Pomoco Night At The Races – Langley
When: Saturday April 4th, 2015
Where: Langley Speedway, Hampton, Virginia
What: LMSC 100 / Modified 50 / Grand Stock 40 / Legend 25 / Bando 15 / UCAR 25
Follow: LIVE updates on Twitter (@theweeklyracer)
Greg Edwards Picks Up Where He Left Off
Hampton, VA – Langley Speedway opened its gates this past weekend for their 65th season of local short track racing. With more than its fair share of ups and downs over the off-season things had worked themselves out and it was time to get back to business! Six different divisions filled the scorecard with none other than the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) Late Model Stock Cars (LMSC) headlining the night with 100 laps of green flag action.
With teams able to collect and rebuild over the off-season it was very nice not only to eighteen cars up and down pit road, it was great to see some new faces such as Tommy Lemons Jr, Tyler Hughes, and Justin T. Carroll. Always nice to see some new cars mixing it up with the seasoned Langley veterans. However, one car we were missing, the driver who won the most races in the division in 2014, driver of the Waltz Engineered Sales #2 – Matt Waltz. The crew had found issues with the breaks in testing prior to opening night. The team decided to pull the plug citing the car not only would not be competitive but unsafe.
As usual, the first round of practiced rolled off pit road around 2pm for the first of three sessions. Both Edwards boys were quick as usual, both young gungs Connor Hall & Brenden Queen showed speed early. We also had a few other cars post times that had some head turning for sure! Both Tommy Lemons, Jr and Tyler Hughes were sporty. Matter of fact the #27 of Lemons topped the final two speed charts – mind you this was his first time at Langley Speedway! The speed easily transferred over to qualifying for Lemons, a 15.849 (90.857 mph) second lap which he ran on lap two. Greg Edwards would line up on his outside.
When the sun finally set it was time to go to work. Eighteen Late Model’s took to the track to open the 2015 season. Now it took a few try’s to get things going, which can be expected on opening night. Took three attempts to get things rocking and rolling as the #29 of Robert Bruce had issues getting going, Cameron Bowen and Macy Causey were also involved – Causey getting the worst end of the stick for now.
Seven laps in is when we ran into our biggest issue of the night. Langley Speedway’s Justin Carroll (#91) dove his machine into turn three the car kept going – the motor had other plans. With his machine taking the long slide through the corner there was not enough time to get the field slowed down and into the oil they went. Edwards chasing his ride up the hill was able to save it by the skin of his teeth, newcomer Tommy Lemons not so much. Lemons, along with several other machines, spun causing damage to their rides. The red flag would have to be displayed to get what was left of Lemons car from turn three – tough to see his night done so early. Mark Wertz would eventually have to call it quits as well due to a flat tire and a broken track bar.
Once the track was cleaned up and deemed safe to go back racing that’s exactly what we did. That was the last time Shane Snyder would need to use the yellow because we would go green flag racing through the end. Edwards easily walking away with the lead with Tyler Hughes giving it a good shot but only able to close within five cars with the help of lap traffic. One driver that was a major standout this week was the #7 of Michael Hardin. Return to Langley Speedway this year to capture his highest finish at the flat track after running down Nick Smith, making the pass and holding onto the position. Smith would be able to hold onto the fourth spot with his past teammate Connor Hall able to drive back through the field to grab a top five.
“The car was okay tonight still needs some work,” Edwards told us after the race. “I think everyone is still trying to figure out these tires. Our car was tight all night but it would stay on the bottom. Normally I would be complaining about it but I think everyone was struggling too, but we’ll get it!”
Edwards’ night almost came to on lap seven as well. Being the leader he was the first to hit the oil put down by the 91 car and really had to chase the car up the track. “I was out of control,” said Edwards. “Just absolutely out of control till it got about three feet from the wall. I was thinking it was about to get real bad but we just got lucky.”
