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Wertz, Hughes split Late Model Twins at Langley Speedway
May 11, 2015 - updated May 12th, 2015 7:17am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, Va. --

 (May 9) — Mark Wertz and Tyler Hughes shared the spotlight on Saturday evening, splitting the Virginia Ship Repair Association Twin 65s for the ComServe/Verizon Wireless Late Model Stock Cars, the featured events of Langley Speedway’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program.
  Gunning for his fourth straight win to open the season, Greg Edwards claimed the pole for the first race in late afternoon qualifying, circling the .395-mile oval at 88.992 mph. Danny Edwards Jr. was second-fastest and shared the front row with his brother. Hughes, Brenden “Butterbean” Queen and Connor Hall rounded out the top five on the 15-car grid.
  As the opener got rolling, Greg Edwards grabbed the lead as the field headed into Turn 1 for the first time. Hughes moved up to challenge Danny Edwards Jr. for the runner-up spot, but Edwards Jr. snagged the position off Turn 4.
  With the Edwardses motoring away, Hughes was left to battle Queen for third. He gained the clear-cut edge on lap 3 and left the door open for Hall, who advanced to fourth on lap 4. Wertz, who qualified seventh, was next in line and he cracked the top five on lap 5.
  On lap 12, Hall took a peek to the inside of Hughes in a bid for third. Hughes fought him off, but Hall didn’t give up, making another charge in Turns 3 and 4. That time, the move paid off as he moved up to third in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 13. Meanwhile, at the head of the field, Greg Edwards had opened a half-straightaway advantage over Danny Edwards Jr.
  The first caution flag flew on lap 17 when Hughes looped his machine in Turn 4. He headed to the pits where the diagnosis was a broken track bar.
  Gathering for the restart, fourth-place Wertz gave up his spot in line and pulled to the outside of the leader. He was joined on the top side by Queen, Michael Hardin, Justin Carroll and Cameron Bowen.
  Back under green, Wertz remained on Greg Edwards’ flank until they reached Turn 2. As Edwards powered ahead, Wertz switched lanes and tried to duck underneath him. Edwards maintained the lead, but Wertz didn’t come away totally empty-handed as he took over the runner-up spot. Behind them, Queen nosed ahead of Edwards Jr. for third.
  The second yellow flag waved on lap 21 when Bowen spun in Turns 1 and 2 and made hard contact with the outside wall, collecting Macy Causey in the process and relegating both drivers to the sidelines. The extended caution period worked in Hughes’ favor as his crew was able to complete its repairs and send back into the fray.
  For the ensuing restart, Greg Edwards and Wertz remained bumper-to-bumper, while Queen, Edwards Jr. and Carroll opted for the outside lane.
  As the race resumed, Edwards cleared Queen off Turn 2. Wertz eventually worked past Queen, but it took him a couple of laps and allowed Edwards to build a five-length lead.
  The last of the race’s three caution flags was unfurled on lap 25 when Carroll and Jeff Shiflett tangled at the end of the frontstretch. Carroll fought for control through the corner, but ended up spinning off Turn 2.
  For the next restart, Queen and Edwards Jr. again chose the outside lane. Hardin came along and lined up third on the high side.
  Returning to green, Edwards got the better of Queen in Turns 1 and 2. Wertz pulled to the inside of Queen and the two went door-to-door for second. Wertz gained the position, but not before some contact at the entrance to Turn 1 on lap 26. The brief dust allowed Edwards to extend his lead to almost half a straightaway.
  While Danny Edwards Jr. emerged from the scramble in third, Queen dropped back into a side-by-side tussle with Hall for fourth. They were followed closely by sixth-place Casey Wyatt.
  Things got really interesting on lap 31 when Wyatt slipped underneath Hall off Turn 2, initiating a three-wide joust down the backstretch. Showing some good judgment, Hall —the meat in the sandwich — bailed out before the trio entered Turn 3, leaving Wyatt and Queen door-to-door for fourth.
  As Wyatt and Queen dueled, Greg Edwards, Wertz and Danny Edwards Jr. continued to distance themselves from the pack. By lap 40, the top three had driven off by a full straightaway.
  Heading into the closing stages of the event, Edwards began to weaken at the front as Wertz chopped into his lead. By lap 46, Wertz had drawn to within a car-length of the front-runner.
  On lap 47, Wertz dipped to the inside of Edwards on the backstretch and roared into the lead as they exited Turn 4. Two laps later, Danny Edwards Jr. also bypassed his brother, who had fallen decidedly off the pace and was in “nurse it home” mode.
  At the finish, Wertz was the winner by 1.482 seconds — half a straightaway — over Danny Edwards Jr. Wyatt was third to the line, followed by Queen and Hall. During post-race inspections after the second race, though, a problem arose with the shocks on Wyatt’s car and he was disqualified from both of the night’s events. In the amended rundown, Queen was third, while Hall and Hardin completed the top five.
