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Langley Speedway News
Johnson takes 3rd Mod win; Nester runs Super Street streak to four
May 31, 2009 - updated May 31st, 2009 10:23am
Web posted by Gary Daughtrey
Hampton, VA --
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Langley Speedway
Hampton Roads Toyota Dealers Night Race Report Saturday, May 30, 2009
Chris Johnson took the lead on the opening circuit and held off a hard-charging Shawn Balluzzo at the finish to post his third victory of the season in the Hampton Roads Toyota Dealers 50 for the B&C Seafood Modifieds, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Johnson set the pace in afternoon time trials, nabbing the pole with a lap at 84.302 mph. Balluzzo clocked in second-fastest, only 45-thousandths of a second slower than the pole-sitter. Rusty Wood and Late Model regular Mark Wertz made up the second row, while Joe Scarbrough rounded out the top five.
On the initial start, Johnson and Balluzzo raced side-by-side into Turn 1 with Johnson gaining the upper hand off the second corner. Before the lap was completed, however, trouble broke out near the rear of the field and several large chunks of the infield turf ended up littering Turn 3. Officials ordered a complete restart.
Under green for a second time, Johnson cleared Balluzzo along the back straightaway to take the lead. Wood quickly slipped ahead of Balluzzo for second and left the door open for Scarbrough, who pulled ahead of Balluzzo on lap 3.
By lap 7, Johnson had opened a three-length gap between himself and Wood. Another half a straightaway separated Wood and the Scarbrough/Balluzzo battle.
After slipping to fourth place, Balluzzo began making his way back toward the front on lap 14. He ducked under Scarbrough in Turns 1 and 2 and cleared Scarbrough’s #30 machine off Turn 4. The exchange, however, allowed the lead duo to add to their sizable edge.
At lap 19, Johnson enjoyed a half-straightaway margin over second-place Wood. He began to encounter slower traffic, though, and Wood and Balluzzo closed in. The leaders broke into the clear on lap 22 and Johnson quickly darted away by four lengths, while Balluzzo hounded Wood for the runner-up spot.
The race’s second caution flag appeared on lap 24 when Michael Leech spun in Turn 4, while battling Jimmy Humblet for fifth. Cautions #3 and #4 quickly followed on laps 25 and 29. Setting the lineup, Johnson, Wood, Balluzzo and Scarbrough ran 1-4 with Humblet holding the fifth spot.
Back under green, Balluzzo resumed his pursuit of Wood. He shadowed the #69 car until lap 32 when he nosed ahead for second. Johnson, meanwhile, had fashioned a four-length lead. As the laps clicked off, though, Balluzzo made up the ground.
The fifth, and final, yellow flag waved on lap 41, setting up a sprint to the checkers. Johnson, Balluzzo, Wood, Scarbrough and Wertz made up the top five as the field bunched for the restart.
On the last restart, Johnson bolted to a two-length lead over Balluzzo. Deeper in the field, Wertz went after Scarbrough for fourth, eventually taking the position.
Scarbrough’s night came to a premature end on lap 45 as he slowed and headed for the pit area, retiring to a 12th-place finish.
At the head of the field, Balluzzo was scrambling to get within striking distance of Johnson. His effort came up a car-length short, though, as Johnson won by 0.262-second. Wood tailed Johnson and Balluzzo to the line, in third. Wertz was fourth and Humblet completed the top five.
Cameron Patrick was sixth, followed by Leech, Steve McGuire and Jimmy Kibler, the final driver on the lead lap. Buster Horne Jr. was shown in 10th, a lap off the leaders’ pace.
In the evening’s other feature events:
Ryan Nester regained the lead on a restart at the halfway point and motored on to his fourth straight win in the 50-lap Atlantic Power Sweeping Super Street race.
Nester claimed the pole position in qualifying for the event, at 74.240 mph, and shared the front row with Randy Sample. Larry Venable and Sean Calway lined up in Row 2, followed by Jeramie Wood.
