Tag Archives: Matt Carter

Matt Carter Opens 2020 Season with Two Victories; Langley Speedway Loses a Local Legend

Matt Carter in victory lane after winning both Modified features July 11th at Langley Speedway. (Bill Carnes/Given to Fly Photography)

Hampton, Va – The Larry King Law Modifieds opened their 2020 season at none other than Larry King Laws Langley Speedway with twin 50 lap feature events. Matt Carter, following a scary accident last season where he broke his leg, returned to action to try and dethrone Shawn Balluzzo as the “Modified King.” Balluzzo on the other hand, set out to grab his 12th championship. Mark Wertz, who hasn’t raced in the modified division in a few years, also made his return after a limited schedule last season.

In an impressive field of 16 cars, Matt Carter set his machine on the pole with a 16.030 (89.158 MPH) with Shawn Balluzzo, Chris Johnson, Brandon Gdovic, and Mark Wertz made up the fast five. With the field going double with one to go, the fans were in for an exciting showdown. Once flag-man Shane Snyder threw the green flag, Carter shot to the point and took off. Balluzzo fell in line to second as Brandon and Chris went door to door for third. Wertz had cleared Adam Medek – a Southside Speedway regular – for the fifth position. Medek had issues early and ended up parking his machine on lap 3.

Wertz put himself into the battle for third with C. Johnson and B. Gdovic coming to lap 5. The three cars somehow managed to go three-wide down the front stretch resulting in Wertz and B. Gdovic making contact. Brandon ended up pulling his car to pit road which ended his night on lap 8. By lap 10. Carter had a full straightaway lead over Balluzzo while C. Johnson and Wertz battled for third allowing Balluzo to pull away and chase after Carter.

Carter worked through lap traffic easily as he lapped up to the sixth position when the caution came out for Grant Blasingame going for a spin in turn one. Bunching up the field with 10 laps to go. On the restart, Carter got the perfect start and sailed into turn one. Wertz took the cone and settled into second with Balluzzo falling to third for a brief moment. Wertz didn’t let Carter get too far before Balluzzo made the move back to Wertz inside. Balluzzo made a little contact with Wertz in turn one to clear him for second.

With the checkered flag flying for the first time this season Matt Carter took the win going flag-to-flag. Shawn Balluzzo, Mark Wertz, Chris Johnson, and Jamie Sample rounded out the top five finishers – the only cars on the lead lap.

With the NASCAR rule to invert at least the top eight from the first race, that put another Southside Speedway regular, Michael Johnson and Roger Sawyer – brother to Elton Sawyer– on the front row. Brad Adams and Jamie Sample made your row two with Chris Johnson and Matt Carter in row three. Mark Wertz moved to the rear of the field. On the start Sawyer went into turn one with Adams in tow. Michael Johnson did not get a good start at all and held up the entire top row. Chris Johnson would take over third down the backstretch as M. Johnson fell back to battle for fifth. Jamie Sample was hot on C. Johnson’s rear nerf bar for third as Balluzzo had made his way to fifth to battle Michael.

Adams managed to get a good run on Sawyer and eventually took the lead on lap 10. Sample ended up with problems on his machine as he parked it for the night. The first of two cautions during the second race would come on lap 12 after a battle for the second position between Balluzzo and C. Johnson. The two veterans would touch wheels sending the No. 48 machine up and over Johnson’s nose and into the turn two wall. The red flag would be immediately displayed to allow safety personnel to the scene. Balluzzo was transported to a local hospital where he would later succumb to his injuries.

After the extended red flag, NASCAR officials shortened the 50 lap feature to 30. Matt Carter would pick off the final few positions to pick up back to back victories to start his 2020 season.

Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway announced Monday afternoon to honor the memory of Shawn Balluzzo there will be a celebration of life at the track this Thursday, July 16th at 7pm. The service will be open to the public with grandstand gates opening at 6pm. Family and friends of Shawn will speak with Langley Speedway track chaplain Rev. Tom Potter leading the service. For those who cannot attend, the track will be streaming the service live on Facebook. The family is encouraging all attending to dress in race day attire. Additionally, a Go Fund Me has been created by family friend Matt Miller, please see all the details at the link >> Click Here to Donate.

