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Langley Speedway News
Balluzzo notches 2nd straight Mod victory
May 16, 2010 - updated May 16th, 2010 11:19am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway
Dr. Mimi Peak/Armed Forces Night Race Report Saturday, May 15, 2010
Shawn Balluzzo battled past Thomas Stinson on the 28th circuit and rolled to his second victory of the season in the Dr. Mimi Peak/Armed Forces 50 for the B&C Seafood Modifieds, the headlining event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Balluzzo, the defending division titlist, paced the afternoon qualifying session, at 84.835 mph, to earn the pole. Stinson was second-quickest, followed by Rusty Wood, Jimmy Humblet and Scott Lawrence. The top eight qualifiers were separated by less than half a second.
As the race got under way, Stinson got the jump on Balluzzo and carried a half-length lead into the first corner. He gained the clear-cut advantage off Turn 2 and Balluzzo settled into second. Wood emerged from the opening shuffle in third, while Humblet and Buster Horne Jr. held fourth and fifth.
The running order remained stable until lap 8 when Lawrence muscled past Horne in Turns 3 and 4 to take over the fifth spot. Meanwhile, Balluzzo was beginning to hunt for an opening around Stinson, who was carefully guarding the low lane.
The first yellow flag waved on lap 15 for Bobby Gery’s spin, just ahead of the leaders, in Turn 2. That was followed, on lap 17, by Caution #2 as Matt Slye looped his machine in Turn 1.
On the double-file restart, Stinson quickly cleared Balluzzo as the field raced into Turn 1. Balluzzo wasn’t through, however, as he pulled to the outside of Stinson on lap 18. The two went side-by-side until lap 21 when Stinson regained command of the top spot.
As the crossed flags were displayed, signifying the halfway mark, Stinson and Balluzzo were locked nose-to-tail. A couple car-lengths behind them, Wood enjoyed a ringside seat for the scuffle for the lead.
Balluzzo took another run at Stinson on lap 28 as they motored down the backstretch. Entering Turn 3, they made contact and Balluzzo seized the lead, while Stinson collected his machine, dropping to second. Within a handful of circuits, Balluzzo had opened a three-length margin over Stinson, who was busy with a challenge from Wood.
Balluzzo enjoyed his largest lead — nearly half a straightaway — on lap 44. That cushion was erased, though, when the third yellow flag flew for a multi-car tangle in Turn 3.
On the ensuing single-file restart (the rule with less than 10 laps left), Stinson took a look to the outside of Balluzzo at the entrance to Turn 1. The peek was a costly one as Stinson left the inside lane open for Wood, who grabbed the runner-up spot.
A lap later, the last of the race’s four caution flags was displayed when Bubba Farmer spun in Turn 2, collecting Steve Wagner. The incident chased both drivers to the sidelines.
Under green for the last time, Balluzzo and Wood took off in tandem, while Stinson tried to draw to Wood’s outside. Wood fended off the bid, but, by then, Balluzzo was already starting to ease away from the pack.
At the finish, Balluzzo was the winner by 0.509-second over Wood. Stinson was third, while Humblet and Slye completed the top five. Lawrence was sixth, followed by Joed Bruce and Horne, the final drivers to complete the entire distance. Gery was shown in ninth and Farmer was credited with 10th.
In Victory Lane after the race, Balluzzo was asked about utilizing the outside groove on what’s commonly thought of as a one-groove track: “Yeah, you can run outside! The scary thing out there with the Modifieds is touching wheels and Thomas and I touched wheels. What a race those guys gave us! Thomas was great. It was fun racing with him — he didn’t give me nothing, I didn’t give him nothing. Rusty came in there and it was a good race.”
In the evening’s other feature events:
Beginning the defense of his ‘09 championship, Ricky Derrick moved out front on lap 11 and motored to the win in a 40-lapper for the Pepsi Grand Stocks, the last of the track divisions to kick off its new campaign.
