Author Archives: Justin Kern

The Final Chapter: When One Door Closes, Many More Open

Every great chapter must come to an end at some point, right? Gohan finally defeated Cell to put an end to the long lasting Cell Games. Harry, and friends, destroyed all of the Horcrux’s ultimately leading to Voldemort’s defeat, again? Dwight and Angela finally get married, Michael comes back for one last visit, and Pam & Jim finally move to Austin. Ross and Rachel confess their love and continue their relationship, Monica and Chandler adopt twins, and they all head to Central Park for one last cup of coffee. Honestly the list could go on and on with memorable cinematic or book related endings but that’s not why you clicked the article — at least that’s not why I think you are here.

When I started The Weekly Racer seven years ago I was just coming out of college spending the last three years of my life immersed in the “business” side of sports. I absolutely loved going to class and wanted to be involved with sports for the rest of my life. I found that I had a passion for the PR side of things. I enjoyed the planning aspect of things, the marketing and finance side was okay, but I really enjoyed writing. I enjoyed the weekly press release assignment I had in one class, I enjoyed telling a story. I was also in the need of a 400-hour internship to complete my degree so I went to my favorite place here in my hometown – Langley Speedway. Pitched my idea. Then failed to secure the position. I found out either I did a bad job of selling myself or just wasn’t qualified to do the job. Looking back at it now I was asking for a internship to start in January and go to May at a local short track, that time frame probably just didn’t work out for them, nothing to be angry about now. Maybe it was a true life lesson that when one door closes another opens — something to keep in mind for later.

I ended up landing an internship as an assistant Athletic Director with one of the most amazing and down right coolest bosses ever at my high school alma mater. I got to do a lot of work planning the final Peninsula District baseball tournament but I digress. That small “failure” of not landing the internship at the place and sport I really wanted no doubt had me down. I thought to myself; I just spent the last six years of my life studying all this, all the late nights staying up after work putting proposals together and reading all these expensive books just to be turned down for a FREE job. What does that mean for me when I go looking for jobs that actually pay. Then I remembered something my mother and father thought me growing up being a small business owning family. If you want it, work for it, make it yours… so I did and over the summer of 2013 The Weekly Racer (TWR) was born. My own personal internship if you will.

Over these last seven years I have learned so much about the sport of auto racing and grown not only as a person but as a professional. Starting out sitting in freezing cold grandstand in November with a Coleman heater and tapping on the screen of my iPhone, to securing a small corner in the wooden turn one spotter stand at Langley, to talking with past, present, and certainly future NASCAR & World of Outlaws champions. I have been asked to take photos for NASCAR teams, produced radio style shows, created year end banquet videos, and brought onto PA systems to talk about racing. It has certainly been a ride that I will cherish forever. This was something that I, with the help of many, many others along the way, built from the ground up. The Weekly Racer was something that people all over the Mid Atlantic region went to for pre, live, and post race information on their favorite series or driver. A place to stay up to date with their racing family, a true community.

That is why it truly does sadden me to announce that as 2020 comes to an end so will TWR. I want to take a minute to thank those who helped make TWR what it is today. To my wife who helped me edit stories, take photos/videos, tag-team the largest Late Model race in the country, and drive the countless hours back home in the dark while I typed up stories. To Mark Rogers Jr. who though we worked at “competing” outlets, always took the time to answer questions and provide advice. My dad, who also helped play the roll of driver, toting me around on long trips so I can type up stories in the passenger seat and even bank rolled the operation in the early years. To Hudson Hall, who has put me in contact with more NASCAR drivers, crew, and other professionals than I would have ever imagined. Saying goodbye to something you have worked so hard to create is never easy but, leaving it on “good terms” to do “bigger” things might make it a little easier, right?

Now to that “… other doors open” part of that statement I made above. Even though I am closing the doors so to speak here at The Weekly Racer I will be doing so to write, quite literally, the next chapter of my racing career. Not only will I be returning to Langley Speedway as a member of the NBC Gold Track Pass Production Team I am extremely happy to announce I will also be taking on the roll Media Relations Director at the speedway! I will be working to provide original content for our racing community which will be featured on the tracks brand new website – more on that coming soon.

I am beyond excited for the 2021 race season! With so much going on this past year I cannot wait to get back behind the camera and provide everyone with a high quality product. I cannot wait to get back behind the computer doing something I love, putting out quality stories highlighting the speedways rich history within the community, it’s drivers, teams, and staff.

