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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
Smith bags 2nd straight Late Model win in Moody's A.V.E.S. 75
Aug 26, 2007 - updated Aug 26th, 2007 9:53am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, VA --

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway

Moody's A.V.E.S. Night Race Report Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007

For the first 17 races of the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Langley Speedway, the question was “Can anyone beat the Dodges?” After the last two events, though, that question has quickly become “Can anyone do anything with Nick Smith?”
Starting from the outside of Row 1, Smith took the lead on lap 19 and rolled to his second straight victory in the Moody’s All Virginia Environmental Solutions 75 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Models, the headlining event of Saturday evening’s racing program at the venerable .395-mile oval.
Dean Shiflett, continuing to show progress in his rookie Late Model campaign, grabbed the pole position with a qualifying lap at 86.591 mph. He edged Smith by only 19-thousandths of a second. Greg and Danny Edwards lined up in Row 2, while Casey Wyatt and Mark Wertz occupied the third row.
As the race got under way, Shiflett and Smith went door-to-door for the first three laps with Shiflett managing to eke out a slight advantage at the line. On lap 4, Shiflett gained the clear-cut edge on the backstretch and Smith settled into second.

The first caution flag appeared on lap 15 when Gary Weeks spun to the outside wall in Turn 3. Setting the lineup, Shiflett, Smith, Greg Edwards, Danny Edwards and Wyatt made up the top five.
Returning to green, Shiflett bolted to a three-length lead. Soon, though, Smith slipped away from third-place Greg Edwards and began to close on the front-runner.
Wertz took over the fifth position on lap 17, swinging to the high side to bypass Wyatt at the entrance to Turn 3.

At the front, Smith pushed his machine to the head of the pack on lap 19. He ducked under Shiflett at the end of the front straightaway, drew even through Turns 1 and 2 and completed the pass off the second corner. After just one more lap, he had already opened a three-length advantage.
Greg Edwards got by Shiflett to grab the second spot on lap 22. Three laps later, Danny Edwards, Wertz and Wyatt also scooted past Shiflett, dropping him to sixth in the running order. With his potential challengers scrambling among themselves in his mirror, Smith stretched his lead to nearly half a straightaway.

On lap 28, Wertz worked past Danny Edwards for third. Five laps later, though, Edwards returned the favor, sliding under Wertz in Turns 1 and 2. At the same time, Shiflett drove under Wyatt in a bid for fifth. Edwards and Shiflett both completed their passes on lap 34.
The last of the race’s two caution flags flew on lap 38 when Craig Eastep and Jeff Shiflett tangled and spun at the end of the frontstretch. The incident erased Smith’s sizable advantage, putting Greg Edwards right on his rear bumper for the start of the second half of the event.
Back under green, Greg Edwards filled Smith mirror until they reached Turn 2. Heading onto the backstretch, Smith powered away by two car-lengths. Meanwhile, behind the lead duo, private battles resumed with Wertz taking third from Danny Edwards and Wyatt snagging fifth from Dean Shiflett.
By lap 45, Smith had opened a half-straightaway lead over Greg Edwards. Passing lap 50, though, the track’s electronic timing system indicated that Edwards was running the faster laps.
Before Edwards could make an appreciable dent in Smith’s margin, however, the leader began to pull away again. By lap 67, Smith was up by a full straightaway and on his way to Victory Lane.
At the finish, Smith was the winner by 2.848 seconds. Greg Edwards was second, followed by Wertz, Danny Edwards and Wyatt. Shiflett was sixth and Eastep was seventh, the final drivers to complete the entire distance. Shawn Balluzzo, Jeff Shiflett and Jeff Sampson rounded out the top 10, all one lap in arrears.

