Langley Speedway News
Greg Edwards posts 2nd straight win in Pioneer Services 75
May 21, 2006 - updated May 21st, 2006 10:34am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Military Appreciation Night presented by Pioneer Services Race Report Saturday, May 20, 2006
Greg Edwards paced the final 11 circuits to win the Pioneer Services 75 for the Crossroads Fuel Service/Sunoco Dealers Late Models, the headliner of Saturday’s Military Appreciation Night program at Langley Speedway. With the victory, Edwards became the first two-time winner of the young season in the track’s NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series feature division.
Longtime Langley competitor Paul DeBolt debuted a new Ford Fusion and turned heads during afternoon time trials, leading the session with a lap at 85.818 mph. The top six qualifiers were inverted for the start, landing Shawn Balluzzo on the pole with Anthony Warren to his outside. Danny Edwards and Mark Wertz made up Row 2, while Greg Edwards and DeBolt lined up in Row 3.
At the initial green flag, Warren gained a slight edge over Balluzzo. As the field rolled into Turn 1 for the first time, though, Warren looped his machine, triggering a 10-car pileup that collected, among others, Wertz, the series points leader coming into the race. The field was realigned for a complete restart with DeBolt moving up to the outside of Row 1.
On the second attempt at a start, DeBolt nosed ahead of Balluzzo. Just as the first lap went in the books, trouble broke out again when Bobby Dean spun in Turn 3. Four more drivers, including Warren, were swept up in the melee as the second yellow flag waved.
By virtue of having led lap 1, DeBolt was positioned at the head of the procession for the ensuing restart. Balluzzo lined up second, followed by Danny Edwards, Greg Edwards and Casey Wyatt, who started seventh.
Back under green, DeBolt pulled away by nearly three lengths. Balluzzo, the Edwardses and Wyatt were bumper-to-bumper, three lengths ahead of the sixth-place tussle between Gary Weeks, Jeff Shiflett and J.J. Jensen.
The third yellow flag flew on lap 10 as Chris Munger and Dude Gibbs got together in Turn 1, sending Munger for a whirl.
As the race resumed, DeBolt opened a two-length lead over Balluzzo. Within a handful of circuits, the advantage had swelled to almost half a straightaway as Balluzzo was under attack from Danny Edwards.
Danny Edwards slipped ahead of Balluzzo to gain the runner-up spot on lap 23. Greg Edwards and Wyatt both followed his lead a lap later, dropping Balluzzo to fifth in the running order. The shuffle allowed DeBolt to add a few more car-lengths to his lead.
The fourth caution flag appeared on lap 35 for Robbie Babb’s spin in Turn 4. Readying for the restart, a lapped car separated DeBolt from Danny Edwards.
Back under way, DeBolt pulled off by three lengths as Danny Edwards worked past the slower machine as well as several cars returning from the pits. Once clear of traffic, though, Danny Edwards began to close noticeably on the leader, who had fallen slightly off his earlier pace.
The fifth, and final, yellow flag was unfurled on lap 45 when Mitch Sarvis went around in Turn 4.
Returning to green, Danny Edwards was right on DeBolt’s rear bumper. DeBolt got away by two car-lengths, but Danny Edwards quickly made up the lost ground and began hounding him for the top spot.
Danny Edwards moved atop the leaderboard on lap 56. He drove under DeBolt in Turns 1 and 2 and grabbed the clear-cut edge off Turn 4. Greg Edwards took over second place on lap 57, while Wyatt snagged third on lap 58.
As positions changed hands behind him, Danny Edwards opened a five-car-length lead. Soon, though, Greg Edwards was growing larger in his mirror. By lap 64, the two were in nose-to-tail formation.
Coming around to complete that circuit, Greg Edwards went after the lead, ducking low in Turns 3 and 4. He cleared his brother’s car off Turn 2 on lap 65 and was on the way to his second straight win.
At the finish, Greg Edwards was the winner by a little more than half a second over Danny Edwards. Wyatt tailed the lead duo to the line, in third.
DeBolt, who dominated much of the event, was fourth. During the post-race inspection, however, his car’s tread width was found to exceed the specifications for the class and he was disqualified.
Balluzzo moved up to fourth in the official rundown, followed by Jensen. Shiflett was sixth, while Weeks, Jeff Sampson, Sarvis and Bobby Dean rounded out the top 10. After a lengthy stay in the pits, Wertz came back to complete 64 circuits, good enough for 12th place. Warren was 13th, retiring after 39 laps.
In Victory Lane after the race, Greg Edwards explained his strategy for the event: “Danny and myself and Casey were doing a good job, riding back there, going the pace we wanted. We had no idea what the Ford had. I knew he had just a little bit better tires than all of us ‘cause it was his first time out. We know that Ford is gonna be a good car. They’ve got good equipment. But, this Charlie High Dodge was really pulling today. I mean, it really got down the straightaways and I kept the tires underneath of it. Then, right at the end, I was just able to get by Danny. I think it was pretty much a close race. I think our cars were fairly even, but I think I just sat back until I timed it and I was lucky enough to get it tonight.”
