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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
Late bump-and-run lifts Morgan to Pro Cup win
May 29, 2011 - updated May 29th, 2011 11:39am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton Va. --

USARacing Pro Cup Series &
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Heritage Motor Co. Night
Race Report
Saturday, May 28, 2011

HAMPTON, Va. (May 28) — J.P. Morgan of Charlotte, N.C., grabbed the lead for good with two laps to go and motored on to his second victory of the season in the Visit Hampton, Va. 250 presented by Racing Electronics for the USARacing Pro Cup Series, the featured event of Saturday’s evening’s program at Langley Speedway.
Brad Rogers of Mooresville, N.C., driving for the Chesapeake, Va.-based Lamb & Robinson team, earned the pole position with an 85.864-mph qualifying effort. His fast lap was only four-thousandths of a second off Langley’s Pro Cup standard, set by Jeff Agnew of Floyd, Va., in 1998.
Chase Elliott of Dawsonville, Ga., son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott, was second-quickest in time trials, only four-thousandths of a second off Rogers’ pace. Caleb Holman of Abingdon, Va., Morgan and rookie contender Blake Jones of Sevierville, Tenn., rounded out the top five on the 21-car grid.
As the race got under way, Rogers hauled the field into Turn 1, while Holman failed to come up to speed immediately. With Holman struggling down low, Morgan switched lanes and dropped in line on Rogers’ rear bumper, coming away with the second spot. Elliott settled into third, followed by Agnew and Cale Conley of Vienna, W.Va.
By lap 5, Rogers and Morgan were already overtaking Holman, who reportedly broke a gear on the initial start. A little more than two car-lengths separated the lead duo from Elliott and Agnew, who were dueling for third.
On lap 11, Agnew slipped past Elliott to take over third. He faced a steep climb, though, as the two lead cars had pulled away by more than half a straightaway. Undaunted, and wheeling a speedy ride, Agnew began to narrow the gap.
The first yellow flag flew on lap 22 when Buster Graham of Lafayette, La., spun in Turn 1 and backed into the outside wall. Elliott headed for pit lane during the ensuing caution period, returning near the back of the pack.
Only a few more circuits were in the books before the second caution flag waved for Larry Barrett’s spin off Turn 2. The Ringgold, Va., veteran would also prompt Caution #3 when his engine apparently let go at the start/finish line on lap 52.
During that third caution period, the lead cars made their first visit to the pits. Todd McCarson of Greenville, S.C., stayed out, though, moving into the lead on lap 55. Morgan beat Rogers off pit road and lined up in second for the restart.
The green flag reappeared as the field came around to complete lap 61. A little more than a lap later, Morgan strong-armed McCarson at the flagstand, sending McCarson’s #00 machine spinning toward Turn 1 and bringing out another yellow flag. Agnew, in fourth at the time, also spun and joined McCarson in retreating to the rear of the field.
Back under green, Morgan made quick work of Holman, who had returned to the fray after an extended stay in the pits. Holman slipped in line behind the leader, separating him from Rogers, who had moved into second. With Holman’s lapped car in tow, Morgan began to ease away from the rest of the field.
On lap 92, the leaders headed into traffic and Rogers came back to life. He dispensed with Holman on lap 93 and pulled to within two lengths of Morgan’s bumper. Meanwhile, Elliott had clambered back up to the third spot, a straightaway behind Morgan and Rogers, and Agnew had rallied to run fourth.
The fifth caution flag was displayed on lap 103 when Rogers spun in Turn 1. He righted his machine and joined the rest of the leaders as they turned toward the pits. Tyler Young of Midland, Tex., eschewed a stop and took over the lead on lap 106. He was followed by Danny Abold of Liverpool, N.Y., Craig Moore of Ridgemont, N.C., Ryan Heavner of Lincolnton, N.C., and Jones. Agnew was next in line, in sixth.
As the race resumed, Young dashed ahead of Holman, only to see Holman return the favor on lap 115, regaining a lap in the process.
On the next circuit, Abold spun in front of the onrushing pack in Turn 4, sending cars scattering. Everyone managed to dodge through the accident scene as the sixth caution flag appeared.
On the ensuing restart, at lap 121, Young quickly cleared Holman, who was again deployed on his flank. Behind them, Agnew was hunting for an opening to get past Jones for second. He found it on lap 124, scooting by off Turn 2.
Ahead of Agnew, Holman was dogging Young, hoping to regain another lost lap. He made the pass on lap 125 and left the door open for Agnew, who grabbed the lead on lap 126. Within four laps, Agnew had bypassed Holman and put half a straightaway on Young.
