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Langley Speedway News
USG Night Race Report Saturday, July 29, 2006
Jul 30, 2006 - updated Jul 30th, 2006 10:36am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series at Langley Speedway
Mark Wertz took the lead for the sixth, and final, time on the last lap and held on to win the USG 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. The victory was Wertz’s fifth of the season and his second in a 100-lapper.
Wertz was quickest in qualifying for the event, touring the .395-mile oval at 84.137 mph. He got to keep the pole when a “0” was dialed up on the inversion wheel. (In fact, the wheel was so generous that none of Saturday’s fast qualifiers were subjected to an inversion!)
Greg Edwards was second-fastest and lined up to the outside of Wertz, while Danny Edwards and Casey Wyatt made up Row 2. Paul DeBolt and Aaron Adams started in the third row.
As the race got under way, Wertz jumped into the lead. Danny Edwards quickly moved up to fill the void under his brother, Greg, and the Edwardses went door-to-door for a lap with Danny grabbing the advantage down the backstretch on the second circuit.
After a caution flag on lap 4, the field got back to business as Wertz and Danny Edwards opened a two-length gap over third-place Greg Edwards.
Danny Edwards followed in Wertz’s tire tracks until lap 10 when he drove low into Turn 1 and swiped the lead. Greg Edwards tagged along with Danny to take over the second spot. By lap 25, Danny Edwards had pulled away by nearly half a straightaway as Wertz fought to regain the runner-up position.
On lap 30, Wertz ducked under Greg Edwards in Turns 3 and 4. Coming around to complete lap 31, Wertz nosed ahead. They continued side-by-side until lap 33 when Wertz gained the clear-cut edge. Wyatt, gunning for his third 100-lap victory, rushed to cover the open lane under Greg Edwards. Their battle was cut short, though, as Wyatt spun off Turn 2 on lap 34, prompting the second caution flag.
Back under green, Danny Edwards fashioned a two-length lead, while Wertz, Greg Edwards and Jeff Shiflett went nose-to-tail in second, third and fourth. The event was slowed by another yellow flag on lap 38.
As the race resumed, Wertz rolled up on Danny Edwards’ bumper in a bid for the lead. Behind them, Shiflett, who started eighth, zeroed in on Greg Edwards.
Lap 41 wasn’t a good one for the Edwards brothers. Shiflett scooted past Greg off Turn 2 to gain third place, while, at the end of the backstretch, Wertz dove past Danny for the lead. After getting around Greg Edwards, Shiflett quickly closed on the leaders. By lap 47, the top three were bumper-to-bumper.
Danny Edwards launched a bid for the lead on lap 49, poking a fender alongside Wertz in Turn 4. He completed the pass off Turn 2 on lap 50 and brought Shiflett with him, kicking Wertz back to third. Shiflett, though, wasn’t content to ride in Danny Edwards’ wake.
On lap 52, Shiflett motored under Danny Edwards in Turn 2. He grabbed the lead off Turn 4 as Wertz tagged along, moving into second. Within a couple laps, Shiflett had driven away by four lengths.
Caution flags on laps 56 and 57 bunched the field. Setting the running order, Shiflett was the leader, followed by Wertz, Danny Edwards, Greg Edwards and Dude Gibbs, who cracked the top five on lap 51.
Back under way, Wertz shadowed Shiflett until lap 58 when he took the lead for the third time. Again, the third-place runner (this time it was Danny Edwards) was able to take advantage of the lead swap to move into second.
Danny Edwards tried to push his machine back to the front on lap 61, driving under Wertz in Turn 4. The two made contact in Turn 2 on lap 62. Wertz maintained his lead, but Edwards gave way to Shiflett, who scooted past for second.
A lap later, Shiflett went after Wertz for the lead, ducking low as the leaders roared off Turn 4. He cleared Wertz on the backstretch on lap 64 and dashed off to a four-length lead.
As Shiflett would later attest, his car was at its best on longer runs. That scenario wasn’t in the cards, though, as yellow flags flew on laps 71 and 74, putting his pursuers right on his bumper.
On lap 80, Wertz steamed under Shiflett at the end of the backstretch and snagged the top spot off Turn 2 on the next circuit. Danny Edwards followed Wertz’s lead and advanced to second. Caution #8 appeared on lap 85.
