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Ep. 07 A Dart Without Feathers is Fast. But It Doesn’t Know Where It’s Going

We welcome back Jesse to the Podcast after missing the last recording due to work and spotter obligations for a very special recording in the Al Pearce Media Center at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway the morning of the 2017 Hampton Heat 200. We are joined by Langley Media partner, Mark Rogers, Jr., as well as Late Model drivers Grayson Cullather, Brenden Queen, Mark Wertz, and Sam Hunt. We talk about their cars during the test session and what it will take to win.

We also discuss the Thunder Road Harley Davidson 200 at South Boston the first of the month as well as The Prelude to The Heat.

Tommy Sweeney Grabs Another Win in the Grand Stocks; Travis Wall Gets His First Win in 2017 for Pro Six

Hampton, VA – Tommy Sweeney ran a fast time of 18.501 in the group qualifying session for the Pepsi Grand Stocks at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway. Starting on his outside was Rodney Boyd off the pace by just over a tenth of a second. Altogether seven cars took time for their 40 lap feature.

Off the start Boyd had troubles quickly falling back through the field leaving second place open for Paul Lubno. Five laps in Lubno was close enough to give Sweeney bump on his rear bumper grabbing first place early on. A couple laps later and Mark Frye put some pressure on Boyd to take over third place and Rodney pitted a couple laps later to have his crew tend to his hurting car.

On lap-16 Boyd came back out on the track right behind Sweeney who he had problems with on the last weekend they raced. He got pretty close to tagging him a couple times before parking it for the rest of the race. While all that was going on Tim Wilson managed to take third place from Frye at the halfway mark.

With eleven laps to go Sweeney made his move past Lubno for the lead while Wilson and Frye also dive in to each other. Frye would slam bodies a little with Lubno pushing him into the fourth spot. With five laps to go Sweeney had a one-second lead over second place and was able to cruise easily in the closing laps to his second win in three races. With three wins on the year now and the points lead things are looking good for the #11 team.

Pro Six Feature

Travis Wall sat on top of group qualifying with a 17.747 just barely edging out Adam Florian who ran a 17.766. Wall led green to checkered for his first win in the Riverside Paper Pro Six division on the season. Bobby Hall made it up to third past JB Sipe before having some troubles with his car and having to park it with 6 laps remaining. With those troubles and only four races remaining Florian will have a big points lead over second place.

 

Grand Stock Results

  1. Tommy Sweeney
  2. Mark Frye
  3. Tim Wilson
  4. Paul Lubno
  5. Kevin Morgan
  6. Jonathan White -1
  7. Rodney Boyd -21

Pro Six Results

  1. Travis Wall
  2. Adam Florian
  3. JB Sipe
  4. Jordan Wood
  5. Tyler McLaughlin -1
  6. Debbie Biesecker -1
  7. Bobby Hall -6

Tommy Jackson, Jr. Breaks the String of Bad Luck with INEX National Qualifier Win; Cole Bruce Take Home the Win in Bandos

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Hampton, VA – With the 9th Annual Hampton Heat upon Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway this weekend, it was announced late last week that the INEX Legends and Bandolero features would both be national qualifiers. Thirteen Legends drivers made the trip out in the insane July heat here in Hampton Roads. Interesting enough, only one new driver made the trip this weekend after the qualifier was announced and that was the #51 of Ryan Matthews, a series winner up at Southside Speedway so far in 2017.

Tommy Jackson, Jr. once again looked to be the car to beat during qualification edging out current track points leader Brian May for the pole by seven-hundredth of a second. The 18.229-second lap (78.008 MPH) was good enough for Jackson’s second consecutive pole and eventually proved to be enough to land the Poquoson native in Dale Lemonds Victory Lane for the first time this season. Defending race winner, Spencer Saunders, would start third with Cody Carlton and Jamie Price rounding out the fastest five cars.

When the green flag dropped on the 30-lap feature, Jackson left nothing on the table and took command of the race lead early bringing Saunders along with him leaving May in third. It was almost like Deja Vu as Jackson and Saunders worked in tandem to pull away from the rest of the pack just like a couple weeks ago. Where Saunders hounded the rear nerf bar of Jackson and made a great late race pass coming to the white flag to steal the victory. This time around though, Jackson just looked too strong.

