Big pass decides Modified race at Langley

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shawn Balluzzo moved from third to first on lap 38 and rolled on to his second victory of the season in the SYSCO of Hampton Roads 50 for the B and C Seafood Modifieds, the featured event Saturday at Langley Speedway.

Gunning for his sixth win, Chris Johnson nabbed the pole position in time trials, lapping the .395-mile oval at 83.475 mph.

Johnson owned a slim edge over Balluzzo in the opening circuits. He widened the margin to three lengths, though, as Rusty Wood began to hound Balluzzo for the second spot.

The Balluzzo/Wood duel lasted until lap 29 when Wood pulled ahead in Turns 1 and 2. The exchange allowed Johnson to pad his lead to five lengths. Within four laps, however, Wood had trimmed the deficit in half. On lap 36, Johnson ran up on slower cars and Wood erased the remainder of his lead.

Coming around to complete lap 38, Wood and Johnson got together off Turn 4 and Johnson’s car skittered sideways. Wood backed off to allow Johnson to make the save. The scuffle left the top side of the track wide open, though, and Balluzzo pounced on the opportunity, roaring into the lead.

Four laps later, Balluzzo had fashioned a three-length edge over Wood. The field was bunched, however, when the only caution flag waved on lap 43.

Returning to green, Balluzzo forged a slim margin over Wood. Heading onto the backstretch, though, Joe Scarbrough ducked under Wood in a bid for second. Scarbrough nosed ahead at the flagstand and finally cleared Wood in Turns 3 and 4 on lap 44. While they dueled, Balluzzo pulled away by four lengths and was on his way to the win.

At the finish, Balluzzo was 0.647-second — about four lengths — ahead of Scarbrough. Wood was third to the line, while Johnson and Michael Leech rounded out the top five.

“We thought we gave it away in the pits ‘cause we made a change right before the race and it was definitely the wrong direction ‘cause the car wasn’t as good as it usually is,” said Balluzzo.

“But, these guys were racing so hard and I had a really good view of it and kinda waited for something to happen and something happened and no caution.”

In the evening’s other feature races:

In the 40-lap Old Point National Bank Grand Stock race, Jammie Goode bounced back from a disappointing outing on July 18 to notch his division-leading sixth win of the year.

Goode started on the pole, sharing the front row with Mark Claar, the winner of the previous event. As the race got under way, Goode beat Claar into Turn 1 to take the lead.

On lap 25, Goode headed into traffic and Ricky Derrick cut the gap to a single car-length. Once free of the slower machines, though, Goode began to ease away again.

Derrick took one more run at Goode on lap 34 as the leaders approached another slower machine. He could get no closer than a car-length, though, as Goode held on for the victory.

Robbie Davis started on the pole and sailed to his first victory of the season in a 25-lapper for the Med Express Urgent Care Super Trucks.

At the finish, Davis was the winner by a whopping 5.197 seconds over Brad Adams, who held off Tommy Nixon for second.

Casey Sipe moved out front on lap 25 and showed the way to his fifth victory in the 30-lap Standard Welding Pro 6 feature.

Warren Smigo started on the pole and led the first 24 laps. After shadowing the leader for about six circuits, Sipe went after Smigo for the lead on lap 25, driving under him off Turn 2 and completing the pass in Turns 3 and 4. By lap 28, Sipe had pulled away by three lengths.

At the stripe, Sipe was the winner by 0.390-second — about two lengths — over Smigo.

Starting fifth, Mike Ganoe took the lead from Mike West on lap 4 and breezed to his third win of the season in the 35-lap Larry King Legal Services Enduro race.