Langley divisions near season’s end

Published 11:25 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2009

HAMPTON — Mark Wertz put an end to a two-year winless drought as he rolled to a convincing victory in the Whelen 100 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Model Stock Cars, the featured event of Saturday’s program at Langley Speedway.

Looking to gain ground in the division standings, Danny Edwards Jr. earned the pole position for the start, qualifying at 86.104 mph. Wertz was second-quickest, while points leader C.E. Falk started fifth.

By lap 4, Edwards and Wertz had put almost half a straightaway between themselves and third-place John Staton, Falk gained the third position on the following circuit.

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Sneaking occasional peeks to the inside, Wertz remained planted in Edwards’ tire tracks until lap 15. Heading into Turn 3, he poked a fender to Edwards’ inside and quickly completed the pass as they exited Turn 4. By the 22nd circuit, Wertz’s advantage had grown to five lengths, where it seemed to stabilize.

Wertz steered into slower traffic on lap 65, giving Falk an opportunity to close in. He was only able to shave a few car-lengths from the leader’s advantage, though, as Wertz navigated efficiently toward the finish.

At the checkers, Wertz was the winner by about half a straightaway over Falk. Edwards was third to the line, followed by Paul DeBolt, the only other driver on the lead lap at the end of the caution-free event.

“This team stuck together. Kern bought us a new race car over the winter and it’s been a long effort, but we finally brought ‘er back,” said Wertz.

“We all made a shock call, right before qualifying, to change the sway bar and, man, all I had to do was graze the brake and she free-rolled right through the middle,” said Wertz.

Falk holds the series lead over Edwards, 836-816, with only Oct. 10’s finale remaining.

In the evening’s other feature events:

Joe Scarbrough moved from third to first on the opening circuit and sailed to the win in a 50-lapper for the B&C Seafood Modifieds.

At the finish, Scarbrough was the winner by 1.624 seconds — about half a straightaway — over Jimmy Humblet.

Like the Late Models, the Mods will wrap up their ‘09 points campaign on Oct. 10. Shawn Balluzzo holds a 28-point edge over Chris Johnson, 532-504.

In the 40-lap Old Point National Bank Grand Stock feature, Jammie Goode started on the pole and led all the way for his seventh victory of the season.

The Grand Stocks will finish out their season on Oct. 10. Ricky Derrick leads Goode by 22 points, 576-554.

Larry Venable assumed the lead on lap 49, then survived a final restart to pick up his first victory of the year in the 50-lap Atlantic Power Sweeping Super Street race.

Under green for the last time, Venable eked out a one-length edge over Jeff Shannon and added another half-length to the margin as they hit the backstretch. Shannon came up a car-length short as Venable won by 0.153-second.

The Super Streets will crown their ‘09 champ next Saturday. Randy Sample enters the final points contest with a comfy 36-point lead.

Brad Hancock started on the pole and led all 25 laps for his fifth victory of the season in the Casey Cycle City INEX Legends race.

Hancock won by 0.158-second — a single car-length – and Spencer Saunders was the runner-up.

Heading into next Saturday’s points season finale, Steve Keesee holds a 30-point lead over Jamie Price, 512-482.

A late arrival to the track, Casey Sipe missed qualifying for the 30-lap Standard Welding Pro 6 feature and had to start shotgun on the field. It only delayed the inevitable, though, as he took the lead on lap 19 and stormed to his eighth win of the season.

At the stripe, Sipe was the winner by 3.421 seconds over Lindsay Bryant.

The Pro Sixers will wrap up their points season next Saturday. Sipe holds a 76-point lead over Bryant and cannot be overtaken in the finale.

Jake Harberts snagged the lead on the final circuit and captured his second win of the season in a 20-lapper for the Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts.

Ron Foxx was the pole-sitter for the event and led until the final lap. Passing the flagstand, Harberts and Adam Chalkley drove to the outside as a pair of slower karts blocked Foxx and David Phelps down low.

When the quartet returned to the start/finish line for the checkers, Harberts was the winner by 74-thousandths of a second over Chalkley.