Some good battles would take place throughout the field behind the leaders with David Brandt, Lane McKee, Colby Flowers and Zach Lightfoot as you sprinkled a few cautions throughout the race. A late race caution for the #4 of Chris Hayes – who’s night would end early after a trailing arm bolt broke – and then again quickly there after for McKee and Matthews, would set up a four lap shoot out for the win.

Jackson, however, was not phased by the late restart and he was not going to be denied on this night and drove his #87 to victory lane. Saunders would settle for second place but continue his streak of podium finish while finishing two positions ahead of May – who would eventually lose third to a hard charging Cody Carlton on that late restart – to tighten up the championship points battle heading into the back half of the season.

“Awe man, it feels good in this hot weather,” Jackson said in victory lane after the race. “Yeah, it’s just a lot of hard work, we went through a really bad spell there. We weren’t winning races; mechanical failures that would take us out of it, just gotta thank my crew. Worked some really long nights in the shop to get us here, thank Spencer, we lead all thirty laps and he was right there with us”.

 

Cole Bruce, of Fredricksburg, Virginia, found himself in Dale Lemonds Victory Lane as well this past weekend at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway after rolling off for his 15-lap feature in fifth place. Bradley Kilby was the fastest in final practice, which set the grid for the eleven-car field but had problems early getting going. This allowed Autumn Weaver to power her way around the outside and take the lead early.

Autumn’s lead would last several laps until Kilby gave her a shot through turn two and allowed Kilby to her under her, the two would make contact and  Weaver wound up spinning through the grass and kicking up water onto the racing surface. The caution flag would be displayed to investigate. Weaver would come down pit road and restart the race towards the rear of the field. This would hand the lead over the Kilby but only for a few moments as he too went for a spin of his own on lap twelve, in turn four, handing the lead over the Bruce.

Cole would have his work cut out for him in the closing laps as Conner Jones mounted an incredible charge but did not have enough laps to make anything happen. “I don’t know what happened over in turn one”, said Bruce. “I thought the axle was bent, I thought the front spindle was bent. I thought we were a junk car after that wreck over there, of course, we worked our way up in qualifying, made some changes. It’s just a great night to get to win”.

 

 

Cycle City Corp Legends OFFICIAL Results;

 

  1. #87 Tommy Jackson Jr; 30
  2. #7 Spencer Saunders; 30
  3. #94 Cody Carlton; 30
  4. #22 Brian May; 30
  5. #7L Zach Lightfoot; 30
  6. #33 Colby Flowers; 30
  7. #08 Jamie Price; 30
  8. #51 Ryan Matthews; 30
  9. #21 Lane McKee; 30
  10. #88 Ryan Center; 30
  11. #31 David Brandt; 30
  12. #17 Devon Courtney; 30
  13. #4 Chris Hayes; 26

 

Cycle City Corp Bando’s OFFICIAL Results;

 

  1. #31 Cole Bruce; 15
  2. #14 Connor Jones; 15
  3. #3 Jacob Putman; 15
  4. #18d Emily Day’ 15
  5. #33 Franklin Caricofe; 15
  6. #18 Autumn Weaver; 15
  7. #8 Jacob Derrick; 15
  8. #6 Jake Waltman; 15
  9. #5 Bradley Kilby; 15
  10. #87 Kenton Case; 15

#48 Wesley Newell; 14

Peyton Sellers Sets Fast Time Early in Friday Afternoon Practice in Preparation for Hampton Heat

Hampton, VA – The Hampton Roads area lived up to the name of the races this afternoon as twenty-five Late Models converged on Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway for the four-hour open test session before the 9th annual Hampton Heat. With temps in the upper 90’s and the heat index near the 110’s, teams worked to get a solid notebook for tomorrow’s 200-lap, $10,000 to pay race.

Peyton Sellers of Danville, Virginia, set the fastest time of the entire practice session earlier in the day that proved to be untouchable as the afternoon continued. Sellers laid his 16.238 (87.527 mph) second lap down in just his third of forty-five circuits around the .395-mile oval. Two other South Boston native drivers made up the fastest three cars as Timothy Peters (16.264) found his fastest lap on his last lap of practice. Current VA Triple Crown winner, and defending race winner when you think about it, Phillip Morris (16.276) found his fastest lap halfway through his practice session.

Nick Smith and Stacy Puryear, who put on an incredible battle in the closing laps of the Thunder Road Harley Davidson 200 just weeks prior, rounded out the top five cars. A complete list of UNOFFICIAL times can be found below.

