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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
Balluzzo bags 4th Mod win, regains points lead
Sep 26, 2010 - updated Sep 26th, 2010 10:22am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, VA --

Hampton, VA Retail Alliance Night Race Report
Saturday, September 25, 2010

In the latest chapter of what has become a very contentious battle for the 2010 points title, Shawn Balluzzo moved out front for good on lap 30 and sailed to his fourth victory in the Retail Alliance 50 for the B&C Seafood Modifieds, the headlining event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Balluzzo, second in the standings coming into the race, set the fast time in afternoon qualifying, lapping the .395-mile oval at 84.693 mph. Robbie Babb was second-quickest, followed by Thomas Stinson, who brought a two-point lead into the event. Cameron Patrick and Jimmy Humblet rounded out the top five on the starting grid.
At the drop of the initial green flag, Babb gained a slight edge as the field stormed toward Turn 1. Balluzzo battled back, only to find Stinson looking to his inside off Turn 2. He beat back that challenge and remained to the inside of Babb, who lap 1 by half a length.
Coming around to complete lap 2, Balluzzo surged ahead of Babb to take his first lead. It was short-lived, though, as Stinson muscled him aside in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 3 and claimed the point.
Balluzzo was credited with leading lap 5. On the following circuit, he and Stinson made heavy contact in Turns 3 and 4. Stinson held on and retook the lead, while Babb pounced on the opening and inched into second. Two laps later, Balluzzo was back in the runner-up spot and stalking the leader.
Over the next 20 circuits, Stinson and Balluzzo slugged it out like a pair of heavyweights. With Stinson committed to protecting the bottom groove, Balluzzo took several looks to the outside. While he was able to pull alongside Stinson, though, he was unable to complete the pass.
When he wasn’t studying his high-line options, Balluzzo chose to simply hammer on Stinson’s rear bumper, trying to rattle his cage and force an error. Meanwhile, Babb dropped back a couple car-lengths, enjoying a front-row seat for the fireworks.
The Stinson/Balluzzo duel finally overheated on lap 24 when they clashed off Turn 4 and Stinson spun to bring out the first yellow flag. Both drivers were directed to the back of the pack as Babb assumed the lead.
The caution flag reappeared quickly on the ensuing restart when Balluzzo slid to a stop in Turn 2 with right-front tire issues. Following a visit to the pits, his crew returned him to the fray.
Back under green, Patrick nosed ahead of Babb to lead lap 24. Babb rallied on the next circuit, however, and regained the top spot. Behind them, Balluzzo closed in on the third-place tussle between Bobby Gery and Stinson.
On lap 27, Gery and Stinson scuffled momentarily at the end of the frontstretch and Balluzzo flashed past. He quickly tracked down the lead duo and swiped second from Patrick on lap 28. The exchange allowed Babb to open a two-length advantage, but Balluzzo was on the charge.
On lap 30, Balluzzo swung to the outside of Babb and took the lead down the backstretch. After just a handful of laps, he had already driven away by four lengths.
Balluzzo’s margin continued to grow over the remaining circuits. At the end, he was the winner by 2.774 seconds — nearly a full straightaway. Babb was second, followed by Patrick, Stinson and Gery. Michael Johnson was sixth, while Steve Wagner, Humblet and Matt Slye completed the rundown.
In Victory Lane after the race, Balluzzo explained his simple philosophy for the event: “First, and most importantly, I want to thank all the fans for supporting me the last few weeks. It has been a tough couple of weeks, believe it or not. And, I... what’s the best way... I don’t know how to say it... let me... wait a minute... I was not gonna take it anymore!”
“Thank everybody, John, everybody that worked on the car. We took it to the dyno this week, found a couple extra horsepower. I think it helped out a lot. But, I held onto the steering wheel as hard as I could and I just wasn’t gonna take it anymore.”
Asked about competing in next Saturday’s Rolling Thunder tour event at Langley, Balluzzo continued, “No, we’re not gonna run the Rolling Thunder. We had never planned on running the Rolling Thunder. It’s close in the championship. I think Thomas finished fourth. We’re not tied or behind again, so we just want to make sure we win this fourth championship. It’s real important to everybody on the crew. I think it’s important to a lot of my fans out there, too, and sponsors.”
Before he exited the car, Balluzzo had placed a call from the driver’s seat, which he explained to the crowd: “My dad is very sick with cancer, down in Florida, and the first thing I wanted to do was call him and let him know what happened. I’ve been driving back and forth the last three weeks to Florida and it’s been hard on that front, too.”
With the win, Balluzzo broke a string of five straight races in which he had finished behind Stinson. He also moved back atop the standings and will carry a four-point advantage over Stinson, 574-570, into what is shaping up to be a barnburner of a series finale on Saturday, Oct. 16.

