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Langley Speedway

Langley Speedway News
NAPA AutoCare Centers Night Race Report Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007
Sep 23, 2007 - updated Sep 23rd, 2007 11:11am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey

Hampton, VA --

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway

Mark Wertz led the final 62 circuits and posted his seventh win of the season in the NAPA AutoCare Centers 75 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Models, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.

Division points leader Danny Edwards set the pace in afternoon time trials, lapping the .395-mile oval at 86.072 mph. Nick Smith and Wertz were just a tick slower than Edwards and claimed the second and third starting positions, respectively, while Mark Claar and Casey Wyatt clocked in fourth- and fifth-fastest.

After one false start, the race got under way and Edwards immediately jumped into the lead. Wertz rushed in to fill the opening to the inside of Smith, coming away with the runner-up spot. Smith settled into third, followed by Wyatt and Claar.
By lap 4, the top three had opened a three-length gap over fourth-place Wyatt, who had his hands full with Claar and Shawn Balluzzo. Claar moved around Wyatt for fourth on lap 6 and Balluzzo tagged along, dropping Wyatt from the top five.
At the front, Wertz was parked on Edwards’ bumper, waiting for an opportunity to seize command. That opportunity came on lap 13 as Wertz poked a fender underneath the leader off Turn 4. He drew even along the frontstretch and completed the pass in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 14. Smith followed on Wertz’s heels and gained the second spot.
For a few laps, it appeared that Wertz and Smith would be staging a private duel for the win. Before that battle could take shape, however, Smith cut down a right-front tire and slapped the Turn 2 wall on lap 20, bringing out the second of the race’s three caution flags and ending his night prematurely.

Back under green, Wertz quickly forged a lead of a little more than a car-length over Edwards. Behind them, Balluzzo was on the move, snagging the third position from Claar. Wyatt tried to follow Balluzzo’s cue, but Claar managed to hold him off.
The last yellow flag appeared on lap 26 when Kim Forrester looped his machine in Turn 4. Setting the lineup, Wertz, Edwards, Balluzzo, Claar and Wyatt made up the top five.
As the race resumed, Balluzzo failed to come up to speed right away and gave way to Claar and Wyatt. Sixth-place Jeff Shiflett pulled to the inside of Balluzzo, but couldn’t complete the pass as Balluzzo finally got his #48 car wound up. The brief shuffle allowed Wertz and Edwards to drive off by half a straightaway.
Closing in on the halfway mark, Wyatt went after Claar for third place, grabbing the spot on lap 30. Two laps later, Balluzzo also scooted by Claar to take over fourth.
Over the second half of the event, Wertz increased his margin over Edwards to as much as a full straightaway. Working patiently past slower traffic, he surrendered a bit of that advantage in the last 10 laps. He was still comfortably ahead at the checkers, though, winning by 1.618 seconds.

Edwards was second to the line, followed by Balluzzo, who came out on top of a physical, late-race tussle with Wyatt to take third. Wyatt was fourth and Claar rounded out the top five.
Brothers Jeff and Dean Shiflett were sixth and seventh, in that order, followed by Paul DeBolt, Mitch Sarvis and Jeff Sampson. The top 10 finishers were all on the lead lap at the end.
In Victory Lane after the race, Wertz noted the uphill battle that he faces in trying to overtake Edwards for the track title: “I want to thank Danny for giving my two points back he took last week. Danny’s gonna be tough to beat for the championship, but all we can do now is try to get the most wins we can. We struggled a little last week, rebounded this week, had a great race car. My guys, I tell ya’, they’re unstoppable when they’re ‘on.’”
Wertz wrapped up his post-race remarks by dedicating his victory to the family of Buster Horne Sr. Horne, a longtime Langley participant, passed away last Monday.
For his part, second-place Edwards could only offer a salute to the race winner: “It wasn’t too bad. We could keep him in our sights there, but we definitely didn’t have the car tonight. It was way off. I don’t know. Something’s wrong. I was getting some weird feeling in the rear end and it was kinda smelling a little bit. But, the guys did a good job on this car, keeping it up front all year for me. We’ve got a couple more races to go, so we’re just gonna hang on here. We definitely want to get back to Victory Lane, but we’ve gotta take it a little bit at a time here.”
Despite his third-place showing, Balluzzo was still a bit steamed over his late-race run-in with Wyatt: “After all the stuff that went on out on the racetrack, I was bound and determined to get back into third, at least. It’s such a difference in racing Late Models and Modifieds and a lot goes with the drivers. I mean, it’s just such a difference.”
As Edwards pointed out in his comments, two races remain in the 2007 Late Model points season. Heading into those events, Edwards holds a 26-point edge over Wertz, 1,040-1,014, and can wrap up the championship with a pair of seventh-place outings.

