Langley Speedway News
Smith, Falk split Late Model Twins; Falk claims title
Aug 22, 2010 - updated Aug 22nd, 2010 11:52am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
Race Report Saturday, August 21, 2010
Nick Smith and C.E. Falk each took a turn in the spotlight as the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Model Stock Cars wrapped up their 2010 campaign with the Fishing Tidewater Twin 75s, the featured events of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Race #1: In the first race, Smith started on the pole, at 89.869 mph, and led all 75 laps for his first Langley Late Model win in nearly two years.
Looking to nail down his second straight track championship, Falk shared the front row with Smith. He gave way to the pole-sitter in Turn 2 on lap 1 and also dropped a spot to Paul DeBolt. On lap 2, Greg Edwards scooted past Falk, knocking him back to fourth.
Falk righted the ship and began to rally back toward the front on lap 5 as he grabbed third place back from Edwards and left the lane open for Woody Howard, who moved up to challenge Edwards for fourth.
At the head of the field, Smith had opened a four-length margin over DeBolt, who enjoyed a similar advantage over Falk. Behind them, Edwards fought off Howard, but not before losing more than half a straightaway to the lead trio.
By lap 30, Smith had added another car-length to his lead, while Falk had tracked down DeBolt and was on the hunt for the runner-up spot.
After shadowing DeBolt for several circuits, Falk pulled the trigger on lap 44, ducking underneath the second-place driver in Turn 4. He completed the pass in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 45, only to see DeBolt regain the position on lap 46. Falk claimed the spot for good on lap 47 and began to drive away from DeBolt. In the meantime, however, Smith had widened his lead to a full straightaway.
On lap 65, Edwards drove under DeBolt in a bid for the third spot. He was forced back in line, though, as they approached slower traffic. On lap 71, he was back at it and snagged the position off Turn 4. DeBolt tried to reverse the move on lap 72, but was rebuffed by Edwards.
At the end of the caution-free race, Smith was the winner by a whopping 5.275 seconds over Falk. Edwards was third, followed by DeBolt and Howard.
Wes Falk was sixth, while Danny Edwards Jr., Casey Wyatt and Brandon Gdovic were seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, the final drivers on the lead lap. Mark Wertz was 10th, a lap back.
By finishing one position ahead of Greg Edwards, C.E. Falk increased his points lead to 52, effectively clinching the championship.
Meanwhile, in Victory Lane, Smith commented on breaking his lengthy Langley drought: “It was hard work. I definitely didn’t do it alone, as you can tell. I’m drenched from head to toe. I did all I could do to win that first one. I said, if I’m gonna win one tonight, it’s gonna be the first one. I don’t know if I have anything left for the second one. But, I just gave it all I had. It really goes to show for me and my team, especially the young guys that come out and help me, my family, all my fans that support me, everybody that told me I could do it. This car right here has come a long ways. I’m glad to finally win a race here in 2010. I haven’t won one since ‘08.”
Race #2: In the caution-filled nightcap, C.E. Falk seized command on the opening circuit and held off his brother, Wes, down the stretch to post his ninth victory, finishing off his title-winning season in style.
The lineup for the second race was determined by the results from the first event, putting Smith and Falk on the front row.
Unlike Race #1, though, Falk was able to stay right with the pole starter, surging into the lead as they exited Turn 4 for the first time. Smith settled into second, followed by Greg Edwards and a side-by-side battle between DeBolt and Howard.
By lap 11, Falk had pulled away by nearly half a straightaway. That margin vanished on the next circuit, however, as Brandon Brown spun in Turn 4 to bring out the first caution flag.
Only one more lap was in the books when the second yellow flag flew as DeBolt and Gdovic tangled in Turn 4. DeBolt spun and collected Wertz and Eddie Johnson. The incident spelled an end to DeBolt’s night.
On the double-file restart, Falk cleared Smith off Turn 2. A lap later, Greg Edwards slipped underneath Smith and nosed into second place as they flashed beneath the flagstand. In short order, Smith dropped positions to Howard, Danny Edwards Jr. and Matt Waltz. On lap 25, Smith slowed and turned toward the pits, retiring to a 20th-place finish.
The third yellow flag waved on lap 43 when Johnson spun at the start/finish line.
Back under green, Falk pulled ahead of Greg Edwards off Turn 2. At the other end of the track, though, Edwards battled back to the inside of the leader. Their joust allowed third-place Howard to enter the picture.
Caution #4 appeared on lap 46 when Edwards spun in Turn 2, collecting Kyle Waltz and Adam Florian. He fell to the back of the pack for the restart, while Howard assumed the runner-up spot.
Perhaps taking a cue from Edwards, Howard dropped behind Falk in Turn 2 on the ensuing restart, then cut to the inside of the leader in Turn 4. Before that scenario could develop any further, though, the fifth caution flag was unfurled for Rick Gdovic’s spin in Turn 2.
