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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
VA: Bowling captures Hampton Heat 200 victor
Jul 29, 2012 - updated Jul 29th, 2012 10:42am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton Va. --

Hampton Heat 200 Night
Race Report
Saturday, July 28, 2012

HAMPTON, Va. (July 28) � In what would have to be categorized as a stunning upset, South Boston Speedway regular Matt Bowling picked up the win in the Fifth Annual Hampton Heat 200 for the EZ Auto in Newport News Late Model Stock Cars, the featured event of Saturday evening�s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Greg Edwards, looking to deliver a third Hampton Heat 200 victory for car owner James Long, claimed the Carl�s Racing Products Pole Award with a lap at 87.637 mph. C.E. Falk, the two-time defending race winner, was second-fastest, just 29-thousandths of a second off Edwards� mark. Bowling and Kenny Forbes made up the second row, while Paul Debolt and Nick Smith, winner of the inaugural event in 2008, occupied Row 3 on the 23-car grid.
As the race got under way, Edwards and Falk dueled side-by-side until they reached Turn 4. Exiting the corner to complete lap 1, Edwards grabbed the upper hand. Spotting an opening, Bowling rushed to Falk�s inside and nosed into second on lap 2. Falk rallied on lap 3, only to see Bowling reclaim the runner-up spot on lap 4. Again, Falk kept up the pressure and put an end to the skirmish on lap 5.
While Falk and Bowling tussled, Edwards extended his lead to six lengths. Once clear of Bowling, however, Falk began to chase him down. By lap 11, the two were nose-to-tail.
Falk pushed his machine to the front for the first time on lap 12. He ducked under Edwards as they entered Turn 3 and pulled ahead off Turn 4.
The race was interrupted by caution flags on laps 15 and 23. As the field bunched for a green flag at lap 27, Smith gave up his third spot in the running order to try his luck in the outside lane.
Back under green, Falk quickly dispensed with Smith, who dropped into a door-to-door battle with Edwards. Edwards won that contest and set off after the leader. Within a couple laps, he was parked on Falk�s rear deck.
After shadowing leader for a couple of circuits, Edwards launched a bid for the top spot on lap 34, driving underneath Falk in Turn 2. The battled ended a lap later as Edwards motored ahead on the backstretch on lap 35. By lap 40, Edwards had opened a four-length margin over Falk, who enjoyed a half-straightaway edge over third-place Smith.
Edwards� lead continued to grow until lap 55 when he began to encounter lapped traffic for the first time. Falk was able to close to within three lengths as Edwards sorted through the slower machines. Once in the clear, though, Edwards quickly lengthened his advantage. Behind the lead duo, Forbes took over third from Smith on lap 63.
The third caution flag waved on lap 68 when Smith spun in Turn 2. While Smith dropped toward the back of the pack, longtime Langley Late Model vet Danny Edwards Jr. headed for the sidelines.
As the race resumed, at lap 78, Edwards powered ahead of third-place Forbes, who had restarted to his outside. He also fought off a challenge from Falk, who looked low as the leaders reached Turn 1
Caution #4 appeared on lap 86 when Eddie Johnson and Terry Carroll tangled on the backstretch. The incident spelled an end to Johnson�s night, while Carroll�s crew patched up his battered mount and returned him to the fray.
The next restart, at lap 95, played out much like the previous one as Edwards fought off Forbes, then Falk, to retain the top spot.
Only two more green-flag laps were recorded before trouble broke out again in the form of a multi-car melee in Turn 4. The ensuing caution period brought the race to its halfway point and the field was directed to the pits for a planned break. With lightning flashing in the distance, the stop was cut from 15 to 10 minutes as crews scrambled to change tires and make needed adjustments.
As the halfway leader, Edwards picked up some bonus cash from the Racing For Hope Foundation. Falk, Forbes, Bowling and Debolt completed the top five as the field returned to the track to begin the second half of the event.
On the double-file restart, Falk gained a slim edge over Edwards. Warned by officials about jumping the green flag, though, he settled back in behind Edwards when they reached Turns 3 and 4. The battle, however, had only just begun.
As the pack steamed into Turns 1 and 2 to begin lap 102, Edwards and Falk locked horns and Edwards spun, bringing out the sixth yellow flag and relegating the two dominant cars to the rear of the field. While Edwards and Falk retreated, the lead passed to Forbes, followed by Bowling, Debolt, Wes Falk and Shayne Lockhart.
Back under green, at lap 108, Forbes disposed of Debolt, who restarted on his outside flank. Bowling also made his way past, clearing Debolt on the backstretch. Meanwhile, Edwards and C.E. Falk were mired in traffic and struggling to return to the front.
Working lap 119, Forbes clung to a two-length advantage over Bowling. The two were better than half a straightaway ahead of Debolt, who had anxious drivers stacking up in his mirror. Wes Falk finally broke the logjam on lap 130, slipping past Debolt and bringing Lockhart along with him. Edwards tagged along and picked up the fifth spot.
