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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Night Race Report
Sep 23, 2012 - updated Sep 23rd, 2012 10:32am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, Va. --

(Sept. 22) Closing in on his sixth division championship in seven years, Shawn Balluzzo posted his 11th victory of the season in the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce 50 for the KeesVacations.com Modifieds, the headlining event of Saturday evening's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Jimmy Humblet earned the pole position, at 84.688 mph, and shared the front row with Matt Slye. Title contenders Mike Rudy and Balluzzo lined up in Row 2, while Anthony Kincaid rounded out the top five on the 16-car starting grid.
As the race got under way, Humblet jumped into the lead, bringing Rudy and Balluzzo along with him, to second and third, while Slye slipped back to fourth. Kincaid held onto the fifth spot as the field sorted itself out.
On lap 3, Slye drove underneath Balluzzo in Turn 4 and retook the third position on the backstretch on lap 4. At the front, Humblet and Rudy took advantage of the exchange and padded their lead over the rest of the field.
After dashing out to a half-straightaway margin in the opening laps, Humblet began to come back to the pack a little as the laps clicked off. By the 10th circuit, Rudy had cut the lead to three car-lengths. Meanwhile, behind them, Slye and Balluzzo were in nose-to-tail formation and closing on the lead duo.
Things kept tightening up at the front until lap 20 when Humblet bolted away, extending his lead back to five lengths over Rudy, who had Slye and Balluzzo parked on his rear bumper.
Balluzzo moved a step closing to the front on lap 25 when Slye slipped in Turn 2, surrendering the third spot as he and Balluzzo headed down the backstretch. The shuffle allowed Rudy a brief respite as he had fallen well behind Humblet.
Passing the halfway mark, Humblet steered into slower traffic for the first time. Working smoothly, he kept adding to his lead, which had swelled to nearly a full straightaway by lap 30.
On lap 33, Balluzzo worked his way under Rudy in Turns 1 and 2 and completed the pass for second as they sped into Turn 3. Before the lap was in the books, however, the first caution flag appeared as Robbie Babb and Darrell Vance spun in Turn 4. Scoring reverted to lap 32 and Rudy moved back to second.
Gathering for the ensuing restart, Rudy pulled out of line, giving up his second spot in the running order to take a shot on the outside of Humblet. He was joined up top by Kincaid, Michael Johnson, Cameron Patrick and Joe Scarbrough.
Back under green, Humblet made short work of Rudy, clearing him as they passed beneath the flagstand. Balluzzo rushed to fill the opening to the inside of Rudy and came away with the runner-up position. Not content with second, though, he charged underneath Humblet in Turn 4.
Humblet cleared Balluzzo's #48 machine on the backstretch on lap 34, but the points leader wasn't through yet, driving back under Humblet off the fourth corner.
This time, Balluzzo made the move stick as he finished off the pass for the lead at the end of the backstretch on lap 35. Just two laps later, Balluzzo had pulled away by three car-lengths.
Balluzzo's drive to Victory Lane was interrupted twice on lap 43. Todd VanGuilder spun in Turn 2 to bring out the first of the two yellow flags, collecting Tanner Aman in the process. On the ensuing restart, Aman smacked the Turn 3 wall and the field slowed once again.
Lining up for what would turn out to be the final restart, Balluzzo and Humblet ran 1-2. Again, Rudy ventured to the high side, giving up the third spot in line. Hunter Slayton and Kincaid, the fifth- and sixth-place runners, followed Rudy's cue, along with Scarbrough, Johnson and Danny Harrell.
As the race resumed, Balluzzo and Rudy battled side-by-side into Turn 1. Entering the corner, Humblet dipped low and nearly made it three-wide for the lead. Things quickly settled down, though, as Balluzzo rocketed ahead off the second turn.
While Balluzzo pulled away, Humblet and Rudy continued to scuffle for second. Humblet eventually grabbed the spot off Turn 4 on lap 44. Slye tagged along and took over third, dropping Rudy to fourth.
At the finish, Balluzzo nabbed his seventh straight win, crossing the line 0.471-second ahead of Humblet. Slye was third, followed by Rudy and Slayton.
Cameron Patrick headed the second five, in sixth, while Johnson, Tanner Rumburg, Kincaid and Harrell completed the top 10. Lauren Edgerton, Scarbrough and Babb were 11th through 13th, in that order, also on the lead lap.
In Victory Lane after the race, an energized Balluzzo passed along plaudits to his fellow competitors: That was fun! I hope the fans enjoyed that one. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The guys did a great job. I screwed up in qualifying. Kinda glad I did cause it was a lot of fun. Everybody we race against did a great job.
The Modifieds will wrap up their 2012 points season in a 50-lapper next Saturday, Sept. 29. Balluzzo enters that event with a 17-point lead over Rudy, 403-386. He can secure the title by finishing 18th or better. Ordinarily, that wouldn't be too tall of a task, but additional drivers could be on hand next week as the region's Mod elite prepare for Mid-Atlantic Modified Madness on Saturday, Oct. 13, a 100-lap, $5,000-to-win event.

