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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
Greg Edwards leads 1-2-3 Dodge sweep on Armed Forces/Nextel Night
May 20, 2007 - updated May 20th, 2007 10:15pm
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, VA. --

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway

Armed Forces Night presented by Nextel Race Report Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hampton, Va. (May 19) — Greg Edwards led the charge as Langley Speedway’s “Dodge Boys” kept the bounty hunters at bay for another week, sweeping the top three positions in the Armed Forces 100 presented by Nextel for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Models, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at the .395-mile oval.
Dodge-driving Mark Wertz set the fast time in afternoon qualifying, turning a lap at 86.760 mph. He started on the outside of Row 3, however, after an inversion of the top six qualifiers.
As the field rolled out for the start, Jeff Sampson and seven-time track champ Phil Warren made up the front row. Greg Edwards and Jeff Shiflett occupied Row 2, while points leader Danny Edwards, the third member of the Mopar triumvirate, and Wertz were in Row 3.
Coming to the initial green flag, Sampson appeared to lose traction off Turn 4. As Warren bolted out ahead of the pack, the fireworks began when the field reached Turn 1 for the first time.
Sampson ended up vaulting across the nose of Shiflett’s machine as cars scattered to try to avoid the incident. Danny Edwards caught a piece of the action and reported to his pit stall, while the rest of the field gathered for a complete restart.
For the second attempt, Greg Edwards replaced Sampson on the pole and immediately jumped into the lead. Anthony Warren tagged along with Edwards, moving into second place and dropping his dad to third.
Just as lap 2 was beginning, trouble broke out in Turn 1 again. Among those ensnared in the second melee were Dean Shiflett, Mitch Sarvis, Aaron Adams, Gary Weeks and Craig Eastep. Shiflett, Sarvis and Weeks were sidelined for the evening, while Adams returned to complete a few more circuits before calling it a night.
Finally getting down to business, Greg Edwards fashioned a two-car-length edge over Anthony Warren, who was tailed closely by Phil Warren and Wertz.
On lap 9, Wertz slipped around Phil Warren on the backstretch to pick up the third position. He continued his march toward the front three laps later, bypassing Anthony Warren for second place in Turns 1 and 2. Within 10 laps, Wertz had run down the leader and began searching for an opening.
On lap 27, Wertz pushed his Charger to the front, ducking under Greg Edwards at the end of the backstretch and completing the pass for the lead off Turn 4. Three laps later, on the 30th circuit, Edwards returned the favor, regaining the top spot in similar fashion.
Deeper in the field, Danny Edwards, who dropped all the way to 15th after the opening-lap fracas, was on the move. He gained the fifth position on lap 12, swiped fourth from Phil Warren on lap 31, then grabbed third from Anthony Warren on lap 34, joining his front-running Dodge compatriots atop the leaderboard.
On lap 44, Wertz drove under Greg Edwards off Turn 2 and pulled ahead at the end of the back straightaway, taking the lead for the second time. By the halfway point, he had opened a half-straightaway advantage as Greg Edwards was briefly stifled by lapped traffic.
Wertz was maintaining a four-length lead when he encountered more slower machines on lap 76. Greg Edwards seized the opportunity and closed right in on his rear bumper.
Before that battle could develop, though, the third, and final, yellow flag appeared. Setting the lineup, Wertz was the leader, followed by Greg Edwards, Danny Edwards, Anthony Warren and Phil Warren.
Back under green, the three Dodges broke away from the pack. Within two circuits, they had opened a half-straightaway margin over the Warrens.
Greg Edwards launched a bid for the lead on lap 83, poking a fender to the inside of Wertz in Turn 4. Wertz hung onto the top spot until lap 86 when Edwards gained a half-length advantage at the stripe. Edwards cleared Wertz through Turns 1 and 2 on the next circuit and began to ease away.
A top-five outing for Anthony Warren went by the boards when he slowed on lap 89. He made his way to the pits two laps later, received service and returned to finish out the event. Phil Warren, meanwhile, ceded the fourth spot to Balluzzo on lap 96.
With the laps winding down, Wertz tried to stage a rally, pulling to within two car-lengths of Greg Edwards. He would get no closer, though, as Edwards rolled on to his second victory, winning by 0.662-second. Danny Edwards was third, while Balluzzo and Phil Warren completed the top five.
Eastep was sixth, the final driver to complete the entire distance. Sampson recovered from his race-opening adventure to finish seventh, while Ron Blackburn, Ross Clements and Anthony Warren rounded out the top 10.
In Victory Lane after the race, Greg Edwards commented on his battle with Wertz: “Oh, man, it’s great to be here! It is a total joy to be able to race with somebody like Wertz like that. I mean, both our cars were sliding around. I don’t know if somebody was putting off some rear-end grease or what, but we all had our hands full. I really didn’t want to lead most of the race ‘cause when he’d get behind me, for whatever reason, my car’d be real loose. I think we timed it just right with that caution and got behind him and freed him up real good. Thank God we got this thing back in Victory Lane. That first lap looked a little hairy.”
Runner-up Wertz also commented on the track conditions: “I had a great race car and got out there and decided to go on and run on with it and, then, caught that bunch of cars and... Some of these guys need to go home and put oil seals in the rear-ends and stuff like that ‘cause it’s hard to race in gear oil. But, we’ll take what we can get. We had a bad week last week, come back and rebuilt the car, sat on the pole tonight and run good like this, so business as usual... Dodge, Dodge, Dodge.”
For his part third-place Danny Edwards was a bit miffed to have gotten caught up in the early wreck: “The bad thing is, we shouldn’t have been there. I guess we were the victim of the silly redraw this week. But, anyway, the guys on this team did a great job, getting it put back together well enough for us to get out there and make up some ground and save a points night there. We are running for points here, so I thought that could have been the end of our night right there, but, luckily enough, the guys on this team hung in there and made sure we got it all back together the best we possibly could.”
Through the season’s first five events, “The Dodge Boys” have claimed all five wins (two for Greg Edwards, two for Danny Edwards, one for Wertz) and one of the three has been in the lead for every lap of every race. The bounty for the first non-Dodge driver who can break the stranglehold, which began at $600 (posted by two anonymous fans), has now grown to $1,000 and will be on the line again next Saturday night.

