William Byron celebrating in victory lane at Langley Speedway (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)
Hampton, VA – He came, he saw, he conquered! William Byron came into Langley Speedway as the points leader of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East division and he left with an even bigger lead! Those kinds of things happen when you lead 174 of the advertised 175 laps. Byron started the race in the second position after teammate Rico Abreu won not only his first pole at Langley Speedway, but his first Coors Light Pole Award of his K&N Career – posting a time of 15.96 seconds, just a bit over 89 MPH.
It didn’t take long for Byron to get by Abreu, on the outside mind you to take the lead and hold onto it for just about the entire night! Dalton Sargeant was the only driver to ruin the “perfect game,” if you may, for Byron by leading just one lap through the entire event. Sargeant would eventually have to settle for a third place finish after a very strong late race push from Kyle Benjamin! Not a bad deal when you stop and think about it, top three finishers all from the same camp!
The win did not come all that easy for Byron, who had come to Langley Speedway the week prior along with JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry to get some seat time at the all but flat short track, has he had his work cut out for him navigating through some of the slower traffic. When you pile 25 of these machines on a 4/10th mile flat track its much like the cup cars at Bristol, does not take long for the leaders to catch the back of the back. It was no “easy” task by any means, a few harder to get around than others but Byron was able to work around them while holding onto a steady lead!
South Boston, VA – So I waited around on purpose to write this story on our trip to the 2015 Denny Hamlin Short Short Track Showdown. Waiting to see if NASCAR would make a statement or access any penalties to teams/drivers after what happened well after the checkered flag. With Tuesday is usually penalty day in our sport, but I have not seen any so the show must go on.
For the second year in a row the star-studded race was held at one of America’s premier short track on the east coast if not in the country, South Boston Speedway. Just over 40 Late Model drivers took the trip for the 8th annual charity race raising money for cystic fibrosis. Charity race or not, this was no walk in the park boy let me tell ya what!
Throughout the heat of the day William Byron – coming off of a K&N Pro Series East win at Greenville Pickens – kept his #91 Liberty University machine at the top of the speed charts beating out names like Denny Hamlin, Timothy Peters, Lee Pulliam! Not saying those names were not fast in practice, every one of those drivers posted a time at least in the top ten between first and second practice.
Byron was able to carry some of that speed over during the euro style qualifying session has he posted the third fastest time behind the likes of Timothy Peters (15.752 – 91.417 MPH) and Denny Hamlin. Josh Berry & Peyton Sellers would round out the most meaningless top five ever as the heat races were what set your starting position for the feature. I know I’m just the little guy here but I feel the front two positions, if you are going to run qualifying races, should be locked in on time, they deserve it! Peters, Sellers and Thaxton (all SoBo regulars if I may point out) won their heat races, which granted them the right to the top three starting positions. William Byron would start ninth while Josh Berry rolled off thirty-third, after running into issues with Lee Pulliam in their heat race.
It did not take long for things to heat up on the track, shoot things got pretty wild in the heat races to set the feature. What do you expect though when you have some of the best driver on the east coast, all going after $10,000 and a trophy presented to you by Denny Hamlin… I would expect things to get pretty crazy.