Edwards gets first Langley victory

Published 11:25 pm Friday, July 12, 2013

Greg Edwards celebrates with his wife and child, car owner, engine builders, family and crewmembers after his 150-lap win in the Late Model Stock Cars feature at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on Friday at Langley Speedway. (Bill Carr/MotorSports Photo News Service)

Greg Edwards celebrates with his wife and child, car owner, engine builders, family and crewmembers after his 150-lap win in the Late Model Stock Cars feature at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on Friday at Langley Speedway. (Bill Carr/MotorSports Photo News Service)

By Gary Daughtrey

Special to the News-Herald

Greg Edwards grabbed the lead on a late restart and sailed to his first victory in the 150-lap Late Model Stock Cars event at Friday’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.

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Gunning for his fifth straight win, Nick Smith started on the pole, at 91.113 mph, and paced the first 28 laps.

Matt Waltz took command on lap 29 and showed the way until lap 78, when Smith regained the top spot. Smith and Waltz remained 1-2 until lap 95, when Smith tried to go three-wide to bypass a pair of slower cars, initiating a melee in Turn 2. For the next restart, the lead passed to Jeff Oakley, who held sway until a restart at lap 113 when he gave way to Mark Wertz.

Three laps later, Oakley returned to the lead and brought Edwards with him. Almost immediately, Edwards went after Oakley for the top spot. Before that battle could develop, though, the last of the race’s three caution flags flew.

On the final restart, Edwards opted for the outside lane and shot ahead of Oakley as the green flag waved. C.E. Falk moved into second on lap 127, while Smith took over third on lap 132 and began to close in.

At the finish, Edwards was the winner by six lengths over Falk, who held off Smith by half a car-length for second. Oakley and Wes Falk completed the top five.

Friday’s win marked Edwards’ first trip to Victory Lane since June 25, 2011. He was credited with two wins in 2012, thanks to a pair of C.E. Falk disqualifications.

Connor Hall started on the pole and wired the field for his fifth straight win in the 25-lap INEX Legends race.

Spencer Saunders started alongside Hall, but fell back in the opening circuits. He rebounded to take second, five lengths back. Steve Keesee was third, while Tommy Jackson Jr. and Colin Jareb were fourth and fifth, respectively.