Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Preview: Falk Guns for Hampton Heat 200 3-peat
HAMPTON, Va. -- Over $32,000 in posted awards, including $10,000 for the race winner, will be up for grabs this Saturday, July 28, when Langley Speedway plays host to the biggest event on its 2012 EZ Auto in Newport News Late Model Stock Car schedule the Fifth Annual Hampton Heat 200.
The Hampton Heat 200 will cap a four-race feature lineup on Saturday evening. The Larry King Law Super Trucks (25 laps), SavitaPets.com UCARs (25 laps) and Standard Welding Pro Sixes (30 laps) are also slated for action.
Saturday morning will be filled with Late Model technical inspections and a meeting for drivers and crew chiefs, while Late Model practice gets under way at 12 noon. Fans can sneak a free peek at Late Model practice until 1:45 p.m. At that time, the grandstand will be cleared in preparation for the opening of ticket windows at 2. Late Model practice wraps up at 2:30.
A drivers meeting for the Super Trucks, UCARs and Pro Sixes will be held at 2 and practice rounds for the three support divisions begin at 2:30. Pre-qualifying inspections for the Late Models starts at 3. Late Model qualifying is slated for 4:15, immediately followed by time trials for the support classes. Pre-race ceremonies get under way at 6:55 and the Super Trucks kick off the evening's racing program shortly after 7. The Hampton Heat 200 is scheduled to go green around 9.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, 6-12. Military personnel (active-duty or retired) and seniors (60+) receive a $2 discount off the regular adult ticket price. Little Race Fans (under 6) are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Family Packs, which include two adult and two kids tickets, are $25 a savings of $5.
Advance tickets may be purchased in the Speedway office during normal business hours or through the tracks Web site .
In addition to a healthy race purse, Late Model drivers will be competing for a variety of bonus prizes in the Hampton Heat 200. Carl's Racing Products is sponsoring a $500 Pole Award, while the Racing for Hope Foundation will present $200 to the leader at the halfway mark. $100 Sunoco gas cards will go to the pole winner, the race winner and the fifth-, 10th- and 15th-place finishers. The 10th- and 20th-place finishers will receive two new Hoosier tires.
C.E. Falk is the two-time defending winner of the Hampton Heat 200, having posted victories in 2010 and 2011. Car owner James Long fielded the winning entries in the first two editions of the event with Nick Smith taking the inaugural race in 2008 and Woody Howard finding his way to the winner's circle in 2009.
Saturday's Hampton Heat 200 is the second of the three races that make up the 2012 Virginia Triple Crown Series. The first race was the Danville Toyota 300 on March 10, South Boston Speedway's season opener. C.E. Falk was the winner, followed by Nick Smith. Eddie Johnson, Matt Bowling and Dennis Holdren rounded out the top five.
Former national champion Peyton Sellers was seventh in the SoBo event. He is due to take the wheel of Mark Wertz's #55 Chevy for the Hampton Heat 200. Wertz, fourth in the current Langley Late Model standings, is temporarily surrendering his driving duties while he recuperates from an ankle injury.
The last Virginia Triple Crown race will be the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, widely acknowledged as the Late Model "Super Bowl," on Oct. 21 at Martinsville Speedway.
c.E. Falk took last weekend off from the Late Model wars, opting to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. He started and finished 29th, dropping out just shy of the midway point because of a vibration.
While Falk was otherwise occupied, he slipped from second to third in this week's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national top 500. Lee Pulliam retained the top spot, while New England Modified ace Keith Rocco took over second. Ted Christopher, another Northeastern Mod pilot, ranks fourth and Nate Monteith is fifth.
Other Langley regulars in the top 500 include: Greg Edwards (60th); Wes Falk (109th); Wertz (128th); Casey Wyatt (144th); Shayne Lockhart (189th); Terry Carroll (203rd); Danny Edwards Jr. (215th); Jeff Shiflett (291st); Duane Shreeves (346th); and, J.T. Jackson (467th).
In addition to all the fanfare surrounding the Hampton Heat 200, Saturday will also be NASCAR Green Night at Langley Speedway. Through its Clean Air Tree Planting Program, NASCAR will donate 10 trees, up to 100, for every green flag that waves during Saturday's show. The trees, to be planted in the local community, help to offset the carbon emissions generated at the track.
The Clean Air Tree Planting Program was launched in 2009 at several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks. It was expanded in 2011 to include select NASCAR Whelen All-American Series venues. Other weekly tracks slated to hold NASCAR Green Nights in 2012 are Riverhead Raceway in New York, Limaland Motorsports Park in Ohio, Houston Motorsports Park in Texas and Stockton 99 Speedway in California.
To date, the "green" initiative has resulted in more than 3,000 trees being planted.
NASCAR action continues at Langley Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 4. The seven-race lineup includes KeesVacations.com Modifieds, Pepsi Grand Stocks (Twin 20s), Heritage Motor Co. Super Streets (Twin 20s), Cycle City Corp. INEX Legends and Xtreme Mechanical Services INEX Bandoleros.
A longtime member of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Langley Speedway is a .395-mile, slightly-banked oval. The track is located at 11 Dale Lemonds Dr., off North Armistead Ave., in Hampton, Va.
To learn more about Langley Speedway, fans may call the Speedway office at (757) 865-RACE or consult the tracks Web site www.langley-speedway.com.