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Langley Speedway News
Greg Edwards bags 5th Late Model win in SunTrust 75
Aug 12, 2007 - updated Aug 12th, 2007 9:28am
Web posted by Gary Dautrey
Hampton, VA --
SunTrust Bank Night Race Report Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway
Greg Edwards led from pole to checkers and posted his fifth victory of the season in the SunTrust Bank 75 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Models, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Edwards set the pace in qualifying for the race, touring the .395-mile oval at 87.405 mph. His brother, Danny Edwards, was second-fastest and started on the outside of Row 1, while Mark Wertz clocked in third-fastest, putting Dodges in the top three spots on the grid. Paul DeBolt qualified his Ford in the fourth position and Casey Wyatt was fifth-quickest in a Chevy.
On the start, Danny Edwards stayed on his brother’s flank until they reached Turn 2 for the first time. Heading onto the backstretch, Greg Edwards gained the clear-cut advantage and left the door open for Wertz to pull alongside Danny Edwards. Wertz took over the runner-up position on lap 2, but the shuffle allowed Greg Edwards to drive off by three car-lengths.
Deeper in the field, Jeff Shiflett moved up to challenge Wyatt for fifth. On lap 8, the two made contact in Turn 4 and the nose of Shiflett’s car was ripped loose. The first caution flag appeared on lap 10 to check for debris.
Only one more lap was completed before the second yellow flag waved for Craig Eastep’s spin on the backstretch. As the field slowed, Mitch Sarvis headed down the pit lane with terminal damage to the front end of his car. He retired to a 14th-place finish.
Returning to green, Wertz gave Greg Edwards plenty of space on the restart and Edwards took advantage, grabbing a two-length lead. Wertz quickly closed the gap, though, and, by lap 15, the front two were nose-to-tail.
The third caution flag flew on lap 17 for Mark Claar’s mishap in Turn 4 as he joined Kim Forrester and Sarvis on the sidelines.
When the race resumed, Wertz latched onto Greg Edwards, allowing him only half a car-length’s worth of room. As the laps clicked off, however, Edwards began to ease away. At lap 32, his lead had grown to almost half a straightaway.
The fourth, and what would turn out to be the final, caution flag was displayed on lap 38 when Eastep spun in Turn 2. Setting the lineup, Greg Edwards, Wertz, Danny Edwards, DeBolt and Wyatt made up the top five.
Back under green, Greg Edwards fashioned a two-length edge over Wertz, who was beginning to feel pressure from Danny Edwards. Within four laps, Greg Edwards’ margin had swelled to five lengths.
Around lap 50, Wertz began to chip away at Greg Edwards’ lead. Edwards answered the wakeup call, though, and motored away from the pack. At the finish, his winning margin was 1.599 seconds — about half a straightaway.
Wertz had his hands full with Danny Edwards in the closing laps. On the final circuit, Danny Edwards poked a fender to the inside of Wertz in Turn 2 in a bid for second. At the line, Wertz held onto the position by less than a car-length. DeBolt and Wyatt were fourth and fifth, in that order.
Shawn Balluzzo came home in sixth, while Dean Shiflett, Nick Smith, Jeff Shiflett and Eastep completed the top 10. They were all on the lead lap at the end of the race.
In Victory Lane, Greg Edwards commented on his dominating performance: “I think we’ve finally got these (American Racer) tires figured out. That’s definitely the best it’s been. We made a change in practice and that was exactly what I wanted. About 20 laps in, I knew the car was gonna come to me and get better.”
Asked to expound on the tire issue, Edwards continued, “They’re just different. I mean, I didn’t how I needed my car to start the race to know how it was gonna be at the end. We’ve been doing OK. We won one and finished second in the other, but I’ve been really loose at the end. Tonight, the car started off tight and it came right to me, so I’ve gotta thank the guys on the crew that made two calls in practice. It did exactly what I was hoping it’d do.”
