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Langley Speedway News
Langley Speedway Race Report Saturday, July 8, 2006
Jul 9, 2006 - updated Jul 9th, 2006 9:55am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series at Langley Speedway
While making preparations for qualifying on Saturday afternoon, Mark Wertz admittedly outsmarted himself, ending up sixth-quickest. Unfortunately for his fellow competitors, however, he wised up in time for the race and roared to his second straight wire-to-wire victory in the Crossroads Fuel Service/Sunoco Dealers Late Model portion of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series program at Langley Speedway.
Greg Edwards set the pace in time trials for the event, touring the .395-mile oval at 85.621 mph. The post-qualifying inversion knocked him back to the outside of Row 3, though, and elevated Wertz to the pole. Paul DeBolt lined up to Wertz’s outside, while Casey Wyatt and Anthony Warren occupied Row 2. Danny Edwards started fifth, next to his younger brother in the third row.
As the race got under way, Wertz grabbed the lead, motoring ahead of DeBolt as the field reached Turn 1 for the first time. Wyatt moved up to fill the open lane under DeBolt, who fended off the advance and settled into second place. Wyatt dropped into the third spot, followed by Danny Edwards. Greg Edwards passed Warren on lap 2 to gain the fifth position.
By lap 4, Wertz had pulled away from DeBolt by nearly four car-lengths. DeBolt quickly began to whittle away at the advantage, though. When the first caution flag appeared, for Chris Munger’s spin in Turn 2 on lap 11, Wertz was nursing a one-length lead.
On the ensuing restart, Wertz and DeBolt bolted from the pack, opening a three-length gap over third-place Wyatt. Exiting Turn 2, Wertz powered to a two-length lead over DeBolt. He continued to add to the margin as Wyatt and the Edwardses closed in on the second-place runner.
The second yellow flag flew on lap 20 for a hard crash on the backstretch, which sent three drivers to the sidelines for the night. Involved were sixth-place Warren, 10th-place Jeff Sampson and 12th-place Aaron Adams.
Back under green, Wertz, again, fashioned a slim edge over DeBolt, then began to ease away. Within a handful of laps, he was up by four car-lengths, while DeBolt had Wyatt, the Edwardses and Jeff Shiflett hot on his trail.
On lap 32, Wyatt took a quick look to the inside of DeBolt in Turn 3, then fell back in line. On the next circuit, he launched a stronger challenge, driving under DeBolt on the backstretch and swiping the second spot off Turn 4. Danny and Greg Edwards followed Wyatt’s lead, taking over the third and fourth positions on lap 34. Shiflett bypassed DeBolt for fifth on lap 35. The exchanges allowed Wertz to pad his lead to six lengths.
Solidly in second, Wyatt pulled away from third-place Danny Edwards and began to narrow the gap between himself and Wertz. By lap 46, the margin had shrunk to three lengths.
The third caution flag came out on lap 63 when Bobby Dean and Billy Fisher both spun in Turn 1, just as they were being overtaken by Wertz, who easily avoided the incident. Wyatt also steered clear of the mess, taking to the high side of the track.
Back under way, Wertz opened a 2-1/2-length lead over Wyatt, who had a mirror-full of Danny Edwards. By lap 68, Wertz had stretched his lead to five car-lengths and appeared to be on the way to a relatively easy win.
The leaders were on what should have been their final circuit when the fourth, and final, yellow flag was displayed. With 74 laps completed, the field gathered for a “green-white-checkered” sprint, meaning that the event would run one lap past the scheduled 75.
On the last restart, Wyatt latched onto Wertz’s rear bumper and pushed him all the way to Turns 1 and 2. Coming off the second corner, though, Wertz pulled out to a two-length advantage and maintained that margin to the finish, winning by 0.408-second over Wyatt. The victory was Wertz’s fourth of the season, tying him with Wyatt for tops in the division.