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LMSC OFFICAL Results:
- #97 Greg Edwards; 100
- #8 Tyler Hughes; 100
- #7 Michael Hardin; 100
- #10 Nick Smith; 100
- #77 Connor Hall; 99
- #4 Duane Shreeves; 99
- #26 Danny Edwards Jr.; 99
- #92 Casey Wyatt; 99
- #90 Terry Carroll; 99
- #03 Brenden Queen; 99
- #57 Justin T. Carroll; 99
- #19 Cameron Bowen; 98
- #33 Macy Causey; 94
- #27 Tommy Lemons Jr.; 7
- #55 Mark Wertz; 7
- #91 Justin S. Carroll; 4
- #29xKevin Bruce; 2
- #29 Robert Bruce; 0
Balluzzo Wins Race One In Interesting Fashion
Hampton, VA – Maybe not the way he wanted things to go down this past weekend but in the world of racing, a win is a win. Balluzzo had been at the top of the speed charts all day in practice along with previous Langley Speedway modified champion Robbie Babb. The two have had there fair share of close races and well why not keep that true on opening night.
When it was time to roll through qualifying Babb was able to claim the battle early, posting a quick time of 16.092 (89.485 mph) seconds around the tricky flat track. Balluzzo would have to settle for the second spot on the grid, clocking a time just seven hundredths of a second slower than Babb. Matt Slye – who we kicked off this season of the Driver Series with – found him self in the starting five P3, followed by Wayne Hartley & Jon Largena (R).
It was music to my hears when these bad boys fired their engines. Just something about the low rumble and the sleek look most of the teams have elected to go with on the bodies that really makes these cars look “mean.” Of course mean being in a good way!
When the green flag was displayed to the field Babb wasted no time what so ever claiming the lead as his own and started to put some distance between him and the pack. Well, with the expectation of Balluzzo. One thing for certain during this race the biggest lead Babb had over the 48 machine was no more than five cars and that’s being generous. The rest of the field on the other hand was not so lucky. The top two were on just a bad break away the saying “the leaders are in a new zip code” to a whole new meaning.
Thought we were going to end up with a caution about a quarter of the way through the feature. Eric McPherson had slowed way up down the backstretch and was looking like he was not going to be able to make it down pit road. Thankfully race director Jimmie Walker was able to have some restrain with the yellow flag because McPherson did make it down pit road, to the attention of his crew and back out to the speedway.
Everything was looking great for Babb to start off his 2015 season the right way until we got within five laps to go. The leaders were closing in on the lap cars of Sharkey & Horne and quickly I might add. The two back markers, who were racing for position, happened to go door to door at the worst time in the race! Sharkey being the veteran realizes this may not be the smartest move and appeared to back it down just a bit to help the leaders by. Horne on the other hand did not do the same and in my opinion, cost the leader the race.
Babb would have issues getting around the lap machine coming out of four and would have to chase his ride down to the inside apron handing the lead over to Balluzzo – who by the way never got more than four to five cars off the back bumper of Babb all night. That was the mistake Balluzzo had been waiting for all night and he did not hesitate to capitalize on it. Babb was able to regroup, just not fast enough which allowed Balluzzo to take home the win.
“We were the exact same,” Balluzzo said of Babb in victory lane. “He would make a mistake I would make a mistake. He ran a great race that’s for sure, we are just so happy to be here.” Balluzzo made it pretty clear in victory lane his intentions for 2015 – Win! He has told us through the off season that he will certainly go for the record breaking 8th Modified Division title but he also let us know he means business this year. “We are going to run Langley, South Boston, East Carolina. We want the [Div II] National Championship.”
The mods will not hit the pavement again at Langley Speedway for an entire month, May 2nd is their next night out on the town. However, the division will have a 50-lap feature April 11 at South Boston Speedway & will run two 20-lap features at East Carolina April 18th.
Larry King Law Modifieds
Pos. # Driver Laps
- #48 Shawn Balluzzo; 50
- #44 Robbie Babb; 50
- #33 Matt Slye; 50
- #4 Jon Largena; 50
- #95 Danny Harrell; 50
- #6 Evan Horne; 50
- #1 Donnie Holston; 49
- #87 Darrell Vance; 49
- #83 Scott Lawrence; 49
- #88 Jack Sharkey; 48
- #16 Eric McPherson; 40
- #51 Tony Steele; 38
- #5 Andrew Fortin; 32
- #37 Wayne Hartley; DQ