A few names to point out that put down a solid is the #4 of Sam Hunt. His 16.540-second lap was good enough for eleventh on the board and #22 Grayson Cullather (16.781) who wound up nineteenth on the speed chart ahead of some Langley Speedway regulars. Of course, we understand this was just testing, and done in some of the hottest temps of the year, however, it is still worth pointing out these drivers do not race Langley on a regular basis.

Teams will have one last shot tomorrow afternoon to dial in their cars with final practice running from 12:00 PM – the same time the ticket windows and grandstands open – and run till 2:15 PM. Late Model qualifying will set to get under way approx. 4:30 PM with support division racing to begin at 7:00 PM. The Weekly Racer will have you covered for all of the nights racing action from the very first green flag to the last checkered flag over on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer).

Shawn Balluzzo and Matt Slye Split Wins in Modifieds While Renno Sweeps Super Streets

Hampton, VA – Shawn Balluzzo earned the poll for the first time this season running a 16.888 second lap around the 4/10th mile Langley Speedway. No other driver’s could get into the same bracket but Bubba Johnston, Matt Carter, and Matt Slye all qualified within six hundredths of each other for second through fourth.

Balluzzo led the field to the green and Bubba was able to run his outside for the first full lap until Shawn cleared him driving into turn-1. Carter struggled a little early on falling back to fifth place as Jamie Sample got by him six laps in. Ten laps in and there was a three way battle for fourth between Sample, Carter, and Bobby Gery. Eventually Sample would spin out into the grass and bring out the caution.

Johnston tried the high side on the restart but Balluzzo pulled away from him before turn-3. A couple cars back Gery was able to pass Carter for fifth place while Slye started reeling in Johnston with ten laps to go. Pushing his car a little too hard possibly, Slye got loose out of turn-4 and hit the drainage area but kept the car rolling forward. With five to go Gery was up to Danny Harrell for fourth place, but a caution the next lap for Slye bumping Johnston too hard and spinning him out. Shawn controlled the restart well and was able to cruise to another win on the season for the defending champ.

Race Two

Finishing 8th in the first race means Bubba has the pole for race two. Like earlier in the season Balluzzo chose to start at the rear to pick up maximum national NASCAR points in the second division. Bubba had Donnie Holston on his outside coming to the green flag but this didn’t last long as he cleared him before heading down the back stretch. Eight laps in a nd Bubba’s car has a hickup and gets loose off of turn-4 and he would cycle back to fourth place giving the lead to Matt Carter with Matt Slye chasing him down. A few laps later and Shawn was already halfway through the field with twenty-three laps remaining. Balluzzo kept up the fast pace and five laps later he was by Gery for third place and just over three seconds back of the leaders. Slye grabbed the lead on the eighteenth lap. With six laps to go Balluzzo was a second and a half back and two laps later he got around Carter for second. His run would stop there as both drivers got into lapped traffic and Slye was able to hold on to the win.

Old Skool Video Games Super Streets

Renno Marchetti IV ran a 18.863 in single car qualifying to beat out the eleven other cars that took time. Right off the start Dale Parro gets shoved high and cars scatter to keep racing on. Six laps in and Marchetti, Sammy Gaita, Randy Akers, and Landon Abbott were clear of the field by almost 8 car lengths. Back in the field Bill Eaker passed Jason Michaud for 8th place and laid some pressure on Sean Calway. Eaker worked his way past him after some good racing but the caution came out for Gordon Weeks getting in the back grass, Dale Nichols car would break a front suspension piece and hit the inside wall down the front straiht while the cars were slowing down and Dale Parro came down pit road and parked it.

On the restart Abbott chose the high line and was able to lead a lap as the drivers ran side by side for two laps before Renno could clear him. A few laps later and they made it three wide for fifth place and Eaker was the winner of that gamble. Randy Akers set up a pass on Abbott in the closing laps to secure a second place finish behind race winner Renno Marchetti IV.

Photo Credit: King Charles Photography

Race Two

Sean Calway led the field to the green flag in the second race in the Old Skool Video Games Super Streets after an eighth place finish in race one. With it being another hot and humid day in Southeastern Virginia a little bit of rain tried to pop up again during the pace laps but the cars and track vehicles were able to keep th surface in prime racing conditions.