 

Credit: Dinah Marie Photography

 

 

Race 1 Results;

  1. #78 Matt Carter; 50
  2. #48 Shawn Balluzo; 50
  3. #19 Mark Wertz; 50
  4. #36 Chris Johnson; 50
  5. #28 Jamie Sample; 50
  6. #38 Michael Johnson; 49
  7. #51 Roger Sawyer; 49
  8. #5 Kyle Fowler; 49
  9. #47 Rick Gdovic; 49
  10. #16 Eric McPherson; 49
  11. #3 Brad Adams; 49
  12. #50 Grant Blasingame; 48
  13. #49 Todd Whitesell; 46
  14. #64 Brandon Gdovic; 8
  15. #18 DJ Valente; 8
  16. #29 Adam Medek; 3
  17. #44 Shawn Adkins; 0

Race 2 Results;

  1. #78 Matt Carter; 30
  2. #19 Mark Wertz; 30
  3. #47 Rick Gdovic; 30
  4. #5 Kyle Fowler; 30
  5. #51 Roger Sawyer; 30
  6. #50 Grant Blasingame; 30
  7. #16 Eric McPherson; 30
  8. #49 Todd Whitesell; 29
  9. #29 Adam Medek; 18
  10. #38 Michael Johnson; 15
  11. #3 Brad Adams; 12
  12. #36 Chris Johnson; 12
  13. #48 Shawn Balluzo; 12
  14. #28 Jamie Sample; 11
  15. #18 DJ Valente; 9

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

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

Andrew Fortin Earns First Modified Victory at Langley Speedway; First Round of Champions Crowned as Season Comes to a Close

Fortin celebrates first career win Saturday night in second to final Modified race. (Photo: Langley Speedway August 16, 2017)

Hampton, VA – With just two races left in the season for the IMCA style asphalt Modified’s at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway, Shawn Balluzzo entered the evening with a comfortable forty-one-point advantage over Bobby Gery, who took over second in the points when Matt Carter had motor issues the last time the series had twins. With his motor issues behind him, Carter laid down the fastest lap in qualifying time trials earlier in the afternoon posting a time of 16.795 (84.668 mph) seconds. Balluzzo posted the second quickest time in the session to earn a front row starting position for the 50-lap feature. Andrew Fortin, Bobby Gery, and Chris Flowers.

Matt Carter would show the way into turn one and out of turn two claiming the lead. The Newport News driver would show the way for the first eleven trips around the .395-mile oval. Balluzzo, however, was right in his tire tracks as the two checked out from the rest of the field. The eight-time champion would make his move for the race lead after battling with Carter for a handful of laps. Once the pass was made, Balluzzo immediately opened up over a half second gap over the No. 78 as Carter settled into a rhythm clicking off laps.

Things got interesting as the field reached halfway. In twelve laps Carter was able to track Balluzzo back down as it looked like his car was struggling center off. Right as Carter made the pass to retake the lead, the No. 63 machine of Derek Roberts went around in turn two bringing out the first of three cautions. Because the field did not complete a full lap after Carter made the pass, Balluzzo was moved back to the lead after the race went back to the last completed lap. Oddly enough this happened a second time on lap thirty-three after Carter made another pass on Balluzzo but would fall back to second when McPherson spun in turn one.

Both Matt Carter’s and Balluzzo’s fate would be sealed just ten laps later when contact was made between the two when Carter made his third attempt at the race lead. Race control would move Carter to the rear of the field for what they called aggressive driving, effectively handing the race lead over to Andrew Fortin. Once the race went back green. With the two fastest cars in the rear and only eight laps left, Andrew Fortin was able to mount a four car length advantage lead over rookie of the year contender Jamie Sample. It was just enough for the Smithfield, Virginia driver to earn his first career win. Balluzzo would retire from the race early with issues in the rear end of the car.

 

Paul Lubno picked up his 106th career victory in dominating fashion in the final Pepsi Grand Stock race of the season after taking the lead from Rodney Boyd on lap nine. Lubno set a blistering pace in the eight-car, caution free, 40-lap feature. Tommy Sweeney would play things safe and crossed the line in the fourth position. However, it was just enough for the Hampton, Virginia, driver to clinch the 2017 division championship. Sweeney later mentioned in victory lane that he really had no intentions of coming back and racing this year when the track reopened, however, with the loss of one of their biggest crew members, Kenny Alves, father of Sweeney’s spotter Kevin, Sweeney wanted to come back one last time and win the championship in his honor. With the championship in hand, Sweeney went on to say he is excited to hang his helmet up to get his son, who is excited about racing, into the sport.

