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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
Smith scores 1st Late Model win in LFCU 75, brings Dodge streak to a halt
Aug 19, 2007 - updated Aug 19th, 2007 8:57pm
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, VA --

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway

Langley Federal Credit Union Night Race Report Saturday, Aug. 18, 2007

After several excruciating near-misses in the past few races, Nick Smith finally hit paydirt, rolling to his first win of the season in the Langley Federal Credit Union 75 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Models, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway. Smith’s victory brought an end to the 17-race Dodge winning streak and netted the Chevy driver a $1,300 bounty payoff.

Division points leader Danny Edwards was quickest in qualifying for the race, touring the .395-mile oval at 86.660 mph. Smith clocked in second-fastest and shared the front row with Edwards, while Mark Wertz, Paul DeBolt and Mitch Sarvis rounded out the top five on the starting grid. At the initial green flag, Edwards immediately jumped out front, clearing Smith before the field reached Turn 1. Wertz filled the opening to Smith’s inside and came away with the second spot, leaving Smith to battle door-to-door with DeBolt for third. The first caution flag flew on lap 4 when fifth-place Sarvis spun in Turn 4, collecting Jeff and Dean Shiflett, Jeff Sampson and Kim Forrester in the process.

On the restart, Edwards and Wertz bolted from the pack, while Smith and DeBolt resumed their duel for third. Soon, though, Smith pulled away from DeBolt and began to close on the lead duo. After pressuring Edwards for several circuits, Wertz launched a bid for the lead on lap 10, ducking low out of Turn 4. He drew even on the frontstretch and completed the pass in Turn 1 on lap 11. Smith tagged along with Wertz, dropping Edwards from first to third. Just one lap later, Wertz had already driven away to a three-length advantage. Smith quickly made up the ground, though, as the leaders closed in on slower traffic. The second yellow flag flew on lap 25 when Shawn Balluzzo spun on the backstretch. Lining up for the restart, Wertz, Smith and Edwards held the top three spots, separated from fourth-place DeBolt by a lapped car. Craig Eastep was fifth.

Returning to green, Wertz and Smith opened a two-length gap over Edwards. Smith took over the top spot on lap 30, sweeping by on the outside of Wertz in Turn 1. He didn’t pull away, though, as Wertz settled in right on his rear bumper. The last of the race’s three caution flags was displayed on lap 38 when Balluzzo and David Butler tangled at the start/finish line. Back under green, Smith managed to eke out a slim edge over Wertz, while Edwards rode three car-lengths back.

Smith and Wertz remained bumper-to-bumper until lap 52 when they began to encounter lapped traffic. Smith enjoyed more success in navigating past the slower cars and, little by little, his lead grew. At the finish, Smith was the winner by 2.092 seconds — better than half a straightaway — over Wertz. Edwards was third, followed by DeBolt and Eastep. Only the top five drivers remained on the lead lap at the end of the event. Balluzzo was sixth in the final rundown, while Ross Clements, Jeff Shiflett, Forrester and Butler completed the top 10. Exiting his car in a jubilant Victory Lane, Smith exclaimed, “Wooo! What do y’all think about that, baby!? ‘Bout time, ain’t it? It’s about time we got us a first Late Model win. We’ve been trying for two years.”

Amid the excited whoops, Smith was asked about the high side move that gained him the lead. He replied, “I don’t know, man. He waved me out there, I went and I was gone.” Runner-up Wertz offered a tip of the cap to Smith and gave his perspective on the winning pass: “Nick outran me with the best that I could give him. The car just didn’t feel right and he was pressuring me. He had a whole lot faster car and I was afraid to get freight-trained, so I gave him the outside. We did the best we could. Nick had one coming and I guess he got it tonight.” While third-place Edwards is still searching for the right setup to accommodate the new American Racer tires, he also has an eye on protecting his points lead, which has shrunk to 30 over Wertz: “We were still off a little bit. Still got some work to do. We’re trying to get better. We had a good qualifying effort, but we were just lacking in the grip department tonight. So, we’ll keep working on it and try to get our way back up there to the front. We’re big-picture racing here. We’ve got a championship we’re working on. We lost two points tonight. If we can hold it to that, we’ll be OK. But, we definitely want to get back into Victory Lane. Start getting some more of them wins back.”