Tommy Sweeney claimed the pole for the event, at 78.524 mph, and shared the front row with Robbie Parker. Derrick and Rodney Boyd made up Row 2, while Jammie Goode, an eight-time winner in ‘09, started fifth.
As the initial green flag dropped, Sweeney bolted into the lead, leaving Parker in a door-to-door duel with Derrick, who advanced to second. Goode grabbed third as Boyd closed in on Parker. On lap 5, Boyd and Parker scuffled in Turn 4 and the inside of the track opened up for Mark Claar and Paul Lubno, who took over fourth and fifth, respectively.
Derrick made his run to the lead on lap 11, ducking underneath Sweeney off Turn 2. A lapped machine loomed ahead, but Derrick was undeterred, stacking ‘em three-deep on the backstretch and taking the top spot into Turn 3.
The only caution flag appeared on lap 12 when several cars went sliding in Turn 4. Officials spotted fluid leading from Henry Barnes’ #90 machine and ordered him to the pit lane.
For the restart, Lubno gave up the sixth position in the running order to test his luck on the outside of Derrick. The gamble paid off as he fell in line in fourth. Meanwhile, Goode hounded Sweeney for second, eventually forcing his way past on lap 15. Sweeney dropped to seventh place as he gathered his car.
On lap 17, the runner-up spot changed hands again as Lubno got the better of Goode and brought Claar along with him, kicking Goode back to fourth. With his potential challengers scrambling among themselves, Derrick widened his lead to six lengths.
Passing the halfway point, Sweeney returned to the top five, nosing in front of Parker. Ahead of them, Claar and Goode double-teamed Lubno on lap 21 and moved into second and third.
On lap 24, Lubno took a run at Goode for third, but was forced back in line by a lapped car. Two laps later, though, he made the move and brought Sweeney with him as Goode began to fade. In the meantime, Claar had drawn to within four lengths of Derrick.
Sweeney slipped past Lubno on lap 32 to take over third place. He faced an uphill climb, though, as Derrick and Claar had gotten away by nearly a full straightaway.
On lap 37, Claar narrowed Derrick’s advantage to a single car-length. A bobble off Turn 4 on the following circuit proved costly, however, as Derrick padded his lead.
At the finish, Derrick was the winner by 0.854-second — about four lengths — over Claar. Sweeney rallied to take third, while Lubno and Parker completed the top five. After running near the front for much of the event, Goode ended up in seventh.
Randy Sample moved out front for good on lap 14 and sailed to his second straight victory in the 40-lap Langley Speedway Fan Club Super Street feature.
The division’s final practice session served as qualifying and Randy Akers led the way with a lap at 73.740 mph. Kevin Alves, Larry Venable, Ryan Nester and Renno Marchetti IV rounded out the top five. During opening ceremonies, however, Akers dialed up a “6” on the inversion wheel, dropping to the outside of Row 3 as Ritchie German assumed the pole.
As the race got underway (minus Nester, who had pulled to the infield with mechanical problems), German edged ahead of Marchetti as the field motored onto the backstretch for the first time. Venable slipped by Marchetti for second, while Akers moved into third. Sample, who started seventh, made his first appearance in the top five on lap 5, scooting by Alves.
The first caution flag waved on lap 8 when officials detected a leak from Sean Calway’s machine and brought him to pit lane for a look-see.
On the restart, Sample gave up his fifth spot in line and pulled to the outside of German. Back under green, Sample gained a half-length lead, only to see German battle back on the following circuit. Meanwhile, Akers overtook Venable on lap 11 to grab third.
On lap 13, Sample drove underneath German off Turn 4, pulled even on the frontstretch and snagged the lead on the back straightaway on lap 14. Akers tagged along with Sample and advanced to second.
As the laps clicked off, it appeared that Akers enjoyed a slight advantage over Sample in straightaway speed. The leader was better exiting the corners, however, and Sample’s margin began to grow.