  Terry Carroll and Justin Carroll headed up the second five, in sixth and seventh, respectively. Shiflett was eighth, the final driver on the lead lap. Greg Edwards was done in by a punctured right-rear tire. He ran the last handful of circuits on the rim and was credited with ninth place. Hughes was shown in 10th.
  After a few lean seasons, Wertz was eager to share his thoughts as he rolled back into Victory Lane: “This is like a revival. That was the longest 20 laps I think I’ve run in the 28 years I’ve been racing. I was like, ‘Oh, my God. We got the lead. Is this real?’ I mean, that restart, I don’t know what got going. I got nailed pretty hard from behind, got into the 03 (Queen). We were able to gather it back up. I think the 97 (Edwards) had an issue, but y’know what? It’s a three-year drought. I’ll take ‘em any way I can get it.”
  Continuing, Wertz described his day leading up to the race: “The day went fairly well. We were second-fastest, third-fastest in practice all day. Then, I laid an egg in qualifying. Me and my team... I got down on myself pretty hard, but they never got down on me. I just told ‘em, ‘I’ll do the best I can and we’ll use this first race for notes.’
  Needless to say, Wertz far exceeded that modest goal.
  His win in the first race earned Wertz the pole position for the second one. Danny Edwards Jr. lined up on the outside of Row 1, while Wyatt and Queen made up Row 2 and Hall rounded out the top five. Fourteen cars took the green flag for the nightcap.
  As the event got under way, Wertz leaped ahead of Edwards Jr. through Turns 1 and 2 to take the lead on the opening circuit. Wyatt moved up to second on lap 2, while Edwards Jr. dropped into third.
  In the early going, Wertz opened a five-length advantage as Edwards Jr. sought to reclaim the runner-up spot from Wyatt. On lap 11, Edwards Jr. slipped underneath Wyatt in Turn 2, launching a door-to-door battle that would last until lap 23 when Wyatt gained the upper hand.
  While Edwards Jr. and Wyatt were battling for second, Wertz stretched his lead to nearly a full straightaway. Behind the second-place skirmish, Hughes and Greg Edwards had made their way into the top five and were closing in rapidly.
  On lap 26, Edwards Jr. took another run at Wyatt. In their wake, Greg Edwards ducked underneath Hughes in a bid for fourth. A lap later, Wyatt spun out of the four-car cluster in Turn 4 to bring out the first caution flag.
  Preparing for the restart, Edwards Jr. pulled to the outside of Wertz, joined by Queen, Hardin and Justin Carroll.
  Back under way, Wertz cleared Edwards Jr. as they reached Turn 1. Greg Edwards rushed to fill the opening to his brother’s inside and grabbed second off Turn 4.
  Continuing to press forward, Edwards drove underneath Wertz in Turn 2 on lap 28. Wertz held the edge as they returned to the flagstand, but Edwards seized command on the backstretch on lap 29. Within 10 laps, Edwards had already pulled off by half a straightaway.
  Hughes came to life on lap 31, slipping past Edwards Jr. for third. He, then, set sail after Wertz and snagged the second spot on lap 42.
  The second, and final, caution flag appeared on lap 43 for Justin Carroll’s spin in Turn 4.
  Bunching for what would turn out to be the last restart, Hughes headed to the outside lane, followed by Edwards Jr., Hardin and Shiflett.
  Back under green, Edwards was unable to shake Hughes, who remained planted firmly on his outside flank. Edwards led by a nose as they came around to complete lap 43, but Hughes surged out front for the first time at the end of lap 44. He cleared Edwards on the backstretch on lap 45.
  Once in the lead, Hughes seemed to find a comfortable line about a groove up from the bottom of the track. With the new leader leaving such a tantalizing opening, Edwards repeatedly poked a fender to the inside as they raced into the corners. Off the turns, though, Hughes was able to generate enough momentum to maintain the lead, pulling ahead by a couple car-lengths.
  At the end, Hughes held off Edwards to bag his first Langley win by 0.474-second — two car-lengths. Edwards Jr. was third to the line, followed by Wertz and Queen. Hall was sixth, while Shiflett, Terry Carroll, Hardin and Justin Carroll rounded out the top 10, all on the lead lap.
  After disappointment earlier in the evening, Hughes was overwhelmed to find himself in Victory Lane: “Man, I cannot thank this team enough. They put so much effort into this car. The past three weeks, when we got wrecked... Man, it’s just an unbelievable comeback. I cannot thank Paul Green (enough) for letting me drive this car and putting me in this ride this year ‘cause we’d have never done it without him. My dad is one of the most hardest-working men I know. We spent hours — 1 a.m. nights — on this car, getting it back together. This is unbelievable. To hold Greg Edwards off on the top side like we did to take the victory, it’s just an unbelievable feeling, especially from the position I was in two years ago. I can’t thank everyone enough, who helps me out. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom. This is a big Mother’s Day gift for her.”