Chase McAdams picked up the victory in the Harris Truck Shop Super Truck race. Inching ever so closely to the points lead. The trucks will wrap up their season next weekend, September 23rd. Tommy Gildea of Gloucester, Virginia, was finally able to put the run together he needed to snap Michael Waters ten race win streak. The victory came a day late and a dollar short so to speak as Water clinched the championship. Aaron Leach got the victory under the lights in the HRKC Pro Wing Karts while Brandon Lorah was able to earn the championship.

 

Modified OFFICIAL Results

  1. #5 Andrew Fortin; 50
  2. #28 Jamie Sample; 50
  3. #51 Chris Flowers; 50
  4. #1 Donnie Holston; 50
  5. #60 Bobby Gery; 50
  6. #78 Matt Carter; 50
  7. #70 Curtis Hughes; 50
  8. #63 Derek Roberts; 50
  9. #16 Eric McPherson; 50
  10. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 45

11. #95 Danny Harrell; 20

Twin Races Equals Twin Wins for Balluzzo and Sweeney

Hampton, VA The IMCA style Larry King Law Modifieds returned to Langley Speedway for another night of twin racing around the historic track. Points leader Shawn Balluzzo missed out on the pole to the driver who’s right behind him. Matt Carter ran a 16.784 to Shawn’s 16.901 to lead the field to the green flag.

Off the start Carter cleared Balluzzo easily and after a couple laps he had a few cars between him and the second place runner. Matt held him off for much of the race but on the twenty-first lap Balluzzo is able to get by him as they went through some lapped traffic. Shawn cruised to the win in the first mod race of the night after that. Farther back Andrew Fortin was able to get into third passing Matt Slye and Bobby Gery after starting last moved up to 8th, he had problems with the car through practices and was not able to qualify.

With that finish he moved to the pole for the second race start and Balluzzo opted to start on the rear for his bonus national points if he can win. Gery, still battling mechanical problems, let the field go so nothing bad would happen. Jamie Sample took the lead on the first lap and then Bubba Johnston took over on the second lap while the field shuffled behind them. Sample led again on the sixth lap and Balluzzo was making his way up to sixth place. The caution would fly as Donnie Holston made contact with Gery causing him to spin out.

On the restart Balluzzo stayed low moving himself into third place and wasted no time getting into second position. On the 18th lap Shawn got by Sample for the lead and Danny Harrell was able to move into second as Sample started falling off a bit. With a big lead Balluzzo grabbed his second win of the night, 7th on the season, and the extra national points.

 

Pepsi Grand Stocks

Tommy Sweeney in Victory Lane – CREDIT: John Long

In the Pepsi Grand Stocks Rodney Boyd ran the fast time of a 18.401 after having a rough last outing. Tommy Sweeney, who has three wins on the season, missed out on the pole by .022. The two drivers have some history from this year but the start of the race went off with no troubles. Five laps in and Sweeney was still almost glued to Boyd’s bumper and a couple laps Sweeney started giving him some bumps, and on lap-8 it was good enough to get Boyd loose and Tommy took the lead. Paul Lubno and Mark Frye weren’t far behind and started putting on a lot of pressure to Boyd. Lubno gave Frye a good door to door slap to Frye and beat him to the line but couldn’t get by him. Frye eventually got around Boyd on the high line to take second place. With two to go Johnathon White shoves Tom Wilson up the track for 5th while Sweeney cruises to his fourth win.

Shawn Scovel finished 8th so he has the gift of the invert pole for the second race. With only nine cars in the field Sweeney tried his luck falling back to ninth for extra points. Two laps in and and Sweeney was up to fifth already while Wilson passed Scovel for the lead. Just six laps into the race and Tommy was into third with Scovel in front of him after Boyd nudged him out of the way for second. Fifteen laps in and Sweeney gets under Boyd for the lead and Frye sneaks by as well. Boyd made a last ditch effort to move Frye coming to the finish but he stays in third while Sweeney sweeps the night and snags his fifth win.

 

« Older Entries