Thursday, August 30, 2012
NASCAR Southern Mods Headline Labor Day Weekend Slate
HAMPTON, Va. -- With rookie challenger Danny Bohn hot on his heels, points leader George Brunnhoelzl III leads the charge as the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour roars into Langley Speedway this Saturday, Sept. 1, for the Newport News Shipbuilding/BayPort Credit Union 150. The race is the eighth on an 11-race 2012 schedule and marks the series' third straight Labor Day weekend visit to Hampton.
In addition to the Southern Mod Tour, Saturday's lineup includes: KeesVacations.com Modifieds (50 laps); Pepsi Grand Stocks (40 laps); Heritage Motor Co. Super Streets (40 laps); SavitaPets.com UCARs (25 laps); and, Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts (20 laps). Also, Zambelli Fireworks Internationale will light up the night sky with one of its signature pyrotechnic displays.
Afternoon practice rounds for the Langley Speedway divisions get under way at 1 p.m. Ticket windows open at 2, coinciding with the start of the first Southern Mod practice. Qualifying begins at 4:45, followed by an autograph session with the Southern Mod stars at 6:15. Pre-race festivities commence at 6:50, while the Champ Karters kick off the evening's feature slate shortly after 7. The Newport News Shipbuilding/BayPort Credit Union 150 is scheduled for an 8 p.m. green flag.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children, 6-12. Military personnel (active-duty or retired), seniors (60+) and Newport News Shipbuilding employees (with ID) receive a $2 discount off the regular adult ticket price. Little Race Fans (under 6) are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Advance tickets may be purchased in the Speedway office during normal business hours or through the tracks Web site www.langley-speedway.com.
In search of his third NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship, Brunnhoelzl enters Saturday's 150 with a 52-point lead over Bohn. He picked up his fifth victory when he was the top finisher among the Southern Mod entries, and sixth overall, in last Wednesday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway, a combination tilt with the northeastern-based NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Bohn was seventh overall at Bristol and was credited with second-place Southern Mod points. Thomas Stinson, a familiar face at Langley, came home ninth in the overall Bristol rundown, third-best among the Southern Mod regulars.
Tim Brown, who recently claimed the 2012 Mod title at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., was the winner of the inaugural NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Langley in 2010, taking the lead for good with 19 laps to go.
Andy Seuss won the event's 2011 edition. He moved out front on lap 129 and won by 1.127 seconds over John Smith. Stinson, who led 88 of the 150 circuits, was third to the checkers.
James Civali established the series' Langley qualifying mark in 2010 with a lap at 91.523 mph (15.537 seconds). Popular series veteran Burt Myers bettered the standard in 2011, lapping the .395-mile oval in 15.365 seconds (92.548 mph).
Along with Stinson, other drivers on Saturday's entry list with significant Langley seat time include A.J. Winstead and Joe Scarbrough. Scarbrough, in fact, claimed the track's Modified championship in 2008, unseating Shawn Balluzzo, who has won every other Mod title since the division was added to the Langley roster in 2006.
Lee Pulliam easily retained the top spot in this week's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national top 500. Nate Monteith held onto second, while northeastern Mod aces Keith Rocco and Ryan Preece were third and fourth.
Dodging the foul weather that washed out Langley's Aug. 25 program, C.E. Falk finished third behind Deac McCaskill and Pulliam at Southern National Motorsports Park. Despite the top-five run, though, he still slipped from third to fifth in the national rankings.
Other drivers of local interest in the top 500 include: Hampton Heat 200 winner Matt Bowling (12th); Langley Late Model points leader Greg Edwards (59th); Wes Falk (107th); Shayne Lockhart (178th); Casey Wyatt (185th); Danny Edwards Jr. (202nd); Mark Wertz (229th); Terry Carroll (233rd); Jeff Shiflett (265th); Duane Shreeves (434th); and, J.T. Jackson (447th).
The top five in the Virginia state standings was unchanged from last week Pulliam, C.E. Falk, Bowling, Tommy Lemons Jr. and Peyton Sellers. Greg Edwards and Wes Falk remain eighth and 11th, respectively, while Lockhart and Wyatt are 14th and 15th, in that order. Danny Edwards Jr., who continued his stint behind the wheel of Wertz's #55 Chevy with a 10th-place finish last weekend at Southern National, is 19th.
With his eye on a sixth division crown in seven years, Shawn Balluzzo brings a six-point lead over Mike Rudy into Saturday's 50-lapper for the local Modified division, 299-293. Anthony Kincaid is third in the current points rundown, followed by Robbie Babb and Matt Slye.
Ricky Derrick holds a two-point lead over Tommy Sweeney in the Grand Stock standings, 235-233. Paul Lubno is third, while Mark Claar and Carl Livingston complete the top five.
In the Super Street class, Renno Marchetti IV owns a five-point edge over John Pereira, 220-215. Dale Parro, who won the last time out, is third, followed by '11 champ Ryan Nester and Sean Calway.
The UCARs will see their first action in over a month when the green flag drops on Saturday's 25-lapper. Bill Eaker is the points leader, eight ahead of Jon Largena, 182-174. Sammy Gaita, Tim Wilson and Landon Abbott round out the top five.
If UCAR drivers bemoan their weather-prompted lack of activity, they won't garner much sympathy from the Champ Kart crowd, who have been idle since the end of June. Charlie-Ray Lorah is the division leader, 30 up on Aaron Leach, 151-121. Matthew Dail, Matthew Leach and Sparky West are third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Langley Speedway will fall silent on Saturday, Sept. 8, as the local racing fraternity heads up I-64 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series activities at Richmond International Raceway.
The Hampton speedplant springs back to life on Saturday, Sept. 15, for Langley Federal Credit Union Night. The eight-race lineup includes: EZ Auto in Newport News Late Model Stock Cars (Twin 50s, final Late Model races of the season); KeesVacations.com Modifieds (Twin 30s); Pepsi Grand Stocks (40 laps); Larry King Law Super Trucks (25 laps); SavitaPets.com UCARs (25 laps); and, Standard Welding Pro Sixes (30 laps).
The Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts will also be in action on Sept. 15, taking their show on the road, to South Boston Speedway.
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.