Danny Edwards tailed the lead duo to the stripe, in third. Greg Edwards was fourth and Shiflett rounded out the top five. Shawn Balluzzo, DeBolt, Fisher and Dean were sixth, seventh, eighth and nint, respectively, the final drivers to complete the entire distance. Robbie Babb was 10th, a lap down.
In Victory Lane after the event, Wertz explained his improvement between qualifying and the race: “We tried to get a little bit better in qualifying today and, actually, just ruined the car. So, we went back over and put everything back like it was last week. We could pop off ohs, ones and twenties (meaning lap times in the 17.0- to 17.2-second range), there at the end, anytime we wanted. There again, like last week, I didn’t even use the car, so I think we’re gonna stick with what we’ve got for a little while.”
Asked about his thoughts heading into the two-lap dash at the end, Wertz said, “All I was thinking was I knew I had ‘em covered, but I figured there was gonna be some trickery on them last couple of green laps, but we did what we had to do and these guys drive pretty clean, so we had a pretty good evening.”
For his part, Wyatt was a tad disappointed with his runner-up outing: “The car just was tight the whole race. I just misinterpreted the car from practice. I should’ve made some changes. I second-guessed myself and bit the bullet, but we’ll get ‘em next week.”
Asked whether his mid-race tussle with DeBolt upset his car at all, Wyatt replied, “Nah, it upset me. He was brake-checking me, so I decided to move him out of the way. If he wants to play games, I’ll play games back.”
Finishing third for the third straight race, Danny Edwards noted a few positive aspects of his performance: “I think we (he and Wyatt) were pretty equal right there at the end, but track position kinda means a lot here and the spin of the wheel gets you in some track position. We were about a third-place car, is the best we were tonight, same as last week. But, we’re working on it. We’re getting it a little bit better. We’re getting it where it’ll stay around at the end of the race and, at least, be in the hunt, so we’re looking for some big improvements.”
In the Late Model standings, Wertz leapfrogged both Greg and Danny Edwards to take over first place with 500 points. Danny is second with 498 and Greg ranks third with 496.
In the evening’s other feature events:
Ricky Derrick took the lead on the eighth circuit and showed the way to his second win of the season in the 50-lap NTELOS Wireless Super Street feature.
Derrick was the fastest qualifier for the race, at 73.454 mph, and started fifth after the inversion. Dennis Nowak started from the pole, flanked by Ritchie German. Dale Parro and points leader Tommy Sweeney occupied Row 2, while Derrick shared Row 3 with J.T. Brown.
On the start, Nowak took the lead, pulling ahead of German off Turn 2. Parro and Sweeney remained door-to-door, while Derrick and Brown waited for a lane to open. On the second circuit, Parro cleared Sweeney and Derrick and Brown tagged along, dropping Sweeney to sixth place.
Derrick went after Parro on the backstretch on lap 4 and gained the third spot off the fourth corner, bringing Brown with him. He continued his march to the front on lap 6, grabbing second place from German. Brown and Parro moved around German a lap later.
Derrick quickly tracked down Nowak and took the lead on the backstretch on lap 8. After only one circuit, he already held an advantage of nearly four lengths. Also, on lap 9, Parro regained the third position from Brown.
Parro moved up to second on lap 14, slipping past Nowak. Brown tagged along and picked up third. On lap 15, Brown made a bid for the runner-up spot, but was forced back in line by a slower car. While all of this was going on, Derrick was cruising with a half-straightaway lead.
Sweeney moved back into the top five on lap 18, scooting past German. He took fourth from Nowak on lap 24.
Derrick was maintaining his half-straightaway edge when Brown’s engine erupted in a plume of white smoke on lap 44, prompting the race’s only caution flag. Lining up for the restart, Derrick was separated from second-place Parro by German, who had gone a lap down.
Back under green, Derrick darted away as Parro struggled to clear German. He finally broke free as he exited Turn 4 to complete lap 44. By then, however, Derrick enjoyed a five-length cushion.
