Racing resumes at Langley

Published 11:29 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

Woody Howard won the INEX Legends race on July 17 at Langley Speedway. Howard’s car owner is Rob Hopper, owner and operator of Rob’s Hauling in Bennett’s Creek. The Cycle City Corp. INEX Legends are one of the divisions in action this Saturday night.

By Gary Daughtrey

Special to the News-Herald

HAMPTON — Having survived last weekend’s encounter with Hurricane Irene, Langley Speedway braces for a whirlwind of a different sort on Saturday when the ground-pounding NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour hits town for the Newport News Shipbuilding 150.

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Along with the Southern Mods, Saturday’s feature lineup includes: Modifieds (BayPort Credit Union Twin 30s); Cycle City Corp. INEX Legends (25 laps); and, Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts (20 laps).

Front gates open at 2 p.m., just in time for fans to catch the end of the first Southern Modified practice round. Afternoon practice for the local divisions will sandwich the final practice for the touring Mods, which is scheduled for 2:55-3:25. Time trials get under way at 5:15.

An autograph session with the Southern Modified stars begins at 6. The Champ Karts kick off the evening’s feature slate shortly after 7. The Newport News Shipbuilding 150 is scheduled for an 8 p.m. green flag.

As an added attraction, Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, which wowed the crowd on Fourth of July weekend, will present another pyrotechnic masterpiece. The display is scheduled to launch just after the INEX Legends feature, the fourth of the evening’s five races.

Third-generation driver George Brunnhoelzl III comes into the Newport News Shipbuilding 150 as the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points leader. The 2009 series champ holds a healthy margin over second-ranked John Smith, 1,324-1,224. L.W. Miller, Jason Myers and Andy Seuss, who won last Friday at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway, round out the top five.

Tim Brown, who won at Langley last season, is seventh in the season standings. Last year’s champ Burt Myers is ninth.

Thomas Stinson, who battled Shawn Balluzzo for the Langley Modified crown in 2010, is 10th in the standings.

With Hurricane Irene wreaking havoc along the Eastern Seaboard last weekend, there was little change at the top of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings. Philip Morris remains three points ahead of Keith Rocco, while Lee Pulliam and Langley Late Model leader C.E. Falk are third and fourth.

Other Langley regulars in the national top 100 include brothers Greg Edwards (18th) and Danny Edwards Jr. (76th).

In the Modified division, Shawn Balluzzo enters Saturday’s Twins with a commanding 60-point lead over Chris Johnson, 764-704.

Balluzzo also ranked fourth nationally in Division II of last week’s NASCAR Finalist Program standings, which recognizes top performers in support classes at local NASCAR-sanctioned tracks.

Saturday’s program at Langley marks a return to action for the INEX Legends and the Pro Winged Champ Karts. Thanks to a couple bouts of inclement weather in August, both divisions have been idle since July 30.

Brad Hancock holds a 30-point lead over Steve Keesee, 370-340, in the INEX Legends standings, while Tommy Sweeney is two ahead of Chris O’Brien, 232-230, in the Champ Kart rundown.