In Victory Lane after the race, Smith reveled in his second straight win and addressed some lingering questions about his win on Aug. 18: “This thing was on a rail, man. She was fast all day. From the very first lap the green flag dropped, she was good. I tried to get him (Shiflett) on the outside, didn’t want to wear it out. I just want to say to everybody out there that thought we won last week ‘cause we had four (fresh) tires. We all started with the same tires this week. We all had four and I still skunked ‘em, baby.”
Second-place Greg Edwards was fairly pleased with his run and offered a salute to the winner: “It was pretty good. We were pretty close. We definitely didn’t have what Nick had. I was a little too loose there and, man, Nick was really wheeling that car. He was sideways off the corner, pulling away. It was kinda amazing, but my hat’s off to them guys. They’ve really been on a roll. Our crew’s been doing good. We’ve been running pretty much 1 or 2 here all year and able to bring it home in one piece. The way the night began, with a couple of them other races, I was kinda worried about that. Y’know, sometimes you miss it and sometimes you don’t and Nick hit tonight and I missed it. I’ll come in second. Nick had a great car and you can’t win ‘em all.”
After battling to a third-place finish on a toasty, summer night, Wertz was ready for a breather and kept his comments brief: “Man, I’m tired. I’m getting too old for this. We had a decent race car. It just wasn’t good enough, obviously.”
Old and tired or not, Wertz still shaved two more points off of Danny Edwards’ division lead. With five races left on the calendar, he now trails by 28 points, 896-868. That’s exactly half the deficit he faced after Edwards’ last win on July 7.

In the evening’s other feature events:

David Gray started on the pole, at 77.688 mph, and wired the field for his second win of the season in the 40-lap Dunkum’s Machine Shop/Super 8 Motels Grand Stock feature.
Gray gained the upper hand in Turn 2 on the opening lap, motoring ahead of his front-row colleague, Bobby Spivey. Jason Leftwich, third on the grid, tagged along with Gray and took over the runner-up spot, while Spivey fell in line in third place.
The race was interrupted by six caution flags. Beginning with the fourth one, at lap 15, officials began scoring the caution laps. By the end of the event, 14 of the 40 laps were completed under the yellow flag.

With cautions flying left and right, there wasn’t much of an opportunity for any separation to develop among the front-runners. They also didn’t have many opportunities to deal with slower traffic as 17 of the 24 starters ended up on the lead lap.
On each of the restarts, Gray fashioned a slim working margin over Leftwich, then hung on as the challenger closed the gap.
At the checkers, Gray was the winner by 0.280-second — a single car-length — over Leftwich. Spivey was third in his best showing of the season, followed by Ricky Derrick. Brandon Hinson, who spun and slapped the Turn 1 wall on the second circuit, clawed his way through the pack to bring home a fifth-place finish, edging division leader Paul Lubno by mere inches at the stripe.

In the 25-lap Peninsula Hardwood Mulch INEX Legends contest, Ryan Crites survived a mid-race mishap and came away with his third victory of the year, taking over the division lead in the process.

Crites started on the pole, at 77.413 mph, and jumped out front as the initial green flag waved. Don McLaughlin, who started third, moved up to second, leaving outside pole-sitter Brian May to battle Jeremy Cook for third.
Cook, who led Crites by four points coming into the race, grabbed the third spot on lap 1. On the second circuit, though, he gave way to Casey Wyatt and left the door open for Steve Keesee, May, Nick Smith, Jamie Price and Rette Causey. By lap 5, Cook had tumbled to ninth place.
At the front, Crites held a one-length edge over McLaughlin. Wyatt, however, was rapidly gaining on both of them. By lap 9, he was parked on McLaughlin’s rear bumper.
Crites experienced an anxious moment on lap 15 when Dale Blankenship dumped fluid on the track off Turn 2. As the first caution flag waved, Crites arrived on the scene and spun out. That miscue was judged to have taken place after the caution was out, though, so Crites was allowed to retain the lead for the ensuing restart.

While Crites was able to continue, others weren’t so fortunate as Cook, Price and Causey slid through the fluid from Blankenship’s car and piled up against the Turn 2 wall. All three drivers were relegated to the sidelines.
Back under green, Crites forged a two-length advantage over McLaughlin, who enjoyed a three-length gap between himself and Wyatt. Within a couple laps, Wyatt began to come to life, driving away from fourth-place Smith and setting sail after the lead duo.
The second, and final, yellow flag appeared on lap 24 when May spun in the middle of Turns 1 and 2. Setting the lineup, Crites, McLaughlin, Wyatt, Smith and Keesee made up the top five.
Under green for a sprint to the finish, Crites was able to hold McLaughlin at bay and he won by 0.188-second — one car-length. Wyatt was third, followed by Smith and Keesee.
After the race, Cook lodged a protest against Crites’ winning machine, momentarily putting the results in limbo. A quick check of the INEX rulebook, however, showed that Cook was ineligible to file a protest, since he finished outside the top 10 (12th) and off the lead lap.
With the protest being disallowed, Crites now holds an 18-point lead over Cook in the series standings, 396-378.

