Falk set to defend title

Published 9:23 pm Thursday, July 26, 2012

By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald

More than $32,000 in posted awards, including $10,000 for the race winner, will be up for grabs Saturday, when Langley Speedway hosts the biggest event on its 2012 late-model stock car schedule — the fifth annual Hampton Heat 200.

The Hampton Heat 200 will cap a four-race feature lineup on Saturday evening. The Super Trucks (25 laps), UCARs (25 laps) and Pro Sixes (30 laps) are also slated for action.

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Pre-race ceremonies get under way at 6:55 p.m., and the Super Trucks kick off the evening’s racing program shortly after 7. The Hampton Heat 200 is scheduled to go green around 9.

In addition to a healthy race purse, late-model drivers will be competing for a variety of bonus prizes. Carl’s Racing Products is sponsoring a $500 Pole Award, while the Racing for Hope Foundation will present $200 to the leader at the halfway mark.

C.E. Falk is the two-time defending winner of the Hampton Heat 200, having posted victories in 2010 and 2011. Car owner James Long fielded the winning entries in the first two editions of the event, with Nick Smith taking the inaugural race in 2008 and Woody Howard finding his way to the winner’s circle in 2009.

Saturday’s Hampton Heat 200 is the second of the three races that make up the 2012 Virginia Triple Crown Series. The first race was the Danville Toyota 300 on March 10, South Boston Speedway’s season opener. C.E. Falk was the winner, followed by Nick Smith. Eddie Johnson, Matt Bowling and Dennis Holdren rounded out the top five.

Former national champion Peyton Sellers was seventh in the SoBo event. He is due to take the wheel of Mark Wertz’s #55 Chevy for the Hampton Heat 200. Wertz, fourth in the current Langley Late Model standings, is temporarily surrendering his driving duties while he recuperates from an ankle injury.

The last Virginia Triple Crown race will be the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, widely acknowledged as the Late Model “Super Bowl,” on Oct. 21 at Martinsville Speedway.

C.E. Falk took last weekend off from the Late Model wars, opting to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. He started and finished 29th, dropping out just shy of the midway point because of a vibration.

While Falk was otherwise occupied, he slipped from second to third in this week’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national top 500. Lee Pulliam retained the top spot, while New England Modified ace Keith Rocco took over second. Ted Christopher, another Northeastern Mod pilot, ranks fourth and Nate Monteith is fifth.

Other Langley regulars in the top 500 include: Greg Edwards (60th); Wes Falk (109th); Wertz (128th); Casey Wyatt (144th); Shayne Lockhart (189th); Terry Carroll (203rd); Danny Edwards Jr. (215th); Jeff Shiflett (291st); Duane Shreeves (346th); and J.T. Jackson (467th).