Langley racing comes to Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2005

On Saturday evenings during racing at Langley Speedway in Hampton, the Suntrust bank logo can be seen on Bobby Dean’s Late Model 2000 Monte Carlo.

Actually, it might be a bit difficult to see – it’ll probably be whizzing past at 100 miles an hour!

&uot;Suntrust just came on board,&uot; said Dean, showing off his car at the Main Street Suntrust Wednesday afternoon. The bank began sponsoring Dean after Langley dedicated a night of racing to the bank earlier this season.

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&uot;We did this for two reasons,&uot; said Suntrust marketing manager Lisa Perkins. &uot;The first was because we’re a sponsor of Bobby, and the second was that we are the official bank of NASCAR, and we want to promote our NASCAR checking (promotion).&uot;

Checks and bankcards personalized with the names and images of such drivers as Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr. and Dale Jarrett are available for customers.

Before hitting the Late Model circuit, Dean, whose father Norman raced across Maryland and Virginia, drove in Grand Stock and Mini Truck racing at Langley, and was voted last year’s Most Popular driver in Arena Racing, the indoor action held at the Norfolk Scope and Hampton Coliseum.

&uot;It’s always been my lifelong dream,&uot; the Chesapeake resident said of Late Model racing. &uot;Everybody has a dream, and I’m 46, so I had to get out there and race.&uot;

Like his father (and the elder Earnhardt), Dean’s racecar carries the number three. He’s currently second in the points race for rookie Late Model drivers, behind Nick Smith.

Langley assistant promote Sandra Emerson also brought the track pace car, which starts off the races and re-starts them if there’s a wreck or caution flag, for local fans to look at.

&uot;We wanted to help Suntrust,&uot; she said, &uot;and we want to get everyone aware of what great racing we have on Saturday nights.&uot;

The next round of racing at Langley comes this Saturday, kicking off at 7 p.m. Late Model, Grand Stock, Super Street, Mini Truck and Ucar racing will be held. The track is located at 11 Dale Lemonds Dr. (off of Armistead Blvd.) in Hampton. For more information, call 865- RACE (7223).