After two straight subpar (for him) outings, Danny Edwards was pleased with his runner-up performance, commenting, “I tell ya’, we’ve been struggling here the last couple weeks and I’m glad just to finish second. If I’m gonna finish second, it’s just as good to finish second to one of the best guys out here, my brother. He’s awful good and I think everybody knows that. We’ve got a little bit of work to do, but the guys have been working awful hard on this car just to bring it back up here and get on the podium. The Ford was definitely pretty impressive. When he’d get her straight, she could really go. But, I think we tried to save as much as we could there for the end, but I think Greg was able to save a little bit more.”
Considering the sometimes-frantic pace of the event, Wyatt was satisfied to come away with a third-place run, noting, “I drove the wheels off of it, I think. I don’t think we had any tires left there at the end. Greg, me and Danny were going as hard as we could go the whole race. They just happened to be in front of me from the start and happened to stay in front of me to the finish. I think we were all pretty close to the same there. It’s just one of them deals — we just got put back there at the start and had a bad qualifying. Maybe, we’ll try to do a little bit better next week.”
In the evening’s other feature events:
Employing a nifty three-wide move, Ricky Derrick took the lead on the 15th circuit and sped on to his second consecutive victory in the 40-lap Super 8 Motels/Dunkum’s Machine Shop Grand Stock feature.
Derrick was quickest in qualifying for the event, touring Langley’s .395-mile layout at 78.577 mph. He started fourth after the inversion. Danny Harrell and Dean Shiflett made up the front row, while Ryan Nester lined up to the inside of Derrick in Row 2.
As the race got under way, Harrell and Shiflett locked horns in a side-by-side duel. Harrell led the first two laps, while Shiflett nosed ahead on lap 3. Harrell came back to pace lap 4, then cleared Shiflett in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 5, leaving an opening for Nester and Derrick, who booted Shiflett back to fourth.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 8.
Back under green, Nester shadowed Harrell, looking for an opportunity to take over the lead. He thought he’d found it on lap 11, driving low in Turns 1 and 2. Derrick, however, pulled to Nester’s outside and Nester fell back in line to protect the runner-up spot.
On the very next circuit, Derrick swept past Nester on the backstretch and brought Shiflett along with him. Exiting Turn 4, Nester suffered a broken axle and spun, throwing up a thick cloud of smoke. He ended up near the flagstand, facing back toward Turn 4. George VanGuilder, his vision obscured by the smoke, then plowed into Nester’s car, snout-to-snout, as the yellow flag waved.
Returning to action, third-place Shiflett wasted no time in going after Derrick, diving to the inside as the green flag reappeared. He cleared Derrick on lap 13 and immediately closed in on Harrell.
On lap 14, Shiflett motored to the inside of Harrell on the backstretch in a bid for the lead. Off Turn 4, though, Derrick powered to the inside of both Harrell and Shiflett. Shiflett led lap 14, but gave way to Derrick on the 15th circuit. Harrell, meanwhile, fell back to third.
The event was interrupted by two more caution flags, at laps 21 and 34, as Derrick continued to hold Shiflett at bay.
On the final restart, Derrick fashioned a healthy margin as Shiflett made his way by a slower car. Shiflett tried to stage a rally in the closing laps, but the effort came up short as Derrick sailed to the checkers.
At the finish, Derrick was the winner by 0.827-second over Shiflett. Harrell was third to the line, but had to surrender the position when an unapproved carburetor was discovered during the post-race inspection. Brandon Hinson was third in the amended rundown, followed by David Gray and Jason Leftwich.
Brian Loving posted his second straight victory in a 25-lapper for the Verizon Super Trucks, moving out front on the fourth circuit.
Loving was the fastest qualifier, at 74.866 mph, and started third after the inversion. Tommy Nixon shared the front row with Carl Livingston, while Justin Ballo lined up alongside Loving in Row 2.
Getting under way, Nixon leaped ahead of Livingston, bringing Loving and fifth-place starter Evan VanLeeuwen with him as Livingston fell back to fourth.
Loving tailed Nixon until lap 4 when he made the move for the lead along the backstretch. Just one lap later, Loving already owned a three-length margin.
The only caution flag appeared on lap 8.
Back under green, Loving pulled off by four lengths, while Livingston closed in on Nixon for second place.
Livingston grabbed second on lap 13 and set off after Loving, who had stretched his margin to half a straightaway.
After closing to within four lengths, Livingston was presented with a golden opportunity on lap 20 when a lapped machine delayed Loving’s progress on the backstretch. Heading into Turn 3, Livingston poked a fender to the leader’s inside. Loving, however, quickly extricated himself from the predicament and began to ease away.
At the finish, Loving was the winner by three truck-lengths. And, for Loving, the checkered flag appeared none too soon as his truck began to show smoke in the waning laps. Livingston was the runner-up, while Ballo came home in third. Nixon and VanLeeuwen completed the top five.
Randy Prillaman maintained his unbeaten record in the 25-lap E-Z Auto Rental UCAR race, scoring his third win in as many events. He took the lead on lap 14 and showed the way to the finish.
