Tag Archives: Shawn Balluzzo

Shawn Balluzzo Doubles Down at Langley Speedway; $1,000 Balluzzo Bounty Still on the Line

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Hampton, VA– Shawn Balluzzo was once again big man on campus earlier in the afternoon during qualifying time trials when he laid down a 16.360-second (86.919 MPH) lap. Chris Johnson, who has run both Modifieds and Late Models at Langley Speedway, made the trip to Hampton with one thing on his mind; Bounty Hunting. Running Southside Speedway’s regular Adam Medek’s No. 29, Johnson was more than two-tenths of a second slower than Balluzzo as he earned the ability to start to Shawn’s outside.

Balluzzo did what he does best when Shane Snider let the field go out of turn four as the sun started to set over turn three; lead the race. Balluzzo was able to clear the field on the exit of turn number two in the opening lap and never really looked back from there. Chris Johnson gave it an honest go but would develop a mechanical issue that pushed a lot of smoke from the back of his machine for most of the race. Matt Carter, who has made it his mission this year to end Balluzzo’s win streak was only able to fall into third where he ran for most of the night before Sample was able to get by. Bubba Johnston would complete the top five.

Per the NASCAR rulebook, no less than eight cars were inverted for race number two which handed the pole position over to the No. 64 of Rick Gdovic. However, he and his crew would change a right front tire between races, which regulated him to the rear of the field as well as took away his ability to take the cone and free pass. This handed the pole position over to TJ Largena while Danny Harrell lined up to his right side.

Things got a little interesting on the start of the race going into turn one as everyone tried to settle in. The first and only caution of the evening would come one lap one as Rick Gdovic ended up going around in turn three. This allowed teams the ability to take the cone for the restart. Danny Harrell and Jamie Sample elected to stay low while Chris Johnson and Bubba Johnston went high. Chris Johnson would get the better start on the outside and the lead out of two. He would only hold onto that lead for about fifteen laps, however, as Balluzzo sliced and diced his way through the field.

Once out front, and with some mechanical failures from Johnson, Balluzzo was able to cruise to his ninth victory on the season. Jamie Sample and TJ Largena both had excellent runs during the nightcap finishing second and third respectively. Bubba Johnston and Rick Gdovic rounded out the top five finishers.

 

OFFICIAL Larry King Law’s Modified Race 1 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #29 Chris Johnson; 40
  3. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  4. #78 Matt Carter; 40
  5. #19 Bubba Johnston; 40
  6. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  7. #95 Danny Harrell; 40
  8. #64 Rick Gdovic; 39
  9. #98 Matt Morgan; 39
  10. #7 Grant Blasingame; 25
  11. #18 DJ Valente; 22

 

OFFICIAL Larry King Law’s Modified Race 2 Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 40
  2. #28 Jamie Sample; 40
  3. #4 TJ Largena; 40
  4. #19 Bubba Johnston; 40
  5. #64 Rick Gdovic; 40
  6. #7 Grant Blasingame; 39
  7. #98 Matt Morgan; 39
  8. #95 Danny Harrell; 39
  9. #18 DJ Valente; 27
  10. #29 Chris Johnson; 20
  11. #78 Matt Carter; 3

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

Shawn Balluzzo Locks Up Unprecedented Tenth Division Title after Earning Wins Number Nine and Ten

Hampton, VA – To say Shawn Balluzzo has had a roller coaster of a season would possibly be the understatement of the year. Balluzzo started the season off with an impressive eight-race win streak before division rival Robbie Babb returned to the speedway to dethrone him. That was right about the time the Balluzzo’s found out that their youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer. However, his family and his team kept their heads high and their car in victory lane for their daughter to see.

Balluzzo struggled early in the afternoon during qualifying, posting just the seventh fastest time, after missing almost all of practice but, has we mentioned above, his crew never stopped working on the car and got him tuned up for the first of two thirty lap features. Bubba Johnston, who entered the weekend forty points behind Balluzzo in points, was the man to beat during time trials posting a lap of 16.784-second just three-thousandths of a second better than Jamie Sample. Matt Carter, Bobby Gery, and Danny Harrell rounded out the starting five. It should be noted that Balluzzo would elect to start race number one from the rear.

It only took a handful of laps for Balluzzo to work his way through at least half of the filed. Picking cars off one at a time he found himself in sixth place before the halfway mark of the race. With Jamie Sample, Bubba Johnston, and Danny Harrell all jockeying for the lead, it made things that much easier for the nine-time, and defending champion, to close the gap on the front group of cars. By lap twenty Balluzzo found himself running in the third position just a handful of car lengths behind second. With three laps to go Balluzzo was in second and by the time the white was displayed Balluzzo had pulled even with the race leader. He eventually took the spot out of turn two as well as his ninth win on the season.

Eight cars were yet again inverted for race number two per the NASCAR rulebook. This handed the front row starting duties over to DJ Valente and once again, Jamie Sample. Balluzzo again elected to give up his eighth place starting position to go to the rear. Worked for him in race one, why not try again in race two.

He had his work cut out for him even more in the second feature as Bubba Johnston once again looked to put up one hell of a fight. Not to mention it was filled with no less than five caution flags. The worst, and easily the longest, coming after issues with Rick Gdovic’s ride left oil all over the racing surface from turn three all the way into turn one and the final caution of the night setting up a thrilling green-white-checkered finish.

Balluzzo, however, was up to the challenge and made the best of every move and every cone restart to fight his way back up to the front of the field. He looked like he might have met his match with just thirteen laps to go working on Matt Carter for second. Balluzzo appeared to be the faster car just could not make the pass happen clean. He was able to get some help, however, after the yellow flag was once again displayed for a car that had spun in turn two. This allowed for Balluzzo to take the outside on the restart and battle for the lead with Johnston.

Matt Carter, who elected to stay low and restart third, was not going to be denied a shot at the win, though. He stuck his nose under Balluzzo and hung there for about a lap. Balluzzo continued his assault on the lead using the outside groove and would lead lap number twenty-five. Call it luck or good timing but the yellow flag would once again come out for a wreck on the front stretch setting up a green-white-checkered finish.

On the final restart, Balluzzo would stay low, Bubba Johnston would start to his outside and Matt Carter lined up on his rear bumper. The green flag would fly and it would end up being three wide going into turn one. Johnston would come to the white flag as the leader, however, Balluzzo would get to his rear bumper in two and move him up the hill to take the lead back as well as his tenth win and tenth track championship.

 

Larry King Law Modified Race 1 OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 30
  2. #95 Danny Harrell; 30
  3. #51 Bubba Johnston; 30
  4. #60 Bobby Gery; 30
  5. #5 Andrew Fortin; 30
  6. #78 Matt Carter; 30
  7. #28 Jamie Sample; 30
  8. #18 DJ Valente; 30
  9. #10 Wayne McGee; 30
  10. #47 Rick Gdovic; 30
  11. #98 Matt Morgan; 30
  12. #49 Todd Whitesell; 29
  13. #63 Derrek Roberts; 16

 

Larry King Law Modified Race 2 OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 33
  2. #51 Bubba Johnston; 33
  3. #18 DJ Valente; 33
  4. #78 Matt Carter; 33
  5. #95 Danny Harrell; 33
  6. #60 Bobby Gery; 33
  7. #63 Derek Roberts; 33
  8. #10 Wayne McGee; 33
  9. #49 Todd Whitesell; 30
  10. #98 Matt Morgan; 25
  11. #28 Jamie Sample; 11
  12. #47 Rick Gdovic; 11
  13. #5 Andrew Fortin; 1
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