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Falk Doubles Down at Langley

Falk Doubles Down at Langley

Hampton, VA - After being washed out by the rains for several weeks, Late Model race action resumed at Langley Speedway hosting Twin 75s to a stellar 20 car field. Last time the Late Models raced, outside temps were in the mid 50's and getting heat in the tires was essential. Not the same story line for this evening's racing as outside temps were well into the lower 90's and a track temp well above 130 degrees...different contrast in conditions, but the same issues in the ever loving search for grip on the track. Those who were able to practice earlier in the week should have the upper hand in this event, at least hopefully anyways.

Lots of hard work going on in practice as race teams had to make difficult decisions on how they were going to chase a track they knew was going to drastically change throughout the day as it would cool off. Some were hesitant and decided to let the competition over-adjust, taking advantage of the mistakes. As practice concluded, guys like C.E. Falk, Casey Wyatt, and Jeff Oakley all showed speed in preparations for qualifying runs. Others who were also showing some speed was 2012 track champion Greg Edwards, as was Nick Smith, who was back from a crash from the last event that saw his car nearly destroyed over in the turn three wall.

Qualifying would go down as 19 Late Models took time with 14 of them qualifying within a little better than a tenth of each other. When it all settled, posting the quickest lap was the tracks current qualifying record holder, Nick Smith, along with last event winner Matt Waltz sharing the front row grid. Greg Edwards, Wesley Falk, and Dean Shiflett would make up the five fastest in what would be a great night of Late Model racing. However, not mentioned in that top five was arguably the man to beat, C.E. Falk. Posting seventh best in the grid is where C.E. Falk would start and is there any meaning to that starting spot for Falk in how he would race?

With the help of a start and park, green flag flew for a full field of 20 Late Models. Quickly, Nick Smith secures the lead, but just as quick that lead would change as Matt Waltz showed muscle and got underneath Smith for the lead. But then the race's first caution as the start and park ride of Clayton Parrish was turned around over in turn four. Just as bizarre, Matt Waltz who slowed down drastically along the back stretch, then made a hard left turn into the pits with motor failure. Waltz, who won twice in the last event Twin 75s, came into tonight's race just two points shy of series points leader, C.E. Falk. That's guaranteed to change big in a bad way for him now.

Restart resumed, Nick Smith took the point, but in a great battle for second, Wesley Falk makes a pass from the high side to win that spot in the field. With that pass, has the second groove finally come in on this newly repaved oval at Langley Speedway? Like in all things, time is a fortune teller and yet remains to be done again. Back to the racing now and several cautions later, C.E. Falk was taking advantage of the restarts and moving his way forward. He would eventually get to second and make chase to the leader Nick Smith. Making moves too was Casey Wyatt, Mark Wertz, and Dean Shiflett, who were in the top five at the halfway point.

Nick Smith decided that he in no way wanted any part of C.E. Falk, and decided the best way to deal with him was to just leave him behind. Smith grew a lead the size of a back stretch at one point, and unchallenged on his way to his first victory in 2013. On a last restart, C.E. Falk did for a moment take the lead, but Nick Smith would not be denied. In just a few laps, Nick Smith regained the top spot and was setting his sights for the checkered flag. But in a race that saw eight cauttions, one red flag and several blown engines, in a series of strange, unfortunate events, add Nick Smith to the list of blown engines.

With just a few laps to go, Smith with a huge lead over C.E. Falk loses an engine and that allowed Falk to motor on for the win. Also benefitting was second place finisher Casey Wyatt, along with Mark Wertz in his best finish of the 2013 season. Dean Shiflett finished strong in fourth and Wesley Falk got back on track with a solid top five performance after some earlier race troubles.

The second 75 lap feature got underway showing 17 Late Models on the grid. The field was set according to how they finished from the first feature and that means C.E. Falk took the pole. The green flag waved and like a shot from a cannon, C.E. Falk went to work, taking the lead. Mark Wertz and Casey Wyatt, who both felt really good about winning the second feature, wasted no time in going after Falk. Starting seventh in the grid was Greg Edwards who had a tire fail in the first race, wanted in on the action for his first win of 2013 as well. Caution would wave for the first time in this race, as Casey Wyatt was pointed the wrong way. Wyatt's car would not be the same in his return.

After a lap 19 restart, C.E. Falk made quick work in securing the point. After another caution, racing was everywhere on the track with some of the best going at it up near the front. Dude Gibbs, Jeff Oakley, Mark Wertz, and Greg Edwards all battled door-to-door for the top five positions. But as the field sorted itself out, C.E. Falk took off and left his competition behind. Greg Edwards would help himself to the 2nd spot by the middle part in the race and turn his sights to the leader. But the leader was nowhere to be found and that last caution never came for Edwards who would love to have just one shot at Falk.

C.E. Falk would go on to win his second race of the night and his fourth of the season at Langley Speedway. Greg Edwards finished second running the same lap times as the winner. Dude Gibbs was third in anotehr good showing, Wesley Falk was fourth and Mark Wertz was 5th in the field. Both Wesley Falk and Wertz had good runs by placing in the top five in both events. But the night clearly belonged to C.E. Falk as both a little luck and a lot of good fortune proved to be the charm for twin wins on this night.

Courtesy of Mark Rogers, Jr.

Article Credit: Race22.com