In the evening’s other feature events:

Steve Dill took the lead on lap 13 and posted his fourth win of the season in a caution-filled 50-lapper for the Med Express Urgent Care Super Streets, claiming a share of the division points lead in the process. Jimmy Adkins started on the pole, at 74.353 mph, and set the pace for the first 12 circuits. Dill, meanwhile, slipped from second to third on lap 4 before regaining the runner-up spot from Ritchie German on lap 6. The exchange allowed Adkins to open a half-straightaway lead. By lap 12, Dill had erased Adkins’ large advantage. He went after the top spot on lap 13, driving under Adkins on the backstretch and completing the pass in Turns 3 and 4. Just three laps later, Dill had already pulled away by nearly half a straightaway. The race was interrupted by six caution flags. Beginning with the fourth one, at lap 24, officials began scoring the caution laps.

The final yellow flag appeared on lap 45, setting up a “green-white-checkered” sprint to the finish. As the field gathered for the restart, Dill, Adkins, Tommy Sweeney, Jason Moore and German made up the top five. Under green for the last time, Dill forged a one-length edge over Adkins, who had his hands full with a challenge from Sweeney.

At the finish, Dill was the winner by 0.987-second over Adkins. All eyes, however, were riveted to Turn 4 where Sweeney, the points leader coming into the event, lost a rear wheel and smacked the outside wall. He was unable to complete the final lap and ended up 13th in the final rundown, allowing Dill to pull even in the chase for the championship. Jason Moore was third to the checkers, followed by German and Jeff Shannon, who notched his first top-five finish since opening night.

Tommy Nixon assumed the lead on lap 7 and stormed to his second win of the year in the 25-lap Cook’s Moving Service Super Truck feature. John Hollis started on the pole, at 74.078 mph, and set the pace for the first six laps. Officials, however, detected fuel leaking from the Hollis machine and posted the black flag. He heeded the directive on lap 7 and turned down the pit lane, handing the lead over to Nixon. Hollis made his way out of the pits on lap 10, returning to the track just ahead of the leaders. As Nixon and second-place Justin Ballo swung to the outside of the Hollis machine, they made contact and Ballo spun in the middle of Turns 1 and 2, collecting third-place Robbie Davis and prompting the only yellow flag.

On the restart, Hollis’ lapped truck separated Nixon from the new second-place runner, Evan VanLeeuwen. Nixon took advantage of the buffer, bolting to a five-length lead, while VanLeeuwen worked around Hollis. By the finish, Nixon had stretched his winning margin to better than half a straightaway — 3.259 seconds, to be exact — over VanLeeuwen. Craig Firman overcame a poor showing in time trials to take third, while John McDonald and Troy Turnage completed the top five.

Randy Sample led from pole to checkers to capture his third win of the season in the 25-lap E-Z Auto Rental UCAR race. On the pole at 70.413 mph, Randy Sample pulled ahead of points leader Kevin Alves on the start and brought his brother, Jamie Sample, along with him. Alves, meanwhile, found himself in a side-by-side battle for third with Matt Hockaday. Hockaday took that spot in Turn 4 on lap 1. Alves also gave way to Robert Rusinyak, falling to fifth. On lap 4, Rusinyak bypassed Hockaday for third. Alves tagged along, moving into fourth. At the front, Randy Sample had pulled away by almost three lengths, while Jamie Sample was slipping into Rusinyak’s clutches. Rusinyak completed a high-side pass of Jamie Sample on lap 14 to pick up the second position.

With Randy Sample and Rusinyak firmly ensconced in the top two spots, attention turned to the battle for third between Jamie Sample and Alves. On lap 20, Alves motored to the outside of Jamie Sample and the race was on. The two remained door-to-door all the way to the finish. At the end, Randy Sample was the winner by 1.642 seconds — about five lengths — over Rusinyak. Jamie Sample nipped Alves by less than half a car-length for third, while Dusty Connor was close behind, in fifth.

In the 25-lap Wolf Contractors Wolf Truck feature, a mishap on what would have been the last circuit handed the lead to Michael Farmer. He survived one final restart and scored his second victory of the year.

