Category Archives: Modified

Shawn Balluzzo Continues Winning Streak in Larry King Law Modified Division

Shawn Balluzzo celebrates his fifth consecutive Modified victory at Langley Speedway with granddaughter Sidney. (Charlie Alexander/King Charles Photography)

Hampton, VA– Shawn Balluzzo picked up right where he has left off all season by grabbing yet another pole for their 50-lap feature event. Rick Gdovic who debuted a brand new car qualified second. Matt Carter, Jamie Sample, and Brenden Queen – who made his Modified debut – made up the fastest five starters.

Once Balluzzo saw the green flag fly he never looked back. Carter and Gdovic fell in line behind Balluzzo as Sample and Queen battled for fourth. Queen eventually took the spot from Sample as Bubba Johnston looked to follow through with Queen but was unable to do so. Bobby Gery, who has been driving a different car after his got totaled in the first race of the season, pulled his machine to pit road and parked it nose first in his stall ending his evening early.

A three-car battle between Johnston, Harrell, and Largena began for the sixth position. Harrell made multiple attempts to get to the inside of Johnston but couldn’t get it done without giving him a big bump in turn three on lap 15. Queen also caught Gdovic for the third position and started to put the pressure on. While everyone was battling for sixth Kyle Wood was able to catch up and take eighth from Largena. Bubba Johnston would have issues as he got shuffled out of the groove and fell all the way back to the ninth position.

Halfway through the feature Balluzzo had built a full straightaway lead over second place Matt Carter. Gdovic and Queen were still left battling for the third position, while everyone else was well spread out. Bubba Johnston pulled his machine down pit road to service the issues he was having throughout the race and was able to rejoin the field a few laps later. By lap thirty-five Balluzzo had a straightaway and a half lead over Carter who had no competition for second. Gdovic finally was able to get away from Queen for third place and Queen began to slip behind. Jamie Sample was losing grip of the track and coming out of turn four, was almost sideways due to lack of grip. That helped Harrell, Wood, and Largena get past him.

The checkered flag flew for Shawn Balluzzo as he picked up his fifth straight win of the season. Matt Carter, Rick Gdovic, Brenden Queen, and Danny Harrell were your top five finishers.

Larry King Law Modified Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 50
  2. #78 Matt Carter; 50
  3. #64 Rick Gdovic; 50
  4. #47 Brenden Queen; 50
  5. #95 Danny Harrell; 50
  6. #19 Kyle Wood; 49
  7. #4 TJ Largena; 49
  8. #28 Jamie Sample; 49
  9. #98 Matt Morgan; 49
  10. #16 Eric McPherson; 48
  11. #19 Bubba Johnston; 31
  12. #3 Bobby Gery; 4

Balluzzo Continues His Dominance in Modified Series

Hampton, VA– Shawn Balluzzo captured his fourth straight pole of the year in a field of 11 strong Modifieds. Matt Carter, Bubba Johnston, Eric McPherson, and Brad Adams rounded out your top five starters for the 50-lap 97.3 The Eagle Night.

As the green flag flew, Matt Carter got a great start and jumped to an early lead followed by Balluzzo. Carter couldn’t pull away just yet as the first caution of the race flew on lap three for Danny Harrell coming to a stop on the backstretch. The green flag would be displayed again and Carter got another great start took off with the lead.

Jamie Sample would put a move on Bubba Johnston for third place and took the spot. It didn’t take long for Balluzzo to take the lead back from Carter as he did so on lap eight. Carter tried to take it back but had a slip in the turn and lost momentum. Brad Adams started to make a move on Johnston for fourth place but couldn’t make it stick. Next lap around the 4/10-mile oval of Langley Speedway, he made the move he needed and was able to get to the inside of Johnston. The second caution of the night came on lap 18 as TJ Largena, trying to work around the No. 19 of Johnston, made minor contact and spun the car around in turn four trying to keep the car straight. Also during the caution, Adams pulled his machine onto pit road with an engine failure to end his night.

Green flag flew once more and this time Balluzzo and Carter made contact with each other but they held on to their machines. At the halfway mark the top five was comprised of Balluzzo, Carter, Sample, Gdovic, and Johnston. Just three laps after spinning, Largena had made his way back to the bumper of Johnston and gave him a nudge that Johnston didn’t take to kindly to. Once Largena made his way around Johnston, he took no time to get past Gdovic for fourth place.

