Midlothian, VA – IMCA Modifieds were another feature division in our Friday night program at Southside Speedway. Eleven drivers were in the house for their 30-lap feature. Chris Johnson was fastest earlier in the evening with a 14.947 second (80.203 MPH) lap – the only car to break into the 14-second time. However, due to drawing a #3 on the poker chip, Johnson would invert the top three starters. Could have been worse with a five, but either way no one in the field had anything for that rocket ship!
With the help of Mr. Jimmy Walker the green flag was displayed over the field and Johnson was not playing around! To be perfectly honest not sure if Johnson helped pole sitter Kyle Wood into one or if the 19 had to drive her to deep, either way Wood pushed up the banking forcing the #17 of Shawn Hopkins to push up too. Warren Lipford wasn’t not waiting for that door to close before he could capitalize – he had second as they exited turn two.
By the fifth lap C. Johnson had already built a full straightaway lead over the second place machine who had third through fifth lines up bumper to bumper behind him. Lipford, Wood, Hopkins, and M. Johnson were all fighting for the same piece of real estate. Do have to give credit to Michael Johnson who gave a nice little nudge to the 17 car – “excuse me coming through – just before the half way mark of the race.
The field was only slowed once with 11 laps to go to bring the caution car out. The #2 of Eric Fowlkes went around in turn four. Did not see any contact to cause the spin, either way Fowlkes would need a push away from the scene. Was a pretty quick caution and Race Director, Chris Stefi orders for the cone to be placed on the front stretch. Chris Johnson electing the low line while Wood tried his luck up top.
Hampton, VA – Drivers and their teams converged to the grounds of Langley Speedway this weekend with fingers crossed to get some racing in. For the past four weeks tracks all over the Mid-Atlantic have been waging war with Mother Nature who keeps sticking her nose into business she doesn’t belong! She let us get all the way through practice, qualifying, pre-race festivities and even three and a half races before she had to ruin the fun. Bando’s, Legends, got their races in, the mods were able to get their first race in, and the Super Streets (running more than half the distance) got their race in as well.
A crazy mix of events proved to be one interesting night for the Larry King Law Modifieds, and this didn’t even revolve around the new patches of asphalt in the corners. Earlier in the week points leader Shawn Balluzzo had an accident that left him with some bruised ribs and a snapped wrist, needless to say the chances of him racing were slim to none. This left the points to Jon Largena – who would end up packing his car up frantically to head back to the shop to replace a bolt that snapped in the rear end during the first practice.
The crew was able to make the repairs and head back to the track in time for qualifying where Largena was able to post the second fastest time of the fifteen cars who completed time trials. Robbie Babb, who had been fast all afternoon in practice again showed his power, posting the only time in the 15 second range with a 15.921 (90.447 MPH). Jimmy Humblet, Bobby Gery, and Chris Humblet would make up the rest of the starting five. Donnie Holston who hit the wall a ton during practice was not able to get his car repaired, he went home early. Starting shotgun on the field… none other than Shawn Balluzzo! Having help from his crew of course the points leader’s goal was to merely start and park the car.
Hampton, VA – With the Late Model’s off this weekend we will turn most of our attention to the rumbling , ground pounding sound of the modifieds. Running their first set of twins this season 7-time track champ, Shawn Balluzzo, will look to extend his dominance on the season. Balluzzo told us earlier this season they are really hunting for that Div. II National Title so every win will count. Balluzzo has really taken to the road this season to help his chances, running at South Boston and East Carolina in addition to his home track. Being blatantly honest here the 48 team has struggle some kind of bad at SoBo somehow always running into either motor or distributor troubles.
However, the past is the past right? Balluzzo is coming into this weekend with two victories on the road sweeping the twin bill down at East Carolina and looking to do the same tonight. He will have to be on is toes as Jon Largena – who only ran a very limited schedule last year – has really started to get a handle on these much more powerful machines. Watch out for the black and white number 4 to be up there in contention for the win.