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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
King Hodges Memorial Night Race Report Saturday, April 29, 2006
Apr 30, 2006 - updated Apr 30th, 2006 9:12am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, Va. --

NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series at Langley Speedway

After biding his time for 92 circuits, Casey Wyatt moved out front on lap 93 and rolled on to victory in the King Hodges Memorial 100 for the Crossroads Fuel Service/Sunoco Dealers Late Models, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series program at Langley Speedway.
Saturday’s slate of races, topped by the Late Model 100-lapper, were held in honor of King Hodges, Langley’s late vice president and general manager, who passed away on April 18.
Mark Wertz, the winner of the season opener, set the fast time in qualifying for the race, touring the .395-mile oval at 86.829 mph. He shared the front row with Greg Edwards. Wyatt and Danny Edwards made up Row 2, while Anthony Warren and Shawn Balluzzo occupied Row 3.
As the green flag dropped, Wertz nosed ahead. Entering Turn 1 for the first time, Greg Edwards skittered wide and fell to fourth place, giving way to Wyatt and Danny Edwards. By lap 3, Wertz had established a five-length edge over Wyatt.
On the sixth circuit, Greg Edwards pulled alongside brother Danny in a challenge for the third spot. Before that battle could play out, however, the first caution flag waved as Ross Clements spun off Turn 4, ending up at the start/finish line.
Back under green, Wertz pulled away by three car-lengths over Wyatt, who had the Edwards brothers on his rear bumper. Three more lengths separated fourth-place Greg Edwards from fifth-place Anthony Warren and sixth-place Shawn Balluzzo.
As lap 17 flashed up on the scoreboard, Wyatt had chopped Wertz’s lead down to a single car-length. Warren and Balluzzo had also joined the lead pack as the front six cars were nose-to-tail.
The leaders had begun to string out a bit when the second yellow flag was displayed on lap 26 for debris on the backstretch. One more lap was completed before the third caution flag appeared for Aaron Adams’ spin at the flagstand.
Resuming, Wertz quickly regained his three-length margin, while Wyatt and the Edwardses continued their three-way joust.
On lap 44, Greg Edwards ducked under Danny Edwards at the entrance to Turn 3. He cleared his brother off the fourth corner to take over third. Behind them, Balluzzo scooted around Warren for fifth, bringing Jeff Shiflett with him and dropping Warren to seventh.
The fourth caution flag flew on lap 46 for Gary Weeks’ spin in Turn 2. That was quickly followed, on lap 49, by the fifth yellow flag as Adams looped his machine off the second corner and was joined by Ron Blackburn and Bobby Dean, who spun to avoid him.
Getting back down to business, Wertz forged a two-length edge as Greg Edwards went to work on Wyatt for the runner-up spot.
On lap 51, Greg Edwards poked a fender alongside Wyatt in Turn 3 and the two went side-by-side for a lap with Edwards gaining the upper hand on lap 52. The shuffle allowed Wertz to open his lead to five car-lengths — a gap which Edwards rapidly gobbled up.
The sixth yellow flag was unfurled on lap 56 when Adams and Weeks spun in Turn 2. Lining up for the restart, Wertz continued to show the way, followed by Greg Edwards, Wyatt, Danny Edwards and Balluzzo.
Back under green, Greg Edwards stalked Wertz until lap 63 when he ducked low off Turn 2, drew even down the backstretch and snagged the top spot through Turns 3 and 4. Within a couple laps, he had driven away by five car-lengths.
Wyatt moved in to challenge Wertz on lap 67. He grabbed the runner-up position on lap 68 and brought Danny Edwards along, dropping Wertz to fourth. Balluzzo tried to follow, but was forced back in line by a slower car.
The seventh caution flag appeared on lap 75 for Blackburn’s spin in Turn 4.
As the event resumed, Greg Edwards managed a slim margin over Wyatt, then began to ease away. Behind the lead duo, Wertz battled Danny Edwards for third place, eventually taking the spot on lap 91. Balluzzo tagged along with Wertz and moved into fourth.
At the front, Wyatt had tracked down Greg Edwards and was searching for an opening. He found it on lap 93, ducking under Edwards in Turns 3 and 4 and pulling ahead off the corner.
The eighth, and final, caution flag came out on lap 96 for Blackburn’s spin in Turn 2, setting up a five-lap dash to the finish. As the field gathered, Wyatt, Greg Edwards, Wertz, Balluzzo and Danny Edwards made up the top five.
Under green for the last time, Greg Edwards and Wertz were able to stay with Wyatt until they reached Turn 2. At that point, Wyatt powered to a two-length lead and was on his way to the victory.
At the finish, Wyatt was the winner by 0.539-second — about three lengths — over Greg Edwards. Wertz was third, followed by Balluzzo. Shiflett passed Danny Edwards on lap 99 and came home fifth, while Warren moved up to sixth on the final circuit. Danny Edwards was seventh.
J.J. Jensen, Dude Gibbs and Jeff Sampson completed the top 10. Dean, Weeks and Billy Fisher were 11th, 12th and 13th, in that order, also on the lead lap at the end.
In Victory Lane following the race, Wyatt, son of former Langley promoter Wayne Wyatt, remarked on his progress in the Late Model ranks: “Man, I can’t tell how much hard work we’ve put into the past couple years, trying to get to where we are right now. I finally convinced my dad to get me some new stuff and it’s paying off. It’s showing, right now, this is what I’m made of.”
Of his runner-up outing, Greg Edwards noted, “I think I used it up a little bit too early, about 20 laps early. Man, I really wanted to win this race bad. I know it’s in memory of King Hodges, but, also, one of my best friends died yesterday morning and I was gonna try to win it for him. We were close, but ended up just about 10 laps short. I think, coming up through the field, I spun the tires a couple times and finally just wore ‘em out and Casey was able to drive by me.
Third-place Wertz commented on his night’s efforts: “Greg got up under there early and I let him go and was gonna ride behind him. Somebody was burning up a rear end and the track got a little slick there at the end. It was a good race.”
As it turned out, the checkered flag came just in the nick of time for Wyatt as his car’s rear end locked up in Victory Lane and required tow truck assistance to the inspection area.