With several of the top contenders, namely Rogers and Morgan, scuffling to get back toward the front, Agnew set sail. By the time Rogers and Morgan moved into second and third, at lap 143, Agnew had opened a full-straightaway margin.
Agnew’s advantage was erased when the seventh yellow flag flew for debris on lap 158. It was little cause for concern, though, as he quickly pulled away by four lengths on the restart, while Morgan hounded Rogers for the runner-up spot. Morgan grabbed second on lap 173, allowing Agnew to pad his lead by another couple of lengths.
For the next 40 laps or so, Agnew easily held Morgan at bay. While slower traffic might let the runner-up pull to within a car-length or two, Agnew quickly widened the gap, once he was in the clear.
The green-flag run ended on lap 217 as the cleanup crew was dispatched to Turns 1 and 2 to handle debris.
Returning to green, at lap 222, Agnew powered ahead of the lapped machines to his inside before the field hit Turn 1 and fashioned a three-length lead. Morgan cleared the slower cars off Turn 2 and closed to within a couple lengths of the leader’s bumper. Rogers, meanwhile, enjoyed a front-row seat, four lengths behind Morgan.
Caution #9 appeared on lap 227 when Conley slapped the Turn 2 wall. Setting the running order, Agnew and Morgan went 1-2, followed by Rogers, Elliott and Jones.
Back under green, at lap 233, Agnew enjoyed another strong restart and jumped out to a three-length lead over Morgan. By lap 240, the margin had grown by another length and Agnew looked to be on the way to his first win of the season.
Agnew’s victory celebration was foiled, however, when Jones spun in Turn 2 on lap 244, bringing out the last of the race’s 10 caution flags. As the field continued to circulate under the yellow, it became apparent that the event was headed for “overtime” and a “green-white-checkered” shootout.
The green flag appeared for the final time as the field completed lap 250. Coming to the flagstand, Agnew bobbled just slightly, spinning his tires, and Morgan was all over him for the lead.
As Agnew and Morgan reached the end of the backstretch, Morgan dipped to the inside and poked a fender underneath Agnew. The two made contact into Turn 3 and Agnew’s car skittered up the track. While Morgan and Rogers flashed past, Agnew rounded Turns 3 and 4 sideways, fighting to maintain control. He made the save, but his hopes for victory were dashed.
At the checkers, Morgan was the winner by 0.512-second — about three lengths — over Rogers. Agnew was third to the line, followed by Elliott and Young. Jones, Moore and Sean Rayhall of Douglasville, Ga., were sixth, seventh and eighth, in that order, the final drivers to complete the entire distance. Allen Purkhiser of Moore, S.C., and Abold were ninth and 10th, respectively, both two laps in arrears.
In Victory Lane after the race, Morgan commented on his late charge to the win: “Jeff was getting real good restarts over there, kinda caught us dozing, I guess, a couple times. But, that last restart, he spun his tires, got his tires hot, and I knew, ‘Well, he’s gonna have a hard time off of 2 and 3.’ We got down there, got up inside of him and I said, ‘I’m holding my line,’ down there, which was real low. But, he’s a great racer. We’ve been racing a long time together. Y’know, I’ve seen him do that a couple times with some guys and I’m sure it’ll happen again. We try not to race that way, but, like I said, I think it’s racing and that’s what makes people come out here to the grandstands. They want to see some rubbin’ and fightin’. I mean, if it was ridin’ around, it wouldn’t be racing.”
For his part, runner-up Rogers was willing to discuss his own effort, but steered clear of the Morgan/Agnew dustup: “When the lights went out (after sunset), the car went the wrong way. It got so tight across the middle and, boy, you couldn’t touch the gas pedal. Man, I thought the racetrack was gonna gain some grip, but all it did was tighten the car up in the middle and I guess we just missed it a little bit there. We keep clicking off the twos and threes. I was really hoping to be the first two-time winner this year. But, Agnew, I think he had the car to beat there. Uh, pretty interesting race there.”
Greeting trackside reporter Chuck Hall with a wry chuckle, Agnew had no compunction in expressing his view of the race’s conclusion: “I just got run over. I’ve raced for a lot of years and I don’t think I would do another racecar driver that way. We pretty much outrun him all night long and the only way he was gonna beat us was to run over us. So, I don’t know, I thought J.P. was a better man than that, but anyway.”
Morgan averaged 71.636 mph on the way to his third career Pro Cup win and became this season’s first repeat winner. He collected $10,000 for his effort. There were six lead changes among five drivers and the 10 cautions consumed 73 laps.
Following Saturday night’s event at Langley, Pro Cup competitors will enjoy a week off before heading to South Boston (Va.) Speedway for the Strutmasters.com 250 on Saturday, June 11.

