Hampton 250 goes to the last lap

Published 11:22 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Suffolk teenager Landon Florian won his fourth UCAR race in a row at Langley Speedway Saturday night. Celebrating with Florian in Victory Lane were family, crew, sponsors and friends. The UCAR series is part of the NASCAR Whelan All-American Series at Langley.

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

HAMPTON — J.P. Morgan of Charlotte, N.C., grabbed the lead for good with two laps to go and motored on to his second victory of the season in the Visit Hampton, Va. 250 for the USARacing Pro Cup Series Saturday night at Langley Speedway.

Brad Rogers of Mooresville, N.C. earned the pole position with an 85.864-mph qualifying effort. Chase Elliott of Dawsonville, Ga., son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott, was second-quickest in time trials.

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Despite being sent to the rear of the field for a spin on lap 62, Jeff Agnew rallied back to the front, taking second on lap 124 and going into the lead on lap 126.

At lap 233, Agnew gained a three-length lead over Morgan on a restart. By lap 240, his margin had grown by another length and Agnew looked to be on the way to his first win of the season.

Agnew’s victory celebration was foiled, however, when a car back in the pack spun, bringing out the last of the race’s 10 caution flags.

Down to a “green-white-checkered” shootout, the green flag appeared for the final time as the field completed lap 250. Coming to the flagstand, Agnew bobbled just slightly, spinning his tires, and Morgan was all over him for the lead.

As Agnew and Morgan reached the end of the backstretch, Morgan dipped to the inside and poked a fender underneath Agnew. The two made contact into Turn 3 and Agnew’s car skittered up the track. While Morgan and Rogers flashed past, Agnew rounded Turns 3 and 4 sideways, fighting to maintain control. He made the save, but his hopes for victory were dashed.

At the checkers, Morgan was the winner by 0.512-second — about three lengths — over Rogers. Agnew was third to the line, followed by Elliott and Tyler Young.

In the evening’s other feature events:

In the Heritage Motor Co. 50 for the KeesVacations.com Modifieds, outside pole starter Cameron Patrick grabbed the lead from pole-sitter Mike Rudy at the drop of the green flag and led all way, running his season-opening unbeaten streak to four races.

Landon Florian also made it four-for-four with his win in the 25-lap EZ Auto of Newport News UCAR feature. After starting third, he moved out front for good on lap 9. Dating back to last season, the win is his seventh straight in UCAR competition.

Doug Warren continued the “unbeaten” theme in the evening’s final event, a 30-lapper for the Standard Welding Pro Sixes. He started on the outside pole, swiped the lead from pole-sitter Warren Smigo on lap 4 and showed the way to the finish.