Johnston looked to take the position away from Gdovic as well but Gdovic shut the door on him. Ten laps to go and Carter wasn’t letting Balluzzo out of his sights. With five laps to go, Carter slipped going into turn four trying to make up ground on Balluzzo and that was the final nail in the coffin. The checkered flag flew and Balluzzo picked up his fourth straight victory of the 2019 season.

Larry King Law Modified OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 50
  2. #78 Matt Carter; 50
  3. #28 Jamie Sample; 50
  4. #4 TJ Largena; 50
  5. #47 Rick Gdovic; 50
  6. #19 Bubba Johnston; 50
  7. #98 Matt Morgan; 49
  8. #16 Eric McPherson; 49
  9. #60 Bobby Gery; 25
  10. #3 Brad Adams; 18
  11. #95 Danny Harrell; 2

Shawn Balluzzo Remains Perfect in 2019 Winning Race Number Three

Shawn Balluzzo powers down the backstretch during final practice in preparation for Courtyard by Marriott Night April 20, 2019. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Hampton, VA– Shawn Balluzzo picked up win number three of the 2019 season and continues to show his dominance in the Modified division. After winning the pole earlier in the afternoon with a 16.258-second (87.465 MPH) lap, Balluzzo jumped out to an early and commanding lead while Brad Adams and Matt Carter to settle things for second. Carter’s little stumble on the initial start allowed Adams the opportunity to get to the preferred groove, settle into a rhythm and occupy the second position.

Behind them a brief battle heated up for the remaining position open in the top five between Bubba Johnston – running a car recently purchased by longtime truck series driver Chase McAdams – Danny Harrell, and Matt Morgan. Johnston was able to take the fourth position at the time. The race was only slowed one time after Louie Pasderetz got into the back of the slower machine of Grant Blasingame working through turn four. The yellow came just shortly after TJ Largena – who took the green flag in the twelfth position mind you – made the pass on Jamie Sample to take the sixth position away from him.

Pasderetz was able to get the car pointed in the right direction and NASCAR officials gave the field the option for the cone. To no surprise, Balluzzo elected to keep his position on the bottom of the racetrack. Second place qualifier, Brad Adams, would also decide to take the restart on the low line. Matt Carter and Bubba Johnston were the first to that decided to try the outside. It looked as if Carter was going to make things work, however, Balluzzo was just too strong on getting back to the gas and once again cleared the field out of two.

Johnston, who looked slow on the restart, was almost immediately shuffled back to the sixth spot before getting the tires under the car. He is eventually able to get back around Morgan leaving the door open for Largena. The following lap Johnston made a huge slip out of two and had to chase the car up the track, which allowed Largena to break into the top five. Which by the way, if our calculations are correct, that would earn Mr. TJ Largena the TWR Hard Charger Award!

This go around Balluzzo did not build the same lead he did on the initial start but he was able to stretch things out far enough to where there was nothing Adams could do. Carter would come home third followed by Harrell and Largena.

Chase McAdams, who we mentioned above that just recently bought a Modified, made his 2019 return in the Harris Truck Shop Super Truck division. He was the fastest man in town earlier in the afternoon during qualifying and backed that up during the race as he went wire-to-wire to collect the win. Ronald Klein, Rick Poust, Shannon Lester, and Paige Cain rounded out the top five finishers.

 

Larry King Law Modified OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 50
  2. #3 Brad Adams; 50
  3. #78 Matt Carter; 50
  4. #95 Danny Harrell; 50
  5. #4 TJ Largena; 50
  6. #34 Bubba Johnston; 50
  7. #98 Matt Morgan; 50
  8. #47 Rick Gdovic; 50
  9. #16 Eric McPherson; 50
  10. #28 Jamie Sample; 50
  11. #26 Louie Pasderetz; 50
  12. #77 Bobby Gery; 50
  13. #7 Grant Blasingame; 44
  14. #12 Mark Gomez; DNS

Langley Speedway Scheduled to Move Forward With Racing Tonight

Hampton, Va – After a line of strong storms moved through the Mid-Atlantic racing region overnight and forcing cancellation of two big events (Southside Speedway’s 75-lap Late Model feature & VMS $20,000 to win King of the Commonwealth) Larry King Law Langley Speedway is scheduled to go on as planned. Though most Virginian’s and folks from eastern North Carolina woke up to wet soggy grounds, the forecast for later this afternoon appears to be more ideal for some asphalt short track racing. With a mix of clouds and sun during the morning that will give way to cloudy skies later this afternoon, Hampton should see a high of 72 with winds SSW at 15 to 25 mph.