In the evening’s other feature events:

Starting from the outside of Row 1, Bobby Spivey moved out front on the opening circuit of the 40-lap Dunkum’s Machine Shop/Super 8 Motels Grand Stock feature and dusted the field to claim his first victory of the season.
David Gray was the pole-sitter for the race, clocking in at 78.115 mph. When the green flag dropped, however, it was Spivey, his front-row colleague, leading the charge into Turn 1.
The field was slowed by two caution flags in the early going. The first of those, at lap 2, involved points leader Paul Lubno, who locked bumpers with Bobby Ferebee in Turn 2. They ended up in the infield and their cars had to be separated by track workers.
Under green following the second (and final) yellow flag, at lap 9, Spivey bolted from the pack, quickly opening a four-length lead, then setting sail.
Behind Spivey, Gray held down the runner-up spot until lap 29 when he gave way to Jason Leftwich. A lap later, Chris Roberts slipped past, dropping Gray to fourth.
At the finish, Spivey was the winner by a whopping 5.930 seconds — better than a full straightaway — over Leftwich. Roberts was third to the line, followed by Gray and Brandon Hinson. Lubno rebounded from his early mishap to take sixth.

Shawn Balluzzo scored his third win of the year in the 50-lap B&C Seafood Modified feature, taking the lead on lap 42.
Pole starter Rusty Wood, who qualified at 84.860 mph, showed the way for the first 41 laps. Balluzzo, meanwhile, didn’t post a qualifying lap and had to start shotgun on the 14-car grid.
Steadily moving toward the front, Balluzzo cracked the top five on lap 13 and moved past Joe Scarbrough for the runner-up spot on lap 33.
Balluzzo launched his bid for the lead on lap 41, ducking under Wood in Turn 4. The two went door-to-door for a lap with Balluzzo gaining the clear-cut edge off the fourth corner on lap 42.
At the finish, Balluzzo was the winner by 0.419-second — about two car-lengths — over Wood. Scarbrough came home third, followed by Henry Jones and Buster Horne Jr., who honored his late father with one of his strongest outings of the season.

Nick Smith captured his third win of the season in a 25-lapper for the Peninsula Hardwood Mulch INEX Legends. He started fourth and led the last five laps.
Points leader Ryan Crites started from the pole, at 77.781 mph, and paced the first 20 circuits. Smith, meanwhile, moved into second place on lap 6 and was soon hounding Crites for the lead.
Smith pulled off the winning pass in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 21. Crites looked to return the favor, but, just as he appeared ready to pull the trigger, a slower car stymied his progress. That was all the advantage that Smith would need as he held on to win by 0.125-second.
Steve Causey tailed Smith and Crites to the checkers, in third, followed by Don McLaughlin and Jeremy Cook.

In the 25-lap Wolf Contractors Wolf Truck feature, Jeff Sampson started on the pole, at 83.134 mph, and wired the field to collect his ninth win, tops among all Langley drivers this season.
Randy Bradsher shared the front row with Sampson and held down the runner-up spot throughout the race. He was 0.950-second back at the finish.
Rob Hughes was third, holding off a last-lap bid from Michael Farmer, to secure the position. The two were side by side off the final corner and, thanks to generous doses of luck and skill, they managed to avoid Eric Schaffer, who had spun and come to rest crossways the track at the start/finish line.
Matt Carter was fifth in the official rundown.

