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Falk Refuses to Lose

Falk Refuses to Lose

HAMPTON, VA :: Race action for the NWAAS Late Models resumed at Langley Speedway who was celebrating 63 years of racing at the facility. In honor of those years was scheduled Twin 63 lap races that should add to an already, very exciting race season in 2013. However, tropical storm Andrea would make this day interesting as well but between the track officials, crew members from the race teams and friends of the track. Tropical storm Andrea and her rains can ruin someone else’s day at the track. Race fans, we were going racing on this day at Langley Speedway!

On this night of racing, 17 Late Models were on the entry list and set to tackle the low banked corners of a track celebrating its 63 years of racing. Langley Speedway was also set to make some history too as, “Drive for Diversity” standout Dylan Smith was on hand to become the first African American racer to race in the Late Model Division at Langley Speedway. Though Smith would be on the entry list in previous weeks, his attempt to race has been derailed by motor failure and Mother Nature in his two other attempts at the Late Model division. But for Dylan Smith and Langley Speedway, 3 times the charm as history was made.

In qualifying, Nick Smith, sporting fresh horsepower once again collected another pole award in 2013 after losing a motor in the final laps of a race just last week. Nick Smith is also the current track record holder for the Late Model division at Langley Speedway and winning was the only thing on the minds of Smith and his race team. Matt Waltz laid down a lap worthy of a pole but was short a full tenth but would be good enough to start to Smith’s outside in row one. Greg Edwards, CE Falk and Dude Gibbs would round out a very competitive top five and set the stage for another wild night of Late Model race action at Langley Speedway.

Just as the sun set over the turn three wall, green flag racing began as 17 Late Models roared down into turn one for the first of two 63 lap events. Nick Smith wasted no time in securing the lead leaving Waltz and Edwards to settle the second spot in the grid. But then the caution flag waved as several drivers were involved, all would go on and continue. When the race resumed, Smith took off securing the point. Several laps went by until the next caution flag on lap 25 when Duane Shreeves, Jeff Oakley and Justin Carroll all got together. Oakley unfortunately would retire for the night as his ride would need a new front clip.

CE Falk worked his way past Matt Waltz for second once the race got an extended green flag run. There was plenty of side-by-side racing as Nick Smith pulled away. After this time building a strong lead, Smith was given the yellow flag for a spin involving Dylan Smith and a lap 40 restart in on the way. Back to racing and Smith was not so good on this restart as CE Falk stuck his nose on the inside and took the lead from Smith.

The remaining laps would see exciting racing with the leaders, Greg Edwards and Matt Waltz would battle hard for third with Edwards winning that war. Terry Carroll was having a great night so far running in the top-five all throughout the race. But all eyes were on Nick Smith wearing the rear bumper off of CE Falk’s rocket trying to get underneath the leader. But CE Falk would hold off the determined Nick Smith and go on to win the first 63 lap event of the evening. Smith claimed second followed by Greg Edwards, Matt Waltz and Terry Carroll. Lots of hard racing and caution periods, was this prelude to the second feature and who will stand out this time?

As always at Langley Speedway for its twin races, the field for the second feature is decided by how they finished the first. That gave CE Falk the pole as he would lead a 16 car field to the green. But just as we went green, the 2012 Late Model track champion Greg Edwards was slowing on the backstretch. Finally, his car went around bringing out the caution on lap three of the event. Once again, a flat tire dampens the efforts of Greg Edwards just as it did in the second feature last week. Back to green once again and CE Falk was on point being chased by Matt Waltz who wanted the lead. Both Falk and Waltz would trade paint with this battle with Waltz coming away with lead.

But with that lead saw damage to the right front quarter panel of Waltz’s machine along with heavy tire smoke. Matt Waltz would have to surrender his lead back to Falk to come to pit road for service. At this point, Casey Wyatt and Mark Wertz were making moves in the top-five. Also there was again was the red rocket of Terry Carroll who was having his best performance in some time at the track. A couple of caution periods later saw Dean Shiflett in a fiery wreck in turns one and two. Dean was able to quickly escape from his ride and track safety crews quickly extinguished the fire from under the hood of Shiflett’s car.

CE Falk would drive away from Smith with the lead on a lap 30 restart thanks in part to Greg Edwards who has battled back from a flat tire earlier in the event. Edwards benefitted from the cautions, taking the cone restarts to the outside and determined as ever, takes the second spot from Smith. But just as Greg Edwards would begin to sets his sights back on the leader, Smith would regain second and Edwards was forced in coming down pit road. Once again, misfortunes for Edwards and his race team in getting back to victory lane at Langley Speedway.

Two more cautions would fall before the checkered flag would be seen as most notably the one with Mark Wertz and Brenden Queen. Hard contact between the two racers as for a lap and a half they battled side by side for position. But on the backstretch in a wail of sparks saw Queen’s ride getting the worse of the deal. His night was done but soon over the radio was the call for Wertz to start in the back of the field for rough driving. Wertz would complete a few laps more and he too would retire from competition for handling issues.

In the final stretch of green flag laps, Nick Smith would make one more run at CE Falk. Beating and banging, giving Falk all he could ever want as race fans were on their feet with the anticipation of a lead change. But after several exciting laps between CE Falk and Nick Smith, Smith obviously used up the right rear tire and Falk was finally able to get away. CE Falk would go on to win his second race of the night with Nick Smith finishing in the second spot. How about Terry Carroll finishing third along with Dude Gibbs and Jeff Shiflett cracking the top-five? Once again at Langley Speedway, unfamiliar faces making gains as the competition is truly increasing.

What a thrilling and eventful night as Langley Speedway celebrates 63 years of racing. Along the way, making some Late Model history with, “Drive for Diversity” standout Dylan Smith who didn’t do to bad in his first and second starts in a Late Model as he posts 13th and 9th place finishes for the night. But then the talk of the many cautions both this week and last as many cars have been torn up along the way. Brenden Queen, Dean Shiflett, Mark Wertz, Shayne Lockhart, Jeff Oakley, all with major repairs needed to race again next weekend. Now’s there talk of some scores to settle with some drivers left with hurt feelings. Appears Langley Speedway in the Late Model division has a little bit of everything going on, sure looks and sounds like great local short track racing to me!

Article Credit: Race22.com