As the race resumed, Falk quickly cleared Howard as they entered Turn 1. Wes Falk, who restarted in third, rushed to fill the opening and came away with second place. Matt Waltz moved up to third, dropping Howard to fourth.
The sixth yellow flag was displayed on lap 51 for Terry Carroll’s spin in Turn 3.
On the restart, C.E. Falk pulled ahead of his brother off Turn 2. Waltz spotted the opening and nosed into second. Behind them, Danny Edwards Jr. and Howard dueled for fourth.
On lap 55, Wes Falk ducked under Matt Waltz at the entrance to Turn 3. The two battled side-by-side until lap 58 when Falk gained the clear-cut edge for second. Deeper in the field, Danny Edwards Jr. had advanced to fourth, while Howard faced a challenge for fifth from Brandon Gdovic, who made the pass on lap 60.
The seventh yellow flag waved on lap 68 when Rick Gdovic spun on the backstretch. Since less than 10 laps remained, the field was arranged in single-file formation for the ensuing restart.
Back under green, the Falks bolted in nose-to-tail formation. Wes stalked C.E. for a lap, then pulled a bump-and-run in Turns 3 and 4 on lap 69. The move was negated, however, when the eighth and final yellow flag waved as Brandon Gdovic spun while battling Danny Edwards Jr. for fourth. Dean Shiflett and Howard were also collected in the incident.
Lining up for the sprint to the checkers, C.E. and Wes Falk were 1-2, followed by Matt Waltz. Edwards Jr. was directed to the rear of the field, but chose to park for the night, handing fourth to Greg Edwards.
On the final restart, C.E. Falk pulled away from his brother by a little more than a car-length. Wes Falk tried to rally, drawing to within half a length on lap 72. That’s as close as he would get, though, as C.E. Falk won by 0.413-second — about two lengths.
Matt Waltz tailed the Falks to the line, in third, followed by Greg Edwards and Brown. Brandon Gdovic was sixth, while Jeff Shiflett, Howard, Carroll and Rick Gdovic completed the top 10. Shawn Balluzzo was shown in 11th, the last driver on the lead lap.
In Victory Lane after the race, C.E. Falk noted his unexpected challenger: “I really didn’t think I was gonna have to race my own brother for the win. He kinda come out of nowhere and was giving me hell. Man, that’s been a dream of ours — to have 40 and 41 on that scoreboard at Langley Speedway. That’s so big for our team ‘cause it really is one team and two cars and (crew chief) Phil (Warren) works on both of ‘em equally as hard.”
With almost a month left in the NASCAR points season, Falk let the crowd in on his plans for the upcoming weeks: “We’ll go to Motor Mile next week. Try to go on the road and get some wins there and go to South Boston, but, then, Martinsville and, of course, the big South Boston race.”
After his win over a bevy of Sprint Cup drivers in Denny Hamlin’s charity event at Richmond’s Southside Speedway was listed among his accomplishments this season, Falk chimed in: “You mentioned Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch and all them. None of those guys gave me as much hell as my little brother, so I’m glad he’s finally learned something.”
In the final points tally, pending official verification, C.E. Falk claimed the 2010 title by 58 over Greg Edwards, 982-924. Howard was third with 908, followed by Danny Edwards Jr. (858) and Wes Falk (824).
In the evening’s other feature events:
In the 40-lap Pepsi Grand Stock race, Mark Claar moved out front on the fourth circuit, then endured six caution flags before rolling to his fourth win of the year.
Tommy Sweeney set the fast time in qualifying for the event, at 76.998 mph. He dialed up a “6” on the inversion wheel, though, and had to start from the outside of Row 3. Rodney Boyd, gunning for his third straight win, took over the pole with Claar alongside.
As the race got under way, Boyd took the lead, motoring ahead of Claar as they exited Turn 4 for the first time. Claar dropped into second, followed by Henry Barnes, Robbie Parker and Ricky Derrick. Sweeney, meanwhile, slid to seventh in the early going.
On lap 4, Claar got a run on Boyd at the end of the backstretch and slipped under and past him through Turns 3 and 4. Deeper in the pack, Derrick scooted by Parker to take over fourth. Over the next handful of laps, Parker, the points leader coming into the night, dropped to eighth.
The first caution flag waved on lap 11 as Parker slowed to a crawl off Turn 2. That would set off a flurry of yellows. In all, between laps 11 and 15, the caution flag flew five times, jumbling the field.
Back under green at lap 15, Claar quickly disposed of Carl Livingston, who had given up the eighth spot in line to try his luck on the outside of the leader. Claar was soon joined by second-place Jimmy Adkins, while Livingston went door-to-door with Barnes — a battle that Barnes would eventually win.