While he picked up a couple more points on Danny Edwards in the series standings, runner-up Wertz wasn’t overly thrilled with his effort: “When he said, ‘Ten to go,’ I said, ‘We’ll be lucky to finish here,’ on the radio ‘cause this was an evil animal tonight. Greg definitely showed up with the best piece. Danny rebounded pretty good. He’s been struggling the last couple weeks. We’re happy to just be up on the podium each week, take the car home in one piece and try to keep an easy week.”
During the race, it appeared to pit observers that Wertz’s crew might have been preparing for a tire change. Asked about that, he explained, “We geared up. We thought we had a right-rear tire going flat. It showed me that the car was too loose and we had that feeling under it. We were just ready in case it happened, but I was gonna ride it out as long as I could.”
After a three-week absence from the podium, which roughly coincided with the introduction of the new tire brand, Danny Edwards was pleased with the progress his third-place run represented: “We’re getting a little closer. I tell ya’, the guys on this team have stood behind me. I know things were looking pretty dim there for a few weeks, but I told ‘em, ‘Don’t give up on me and we’ll figure it out. We’ll get back up there eventually.’ We need to kinda whittle away at it a little at a time because we got so far off that we’ve gotta take a couple more races to get gathered up. But, like I said, the guys on this team were tremendous. I think we’re making gains. We made big headway today. If we can build on this, I think we’ve got a car we can race with now. We were pretty far off the last few weeks, so it’s definitely getting better and we’re looking forward to getting back into Victory Lane there.”
With Greg Edwards’ win, Dodge products are now unbeaten in 17 Langley Late Model races. Saturday’s event also marked the ninth time that the Edwardses and Wertz have pulled off a 1-2-3 sweep.
In the evening’s other feature events:
Jason Leftwich led from flag to flag to notch his second win of the year in the 40-lap Dunkum’s Machine Shop/Super 8 Motels Grand Stock feature.
Leftwich started the race from the pole position, at 78.038 mph, qualifying just 34-thousandths of a second quicker than his front-row partner, Brandon Hinson.
As the race got under way, Hinson challenged Leftwich for the lead, hanging with him until they hit Turns 3 and 4. At that point, the inside line took off with Leftwich, Danny Harrell and Chris Roberts grabbing the front three spots and leaving Hinson to duel with Paul Lubno for fourth. Lubno took that position on lap 2, dropping Hinson to fifth.
The first yellow flag appeared on lap 5 when George VanGuilder slowed in Turn 4 with a flat right-front tire.
Back under green, Leftwich, Harrell and Roberts opened a three-length margin over Lubno. On the following circuit, Leftwich began to drive away from the pack.
Hinson’s struggles continued on lap 7 as he slipped in Turn 1 and dropped three more spots, to eighth. While that was happening, Roberts scooted around Harrell for second place. The exchange allowed Leftwich to build his lead to almost half a straightaway. Lubno got by Harrell for third on lap 10.
The second, and final, yellow flag flew on lap 15 when Hinson looped his machine in Turn 2.
Getting ready for the restart, two lapped cars separated Leftwich and Roberts and the leader took full advantage of the situation, regaining his half-straightaway lead almost immediately.
After several forays through packs of traffic, Leftwich was able to maintain his margin over Roberts. Entering the last 10 laps, though, slower cars became a factor again and, this time, Roberts closed in. By lap 35, he was parked on Leftwich’s rear bumper.
With the white flag in the air, Leftwich pulled off a daring, three-wide pass of a pair of lapped cars on the backstretch to give himself some breathing room. Roberts tried to follow the leader’s cue. Instead, he spun in Turn 4 and could only watch as the rest of the field streamed by and on toward the checkers.
At the finish, Leftwich was the winner by 3.168 seconds. Lubno was second to the line, followed by Harrell, Robbie Parker and David Gray. After contending for the win on the last lap, Roberts ended up 17th in the final rundown.
Thomas Stinson continued his mastery of Langley Speedway in a 50-lapper for the B&C Seafood Modifieds, picking up his third win in as many starts.
Stinson was the pole-sitter, at 86.197 mph, and took the lead at the initial green flag. Shawn Balluzzo, who started on the outside of Row 1, was unable to cover the inside lane as Stinson pulled ahead and surrendered second to Bubba Farmer.
