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Langley Speedway News
Danny Edwards wins 4th as Dodges go 1-2-3 in Late Model action
Jun 3, 2007 - updated Jun 3rd, 2007 12:59pm
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway
Whelen Engineering/EMS Night Race Report Saturday, June 2, 2007
Danny Edwards overcame early-race problems to capture his fourth win of the season and the Dodges continued to dominate, sweeping the top three positions in the Whelen Engineering/EMS 75 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, another of the “Dodge Boys,” was fastest in time trials for the event, lapping Langley’s .395-mile oval at 86.161 mph. Earlier in the day, however, he had passed up the mandatory drivers meeting in favor of his son’s baseball game, so he had to start at the rear of the 17-car field.
While Wertz retreated to the back of the pack, Danny Edwards replaced him on the pole. Greg Edwards started alongside his brother on Row 1. A pair of Jeffs — Sampson and Shiflett — made up the second row and Shawn Balluzzo and Mark Claar occupied Row 3.
As the race got under way, Danny Edwards immediately jumped into the lead. Greg Edwards settled in on his rear bumper and they began to pull away from the pack. By lap 8, the front-running Dodges were up by nearly a full straightaway.
Behind them, Shiflett slipped past Sampson for third place on lap 6, making the upper lane work off Turn 2. Wertz, meanwhile, cracked the top 10 on lap 3 and was running eighth when the first caution flag appeared on lap 9.
Back under green, Danny Edwards pulled out to a two-car-length lead. On lap 11, though, he suddenly dropped off the pace on the backstretch and Greg Edwards flashed past.
As Danny Edwards was slowing, the second yellow flag flew for Anthony Warren’s spin between Turns 3 and 4. The caution allowed Danny Edwards to bring his car to the attention of his crew. They replaced a flat right-front tire and sent him back out. After a couple pace laps, he returned to the pits for more work before rejoining the field for the restart.
When the green flag reappeared, Shiflett, the new second-place runner, tried to latch onto Greg Edwards. He succeeded until the field reached Turn 2. At that point, Edwards powered away by three lengths.
Wertz, who moved up to fifth when Danny Edwards and Warren had their problems, was also on the move. He bypassed Sampson for fourth just after the restart, then grabbed third from Balluzzo on lap 12. By lap 20, he was filling Shiflett’s mirror and looking for an opening.
Coming around to complete lap 24, Wertz poked a fender alongside Shiflett off Turn 4. A slower car loomed ahead, but Wertz remained committed to the move, briefly making it three-wide. It left him with an awkward angle of entry into Turn 1, though, and he looped his car to bring out caution #3.
Setting the running order, Greg Edwards was out front, followed by Shiflett, Balluzzo and Danny Edwards, who had moved back up to fourth.
On the restart, Danny Edwards overhauled Balluzzo down the backstretch to take over third. The green-flag run didn’t last long, however, as Albert Falk smacked the Turn 3 wall on lap 27, prompting the fourth yellow flag. During the ensuing caution period, Wertz returned to the pits to have a flat right-rear tire changed.
Back under green, Greg Edwards quickly fashioned a two-length edge over Shiflett, stretching it to three on the back straightaway. Shiflett, meanwhile, had to contend with Danny Edwards.
On lap 29, Danny Edwards ducked under Shiflett in Turn 3 and completed the pass for second off the fourth corner. The exchange allowed Greg Edwards to pad his lead to four lengths, but his brother was coming in a hurry. At the halfway mark, the Edwardses were nose to tail.
Danny Edwards capped his front-to-back-to-front run on lap 40, motoring around Greg Edwards on the backstretch to take the lead into Turn 3. Within a handful of laps, Danny Edwards had forged a two-length advantage over Greg Edwards, who, in turn, was up by nearly a straightaway over third-place Balluzzo.
Passing lap 50, Wertz was back in the top five as he scooted around Claar in Turn 1. He ran down Shiflett and picked up fourth place on lap 68.
At the front, Greg Edwards had closed in on his brother. He took a look to the inside off Turn 2 on lap 70, but was forced to abandon the bid as the leaders overtook a slower car.
The last caution flag was unfurled on lap 71 when Balluzzo spun in Turn 4. It may have taken all race to accomplish it, but, with Wertz advancing to third, the Dodges were finally reunited for a run to the checkers.