In the evening's other feature events:

In a down-to-the-wire thriller, Mark Claar nipped Ricky Derrick for his fifth win of the season in the 40-lap Pepsi Grand Stock feature.
Derrick qualified on the pole, at 77.409 mph. Carl Livingston was second-quickest and lined up on the outside of Row 1. Mark Frye and Michael Waters made up Row 2, while Tommy Sweeney was fifth on the 15-car grid. Claar was due to start seventh, but ran into problems in the post-qualifying inspection, which bumped him back to 13th.
As the green flag fell, Derrick bolted into the lead, leaving Frye and Livingston to tussle for second. Frye won that duel and brought Sweeney along with him, to third. On lap 3, Sweeney overtook Frye for second. The shuffle allowed Derrick to pull away by five lengths. Meanwhile, Claar had already sliced and diced his way up to seventh.
For a few circuits, Sweeney was able to close ground on Derrick, narrowing the gap to three lengths. On lap 11, though, Derrick stretched the margin back to five lengths and began to ease away as Frye zeroed in on Sweeney, looking to regain the runner-up spot.
By lap 15, Derrick's lead had grown to nearly half a straightaway over Sweeney as he headed for his first encounter with lapped traffic.
The division points battle took a turn on lap 21 when Paul Lubno, second coming into the event, suddenly slowed and headed to the sidelines, retiring to a 15th-place finish. Lubno's early exit put Sweeney in position to move up to second in the title chase.
While Lubno retreated to the pits, Claar was still on the move, cracking the top five for the first time on lap 22. He took fourth from Waters on lap 26 and set off after Frye, who had lost contact with Sweeney.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 29 when J.R. Smith and Robbie Parker tangled in Turns 1 and 2. Lining up for the ensuing restart, Claar broke ranks and pulled up to the outside of Derrick, setting the stage for their epic duel.
Back under green, Derrick cleared Claar as they raced into Turn 1. Sweeney tried to tag along with Derrick, but he and Claar scuffled in the middle of the corner and Claar gained the upper hand.
Only one more lap was completed when the second yellow flag waved on lap 30 as Joe Britt spun off Turn 4 and collected Bobby Ferebee.
On the next restart, Derrick quickly disposed of Parker, who launched from the outside lane. Claar had a notion of going after the lead, but skittered loose and had to settle in line, hanging onto second.
Gathering himself, Claar began to close in on Derrick, drawing to within a car-length on lap 34. On the next circuit, he drove underneath Derrick in Turn 2. Derrick led by a nose at the line, but it was really a moot point as the third caution flag flew for Smith's spin in Turn 2.
On the final restart, Derrick and Claar powered ahead of the pack. Claar ducked underneath the leader in Turn 3, but Derrick held on by half a car-length at the start/finish line.
The two continued to joust until they reached Turn 4 on lap 36. Exiting the corner, Claar pulled ahead, pushing his machine to the front for the first time. Meanwhile, third-place Sweeney enjoyed a front-row seat as the battle for the win began to unfold.
Though Derrick dogged him every inch of the way, Claar appeared to have things well in hand until Turn 2 of the white-flag lap.
Heading onto the backstretch for the last time, Claar bobbled and Derrick pounced, driving to the high side and pulling even.
Off Turn 4, with the checkers in sight, Claar mustered just enough momentum to hold Derrick at bay at the stripe. The official margin of victory was 12-thousandths of a second a matter of a few inches. Sweeney was third, followed by Frye and Waters.
While Derrick was surely disappointed to have lost out at the end, he can take some solace in having clinched his fourth straight division championship. He'll enter the Grand Stocks Oct. 6 finale with an insurmountable 30-point lead over Sweeney, 312-282.

