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Langley Speedway News
Toyota Night at the Races Race Report Saturday, April 21, 2007
Apr 22, 2007 - updated Apr 22nd, 2007 8:53am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway
Danny Edwards took the lead on lap 73 and motored to his first victory of the season in the Toyota 100 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Models, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Mark Wertz set the fast time in qualifying for the race, touring Langley’s .395-mile oval at 88.279 mph. Danny Edwards was second-quickest and shared the front row with Wertz. Jeff Shiflett and Anthony Warren made up Row 2, while Greg Edwards and Aaron Adams occupied Row 3.
The event got off to an inauspicious start as trouble broke out in Turn 1 on the initial circuit. Dean Shiflett, making the transition from Grand Stocks to Late Models in ‘07, spun and collected Robbie Babb. After an extended stay in the pits, Shiflett returned to action. Babb, however, was sidelined for the night.
On the second try at a start, Wertz beat Danny Edwards into the first corner and grabbed the lead. Edwards settled into second, followed by Warren, Greg Edwards and Shiflett.
The running order at the front remained unchanged until lap 15 when Warren slowed on the backstretch. He eventually got back up to speed, but not before falling to ninth place. Meanwhile, Wertz was nursing a two-length lead over Danny Edwards as he approached a pack of slower cars. Behind them, Greg Edwards had gotten bottled up by in traffic and trailed the lead duo by nearly a straightaway.
The second yellow flag appeared on lap 33 when Shawn Balluzzo looped his car in Turn 4. Gathering for the restart, Wertz and Danny Edwards were separated from third-place Greg Edwards by one lapped car.
Back under green, Wertz and Danny Edwards broke away in nose-to-tail formation. Greg Edwards quickly cleared the slower car and rode three lengths behind his older brother.
On lap 36, Danny Edwards poked a fender to the inside of Wertz off Turn 4. Reaching the other end of the Speedway, Edwards drew alongside the leader, who gave him the bottom lane. Keeping his car wound up on the outside, Wertz managed to hold off Danny Edwards until the very end of lap 39 when Edwards nosed ahead at the stripe.
Before the 39th lap was officially in the books, however, the third yellow flag waved as Balluzzo continued to have problems off the fourth turn. Scoring reverted to lap 38 and Wertz was placed ahead of Danny Edwards as the field circulated slowly under caution.
On the restart, Wertz and the Edwards brothers took off bumper-to-bumper, opening a one-length gap over fourth-place Jeff Shiflett.
Danny Edwards mustered his second serious challenge for the lead on lap 41, again driving under Wertz in Turn 4. A couple laps later, a lapped car forced Edwards to abandon the bid and Wertz scooted out to a two-length advantage.
Caution #4 appeared on lap 44 when Ross Clements spun in Turn 2.
Back under green, Wertz fashioned a two-car-length edge over Danny Edwards, while Jeff Shiflett moved up to challenge Greg Edwards for third place. Nearing the halfway mark, Wertz suddenly widened his lead to four lengths. Danny Edwards, however, gobbled up the ground and was soon right back on the leader’s rear bumper.
The fifth caution flag flew on lap 59 when Adams, who was running fifth, slowed on the backstretch and ground to a halt in Turn 4.
The last of the race’s six yellow flags came out on lap 65 when Dean Shiflett and Scott Roser tangled and spun in Turn 3. Setting the lineup, Wertz maintained the lead, followed by Danny and Greg Edwards. Jeff Shiflett was fourth and Gary Weeks completed the top five.
As the race resumed, Wertz and Edwardses broke away from the pack. Within a couple laps, Wertz had managed a four-length lead. Behind them, Warren was hounding Weeks for fifth place. He took the spot on lap 69.
At the front, Danny Edwards had closed to within a car-length of Wertz and was hunting for an opening.
Edwards found that opening on lap 73, powering under Wertz in Turn 2 and gaining the clear-cut edge off Turn 4. By lap 75, he was up by two car-lengths. Wertz tried to rally back to the top spot on lap 80, but found a lapped machine in his path. He dropped in line as Danny Edwards increased his lead to three lengths.
As Danny Edwards began to set sail, Greg Edwards was looming larger in Wertz’s mirror. Wertz gave up the runner-up position to Greg Edwards on lap 88. The exchange allowed Danny Edwards to pad his lead to almost half a straightaway.
