Langley sees four firsts

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009

HAMPTON — Greg Edwards led from pole to checkers, fending off a challenge from C.E. Falk in the closing laps, and claimed his first victory of the year in the Quaker Steak & Lube 100 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Model Stock Cars, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.

The race got off to an inauspicious start with Danny Edwards Jr. experiencing mechanical problems as the field headed into Turn 1 for the first time. As Edwards slowed and tried to find an escape route, cars stacked up in his wake. Terry Carroll spun and collected Woody Howard to bring out the caution flag.

As the field gathered for another try at getting the event under way, Edwards and Howard, the second- and fifth-ranked drivers in the class, were relegated to the sidelines.

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By lap 4, Greg Edwards had forged a four-length advantage over Falk, who was locked in a three-way battle for second.

Things took another weird turn on lap 10 when C.E. Falk’s window net became detached, earning him a black flag. He continued to circle the track, however, and looped his machine into the infield grass off the backstretch on lap 16.

On lap 51, Falk slipped around Edwards to return to the lead lap. He still faced an uphill climb, though, to get back into contention for the win.

Within three laps, between laps 65-67, Falk moved from fifth to second

A yellow flag flew on lap 79. The caution allowed Falk to close up on Edwards’ rear bumper for the restart.

Returning to green, Falk stalked Edwards for a few circuits, then launched a bid for the lead on lap 83, ducking under the front-runner off Turn 2. Just a lap later, Falk’s night came to an abrupt end as he and Edwards tussled on the backstretch. Falk spun and whacked the outside wall.

On the final restart, Edwards established a two-length advantage over Jeff Shiflett. Within a couple laps, he had doubled that margin.

At the finish, Edwards was the winner by 1.526 seconds — almost half a straightaway — over Shiflett. Matt Waltz was third, holding off Shawn Balluzzo in the closing circuits, and Kyle Waltz was fifth.

In the evening’s other feature events:

In a caution-free 40-lapper for the Old Point National Bank Grand Stocks, Jammie Goode moved out front on lap 3 and showed the way to his fourth victory of the season.

Ricky Derrick started on the pole and took the lead out of Turn 4 on lap 1.

By lap 10, Goode had widened his advantage to three lengths over Derrick, who enjoyed a five-length margin over third-place Robbie Parker.

At the finish, Goode was the winner by 0.312-second — a little more than a car-length — over Derrick. Parker was third, followed by Anthony Kincaid and Mark Claar.

Rick Potter assumed the lead on the 24th circuit and led the final two laps for his first victory of the season in the 25-lap Med Express Urgent Care Super Truck race. Tommy Nixon, gunning for his fourth straight win, qualified on the pole.

In a two-lap sprint to the finish after a caution, Potter held off Paul Hogge, Sr. and won by 0.238-second — about a truck-length.

Dusty Connor notched his first win of the year in the 25-lap EZ Auto of Newport News UCAR feature, taking the lead on lap 14.

Adam Florian started on the pole and set the pace for the first eight laps. Officials detected a fluid leak from his car, however, and he was black-flagged.

On lap 13, Connor, who started fifth in the 24-car field, slipped underneath Renno Marchetti IV in Turns 3 and 4. Working in and around lapped traffic, Connor surged ahead one lap later to gain the lead.

Chris Hildebrand was able to close in the waning circuits, but it wasn’t nearly enough as Connor rolled to a 0.742-second win. Randy Prillaman tailed Connor and Hildebrand to the line.

Doug Warren added his name to the evening’s list of first-time winners, leading from wire-to-wire to win the 30-lap Standard Welding Pro 6 race.

David Phelps qualified on the pole but failed to come up to speed on the start. Warren, the outside pole-sitter, leaped into the lead.

The first caution flag came out on lap 15 when Phelps spun off Turn 4, handing second place to Casey Sipe.

Over the closing laps, Warren concentrated on holding a smooth line, taking care to guard the inside groove and forcing Sipe to look to the outside. Despite contact in Turn 2 on the final circuit, Sipe was unable to rattle Warren, who held on to win by 0.330-second.