On lap 135, Lockhart initiated a bid for third, driving under Wes Falk in Turns 3 and 4. The two scuffled until lap 137 when Lockhart grabbed the position. In the meantime, though, they had fallen almost half a lap behind Forbes and Bowling.
The two leaders headed into traffic on lap 142 and Bowling closed up on Forbes� rear end. Two laps later, Bowling took a peek underneath Forbes in Turn 4, but was forced back in line as they approached slower machines.
Bowling finally found the opening he was looking for on lap 148 as he drove under Forbes at the end of the backstretch and powered ahead off the fourth corner. By lap 156, he had pulled away by six lengths.
The seventh caution flag flew on lap 159, erasing the huge lead that Bowling and Forbes held on the rest of the field. Just like that, a herd of potential challengers entered the mix.
On the ensuing restart, at lap 167, Lockhart and Edwards, who were both in the outside lane, got together in Turns 1 and 2. The front end of Edwards� car got the worst of the exchange and the caution flag waved again for debris that was scattered in the second corner.
Lining up for another restart, Bowling had Wes and C.E. Falk to his outside. He was able to clear them when the green reappeared on lap 173, but the brothers did manage to drop in line in second and third, respectively. Behind them, longtime Late Model standout Brandon Butler swiped the fourth spot from Forbes.
As 176 laps went up on the scoreboard, Wes Falk zeroed in on Bowling, pulling to within a car-length of the leader. C.E. Falk soon joined the party and, by lap 185, the top three were nose-to-tail.
Caution flag #9 was displayed on lap 190. Gathering for the restart, Wes Falk opted to stay on the low side, while C.E. Falk broke out of line and pulled alongside Bowling, hoping to eke out his third straight Hampton Heat 200 victory.
As the race resumed, at lap 195, C.E. Falk put up a good fight, but he couldn�t get the better of Bowling as they rolled off Turn 2 and onto the backstretch.
A lap later, the 10th yellow flag waved for another multi-car fracas in Turn 4. The incident set up a �green-white-checkered� sprint to the finish as the event headed for overtime.
Bunching for what would turn out to be the last green flag, Wes Falk again remained tucked up on Bowling�s rear bumper, leaving the outside lane to his brother.
On the final restart, at lap 201, Bowling appeared to spin his tires as the rear of his machine wobbled off Turn 4. C.E. Falk nosed ahead, but drew another warning from officials about jumping the green. Not wanting to ruin a good finish with a black flag in the closing circuits, he eased back behind Bowling as they reached Turn 4 with the white flag in sight.
Bowling easily outdistanced C.E. Falk over the final lap and won by 0.424-second � about two lengths. Wes Falk was third, followed by Butler and Forbes. After dominating much of the first half of the event, Edwards ended up sixth. Dean Shiflett, making his first start of the season, was seventh, followed by Smith, Jeff Shiflett and Lockhart. Kevin Cunningham, the 11th-place finisher, was the final driver to complete all 203 laps.
After the race, Bowling seemed astonished to find himself standing in Victory Lane: �Man, I can�t believe it. This is my second win ever. And, especially to come to a tough place like this and beat C.E. Man, I can�t believe it. It�s awesome to bring home 10 grand. I�m in disbelief. For some reason, I felt really optimistic about this weekend. I thought we had a good piece. We struggled a little bit when we unloaded, but I think we got something figured out. We got a little lucky with C.E. and Greg getting into it, but it worked out for us. You�ve gotta be there to get it. I�d like to thank all my crew, just everybody. This is unbelievable.�
Runner-up C.E. Falk commented on his ongoing battle with Edwards, while extending compliments to Bowling: �We didn�t have a very good first half. We had a lot of stuff move on us. We had a great car at the start of the second half. They said I jumped the start, which I�ve been jumped on the start all year. The green was out and he (Edwards) slammed on the brakes, trying to keep me ahead and I just went with it. Then, they called and said, �Oh, get behind the 97.� So, I got behind him, I got a run, he got loose and I dove up in there and he just hung a left on me. That�s just racing. We both came back from the back and came back to the front. We got two EF Motorsports cars in the top three here. But, congratulations to Matt Bowling. Hes working really hard and he really deserves it. Hes a phenomenal driver and hes gonna be getting better.
Third-place Wes Falk wasnt quite so charitable to the race winner: I dont know if the 88 (Bowling) doesnt know where the restart line is, but he jumped, like, every restart. I was right with him. I dont know what the deal is. He just jumped, jumped and jumped and I tried to get an official to point it out and no one wants to listen. Oh, well.
Saturdays Hampton Heat 200 was the second of three races that make up the Virginia Triple Crown Series. C.E. Falk took the opening event in March at South Boston, Bowlings stomping grounds, and now Bowling has returned the favor. The final race in the mini-series will be the Oct. 21 Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway.