With the cancellation of Virginia Motor Speedway’s King of the Commonwealth, The Weekly Racer will switch its full coverage to Langley Speedway’s Courtyard Marriot Night which will feature a 50-lap Modified feature. 10-time champion Shawn Balluzzo opened the season with back-to-back victories in a wid pair of 40-lap twins. Can Balluzzo continue to dominate the series or will someone like Matt Carter or Jamie Sample be able to knock Balluzzo off the podium? Tune into our Twitter feed to find out later this evening starting at 4:30 PM EDT.

A full race-day schedule can be found below.

 

Courtyard Marriott Night at The Races

11:00 AM                                       PIT GATES OPEN

2:00 PM                                          GENERAL ADMISSION GATES OPEN

2:00 PM                                          PRACTICE BEGINS

4:15 PM                                          DRIVER’S MEETING

4:30 PM                                          QUALIFYING

6:50 PM                                          INVOCATION BY REV. POTTER / NATIONAL ANTHEM

7:00 PM                                          1ST RACE BEGINS

Practice Order

  1. Modified – 3 Practices
  2. Grand Stock – 2 Practices
  3. Super Truck – 2 Practices
  4. U-car – 2 Practices
  5. Legend – 2 Practices
  6. Bandolero – 2 Practices
  7. Winged Champ Karts – 2 Practices

Qualifying Order

  1. Winged Champ Kart – (Euro Qualifying 3 Karts 1 lap)
  2. Bandolero – (Euro Qualifying 3 cars 5 laps)
  3. Legend – 2 laps (Green-White-Checkered)
  4. U-Car – 2 laps (Green-White-Checkered)
  5. Super Truck – 2 laps (Green-White-Checkered)
  6. Grand Stock – 2 laps (Green-White-Checkered)
  7. Modified – 10 lap scuff session – 2 Laps (Green-White-Checkered)

Race Line Up

  1. ERA Real Estate Champ Kart – 20
  2. Cycle City Corp Bandolero – 15 laps
  3. Pepsi Grand Stock – 40
  4. Cycle City Corp Legends – 25 laps
  5. Bojangles U-Car – 25 Laps
  6. Harris Truck Shop Super Trucks – 25 Laps
  7. Larry King Law Modified – 50 Laps

*subject to change

Shawn Balluzzo Returns to Dale Lemonds Victory Lane After Emotional Off-Season

Hampton, VA – By now it is no secret that Shawn Balluzzo, defending and record holding ten-time Modified champion, and family has had a roller coaster offseason dealing with off tracks things. Towards the end of the 2018 race season, it was announced that his youngest daughter Bryce was diagnosed with leukemia – a cancer of the blood. However, if you don’t know a Balluzzo or their family, then you don’t know how much of fighters they are. Bryce with the help of family, friends, and Fanschoice stayed strong even in the hardest times and is pushing through. Much like her father did at the end of last season to secure his tenth division title and come back just as strong in 2019.

After being fastest all day in practice, Shawn Balluzzo was the man to beat in qualifying as well, putting down a lap time of 15.961. Filling out the top five would be Matt Carter, Bubba Johnston, Jamie Sample, and Kyle Wood. Fourteen Modifieds would enter the contest this past Saturday for twin 40-lap races tonight.

As the first 40 lap feature got underway, Balluzzo jumped out to an early lead and pulled away from Matt Carter. After several laps of hard racing for the third position, Jamie Sample spun out to bring out the first caution of the race. The restart would come and Balluzzo would pull away from the field once again. Sample would make his way back to the top five until he made contact with Louie Pasderetz, who made his move up from the Grand Stock division and will be competing for Rookie of the Year and spun him around to bring out the caution.

At the halfway point Balluzzo still showed the way over Matt Carter, Bubba Johnston, Bobby Gery, and Kyle Wood. Battles throughout the field would start to begin as Danny Harrell, TJ Largena and Rick Gdovick fought for the eighth position. With only three laps to go, Gery did all he could to get past Carter the for third position but couldn’t manage. The checkered flag waved for the driver of the No. 48 machine Shawn Balluzzo followed by Bubba Johnston, Matt Carter, Bobby Gery, and Jamie Sample rounding out your top five.