In the evening’s other feature events:

Jammie Goode started on the pole and led all 40 laps to notch his first win of the season in the Pepsi Grand Stock race. Meanwhile, with a runner-up finish, Ricky Derrick broke a deadlock with Robbie Parker for the points lead.
Goode claimed the pole with a lap at 77.434 mph. Rodney Boyd started on the outside of Row 1, followed by Parker, Derrick and Carl Livingston.
As the race began, Goode powered ahead of Boyd off Turn 2 and left the door open for Parker, who moved up to second place.
Behind them, Livingston and Derrick dueled for fourth with Livingston taking the spot. Derrick also gave up positions to Paul Lubno and Mark Claar before righting the ship. He quickly moved past Claar, then picked off Lubno on lap 12.
The first caution flag flew on lap 16. For the restart, Lubno gave up his sixth spot in line to test his luck on the outside of Goode. While the bid didn’t gain him the lead, he did manage to slide into the third spot when the event resumed.
On lap 19, Boyd regained third from Lubno. Derrick tagged along and took over fourth, dropping Lubno back to fifth. A lap later, Derrick grabbed third from Boyd.
The last of the race’s two caution flags waved on lap 22 for Livingston’s spin in Turn 2.
On the restart, Lubno again pulled to the outside of Goode. He fared no better this time, though, as Goode quickly shot ahead. Lubno edged Parker for second on lap 22, but Parker retook the spot on lap 23 and brought Derrick and Boyd along, dropping Lubno to fifth.
On lap 24, Derrick bypassed Parker for second. Now, it was Parker’s turn to watch helplessly as Lubno and Boyd streamed past. Boyd snagged third from Lubno on lap 27.
While his potential challengers were swapping positions among themselves, Goode had opened a five-length lead. Derrick, though, was closing the gap. By lap 33, he was parked on the leader’s bumper.
After tailing Goode for several laps, Derrick launched a bid for the lead on lap 39, driving to the inside of Goode in Turn 2. Goode fought off the attempt, though, and motored on to the checkers. At the finish, Goode was the winner by 0.169-second — a single car-length — over Derrick. Boyd, Lubno and Parker completed the top five.
In the standings, Derrick now holds a six-point advantage, 478-472, over Parker. Two races remain on the Grand Stock division’s 2010 calendar.

