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Crediting the Myth of C.E. Falk

Crediting the Myth of C.E. Falk

The state of Virginia never ceases to produce talent at the Late Model Stock Car level. Native sons Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler and Denny Hamlin emerged from the short tracks of the Commonwealth State to compete in NASCAR. Virginian Philip Morris is the most recent NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion.

One of the most quietly successful drivers across all tracks in Virginia in the last three years is 24-year-old C.E. Falk. His résumé includes three track championships at Langley Speedway, 37 wins since the beginning of 2009 and wins in prestigious grassroots races such as the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown and the Hampton Heat 200.

But Falk has outdone himself with his jaw-dropping start to the 2012 short track season. Like a vigilante on the warpath, Falk left his local Langley confines to capture dominating wins at South Boston Speedway, in a $10,000-to-win 300-lap race, and at Motor Mile Speedway last Saturday, in which his progression from last to first has taken on a walking-on-water mythology in various short track racing media outlets. When his uncle, Joe Falk, purchased the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner points from Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 entry this week and indicated that C.E. might get a spin or two behind the wheel, it prompted questions about the nephew’s ability.

The answer in short: Falk is legit. The long story is that he is arguably the best driver not yet in the Stock Car ladder system (which for the purposes of this web site is defined as ARCA and the K&N Pro Series on up). Not everyone can purposefully pick his spots in a cash run at South Boston so that he wins the halfway bonus and the race. Not everyone has the ability to drop out of his earned pole position during the pace laps to remedy a fallen exhaust and then start from the rear of a feature field at Motor Mile and still collect the win. Falk is someone that has accomplished both feats.

When written out, the Motor Mile win boasts an impressive tale of progression: after taking the green flag in 23rd (last), he climbed to 15th by lap 7, reached 10th by lap 21, to fifth on lap 37, in third by lap 47, passed JR Motorsports entry Josh Berry for second by lap 57 and grabbed the lead from a particularly speedy Matt Bowling for good on lap 65, after which he proceeded to lead the final 86 laps.

Falk is another product of Virginia that can wheel a racecar and, if cultivated properly, could rival Hamlin as the state’s current best. His quest for a fourth-straight championship at Langley – it would be a new record for consecutive crowns, eclipsing three-straight by Elton Sawyer in 1983 to 1985 – begins this Saturday.

David Smith is the Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Analytics. He is also the Director of Talent Development at Spire Sports + Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidSmithMA.

By: http://motorsportsanalytics.com