Comeback wins Langley’s Tour race

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Andy Seuss, from Hampstead, N.H., celebrates with the trophy, checkered flag and Langley Speedway Owner Bill Mullis after his win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race Saturday night at Langley Speedway in Hampton. It made back-to-back wins on the tour for Seuss.

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

HAMPTON — Andy Seuss took the lead for the third, and final, time on lap 129 and sped on to a convincing victory in the Newport News Shipbuilding 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the featured event Saturday evening at Langley Speedway.

The win was the second in a row for the New Hampshire driver, who won the checkers last Friday at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.

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Burt Myers, the 2010 series champ, set the pace in time trials, lapping the .395-mile oval at 92.548 mph. Seuss was second-quickest, followed by current points leader George Brunnhoelzl III, former Langley regular Thomas Stinson and Jason Myers.

Seuss grabbed the early advantage, pulling ahead of Burt Myers as the two reached the end of the backstretch on lap 1.

The lead changed hands again on lap 4 as Brunnhoelzl used the outside groove to power past Seuss.

Seuss regained the point on lap 9. Brunnhoelzl tracked down Seuss on lap 23 and retook the lead. Stinson tagged along with Brunnhoelzl, taking over second.

Stinson pushed his machine to the front for the first time on lap 26.

After falling back in the pack for much of the race, Seuss gained second from John Smith on lap 118 and set off after Stinson, who was up by three lengths. Within a handful of circuits, Seuss was camped out on the leader’s bumper.

On lap 129, Seuss drove outside Stinson through Turns 1 and 2, inching out front as they returned to the flagstand. He cleared Stinson in Turn 4 on the next lap when the lead duo rolled up on a driver slowing to pit.

The last of the race’s two caution flags appeared on lap 131.

Back under green, at lap 137, Seuss quickly dispensed with Stinson, who immediately found Smith on his inside flank.

Seuss steadily pulled away and won by nearly half a straightaway. Smith was second. Stinson was third, fighting off Burt Myers at the checkers, while Jason Myers came home in fifth.

“I’m real happy. I’ve never won two races in a row. It’s amazing what happens when you team up with great people,” Seuss said.

“Look at this crew. They worked their butts off today and that car was the best it needed to be right there with about 20 laps to go,” Seuss said.

In the evening’s other featured events:

Making a push for the national championship in Division II of NASCAR’s Finalist Program, Shawn Balluzzo swept both ends of the BayPort Credit Union Twin 30s for the Modifieds. The wins were his sixth and seventh of the season.

In the 25-lap Cycle City Corp. INEX Legends race, Steve Keesee started on the pole and wired the field for his third victory of the season.

Clifton Savage started on the pole and led all the way to notch his first win of the season in the evening’s opening event — a 20-lapper for the Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts.