Author Archives: Justin Kern

Danny Edwards Jr. Wins the 2018 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Pole Award

Hampton, VA – Danny Edwards, Jr. from Poquoson, Virginia and five-time Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway track champion laid down the quickest lap during euro style qualifying earlier in the evening. Edwards’ 15.359-second (92.584) was just four-hundredth’s of a second quicker than the host driver Denny Hamlin. Hamlin’s Monster Energy Cup teammate and defending two-time cup series winner Kyle Busch will start the 200-lap feature from the third position with truck series driver Timothy Peters and Ty Gibbs – grandson to Joe Gibbs – round out the top five.

“We took off where we left off last race,” Edwards told The Weekly Racer. “We thought we had a pretty good car. Made a few changes at the shop but when we got here today we found ourselves fighting it. We worked at it and threw a lot of things at it and to be honest with you we hit on something at the very end of the practice, made a couple big swings and I told the guys this was the best I have had it on the long run.”

Edwards, as mentioned above, is surrounded by some of the best in auto racing and well… he was not only shocked by it but was aware of who he had around him.

“To be honest with you it surprised me,” Edwards went on to say. “I didn’t think that was going to stick seeings how we went out mid-pack and some of those guys going out later. Hopefully, we can control our race a little bit better when the green flag drops. The only thing you can control is what you do.”

Edwards will take the green flag with probably the most experience and the most laps completed at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway, however, he knows when the helmets go on and they strap in it goes out the window.

“I have raced with these guys before with Denny and Kyle in some of the ASA series,” Edwards said. “You take the guys that are here that are the pro drivers and they are professional’s for a reason, they are the best in the business. Do I have more laps at this track? Yea, but they are the absolute best in the world. I am just pleased to be up here and run with them.”

In a normal 200-lap feature there is only one break for tires, fuel, or just adjustments. However, tonight’s race will be run in three segments. Segment one drivers are able to take up to four tires, adjustments but no fuel. We asked Edwards if that changed his strategy throughout the evening.

Not really,” Edwards said honestly. “How the race goes throughout the stints will dictate what we do. We really won’t know until we get some laps on the car and make some adjustments on how the car felt in the first half. It’s going to be about keeping it clean, keeping the fenders on it and the breaks on it.”

Green flag is set to fly for the feature event at 8:30 PM. If you are unable to make it out follow us on Twitter or watch LIVE on Fanschoice.tv

Ep. 12 – Special Edition: Buck Reuss & Mark Rogers Jr Discuss and Preview the 2018 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown

 

In this special episode, we sit down with Buck Reuss (Denny Hamlin Foundation) and Mark Rogers Jr (Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway Media Representative) to discuss and preview the 2018 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.

 

We learn where the idea for the foundation and the charity race came from. Some insight into who will be coming – both pro drivers and amateur drivers. We discuss who to watch out for and who we think will take the checkered flag.

 

Buck also takes a moment to discuss race procedures, award payouts, and incentives.

Shawn Balluzzo Doubles Down in Modified Season Opener at Langley Speedway

No. 48 Shawn Balluzzo flys into turn three during qualifying on Pepsi Night where he would win the pole and both races. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Hampton, VA – Nine-time and defending Modified series champion Shawn Balluzzo made a statement earlier in the afternoon when he laid down the only sub sixteen second lap – 15.851 or 89.710 MPH – and backed that statement up later in the evening with a dominating win in race one as well as a win from dead last in race number two. Chris Johnson – coming off of a win in a Late Model the night before – would line up to his outside while Matt Carter, Brad Adams, and Bobby Gery rounded out the fastest five cars in the fifteen car field.

Balluzzo cleared the field and jumped out to an early lead bringing Matt Carter with him. However, the field would be slowed early for the first and only caution in race number one. Andrew Fortin found himself facing the wrong way out of the groove in turn two – we were not able to see if the young driver had any help going around or not. Once the caution truck was back on pit road and the green flag was back in the air Balluzzo continued to put the whooping on the field – Carter and Gery would give it their all but would have nothing to offer the nine-time champion. Bubba Johnston and Bobby Gery would round out the top five finishers.

Per the NASCAR rulebook, when it comes to sanctioned divisions running twin races, eight cars were inverted for race number two. Chris Johnson was clearly the beneficiary of the invert when Shane Snyder waived the green flag and jumped out to a commanding lead over the field while outside pole sitter, Jon Largena, faded quickly when he was hung out to dry on the top groove. Balluzzo on the other hand elected to come down pit road and give up his eighth place starting position and started from the rear. It should be noted that Balluzzo was not eligible for the bonus points given by NASCAR for starting in the rear because it was not a full field per the support division rules.