In the evening’s other feature events:

For the second straight Super 8 Motels/Dunkum’s Machine Shop Grand Stock race, Ricky Derrick established a new division record in time trials — 78.720 mph. And, this time, he backed up the stellar qualifying effort by leading all 40 laps for his first win of the young season.
Derrick took the lead in Turn 1 on the opening lap, while David Gray slipped past outside pole starter, Dean Shiflett, for second. Shiflett regained the position on lap 6, but was no match for Derrick, who enjoyed a lead of better than half a straightaway at the halfway mark.
While the first 20 laps were caution-free, the second half of the event was interrupted by five yellow flags, the first one appearing on lap 21. During the ensuing caution period, Shiflett made a quick visit to the pits, giving up second place and returning at the back of the pack for the restart.
The second caution flag came out soon after the ensuing restart, while the third one flew on lap 24. Setting the lineup, Derrick was the leader, followed by Gray, Danny Harrell, George VanGuilder and Shiflett, who had quickly clawed his way back into the top five.
As the race resumed, Shiflett quickly disposed of VanGuilder, then grabbed third place from Harrell on lap 28. He, then, turned his attention to Gray. After dueling for several circuits, the two finally locked horns on lap 38 and Shiflett spun to bring out the fourth caution flag and earn another trip to the rear of the field.
The final caution flag appeared on lap 39 for a two-car incident in Turn 2. Derrick, Gray, Harrell, VanGuilder and Robert Ellis made up the top five as the field came to the last green flag.
On the final restart, Derrick easily outdistanced Gray and won by 1.066 seconds. Harrell was third to the line, while Shiflett gained two positions in the closing laps to finish fourth. Ellis rounded out the top five. VanGuilder’s car began to smoke heavily during the last green-flag run and he fell back to seventh.

In the 25-lap Verizon Super Truck feature, Brian Loving overcame an inversion of the top five qualifiers to post his first win, taking the lead on the sixth circuit. He also smashed the division record in qualifying, circling the Speedway at 75.510 mph.
Hugo Belfiore started from the pole and led the first two laps before giving way to Charlie Barclay. Loving tagged along with Barclay to take over the runner-up spot, then quickly zeroed in on the leader.
On lap 6, Loving drove under Barclay in Turn 3 and grabbed the lead off Turn 4. In their mirrors, Carl Livingston and Justin Ballo bypassed Belfiore for third and fourth, respectively.
Loving was up by almost half a straightaway when the race’s only yellow flag flew, at lap 18.
Returning to green, Barclay hounded Loving all the way to Turn 2. At that point, Loving bolted away by two truck-lengths, then steadily began to rebuild his advantage.
At the finish, Loving was the winner by 2.286 seconds — about half a straightaway — over Barclay. Livingston was third, followed by Ballo and Belfiore, who came out on top of a tussle with Tommy Nixon to secure fifth place.

Starting on the pole, at 74.795 mph, Jill Brinson led all the way for her second straight victory in the 20-lap BBFlabradors.com Wolf Truck race.
Ahead by a full straightaway at the midway point, Brinson had to hang on as Jeff Sampson closed in to offer a challenge in the waning laps.
On the final circuit, Brinson and Sampson ran up on third-place Michael Farmer. Brinson emerged from the brief scramble and went on to win by 0.246-second over Sampson. Farmer was third, a lap down, followed by Brad Perron and Rob Hughes.