  In the evening’s other feature events:

  Renno Marchetti IV survived a fierce battle with Landon Abbott and came away with the victory in a 40-lapper for the Butterfoss & Barton Orthodontics Super Streets.
  Marchetti was the fast qualifier, at 76.300 mph. The top four qualifiers were inverted, though, bumping him to the outside of Row 2. Sean Calway assumed the pole in the reconfigured lineup. Sammy Gaita started on the outside pole. Abbott lined up third, to the inside of Marchetti, while Randy Akers launched from the fifth spot.
  On the start, Calway inched ahead of Gaita to lead lap 1. He gained the clear-cut advantage on lap 2 and left an opening for Abbott, who snagged second. Marchetti followed Abbott’s cue and quickly took over third.
  On lap 4, Abbott nosed ahead of Calway to take the lead. A lap later, Marchetti tagged along, setting the stage for an epic duel. Circling the track in nose-to-tail formation, the lead duo distanced themselves from the rest of the pack. By lap13, the margin stood at half a straightaway.
  With Abbott doggedly protecting the bottom groove, Marchetti finally found an alternative path on lap 24, driving to the outside of the leader. The two remained side-by-side for the next 12 laps, swapping the lead four times.
  Nearing the finish, the battle for the lead became increasingly physical as the leaders bounced off each other while jockeying for position.
  The tussle came to a sudden end on lap 36, however, when both drivers got crossed up off Turn 2 and Abbott wound up making hard contact with the backstretch wall, prompting the race’s only caution flag.
  Bunching for a restart, with five to go, Marchetti held the top spot, followed by Gaita and Akers. Chris Spangler was fourth, but gave up that position to pull alongside the leader. He was joined by fifth-place Matt Morgan.
  Back under green, Spangler bolted ahead of Marchetti at the flagstand. Knowing a black flag was probably in the offing, though, he backed off through Turns 1 and 2 and Marchetti surged back out front.
  While the field sorted itself out behind him, Marchetti strolled away. By the finish, his margin of victory had swelled to 2.662 seconds over Spangler. Akers was third, followed by Gaita and Morgan. After leading most of the way, Abbott ended up 10th.

  Chris Hildebrand started on the pole, at 79.477 mph, and wired the field for his second straight win in the 25-lap Cycle City Corp. INEX Legends feature.
  Matt Dail started behind Hildebrand, in the third spot, and moved up to second on the opening lap. He spun in Turn 2 on lap 5, though, to bring out the only caution flag.
  As Dail retreated to the rear of the field, Brian May assumed the runner-up position. He held down the second spot all the way to the finish, crossing the line 0.754-second behind the winner.
  Tommy Jackson Jr. was third. D.J. Valente was fourth, but failed to clear the post-race inspection. In the official rundown, Dail was fourth, while Whitt Seay completed the top five.

  In the 15-lap Cycle City Corp. INEX Bandolero race, Bradley Wilson claimed the pole, at 64.940 mph, and led flag-to-flag to post the win.
  Autumn Weaver, the winner in the season opener, started on the outside of the front row and stayed within striking distance of Wilson for the first 12 laps. Meanwhile, Jacob Putman, who started seventh, moved into third on lap 8, then set his sights on Weaver.
  On lap 13, Weaver and Putman ran up on a slower machine off Turn 4. Weaver went to the outside, while Putman ducked low. As the trio approached the flagstand, Putman got loose and collected the lapped car, which clipped Weaver, sending her on a hard ride into the inside retaining wall. While Putman was able to continue, Weaver’s night was over.
  On the restart, Wilson led a six-car breakaway at the head of the pack, tailed by the new second-place runner, Bradley Kilby.
  Over the final three circuits, Kilby remained just behind Wilson. He couldn’t muster a winning pass, though, as Wilson held on to win by 0.361-second — about two lengths. Zach Lightfoot was third to the line. D.J. Elzey was fourth, but didn’t pass the post-race inspection. In the amended finishing order, Elysia Potter and Colby Flowers were fourth and fifth, respectively.