In the evening’s other feature events:

Steve Dill got the better of a late-race slugfest with Ritchie German and collected his first win of the season in the 50-lap Med Express Urgent Care Super Street feature.
German was the pole-sitter for the event, reeling off a qualifying lap at 75.630 mph to break his own division record. Tommy Sweeney started alongside German on the front row, while Randy Akers and Dill occupied Row 2.
As the race got under way, German jumped into the lead. Sweeney settled into second, followed by Akers and Dill. Dill muscled his way past Akers for third on lap 2 and bypassed Sweeney for second on lap 8, just ahead of the first yellow flag.
When the race resumed, German and Dill broke away from the pack. By lap 20, they were a straightaway ahead of third-place Sweeney.
After shadowing German for many circuits, Dill went for the top spot on lap 35, using a lapped machine to scoot past German. He showed the way until lap 40 when German employed a similar tactic to regain the lead.
On lap 41, Dill was back out front and he began to pull away, opening a four-length margin over German as the laps wound down.
The second, and final, caution flag bunched the field on lap 46, though, setting up a wild dash to the checkers.
Back under green, German immediately went on the attack, forcing his way past Dill in Turns 3 and 4. His stay at the front was short-lived as Dill battled back into the lead on lap 48.
On lap 49, Dill and German made contact in Turn 2 and Dill nearly lost control. Instead of delivering the knockout blow, German allowed Dill to get straightened up and the duel continued.
At the finish, and after five lead changes in the last 15 laps, Dill was the winner by 0.466-second — about two lengths — over German. Sweeney was third, followed by Akers and Jason Moore, who nipped Jessica Wood at the line for fifth.

Craig Firman started on the pole, at 73.928 mph, and led all 25 laps to score his second win in as many races for the Cook’s Moving Service Super Trucks.
Justin Ballo shared the front row with Firman and held down the runner-up spot throughout the contest, which was slowed by only one caution flag, at lap 22.
Lining up for the only restart, a lapped truck separated Firman and Ballo and Firman took full advantage of the situation, darting away by four lengths as Ballo struggled to dispense with the slower vehicle.
At the finish, Firman was the winner by 1.462 seconds — almost half a straightaway. Ballo was second, while Bill Mullis, Tommy Nixon and Evan VanLeeuwen completed the top five.

Starting eighth, his “reward” for winning the two previous events, Kevin Alves moved out front on lap 24 and rolled to his third straight victory in a 25-lapper for the E-Z Auto Rental UCARs.
Matt Hockaday was the fast qualifier for the event, at 69.733 mph, and held sway for the first 23 circuits as Alves made his way toward the front.
By lap 4, Alves had cracked the top five. He moved up to fourth on lap 9 and captured third two laps later. He gained the runner-up spot on lap 15 when Dusty Connor and his right-front wheel had a parting of the ways in Turn 2.
Stationed on Hockaday’s bumper for the ensuing restart, Alves gave up three car-lengths when the green flag reappeared. He quickly made up the lost ground, though, and went after the top spot off Turn 4 on lap 23. Drawing even along the frontstretch, he completed the pass through Turns 1 and 2 on lap 24.
At the checkers, Alves was the winner by 0.530-second — a couple car-lengths — over Hockaday, who settled for his third straight runner-up finish. Randy Prillaman, Chris Hildebrand and Robert Rusinyak tailed the lead duo to the stripe.