Johnson clearly had the car to beat in the relatively calm second race as Balluzzo worked his way up through the field. Things got hairy with two laps to go when Matt Carter got into Johnson, giving it everything he had, in turns one and two and both cars went around to bring out the caution flag. Both drivers were able to pull away from the wreck, Johnson, however, pulled down pit road and nose first into his stall, Matt Carter was able to continue.

This handed the lead over to Bobby Gery who had Balluzzo right behind him. When the cone was displayed, Balluzzo elected to take it and would start on the outside of Gery. As the field sailed into turns one and two, Gery appeared to get in just a little too hot which ultimately pushed him up into Balluzzo. The contact sent Balluzzo up into the marbles but he was able to save it. Gery, however, ended up looping it and Bubba Johnston and Jamie Sample piled in making contact, this now handed the lead over to Balluzzo.

Balluzzo, of course, stayed low on the ensuing restart and had Matt Carter lined up to his outside. When the green was dropped Balluzzo powered into turn one and into sole possession of the lead out of two. He would put roughly three to four car lengths on Carter to pick up his second win of the night.

 

Sammy Gaita earned his first pole of his Grand Stock career and ultimately wound up in Dale Lemonds Victory Lane at the end of the night. After leading the handful of laps, Rodney Boyd would overtake the lead and bring Tim Wilson with him. However, on an ensuing restart later in the race, Wilson and Boyd would make heavy contact sending Wilson somewhat into the air, the contact allowed Gaita to fly on by and that was all he needed to capture his first career Pepsi Grand Stock win.

 

Larry King Law’s Modified Race 1 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 30
  2. #78 Matt Carter; 30
  3. #60 Bobby Gery; 30
  4. #51 Bubba Johnston; 30
  5. #3 Brad Adams; 30
  6. #28 Jamie Sample; 30
  7. #4 Jon Largena; 30
  8. #36 Chris Johnson; 30
  9. #5 Andrew Fortin; 30
  10. #95 Danny Harrell; 30
  11. #98 Matt Morgan; 29
  12. #30 Derek Roberts; 28
  13. #19 Kyle Wood; 19
  14. #29 Adam Medek; 14
  15. #49 Todd Whitesell; 3

 

Larry King Law’s Modified Race 2 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 30
  2. #78 Matt Carter; 30
  3. #95 Danny Harrell; 30
  4. #5 Andrew Fortin; 30
  5. #60 Bobby Gery; 30
  6. #51 Bubba Johnston; 30
  7. #98 Matt Morgan; 30
  8. #29 Adam Medek; 30
  9. #28 Jamie Sample; 30
  10. #30 Derek Roberts; 30
  11. #36 Chris Johnson; 28
  12. #4 Jon Largena; 28
  13. #3 Brad Adams; 25

Pepsi Grand Stock Results;

  1. #24 Sammy Gaita; 40
  2. #9 Rodney Boyd; 40
  3. #14 Paul Lubno; 40
  4. #2 Michael Waters; 40
  5. #77 Carl Livingston; 40
  6. #51 Grant Blasingame; 39
  7. #17 Tim Wilson; 24
  8. #26 Louis Pasderetz; 19

Shawn Balluzzo Enters 2018 Looking for Unprecedented Tenth Modified Division Title at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway

Shawn Balluzzo wins his 9th race of the year and 9th modified championship
Photo by John Long

Hampton, VA – With Mother Nature playing spoiler last weekend for most of the Mid-Atlantic region, the IMCA style Modified’s that run at Langley Speedway had to put their season opener on hold for a week. However, with warm temperatures and sunshine in the forecast all day race fans in the Hampton Roads area should be set for a wonderful night of racing.

After missing their season opener last week, nine-time series champion Shawn Balluzzo will begin not only his title defense but also his hunt for an unprecedented tenth series title. The IMCA style modifed’s will headline Pepsi Night with twin 30-lap features. Along with the Modified’s race fans will enjoy exciting action from the Winged Champ Karts, INEX Bando, and Legends division, Super Trucks and the Grand Stocks.

Balluzzo’s title hunt will not be easy, however. As this year as he will have the likes of Matt Carter and Bobby Gery – who all showed increasing speed at the conclusion of last season – to deal with as they will all be competing for wins. No official word if Balluzzo’s longtime “nemesis” if you will Robbie Babb will be back competing full time this year as rumor has it he is going to be running the SMRS Tour. Not to mention these division veterans will have to deal with some younger talent this year as both Brad Adams and Matt Morgan look to make a name for themselves in the open-wheeled division.

