Babb wins first of season
Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2014
By Gary Daughtrey
Special to the News-Herald
Robbie Babb led all 60 laps to pick up his first two wins of the season, sweeping the twin 30-lap Modifieds races, the headline events of Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Email newsletter signup
Babb started the opener from the pole, at 86.914 mph, sharing the front row with points leader Shawn Balluzzo.
The race was red-flagged for a scary-looking incident as Chris Humblet spun on the backstretch and then absorbed a wicked hit from Kevin Adams. The field was stopped while safety workers carefully removed Adams from his battered car.
On the ensuing restart, Jimmy Humblet swiped the second spot from Balluzzo. While Balluzzo hounded Humblet, Babb opened a five-length lead. Nearing the finish, though, slower traffic came into play, and Humblet narrowed the gap. At the finish, Babb won by two lengths over Humblet.
Balluzzo, Danny Harrell and Jon Largena rounded out the top five.
Babb’s win in the first race earned him the pole for the second one. Babb and Humblet ran 1-2 for the first 22 circuits. Balluzzo, meanwhile, pitted during the parade laps and had to fight his way from the back of the pack. He moved into third on lap 14.
The last of the race’s three yellow flags waved on lap 23. For the restart, Balluzzo pulled to the outside of Babb. Back under green, Babb and Balluzzo went door-to-door for nearly a full lap with Babb surging ahead off Turn 4.
Balluzzo stayed within striking distance until lap 28 when Babb suddenly opened a three-length edge. Balluzzo tried to rally over the last couple of laps, but came up a car-length short at the line, as Babb held on to finish off the sweep. Humblet was third, followed by Harrell and Wayne Hartley.
On Saturday, Langley will host the fifth annual “Hampton Heat 200 Lap Late Model Stock Car” event, which pays the winner $10,000 and will bring 35 or more competitors from Virginia, North Carolina and surrounding states.
Participants could include three national champions in the late model series — Philip Morris, Peyton Sellers and Lee Pulliam.
This event is the second of the “Virginia Triple Crown Series” that pays $5,000 to the driver with the most points after three events, which conclude at the 300-lap, season-ending late model stock car race at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 5.