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Langley Speedway News
Greg Edwards nabs 6th Late Model win in Casey Cycle City 100...
Sep 16, 2007 - updated Sep 16th, 2007 11:18am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway
Casey Cycle City Night Race Report Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007
Greg Edwards moved out front on the 35th circuit and motored to his sixth victory of the season in the Casey Cycle City 100 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Models, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Danny Edwards claimed the pole position for the race in an interesting afternoon qualifying session. Danny Edwards, Greg Edwards and Casey Wyatt all turned in identical lap times — 16.194 seconds (87.810 mph). To set the lineup, officials referred to the division standings. As the points leader, Danny Edwards was placed on the inside of Row 1 with his brother alongside, while Wyatt lined up third. Nick Smith and Paul DeBolt rounded out the top five.
On the start, Danny Edwards immediately jumped into the lead. Greg Edwards settled into second, followed by Wyatt, DeBolt and Shawn Balluzzo.
Smith, meanwhile, was off the pace right from the beginning and quickly tumbled all the way to the rear of the field. After the lead cars flashed past him on just the fifth circuit, Smith brought his machine to a halt on the backstretch, prompting the first caution flag. He made his way back to the pits and retired to an 18th-place finish.
Back under green, the Edwards brothers bolted from the pack. Within a handful of laps, they enjoyed a half-straightaway lead over third-place Wyatt, who was busy fighting off a challenge from DeBolt. Soon, though, Wyatt eased away from DeBolt and began to chase down the lead duo.
Deeper in the field, championship contender Mark Wertz was working hard to overcome a sub-par qualifying effort that had landed him in the ninth starting spot. He cracked the top five on lap 29, slipping around Balluzzo, then grabbed fourth from DeBolt on lap 35.
Also on lap 35, Greg Edwards, seeing Wyatt growing larger in his mirror, made the move around Danny Edwards through Turns 3 and 4 to take over the lead.
As the field passed beneath the crossed flags, Greg Edwards held a four-length advantage over Danny Edwards. Behind them, Wertz had reeled in Wyatt and was hunting for an opening. He found it on lap 60, ducking low off Turn 4 and snagging the third position a lap later.
The second yellow flag appeared on lap 63 when Balluzzo had problems off Turn 2. The third caution flag waved on the ensuing restart when fifth-place Dean Shiflett cut a tire in Turn 1. Setting the lineup, Greg and Danny Edwards ran 1-2, followed by Wertz, Wyatt and Jeff Shiflett.
As the race resumed, the Edwardses again broke away. Danny Edwards tailed his brother back to Turn 4, then launched a bid to retake the lead. Greg Edwards dispensed with the challenge in Turn 2 on lap 64, however, regaining firm command of the top spot.
While the brothers tussled, third-place Wertz crept into the picture. He swiped the second position from Danny Edwards on lap 71, only to see Edwards return the favor four laps later. The exchange allowed Greg Edwards to pull away by over half a straightaway.
Caution flag #4 flew on lap 79 when Wyatt, who had dropped back to fifth, cut down a right-front tire and skidded to a halt in Turn 4.
Under green for what would turn out to be the final time, Greg Edwards eked out a slim margin over Danny Edwards. By lap 85, his lead was up to three car-lengths and growing.
Over the remaining circuits, Danny Edwards tried to rally, but he could get no closer than three lengths as Greg Edwards won by 0.709-second. Wertz was third, completing the season’s 10th 1-2-3 Dodge sweep. Jeff Shiflett was fourth, while Balluzzo rebounded from his mishap on lap 63 to take fifth.
DeBolt and Mitch Sarvis were sixth and seventh, respectively, the final drivers on the lead lap. Jeff Sampson, Craig Eastep and David Butler completed the top 10.
In Victory Lane after the race, Greg Edwards commented on his evening’s efforts: “That was a really good car there. Last race, we had some problems with the car and really struggled all night and had the worst finish of the season. This week, we tore everything apart and had it all rebuilt, put it back together. I’ve gotta thank the guys for doing that. They just came back and it was awesome today. It wasn’t that good on restarts, but, once we got running, I didn’t have no complaints about it. It was pretty much perfect.”
