Nester takes fourth straight Super Street race

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2009

HAMPTON — Chris Johnson took the lead on the opening circuit and held off a hard-charging Shawn Balluzzo at the finish for his third victory of the season in the Hampton Roads Toyota Dealers 50 for the B&C Seafood Modifieds, the featured event Saturday evening at Langley Speedway.

Johnson set the pace in afternoon time trials, nabbing the pole with a lap at 84.302 mph.

By lap 7, Johnson had opened a three-length gap between himself and Rusty Wood. Another half a straightaway separated Wood and a battle between Joe Scarbrough and Shawn Balluzzo.


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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 race’s second caution flag appeared on lap 24. Cautions No. 3 and No. 4 quickly followed on laps 25 and 29.

Back under green, Balluzzo resumed his pursuit of Wood for second. He shadowed the No. 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. Balluzzo’s 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. Mark Wertz and Humblet completed the top five.

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 and shared the front row with Randy Sample. 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.

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, Jeramie 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 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. 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.

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 about a car-length.

Rette Causey started on the pole and led all 25 laps to snag his first win of the season in the Casey Cycle City INEX Legends feature.

Division leader Jamie Price started alongside Causey on Row 1. On the start, Causey shot into the lead and left the door open for Brad Hancock, who came away with second. On lap 5, Price retook second from Hancock. The shuffling allowed Causey to pull off by nearly half a straightaway.

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.

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, but had to start at the rear of the field when a full inversion was ordered.

Ganoe held a half-straightaway lead when his night came to a sudden end on lap 19. 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, Tony 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.

Jeff Sampson was the winner in a 10-lap Wolf Truck match race with Mark Claar. Sampson’s official margin of victory over Claar was 0.468-second.