Langley heats up on Saturday

Published 9:42 pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

By Gary Daughtrey

Special to the News-Herald

Two 75-lappers in the Late Model Stock Cars division and a pair of 30-lap features for the Modifieds division top the bill on Saturday, as Langley Speedway resumes its 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series campaign.

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Along with the Late Model and Modified twinbills, Saturday’s lineup also includes 40-lap contests for the Pepsi Grand Stocks and Heritage Motor Co. Super Streets.

Saturday is “Stuff the Bus” Night. Fans can help fill the track’s “Boogity-Boogity-Boogity” hot rod school bus with backpacks and other school supplies. Donated items will be distributed to children in Hampton and Newport News, as well as Appalachia. The track has established a goal of 250 backpacks for this year’s drive.

Lee Pulliam continues to march toward a likely national championship as he retained the lead in this week’s edition of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series top 500. Pulliam enjoys a 52-point edge over Nate Monteith, who leaped from fifth to second.

Connecticut Modified ace Keith Rocco slipped from second to third, while Langley Late Model standout C.E. Falk and former national champ Ted Christopher round out the top five.

Other drivers of local interest in the top 500 include: Hampton Heat 200 winner Matt Bowling (11th); Langley Late Model points leader Greg Edwards (75th); Wes Falk (133rd); Mark Wertz (186th); Casey Wyatt (201st); Shayne Lockhart (230th); Terry Carroll (274th); Danny Edwards Jr. (302nd); Jeff Shiflett (321st); Duane Shreeves (430th); and, J.T. Jackson (481st).

The top five in the Virginia state standings are unchanged from last week with Pulliam, C.E. Falk, Bowling, Tommy Lemons Jr. and Josh Berry leading the way. Greg Edwards remains eighth, while Wes Falk slipped a spot to 13th. Wyatt and Wertz are 16th and 18th, respectively.

At the close of the NASCAR points window in September, each driver’s 18 best finishes will be considered in tabulating the final state and national standings.

In the Modified class, five-time race winner and defending champion Shawn Balluzzo has closed to within four points of division leader Mike Rudy, 251-247. Anthony Kincaid, who saw his chances for a win evaporate after a late tangle with Balluzzo on Aug. 4, ranks third, 19 out of the lead. Matt Slye and Robbie Babb are fourth and fifth, in that order.

Mark Claar will be shooting for his fourth straight win in the Grand Stock 40-lapper. Meanwhile, Tommy Sweeney holds a one-point lead over Ricky Derrick in the series standings, 210-209. Derrick, the three-time defending division champ, has struggled to keep pace since losing his primary car in a race-ending crash on June 2. Paul Lubno is third in the current rankings, 10 behind Sweeney. Claar and Carl Livingston are fourth and fifth, respectively, followed by two-time race winner Rodney Boyd.

In the Super Street division, Renno Marchetti IV goes for his seventh win of the season. Though Marchetti has dominated Victory Lane, John Pereira remains very much in title contention, only eight points behind the leader, 199-191. Dale Parro, Sean Calway and ’11 champ Ryan Nester complete the top five.