At the finish, Derrick was the winner by 1.699 seconds. Parro was second for the fourth straight race, while Sweeney and Nowak were third and fourth, in that order. German was fifth, a lap behind the leaders.
Cameron Patrick led all 25 circuits to claim his second straight victory, and third overall, in the Cook’s Moving Service INEX Legends feature.
Patrick paced the afternoon qualifying session, at 77.481 mph, then dialed up a “0” on the inversion wheel, allowing him to keep the pole position for the start. Ryan Crites started on the outside of Row 1, while Rette Causey and Don McLaughlin made up Row 2.
As the race got going, Patrick pulled into the lead, powering ahead of Crites into Turn 1 on the opening lap. Causey and McLaughlin moved up to second and third, respectively, dropping Crites to fourth.
On lap 5, McLaughlin drove under Causey in Turn 1 and grabbed clear-cut command of the runner-up spot at the end of the backstretch. Crites passed Causey to advance to third on lap 6. The shuffling allowed Patrick to stretch his lead to almost half a straightaway.
Nick Smith, who started last in the 19-car field, broke into the top five on lap 15. Jeremy Cook had qualified Smith’s #12 car in the fifth position, but gave way to Smith for the race, returning to his #26 ride and dropping to the 18th starting spot.
Nearing the finish, Patrick held a sizable advantage over McLaughlin, Crites and Causey, who were running nose-to-tail. Smith was nearly half a straightaway behind Causey and in need of a friendly caution flag.
The yellow flag remained hidden, however, as Patrick wrapped up the caution-free event with a 0.9470-second win. McLaughlin, Crites, Causey and Smith completed the top five, while Cook came home in sixth.
In the evening’s final event, a 50-lapper for the Rolling Thunder Modified tour, Thomas Stinson led all the way from the pole to complete a sweep of the series’ two Langley Speedway races. He was also victorious on May 13.
Stinson led qualifying for the race, circling the track at 85.175 mph. As he would later point out, he has been the fastest qualifier for the bulk of the tour events, but usually gets bumped back on the grid by the inversion. This time, though, he got to stay on the pole for the start.
Buster Horne was second-quickest in time trials and lined up to Stinson’s outside. Buddy Emory and A.J. Winstead occupied Row 2, while Rusty Wood and Irvin Bell were in Row 3.
As the green flag was displayed, Stinson motored out front. Emory slipped ahead of Horne to take over second. Horne settled into third, followed by Wood and Winstead.
Wood snagged the third spot from Horne on lap 5. Winstead tried to follow suit, but Horne held him off. At the front, Stinson and Emory were staging a breakaway from the pack. By lap 10, the gap between Emory and Wood had grown to nearly half a straightaway.
Caution flags appeared on laps 21 and 22, bunching the field. Setting the lineup, Stinson, Emory, Wood, Horne and Winstead held down the top five slots.
Back under green, Stinson forged a narrow margin over Emory, then began to ease away. Within a couple laps, he had constructed a three-length advantage. Deeper in the field, Winstead bypassed Horne for fourth place on lap 25.
The third yellow flag appeared on lap 29 as Wood, under pressure from Winstead, went spinning off Turn 2.
As the race resumed, Stinson, once more, began to cruise away, while new fifth-place runner Doug Paasch moved up to challenge Horne for fourth. Paasch took the spot on lap 30 and opened the lane for T.J. Guthrie, Bell and David Wheeler, kicking Horne back to eighth. Horne gathered himself and retook seventh from Wheeler on lap 33.
At lap 41, Stinson enjoyed a half-straightaway lead over Emory. That edge vanished, though, as the last of the race’s four yellow flags flew for Robert Conner’s mishap in the middle of Turns 3 and 4. Lining up for the last restart, Stinson, Emory, Winstead, Paasch and Guthrie made up the top five.
Under green for the last time, Emory stayed with Stinson until they hit the backstretch and Stinson pulled away. Emory refused to give in, though, narrowing the gap in the closing circuits.