To everyone who has supported me throughout the years, used my photos on their social platforms, their hero cards, their merchandise, thank you! To everyone who took the time to stop on pit road or from working on their car to talk to me about how good or even how bad of a day you were having, thank you. Even to everyone who messaged, called or emailed pointing out my mistakes along the way, thank you for having the courage to do so, so I could become a better writer. To the 200K+ people who took the time to visit our website and various social platforms — Thank You! This may be the ending to one novel but the start of something else!

To Be Continued…

Racing & TWR Returns to Langley Speedway as the 2020 Season Winds Down

Hampton, VA – Looking back at some recent stats and insights of our page we could not help but notice the lack of content provided this year. To be very blunt – it blows! The current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on everyone worldwide has certainly not been helpful, however, I told my very small crew that their safety and their family come first and TWR would come second. Then you throw in good ole Mother Nature in late summer and you can see how the deck is stacked against race tracks. Also if we are being honest we have had A LOT of stuff going on away from the racetrack that has taken our attention away from the sport. Well, I am very pleased to say that the skies here in Hampton Roads are clear and the temperatures are what you would expect for October and we are set for a barn burner of a night here at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway.

Seven divisions of racing – with the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Late Model Stock Cars brought to you by Taylor Waste Services – will of course headline and kick off the show with a pair of 50-lap features. With NASCAR National points also coming to a close for 2020 and Langley Speedway being the only racing facility in the south eastern region to be running this weekend we will see the likes of Josh Berry and Peyton Sellers mixing it up for National Points while Brenden Queen, Danny Edwards Jr., and Casey Wyatt pick up their points battle as well. Super Streets and Trucks – who have both provided an impressive car count this year – will be running twin features as well as crowning a champion in their respective divisions. The Virginia Racers (essentially a limited late model), Legends, Bando’s and Enduro’s will all have single events tonight.

Tickets for tonights events can still be purchased via the tracks website. If you are unable to get tickets or make it out in general do not forget all of tonights action will be broadcasted LIVE via NBC TrackPass.

4:15PM DRIVER’S MEETING (OVER PA SYSTEM)

4:30PM QUALIFYING
1. BANDOLEROS (3 CARS-5 LAPS)
2. LEGENDS (GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED)
3. SUPER TRUCKS (GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED)
4. SUPER STREETS (GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED)
5. VIRGINIA RACERS (GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED)
6. LATE MODELS (SCUFF-GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED)

5:45PM ENDUROS PRACTICE (3 GROUPS-8 LAPS)

6:15PM OPENING RACE
1. CYCLE CITY CORP BANDOLEROS (15 LAPS)

6:45PM PRE RACE CEREMONIES
INVOCATION REV TOM POTTER
NATIONAL ANTHEM

7:00PM FEATURE RACES
2. TAYLOR WASTE SERVICES LATE MODELS (50 LAPS)
3. OLD SKOOL VIDEO GAMES SUPER STREETS (25 LAPS)
4. HARRIS TRUCK SHOP SUPER TRUCKS (20 LAPS)
5. CYCLE CITY CORP LEGENDS (25 LAPS)
6. VIRGINIA RACERS (35 LAPS)
7. OLD SKOOL VIDEO GAMES SUPER STREETS (25 LAPS)
8. HARRIS TRUCK SHOP SUPER TRUCKS (20 LAPS)
9. TAYLOR WASTE SERVICES LATE MODELS (50 LAPS)
10. PARTS BARN ENDUROS (30 LAPS)

*subject to change

Peyton Sellers Sets Quick Time at Larry King Law Langley Speedway; Will Lead the Field to Green in the First of Two 50-lap Features

Hampton, VA – It seemed like we were going to have to all buy boats to finally get a race in here in the Hampton Roads area as persistent rain plagued the area. The weather system finally moved out of the area and looks to be holding up well enough to get some racing in. Twenty NASCAR Late Models made their way back to the historic .395-mile oval in Hampton, Virginia for a pair of 50-lap features. Former NASCAR Xfinity driver and South Boston Speedway regular Peyton Sellers earned quick time earlier this afternoon earning the right to lead the field to the green flag later this evening with a 15.878 (89.558 MPH) second lap. Sellers sub-16-second lap was just one of five drivers to dip below the mark and was fast enough to knock 2020 Hampton Heat winner Brenden Queen from the top spot.

Make sure to follow our LIVE Twitter stream to stay up to date with all of the action tonight.