In the 25-lap Larry King Law Super Truck feature, a race that, seemingly, no one wanted to win, Troy Turnage finally stepped to the fore on the 20th circuit and sped on to his first victory of the year.
Robbie Davis was the fast qualifier for the event, at 73.519 mph. He did himself no favors, however, when he dialed up an “8” on the inversion wheel. That spin landed Tory Vaughn IV on the pole with Bill Wallace alongside.
As the race got under way, Wallace edged ahead of Vaughn to lead lap 1. Behind them, drivers were stacking ‘em three- and four-deep, trying to overcome the inversion and make their way to the front.
On lap 3, Turnage, who started seventh, pushed his truck to the point, bringing Davis along with him. A lap later, Davis took the lead and Tommy Nixon tagged along, putting the two championship contenders in first and second.
By lap 8, Davis had extended his advantage to five lengths over Nixon, who had his hands full with Turnage. Three laps later, however, Davis suddenly faltered, slowing on the backstretch, and Nixon and Turnage darted past.
The first caution flag waved on lap 12 when Turnage spun off Turn 4. Eleven laps had been completed and that “11” on the scoreboard would become very familiar as, amazingly, four tries at a restart produced four more caution flags and sidelined six drivers — Nixon, Vaughn, Cory Millard, Curtis Hughes, Chris Spangler and Debbie Biesecker.
Lining up for a fifth try, Buck Munger now showed the way, ahead of Lloyd Holbrook, Chris Bechtel and Turnage.
Back under way, Holbrook grabbed the lead into Turn 1, but was overtaken by Bechtel on the backstretch. Turnage tried to follow Bechtel’s lead, but Munger held him off. Meanwhile, Holbrook tumbled down the running order, settling in fifth.
On lap 18, Turnage got the better of Munger, slipping underneath and past him in Turns 1 and 2. Within two laps, he was hounding Bechtel for the top spot. Turnage took the lead on lap 20, ducking under Bechtel at the end of the back straightaway and nosing ahead at the start/finish line.
By the finish, Turnage had lengthened his winning margin to four lengths — 1.035 seconds, to be exact — over Bechtel. Munger was third, followed by Wallace and Holbrook.
Despite being decidedly off the pace, Davis continued to log laps and ended up sixth. With Nixon ending up 12th, Davis padded his points lead to 32 — 562-530 — with two races remaining.

In the 25-lap points season finale for the Casey Cycle City INEX Legends, Mississippi driver Scott Hensley moved out front on the eighth circuit and showed the way to the checkers. Hensley, like several others, was in town to gain some experience in preparation for the upcoming INEX Legends Nationals, to be held at Langley on Oct. 7-9.
Brad Hancock, looking to reverse his recent streak of misfortune, claimed the pole position for the event, qualifying at 77.540 mph. Thomas Hartensveld, Brian May, Kyle Beattie and Scott Anderson completed the top five on the 25-car starting grid. Joe Hendricks Jr., needing to finish 13th or better to assure himself of the 2010 track championship, qualified 13th.
The race got off to a rocky start with a multi-car tangle in Turn 1 on the opening lap. Hendricks was involved and had to retreat to the rear of the field.
Finally under way, Hartensveld nosed ahead of Hancock as the green flag waved. Hancock drew even off the second corner, though, and cleared Hartensveld off Turn 4. Beattie moved into second, followed by May. Hartensveld dropped to fourth and Steve Keesee, Hendricks’ closest challenger for the track title, emerged in fifth.
Hensley, who started seventh, made steady progress in the early going. By lap 5, he had climbed to the fourth spot.
The second caution flag flew on lap 6 when Steven Cantrell spun at the flagstand.
Back under green, Hensley quickly dispatched Keesee to take over third, bringing May along with him. The run was cut short, however, when another multi-car fracas broke out in Turn 1 on lap 7.
On the restart, Beattie strong-armed his way past Hancock in Turn 1 and took over the lead, leaving the door open for a host of others. By lap 9, Hancock had tumbled back to ninth place.
Hensley made his way to the front on lap 8, scooting past Beattie through Turns 3 and 4. By the time the crossed flags were displayed, he had opened a three-length edge.
Hensley maintained that three-length advantage over Beattie until lap 20 when the runner-up began to rally. His charge was blunted, though, when light sprinkles began to pelt the speedway, prompting the fourth, and final, yellow flag.
On the final restart, Hensley and Beattie bolted from the pack in nose-to-tail formation. Hensley eased away in the closing circuits and won by 0.295-second — about two lengths. Beattie was second, followed by Keesee, Jamie Price and May.
After his early-race misfortune, Hendricks made his way back into the top 10 and came home with an eighth-place finish, securing the championship. In the final tally, he out-pointed Keesee by 14 — 572-558. Price was third, four behind Keesee.
With so many Legends drivers on hand for Saturday’s race, a 20-lap B Main was added to the lineup. Canadian standout Kevin Foisy won that event to advance to the feature race. He was joined by David Garbo Jr., Scotty Edwards and Sparky West, the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers. Langley regular Bobby Gobble received a promoter’s provisional for the A Main and Darrell Vance was later added when Dannie Wyatt withdrew his entry.