For the first 32 laps, Stinson held to a three-car-length advantage. As he navigated traffic, Farmer was able to close the gap, but, once in the clear, that three-length margin reappeared.
Balluzzo tailed Farmer until lap 29 when he launched a bid for the runner-up spot, ducking low in Turn 4. He shot ahead of Farmer off Turn 2 on lap 30 to claim the position.
The first caution flag flew on lap 33 when Henry Jones spun in Turn 4. He was sent to the back of the pack, which put him in position to be collected when Jimmy Kibler spun at the flagstand on the ensuing restart, bringing out caution #2.
Back under green, Stinson grabbed a two-length lead over Balluzzo. Within a couple laps, however, Balluzzo had made up that ground and looked ready to challenge for the lead and the win.
Working off Turn 2 on lap 40, though, Stinson powered away by almost three lengths and was well on his way to the winner’s circle. By the finish, his lead had grown to 1.389 seconds over Balluzzo. Farmer was third, followed by Buddy Emory and Joe Scarbrough.
Rette Causey took the lead for good on lap 8 and motored to his first victory of the year in the 25-lap Peninsula Hardwood Mulch INEX Legends race.
Don McLaughlin was the pole winner, qualifying at 78.201 mph, and led the opening lap before giving way to Causey, who took his first lead on lap 2. Caught on the outside, McLaughlin tumbled all the way to eighth in the running order.
On lap 5, Nick Smith overhauled Causey on the backstretch to grab the lead. Jamie Price tagged along with Smith, kicking Causey back to third. Just a lap later, though, Price spun in Turn 2 to bring out the first caution flag.
Back under way, Smith opened a two-length advantage over Causey, who had his hands full with Jeremy Cook.
Causey returned to the lead, this time for good, on lap 8. Cook came along with Causey and moved into second place.
The shuffling resumed on lap 12 when Ryan Crites bypassed Smith for third, opening the door for McLaughlin, who took over fourth.
The second yellow flag appeared on lap 14 for Brian May’s spin in Turn 2. Two laps later, caution #3 was waving as McLaughlin and Smith made contact on the frontstretch. Smith’s machine hopped over McLaughlin’s right-rear tire and went airborne for a moment before smacking the outside wall.
The incident sidelined Smith and, to add insult to injury, he was later disqualified for failing to pay the proper entry fee for the event.
Returning to green, Crites went after Cook for second and grabbed the spot off Turn 4 as the field came around to put lap 16 on the board. Cook would eventually drop back to a sixth-place finish. Meanwhile, at the front, Crites had quickly erased Causey’s two-length lead and was hunting for an opening.
On the final lap, Causey managed to put a car-length between his rear bumper and Crites as they exited Turn 2 for the last time. Crites tried to rally through Turns 3 and 4, but came up just short at the stripe as Causey held on to win by 0.112-second.
McLaughlin tailed Causey and Crites to the checkers, in third, followed by Steve Keesee, who enjoyed his first top-five outing of the season. Casey Wyatt was fifth in a team car to Causey’s #33 machine.
Brothers Jamie and Randy Sample started the 25-lap E-Z Auto Rental UCAR race from the first and second spots, respectively, and they maintained those positions all the way to the checkered flag as Jamie picked up his first win of the season.
For much of the event, which was slowed only by a caution flag at lap 9, the Samples stayed within a car-length of each other. Over the second half of the race, though, Jamie steadily pulled away. At the finish, he was the winner by 1.149 seconds — about four car-lengths — over Randy Sample.
To get an idea of how dominating the Samples were, the third-place finisher, Robert Rusinyak, was over 3.7 seconds behind Randy Sample at the end.
