Langley's Nixon Trucking To Quick Start
First NASCAR Finalist Program standings released for 2011
By Paul Schaefer, NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Tommy Nixon can be counted as a contender this year. The 2009 Super Truck Division champion at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., not only has three wins in the first four races to lead the track's standings, he is the points leader of the asphalt NASCAR Finalist Division V.
Nixon leads the early season standings by four points over Donald Wood who competes in the DARE Stock division at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. Thursday marked the first points release for the NASCAR Finalist recognition program in 2011.
Other NASCAR Finalist Division leaders on asphalt include Division II Brian Pembelton, South Boston (Va.) Speedway; Division III Jim Albert, Houston (Texas) Motorsports Park and Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, Texas; and Division IV Jack Nugent, Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, Colo.
Dirt track NASCAR Finalist Division leaders include Division II Jim Hendricks Jr., Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb. and I-80 Speedway in Omaha, Neb.; Division III Brad Deery, I-80 Speedway and Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa; Division IV Jeremy Purdy, Adams County Speedway; and Division V Alex Heimer, Salina (Okla.) Highbanks Speedway.
COMPLETE DIRT STANDINGS | COMPLETE ASPHALT STANDINGS
Nixon, 46, of Norfolk, Va., is in his sixth season of racing at Langley. He leads his track point standings by 18 points over Troy Turnage.
A veteran of Four Wheel Drive and mud racing, Nixon tried out a friend’s Langley Super Truck on a dare and enjoyed the experience. He ended up buying that truck and became a Super Truck division regular.
“It was different,” Nixon said of his first oval track experience. “We did pretty well right off the bat. I thought it was a challenge and these trucks are a lot of fun to drive.”
The degree of difficulty in being successful at the flat .396-mile paved oval pretty much makes drivers earn their way to having fun.
“It’s a hard track to get around,” Nixon said. “The corners are different so you have to give up something at one end to gain at the other. Some great Late Model drivers have raced here and a lot of them left frustrated.
“Turns 1 and 2 are more sharp and rounded. At the other end, some people say there’s a second turn between Turns 3 and 4. You’ve got to find a good balance between the driver and the race car. That’s the way flat tracks are. They ask more of a driver than banked tracks.
“Your entry to Turns 1 and 2 affects a good lap at Langley more than the entry to Turns 3 and 4,” Nixon said of his driving style. “If you don’t get off Turn 2 good, you’re not going to do well. The place to pass is entering Turn 1 or coming off Turn 2. The majority of passing is done on the bottom. One of the nights I won this year I made a pass on the outside and that’s something I never thought I could do.”
Nixon’s original Langley Super Truck was passed on to his niece, Cory Millard, who is now fifth in track points.
Nixon is owner driver of his J.E.S. Foundation Repair Toyota. He’s a front end technician/specialist at Mizelle’s Front End and Frame Service in Norfolk.
Now in its 61st season of operation, Langley Speedway is one of NASCAR’s historic tracks. For many years it was a regular stop for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to the track for its second annual race September 3.
The NASCAR Finalist program recognizes drivers who compete in support divisions at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks. With “Division I” being each track’s top division, the NASCAR Finalist program highlights drivers competing in each track’s second, third, fourth and fifth divisions. A NASCAR-licensed driver’s best 14 finishes are counted toward their final point total for the year. Points are kept separately for dirt and asphalt tracks.
The top three drivers in each of the four asphalt and four dirt NASCAR Finalist Divisions be recognized at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet. The banquet is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.