As the race got under way, Sample remained on Nester’s flank until the field hit the backstretch for the first time. Heading toward Turn 3, Nester inched ahead and Sample settled into second, followed by Venable, Wood and Calway.
Sample tailed Nester for the first six laps, then launched a bid for the lead on lap 7. He ducked under the leader as they entered Turn 1 and forged ahead off the fourth corner. Behind them, Venable skated loose off Turn 4 and gave way to Wood and Calway, dropping to fifth.
At lap 19, Sample waded into slower traffic, up by two lengths over Nester. Working patiently, he cleared the lapped cars on the 22nd circuit, his lead having grown to four lengths. Meanwhile, Wood had closed in on Nester’s bumper and was challenging for second.
One lap past the halfway mark, the first caution flag appeared as Jamie Sample, Randy’s brother, slammed the outside wall in Turns 1 and 2.
On the restart, Nester wasted no time in going for the lead. He slipped underneath Sample in Turn 2, eased ahead as they returned to the flagstand and completed the pass in Turns 1 and 2 at the beginning of lap 27. Wood tagged along with Nester and moved into second, kicking Sample back to third.
The last of the race’s two caution flags flew on lap 33 when Harry VanGuilder rolled to a halt off Turn 4. Lining up for the restart, Nester was the leader, followed by Wood, Sample, Venable and Calway.
As the race resumed, Nester gained a slim margin over Wood and extended it to nearly three lengths as they rumbled out of Turn 2. Behind Nester and Wood, Calway slipped high in Turn 2 on lap 35 and surrendered fifth place to Jonathan Mullett. On the next circuit, Venable scooted around Sample to pick up third.
Entering the final 10 laps, Nester held a three-length lead over Wood. Wood, though, charged up onto the leader’s rear bumper and delivered several sharp raps.
Nester was unfazed by Wood’s bid, though, hanging on to win by 0.394-second — about a car-length. Wood was the runner-up, followed by Venable, Sample and Mullett.
Rette Causey started on the pole and led all 25 laps to snag his first victory of the season in the Casey Cycle City INEX Legends feature.
Causey won the pole with a 77.909-mph qualifying effort. Points leader Jamie Price started alongside Causey on Row 1. Brad Hancock and Brian May occupied Row 2, while Steve Keesee lined up in the fifth spot.
On the start, Causey shot into the lead and left the door open for Hancock, who quickly filled the void and came away with second. Price dropped into third, followed by Keesee and May.
On lap 4, May grabbed fourth from Keesee, while, one lap later, Price retook second from Hancock. The shuffling allowed Causey to pull off by nearly half a straightaway.
On lap 9, Keesee regained the fourth position from May. Meanwhile, Price was closing in on Causey, little by little.
Third-place Hancock fell off the pace on lap 13 and headed for the pits. Reports of fluid along the backstretch, then, prompted the race’s only caution flag, which waved on lap 14. As the field gathered for the restart, Causey, Price, Keesee, May and Joe Hendricks Jr. made up the top five.
Back under green, Causey opened a two-length advantage as Keesee moved up to challenge Price for second place. Price fought off the bid and drove away from Keesee.
By lap 20, Price had pulled to within a single car-length of the leader. After stalking Causey for a few circuits, Price took a run at the leader on lap 23, ducking low off Turn 4. The move didn’t pay off, though, and Causey pulled away by a couple lengths.
At the finish, Causey was the winner by 0.321-second — about two lengths — over Price. Keesee was third to the line, while May came out on top of a duel with Hendricks to take fourth.
Timothy Tiblis took the lead for good on lap 21 and rolled to his first win in a 25-lapper for the Larry King Legal Services Enduros.
Mike Ganoe turned the fastest qualifying lap, at 69.682 mph, but had to start at the rear of the field when a full inversion was ordered.
David Jordan started on the pole, but gave way to Tony Spivey on the opening lap. Ganoe, meanwhile, quickly charged toward the front and took the lead from Spivey on lap 5. Five laps later, Tiblis swiped second from Spivey.