The second caution flag flew on lap 26 when Jason Aukland spun in Turn 4. That was quickly followed by the third, and final, caution when Marchetti spun in Turn 4 on the restart.
Under green for the last time, Sample and Akers both dispensed with Alves, who had given up the fifth spot to test his luck on the outside of the front row. Alves’ gambit, though, did end up netting him one position.
Over the closing circuits, Sample steadily eased away from Akers. At the finish, he was the winner by 0.924-second — about three lengths. German tailed the lead duo to the line, in third, followed by Alves and Venable.
Tommy Nixon started on the pole, at 74.020 mph, and led all the way to bag his second win of the year in the 25-lap Larry King Legal Services Super Truck feature.
Robbie Davis, in search of his third victory, shared the front row with Nixon, but gave way to Brad Adams on the opening circuit. Nixon fashioned a narrow lead in the early going, but Adams quickly closed the gap. At the halfway mark, Nixon and Adams were nose-to-tail, while Davis had fallen a straightaway behind.
The only caution flag was displayed on lap 14 and spelled a premature exit for Chase McAdams, who had been showing smoke for several laps. Officials signaled him to the pits as the field bunched for a restart.
On the restart, Nixon easily dispensed with Lloyd Holbrook, then fought off a challenge from Adams, who was looking to his inside. Firmly in command, Nixon pulled away by four lengths as the event neared its conclusion.
Adams mustered one last push on the white-flag lap, drawing to within a truck-length of the leader’s bumper through Turns 1 and 2. Nixon flexed his muscle on the backstretch, however, and drove on to a 0.426-second win. Davis was third at the finish, followed by Troy Turnage and Bill Wallace.
Chuck Weeks took the lead on the start and showed the way to his first win of the season in a 20-lap contest for the Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts.
Dwain Smith qualified on the pole, at 61.899 mph, but gave way to Weeks, his front row partner, as the green flag went in the air. Smith dropped into the second place, followed by Casey Wyatt and Ryan Hudgins. Six lengths separated the front four from fifth-place Jake Harberts.
On lap 4, Wyatt and Hudgins fell back from Weeks and Smith, giving up ground, but gaining drafting help. A lap later, Smith drifted high in Turns 3 and 4 and slid to seventh. Meanwhile, Harberts headed a three-kart train, including Bill Dailey and Mike Dayton, that was closing in on the leaders.
In many Champ Kart races in the past, two or three karts have been able to link up and drive away — if they can maintain a disciplined draft. That wasn’t the case in this event, though, and, by lap 14, the lead pack had turned into a mad 11-kart scramble.
While drivers stacked up double-wide, Weeks, Hudgins and Harberts got their collective act together on lap 16 and pulled away from the field.
Hudgins pushed Weeks all the way to the finish, finally breaking out of line only feet from the checkers. At the end, Weeks was the winner by 0.080-second — one length — over Hudgins. Harberts was third, while Wyatt and Dailey completed the top five.
In the evening’s finale, a 30-lapper for the Standard Welding Pro Sixes, Casey Sipe took the lead on lap 21, then survived a couple late restarts to claim his first win.
Joe White was the polesitter for the race, at 79.910 mph, and led the first 20 circuits. Sipe, meanwhile, grabbed second on lap 10 and began stalking the leader.
On lap 21, Sipe powered to the outside of White on the backstretch and pulled out front off the fourth corner. In only one lap, he had rocketed away by four lengths.
The race was slowed by caution flags on laps 25 and 29 as White and Matt Mullins tangled while jousting for position. The last yellow flag set up a “green-white-checkered” finish with Sipe leading Warren Smigo and Lindsay Bryant.
On the final restart, Sipe darted away as Bryant swiped second place from Smigo. On the white-flag lap, Smigo surrendered another spot when Mullins slipped past.
At the finish, Sipe was the winner by 1.211 seconds — nearly half a straightaway — over Bryant. Mullins was third, followed by Smigo and Carter Sipe. After leading two-thirds of the event, White was on the sidelines at the end and was credited with sixth.
