Wire-to-wire Langley winner

Published 10:24 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

Greg Edwards, pictured here in Victory Lane with family, crew and friends from a victory in 2010, led wire-to-wire to win the 100-lap Crossroads Fuel Service Late Model Stock Cars race for the second straight time at Langley Speedway Saturday night.

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

HAMPTON — Greg Edwards led wire-to-wire, surviving a pair of late restarts, and posted his second consecutive victory in the Crossroads Fuel Service Late Model Stock Cars feature Saturday evening at Langley Speedway.

Edwards was the pole-sitter for the race, topping the afternoon qualifying session with a lap at 89.564 mph. Matt Waltz was second-quickest, followed by Paul Debolt, Danny Edwards Jr. and Wes Falk.

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Two-time track champ C.E. Falk started seventh and was up to third by lap 24.

Greg Edwards had a four-length edge over Debolt as he prepared to wade into slower traffic on lap 30. He broke into the clear on lap 33, having increased his lead. A few laps later, though, Debolt gained ground as Edwards battled with a driver trying to stay on the lead lap.

As the race continued past the midway point, caution-free, Edwards stretched his lead to half a straightaway over Debolt, who saw C.E. Falk growing larger in his mirror.

On lap 70, Falk ducked under Debolt off Turn 4. He gained the clear-cut advantage through Turns 1 and 2 on lap 71. Edwards was an elusive target, though, as Falk was unable to narrow the half-straightaway gap until the race’s first caution flag on lap 82.

Falk stayed on the leader’s rear bumper until lap 86 when his machine wandered up the track in Turn 2. The slip allowed Edwards to fashion a four-length margin. By lap 95, the gap had swelled to almost half a straightaway.

Edwards’ cruise to the winner’s circle was interrupted on lap 98, however, when a yellow flag was unfurled for debris in Turn 2.

Under green for a three-lap sprint, Edwards and Falk darted away and Edwards opened a three-length advantage over Falk and maintained that margin to the checkers, winning by 0.562-second. Waltz was third, followed by Debolt.

“I just knew C.E. would work his way up there,” Edwards said.

“This car’s been fast since we brought it out last year and we just keep tweaking on it and making it better,” he said.

In the evening’s other feature events:

In the 40-lap Grand Stock race, Mark Claar grabbed the lead on the fourth circuit and led the rest of the way for his first win of the season.

Steve Keesee led all 25 laps for his first win of the year in the INEX Legends feature.

Landon Florian overcame an eight-car inversion and nabbed his third straight win in the 25-lap UCAR race. Dating back to last season, he now has six consecutive victories in the division.

In a 20-lapper for the Pro Winged Champ Karts, Adam Chalkley assumed the lead on lap 2 and showed the way to the checkered flag.

Macy Causey rebounded from a spin on lap 3 and notched the victory in a 15-lap feature for the INEX Bandoleros.

In the evening’s final event, a 50-lapper for the Enduros, Danny Harrell moved out front on lap 13 and held on for the victory.