Under green for the last time, Danny Edwards opened a two-length margin on Greg Edwards. Edging closer to the finish, Greg Edwards cut the gap to a single car-length. That’s as close as he would get, though, as Danny Edwards sped on to a 0.431-second victory.
Wertz tailed the Edwardses to the line, in third, followed by Shiflett and Claar, who recorded his first top-five outing of the season. Mitch Sarvis and Craig Eastep were sixth and seventh, the last drivers to complete the entire distance. Bobby Spivey, Sampson and Ron Blackburn rounded out the top 10, all one lap down.
In Victory Lane after the race, Danny Edwards commented on his difficult path to the win: “We, apparently, broke a wheel. I know the 40 car’s (Wertz) broke several wheels here in the last couple weeks and today, so, apparently, there’s a problem with the wheels that we’re running. But, the guys that work on this team did a tremendous job. As soon as it went down, we were lucky enough to get a caution there and get in and, after we run around on the flat, we realized that the sway bar Heim joint, the hookup over there, might’ve wore off. We came back in and checked it and, luckily enough, it was. It wouldn’t have made it a couple of laps, so we were able to get that repaired, get it fixed. That made all the difference. The car was great tonight. We were probably a little too free. There at the end, we run it pretty hard, trying to get back to the front and get around Greg. I think I made my move a little bit too early on Greg. I probably should’ve waited another 15 or 20 laps. Kinda wore my right-rear tire out. He stayed on me pretty hard and got me loose.”
Runner-up Greg Edwards remarked on the battle with his brother: “He was tough all day in practice and I knew he was gonna be tough going into the race. Y’know, we made a decision right before the race and I think it was a little bit off. My car was OK, but, when he got right behind me, it really made me loose and, when I got behind him, I could free him up pretty good and I could run with him. I thought I was setting him up at the end, but I slipped one time and gave him just enough air between our cars where I think he could smooth out and get going and pull on away from me. By then, I had burned the right-rear tire right off the car.”
After his rollercoaster night, third-place Wertz could only shake his head at his racing luck: “I think we’re gonna switch the name-brand wheel we’re using. We were laughing under caution. It’s just unbelievable. Me and Jeff (Shiflett) got to running good down there. I got in and it was either I had to wreck myself to keep from wrecking Jeff and I just chose to try to come back from the rear again. I didn’t want to take Jeff out. He had a good run going. We come up on that lapped car and we both held our line and it was a good race. I feel like I passed more cars tonight than is on a Dodge dealership lot.”
In the evening’s other feature events:
Thomas Stinson started on the pole, at 85.144 mph, and led 48 of the 50 laps to win the B&C Seafood Modified feature. The race marked his first Langley start of ‘07.
A.J. Winstead shared the front row with Stinson and shadowed the pole-sitter for the first 45 circuits, never falling more than a few car-lengths back.
On lap 46, Winstead pulled to the inside of Stinson through Turns 1 and 2 and was ahead by a nose when they got back to the line. He cleared Stinson off Turn 2 on lap 47, but Stinson wasn’t about to give up the fight.
Heading into Turn 1 on lap 48, Winstead skated sideways, opening the bottom lane for Stinson, who pounced on the opportunity and raced back into the lead.
As the field reached Turn 3, Winstead slid high and gave way to Shawn Balluzzo and Bubba Farmer, falling to fourth place.
Balluzzo tried to track down Stinson over the last couple of circuits, but came up just a car-length short at the line as Stinson won by 0.203-second. Farmer was third, while Winstead and Rusty Wood completed the top five. T.J. Guthrie was the last driver on the lead lap, in sixth.
Joe Scarbrough, the flag-to-flag winner of the season’s first two races, struggled to a seventh-place finish, a lap down.
Tommy Sweeney notched his second victory of the season in the 50-lap Med Express Urgent Care Super Street race. He started on the pole, at 74.097 mph, and led all the way.
At the beginning of the event, Sweeney had to contend with his front-row mate, Ritchie German. On lap 6, German gave way to Ricky Derrick, who held down the runner-up spot until lap 45.