On lap 23, Paul Lubno rumbled past Barnes for the third spot. Derrick, who fell victim to a cut tire on lap 14, tagged along with him and grabbed fourth. Two laps later, Derrick slipped by Lubno for third.
The last of the race’s six caution flags flew on lap 28 when Barnes and Sweeney locked horns in Turns 3 and 4. Setting the running order, Claar and Adkins were first and second, followed by Derrick. Lubno was fourth, but chose to restart alongside Claar.
As the race resumed, Claar cleared Lubno, who slipped neatly in second. Lubno couldn’t hold Adkins back, though, and gave up the second spot at the start/finish line, while Derrick closed in. Derrick regained third on lap 29. While positions changed hands in his mirror, Claar pulled away by five lengths.
On lap 35, Derrick nosed underneath Adkins in a bid for second. He inched ahead at the end of lap 36 and cleared Adkins off Turn 2 on lap 38. The exchange allowed Claar to pad his lead to nearly half a straightaway, a margin he would maintain to the checkers.
At the finish, Claar was the winner by 1.450 seconds over Derrick. Adkins was third, followed by Lubno and Chris Hott.
With Parker finishing 10th, Derrick has moved four points ahead in the division standings, 384-380. Claar vaulted from fifth to third, just 16 behind Derrick. Sweeney is two behind Claar and Livingston is four behind Sweeney. Hott ranks sixth, only two points behind Livingston.
Kevin Alves scored his second victory of the season in a 40-lapper for the Langley Fan Club Super Streets, shaving four points from Randy Sample’s division lead.
Sample was the fast qualifier for the race, at 73.447 mph, but was bumped back to the outside of Row 2 after spinning the inversion wheel. Ryan Nester assumed the pole position, sharing the front row with Chris Roberts. Alves and Sample occupied Row 2.
On the opening lap, Nester powered ahead of Roberts off Turn 4 to take the early lead. Sample moved up to third, followed by Alves and Sean Calway.
The first caution flag flew on lap 2 when Jamie Sample and Michael Farmer tangled in Turns 1 and 2. After an extracurricular skirmish following the incident, both drivers were ordered to the pits.
Back under green, Nester quickly cleared Renno Marchetti IV, who had given up the seventh spot in line to restart on the outside of the leader. Roberts dispensed with Marchetti a lap later and closed to within two lengths of Nester.
Roberts followed in Nester’s tire tracks until lap 15 when he slipped under the leader off Turn 2. He completed the pass for the top spot in Turns 3 and 4, while Sample and Alves closed in from behind.
On lap 17, Alves nosed under Sample in a bid for third. He gained the position by half a car-length on lap 18 and cleared Sample on lap 19, leaving the door open for Calway, who took fourth.
Passing the halfway mark, Roberts enjoyed a three-length advantage over Nester, who saw Alves growing larger in his mirror. By lap 25, Nester and Alves had tracked down Roberts to form a three-car train.
Over the next few circuits, Roberts was able to manufacture some breathing room. That went away on lap 34, however, as he skated sideways off Turn 4.
Working lap 37, Roberts tried to navigate past a slower machine in Turn 1. Sensing an opportunity, Nester pounced, stacking ‘em three-wide off the second corner.
Heading down the backstretch, Roberts and Nester jostled back and forth, skirting along the infield grass. Reaching Turn 3, Nester spun, while Alves darted past both cars as the yellow flag flew. Roberts and Nester went to the rear of the field, while Alves moved atop the leaderboard for the restart.
As the dash to the finish began, Alves bolted to a three-length lead over Calway. By the end, that margin had grown to four lengths — 0.773-second, to be precise — as Alves collected the win. Calway was second to the line, followed by Sample, Marchetti and Larry Venable. Nester ended up eighth, while Roberts was 10th.
In the series standings, Sample leads by 14 over Alves, 436-422. Nester is third, 44 behind Sample, while Calway and John Pereira complete the top five.
Points leader Joe Hendricks Jr. posted his fourth victory of the season in the 25-lap Casey Cycle City INEX Legends feature, moving from fourth to first after a caution flag on lap 24.
Jamie Price set the fast time for the event, qualifying at 77.346 mph. Steve Keesee was second-quickest, followed by Cameron Patrick, Rette Causey and Spencer Saunders. Hendricks lined up seventh on the 17-car grid.
As the race got under way, Price gained the early lead, pulling ahead of Keesee out of Turn 2. Saunders moved up to challenge Keesee for second, while Hendricks and Causey hovered in fourth and fifth.
The first yellow flag waved on lap 2 when Kim Forrester and Scotty Edwards tangled in Turn 1.