Kevin Alves, the division points leader, had to start eighth, per track rules, since he had won the previous two races. He managed to make his way up to a fourth-place finish. Chris Hildebrand was fifth to the line.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007
CROSSROADS FUEL SERVICE
LATE MODELS - 75 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (27) Greg Edwards; 75
2. (40) Mark Wertz; 75
3. (26) Danny Edwards; 75
4. (34) Paul DeBolt; 75
5. (29) Casey Wyatt; 75
6. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 75
7. (06) Dean Shiflett; 75
8. (21) Nick Smith; 75
9. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 75
10. (2) Craig Eastep; 75
11. (12) Ross Clements; 74
12. (72) David Butler; 72
13. (7) Mark Claar; 16
14. (88) Mitch Sarvis; 10
15. (38) Kim Forrester; 9
Pole: Greg Edwards - 87.405 mph.
DUNKUM'S MACHINE SHOP/SUPER 8 MOTELS
GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (92) Jason Leftwich; 40
2. (14) Paul Lubno; 40
3. (95) Danny Harrell; 40
4. (19) Robbie Parker; 40
5. (43) David Gray; 40
6. (22) Tommy Sweeney; 40
7. (23) Ricky Derrick; 40
8. (24) Gene Smith; 40
9. (84) Brandon Carteret; 40
10. (81) Brandon Hinson; 40
11. (5) Robert Ellis; 40
12. (77) Carl Livingston; 39
13. (88) Brandon Ray; 39
14. (4) Matthew Waltz; 39
15. (10) Ritchie German; 39
16. (44) Matt Slye; 39
17. (11) Chris Roberts; 39
18. (33) Hank Karwoski; 38
19. (75) Jeff Driskill; 38
20. (29) Jack Robinson; 38
21. (69) Connie Stanley; 37
22. (12) George VanGuilder; 31
23. (2) Brian Waters; 22
24. (71) J.R. Smith; 17
25. (8) Bobby Ferebee; 13
26. (1) Bobby Spivey; 8
Pole: Jason Leftwich - 78.038 mph.
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. (44) Buddy Emory; 50
5. (30) Joe Scarbrough; 50
6. (88) Kerry Gilbert; 50
7. (36) Chris Johnson; 50
8. (6) Buster Horne; 50
9. (69) Rusty Wood; 50
10. (5) Michael Leech; 50
11. (22) Brooks Lawson; 49
12. (39) Toby Davis; 48
13. (65) Jimmy Kibler; 34
14. (21) Don McLaughlin; 32
15. (02) Henry Jones; 32
16. (84) Donnie Medlin; 14
Pole: Thomas Stinson - 86.197 mph.
PENINSULA HARDWOOD MULCH
INEX LEGENDS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (33) Rette Causey; 25
2. (00) Ryan Crites; 25
3. (21) Don McLaughlin; 25
4. (0) Steve Keesee; 25
5. (23) Casey Wyatt; 25
6. (27) Jeremy Cook; 25
7. (25) Dale Blankenship; 25
8. (30) Joe Hendricks; 25
9. (16) Chris Peterson; 25
10. (22) Brian May; 25
11. (8) Jamie Price; 6
12. (9) Steve Causey; 2
DQ (12) Nick Smith; 15
(Failed to pay proper entry fee.)
Pole: Don McLaughlin - 78.201 mph.
E-Z AUTO RENTAL UCARS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (28) Jamie Sample; 25
2. (15) Randy Sample; 25
3. (43) Robert Rusinyak; 25
4. (84) Kevin Alves; 25
5. (69) Chris Hildebrand; 25
6. (14) Dusty Connor; 25
7. (68) Matt Hockaday; 25
8. (26) Randy Prillaman; 25
9. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 25
10. (25) Robbie Salas; 25
11. (22) Donald Reynolds III; 25
12. (89) Allen Dail; 25
13. (29) Matt Bond; 25
14. (11) Jason Aukland; 25
15. (27) Joe Reynolds; 25
16. (77) Andy Graham; 24
17. (52) Chris Bechtel; 24
18. (71) Theresa Butler; 24
19. (13) Kristen Craner; 24
20. (6) Wayne Lyon; 24
21. (2) Michael Waters; 23
22. (24) Lauren Edgerton; 19
23. (18) Matthew Pauley; 7
24. (23) Jonathan Mullett; 0
Pole: Jamie Sample - 70.396 mph.
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