Over the remaining circuits, Greg Edwards was able to chop significantly into his brother’s lead. He simply ran out of laps, though, as Danny Edwards held on to win by 0.548-second — about three lengths. Wertz was third, followed by Jeff Shiflett and Warren.
Balluzzo recovered from his fourth-turn miscues to take sixth. Weeks was seventh, while Jeff Sampson and Mark Claar were eighth and ninth, the final drivers to complete the entire distance. Albert Falk finished in 10th place, a lap off the pace.
In Victory Lane following the race, Danny Edwards talked about his team’s efforts and his struggle to gain the lead: “The guys on this team have been working awful hard, trying to get this new car sorted out and it was definitely a lot better this week, so the results showed. It was a tough race out there, trying to race everybody out here, it’s a lot of competition. We had a good car. We just had a hard time getting to the front and, once we got to the front, we were able to take it easy a little bit. Right there at the end, I could see my brother was back there coming. We started getting a little free, but we had a big enough distance on him to hold him off, so I’m just happy to get this out of the way, get this first victory of the year for us.”
Second-place Greg Edwards could only bemoan the flury of yellow flags that he felt hurt his chances to score a second straight win: “Our car really needed a lot of laps tonight and, unfortunately, the way the race went, it looked like a lot of people were having bad luck and getting in crashes. Every time I’d get going, somebody would spin out or they’d have a problem. We missed the setup tonight. Last week, we were right on it and we really haven’t changed a lot, but these things act mysterious sometimes. You just don’t know. You can get a set of tires or circumstances on the track can be different, but the car definitely wasn’t as good as it was last week, but I think, if we could’ve had a long run, we might’ve given Danny a run.”
Third-place Wertz was asked about his suspicion that he may have had a tire going down near the end: “I just didn’t clean ‘em up good. You run through the stuff up top and you get going good and it feels like there’s a flat tire back there. But that wasn’t the issue. Them two boys up there had better cars than we did tonight and we just got beat.”
In the evening’s other feature events:
In the 40-lap season opener for the Super 8 Motels/Dunkum’s Machine Shop Grand Stocks, Brandon Hinson took the lead for good on lap 20, then held on down the stretch to pick up the win.
Hinson was fastest in afternoon time trials, shaving four-hundredths of a second off his own division record, which was set last September. He clocked in at 79.018 mph, turning the division’s first-ever sub-18-second lap. David Gray started second, while Ricky Derrick, Jason Leftwich and Danny Harrell lined up third, fourth and fifth on the grid.
As the race got under way, Hinson jumped into the lead, bringing Derrick with him and dropping Gray to third place. By lap 3, the lead duo had put four car-lengths between themselves and the third-place runner.
On lap 7, Paul Lubno, who started seventh, moved past Harrell to take over the fourth spot. Leftwich took advantage of the opening and moved up to fifth. Chris Roberts tried to follow, but Harrell slammed the door on his advance.
At the front, Hinson found himself in a awkward spot on lap 10, trapped behind the slower car of Rich Nichols. Derrick seized the opportunity and grabbed the lead off Turn 4. By lap 13, he had pulled off by half a straightaway.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 20 when Nichols spun to the infield off Turn 2.
Back under green, Derrick suddenly slowed at the end of the back straightaway, white smoke belching from beneath his car as Hinson flashed past. Derrick, who later reported a transmission malfunction, managed to right the ship, but only after he’d fallen to seventh place.
Gathering himself, Derrick picked off Harrell for sixth on lap 23 and gained another spot when Leftwich fell by the wayside on lap 24.
The second, and final, yellow flag was unfurled on lap 28 when Dale Parro spun in the middle of Turns 3 and 4. Setting the top five, Hinson was out front, followed by Gray, Lubno, Roberts and Derrick.
As the race resumed, Hinson leaped out to a three-length lead, while Derrick bypassed Roberts for fourth. Continuing his march back to the front, Derrick got around Lubno for third on lap 31, then overhauled Gray for second on lap 35. Hinson maintained that three-length lead, but Derrick was closing in a hurry.
Derrick caught up to Hinson on the final lap and ducked low off the last corner in a bid for the win. He was only able to get his front bumper to the inside of the leader, however, as Hinson fought him off to win by 0.170-second — a single car-length. Gray was third, followed by Lubno and Roberts.
After closing the 2006 season with a victory in the Inaugural Virginia State UCAR Championship race, Kevin Alves was able to carry that momentum into the new campaign as he led from pole to checkers to win the 25-lap ‘07 opener for the E-Z Auto Rental UCARs.