Racing is set to get underway at 7:00 PM so make sure to pack the car up and head on out to the speedway. If you cant make it follow us all night on Twitter (@theweeklyracer)

 

 

 

Pepsi Night Race Line Up:

  1. ERA Realtor Winged Champ Karts – 20 laps
  2. Cycle City Corp. Bandolero – 15 laps
  3. Larry King Law Modifieds – 30 laps
  4. Cycle City Corp. Legend’s – 25 laps
  5. Harris Truck Shop Super Trucks – 25 laps
  6. PEPSI Grand Stocks – 40 laps
  7. Larry King Law Modifieds – 30 laps
  1. BOJANGLES Enduros – 30 laps

 

*schedule subject to change*

Chris Johnson Capitalizes on Initial Start to Capture First Late Model Win of 2018 at Southside; Ethan Ayers & Ryan Paul Split UCAR Twin Bill

Chris Johnson climbs out of his Late Model in victory lane after leading every lap on April 13th at Southside Speedway.

Midlothian, VA – Howie Disavino, the 17-year-old Chesterfield native who just celebrated a birthday last week, surprised everyone when we laid down the fastest lap in qualifying earlier in the afternoon with a 14.959-second lap time. Averaging 80.139 MPH Disavino’s lap was just nine-thousandths of a second better than Southside veteran Chris Dodson. He would, however, invert the top four qualifiers handing the top spot over to sophomore driver Mason Bailey.

When Jodie Adkins displayed the green flag to the field Bailey either spun the tires or missed a gear on the start. This allowed Chris Johnson, who started on the outside pole, the opportunity to take the lead going into turn one and that was about all she wrote for the top spot. As things got settled in upfront Bailey found himself going the wrong way while Disavino mounted his charge back to the front. Chris Johnson and Disavino would check out over the field.

The 40-lap feature went caution free with some pretty action-packed racing for the third position on back. Bailey found himself under fire several times throughout the feature as he slid back to the seventh position where he ultimately finished. Veteran racers Bugs Hairfield, Eddie Johnson, and Chris Johnson ran nose to tail for several laps before Dodson got around the No. 43 for fourth.

With ten laps to go, Disavino really turned up the wick and his assault on race leader Chris Johnson. He would get into turn one just a little too hot and go into a four-wheel slide, ultimately killing any chance he would have at the win. Bugs Hairfield, Chris Dodson, and Eddie Johnson rounded out the top five.

 

Ethan Ayers was the second fastest qualifier earlier in the afternoon during qualifying. He would take the green flag in the third position after the four-car invert and found himself in the lead early. Ayers opened up more than an eight-car advantage before the first of two cautions flags flew. Dillon Devenny and Cameron Ruggles would take the cone and restart on the outside. However, Ayers was able to keep the lead and go on to win the race. Dillon Devenney, Joshua Thomas, Trevor Stinson, and Ryan Paul rounded out the top five which just happened to be how many cars were inverted for race two.

Paul, who was making just his second UCAR start due to the twins, used the invert to his advantage to jump out to an early lead. He would have to hold off Ayers just twice on restarts one coming immediately after the green and another on lap four when debris brought out the yellow.

The rear bumper cover of the No. 03 machine of Zachary Lindsey was the reason for the lap four caution and at the same time that is when we noticed the No. 72 of Joshua Thomas with a rear bumper cover falling off as well. Race officials decided that he needed to come down pit road to remove it before it fell off on the racing surface, he would ultimately battle back to an eighth-place finish.

On the ensuing restart, Ryan Paul struggled to get going and Ethan Ayers almost made him pay. The restart also allowed Michael Chapman to jump up to the third position. Paul would ultimately be able to hang onto the top spot over Ethan Ayers, Michael Chapman, Dillon Devenney, and Cameron Ruggles.