In the 25-lap EZ Auto of Newport News UCAR race, Landon Florian led from pole to checkers for his second straight win.
Florian’s pole-winning speed was 73.114 mph, nearly a mile an hour quicker than his front-row colleague, brother Adam Florian.
As the green flag flew, Landon Florian got the jump on his sibling and hauled the field off into Turn 1. Ben Zoellner rushed to fill the opening to the inside of Adam Florian and came away with second. Sammy Gaita, the points leader coming into the night, moved up from fifth to fourth.
On lap 3, Gaita slipped high in Turn 2 and quickly dropped toward the back of the pack. He finally came to a halt in Turn 2 on lap 5, bringing out the first yellow flag. He headed toward the pits where his crew went to work replacing a left-front tire.
Back under green, Landon Florian blasted away from the field by six lengths, while Adam Florian swiped second from Zoellner, bringing Bill Eaker along with him. By the halfway mark, Landon Florian had stretched his lead to better than half a straightaway as his brother tussled with Eaker for second.
Caution #2 appeared on lap 16 when officials spotted fluid leaking from Eaker’s machine. He was directed to the pits where the problem was corrected and he rejoined the tail of the field.
As the race resumed, Landon Florian again bolted from the pack, leaving three- and four-wide scrambles in his wake. Within four laps, he had regained his half-straightaway margin.
The final caution flag appeared on lap 21 when Matt Morgan spun in Turn 2, collecting Andrew Condrey and Gaita, who had moved back up to sixth after the earlier tire problem. The incident eliminated Gaita, saddling him with a 17th-place finish.
On the final restart, Landon Florian motored away by five car-lengths, leaving the rest of the field to fight over second. Michael Waters grabbed that spot from Adam Florian on lap 21, but the elder Florian reclaimed the position on lap 24.
At the finish, Landon Florian was the winner by 2.647 seconds — about half a straightaway — over Adam Florian. It was their second straight 1-2 outing. Waters was third, followed by Eaker and Michael Joyner.
In the standings, Joyner now holds a 22-point lead, 532-510, over Gaita. The UCARs finish up their points season on Oct. 16.

In a 30-lapper for the Standard Welding Pro Sixes, Doug Warren took the lead on lap 21 and cruised to his first win of the season.
Warren was quickest in afternoon time trials, at 79.735 mph, but had to start on the outside of Row 2 after spinning a “4” on the inversion wheel.
Steve Williams started on the pole, but gave way to Bobby Hall as the race got under way. Hall proceeded to lead the first 20 circuits. Up by half a straightaway, he looked to be on his way to a solid victory until caution flags on laps 19 and 20 bunched the field.
Back under green, Warren tailed Hall until they reached Turn 4. Exiting the corner, he ducked underneath the leader and drew even, completing the pass a full lap later.
At the finish, Warren was the winner by four lengths — 0.863-second, to be precise — over Hall. Anthony Perez was third to the line, followed by Williams and Steven Emerson.
Matt Mullins was headed for a strong finish before mechanical gremlins struck in the closing stages. His crew fixed the problem, but he lost a lap to the leaders in the meantime. He came home in sixth to cap off his championship-winning season, which included two race wins. In the final points tally, he was 150 ahead of Lindsay Bryant, 470-320.
Race Results
Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 50
2. (44) Robbie Babb; 50
3. (20) Cameron Patrick; 50
4. (4) Thomas Stinson; 50
5. (60) Bobby Gery; 50
6. (38) Michael Johnson; 49
7. (7) Steve Wagner; 48
8. (11) Jimmy Humblet; 38
9. (41) Matt Slye; 2
Pole: Balluzzo - 84.693 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (36) Jammie Goode; 40
2. (8) Ricky Derrick; 40
3. (9) Rodney Boyd; 40
4. (14) Paul Lubno; 40
5. (19) Robbie Parker; 40
6. (01) Chris Hott; 40
7. (77) Carl Livingston; 40
8. (11) Tommy Sweeney; 40
9. (39) Nick Odell; 40
10. (28) Billy Fisher; 40
11. (75) Jeff Driskill; 40
12. (0x) Tony Wood; 39
13. (71) J.R. Smith; 39
14. (07) Mark Claar; 34
15. (54) Billy Newman; 8
Pole: Goode - 77.434 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Trk #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (90) Troy Turnage; 25
2. (52) Chris Bechtel; 25
3. (20) Buck Munger; 25
4. (19) Bill Wallace; 25
5. (7) Lloyd Holbrook; 25
6. (17) Robbie Davis; 21
7. (21) Rick Potter; 15
8. (62) Chase McAdams; 13
9. (4) Tory Vaughn IV; 11
10. (18) Cory Millard; 11
11. (70) Curtis Hughes; 11
12. (8) Tommy Nixon; 11
13. (30) Chris Spangler; 11
14. (14) Debbie Biesecker; 11
15. (17A)Jay Andrews; 9
Pole: Vaughn - Top 8 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Davis - 73.519 mph.