In time trials, Alves qualified at 70.149 mph to take the pole. Matt Hockaday was second-quickest and shared the front row with Alves. Jamie Sample, Chris Hildebrand and ‘06 division champ Randy Prillaman were third, fourth and fifth, in that order.
When the race got going, Alves motored into the lead, leaving Hockaday to battle with Sample. The two swapped the spot twice in the first three laps, paused for the race’s only caution flag (at lap 4), then traded the position two more times before Hockaday got the upper hand for good on lap 6. The scuffle allowed Alves to open a five-length lead.
Passing the halfway mark, Alves had extended his advantage to half a straightaway over Hockaday. Another full straightaway separated Hockaday from Sample, who was feeling pressure from Prillaman.
Prillaman took third place from Sample on lap 17 and Dusty Conner moved up to challenge Sample for fourth, launching a tussle that would last ‘til the checkers.
At the finish, Alves was the winner by 2.354 seconds — half a straightaway — over Hockaday. Prillaman was third, while Sample fended off Conner for fourth.
Conner may have been so intent on taking fourth from Sample that he didn’t notice Robert Rusinyak sneaking up on him on lap 25. Exiting the final corner, Rusinyak planted his car in the bottom groove and beat Conner back to the line to snag a fifth-place finish.
Working in concert with her brother Jeffrey, Kelly Johnson picked up a victory in the A/C Mechanical Services/Steadfast Security & Investigations MACKA Champ Kart race. Due to three early caution periods, which raised concerns about whether the karts would have enough fuel onboard to complete the scheduled 20-lap distance, the event was trimmed from 20 to 18 circuits.
Chris Johnson drew the pole for the start, but gave way to his front row partner, Robert Peach, on the opening lap. With drafting help from Alan Purser and Gabe Salisbury, Peach led lap 1. On the second circuit, his drafting partners abandoned him on the backstretch and motored on by, dropping him to third.
The first caution flag appeared on lap 4, followed by another on the ensuing restart. In the meantime, the Johnson siblings, who started last (Kelly) and next-to-last (Jeffrey) in the 21-kart field, had moved up to eighth and ninth with Kelly showing the way.
Back under green, the Johnsons received some additional assistance in the form of Bill Dailey, who helped push the twosome up to fourth and fifth by lap 7.
The third, and final, caution flag appeared on lap 9.
As the race resumed, Kelly and Jeffrey Johnson looked to the outside of Purser, Salisbury and Peach in Turn 1. The move didn’t pay off, though, and they both lost two positions. Once more, Dailey came to the rescue, joining the Johnsons in a three-kart draft that carried them up to the third and fourth spots.
Continuing the surge, Kelly and Jeffrey Johnson bypassed Purser and Salisbury on lap 13 to take over the top two spots, while Dailey slipped back to seventh.
Nearing the finish, it seemed that the Johnsons were sitting ducks as Purser, Salisbury, Chris Johnson and Darek McCauley were lined up behind them and ready to strike.
Coming to the white flag, though, a slower kart in the bottom lane caused a momentary disruption among the four pursuers. As they scattered, the Johnsons were able to open some breathing room. For Purser, Salisbury, Chris Johnson and McCauley, there wasn’t enough time to get the draft reorganized as the Johnsons steered toward the checkers.
At the finish, sister and brother were bumper-to-bumper. Kelly Johnson’s official margin of victory was a miniscule 0.071-second over Jeffrey Johnson. Salisbury was third, slipping by Purser on the final circuit. Purser and Chris Johnson rounded out the top five.
Jeff Sampson scored his second straight victory in a 10-lap trophy dash for the Wolf Contracting Wolf Trucks, taking the lead on lap 5.
Sampson, who qualified at 82.694 mph, was scheduled to start on the pole, but was directed to the pits when his transponder failed to register on the scoring monitor during the pace laps. That problem was quickly rectified and he joined the tail of the field for the initial green flag.
Randy Bradsher grabbed the lead from Michael Farmer at the end of lap 1 and paced the first four circuits. Sampson slipped by Farmer on lap 2 and quickly set off after the leader.
Sampson picked off Bradsher for the top spot with an outside pass off Turn 2 on lap 5. Bradsher continued to battle, but nearly looped his truck in the middle of Turns 1 and 2 on lap 6. He made the save, but lost valuable ground to Sampson.