Jeremy Grogg was declared the winner of a 20-lap contest for the Steadfast Security & Investigation MACKA Champ Karts when the apparent winner, Chris Johnson, ran afoul of the series’ post-race procedures.
Johnson took the lead in Turn 3 on the final lap and beat Grogg to the checkers by 0.081-second. By MACKA rules, when Victory Lane ceremonies ended, Johnson was to accompany his kart to the inspection area. He was slated to run the Modified race, however, which was next on the schedule.
Since he didn’t properly present his kart for inspection, Johnson was DQ’d and the win passed to Grogg. Alan Purser, Brad Davis, Darek McCauley and Stanley Holmes rounded out the amended top five.
• • •

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway

Hampton, VA

NAPA AutoCare Centers Night Race Results Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007

LATE MODELS - 75 laps

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (40) Mark Wertz; 75
2. (26) Danny Edwards; 75
3. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 75
4. (29) Casey Wyatt; 75
5. (7) Mark Claar; 75
6. (01) Jeff Shiflett; 75
7. (06) Dean Shiflett; 75
8. (34) Paul DeBolt; 75
9. (88) Mitch Sarvis; 75
10. (8) Jeff Sampson; 75
11. (2) Craig Eastep; 74
12. (38) Kim Forrester; 73
13. (18) D.J. Valente; 73
14. (12) Ross Clements; 67
15. (21) Nick Smith; 19

Pole: Danny Edwards - 86.072 mph.

GRAND STOCKS - 40 laps

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (1) Bobby Spivey; 40
2. (92) Jason Leftwich; 40
3. (11) Chris Roberts; 40
4. (43) David Gray; 40
5. (81) Brandon Hinson; 40
6. (14) Paul Lubno; 40
7. (95) Danny Harrell; 40
8. (5) Robert Ellis; 40
9. (8) Ricky Derrick; 40
10. (19) Robbie Parker; 40
11. (77) Carl Livingston; 40
12. (01) Ron Hester; 39
13. (84) Brandon Carteret; 39
14. (24) Gene Smith; 39
15. (27) Bernie Fairchild; 39
16. (33) Hank Karwoski; 39
17. (75) Jeff Driskill; 39
18. (29) Jack Robinson; 38
19. (88) Brandon Ray; 17
20. (12) George VanGuilder; 2
21. (23) Bobby Ferebee; 1
22. (4) Matthew Waltz; 1

Pole: David Gray - 78.115 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.

1. (57) Shawn Balluzzo; 50
2. (69) Rusty Wood; 50
3. (30) Joe Scarbrough; 50
4. (02) Henry Jones; 50
5. (6) Buster Horne Jr.; 50
6. (36) Chris Johnson; 50
7. (0) Danny Baker; 50
8. (11) Bubba Farmer; 50
9. (39) Toby Davis; 50
10. (72) David Wheeler; 49
11. (84) Donnie Medlin; 48
12. (65) Jimmy Kibler; 48
13. (33) Rob Wells; 12
14. (5) Michael Leech; 7

Pole: Rusty Wood - 84.860 mph.

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

1. (12) Nick Smith; 25
2. (00) Ryan Crites; 25
3. (9) Steve Causey; 25
4. (21) Don McLaughlin; 25
5. (27) Jeremy Cook; 25
6. (25) Dale Blankenship; 25
7. (22) Brian May; 25
8. (30) Joe Hendricks; 25
9. (2) Chris Lemonds; 25
10. (0) Steve Keesee; 24
11. (08) Jamie Price; 12
12. (16) Chris Peterson; 3

Pole: Ryan Crites - 77.781 mph.

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

1. (8) Jeff Sampson; 25
2. (33) Randy Bradsher; 25
3. (11) Rob Hughes; 25
4. (9) Michael Farmer; 25
5. (17) Matt Carter; 25
6. (22) Jill Brinson; 25
7. (3) Eric Schaffer; 23
8. (00) Jeff Hellner; 22

Pole: Jeff Sampson - 83.134 mph.

Fin. Pos. (Kart #) Driver; Laps Compl.

1. (81) Jeremy Grogg; 20
2. (59) Alan Purser; 20
3. (18) Brad Davis; 20
4. (6) Darek McCauley; 20
5. (38) Stanley Holmes; 20
6. (27) Bobby Peach; 20
7. (23) Greg Burgess; 20
8. (64) Ben Hammock; 20
9. (28) Rob Cotic; 20
10. (8) LeRoy Devore; 19
11. (21) Jason Houck; 19
12. (55) Ryland Craze; 19
13. (01) Stan Holmes; 18
14. (95) Gabe Salisbury; 14
DQ (36) Chris Johnson; 20

(Finished 1st, but failed to properly present
his kart for post-race tech inspection.)
Pole: Jeremy Grogg - via draw.

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