Hampton, VA – Usually by this time of the year we have covered several dozens of races, crowned a winner in the opening round of the Virginia Triple Crown series, and figured out who the powerhouses in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car community are. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a good portion of the 2020 season had been postponed and teams have yet to really flex their muscle. However, teams from all over the region will stroll into Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway all with the same goal in mind – landing in victory lane.
Twenty plus cars are expected to participate in tonights 200 lap feature, along with three additional support divisions, from the sold-out Langley Speedway. For those fans who were lucky enough to get tickets, and for those who will be tuning in tonight on NBC Gold Track pass, here are a few drivers to keep your eyes on. In no particular order.
1. Bobby McCarty
The defending CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car champion is also a former Hampton Heat champion and has been on a hot streak in recent years. Though he has not had much success so far in the 2020 CARS Tour campaign McCarty traveled to Hampton, Virginia two weeks ago and kicked off the 2020 Langley season with a trip to Dale Lemonds victory lane. Finishing the rain-shortened test in the top five last night McCarty and his No. 22 Toyota Camera will be one to watch for all evening.
2. Cory Heim
Another regular competitor in on the CARS Tour circuit but on the Super Late Model side of things has proven time and time again he can battle for wins. Heim was another driver who finished yesterday’s test in the top five of the speed charts. Heim as little experience at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway but has proven to the Late Model, and Super Late Model community, that he can travel anywhere and be competitive. Looking for Heim to post a solid qualifying lap and keep the nose of his machine clean, if he can do this for 199 laps I would not count him out as a contender to win.
3. Brenden Queen
Queen has always shown he knows how to navigate the long distances races just never had luck go his way. Queen once again, albeit was a shorter race, proved that he can contend for wins if he can get the track position. The young Chesapeake driver who picked up his first Langley Speedway win of his LMSC career last year in a pair of twins almost did just that during the 2020 season opener battling door-to-door with former multi-time track champion Danny Edwards. IF Queen can snag a top ten starting position, remember to run his race and not burn his tires up, and maybe a little bit of luck Queen might just be able to help keep the trophy in the Hampton Roads area.
4. Connor Hall
Now, it almost seems like you have to put the driver in the “Who to Watch” category when they top the speed chart, right? I personally say the answer to that is no. Sometimes test sessions are a bit of a mind game. Throw a set of stickers on the car and go blast one quick lap while the other guys and/or gals are running on 150+ lap tires. However, Connor Hall came on strong towards the end of the season last year and enters tonight’s 200-lap feature as the defending champion. This is no normal Saturday night show for the Hampton native so he is going to have to be on top of his game, however, if you don’t keep an eye on the blue No. 77 tonight then you are doing it all wrong. As long as Hall can keep his temper under control and not stick his nose into places they don’t belong too soon there is a good chance he can become the historic races only back-to-back champion.
5. C.E. Falk
Ahh, the always difficult fifth spot… Trying to nail down five drivers to pay attention to when there are probably eight to ten who could win this thing. I also feel like this guy’s name always seems to find a way into our stories. The reason being is you can never write Falk off when he unloads at Langley Speedway and if you do so then you have already probably lost the race. Falk is the races only back-to-back and multi-time winner (2010, 2011, 2014) and has since taken a little bit more of a back seat in Late Model racing but once the sun goes down and the lights come on later this evening C.E. Falk will certainly be a contender
Dark Horse/Sleeper: Trey Crews
I think it is safe to say that Trey Crews surprised the Late Model community last year when he finished third in the Virginia Triple Crown opener at South Boston Speedway and was having a good run at the Hampton Heat until getting into some trouble. With South Boston Speedway still closed Crews does have at least one start under his belt so far this year and that is from the pole position at a race at Ace where he finished second. It’s obvious that Crew’s took some of that momentum from 2019 and used it in 2020. He will once again have his work cut out for him as some of the best Late Model Stock Car drivers will go to battle this evening. However, with a little bit of luck and a clean nose, Trey Crews could pull off a shocker tonight in Hampton.
Saturday – July 18, 2020
Gates open for LMSC only. All teams will mount their qualifying tires. These tires will remain in the tire impound area. Once all qualifying tires are mounted practice tire may be mounted
11:15AM – 2:00PM
Inspection line will be open for:
- Courtesy inspection – Tread width, Wheel Base and Body Templates (Not Mandatory)
- During this time each team must send a representative to draw for qualifying and complete all driver information packages
11:30AM – 12:15PM
MANDATORY LMSC driver, crew chief and spotters meeting. Meeting will be in the pavilion VIP area in turn 4
Sign-in and gates open for Pro Six, Super Trucks, and Super Streets.
12:30PM – 2:00PM
LMSC Open practice. We will start with and maintain 14 cars on the track at a time. There will be a 5-minute break every 30
minutes to clear the gates and allow all other divisions to cross for tires and fuel.
Release LMSC qualifying tires (tires may be purged)
2:10PM – 2:25PM
Divisional drivers meeting for Pro Six, Super Trucks, and Super Streets. This meeting will be held at the turn 2 track entrance.
2:35PM – 4:15PM
3 rounds of rotating practice for Pro Six, Super Trucks, and Super Streets. Your 3rd round will be 5 min long and will set the feature line-up. Teams can adjust on pit road during this time.
ALL LMSC WORK IS COMPLETE AND CARS MUST BACKED OUT OF THEIR PIT AREA at this time and proceed to the technical inspection building. All cars will qualify race ready. All cars will mount qualifying tires in their respective pit area. Maximum air pressure in the tech line is 20lbs in the left side tires and 30lbs in the right-side tires. Air pressure can be adjusted on the qualifying line. (Air can be let out only)
LMSC qualifying begins (three laps – 1scuff lap then green-white-checkered). All cars will be impounded in your pit stall backed in at a 45-degree angle and remain on the ground. Once the car is in place no team members or work is allowed at this time.
5:30PM – 6:00PM
Remove transporters from the infield.
Pre race ceremonies
Racing Begins. Race Order:
- Riverside Paper Pro Six (30 Laps)
- Harris Truck Shop Super Trucks (25 Laps)
- Old Skool Video Games Super Streets (50 Laps)
7:15PM – 7:45PM
LMSC Final Work Session
12thAnnual Hampton Heat 200
The Hampton Heat is 200 laps event with two six (6) lap controlled cautions at lap 100 and lap 150. All other caution laps will count. This is a six (6) tire feature race. Four (4) tires for qualifying and the same four (4) for the start of the feature. The additional two (2) tires can be used at either of the controlled cautions and may be scuffs or sticker tires). All six (6) tires must have been purchased and recorded by the tire officials at the track July 17th or 18th. Each team will also check in four (4) tires no more than 4/32 for emergency use if you have a flat on the rim emergency.
There will be two (2) six (6) Lap controlled cautions at lap 100 and 150 with a double file restart no cone for these restarts. During these cautions TEAMS will have the opportunity to make any adjustment/changes. The laps in all other cautions will count and the CONE re-starts will be in effect.
Lap 100 and 150 Controlled Caution / Guidelines Once Pit Road Is Open
- TEAMS will choose to pit or stay on the track
- TEAMS that stay on the track will determine the new re-start line-up as they are on the track
- TEAMS that pit will be realigned as they entered pit road behind lead lap cars on the track
- TEAMS cannot lose laps or positions on pit road while under these cautions
- If you are the reason for the caution or enter the pits before the pits are open you must line up at the end of the longest line
*Subject To Change*