On the restart, Wertz and Danny Edwards forged a two-length margin over Shiflett. Coming around to complete lap 86, Danny Edwards ducked under Wertz. Before that tussle could play out, though, the last of the race’s nine caution flags waved.
Under green for the final time, Wertz gained a slim edge over Danny Edwards. He widened the gap to two lengths on lap 89, but Edwards quickly made up the lost ground.
On lap 91, Wertz and Danny Edwards made contact at the start/finish line. A lap later, Edwards drove to the inside of Wertz in Turn 4. Wertz pulled ahead on the backstretch on the 93rd circuit. Exiting Turn 4, though, Edwards was back underneath him.
Digging hard in the bottom lane, Danny Edwards nosed ahead to lead laps 94-97, while Wertz rallied to pace lap 98. The two were locked in a virtual dead heat at the end of lap 99 with the scoring computer giving the nod to Edwards.
On the final lap, Wertz cleared Danny Edwards on the back straightaway — the 11th official lead change. In the final corner, though, Edwards took one last stab at the win, ducking low.
At the checkers, Wertz held on to win by 0.102-second — less than a car-length — over Danny Edwards. Shiflett was third, followed by Greg Edwards and Gibbs, who enjoyed his best run of the year.
Wyatt recovered from his early-race spin to take sixth place, while Anthony Warren, Shawn Balluzzo, Bobby Dean and Mitch Sarvis completed the top 10. Rick Gdovic and Billy Fisher were 11th and 12th, the final drivers on the lead lap at the end.
In Victory Lane after the event, an obviously tuckered Wertz recapped his evening’s work: “Anybody got any oxygen? I’m getting old. I tell ya’ what, I’ve been racing 19 years and, next to Phil Warren and a couple of the guys that aren’t here anymore, that’s one of the best guys you’ll ever race against right there (referring to Danny Edwards). I’ll tell ya’ what, it wore me out. He drove me clean. He coulda took me out anytime he wanted. We both ran each other hard. I’d like to congratulate Jeff Shiflett back there. He’s been working hard all year and he’s finally got his car running good. He drove me clean, too. I never thought for a minute we had anything tonight. It was a crapshoot and it was a matter of who could get out front and just hold it.”
Asked about the abundance of position changes at the front, runner-up Danny Edwards pointed to the tires: “There was a lot of side-by-side and a lot of passing. These tires, I’ll tell ya’ what, they’re awful slippery and we can’t go very fast, but they seem to be pretty exciting. I told my guys it was kinda fun at a point in the race, but, there at the end, it was getting a little tough and we were slipping and sliding. I congratulate Mark. It was a tough battle. We were back and forth and, hey, it coulda been anybody’s. We’ve ended races like that several times in the last few years, side-by-side, coming across the stripe and it was his turn to get one this time. I thought we were gonna be able to get him. We were leading him back to the line most of the time and, on that last lap, I just couldn’t get that drive.”
While he was pleased to have played such a prominent role in the lead group, Shiflett, as noted earlier, lamented the late cautions: “That was a good race. It really was. Unfortunate for all the cautions ‘cause my car was good on the long run. If we coulda stayed caution-free, I think I coulda won it, but we’ll settle for a third. Car was running really good. Danny and Mark, they were quicker on the restarts and, after I got about 10 laps under me, I could chase ‘em down. But, it’s kinda hard to pass ‘em when they’re side-by-side for the last lap. We’ll be back to get us a win. It’s gonna happen yet. We just need a little more luck.”
In the division standings, Wertz holds a two-point edge over Danny Edwards, 598-596. Greg Edwards is third with 586, while Shiflett and Wyatt are fourth and fifth with 544 and 536, respectively.
In the evening’s other feature events:
In the 40-lap Super 8 Motels/Dunkum’s Machine Shop Grand Stock race, Ricky Derrick rebounded from a disqualification on July 15 to bag his fifth victory of the year in flag-to-flag style.
Derrick set the fast time in qualifying, at 78.239 mph, and shared the front row with Dean Shiflett, the ‘05 champ and current points leader.