The second twin 40 of the night, as usual on twin nights, was an exciting one. Due to NASCAR rules, the field had to invert up to the top eight from the first race putting TJ Largena on the pole. Danny Harrell would line up second, Kyle Wood third, Jamie Sample fourth and Bobby Gery starting fifth. After just one lap, the majority of the field didn’t make it out of turn one. Bubba Johnston’s and Matt Carter’s cars were unable to continue the race. On the following restart, Kyle Wood would take over the lead for a good fifteen laps as things began to heat up throughout the field.

The second caution of the race would come after Balluzzo and Gery were battling for position and made contact with each other sending both to the rear of the field. Jamie Sample would take the lead away from Kyle Wood on the restart and start to pull away. Balluzzo would make his charge back through the field and into the top five just a few laps later. With only nine laps left in the race, Bobby Gery hit the backstretch wall hard ultimately bringing out the red flag.

Once back green and with only five laps to go, Balluzzo would battle Sample for the lead and ultimately take it from him. From there Balluzzo would hold on to the win and double down on the night and open 2019 with two wins. Jamie Sample, Matt Morgan, Rick Gdovick and Louie Pasderetz rounded out your top five.

Larry King Law Modified Race Results #1:

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #51 Bubba Johnston; 40
  3. #78 Matt Carter; 40
  4. #60 Bobby Gery; 40
  5. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  6. #19 Kyle Wood; 40
  7. #95 Danny Harrell; 40
  8. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  9. #47 Rick Gdovic; 40
  10. #26 Louie Pasderetz; 40
  11. #7 Grant Blasingame; 40
  12. #16 Eric McPherson; 40
  13. #98 Matt Morgan; 26
  14. #3 Brad Adams; 14

Larry King Law Modified Race Results #2:

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  3. #98 Matt Morgan; 40
  4. #47 Rick Gdovic; 40
  5. #26 Louie Pasderetz; 40
  6. #19 Kyle Wood; 40
  7. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  8. #7 Grant Blasingame; 40
  9. #16 Eric McPherson; 39
  10. #60 Bobby Gery; 31
  11. #95 Danny Harrell; 16
  12. #78 Matt Carter; 1
  13. #51 Bubba Johnston; 1

Bailey Moves Kyle Wood for Modified Victory; Dan Rogers Picks Up Where He Left Off

Mason Bailey gets a feel of a new car during the opening round of practice Friday, March 29, 2019. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA– Bailey was one of two drivers, Kyle Wood was the second, pulling double duty on the evening. Both drivers were racing in the Modified division and the Late Model class. Bailey, who was piloting the yellow No. 17 machine we saw end up in victory lane so much last year, once again put it on the pole with a time faster than what he did in the Late Model – 14.550. Kyle Wood, Michael Johnson, Tyler Davis, and Thomas Stinson were the fastest five drivers. Bailey somehow drew another two for the invert handing his pole spot over the Kyle Wood.

Once the race went green Wood took advantage of that top spot and took an early lead. Bailey stayed glued to the rear nerf bar, however, and the two checked out from the rest of the field. As the two clicked off laps we could see the race getting more and more physical. It went from stalking, to a couple of knock-knocks on the rear nerf bar, all the way to one hell of a bump and run, two to be exact. The first one was just a little sloppy and Bailey let Wood collect the car back up so they could go back at it.

Wood did a hell of a job leading the first seventeen circuits and looked to be a real contender for victory lane. However, that second shot Bailey gave him going into one working lap seventeen was just too much. Wood was moved up the racetrack allowing Bailey to take the lead and ultimately the victory. Michael Johnson was able to hold off Thomas Stinson, the two finished third and fourth respectively. Tyler Davis rounded out the top five.

Dan Rogers picked up where he left the Grand Stock division in 2018 – at the top of the leader board and points standings. Rogers was the only driver to break into the fifteen-second bracket during practifying running a 15.824 (75.827 MPH). With the invert rule Southside uses – up to six cars can be inverted for the start of the race, however, the pole sitter earns a bonus point – Rogers took the green flag from the fourth position. This handed the top spot and front row over to Brian Rogers, no relation, and Mike Lowe.