Robert Rusinyak was quickest in afternoon time trials, circling the track at 68.849 mph. He, then, spun a “0” on the inversion wheel, meaning he got to keep the pole. Robbie Davis was second-fastest, while Prillaman, Jamie Sample and Glenn Healy Jr. were third through fifth.
As the race got going, Rusinyak took the early lead. Prillaman stalked Davis for the first three circuits, then moved past for second place on lap 4.
The race’s lone yellow flag waved on lap 12.
Resuming, Rusinyak opened an advantage of a little more than a car-length over Prillaman as the lead duo broke away from the pack.
Coming around to complete lap 13, Rusinyak drifted wide in Turn 4 and Prillaman drove to his inside, pulling ahead in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 14. Rusinyak, however, quickly switched lanes and motored back to the inside of Prillaman off Turn 2.
Returning to Turn 4, Rusinyak drifted wide again and Prillaman capitalized, taking the top spot for good and bringing Davis along with him.
At the finish, Prillaman was the winner by five lengths over Davis, who fended off Rusinyak for second. Kevin Alves and Matt Hockaday were fourth and fifth, respectively.
With drafting help from her dad, Ashley Mullis picked up the win in a 20-lap contest for the HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts.
The Mullises, Ashley and Bill, were fastest in time trials, but started seventh and eighth, respectively, after an inversion. Once the race got under way, however, starting spots made little difference as they hooked up in a tight draft and quickly made their way to the front. Ashley took the lead on lap 3.
By the finish of the caution-free event, only three karts remained on the lead lap — Ashley Mullis, Bill Mullis and third-place David Phelps. Cory Millard and Robert Peach were fourth and fifth, a lap off the leader’s blistering pace.
Mack Tatum was the winner in a 15-lap joust for the Virginia Vintage Race Group. He took the lead on lap 8, swinging around the outside of Phil Barkins through Turns 1 and 2.
At the checkers, Tatum’s margin of victory was four car-lengths. Barkins was second, followed by Snookie Farmer, Ron Ward and David Bentley.
Race Results Saturday, May 20, 2006
CROSSROADS FUEL SERVICE/SUNOCO DEALERS LATE MODELS - 75 laps
1. Greg Edwards
2. Danny Edwards
3. Casey Wyatt
4. Shawn Balluzzo
5. J.J. Jensen
6. Jeff Shiflett
7. Gary Weeks
8. Jeff Sampson
9. Mitch Sarvis
10. Bobby Dean
11. Robbie Babb
12. Mark Wertz
13. Anthony Warren
14. Dude Gibbs
15. Chris Munger
16. Ross Clements
17. Kevin Morgan
18. Ron Blackburn
19. Tracy Ashworth
20. Rick Gdovic
21. Billy Fisher
22. Greg Burgess
DQ Paul DeBolt
SUPER 8 MOTELS/DUNKUM'S MACHINE SHOP GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps
1. Ricky Derrick
2. Dean Shiflett
3. Brandon Hinson
4. David Gray
5. Jason Leftwich
6. Brandon Ray
7. Robert Ellis
8. Matt Slye
9. Matthew Waltz
10. J.R. Smith
11. David Phelps
12. Paul Phelps
13. Connie Stanley
14. Harold Stanley
15. Jack Robinson
16. Greg Burgess
17. Gary Barrows
18. Ryan Nester
19. George VanGuilder
20. Brian Waters
21. David Brandt
DQ Danny Harrell
VERIZON SUPER TRUCKS - 25 laps
1. Brian Loving
2. Carl Livingston
3. Justin Ballo
4. Tommy Nixon
5. Evan VanLeeuwen
6. Thomas Fontaine
7. John McDonald
8. Hugo Belfiore
9. Frankie Haegle
10. Rick Potter
11. Charles Russell
12. Irene Bechtel
13. John Hollis
14. Jim Lott
E-Z AUTO RENTAL UCARS - 25 laps
1. Randy Prillaman
2. Robbie Davis
3. Robert Rusinyak
4. Kevin Alves
5. Matt Hockaday
6. Jamie Sample
7. Glenn Healy Jr.
8. Randy Sample
9. Jonathan Mullett
10. Donald Reynolds III
11. Dusty Conner
12. Don Shumate
13. John Gonsalves
14. Joe Reynolds
15. Pat Ritchie
16. Matt Bond
17. Ron Shumate
18. Scott Hafner
19. Ben Weldon
20. Richard Smith
21. Buck Munger
22. Robbie Salas
23. Layel Burton
24. Sara Langley
25. Michael Walters
26. Renee Strickland
HRKC PRO WINGED CHAMP KARTS - 20 laps
1. Ashley Mullis
2. Bill Mullis
3. David Phelps
4. Cory Millard
5. Robert Peach
6. Phillip Clarke
7. Bill Dailey
8. Greg Shaffer
9. Steven Shaffer
10. David Srednicki
VIRGINIA VINTAGE RACE GROUP - 15 laps
1. Mack Tatum
2. Phil Barkins
3. Snookie Farmer
4. Ron Ward
5. David Bentley
6. Doug Rice
7. Bubba Farmer