For Danny Edwards, his runner-up finish represented something of a reversal of fortune as it marked the first time since July 7 that he had come home ahead of Wertz, his chief rival for the ‘07 track title. After July 7, the division switched from Goodyear to American Racer brand tires.
When informed of that factual tidbit, Danny Edwards responded, “Yeah, I don’t need to be reminded of that. We’ve been doing a lot of experimenting since we went to this tire and we’re finally getting some things to pay off. We’ve got a little bit more work to do. We pretty much run a different setup every week, trying to find something that we like. The guys on the team are working awful hard and sticking with me. It’s been a little struggle, but our main goal is to get back in Victory Lane and, hopefully, we won’t have any bad point nights.”
Considering his starting position, Wertz was pretty satisfied with his third-place outing: “That’s fairly decent. We had to run her hard to get any ground tonight because, y’know, them boys are fast and they were rolling, so I couldn’t just sit back there and ride. I had to get up on the horse and kick him with the spurs and see if I could get it going. By the time I got to Danny, she was pretty much used up. Qualifying, my bad. We did some stupid stuff. I should just leave the car alone. The more I work on it, the worse it gets.”
With three races left in the 2007 campaign, Danny Edwards now holds a 28-point lead over Wertz, 992-964, in the chase for the Late Model championship.
In the evening’s other feature events:
Shawn Balluzzo started on the pole, at 86.135 mph, and wired the field for his second win of the year in the 50-lap B&C Seafood Modified race, moving a step closer to his second straight Mod championship.
Rusty Wood started alongside Balluzzo on the front row and stayed on his flank until the leaders reached Turn 4 on the opening lap. Exiting the corner, Balluzzo pulled ahead to grab the early lead.
A three-car incident in Turn 1 on lap 2 brought out the first yellow flag.
Back under green, Balluzzo and Wood opened a three-length margin over third-place Bubba Farmer. Behind them, Buster Horne moved up to challenge three-time race winner Joe Scarbrough for the fourth position.
The second caution flag flew on lap 9 when Donnie Medlin spun off Turn 2.
When the race resumed, Balluzzo and Wood again showed that they were the class of the field, pulling away by four lengths over Farmer. By lap 13, the two leaders had stretched their advantage to half a straightaway.
The last of the race’s three caution flags was displayed on lap 18 to allow rescue personnel to tend to a medical emergency in the pit area. The field was brought to a halt as a lengthy red-flag delay ensued.
Coming back to the green flag, Wood slipped loose off Turn 4 and Balluzzo took advantage, racing out to a three-length lead. By the halfway mark, he had added two more car-lengths to the gap.
For most of the second half of the event, Balluzzo’s lead varied from three to five lengths. Nearing the finish, though, the margin began to narrow considerably as Wood pulled to within a single car-length at lap 44.
With Wood on his bumper, Balluzzo encountered slower traffic on lap 48. He quickly dispensed with the lapped machines and drove away, opening some much-needed breathing room.
At the checkers, Balluzzo was the winner by 0.355-second — about two lengths — over Wood. Farmer was third, holding off a determined charge from Scarbrough in the waning circuits. Chris Johnson was fifth to the line.
Tommy Nixon led the final three circuits to post his third victory of the season in the 25-lap Cook’s Moving Service Super Truck race.
Nixon started on the pole, at 74.047 mph, but gave way to his front row colleague, John Hollis, at the end of the opening lap. Nixon made a bid to regain the top spot on lap 2, but nearly lost control of his truck in the middle of Turns 3 and 4. Points leader Craig Firman got the worst of that deal as he checked up to avoid Nixon and was hit from behind. After a visit to the pits, Firman rejoined the tail of the field.
Three more laps had gone in the books when the second, and final, yellow flag appeared for Debbie Biesecker’s spin off Turn 2.