Lowe was able to hang onto the lead for the first seven circuits before surrendering the lead to Chris Sylvester, just as the first of two cautions came out. The second caution coming from Lowe stopping on the backstretch. The lead switched hands one final time on lap seventeen when Rogers was able to get around Sylvester who would ultimately finish second. Rookie of the Year contender Eddie Slagle recovered from an early spin to finish third. Wayne Groome and Jordan Bell rounded out the top five.

 

Modified OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #17 Mason Bailey; 30
  2. #19 Kyle Wood; 30
  3. #38 Michael Johnson; 30
  4. #9 Thomas Stinson; 30
  5. #00 Tyler Davis; 30
  6. #7 Lauren Edgerton; 30
  7. #29 Adam Medek; 30
  8. #43 Warren Lipford; 0

 

Grand Stock Official Results;

  1. #33 Dan Rogers; 30
  2. #5 Chris Sylvester; 30
  3. #58 Eddie Slagle; 30
  4. #08 Wayne Groome; 30
  5. #17 Jordan Bell; 30
  6. #88 Mike Lowe; 29
  7. #44 Brian Rogers; 22

Matt Carter Prevails in 100-lap Modified Madness Season Finale at Langley Speedway

Matt Carter celebrates in victory lane with daughter Carly. Photo: Jeff Rohrs/Matt Carter Racing

Hampton, VA – After more than a month off, between NASACAR’s visit to Richmond, the largest Late Model Stock Car race of the year at Martinsville, and good ole Mother Nature, racing returned to Langley Speedway. The IMCA style modified series headlined The Performance Plus & Crossings at Oakbrooke Championship Night. Matt Carter was the big winner over the weekend in the Modified divisions longest and richest race of their season – one hundred laps and $1,000 pay day.

Carter would start the feature in the third position right behind the freshly crowned ten-time champion Shawn Balluzzo. Jimmy Humblet would make his return to the .395-mile oval looking to start the feature from the pole but would have to settle for second once Balluzzo was able to clock in a lap a mere thousandths of a second quicker. Bubba Johnston and Jamie Sample complete the fastest five starters.

It looked to be yet another Shawn Balluzzo domination clinic – who jumped out to a very early lead – once the field was given the green light to come to life. Jimmy Humblet would give an honest chase to Balluzzo for a handful of laps but had nothing for the 2018 champion and would settle into second. Matt Carter and Bubba Johnston would also battle it out for the third position; Carter would come out on top of that deal. Things got interesting for the race leader when he approached the slower car of Andrew Fortin – one driver who over the past two seasons has not played well with Balluzzo on track – to put him a lap down. Fortin would spend multiple laps and use multiple grooves to hold up the leader, one could argue his actions looked almost deliberate. Fortin would eventually move over after a shake of the black flag from “Stickman.” Luckily, or maybe unlucky for Balluzzo the lap sixty-five break came soon after. Fortin would only make it to lap eighty-nine before his night came to an end.

Teams were able to come down pit road, add fuel, and make minor adjustments before heading back out for the final thirty-five laps. That is when things took a turn for the worst for Balluzzo. Two quick yellows set up an interesting turn of events when the race leader found himself spinning after possible contact. Matt Carter would inherit the lead while Balluzzo went to the rear of the field. A series of more yellow flags would benefit for Balluzzo and allow him to come back through the field but would simply run out of laps. Matt Carter would go on to win followed by Balluzzo, Jimmy Humblett, Danny Harrell and Rick Gdovic.

Yeah man, this feels great! I pretty much just let the forty eight and the eleven go, Carter said in Dale Lemonds victory lane. I had a plan to just ride up to about lap eighty and then it was on. This field is really good, this team has worked its butts off this year. We had a lot of ups and down, to be able to put this thing in Victory Lane for this race, it means a lot”

Modified Madness OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #78 Matt Carter; 100
  2. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 100
  3. #11 Jimmy Humblett; 100
  4. #95 Danny Harrell; 100
  5. #47 Rick Gdovic; 100
  6. #60 Bobby Gery; 100
  7. #98 Matt Morgan; 100
  8. #51 Bubba Johnston; 100
  9. #12 Kyle Wood; 100
  10. #20 Chris Humblett; 100
  11. #00 Tyler Davis; 100
  12. #26 Louie Pasderetz; 100
  13. #18 DJ Valente; 100
  14. #63 Derek Roberts; 97
  15. #5 Andrew Fortin; 89
  16. #28 Jamie Sample; 2
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