Tim Layne notched the win in the Pro 6 Series feature, which was trimmed from 25 laps to 20 after a lengthy red-flag delay.
Longtime Langley veteran Bill Mullis started from the pole, setting a new qualifying record for the division — 81.308 mph. Casey Sipe lined up alongside Mullis on Row 1.
As the race got going, Mullis pulled ahead, while Sipe failed to come up to speed, dropping to fourth before righting the ship.
Layne, who started third, moved up to second on the opening lap and stalked Mullis until lap 15 when he took command of the event, bringing D.J. Watson along with him. Sipe bypassed Mullis on lap 16 to take third.
Working lap 17, Mullis suddenly slowed on backstretch as his driveshaft rattled loose and rolled to rest near the Turn 3 wall. Mullis’ arm was injured as the mechanical mishap was unfolding and the race was halted to allow an ambulance to enter the infield.
During the red-flag period, officials decided to end the race at 20 laps.
Back under green, with four to go, Layne managed a slim margin over Watson, who had a mirror-full of Sipe. Sipe snagged the runner-up spot on lap 18. During the exchange, Layne increased his margin to three lengths, but Sipe was on the charge.
At the end, Sipe came up a car-length short as Layne held on for the win. Watson was third to the line, followed by Wayne Clark and Warren Smigo.
More details on Mullis’ condition will be released as they become known.

Armed Forces Night presented by Nextel
Race Results
Saturday, May 19, 2007

LATE MODELS - 100 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (27) Greg Edwards; 100
2. (40) Mark Wertz; 100
3. (26) Danny Edwards; 100
4. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 100
5. (47) Phil Warren; 100
6. (2) Craig Eastep; 100
7. (8) Jeff Sampson; 99
8. (71) Ron Blackburn; 97
9. (12) Ross Clements; 97
10. (21) Anthony Warren; 95
11. (72) David Butler; 89
12. (17) Albert Falk; 80
13. (67) Bobby Spivey; 20
14. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 16
15. (6) Aaron Adams; 7
16. (01) Dean Shiflett; 1
17. (20) Gary Weeks; 1
18. (88) Mitch Sarvis; 1
Pole: Sampson - Top 6 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Wertz - 86.760 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (3) Steve Dill; 50
2. (10) Ritchie German; 50
3. (11) Tommy Sweeney; 50
4. (21) Randy Akers; 50
5. (5) Jason Moore; 50
6. (86) Jessica Wood; 50
7. (81) Jeff Shannon; 49
8. (54) Jason Langley; 49
9. (58) Doug Woodyard; 49
10. (12) Sean Calway; 49
11. (2) Rod Busitzky; 49
12. (18) Dennis Nowak; 48
13. (41) Richard Ellis; 47
14. (8) Dennis Nagle; 47
15. (09) Harry VanGuilder; 47
16. (26) Mickey Evans; 46
17. (7) Mike West; 21
18. (20) Bill Burns; 6
Pole: German - 75.630 mph.

SUPER TRUCKS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Truck #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (5) Craig Firman; 25
2. (55) Justin Ballo; 25
3. (33) Bill Mullis; 25
4. (8) Tommy Nixon; 25
5. (01) Evan VanLeeuwen; 25
6. (15) Hugo Belfiore; 25
7. (10) Robbie Davis; 25
8. (77) John McDonald; 24
9. (11) Tommy Fleck; 24
10. (44) Ashley Mullis; 24
11. (14) Debbie Biesecker; 23
12. (96) John Hollis; 20
Pole: Firman - 73.928 mph.

UCARS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (84) Kevin Alves; 25
2. (68) Mattt Hockaday; 25
3. (26) Randy Prillaman; 25
4. (69) Chris Hildebrand; 25
5. (43) Robert Rusinyak; 25
6. (25) Robbie Salas; 25
7. (28) Jamie Sample; 25
8. (8) Don Shumate; 25
9. (22) Donald Reynolds III; 25
10. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 25
11. (29) Matt Bond; 25
12. (27) Joe Reynolds; 25
13. (71) Theresa Butler; 25
14. (11) Jason Aukland; 25
15. (64) Sara Langley; 25
16. (66) Lauren Edgerton; 25
17. (52) Chris Bechtel; 25
18. (2) Michael Waters; 21
19. (14) Dusty Connor; 14
20. (77) Andy Graham; 13
21. (59) Mike Joyner; 4
Pole: Hockaday - 69.733 mph.

PRO 6 SERIES - 20* laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver
1. (22) Tim Layne; 20
2. (23) Casey Sipe; 20
3. (8) D.J. Watson; 20
4. (21) Wayne Clark; 20
5. (41) Warren Smigo; 20
6. (7) Matt Settlage; 20
7. (14) J.B. Sipe; 20
8. (45) Bill Mullis; 16
Pole: Mullis - 81.308 mph.
* - Race shortened by five laps
after a lengthy red-flag delay.

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