Exiting Turn 4 on lap 47, Emory bobbled slightly, allowing Stinson to widen his margin to three car-lengths. It was all Stinson needed as he maintained that advantage to the finish, winning by 0.600-second over Emory.
Winstead was third to the line, fighting off Paasch’s last-lap bid for the position. Guthrie came home in fourth, while Paasch slipped to fifth at the end.
• • •
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Daughtrey
Home: (757) 657-6741
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NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Saturday, July 8, 2006
CROSSROADS FUEL SERVICE/
SUNOCO DEALERS LATE MODELS - 76* laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (40) Mark Wertz, 76
2. (29) Casey Wyatt, 76
3. (26) Danny Edwards, 76
4. (27) Greg Edwards, 76
5. (01) Jeff Shiflett, 76
6. (48) Shawn Balluzzo, 76
7. (34) Paul DeBolt, 76
8. (28) Billy Fisher, 76
9. (03) Bobby Dean, 76
10. (44) Robbie Babb, 75
11. (08) Douglas Crigger, 75
12. (45) Doug Warren, 74
13. (02) Chris Munger, 72
14. (7) Dude Gibbs, 56
15. (53) Troy Hutcheson, 46
16. (81) Brian Carter, 20
17. (21) Anthony Warren, 19
18. (8) Jeff Sampson, 19
19. (6) Aaron Adams, 19
20. (1) Greg Burgess, 19
21. (12) Ross Clements, 15
Pole: Wertz -
Top 6 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: G. Edwards -
* Due to a late caution flag, the
race was extended from 75 to 76
laps to provide a “green-white-
SUPER STREETS - 50 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (0) Ricky Derrick, 50
2. (15) Dale Parro, 50
3. (11) Tommy Sweeney, 50
4. (18) Dennis Nowak, 50
5. (10) Ritchie German, 49
6. (58) Doug Woodyard, 49
7. (86) Jessica Wood, 49
8. (2) Rod Busitzky, 49
9. (39) Garrett Willcox, 47
10. (9) Dennis Nagle, 45
11. (29) J.T. Brown, 43
12. (41) Richard Ellis, 7
13. (5) Jason Langley, 5
Pole: Nowak -
Top 5 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Derrick -
COOK'S MOVING SERVICE
INEX LEGENDS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (20) Cameron Patrick, 25
2. (21) Don McLaughlin, 25
3. (00) Ryan Crites, 25
4. (33) Rette Causey, 25
5. (12) Nick Smith, 25
6. (26) Jeremy Cook, 25
7. (9) Steve Causey, 25
8. (88) Kerry Gilbert, 25
9. (8) Jamie Price, 25
10. (22) Brian May, 25
11. (17) Brad Hancock, 25
12. (5) Kyle Hendershott, 25
13. (25) Dale Blankenship, 25
14. (99) Sparky West, 25
15. (54) Matt Mullins, 25
16. (16) Chris Peterson, 24
17. (39) Toby Davis, 24
18. (11) Chris Lemonds, 3
19. (3) Mike Conley, 2
Pole: Patrick -
Fast Qualifier: Patrick -
ROLLING THUNDER MODIFIEDS - 50 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (4) Thomas Stinson, 50
2. (44) Buddy Emory, 50
3. (99) A.J. Winstead, 50
4. (46) T.J. Guthrie, 50
5. (2) Doug Paasch, 50
6. (6) Buster Horne, 50
7. (11) Irvin Bell, 50
8. (27) David Wheeler, 50
9. (14) Wayne Hartley, 50
10. (69) Rusty Wood, 50
11. (42) Chris Hoylman, 50
12. (19) Kyle Wood, 50
13. (72) Robert Conner, 40
14. (7) Tom Collier, 37
15. (12) Tim Maxey, 24
16. (91) Dean Slappey, 19
17. (21) Ryan Wilbourne, 19
Pole: Stinson -
Fast Qualifier: Stinson -
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