• • •
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway
Dr. Mimi Peak/Armed Forces Night Race Results Saturday, May 15, 2010
B&C SEAFOOD MODIFIEDS - 50 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 50
2. (69) Rusty Wood; 50
3. (4) Thomas Stinson; 50
4. (11) Jimmy Humblet; 50
5. (33) Matt Slye; 50
6. (83) Scott Lawrence; 50
7. (77) Joed Bruce; 50
8. (6) Buster Horne Jr.; 50
9. (60) Bobby Gery; 48
10. (12) Bubba Farmer; 44
11. (26) Steve McGuire; 43
12. (7) Steve Wagner; 43
Pole: Balluzzo - 84.835 mph.
PEPSI GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (8) Ricky Derrick; 40
2. (07) Mark Claar; 40
3. (11) Tommy Sweeney; 40
4. (14) Paul Lubno; 40
5. (19) Robbie Parker; 40
6. (9) Rodney Boyd; 40
7. (36) Jammie Goode; 40
8. (77) Carl Livingston; 40
9. (01) Chris Hott; 40
10. (28) Billy Fisher; 40
11. (55) Mike West; 39
12. (96) Harold Stanley; 38
13. (69) Connie Stanley; 25
14. (90) Henry Barnes; 15
Pole: Sweeney - 78.524 mph.
LANGLEY SPEEDWAY FAN CLUB
SUPER STREETS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (24) Randy Sample; 40
2. (21) Randy Akers; 40
3. (10) Ritchie German; 40
4. (84) Kevin Alves; 40
5. (14) Larry Venable; 40
6. (12) Sean Calway; 40
7. (1) John Pereira; 40
8. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 40
9. (81) Jeff Shannon; 40
10. (2) Rod Busitzky; 40
11. (28) Jamie Sample; 40
12. (73) John Foster Jr.; 40
13. (39) Garrett Willcox; 40
14. (03) Jerry Lamontagne; 40
15. (9) Michael Farmer; 40
16. (11) Jason Aukland; 25
17. (87) Ryan Nester; 0
Pole: German - Top 6 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Akers - 73.740 mph.
LARRY KING LEGAL SERVICES
SUPER TRUCKS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Truck #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (8) Tommy Nixon; 25
2. (12) Brad Adams; 25
3. (17) Robbie Davis; 25
4. (90) Troy Turnage; 25
5. (19) Bill Wallace; 25
6. (21) Rick Potter; 25
7. (18) Cory Millard; 25
8. (52) Chris Bechtel; 25
9. (29) Amanda Frye; 25
10. (7) Lloyd Holbrook; 25
11. (47) David Bridwell; 25
12. (30) Chris Spangler; 19
13. (62) Chase McAdams; 13
Pole: Nixon - 74.020 mph.
RHONNDA CLAIBORNE, REALTOR
HRKC PRO WINGED CHAMP KARTS - 20 laps
Fin. Pos. (Kart #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (39) Chuck Weeks; 20
2. (29) Ryan Hudgins; 20
3. (80) Jake Harberts; 20
4. (33) Casey Wyatt; 20
5. (00) Bill Dailey; 20
6. (99) Chris O'Brien; 20
7. (4) Mike Dayton; 20
8. (64) John Savage; 20
9. (63) Clif Savage; 20
10. (24) Vaughan Crittendon; 20
11. (59) Charlie-Ray Lorah; 20
12. (26) Dwain Smith; 20
13. (74) James Grady; 19
14. (52) William Kirwan; 18
Pole: Smith - 61.899 mph.
PRO SIXES - 30 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (14) Casey Sipe; 30
2. (81) Lindsay Bryant; 30
3. (54) Matt Mullins; 30
4. (41) Warren Smigo; 30
5. (23) Carter Sipe; 30
6. (15) Joe White; 28
Pole: White - 79.910 mph.
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