Over the remaining circuits, Bradsher scrambled to close the gap between himself and Sampson. He made some headway, but ran out of time as Sampson won by 0.559-second — about three lengths. Farmer was third to the line.
• • •
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Daughtrey
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NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Toyota Night at the Races
Saturday, April 21, 2007
LATE MODELS - 100 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (26) Danny Edwards; 100
2. (27) Greg Edwards; 100
3. (40) Mark Wertz; 100
4. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 100
5. (21) Anthony Warren; 100
6. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 100
7. (20) Gary Weeks; 100
8. (8) Jeff Sampson; 100
9. (7) Mark Claar; 100
10. (17) Albert Falk; 99
11. (18) D.J. Valente; 97
12. (00) Scott Roser; 97
13. (1) Greg Burgess; 91
14. (72) David Butler; 81
15. (08) Douglas Crigger; 59
16. (6) Aaron Adams; 58
17. (06) Dean Shiflett; 58
18. (12) Ross Clements; 56
19. (2) Craig Eastep; 42
20. (44) Robbie Babb; 0
21. (11) Kevin Morgan; 0
Pole: Mark Wertz - 88.279 mph.
GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (81) Brandon Hinson; 40
2. (8) Ricky Derrick; 40
3. (43) David Gray; 40
4. (14) Paul Lubno; 40
5. (11) Chris Roberts; 40
6. (95) Danny Harrell; 40
7. (24) Gene Smith; 40
8. (3) Allen Shiflett; 40
9. (17) Chris Barrow; 40
10. (12) George VanGuilder; 40
11. (44) Matt Slye; 40
12. (4) Matthew Waltz; 40
13. (29) Jack Robinson; 39
14. (88) Brandon Ray; 39
15. (5) Robert Ellis; 39
16. (15) Dale Parro; 39
17. (27) Bernie Fairchild; 39
18. (37) Rich Nichols; 37
19. (2) Brian Waters; 36
20. (92) Jason Leftwich; 23
21. (69) Connie Stanley; 18
22. (31) Robert Brandt; 12
23. (75) Jeff Driskill; 7
24. (33) Hank Karwoski; 6
Pole: Brandon Hinson - 79.018 mph.
(NEW DIVISION RECORD)
UCARS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (84) Kevin Alves; 25
2. (68) Matt Hockaday; 25
3. (26) Randy Prillaman; 25
4. (28) Jamie Sample; 25
5. (43) Robert Rusinyak; 25
6. (14) Dusty Conner; 25
7. (22) Donald Reynolds III; 25
8. (15) Randy Sample; 25
9. (8) Don Shumate; 25
10. (7) Buck Munger; 25
11. (25) Robbie Salas; 25
12. (69) Chris Hildebrand; 25
13. (89) Allen Dail; 24
14. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 24
15. (77) Andy Graham; 24
16. (71) Theresa Butler; 24
17. (11) Jason Aukland; 24
18. (2) Michael Waters; 22
19. (29) Matt Bond; 17
20. (64) Sara Langley; 4
Pole: Kevin Alves - 70.149 mph.
MACKA KARTS - 18* laps
Fin. Pos. (Kart #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (14) Kelly Johnson; 18
2. (30) Jeffrey Johnson; 18
3. (95) Gabe Salisbury; 18
4. (59) Alan Purser; 18
5. (36) Chris Johnson; 18
6. (6) Darek McCauley; 18
7. (00) Bill Dailey; 18
8. (28) Robert Peach; 18
9. (96) Alex Vasquez; 18
10. (9) Linwood Harris; 18
11. (55) Ryland Craze; 18
12. (86) Mike Webb; 18
13. (64) Ben Hammock; 18
14. (01) Stan Holmes; 18
15. (27) David Srednicki; 17
16. (8) Leroy Devore; 17
17. (81) Jeremy Grogg; 16
18. (38) Stanley Holmes; 16
19. (69) Warren Smigo; 7
20. (7) Josh Settlage; 6
21. (21) Jason Houck; 3
Pole: C. Johnson - via draw.
* Race trimmed from 20 to 18 laps.
After a couple early caution flags,
officials became concerned about
whether or not, the karts had enough
fuel to complete the entire distance.
WOLF TRUCKS - 10 laps
Fin. Pos. (Truck #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (8) Jeff Sampson; 10
2. (33) Randy Bradsher; 10
3. (9) Michael Farmer; 10
Pole: Jeff Sampson - 82.694 mph.
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