Seven-time winner Jeff Sampson started on the pole, at 81.266 mph, and led 24-1/4 laps. Exiting Turn 2 on the white-flag lap, however, he tried to bypass the lapped machine of Eric Schaffer and the two tangled. Schaffer spun to the infield, while Sampson pounded the outside wall. With the caution flag waving, scoring backed up to lap 23 to set up a “green-white-checkered” finish. Farmer, the runner-up at the time of the accident, became the new leader, followed by Rob Hughes.

Under green for the last time, Farmer opened a two-length advantage over Hughes and maintained that margin to the finish, winning by 0.428-second. Matt Carter was third, followed by Jeff Hellner. Sampson was credited with fifth.

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway

Hampton, VA

Langley Federal Credit Union Night Race Results Saturday, Aug. 18, 2007

LATE MODELS - 75 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (21) Nick Smith; 75
2. (40) Mark Wertz; 75
3. (26) Danny Edwards; 75
4. (34) Paul DeBolt; 75
5. (2) Craig Eastep; 75
6. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 74
7. (12) Ross Clements; 74
8. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 73
9. (38) Kim Forrester; 72
10. (72) David Butler; 71
11. (88) Mitch Sarvis; 46
12. (06) Dean Shiflett; 22
13. (8) Jeff Sampson; 10
14. (7) Mark Claar; 1
Pole: Edwards - 86.660 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (3) Steve Dill; 50
2. (0) Jimmy Adkins; 50
3. (5) Jason Moore; 50
4. (10) Ritchie German; 50
5. (81) Jeff Shannon; 50
6. (21) Randy Akers; 50
7. (54) Jason Langley; 50
8. (2) Rod Busitzky; 50
9. (1) Kyle Waltz; 50
10. (58) Doug Woodyard; 49
11. (14) Larry Venable; 49
12. (03) Jerry LaMontagne; 49
13. (11) Tommy Sweeney; 49
14. (15) Dale Parro; 48
15. (13) Bobby Bradley; 48
16. (09) Harry VanGuilder; 48
17. (16) Chris Flowers; 45
18. (8) Dennis Nagle; 34
19. (86) Jessica Wood; 32
20. (99) Robert West; 31
21. (26) Mickey Evans; 30
22. (7) Mike West; 19
23. (18) Dennis Nowak; 19
24. (12) Sean Calway; 14
25. (00) John Laster; 7
Pole: Adkins - 74.353 mph.

SUPER TRUCKS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (8) Tommy Nixon; 25
2. (01) Evan VanLeeuwen; 25
3. (5) Craig Firman; 25
4. (77) John McDonald; 25
5. (90) Troy Turnage; 25
6. (14) Debbie Biesecker; 25
7. (19) Bill Wallace; 25
8. (96) John Hollis; 23
9. (10) Robbie Davis; 12
10. (55) Justin Ballo; 10
Pole: Hollis - 74.078 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (15) Randy Sample; 25
2. (43) Robert Rusinyak; 25
3. (28) Jamie Sample; 25
4. (84) Kevin Alves; 25
5. (14) Dusty Connor; 25
6. (69) Chris Hildebrand; 25
7. (26) Randy Prillaman; 25
8. (68) Matt Hockaday; 25
9. (25) Robbie Salas; 25
10. (22) Donald Reynolds III; 25
11. (89) Allen Dail; 25
12. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 25
13. (29) Matt Bond; 24
14. (11) Jason Aukland; 24
15. (52) Chris Bechtel; 24
16. (27) Joe Reynolds; 24
17. (24) Lauren Edgerton; 24
18. (13) Kristen Craner; 24
19. (77) Andy Graham; 24
20. (64) Sara Langley; 23
21. (16) Ryan Leland; 23
22. (71) Theresa Butler; 23
23. (2) Michael Waters; 15
24. (23) Jonathan Mullett; 8
Pole: R. Sample - 70.413 mph.

WOLF TRUCKS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (9) Michael Farmer; 25
2. (11) Rob Hughes; 25
3. (17) Matt Carter; 25
4. (00) Jeff Hellner; 23
5. (8) Jeff Sampson; 23
6. (3) Eric Schaffer; 21
7. (33) Randy Bradsher; 16
Pole: Sampson - 81.266 mph.

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