Ganoe held a half-straightaway lead when his night came to a sudden end on lap 19. Feeling something amiss, he slowed in Turn 4 and pulled to the track apron. Just past the start/finish line, he and his right-rear wheel parted company, prompting a red-flag stoppage as he exited the track amidst a shower of sparks.
Ganoe’s misfortune turned the lead over to Tiblis. On the restart, however, Spivey got the drop on Tiblis and moved back to the point. Two laps later, though, Tiblis ran down and passed Spivey to retake the lead. He pulled away in the closing laps and won by half a straightaway.
Spivey was second to the line, holding off James Loving at the end. Brian Smith tailed the lead trio to the stripe, in fourth, while Jeff Sweeney completed the top five.
Jeff Sampson was the winner in a 10-lap Wolf Truck match race with Mark Claar. He qualified at 86.051 mph to gain the preferred starting spot, jumped out front at the drop of the green flag and maintained a two-length advantage all the way to the finish. Sampson’s official margin of victory over Claar was 0.468-second.
• • •
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Hampton Roads Toyota Dealers Night
Saturday, May 30, 2009
B&C SEAFOOD MODIFIEDS - 50 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (36) Chris Johnson; 50
2. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 50
3. (69) Rusty Wood; 50
4. (9) Mark Wertz; 50
5. (12) Jimmy Humblet; 50
6. (20) Cameron Patrick; 50
7. (5) Michael Leech; 50
8. (26) Steve McGuire; 50
9. (65) Jimmy Kibler; 50
10. (6) Buster Horne Jr.; 49
11. (55) Greg Burgess Sr.; 48
12. (30) Joe Scarbrough; 45
13. (22) Tim Layne; 27
14. (7) Steve Wagner; 22
Pole: Johnson - 84.302 mph.
ATLANTIC POWER SWEEPING
SUPER STREETS - 50 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (51) Ryan Nester; 50
2. (3) Jeramie Wood; 50
3. (14) Larry Venable; 50
4. (24) Randy Sample; 50
5. (95) Jonathan Mullett; 50
6. (21) Randy Akers; 50
7. (81) Jeff Shannon; 50
8. (15) Dale Parro; 50
9. (12) Sean Calway; 50
10. (01) John Foster Jr.; 50
11. (58) Doug Woodyard; 50
12. (92) Jack Robinson; 50
13. (2) Rod Busitzky; 50
14. (39) Garrett Willcox; 49
15. (55) Michael Farmer; 49
16. (09) Harry VanGuilder; 31
17. (28) Jamie Sample; 25
Pole: Nester - 74.240 mph.
CASEY CYCLE CITY
INEX LEGENDS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (33) Rette Causey; 25
2. (08) Jamie Price; 25
3. (0) Steve Keesee; 25
4. (22) Brian May; 25
5. (30) Joe Hendricks Jr.; 25
6. (7) Spencer Saunders; 25
7. (88) Chris Raiford; 25
8. (16) Chris Peterson; 25
9. (11) Chris Lemonds; 24
10. (17) Brad Hancock; 13
11. (1) Brian Simpson; 3
Pole: Causey - 77.909 mph.
LARRY KING LEGAL SERVICES
ENDUROS - 25 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (72) Timothy Tiblis; 25
2. (46) Tony Spivey; 25
3. (97) James Loving; 25
4. (06) Brian Smith; 25
5. (11) Jeff Sweeney; 25
6. (18) David Jordan; 24
7. (13) Larry Drommerhausen; 23
8. (82) Mike Ganoe; 18
9. (08) Wayne Groome; 13
Pole: Jordan - full-field inversion.
Fast Qualifier: Ganoe - 69.682 mph.
WOLF TRUCKS - 10 laps
Fin. Pos. (Truck #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (8) Jeff Sampson; 10
2. (7) Mark Claar; 10
Pole: Sampson - 86.051 mph.
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