David Phelps notched the win in a 20-lap contest for the HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts. He moved out front on the opening lap and led all but one circuit.
Ashley Mullis, who nosed ahead to lead lap 6, was second to the line, 0.107-second back. Her father, Bill Mullis was third.
Timmy Waltrip held down the runner-up spot for much of the race. His bid for the lead on lap 18 went awry, though, as the Mullises slipped past, relegating him to a fourth-place finish. Cory Millard completed the top five.

In the 10-lap HRKC Mini Cup race, Bill Dailey moved from sixth (last) to first in four laps, then overwhelmed the field to take the victory.
Bill Mullis started on the pole and led laps 1-3 as Dailey marched toward the point. Dailey grabbed the lead on lap 4 and never looked back, winning by better than half a straightaway. His 3.980-second margin of victory was nearly as large as the combined margins from the evening’s other five events.
Mullis was second to the checkers, followed by Megan Dayton, Late Model regular Shawn Balluzzo and Tommy Hill.
• • •

NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
King Hodges Memorial Night
Race Results
Saturday, April 29, 2006

LATE MODELS - 100 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (29) Casey Wyatt, 100
2. (27) Greg Edwards, 100
3. (40) Mark Wertz, 100
4. (50) Shawn Balluzzo, 100
5. (01) Jeff Shiflett, 100
6. (21) Anthony Warren, 100
7. (26) Danny Edwards, 100
8. (22) J.J. Jensen, 100
9. (7) Dude Gibbs, 100
10. (8) Jeff Sampson, 100
11. (03) Bobby Dean, 100
12. (20) Gary Weeks, 100
13. (28) Billy Fisher, 100
14. (71) Ron Blackburn, 95
15. (6) Aaron Adams, 58
16. (4) Ross Clements, 5
Pole: Wertz - 86.829 mph.

GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (8) Ricky Derrick, 40
2. (43) David Gray, 40
3. (95) Danny Harrell, 40
4. (06) Dean Shiflett, 40
5. (5) Robert Ellis, 40
6. (92) Jason Leftwich, 40
7. (12) George VanGuilder, 40
8. (24) Gene Smith, 40
9. (2) Brian Waters, 39
10. (37) Robert Brandt, 38
11. (29) Jack Robinson, 38
12. (48) Chris Sullivan, 38
13. (21) Gary Barrows, 38
14. (69) Connie Stanley, 37
15. (71) J.R. Smith, 36
16. (4) Matthew Waltz, 27
17. (44) Matt Slye, 22
18. (81) Brandon Hinson, 20
19. (33) Hank Karwoski, 19
20. (88) Brandon Ray, 16
21. (96) Harold Stanley, 0
Pole: Derrick - 78.720 mph

Fin. Pos., (Truck #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (33) Brian Loving, 25
2. (17) Charlie Barclay, 25
3. (89) Carl Livingston, 25
4. (55) Justin Ballo, 25
5. (15) Hugo Belfiore, 25
6. (8) Tommy Nixon, 25
7. (01) Evan VanLeeuwen, 25
8. (19) Bill Wallace, 25
9. (6) Frankie Haegle, 25
10. (77) John McDonald, 25
11. (25) John Hollis, 9
12. (21) Rick Potter, 5
13. (31) Tim Brown, 2
Pole: Belfiore - Top 5 qualifiers
inverted for start.
Fast Qualifier: Loving - 75.510 mph.

Fin. Pos., (Truck #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (22) Jill Brinson, 20
2. (8) Jeff Sampson, 20
3. (9) Michael Farmer, 19
4. (7) Brad Perron, 18
5. (11) Rob Hughes, 11
Pole: Brinson - 74.795 mph.

Fin. Pos., (Kart #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (46) David Phelps, 20
2. (1) Ashley Mullis, 20
3. (45) Bill Mullis, 20
4. (97) Timmy Waltrip, 20
5. (18) Cory Millard, 20
6. (52) Phillip Clarke, 20
7. (77) Steven Shaffer, 19
8. (88) David Srednicki, 16
9. (17) Greg Shaffer, 0
Pole: B. Mullis.

HRKC MINI CUPS - 10 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (00) Bill Dailey, 10
2. (7) Bill Mullis, 10
3. (40) Megan Dayton, 10
4. (1) Shawn Balluzzo, 10
5. (20) Tommy Hill, 10
6. (16) Patti Hill, 10
Pole: B. Mullis.

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