In the evening’s other feature events:

In the Heritage Motor Co. 50 for the KeesVacations.com Modifieds, outside pole starter Cameron Patrick grabbed the lead from pole-sitter Mike Rudy at the drop of the green flag and led all way, running his season-opening unbeaten streak to four races.
Chris Johnson slipped past Rudy on lap 6 to take over second place and tailed Patrick to the finish. At the end, Patrick’s margin of victory was 0.817-second — about five lengths. Hunter Slayton was third to the line, followed by Shawn Balluzzo and Joe Scarbrough.
Rudy, who earned the pole with a lap at 86.250 mph, was sidelined when he got caught up in a multi-car melee on lap 13. He was shown in 14th in the final rundown.

Like Patrick, Landon Florian also made it four-for-four with his win in the 25-lap EZ Auto of Newport News UCAR feature. After starting third, he moved out front for good on lap 9. Dating back to last season, the win was his seventh straight in UCAR competition.
Sammy Gaita was the runner-up, 2.180 seconds behind the winner. He gained the second spot on lap 23 when he rooted pole starter Chris Hildebrand aside in Turns 3 and 4. Andy Graham also capitalized on Gaita’s bold move, scooting by Hildebrand to take third. Hildebrand was fourth and Adam Florian completed the top five.

Doug Warren continued the “unbeaten” theme in the evening’s final event, a 30-lapper for the Standard Welding Pro Sixes. He started on the outside pole, swiped the lead from pole-sitter Warren Smigo on lap 4 and showed the way to the finish.
Casey Sipe, who started third, tagged along with Warren when he passed Smigo and held down the runner-up spot to the checkered flag. After staying within striking distance of the leader for much of the race, Sipe faded a bit near the end and came home four lengths back — 0.757-second, officially. J.B. Sipe was third to the line, followed by Anthony Perez and Smigo.
• • •

USARacing Pro Cup Series &
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Heritage Motor Co. Night
Race Results
Saturday, May 28, 2011

VISIT HAMPTON VA 250 presented by Racing Electronics
* USARacing Pro Cup Series *
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (23) J.P. Morgan; 252
2. (16) Brad Rogers; 252
3. (7) Jeff Agnew; 252
4. (9) Chase Elliott; 252
5. (02) Tyler Young; 252
6. (80) Blake Jones; 252
7. (4) Craig Moore; 252
8. (14) Sean Rayhall; 252
9. (68) Allen Purkhiser; 250
10. (6) Danny Abold; 250
11. (77) Ryan Heavner; 249
12. (27) Cale Conley; 248
13. (89) Chad Beahr; 243
14. (5) Ronnie Souders; 242
15. (59) Buster Graham; 224
16. (75) Caleb Holman; 209
17. (00) Todd McCarson; 142
18. (04) Larry Barrett; 49
19. (32) Blake Sauls; 6
20. (18) Rick Watson; 3
21. (2) Chris Hegan; 2
Pole: Rogers - 85.864 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (20) Cameron Patrick; 50
2. (36) Chris Johnson; 50
3. (71) Hunter Slayton; 50
4. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 50
5. (08) Joe Scarbrough; 50
6. (77) Joed Bruce; 50
7. (11) Jimmy Humblet; 50
8. (57) Robbie Davis; 49
9. (03) Randy Monroe Jr.; 49
10. (33) Matt Slye; 48
11. (0) Wayne Hartley; 48
12. (17) Lauren Edgerton; 48
13. (87) Darrell Vance; 37
14. (8) Mike Rudy; 12
15. (1) Anthony Kincaid; 12
16. (44) Robbie Babb; 12
Pole: Rudy - 86.250 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (14) Landon Florian; 25
2. (21) Sammy Gaita; 25
3. (23) Andy Graham; 25
4. (17) Chris Hildebrand; 25
5. (1) Adam Florian; 25
6. (2) Michael Waters; 25
7. (71) Tim Wilson; 25
8. (98) Matt Morgan; 25
9. (5) Jesse Jones; 25
10. (22) Bill Eaker; 25
11. (70) Landon Abbott; 25
12. (90) Justin Carroll; 25
13. (57) Ben Zoellner; 25
14. (88) Jon Largena; 25
15. (41) Cory Bradley; 25
16. (11) Kevin Morgan; 25
17. (7) John Reardon; 25
18. (13) Larry Drommerhausen; 25
19. (3) Eric Schaffer; 16
20. (19) Brandon Johnston; 7
Pole: Hildebrand - 72.644 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (51) Doug Warren; 30
2. (23) Casey Sipe; 30
3. (14) J.B. Sipe; 30
4. (29) Anthony Perez; 30
5. (41) Warren Smigo; 30
6. (27) Mark Roberts; 30
7. (7) Steve Williams; 30
8. (6) Bobby Hall; 30
9. (57) Steven Emerson; 29
Pole: Smigo - 82.135 mph.

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