Randy Bradsher took the lead on lap 16 of the 25-lap Wolf Contractors Wolf Truck race and stormed to his second win of the year.
Jeff Sampson started on the pole, at 80.484 mph, and set the pace for the first 15 circuits with Bradsher in tow.

On lap 12, Bradsher slipped in Turn 2 and Sampson scooted away by four lengths. It only took Bradsher three laps to regain that real estate, though, and put himself in position to challenge for the win.

On lap 16, Sampson swung wide off Turn 2 to clear a slower truck. Bradsher spotted an opening and shot to the inside of Sampson, stacking ‘em three-deep on the backstretch. He pulled ahead through Turns 3 and 4 and set sail.
By the finish, Bradsher’s winning margin had grown to half a straightaway — 1.765 seconds, to be exact — over Sampson. Rob Hughes was third to the line, while Jeff Hellner was fourth, three laps down. Michael Farmer, an early retiree from the event, was credited with fifth.
• • •

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway

Hampton, VA

Moody's All Virginia Environmental Solutions Night Race Results Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007

LATE MODELS - 75 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.

1. (21) Nick Smith; 75
2. (27) Greg Edwards; 75
3. (40) Mark Wertz; 75
4. (26) Danny Edwards; 75
5. (29) Casey Wyatt; 75
6. (06) Dean Shiflett; 75
7. (2) Craig Eastep; 75
8. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 74
9. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 74
10. (8) Jeff Sampson; 74
11. (12) Ross Clements; 74
12. (38) Kim Forrester; 72
13. (20) Gary Weeks; 14
Pole: D. Shiflett - 86.591 mph.

GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.

1. (43) David Gray; 40
2. (92) Jason Leftwich; 40
3. (1) Bobby Spivey; 40
4. (8) Ricky Derrick; 40
5. (81) Brandon Hinson; 40
6. (14) Paul Lubno; 40
7. (77) Carl Livingston; 40
8. (95) Danny Harrell; 40
9. (6) Roger Bell; 40
10. (4) Matthew Waltz; 40
11. (27) Bernie Fairchild; 40
12. (5) Robert Ellis; 40
13. (12) George VanGuilder; 40
14. (33) Hank Karwoski; 40
15. (23) Bobby Ferebee; 40
16. (44) Matt Slye; 40
17. (29) Jack Robinson; 40
18. (24) Gene Smith; 39
19. (19) Robbie Parker; 36
20. (75) Jeff Driskill; 33
21. (84) Brandon Carteret; 31
22. (11) Chris Roberts; 19
23. (69) Connie Stanley; 10
24. (88) Brandon Ray; 4
Pole: Gray - 77.688 mph.

INEX LEGENDS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.

1. (00) Ryan Crites; 25
2. (21) Don McLaughlin; 25
3. (23) Casey Wyatt; 25
4. (12) Nick Smith; 25
5. (0) Steve Keesee; 25
6. (9) Steve Causey; 25
7. (30) Joe Hendricks; 25
8. (22) Brian May; 25
9. (16) Chris Peterson; 25
10. (33) Rette Causey; 14
11. (8) Jamie Price; 14
12. (27) Jeremy Cook; 14
13. (25) Dale Blankenship; 14
Pole: Crites - 77.413 mph.

WOLF TRUCKS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.

1. (33) Randy Bradsher; 25
2. (8) Jeff Sampson; 25
3. (11) Rob Hughes; 25
4. (00) Jeff Hellner; 22
5. (9) Michael Farmer; 8
6. (51) Jerry Scott; 8
7. (3) Eric Schaffer; 4
Pole: Sampson - 80.484 mph.

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