 

Late Model Stock OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #24 Chris Johnson; 40
  2. #55 Howie Disavino; 40
  3. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 40
  4. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
  5. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
  6. #22 Justin Martz; 40
  7. #05 Mason Bailey; 40
  8. #20 Sonny Allen; 40
  9. #18 Brad Davis; 40
  10. #90 John Goin; 40
  11. #89 Matt Ashworth; 40
  12. #99 Daniel Thomas; 31
  13. #19 Kyle Wood; 27
  14. #79 Lane Janosik; 4
  15. #25 Michael Sutphin; DNS

 

UCAR Race 1 Results;

  1. #96 Ethan Ayers; 25
  2. #15 Dillon Devenney; 25
  3. #72 Joshua Thomas; 25
  4. #10 Trevor Stinson; 25
  5. #5 Ryan Paul; 25
  6. #40 Cameron Ruggles; 25
  7. #12 Jamie Hite; 25
  8. #13 Beejay Anderson; 25
  9. #03 Zachary Lindsey; 25
  10. #89 Kyle Bunn; 25
  11. #97 Robert Eroh; 24
  12. #58 Hunter Waldrop; 24
  13. #49 Robbie Roth; 24
  14. #50 Kevin Garreau; 18
  15. #22 James Gelina; 18
  16. #1 Mike Frayser; 2
  17. #28 Tommy Gildea; DNS
  18. #14 Matthew McMillion; DNS

UCAR Race 2 Results;

  1. #5 Ryan Paul; 25
  2. #96 Ethan Ayers; 25
  3. #58 Micahel Chapman; 25
  4. #15 Dillon Devenney; 25
  5. #40 Cameron Ruggles; 25
  6. #10 Trevor Stinson; 25
  7. #13 Beejay Anderson; 25
  8. #72 Joshua Thomas; 25
  9. #97 Robert Eroh; 25
  10. #03 Zachary Lindsey; 25
  11. #50 Kevin Garreau; 25
  12. #14 Aaron McMillon; 25
  13. #1 Mike Frayser; 25
  14. #22 James Gelina; 23
  15. #49 Robbie Roth; 12
  16. #12 Jamie Hite; DNS

Dillon Spain Takes Checkered Flag in Southside Debut; Leyton Harrison Scores Second INEX Bando Feature of 2018

Photo: Jennifer Allen/Sara Kay Speed Shots

Midlothian, VA – Dillion Spain proved once again why he is one of the best in the business when it comes to INEX Legends racing by winning the pole and eventually the feature in his Southside Speedway debut.

Needing only five laps in the final practice/qualifying session, Spain set the quickest time with a 15.230-second lap of record, which is an average of 78.713 MPH around the 1/3-mile bull-ring that is Southside Speedway. Mason Diaz, Spain’s teammate, also making his Southside debut, clocked in with the second fastest time followed by Daniel Silvestri, Ryan Matthews, and Chris Lilly. The number three pill was pulled post qualifying effectively swapping Spain and Silvestri for the start of the race.

It did not take long for things to get hairy up front when the green flag was displayed. Silvestri, coming off of a pole win at Langley Speedway the week before, looked like he struggled to get up to speed. By the time the field got to the start finish line guys were already rubbing fenders and leaning on each other. The contact ultimately forced Silvestri into Mason Diaz and up into the turn one wall. Ryan Matthews, who started fourth, made contact with Diaz and ended up in the outside wall. The damage was enough to end both of the drivers nights before they even got started.

The 25-lap feature would be slowed eight additional times from various incidents throughout the field, one after the motor expired in the No. 98 machine of defending Legends champion, Cody Carlton. Spain was able to charge up to and hang onto the race lead after multiple restarts to win in his Southside debut followed by Chris Lilly, Daniel Silvestri, Carter Weedon, and Connor Jones rounded out the top five finishers in the thirteen car field.

Leyton Harrison continued his winning ways Friday night at Southside Speedway collecting win number two of the 2018 season. Harrison, who picked up the season opening victory at Langley Speedway the week before, took home the hardware after needing to unload a backup car after a scary wreck in practifying with fellow competitor Wyatt Philyaw.

Philyaw’s number 22 Bando would get loose coming out of turn two. Harrison, who was at full power, came off two and made contact with Philyaw. The contact would cause Harrison’s car to get airborne and slam into the boilerplate wall. Both drivers would be checked and released by the Manchester Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Harrison immediately pulled out the back up car while Philyaw’s crew, along with other Bando teams, went to work making repairs so he could make the feature. The nine car Bandolero feature would run caution free.