While Sweeney, Derrick and German headed up the 23-car field, Steve Dill was rumbling forward from deep in the pack. After not posting a qualifying lap, he lined up 22nd. By the halfway mark, though, he had taken over third from German and was laying down lap times as good, or better, than the leader. With the help of a couple timely caution flags, Dill got to close up on the lead duo for the final laps.
Back under green, at lap 44, Dill immediately went on the attack, grabbing second place from Derrick with a high side pass through Turns 3 and 4. While that was going on, Sweeney opened a four-length lead.
Nearing the finish, Dill chopped into Sweeney’s margin. Coming to the white flag, he got close enough to deliver a rap to the leader’s bumper in Turn 4.
Sweeney remained in control, however, holding off Dill’s challenge to win by 0.279-second — a single car-length. Derrick was third, followed by Jason Moore and Mike Ganoe. German dropped from third to a seventh-place finish after drawing a penalty on the next-to-last restart.
Don McLaughlin moved out front on lap 23 and rolled to his first win of the season in a 25-lapper for the Peninsula Hardwood Mulch INEX Legends.
Cameron Patrick started on the pole, at 78.106 mph, and set the pace for the first 17 circuits. On lap 18, though, his engine erupted in a plume of white smoke on the frontstretch, spelling an early end to his night.
McLaughlin assumed the lead for the restart, but gave way to Jeremy Cook soon after the green flag reappeared. Brian May tagged along with Cook, dropping McLaughlin to third.
On lap 20, May pushed his machine to the front, ducking under Cook off Turn 4. Cook tried to return the favor on lap 22.
As those two were tussling into Turn 1 on lap 23, McLaughlin turned to the inside and bypassed both drivers to regain the lead, bringing Jamie Price and Rette Causey along with him.
The last of the race’s three caution flags flew on lap 24 when Cook and Ryan Crites tangled and spun in Turn 3.
On the final restart, with two laps left, McLaughlin pulled away by two car-lengths as Price moved low to block Causey’s advance.
At the finish, McLaughlin held on to beat Price by 0.190-second — one length. Rette Causey was third, followed by May and Steve Causey. After battling for the win, Cook ended up eighth.
Kevin Alves continued his winning ways in the E-Z Auto Rental UCAR feature, taking the lead on lap 24 of the 25-lap contest and driving on to the checkers. The win was his fourth in four races this season and extended his overall winning streak to five, including last year’s final event.
Randy Prillaman, the ‘06 champ, started on the pole, at 69.822 mph, and led the opening circuit before giving way to Randy Sample, who paced laps 2-11.
On lap 12, Prillaman returned to the lead, bringing Alves along with him. Alves shadowed the leader until lap 18 when he launched a bid for the top spot. He completed the pass on lap 19, only to see the move negated by the race’s second, and final, caution flag.
On the restart, Prillaman fashioned an almost-two-length edge over Alves. Soon, though, Alves was knocking on the door again.
Working lap 24, with the white flag awaiting, Alves drove hard under Prillaman in Turn 4 and gained the lead off the corner. Prillaman tried to rally on the final circuit, but couldn’t overtake Alves, who won by 0.239-second. Randy and Jamie Sample were third and fourth, in that order, while Dusty Connor completed the top five.
D.J. Watson was the winner in a 25-lapper for the Pro 6 Series. He started on the pole, at 79.512 mph, took the lead on lap 3, held off a stern challenge from Warren Smigo, then dashed away on a late restart to seal the victory.
At the finish, Watson was up by half a straightaway over Smigo. J.B. Sipe, who led the first two laps before a tangle and spin, came home third.
Casey Sipe and Tim Layne were early retirees from the event, suffering damage on the restart following the first caution period. They were credited with fourth and fifth, respectively. Layne had won the series’ first two Langley races this season, but couldn’t manage the “three-peat.”
• • •
Whelen Engineering/EMS Night Race Results Saturday, June 2, 2007
CROSSROADS FUEL SERVICE
LATE MODELS - 75 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (26) Danny Edwards; 75
2. (27) Greg Edwards; 75
3. (40) Mark Wertz; 75
4. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 75
5. (7) Mark Claar; 75
6. (88) Mitch Sarvis; 75
7. (2) Craig Eastep; 75
8. (74) Bobby Spivey; 74
9. (8) Jeff Sampson; 74
10. (71) Ron Blackburn; 74
11. (12) Ross Clements; 70
12. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 70
13. (38) Kim Forrester; 37
14. (17) Albert Falk; 26
15. (53) Troy Hutcheson; 13
16. (47) Anthony Warren; 10
17. (08) Douglas Crigger; 10
Pole: D. Edwards.