Calway had to defend his position several times just on the first lap. Chris Hott and Sammy Gaita spun out on the first start of the night and then Calway jumped the restart line the next attempt. After the good start Abbott tried to pass Calway on the outside but contact was made, with Landon getting the worse of the incident tearing off the right side of his vehicle and damaging the right rear suspension and flattening the tire. Michaud and Parro also were involved as they had nowhere to go when Abbott stopped, Michaud would park it for the night. Calway made a long stop in the pits but was able to rejoin the action.

With all that going on Eaker was put into the lead for the next restart and Akers went to his outside. Marchetti started behind him and took second place over with Akers not able to make a move on the outside. Six laps in and Renno was giving Eaker the bumper to let him know he was there with Akers and Gaita also waiting nearby. On lap-14 Gaita spun out into the grass on the rear stretch, a common practice for the night it seemed like.

Renno chose the high line over Bill and took over the lead quickly and Akers was battling hard with Dale Nichols for third place. Just a lap later Nichols got into Calway pretty hard putting him into the wall and bringing out another caution. Renno had a clean restart and with ten laps to go he was out to about a ten car length lead. Abbott started having some smoke from tire rub and cut down a tire on the back stretch for a late race caution. Renno took care of the last restart and was able to ride to a smooth finish for his second win of the night.

 

Spencer Saunders Finally Parks It in Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway Victory Lane; Bradley Kilby Ties Putman in Points with Win

Hampton, VA – Spencer Saunders finally closes the deal in the Cycle City Corp Legends divisions to pick up his first victory in over three years at Langley Speedway. Tommy Jackson Jr., who has had a not so great start to the 2017 season, bounced back this weekend to lay down the fastest time of afternoon to earn him the pole for the 25-lap feature. Saunders lap was just slower than his and he would line up second.

It got pretty hairy early when the field came off turn two three wide battling for third. Jackson and Saunders had cleared the field and the racing was on behind them. Somehow the drivers found a way to get things under control and in a straight line. The field clicked out ten circuits around the .395-mile oval before trouble plagued the middle of the pack.

The lead almost changed hands as the field worked lap number ten, however, things would be put on pause just after Saunders passed Tommy Jackson down the backstretch coming to lap eleven from the spinning Zach Lightfoot. Because the caution was displayed for the car facing the wrong way in turn two and the field was not able to complete the lap, Jackson was awarded the lead as officials revert to the last completed green flag lap.

Once Lightfoot was able to get going back in the right direction the Krispy Kreme cone was set on the front stretch. Giving drivers the chance to give up their position in line to restart on the outside, Cody Carlton and Woody Howard elect to try their luck. When the green was displayed we ran into big problems on the backstretch. The outside line looked to stall and Jamie Price made contact off turn two with Carlton that sent him into the outside wall. Woody Howard, Devon Courtney, Colby Flowers, and Zach Lightfoot all got a piece of the action in some form or fashion.

Once all the drivers were checked and okay, clean up was complete, it was time to go back racing. Saunders kept tight to Jackson once again setting up the right time to make his move. That time looked to be lap nineteen when the number seven of Saunders forced his way under Jackson out of two and took the lead. Fighting right back Jackson, Jr. regained the lead with his very own power move exiting two. With one last effort to seal the deal, Spencer took an aggressive line coming off of turn four and to the white flag to drive past Jackson into turn one and collect his first win of the season.

“Yes it’s been a long time coming, I think the last time in Victory Lane was in 2014 so what, three years ago”, Saunders mentioned in Victory Lane. “Just a lot of second, thirds and a lot of hard work has gone into this car”. I just want to thank all the fans who come out and support me every week”.

 

Bradley Kilby picked up his fourth pole and third win of the 2017 campaign this past weekend at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in the Cycle City Corp INEX Bando division. Autumn Weaver, who has also picked up a victory this year, looked poised to give the young man a very honest run for his money until she would go for a spin to bring out the races first and the only caution. Once back green, Kilby had some challenge from Cole Bruce but was able to hang onto the lead. Kilby’s third win ties him with Jacob Putman, who finished third, for the points lead with 173.