 

Taylor Waste Service Late Model Stock Car Starting Lineup;
  1. #26 Peyton Sellers
  2. #03 Brenden Queen
  3. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.
  4. #29 Casey Wyatt
  5. #21 Greg Edwards
  6. #91 Justin S. Carroll
  7. #19 Bubba Johnston
  8. #77 Connor Hall
  9. #90 Terry Carroll
  10. #88 Thomas Marks
  11. #55 Mark Wertz
  12. #90 John Goin
  13. #9 Rodney Boyd
  14. #57 Justin T. Carroll
  15. #36 Chris Johnson
  16. #01 Camden Gullie
  17. #25 Craig Eastep
  18. #57 Eddie Johnson
  19. #29 Adam Medik
  20. #68 Adam Hoeger (R)

2020 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway Canceled

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (August 21, 2020) – The ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, at Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville) has officially been canceled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is a tradition that brings the Racing Virginia community together to root for their favorite local racers at The Short Track, so we will miss this annual day of competition due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Martinsville President Clay Campbell.

“We value our relationship with Martinsville Speedway and NASCAR,” said Delbert Lee Morgan, CEO/President of ValleyStar Credit Union. “This prestigious late model race has been featured under the lights since 2017 and it is an important event for our community. We support the decision to cancel the race due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative that we consider the safety of all spectators, teams and drivers.”

The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is scheduled to return to “The Short Track” for the 2021 season. The 2020 race was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26.

“NASCAR and Martinsville Speedway will continue to work closely with public health officials, medical experts and state and federal officials on a plan to host fans for the Xfinity 500 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race this fall,” said Campbell. “We look forward to a historic weekend of racing as we host the penultimate races of the NASCAR season for the first-time in the 73-year history of Martinsville Speedway.”

Ticketholders for the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race will be contacted by the Martinsville Ticket Office in the coming days to share ticket options.

Martinsville 2020 Season

Martinsville Speedway will host NASCAR’s penultimate playoff races for the first time. On Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. ET, the Xfinity 500 will set the field for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship. The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race will get underway on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff race will start the NASCAR Playoffs Weekend at The Short Track on Friday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.

The fall NASCAR races at Martinsville will be televised nationally with the Cup Series and Xfinity Series on NBC and Gander Trucks on FS1. The races will also air on MRN and its network of nationwide affiliates, in addition to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Stay connected to Martinsville Speedway on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and by downloading the Martinsville mobile app for Apple or Android.

About Martinsville Speedway

Founded by H. Clay Earles in 1947, Martinsville Speedway is the only NASCAR track to host NASCAR Cup Series races every year since its inception in 1949. At .526 miles in length, “The Short Track” annually hosts two NASCAR race weekends featuring the NASCAR Cup Series, along with NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races in the fall. Martinsville Speedway also annually hosts the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race. For more information about Martinsville Speedway, visit martinsvillespeedway.com.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, Americrown Service and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

About ValleyStar Credit Union

ValleyStar Credit Union has been in business since 1953 and serves cities and counties in Virginia and North Carolina. The Credit Union is over $500 million in assets with more than 55,000 members. ValleyStar is a full-service financial institution that offers consumer and commercial products and services. Headquartered in Martinsville, Virginia, ValleyStar operates right branch facilities in the Collinsville, Danville, Martinsville, Richmond, Roanoke, Rocky Mount, South Boston, and Waynesboro, Va. communities. For more information, visit valleystar.org.

Queen Rides Hampton Heat Momentum to First Late Model Pole of 2020

Queen powers through turns three and four during the 2020 Hampton Heat 200 (📸 Sara Langley)

Hampton, VA – Just two weeks following the biggest win of his young Late Model career, Brenden Queen of Chesapeake picked right up where he left off – at the front of the pack. Fourteen NASCAR Late Model Stock Cars returned to the famed .395-mile oval for a pair of 50-lap features. Fourteen cars rolled off pit road looking to claim the pole but none were faster than Queen with a 15.750 (90.286 MPH). Danny Edwards Jr., Casey Wyatt, Bubba Johnston, and Greg Edwards rounded out the fastest five cars.

A quick thunderstorm moved through the area following qualifying which put the speedway into a weather hold. The storm has passed and NASCAR officials have currently focused their attention on track drying efforts. Once that his complete we look forward to an eight race card. We will have you covered with LIVE updates over on our Twitter feed.

Taylor Waste Service Late Model Stock Car Starting Line-Up
  1. #03 Brenden Queen
  2. #26 Danny Edwards
  3. #29 Casey Wyatt
  4. #19 Bubba Johnston
  5. #21 Greg Edwards
  6. #77 Connor Hall
  7. #91 Justin Carroll
  8. #88 Thomas Marks
  9. #9 Rodney Boyd
  10. #90 Terry Carroll
  11. #36 Chris Johnson
  12. #71 Rick Gdovic
  13. #25 Craig Eastep
  14. #68 Adam Hoeger (R)
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