Langley revs up to go racing

Published 11:23 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

By Gary Daughtrey

Special to the News-Herald

Already off to a sizzling start in 2012, defending Late Model kingpin C.E. Falk launches his quest for a fourth straight Langley Speedway championship Saturday, when the venerable Hampton speedway kicks off its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series campaign.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

Saturday’s season-opening feature lineup includes: EZ Auto in Newport News Late Model Stock Cars (100 laps); Larry King Law Super Trucks (Twin 20s); SativaPets.com UCARs (25 laps); Standard Welding Pro Sixes (30 laps); and, Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts (20 laps).

Front gates open and afternoon practice rounds begin at 2 p.m. A drivers’ meeting is scheduled for 4:15 p.m., followed by time trials at 4:30 p.m.. Pre-race ceremonies get under way at 6:55 p.m., while the Champ Karters lead off the evening’s racing program shortly after 7 p.m..

Advance tickets may be purchased in the Speedway office during normal business hours or through the track’s website at www.langley-speedway.com.

Saturday’s Pomoco Auto Group Night program is the first of 27 events on Langley Speedway’s ’12 calendar. As always, the Late Models, which welcome EZ Auto in Newport News as their new division sponsor, form the backbone of the schedule, with 19 races. The class will run twin 50-lappers on eight nights, two 100-lap events (including this week’s race) and one 200-lap contest, the Fifth Annual Hampton Heat 200 on July 28.

The Hampton Heat 200, the season’s biggest Late Model race, has taken on added significance this year, as Langley has linked up with South Boston Speedway and Martinsville Speedway to create the Virginia Triple Crown Series, featuring three of the commonwealth’s richest Late Model events.

The first Triple Crown contest was SoBo’s Whelen 300 on March 10. With a victory in that race, Falk stamped himself as the early favorite to claim the series’ $5,000 first prize.

The Hampton Heat 200, of which Falk is the two-time defending winner, is Race #2, while the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 on Oct. 21 at Martinsville, the acknowledged “Super Bowl” of Late Model racing, rounds out the three-race set.

Falk continued his early-season road trip last weekend and came away with his second win of the fledgling campaign in the opener at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford.

Other highlights on this season’s Langley schedule include return visits by the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, on June 23, and the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, on Sept. 1.

The year’s only Friday program, featuring the track’s annual Independence Day fireworks spectacular, is slated for June 29. Mid-Atlantic Modified Madness overtakes the Speedway on Oct. 13, while the Seventh Annual Day of Destruction closes out the season on Oct. 20.

Five more divisions will open their 2012 Langley campaigns when NASCAR action continues in Hampton on April 14. The Pepsi Night lineup includes: KeesVacations.com Modifieds (Twin 25s); Pepsi Grand Stocks (40 laps); Heritage Motor Co. Super Streets (40 laps); Cycle City Corp. INEX Legends (25 laps); and, Xtreme Mechanical INEX Bandoleros (20 laps).

A longtime member of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Langley Speedway is a .395-mile, slightly-banked oval. The track is located at 11 Dale Lemonds Drive, off North Armistead Avenue, in Hampton.