INEX Legends Official Results

  1. #7 Dillion Spain; 25
  2. #27 Chris Lilly; 25
  3. #97 Daniel Silvestri; 25
  4. #22 Carter Weeden; 25
  5. #14 Conner Jones; 25
  6. #00 DJ Elzey; 25
  7. #25 Dustin Honeycutt; 25
  8. #31 Carter Wood; 25
  9. #20 Roscoe Clough; 25
  10. #13 James Barchanowicz; 20
  11. #98 Cody Carlton; 10
  12. #24 Mason Diaz; 0
  13. #51 Ryan Matthews; 0

INEX Bando Official Results;

  1. #43 Leyton Harrison; 15
  2. #58 Eddie Slagle; 15
  3. #22 Wyatt Philyaw; 15
  4. #5 Peyton Lee; 15
  5. #15 Logan Clark; 15
  6. #59 Teddy Cranmer; 15
  7. #87 Kenton Case; 14
  8. #00 Gage Burrow; 14
  9. #02 Julliana Case; 10

Chris Dodson Wins Rain Shortened Late Model Race in Southside Season Opener

Dodson rolls through turns three and four during practice in 2017 at Southside Speedway. (Justin Kern/The Weekly Racer)

Midlothian, VA – Chris Dodson continued his dominance at the 1/3-mile flat track that he has shown in the past. Dodson not only set the fastest time in “practifying” – Southside’s version of group qualifying – with a time 14.589 (82.171 MPH) but would also dominate the rain-shortened feature after pulling a one during the redraw to claim his 7th JM Wilkinson Memorial opening night Late Model win in a row.

The Late Models lived up to their pre-season hype with guys using their bumpers on lap two. Third place qualifier, Bugs Hairfield, and outside pole sitter Daniel Thomas was the first to tango. This would result in Thomas going around in the center of turns one and two. Both drivers would have to mount a charge through the very competitive field in a short amount of time.

Once the green flag was displayed to the field it only took until turn three for the caution flag to be displayed to the field yet again with just two laps on the board. The yellow and contact with rookie John Goin in turns three and four would halt his charge back to the front.

The field would settle down for a solid twenty-four-lap green flag run before contact between Mason Bailey (No. 05) and Brad Davis (No. 18) would cause an accordion effect which resulted in Michael Sutphin going around, in turn, four bringing out the nights the third caution for the late models.

Only one lap would be run before Layne Janosik’s (No. 79) would get loose off of turn two and go sliding into the backstretch boilerplate wall. He would then climb the wall for a brief moment which then shot the car left across the racetrack turning Daniel Thomas’ already bad night, worse. Both cars were too damaged to continue.

The next restart came at lap twenty-seven and again the caution would immediately follow the green as Eddie Johnson looped his number 43 machine as he entered turn three. The field would get a handful of laps in before Johnson, who was on his way back through the field, would get into the rear of Michael Sutphin’s Chevy as they entered the corner resulting in a spin and another yellow flag working lap number thirty-two.

Photo Jennifer Allen – Sara Kay Speed Shots

While Mother Nature was preparing to put the proverbial fork in the night, the cone restart resulted in an intense battle between Brad Davis and fast qualifier Chris Dodson until contact on lap thirty-five between Michael Sutphin and rookie Justin Martz as they crossed the stripe. Martz’s would climb the right rear of Sutphin and both cars, still entangled, would spin entering turn one. The body of Sutphin’s machine partially removed, including the roof and greenhouse bowed up in the air, resulting Martz’s rear end parked atop the turn one wall.

As the track safety crew carefully removed Martz from the turn one wall, that is when the bottom dropped out. The weather system had entered the area and was there to stay. This would force officials to end the evening early as the racing surface was lost. With thirty-five of the forty laps completed, the Late Model feature would be deemed official and Chris Dodson picked up the win over Brad Davis, Chris Johnson, Howie DiSavino, and Mason Bailey.

Ethan Ayers set quick time earlier in the afternoon during practifying with a lap time of 16.767. Ryan Paul, Cameron Ruggles, Joshua Thomas and Beejay Anderson were the remaining quick qualifiers for the 25-lap feature. However, these drivers were not able to take the green flag for their season-opening race. The speedway will make an announcement at a later date if or when this race could be rescheduled.

Special thank to Buck Reuss and Erika Gay for providing information for this release.

Late Model Official Results

  1. #0 Chris Dodson; 35
  2. #18 Brad Davis; 35
  3. #24 Chris Johnson
  4. #55 Howie DiSavino; 35
  5. #05 Mason Bailey; 35
  6. #20 Sonny Allen; 35
  7. #19 Kyle Wood; 35
  8. #25 Michael Sutphin; 35
  9. #22 Justin Martz; 35
  10. #43 Eddie Johnson; 35
  11. #90 John Goin; 35
  12. #79 Lane Janosik; 27
  13. #99 Daniel Thomas; 27
  14. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 26
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