At the drop of the green flag, Derrick and Shiflett remained door-to-door until they reached Turn 4. At that point, Derrick powered out front, leaving an open lane for Brandon Hinson, who drove under Shiflett and moved into second. Stuck on the outside, Shiflett dropped another position on lap 3, giving way to Jammie Goode.
On lap 4, Shiflett finally found a place in line and began to march back toward the front, retaking third from Goode. He had passed Hinson for second on lap 8, but saw the move negated by a caution flag. That yellow was quickly followed by another at lap 10.
Back under green, Shiflett went back to work on Hinson, grabbing the second spot on lap 15. In the meantime, though, Derrick was steadily pulling away from the pack. When the third caution flag waved, at lap 26, he was up by better than half a straightaway.
During that caution period, second-place Shiflett and fourth-place Goode both made the turn onto the pit lane. Shiflett’s crew diagnosed a problem with his water pump, made repairs and returned him to the fray for the restart. Goode, though, wasn’t as fortunate, retiring to a 22nd-place finish.
With Shiflett buried deep in the field and Goode on the sidelines, Derrick was able to enjoy a fairly carefree run to the checkers. He easily held Hinson at bay on restarts at laps 26, 33 and 38 and won by 0.739-second — about three lengths.
David Gray tailed Derrick and Hinson to the line, in third, followed by Danny Harrell and Ryan Nester, who collected his first top-five finish of the year. Shiflett clawed his way from the rear of the field to salvage a sixth-place finish and hang onto a 350-346 lead over Derrick in the standings.
Longtime Langley veteran Bill Mullis made his first start of the year in the 25-lap Verizon Super Truck feature and blitzed the field, leading from wire-to-wire and snapping Carl Livingston’s four-race winning streak.
After qualifying at 73.462 mph, Mullis started from the pole with Livingston alongside. As the green flag waved, he darted into the lead, leaving Livingston to contend with Justin Ballo. Ballo slipped ahead of Livingston to grab second and held the spot until lap 10 when he gave way to Livingston. By then, Mullis was already up by half a straightaway.
The race’s second, and final, caution flag flew on lap 17 and allowed Livingston to close up on Mullis’ bumper.
Back under green, however, Mullis pulled away by nearly three lengths and kept adding to the margin as Livingston drifted a bit wide off the corners.
At the finish, Mullis was the winner by 1.121 seconds over Livingston. Ballo was third, while Hugo Belfiore and Tommy Nixon were fourth and fifth, in that order.
Mullis’ win shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise. Earlier this year, his winning truck had been driven to two victories and the division qualifying record by Brian Loving.
Randy Prillaman posted his sixth win of the season in the 25-lap E-Z Auto Rental UCAR feature. He started on the pole, at 68.952 mph, and led all the way.
Kevin Alves started third and moved up to second on the opening lap when outside pole-sitter Glenn Healy Jr. faltered. Alves held down the runner-up spot throughout the race, never falling more than a few lengths back.
On lap 22, Alves actually took a run at Prillaman, who was carefully navigating past a slower car. Alves poked a fender to the leader’s inside off Turn 4, but the lapped machine worked to Prillaman’s advantage as Alves was forced back in line.
While Prillaman quickly dispensed with the lapped car, it took Alves a couple more laps to get past. By then, Prillaman had pulled away and was cruising toward the checkers.
At the finish, Prillaman was the winner by 1.119 seconds over Alves. Robbie Davis was third, followed by Dusty Conner, who posted a season-best fourth-place run, and Matt Hockaday.
Casey Sipe was a repeat winner as the touring Pro 6 Series made its second Langley Speedway appearance of the season for a 25-lapper.
J.B. Poates was the pole-sitter, at 79.269 mph, and led the first 20 laps. Sipe, meanwhile, slipped from second to fourth on an early-race restart.
Sipe regained the third position on lap 5, then moved into second on lap 9. Poates, by then, was up by a full straightaway.
Nearing the finish, Poates began to slow noticeably and Sipe closed in. He swept around the outside of Poates on the backstretch to take over the lead on lap 21.
By the finish, Sipe’s winning margin had swelled to almost a full straightaway over Timmy Layne, who bypassed Poates for second on lap 23. Poates nursed his ailing machine home in third, while Wayne Clark and D.J. Watson rounded out the top five.