  In the evening’s final feature, a 30-lap contest for the Bojangles’ Enduros, Dustin Cisco grabbed the lead on the 24th circuit and sailed to the checkers.
  The first three laps of the event produced three different leaders as Rodney Davis, Shane Loving and, finally, Derrick Boggess pushed their machines to the front. Richard Quinn moved into second place on lap 4, seemingly setting up a two-way fight for the win.
  After red-flag stoppages on laps 5 and 8, the two leaders got back down to business, rounding the track in tight formation. Meanwhile, Cisco, who started 15th, was steadily creeping into the picture. By lap 21, he had chased down Boggess and Quinn.
  Cisco bypassed Quinn on lap 23, then went after Boggess on the next lap. He snagged the top spot at the flagstand and began to drive away.
  At the finish, Cisco was the winner by six lengths over Boggess. Quinn was third, while Loving and Ronald Klein completed the top five.
                                • • •

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Virginia Ship Repair Assoc. Night
Race Results
Saturday, May 9, 2015

  Race #1:
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1.  (55) Mark Wertz; 65
2.  (26) Danny Edwards Jr.; 65
3.  (03) Brenden Queen; 65
4.  (77) Connor Hall; 65
5.  (7)  Michael Hardin; 65
6.  (90) Terry Carroll; 65
7.  (91) Justin Carroll; 65
8.  (01) Jeff Shiflett; 65
9.  (97) Greg Edwards; 63
10. (8)  Tyler Hughes; 50
11. (19) Cameron Bowen; 20
12. (33) Macy Causey; 20
13. (67) J.T. Jackson; 5
14. (97x)Thomas Marks; 3
DQ  (92) Casey Wyatt; 65
Pole: G. Edwards - 88.992 mph.

  Race #2:
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1.  (8)  Tyler Hughes; 65
2.  (97) Greg Edwards; 65
3.  (26) Danny Edwards Jr.; 65
4.  (55) Mark Wertz; 65
5.  (03) Brenden Queen; 65
6.  (77) Connor Hall; 65
7.  (01) Jeff Shiflett; 65
8.  (90) Terry Carroll; 65
9.  (7)  Michael Hardin; 65
10. (91) Justin Carroll; 65
11. (33) Macy Causey; 9
12. (67) J.T. Jackson; 7
13. (97x)Thomas Marks; 0
DQ  (92) Casey Wyatt; 65
Pole: Wertz - via Race #1 finish.

 SUPER STREETS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1.  (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 40
2.  (3)  Chris Spangler; 40
3.  (21) Randy Akers; 40
4.  (24) Sammy Gaita; 40
5.  (50x)Matt Morgan; 40
6.  (2)  Rod Busitzky; 40
7.  (46) Jason Michaud; 40
8.  (47) Craig Warren; 39
9.  (50) Jim Bennett; 38
10. (70) Landon Abbott; 35
11. (12) Sean Calway; 22
12. (22) Bill Eaker; 20
Pole: Calway - top 4 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Marchetti - 76.300 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1.  (71) Chris Hildebrand; 25
2.  (22) Brian May; 25
3.  (87) Tommy Jackson Jr.; 25
4.  (07) Matt Dail; 25
5.  (5)  Whitt Seay; 24
6.  (89) Connor Medeiros; 24
DQ  (18) D.J. Valente; 25
Pole: Hildebrand - 79.477 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1.  (51) Bradley Wilson; 15
2.  (5)  Bradley Kilby; 15
3.  (7)  Zach Lightfoot; 15
4.  (24) Elysia Potter; 15
5.  (33) Colby Flowers; 15
6.  (87) Aidan Bolling; 15
7.  (3)  Jacob Putman; 15
8.  (19) Jaiden Reyna; 14
9.  (18) Autumn Weaver; 12
10. (48) Wesley Newell; 8
DQ  (07) D.J. Elzey; 15
Pole: Wilson - 64.940 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1.  (44) Dustin Cisco; 30
2.  (18) Derrick Boggess; 30
3.  (31) Richard Quinn; 30
4.  (23) Shane Loving; 30
5.  (80) Ronald Klein; 29
6.  (27) Tyler Baker; 29
7.  (12) Rodney Davis; 29
8.  (13) Larry Drommerhausen; 29
9.  (98) Justin Fansler; 28
10. (28) Ray Haynes; 28
11. (43) Jim Bennett; 28
12. (4)  Windell White; 26
13. (49) Randy Constable; 25
14. (02) Michael Joyner; 9
15. (34) Bubba Firman; 5
16. (91) Don Masingo; 2
17. (19) Daniel Balduf; 2
18. (11) Keith Wheeler; 2
Pole: Haynes - via draw.

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