Back under green, Price led Saunders, Keesee and Hendricks in a four-car breakaway at the head of the field. On lap 6, Saunders scooted past Price on the backstretch to take the lead. A lap later, Causey grabbed fourth from Hendricks.
On lap 15, Price pushed his machine to the front for a second time. Before that lap was in the books, though, the second caution flag was displayed, wiping out Price’s move and putting Saunders back in front.
Back under green, Saunders, Price and Keesee pulled away in nose-to-tail formation, while Hendricks went to work on Causey, looking to regain fourth. He grabbed the position on lap 21 and brought Kyle Resco along with him, dropping Causey from the top five.
The complexion of the event took a wild swing on lap 24 when Saunders suddenly looped his car in the middle of Turns 3 and 4. Price and Keesee both came to a stop, trying to avoid him. Officials ruled that all three were “involved” in the incident and they were sent to the rear of the field as Hendricks assumed the lead.
On the final restart, Resco, the new second-place runner, took a look to the outside of Hendricks before falling back in line. He continued to track the leader until the final corner of the white-flag lap when he drove to the bottom of the track.
Hendricks fought off Resco’s late bid and won by 85-thousandths of a second — a single car-length. Causey was third to the stripe, followed by Tyler Hughes and Patrick. Price ended up sixth, while Saunders and Keesee were 10th and 13th, respectively.
With the late-race turn of events, Hendricks went from trying to protect a spot in the top five and a slim points margin to celebrating a win and a points windfall. Up by six over Keesee, heading into the race, he now leads Price by 26, 456-430. Keesee dropped from second to third, four behind Price.
In a 25-lapper for the EZ Auto of Newport News UCARs, Chris Hildebrand became the third different leader on lap 5 and stormed to his third win of the year.
Landon Florian was the fast qualifier, at 72.841 mph, but had to start fourth after the inversion. Nelson Moody moved into the pole slot, sharing the front row with Sammy Gaita. Hildebrand and Florian made up Row 2.
As the event got going, Gaita bolted ahead of Moody to take the lead. His stay at the top was short-lived, however, as Moody battled back to the front on lap 2 and brought Hildebrand along with him, to second.
Coming around to complete lap 4, Hildebrand ducked under Moody off the fourth corner. He finished off the pass in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 5. Florian tagged along with Hildebrand to take over second, while, a lap later, Michael Joyner and Gaita eased past Moody for third and fourth.
The first caution flag flew on lap 8 for fluid on the track. Eric Schaffer was directed to the pits and, after a look-see, he rejoined the field.
On the restart, second-place Florian failed to come up to speed immediately, allowing Andrew Condrey and Matt Morgan, who were lined up in the outside lane, to slip in behind Hildebrand.
Caution #2 waved on lap 9 when Morgan and Florian tangled, dropping both drivers to the rear of the field.
As the race resumed, Hildebrand quickly cleared Gaita, who was left to tussle with Condrey for second. Condrey won that battle, but couldn’t hold back Joyner, who grabbed second on lap 10. With his pursuers scuffling among themselves, Hildebrand opened a half-straightaway lead.
The third and final caution flag flew on lap 13.
Under green for the last time, Hildebrand and Joyner dispensed with the challengers in the outside lane, leaving a four-car scuffle for third in their wake.
Over the second half of the event, Hildebrand steadily pulled away from Joyner. By the finish, his winning margin had grown to 1.987 seconds — about half a straightaway. Gaita was third to the line, followed by Moody and Bill Eaker.
In the standings, Joyner’s lead over Gaita stands at 10, 406-396. Adam Florian, who was competing in Saturday’s Late Model Twins, remains third, at 346.
In the evening’s opening race, a 20-lapper for the Standard Welding Pro Sixes, Matt Mullins took the lead for good on lap 12 and held on for his second victory.
Warren Smigo started on the pole, at 79.659 mph, and set the pace for the first 8 circuits with Mullins in tow.
On lap 9, the lead duo ran up on a slower car. Smigo swung to the high side off Turn 2, but got loose, providing an opening for Mullins, who darted into the lead on the backstretch.
The only caution flag flew on lap 11.
On the restart, Smigo regained the lead from Mullins. When they reached Turn 4, though, Mullins stuck his nose to the inside of Smigo. A lap later, Smigo skated loose in Turns 3 and 4 and Mullins pulled ahead, bringing T.J. Guthrie and Joe White along with him.
After completing the pass for the lead, Mullins opened a three-length edge over Guthrie. Within two laps, however, Guthrie had gobbled up that margin.
For the remainder of the event, Mullins and Guthrie were nose-to-tail. Carefully protecting the inside lane, Mullins never gave Guthrie an opportunity for a winning pass as he eked out a 0.155-second win. White tailed Mullins and Guthrie to the line, in third, followed by Smigo and Bobby Hall.
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