In the 40-lap Heritage Motor Co. Super Street race, John Pereira muscled past Ryan Nester on the white-flag circuit and picked up his second win of the season, as well as a share of the division lead.
Pereira was the fast qualifier, at 73.545 mph, but spun a 4 on the inversion wheel. Nester assumed the pole position, flanked by Larry Venable. Renno Marchetti IV, the sole points leader coming into the night, lined up third alongside Pereira, while Jordan Wood completed the top five.
On the start, Nester leaped out front, followed by Marchetti. The two held down the first and second positions for the first 11 circuits. On lap 12, Marchetti dropped off the pace and turned onto the pit lane. His crew scrambled to his aid, but they were unable to return him to the fray.
When Marchetti slowed, it allowed Nester to open a half-straightaway advantage over Pereira, who assumed the runner-up spot. Little by little, though, Pereira chipped away at the deficit. By lap 26, he and Nester were bumper-to-bumper.
The last of the race's two caution flags was displayed on lap 29. Lining up for the restart, Nester and Pereira were first and second, followed by Sean Calway. Larry Venable was fourth, but chose to pull alongside Nester, while Rod Busitzky stayed in line, moving up behind Calway.
Back under green, Nester and Pereira motored ahead of Venable, who settled into third. On lap 30, Dale Parro swiped fourth from Calway and set his sights on Venable. The two would trade the third spot twice in the waning laps.
At the front, Nester had opened a two-length advantage over Pereira. As the laps began to wind down, though, Pereira began to narrow the margin. By lap 36, they were nose-to-tail.
Pereira followed in Nester's tire tracks until lap 40. With the white flag in the air, he forced his way underneath Nester in Turn 2 and scooted in the lead.
At the checkers, Pereira was the winner by 0.234-second about a car-length over Nester. Venable was third, followed by Parro. Calway was fifth to the line, but failed to clear the post-race inspection, resulting in his disqualification. Busitzky moved up to fifth in the official rundown.
In the division standings, Pereira pulled into a tie with Marchetti, who ended up ninth. Both drivers have accumulated 264 points with two races remaining on the 2012 Super Street schedule.

In a 25-lapper for the Cycle City Corp. INEX Legends, Nick Smith started on the pole, at 78.607 mph, and led all the way to run his unbeaten streak to six races.
Woody Howard started third and moved up to second when outside pole-sitter Spencer Saunders dropped off the pace on the opening circuit. He tailed Smith all the way to the checkers, finishing 1.031 seconds back.
Connor Hall was third in his best showing of the season, while Chris Raiford and Steve Keesee rounded out the top five.
With two races to go, Smith holds a comfortable 18-point lead over Howard in the division standings. Howard leapfrogged Saunders, who finished 12th, and 2011 champ Brad Hancock, who didn't compete in Saturday's event.

Charlie-Ray Lorah bagged his fifth win of the year in the evening's opening feature, the 20-lap Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Kart tilt.
Sparky West qualified on the pole, at 60.970 mph, but gave up the lead to Lorah on lap 1. Josh Ayer tagged along with Lorah as the two teamed up in a potent draft at the head of the field. Just before the midway point, they were joined by Matthew Leach.
Maintaining a disciplined nose-to-tail formation, Lorah, Ayer and Leach steadily pulled away from the pack. They didn't break ranks until the final lap when Leach bypassed Ayer for second on the backstretch.
Exiting Turn 4 with a head of steam, Leach closed in on the leader, but Lorah was able to hold him off at the stripe, winning by 55-thousandths of a second about half a kart-length. Ayer was third, while West rallied to take fourth, followed by Shawn Gervais.

In the evening's final race, a 40-lapper for the Cook's Moving Service Enduros, Alex Floroff regained the lead on lap 39 and sailed to his fourth straight victory.
Floroff started on the outside pole and moved out front on the opening lap. He pulled away by as much as half a straightaway in the early going. Passing the halfway mark, though, second-place Richard Quinn began to grow larger in the leader�s mirror. By lap 34, the two were bumper-to-bumper.
On lap 38, Quinn drove underneath Floroff and nosed ahead at the flagstand to take the lead for the first time. His stay at the top of the leaderboard was short-lived, however, as he slowed on lap 39, handing the top spot right back to Floroff.
At the finish, Floroff was the winner by better than half a lap over second-place Don Masingo. Derrick Boggess was third, while Larry Drommerhausen and Bobby Larkin rounded out the top five.
With one race to go, Floroff holds an 18-point lead over Drommerhausen in the division standings, 156-138. He can wrap up the Enduro title by finishing 15th or better in the Oct. 6 finale.