* A Main - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (48) Scott Hensley; 25
2. (84) Kyle Beattie; 25
3. (0) Steve Keesee; 25
4. (08) Jamie Price; 25
5. (22) Brian May; 25
6. (1) Evan Swilling; 25
7. (31) Thomas Hartensveld; 25
8. (30) Joe Hendricks Jr.; 25
9. (7) Spencer Saunders; 25
10. (44) Dusty Summers; 25
11. (83) Tyler Hughes; 25
12. (17A)Derek Hopkinson; 25
13. (8) Scotty Edwards; 25
14. (99) Sparky West; 25
15. (9) George Whitney; 25
16. (88A)David Garbo Jr.; 25
17. (87) Darrell Vance; 25
18. (4) Bobby Gobble; 24
19. (32) Scott Anderson; 22
20. (17) Brad Hancock; 21
21. (28) Steven Cantrell; 19
22. (20) Cameron Patrick; 14
23. (43) Adam Welch; 6
24. (55) Kevin Foisy; 6
25. (88) Chris Raiford; 0
Pole: Hancock - 77.540 mph.

* B Main - 20 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (55) Kevin Foisy; 20
2. (88A)David Garbo Jr.; 20
3. (8) Scotty Edwards; 20
4. (99) Sparky West; 20
5. (87) Darrell Vance; 20
6. (91) Michael Edwards; 20
7. (4) Bobby Gobble; 20
8. (9E) Gene Traxler; 19
9. (39) Tony Epps; 18
10. (71) John Hugate; 5
11. (86) Trevor Alspach; 0
Pole: West.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (14) Landon Florian; 25
2. (80) Adam Florian; 25
3. (2) Michael Waters; 25
4. (22) Bill Eaker; 25
5. (20) Michael Joyner; 25
6. (57) Ben Zoellner; 25
7. (12) Eric Schaffer; 25
8. (91) Frank Silva; 25
9. (94) Michael Hall; 25
10. (23) Nelson Moody; 25
11. (5) Jesse Jones; 25
12. (36) Andrew Condrey; 25
13. (1) Mason Sawyer; 25
14. (63) Clif Savage; 25
15. (10) John Matthews; 25
16. (98) Matt Morgan; 20
17. (21) Sammy Gaita; 20
18. (71) Tim Wilson; 14
Pole: L. Florian - 73.114 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (15) Doug Warren; 30
2. (6) Bobby Hall; 30
3. (29) Anthony Perez; 30
4. (7) Steve Williams; 30
5. (57) Steven Emerson; 30
6. (54) Matt Mullins; 29
7. (23) Don Tenney; 23
8. (41) Troy Turnage; 21
Pole: Williams - Top 4 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Warren - 79.735 mph.

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