Hampton, VA – A rare 50-lap race was on hand for the drivers as they looked to end the bounty on Shawn Balluzzo. A field of nine Modifieds started the feature. Rick Gdovic grabbed his first pole of the year with a time of 16.545 with Shawn Balluzzo lining up second with a time of 16.602. Jamie Sample, Bubba Johnston, and Danny Harrell rounded out the fast five.
As the green flag dropped, Gdovic got a good start and rolled into turn one with the lead. Balluzzo would fall in line to second with Sample right behind him. Johnston didn’t get the start he wanted as Harrell got by him for fourth. Harrell wasted little time to try and get past Sample as well for the third position but got loose on the inside of him and lost a lot of momentum. Gdovic and Balluzzo we’re putting on a very fast pace for the race as they had opened up a straightaway lead over Sample in just 10 laps.
With the field spread out a bit, the only battle on track was for the sixth position between Bubba Johnston and Grant Blasingame. As them two battled, Brad Adams, who had his worst qualifying effort of the season, managed to make it a three car battle. Blasingame got around Johnston and took sixth away. Johnston got stuck on the outside and Adams managed to take seventh away as well. Blasingame wasted little time to catch Matt Morgan for the fifth spot and in turns one and two he got the inside line to take away the position. Adams caught up to them and once again made it a three car battle for position. Morgan has a little slip going into turn one and Adams took the opening and took sixth.
Halfway and it was Gdovic, Balluzzo, Sample, Harrell, and Blasingame. Gdovic and Balluzzo began to catch lap traffic on lap 26 and the battle for the lead tightened up. Balluzzo got to the back bumper of Gdovic the first time but Gdovic got a great run out of turn four to pull away just enough to put space between the two. Lap 33 and Balluzzo got a great run down the backstretch and got the inside line going into turn three to take the lead away from Gdovic. With the field so spread out, Balluzzo put fourth place car Harrell a lap down. With ten laps to go, Balluzzo had put a decent lead over Gdovic and had his sights set on his 14th victory of the season.
The one thing Balluzzo didn’t want to see happened. The caution came out on lap 44 for Eric McPherson going for a solo spin in turn two. This would give Gdovic and Sample one more chance to beat Balluzzo. With one to go, Sample took the cone to start on the outside of Balluzzo with Gdovic right behind him. When the restart came, it sure was a messy one. Balluzzo spun his tires, Gdovic spun his as well, and Sample made contact with Balluzzo due to him getting sideways. All cars would make it into turn one with Balluzzo the leader. The second caution came out for Gdovic and Morgan spinning on the backstretch.
No one took the cone so it would be a single file restart. This restart was a lot better for Balluzzo, Sample got just as good of a start. Going into turn one, Sample actually got to the inside of Balluzzo to look for the lead. Balluzzo with the experience, powered his way on the outside down the backstretch to hold the lead into turn three. Sample didn’t hold back as he kept beating and banging on Balluzzos back bumper doing all he could to beat him.
Checkered flag flew and Shawn Balluzzo picked up his 14th win of the season and stayed undefeated. It wasn’t the easiest win as drivers are getting anxious to get that bounty. Jamie Sample, Rick Gdovic, Danny Harrell, and Eric McPherson rounded out the top five.
Larry King Laws Modified Results
- #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 50
- #28 Jamie Sample; 50
- #64 Rick Gdovic; 50
- #95 Danny Harrell; 50
- #16 Eric McPherson; 49
- #7 Grant Blasingame; 49
- #98 Matt Morgan; 49
- #3 Brad Adams; 47
- #19 Bubba Johnston; 46