In the evening�s other feature events:

Robbie Davis started on the pole, at 74.446 mph, and rolled to his sixth victory of the season in the 25-lap Larry King Law Super Truck race.
Davis jumped out front at the beginning of the event, leaving no doubt that he was the class of the field. By lap 3, he had already pulled away by nearly half a straightaway over second-place Troy Turnage.
The race was slowed by two caution flags. The first appeared on lap 5 and the second waved on the ensuing restart. The remainder of the event was �clean and green� as Davis showed the way to the winner�s circle.
At the finish, Davis� margin of victory was 2.024 seconds � about half a straightaway � over Turnage. Chase McAdams was third, followed by Tommy Nixon and Bill Wallace.

In a 25-lapper for the SavitaPets.com UCARs, rookie contender Jason Michaud moved out front on lap 3 and sailed to his first victory.
Tim Wilson was the fast qualifier, at 71.869 mph. He spun a �2� on the inversion wheel and swapped front-row spots with Denver Alvis, who led the first two circuits.
On lap 3, Michaud, who started third, slipped underneath Alvis in Turn 2 and took command at the end of the backstretch. Nearing the halfway mark, his margin had grown to almost half a straightaway over points leader Bill Eaker, who snagged second from Alvis on lap 11.
The only caution flag appeared on lap 13 when Wilson and Kevin Morgan tangled at the start/finish line, sending Morgan on a hard journey into the outside wall.
Back under green, Michaud kept his composure and held the wily Eaker at bay, easing away in the closing laps to win by 0.515-second � about two car-lengths. Wilson tailed Michaud and Eaker to the line, in third, followed by Sammy Gaita and Jon Largena.

Landon Florian took the lead on the 17th circuit and stormed to his second straight victory in a 30-lap contest for the Standard Welding Pro Sixes.
Steve Williams claimed the pole, at 81.016 mph, and set the pace for the first 16 laps. Florian, meanwhile, grabbed second place from Casey Sipe at the end of lap 7, then set his sights on the leader.
After tailing Williams for several laps, Florian pulled the trigger on lap 17. He ducked underneath the leader off Turn 2, nosed ahead at the entrance to Turn 3 and finished off the pass as they exited Turn 4.
As Florian motored away, Bobby Hall moved up to challenge Williams for the runner-up spot. Their battle got a tad overheated on lap 23, though, and opened the door for Sipe and Nelson Moody, who double-teamed Williams and Hall to take over second and third.
While positions swapped hands in his mirror, Florian was steadily widening his advantage. Sipe was able to gain some ground in the final couple of laps, but he was never a threat as Florian won by 0.750-second about five lengths. Moody, Hall and Williams were third, fourth and fifth, respectively, at the end.
* * *

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Hampton Heat 200 Night
Race Results
Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hampton Heat 200:
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (88) Matt Bowling; 203
2. (40) C.E. Falk; 203
3. (41) Wes Falk; 203
4. (28) Brandon Butler; 203
5. (33) Kenny Forbes; 203
6. (97) Greg Edwards; 203
7. (12) Dean Shiflett; 203
8. (10) Nick Smith; 203
9. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 203
10. (95) Shayne Lockhart; 203
11. (61) Kevin Cunningham; 203
12. (34) Paul Debolt; 202
13. (67) J.T. Jackson; 201
14. (16) Jeff Oakley; 195
15. (83) Jeremy Grogg; 195
16. (90) Terry Carroll; 192
17. (55) Peyton Sellers; 181
18. (20) Gary Weeks; 102
19. (57) Eddie Johnson; 84
20. (26) Danny Edwards Jr.; 67
21. (36) Chris Johnson; 41
22. (29) Casey Wyatt; 15
23. (38) Duane Shreeves; 13
Carl's Racing Products Pole Award:
G. Edwards - 87.637 mph.
Racing For Hope Foundation Halfway Leader Award:
G. Edwards.
Because of a late caution flag, the event ran three
laps beyond the scheduled distance.

Fin. Pos. (Trk #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (17) Robbie Davis; 25
2. (90) Troy Turnage; 25
3. (62) Chase McAdams; 25
4. (8) Tommy Nixon; 25
5. (19) Bill Wallace; 25
6. (52) Chris Bechtel; 25
7. (20) Buck Munger; 25
8. (18) David Millard; 25
9. (42) Ben Scott; 24
10. (99) Evan VanLeeuwen; 16
11. (57) T.J. Henry; 12
12. (88) Jacob Carr; 4
Pole: Davis - 74.446 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (46) Jason Michaud; 25
2. (22) Bill Eaker; 25
3. (71) Tim Wilson; 25
4. (21) Sammy Gaita; 25
5. (88) Jon Largena; 25
6. (5) Jesse Jones; 25
7. (70) Landon Abbott; 25
8. (3) Eric Schaffer; 25
9. (25) Robbie Salas; 25
10. (4) Richard Ellis; 25
11. (20) Michael Joyner; 25
12. (09) Nick Gundacker; 25
13. (38) Rodney Davis; 25
14. (1) Denver Alvis; 24
15. (11) Kevin Morgan; 12
Pole: Alvis - Top 2 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Wilson - 71.869 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (98) Landon Florian; 30
2. (23) Casey Sipe; 30
3. (46) Nelson Moody; 30
4. (6) Bobby Hall; 30
5. (7) Steve Williams; 30
6. (14) J.B. Sipe; 30
7. (77) Neil Sipe; 30
8. (17) David Butler; 30
9. (22) Ben Zoellner; 29
10. (4) Debbie Biesecker; 29
Pole: Williams - 81.016 mph.

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