Southern Mods head to Langley

Published 10:12 pm Thursday, August 30, 2012

By Gary Daughtrey

Special to the News-Herald

With rookie challenger Danny Bohn hot on his heels, points leader George Brunnhoelzl III leads the charge as the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour roars into Langley Speedway on Saturday.

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The race is the eighth on an 11-race 2012 schedule and marks the series’ third straight Labor Day weekend visit to Hampton.

In addition to the Southern Mod Tour, Saturday’s lineup includes Modifieds (50 laps); Grand Stocks (40 laps); Super Streets (40 laps); UCARs (25 laps); and HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts (20 laps). Also, Zambelli Fireworks Internationale will light up the night sky with one of its signature pyrotechnic displays.

In search of his third NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship, Brunnhoelzl enters Saturday’s 150 with a 52-point lead over Bohn. He picked up his fifth victory when he was the top finisher among the Southern Mod entries in last Wednesday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Bohn was seventh overall at Bristol and was credited with second-place Southern Mod points. Thomas Stinson, a familiar face at Langley, came home ninth in the overall Bristol rundown, third-best among the Southern Mod regulars.

Along with Stinson, other drivers on Saturday’s entry list with significant Langley seat time include A.J. Winstead and Joe Scarbrough. Scarbrough, in fact, claimed the track’s Modified championship in 2008, unseating Shawn Balluzzo, who has won every other Mod title since the division was added to the Langley roster in 2006.

Lee Pulliam easily retained the top spot in this week’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national top 500. Nate Monteith held onto second, while northeastern Mod aces Keith Rocco and Ryan Preece were third and fourth.

Dodging the foul weather that washed out Langley’s Aug. 25 program, C.E. Falk finished third behind Deac McCaskill and Pulliam at Southern National Motorsports Park. Despite the top-five run, though, he still slipped from third to fifth in the national rankings.

Other drivers of local interest in the top 500 include Hampton Heat 200 winner Matt Bowling (12th); Langley Late Model points leader Greg Edwards (59th); Wes Falk (107th); Shayne Lockhart (178th); Casey Wyatt (185th); Danny Edwards Jr. (202nd); Mark Wertz (229th); Terry Carroll (233rd); Jeff Shiflett (265th); Duane Shreeves (434th); and, J.T. Jackson (447th).

The top five in the Virginia state standings were unchanged from last week — Pulliam, C.E. Falk, Bowling, Tommy Lemons Jr. and Peyton Sellers. Greg Edwards and Wes Falk remain eighth and 11th, respectively, while Lockhart and Wyatt are 14th and 15th, in that order. Danny Edwards Jr. is 19th.

With his eye on a sixth division crown in seven years, Shawn Balluzzo brings a six-point lead over Mike Rudy into Saturday’s 50-lapper for the local Modified division, 299-293. Anthony Kincaid is third in the current points rundown, followed by Robbie Babb and Matt Slye.

Ricky Derrick holds a two-point lead over Tommy Sweeney in the Grand Stock standings, 235-233. Paul Lubno is third, while Mark Claar and Carl Livingston complete the top five.

In the Super Street class, Renno Marchetti IV owns a five-point edge over John Pereira, 220-215. Dale Parro, who won the last time out, is third, followed by 2011 champ Ryan Nester and Sean Calway.

The UCARs will see their first action in over a month when the green flag drops on Saturday’s 25-lapper. Bill Eaker is the points leader, eight ahead of Jon Largena, 182-174. Sammy Gaita, Tim Wilson and Landon Abbott round out the top five.

If UCAR drivers bemoan their weather-prompted lack of activity, they won’t garner much sympathy from the Champ Kart crowd, who have been idle since the end of June. Charlie-Ray Lorah is the division leader, 30 up on Aaron Leach, 151-121. Matthew Dail, Matthew Leach and Sparky West are third, fourth and fifth, respectively.