On the restart, Nixon took a look to the outside of Hollis. The move didn’t pay off and he nearly gave up second place in the process. While Hollis and Nixon emerged from the scuffle with their positions intact, third place did change hands as Robbie Davis bypassed Evan VanLeeuwen.
Over the remaining laps, Nixon stalked Hollis for the top spot, following closely in the leader’s tire tracks.
Nixon manufactured the winning pass on lap 23, driving under Hollis on the backstretch and grabbing the upper hand off Turn 4.
At the finish, Nixon was the winner by 0.208-second — one truck-length. Hollis was second, while Davis, VanLeeuwen and Troy Turnage rounded out the top five. Firman battled back from his early-race misfortunes, reportedly a clutch problem, to salvage sixth.
Jamie Sample snagged the lead from his brother, Randy, on the final lap and posted his second win in a 25-lapper for the E-Z Auto Rental UCARs.
Randy Sample started on the pole, at 70.393 mph, and showed the way for the first 24 circuits. He could never shake free from Jamie Sample, though. In fact, Jamie Sample actually took the lead on lap 9, only to see the pass negated by a caution flag.
In all, the race was interrupted by five yellow flags. Beginning with the fourth one, at lap 13, officials began scoring the caution laps. The last caution flag appeared on lap 18 and set up a two-lap, “green-white-checkered” sprint to the finish.
Under green for the last time, Jamie Sample tried to poke a fender underneath Randy Sample in Turns 1 and 2. That bid was rebuffed, but Randy Sample couldn’t hold his brother back when they reached the end of the backstretch. The two exited Turn 4 and headed for the white flag side by side.
The two remained door-to-door until the final corner when Jamie Sample, running the inside lane, gained a slight advantage.
At the stripe, Jamie Sample was the winner by 0.118-second — less than a car-length — over Randy Sample. Points leader Kevin Alves was third, followed by Dusty Connor and Randy Prillaman.
Jeff Sampson scored his eighth victory of the year in the 25-lap Wolf Contractors Wolf Truck feature. He started on the pole, at 80.975 mph, and led all the way.
Randy Bradsher started on the outside of the front row and held down the runner-up position for all 25 circuits. In the early going, he fell back by as much as five lengths. The race’s only caution flag, which came out on lap 11, tightened the field, though.
On the restart, Sampson jumped out to a three-length lead. Bradsher reeled him in, however, and, by lap 20, the two were nose-to-tail.
Bradsher appeared ready to pounce on lap 23. Before he could pull the trigger on a winning pass, though, he was momentarily stymied by a slower truck in his path and Sampson slipped away.
At the checkers, Sampson was the winner by 0.354-second — a little more than one truck-length — over Bradsher. Michael Farmer, Matt Carter and Mike Johnson tailed Sampson and Bradsher to the line.
David Phelps took the lead for good on lap 16 and rolled to his second win in the 20-lap Kim Jusino, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Kart feature, solidifying his place atop the series standings.
Dwain Smith started on the pole, at 61.301 mph, and teamed up with drafting partner Ryan Hudgins to take the early lead. Meanwhile, Phelps, who started fifth, linked up with Casey Wyatt and Spencer Saunders and began to chase down the leaders.
With Wyatt and Saunders in tow, Phelps took the lead for the first time on lap 11. Smith, however, battled back to lead laps 12 through 15. Working the high side, Phelps pushed his kart back to the front on lap 16 and was ahead when the race’s only caution flag was displayed on lap 18 as Saunders spun out of the lead pack in Turn 4.
Lining up for the restart, Phelps was the leader, followed by Smith, Hudgins and Wyatt.
Back under green, Hudgins pulled to the outside of Smith and a mad scramble commenced at the head of the field. Phelps picked up drafting help from Danny Wyatt and Jeremy Grogg and maintained the lead.
Phelps, Danny Wyatt and Grogg remained nose-to-tail until the final lap when Wyatt tried to slip past Phelps on the inside off Turn 4. Phelps blocked that advance and won by 0.075-second — less than a kart-length — over Danny Wyatt. Grogg was third, while Hudgins and Smith came home fourth and fifth.
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