Fast Qualifier: Wertz - 86.161 mph.
(Missed drivers meeting. Started 17th.)
B&C SEAFOOD MODIFIEDS - 50 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (4) Thomas Stinson; 50
2. (57) Shawn Balluzzo; 50
3. (11) Bubba Farmer; 50
4. (99) A.J. Winstead; 50
5. (69) Rusty Wood; 50
6. (46) T.J. Guthrie; 50
7. (30) Joe Scarbrough; 49
8. (84) Donnie Medlin; 49
9. (65) Jimmy Kibler; 49
10. (39) Toby Davis; 48
11. (20) Steven McGuire; 48
12. (5) Michael Leech; 48
13. (33) Rob Wells; 48
14. (6) Buster Horne; 43
15. (88) Kerry Gilbert; 43
16. (3) John Steele; 42
17. (19) Dwayne VanTassel; 23
Pole: Stinson - 85.144 mph.
MED EXPRESS URGENT CARE
SUPER STREETS - 50 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (11) Tommy Sweeney; 50
2. (3) Steve Dill; 50
3. (0) Ricky Derrick; 50
4. (5) Jason Moore; 50
5. (70) Mike Ganoe; 50
6. (21) Randy Akers; 50
7. (10) Ritchie German; 50
8. (54) Jason Langley; 50
9. (81) Jeff Shannon; 49
10. (97) James Loving; 49
11. (2) Rod Busitzky; 49
12. (22) Brad Skelding; 49
13. (14) Larry Venable; 48
14. (18) Dennis Nowak; 48
15. (26) Mickey Evans; 48
16. (58) Doug Woodyard; 48
17. (86) Jessica Wood; 48
18. (09) Harry VanGuilder; 47
19. (12) Sean Calway; 39
20. (7) Mike West; 37
21. (41) Richard Ellis; 36
22. (91) Paul Phelps; 34
23. (8) Dennis Nagle; 2
Pole: Sweeney - 74.097 mph.
PENINSULA HARDWOOD MULCH
INEX LEGENDS - 25 laps
Fin.Pos.(Car#)Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (21) Don McLaughlin; 25
2. (8) Jamie Price; 25
3. (33) Rette Causey; 25
4. (22) Brian May; 25
5. (9) Steve Causey; 25
6. (11) Chris Lemonds; 25
7. (0) Steve Keesee; 25
8. (27) Jeremy Cook; 25
9. (25) Dale Blankenship; 25
10. (00) Ryan Crites; 25
11. (16) Chris Peterson; 25
12. (20) Cameron Patrick; 17
13. (12) Nick Smith; 11
14. (30) Joe Hendricks; 5
15. (36) Kenny Tellez; 5
Pole: Patrick - 78.106 mph.
E-Z AUTO RENTAL UCARS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (84) Kevin Alves; 25
2. (26) Randy Prillaman; 25
3. (15) Randy Sample; 25
4. (28) Jamie Sample; 25
5. (14) Dusty Connor; 25
6. (68) Matt Hockaday; 25
7. (25) Robbie Salas; 25
8. (69) Chris Hildebrand; 25
9. (22) Donald Reynolds III; 25
10. (7) Buck Munger; 25
11. (11) Jason Aukland; 25
12. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 25
13. (8) Don Shumate; 25
14. (27) Joe Reynolds; 25
15. (89) Allen Dail; 25
16. (29) Matt Bond; 25
17. (77) Andy Graham; 25
18. (64) Sara Langley; 25
19. (52) Chris Bechtel; 25
20. (2) Michael Waters; 24
21. (66) Lauren Edgerton; 24
22. (16) Ryan Leland; 23
23. (40) Craig LeBlanc; 16
Pole: Prillaman - 69.822 mph.
PRO 6 SERIES - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (8) D.J. Watson; 25
2. (41) Warren Smigo; 25
3. (14) J.B. Sipe; 25
4. (23) Casey Sipe; 6
5. (22) Tim Layne; 3
Pole: Watson - 79.512 mph.
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