Defending champ cruising at Langley
HAMPTON — Defending division champion C.E. Falk led from pole to checkers for his second straight victory in the Whelen/Pepsi 100 for the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Model Stock Cars, the main event of Saturday evening’s program at Langley Speedway.
Falk was quickest in afternoon time trials, clocking in at 88.626 mph. Greg Edwards was second-fastest, only 16-thousandths of a second behind.
Falk and Edwards quickly established themselves as the class of the field. At lap 33, C.E. Falk and Edwards enjoyed a full-straightaway advantage over Wesley Falk and Mark Wertz, who were scuffling for third.
As the laps clicked off, Falk began to widen his margin over the second-place runner. On lap 60, Edwards was able to chop a few lengths from Falk’s advantage as the leader carefully worked past John Staton.
On lap 72, Falk headed into traffic again, this time with his sights set on veteran Joe Gaita. Gaita didn’t go quietly, however, and Greg Edwards closed to within a couple car-lengths. Falk finally dispensed with Gaita on lap 79. Within two laps, his lead was back up to five lengths.
Closing in on the finish, C.E. Falk ran up on Duane Shreeves, who was determined to stay on the lead lap. Struggling with Shreeves cost Falk a bit of his lead, but he had more than enough cushion to work with as he won by 0.852-second — about five lengths — over Greg Edwards.
Wesley Falk tailed the lead duo to the stripe, in third, followed by Woody Howard and Danny Edwards Jr.
In Victory Lane, C.E. Falk celebrated his third straight win — two at Langley and one in Denny Hamlin’s star-studded event last weekend at Southside Speedway in Richmond.
“This car has been phenomenal these past three races. It’s always sat on the front row, top five, and it’s been winning. It’s been a dream to drive,” Falk said.
In the evening’s other feature events:
Shawn Balluzzo took the lead on the 34th circuit and sailed to victory in the 50-lap season opener for the B&C Seafood Modifieds.
Rusty Wood paced the first four circuits before giving way to Thomas Stinson on lap 5. Five laps later, Balluzzo bypassed Wood, taking over second place.
The only caution flag waved on lap 33. Back under green, Stinson quickly cleared Balluzzo. Balluzzo tailed Stinson around to Turn 4, then crossed over to the inside lane and drove alongside. Stinson held him off at the end of lap 33, but gave way on the following circuit.
Over the remaining laps, Balluzzo was able to keep Stinson at arm’s length, winning by three lengths.
Following the event, a technical issue arose during the inspection process. A decision on the final finishing order is expected early next week.
Brad Hancock took the lead on the opening circuit and sped to his second win of the season in the 25-lap Casey Cycle City INEX Legends feature.
Robbie Davis moved out front with a three-wide pass on lap 9 and motored to his second win of the season in a 25-lap contest for the Larry King Legal Services Super Trucks.
Adam Florian snagged the lead on lap 15 and rolled to his second victory of the season in a 25-lapper for the EZ Auto of Newport News UCAR division. Dating back to the ‘09 campaign, the win was his sixth in a row.