 

Legends Results;

  1. #7 Spencer Saunders; 25
  2. #87 Tommy Jackson Jr; 25
  3. #22 Brian May; 25
  4. #33 Coby Flowers; 25
  5. #7l Zach Lightfoot; 25
  6. #88 Ryan Center; 25
  7. #17 Devon Courtney; 25
  8. #31 David Brandt; 23
  9. #4 Chris Hayes; 23
  10. #08 Jamie Price; 10
  11. #94 Cody Carlton; 10
  12. #14 Woody Howard; 10

 

Bando Results;

  1. #5 Bradley Kilby; 15
  2. #31 Cole Bruce; 15
  3. #3 Jacob Putman; 15
  4. #18 Autumn Weaver; 15
  5. #48 Wesley Newell; 15
  6. #22 Wyatt Philyaw; 15
  7. #87 Kenton Case; 12
  8. #8 Jacob Derrick; 11

Tommy Sweeney and Mark Frye Split Wins in Physical Grand Stock Twins

Hampton, VA – The Pepsi Grand Stocks had twin 33’s on tap for the night at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway. Mark Frye was the class of the field in qualifying running a 18.165 second time in the single car qualifying.

Frye started the race off strong clearing Rodney Boyd off the start and leaving him to battle for his second position. Boyd fell to third on the second lap after Tommy Sweeney slid be and it was soon a three way battle for second with Paul Lubno also getting in close. On lap-5 Boyd used the nose of his machine to get Sweeney loose and it sent Sweeney all the way back to fifth as Tim Wilson also was able to get by him. With Frye cruising out front with only an error happening on the halfway mark of the race when he got loose out of four.

The first caution of the race came on lap-23 for Jonathan White spinning out into the entrance of pit road, he wound up parking the car for the race while the caution was out. With the cone out Sweeney decided to go high on Frye and Boyd stayed low. On the restart Sweeney was able to run high but eventually fell in line once he was able to clear Boyd to keep second. A little farther back in the field Lubno and Wilson were racing side by side and Lubno took the position and Shawn Scovel also snuck through. With five laps to go Sweeney was chasing down Frye and caught him on the final lap. Going into turn-1 they make contact for the second caution in the race, Frye got a flat tire and had to go down pit road to replace it.

A green, white, checkered finish was set up with Sweeney down low and Lubno takes the outside route. Sweeney drove too hard into the corner and Boyd was able to get by him on the inside and Tommy quickly recovered. They make contact into turn-3 and Boyd gets sideways and almost saves it but is too damaged to continue. With cars all over the place Sweeney is able to catch the checkers for the win before Lubno. After the race the drivers involved in the incident exchanged some words but cooler minds eventually prevailed and Sweeney was able to celebrate in victory lane.

thumbnail_Mark Frye Grand Stocks Race #2

Credit: King Charles Photography

With it being a twin night the grand stocks get the same invert treatment as everyone else this year under the NASCAR rules. Kevin Morgan would lead the field to the green flag with Boyd to his outside. However, Boyd took a lot of damage in that first race so he elected to fall to the rear. His new position put him right behind Sweeney on the start.

Frye started on the outside and took over the lead on the first lap from Morgan who started falling back through the field. Four laps in and Sweeney was up to second and the leaders were getting ready to lap Boyd. Frye and Sweeney were able to get by Boyd with no incident and Rodney brought it down pit road and parked it as his car was clearly down on speed.

Paul Lubno worked his way into third place by lap-8 and at the same time Sweeney was on the bumper of Frye looking to grab the lead. Three laps later and Lubno caught the top two cars and on the next lap Sweeney tried for the lead but couldn’t complete the move. Lubno ended up giving Tommy a little nudge to take second place from him but it didn’t last long. Sweeney went inside of Lubno but Paul didn’t give up easily giving him a little contact to try and keep him close down the straight, Tommy was able to keep the spot.

Coming to the checkers Mark Frye had over a second on Sweeney for the win. Lubno and Scovel made some decent contact into the final two turns but Lubno held on for a fourth place finish with Wilson finishing ahead of him.

Race 1 Results

  1.  Tommy Sweeney
  2. Paul Lubno
  3. ShawnScovel
  4. Tim Wilson
  5. Mark Frye
  6. Michael Waters
  7. Rodney Boyd -1
  8. Kevin Morgan -4
  9. Jonathan White -12

Race 2 Results

  1. Mark Frye
  2. Tommy Sweeney
  3. Tim Wilson
  4. Paul Lubno
  5. Shawn Scovel
  6. Michael Waters
  7. Kevin Morgan -1
  8. Jonathan White -13
  9. Rodney Boyd -29
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