• • •
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Daughtrey
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NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Saturday, July 29, 2006
CROSSROADS FUEL SERVICE/SUNOCO DEALERS
LATE MODELS - 100 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (40) Mark Wertz, 100
2. (26) Danny Edwards, 100
3. (01) Jeff Shiflett, 100
4. (27) Greg Edwards, 100
5. (7) Dude Gibbs, 100
6. (29) Casey Wyatt, 100
7. (21) Anthony Warren, 100
8. (48) Shawn Balluzzo, 100
9. (03) Bobby Dean, 100
10. (88) Mitch Sarvis, 100
11. (07) Rick Gdovic, 100
12. (28) Billy Fisher, 100
13. (12) Ross Clements, 98
14. (1) Greg Burgess, 97
15. (6) Aaron Adams, 95
16. (34) Paul DeBolt, 76
17. (81) Brian Carter, 66
18. (8) Jeff Sampson, 56
19. (11) Kevin Morgan, 5
Pole: Wertz - None inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Wertz -
SUPER 8 MOTELS/DUNKUM'S MACHINE SHOP
GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (8) Ricky Derrick, 40
2. (81) Brandon Hinson, 40
3. (43) David Gray, 40
4. (95) Danny Harrell, 40
5. (87) Ryan Nester, 40
6. (06) Dean Shiflett, 40
7. (92) Jason Leftwich, 40
8. (24) Gene Smith, 40
9. (44) Matt Slye, 40
10. (12) George VanGuilder, 40
11. (19) Robbie Parker, 40
12. (4) Matthew Waltz, 40
13. (88) Brandon Ray, 40
14. (99) Eric Bell, 40
15. (48) Chris Sullivan, 39
16. (37) Robert Brandt, 39
17. (71) J.R. Smith, 39
18. (69) Connie Stanley, 39
19. (29) Jack Robinson, 38
20. (7) David Seed, 38
21. (96) Harold Stanley, 32
22. (31) Jammie Goode, 24
23. (38) Greg Burgess, 11
24. (5) Robert Ellis, 7
Pole: Derrick - None inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Derrick -
VERIZON SUPER TRUCKS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos., (Truck #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (33) Bill Mullis, 25
2. (89) Carl Livingston, 25
3. (55) Justin Ballo, 25
4. (15) Hugo Belfiore, 25
5. (8) Tommy Nixon, 25
6. (5) Scott Prillaman, 25
7. (16) Thomas Fontaine, 25
8. (77) John McDonald, 25
9. (11) Tommy Fleck, 24
10. (56) Debbie Biesecker, 24
11. (60) Charles Russell, 24
12. (31) Tim Brown, 22
13. (01) Evan VanLeeuwen, 19
14. (25) John Hollis, 8
15. (19) Bill Wallace, 2
Pole: Mullis - None inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Mullis -
E-Z AUTO RENTAL UCARS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (26) Randy Prillaman, 25
2. (84) Kevin Alves, 25
3. (10) Robbie Davis, 25
4. (14) Dusty Conner, 25
5. (68) Matt Hockaday, 25
6. (15) Randy Sample, 25
7. (43) Robert Rusinyak, 25
8. (28) Jamie Sample, 25
9. (4) Glenn Healy Jr., 25
10. (71) Dave Butler, 25
11. (8) Ron Shumate, 25
12. (22) Donald Reynolds III, 25
13. (27) Joe Reynolds, 25
14. (25) Robbie Salas, 24
15. (55) Richard Smith, 24
16. (3) Matt Bond, 24
17. (20) Michael Walters, 24
18. (98) Scott Hafner, 24
19. (7) Buck Munger, 24
20. (40) Pat Ritchie, 22
21. (33) Ben Weldon, 21
22. (92) Albert Anderson, 3
Pole: Prillaman - None inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Prillaman -
PRO 6 SERIES - 25 laps
Fin. Pos., (Car #), Driver, Laps Compl.
1. (23) Casey Sipe, 25
2. (22) Timmy Layne, 25
3. (88) J.B. Poates, 25
4. (21) Wayne Clark, 25
5. (8) D.J. Watson, 25
6. (14) J.B. Sipe, 25
7. (93) Brad Wrenn, 25
8. (7) Josh Settlage, 24
9. (59) Alan Purser, 17
Pole: Poates - None inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Poates -
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