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Night
Race Results
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 50
2. (11) Jimmy Humblet; 50
3. (33) Matt Slye; 50
4. (8) Mike Rudy; 50
5. (77) Hunter Slayton; 50
6. (49) Cameron Patrick; 50
7. (38) Michael Johnson; 50
8. (15) Tanner Rumburg; 50
9. (1) Anthony Kincaid; 50
10. (95) Danny Harrell; 50
11. (7) Lauren Edgerton; 50
12. (03) Joe Scarbrough; 50
13. (44) Robbie Babb; 50
14. (18) Todd VanGuilder; 42
15. (66) Tanner Aman; 42
16. (87) Darrell Vance; 32
Pole: Humblet - 84.688 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (7) Mark Claar; 40
2. (8) Ricky Derrick; 40
3. (11) Tommy Sweeney; 40
4. (29) Mark Frye; 40
5. (2) Michael Waters; 40
6. (77) Carl Livingston; 40
7. (0) Andrew Condrey; 40
8. (28) Jamie Sample; 40
9. (55) Joe Britt; 40
10. (71) J.R. Smith; 40
11. (6) Shawn Scovel; 40
12. (54) Billy Newman; 40
13. (19) Robbie Parker; 31
14. (23) Bobby Ferebee; 28
15. (14) Paul Lubno; 20
Pole: Derrick - 77.409 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (3) John Pereira; 40
2. (87) Ryan Nester; 40
3. (14) Larry Venable; 40
4. (15) Dale Parro; 40
5. (2) Rod Busitzky; 40
6. (95) Jonathan Mullett; 27
7. (21) Randy Akers; 24
8. (70) Landon Abbott; 12
9. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 12
10. (50) Jim Bennett; 11
11. (02) Jordan Wood; 8
12. (05) Thomas Wilson; 7
DQ (12) Sean Calway; 40
Pole: Nester - Top 4 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Pereira - 73.545 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (97) Nick Smith; 25
2. (14) Woody Howard; 25
3. (77) Connor Hall; 25
4. (88) Chris Raiford; 25
5. (0) Steve Keesee; 25
6. (71) Chris Hildebrand; 25
7. (5) Tommy Jackson Jr.; 24
8. (98) Matt Morgan; 24
9. (52) Gavin Jenkins; 23
10. (03) Brenden Queen; 19
11. (00) Chris Lemonds; 8
12. (7) Spencer Saunders; 1
Pole: Smith - 78.607 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Krt #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (59) Charlie-Ray Lorah; 20
2. (51) Matthew Leach; 20
3. (41) Josh Ayer; 20
4. (60) Sparky West; 20
5. (71) Shawn Gervais; 20
6. (87) Aaron Leach; 20
7. (8) Tommy Jackson Jr.; 20
8. (88) Matthew Dail; 20
9. (30) Jeffrey Johnson; 20
10. (95) Jonathan Mullett; 20
11. (40) Angela-Marie Steele; 20
12. (14) Mike Shoupe; 20
13. (99) Chris O'Brien; 20
14. (83) David Phelps; 20
15. (42) Mike Bowman; 20
16. (64) John Savage; 20
17. (16) David Millard; 20
18. (3) Kris Robinson; 20
19. (7) Ashten Mullett; 20
20. (53) Rob Fearing; 20
21. (94) Cody Carlton; 20
22. (44) Travis Wall; 19
23. (10) Daniel Millard; 18
Pole: West - 60.970 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (17) Alex Floroff; 40
2. (82) Don Masingo; 40
3. (18) Derrick Boggess; 40
4. (13) Larry Drommerhausen; 39
5. (2) Bobby Larkin; 39
6. (7) David Wedding; 39
7. (31) Richard Quinn; 39
8. (00) Rodney Davis; 38
9. (12) Jon Drommerhausen; 37
10. (14) Robert Perry; 36
11. (3) Steven Durbin; 36
12. (43) Bradley Allen; 18
13. (5) Craig Eastep; 10
14. (55) Jesse Jones; 6
Pole: Boggess - via draw.

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