, Tyler Borden, and Bill Eaker getting together in turn three, this wreck ended Lindsey’s night. Back under green, on lap 9, Keller took the lead from Hite. A battle for third heated up between Davis, Deans and Dwight Nikles. Lap 15, Keller was still holding off Hite for the lead. On lap 22, Hite finally reclaimed the lead. Jamie Hite would hold on to pick up his first win of the season.

 

 

Taylor Waste Service Late Model Race 1 Results;

 

  1. #21 Greg Edwards; 50
  2. #26 Danny Edwards Jr; 50
  3. #03 Brenden Queen; 50
  4. #55 Mark Wertz; 50
  5. #77 Connor Hall; 50
  6. #25 Craig Eastep; 50
  7. #19 Bubba Johnson; 50
  8. #88 Thomas Marks; 50
  9. #29 Casey Wyatt; 50
  10. #9 Rodney Boyd; 50
  11. #9 Alex Brock; 50
  12. #71 Jared Clark; 49
  13. #68 Terri O’Connell; 13

Taylor Waste Service Late Model Race 2 Results;

 

  1. #55 Mark Wertz; 50
  2. #03 Brenden Queen; 50
  3. #21 Greg Edwards, 50
  4. #26 Danny Edwards; 50
  5. #88 Thomas Marks; 50
  6. #9 Alex Brock; 50
  7. #25 Craig Eastep; 50
  8. #71 Jared Clark; 49
  9. #29 Casey Wyatt; 21
  10. #19 Bubba Johnston; 14
  11. #77 Connor Hall; 14
  12. #9 Rodney Boyd; 0

 

Farley Finacial UCAR Results;

  1. #12 Jamie Hite; 25
  2. #6 Christian Keller; 25
  3. #3 Austin Davis; 25
  4. #03 Nicholas Deans; 25
  5. #7 Dwight Nikles; 25
  6. #46 Nicholas Hurt; 24
  7. #00 Robert Dezero; 23
  8. #22 Bill Eaker; 12
  9. #50 Zach Fredrick; 4
  10. #36 Michael Waters; 3
  11. #03 Zachary Lindsey; 3
  12. #20 Mike Parker; 3
  13. #2 Tyler Borden; 3

 

*Featured Photo: Greg Edwards and team celebrate first win of the 2020 season following a controversial late-race restart. Photo: Sara Langley

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