TNCC 4CDL.com Night Race Report

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway – Hampton, VA
4CDL.com Night presented by
Thomas Nelson Community College
Race Report
Saturday, August 1, 2015

HAMPTON, Va. (Aug. 1) — Robbie Babb rolled to his third and fourth wins of the season with a clean sweep of the 4CDL.com Twin 30s presented by Thomas Nelson Community College for the Larry King Law Modifieds, the featured events of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
The lineup for the first half of the doubleheader was determined in afternoon time trials and Babb snagged the pole position, clocking in at 87.594 mph. Shawn Balluzzo was second-fastest, more than a quarter-second off Babb’s pace. Jon Largena, Evan Horne and Danny Harrell were third, fourth and fifth, in that order, on the 17-car grid.
As the opener got under way, Babb leaped out front, hauling the field into Turn 1. Balluzzo settled into second, followed by Horne and Largena. Behind them, Harrell went door-to-door with Chris Humblet for fifth. Humblet eventually won that battle, gaining the clear-cut edge on lap 3.
By lap 4, Babb had already stretched his advantage to nearly half a straightaway as the top four pulled away. Deeper in the pack, Humblet held onto fifth, but he had a mirror-full of Harrell, Mike Rudy, Mark Slye and Bobby Gery. Slye dropped out of that tussle on lap 8 when he slowed and headed to the pits. A lap later, Rudy slipped past Harrell to take over sixth.
Babb was up by better than half a straightaway when the caution flag flew, on lap 12, for Jack Sharkey’s spin in Turn 4. It was only the first in a string of seven yellow flags that would punctuate laps 12 through 23.
Gathering for a restart, Balluzzo opted for the outside lane. He was joined by Largena, Rudy and Eric McPherson.
Back under green, Balluzzo stayed alongside Babb until they reached Turn 2. Exiting the corner, Babb powered ahead, relegating Balluzzo to second. Horne, Largena and Humblet emerged in the next three spots, followed by Rudy, in sixth.
The second yellow flag appeared on lap 14 when Rudy and Humblet tangled in Turn 1 and Humblet spun. A handful of other drivers stopped, spun or took evasive action to avoid Humblet.
The third caution flag waved soon after the ensuing restart when Sharkey smacked the outside wall along the frontstretch.
Preparing to return to green, Balluzzo again went to the outside, followed by Gery, McPherson, Humblet and Rudy.
On the restart, Babb cleared Balluzzo as they reached Turn 1, while Gery scooted in front of Harrell to grab the fifth spot. Passing the halfway mark, Babb had begun to ease away, widening his margin to three lengths.
The fourth caution flag was displayed on lap 18 when Sunny Hobbs-Voelker spun in Turn 2. For the next restart, Balluzzo remained committed to the outside lane. He had company on the high side in the form of Gery, Humblet and Rudy.
As the race resumed, Babb bolted ahead of Balluzzo at the flagstand, while Gery slipped by Largena to grab fourth. Farther back, Humblet and Rudy scuffled for seventh. Rudy swiped the spot on lap 20 when Humblet skittered up the minimal banking in Turn 4.
The fifth caution flag was unfurled on lap 23 when Hobbs-Voelker spun in Turn 3. The sixth and seventh yellow flags waved on the next two tries at a restart.
Caution #6 came out when Gery ran up underneath Largena in Turn 4, lifting the rear of Largena’s machine off the track. They were both able to continue after visits to the pits.
What would turn out to be the final yellow flag flew when McPherson nosed into the outside wall in Turn 1.
Lining up for the last restart, Balluzzo headed for the outside lane. Rudy, now up to fourth, followed in Balluzzo’s tire tracks, along with Wayne Hartley, Hobbs-Voelker, Harrell, Largena and Gery.
Under green for the sprint to the finish, Babb pulled ahead of Balluzzo in the middle of Turns 1 and 2. Rudy snagged third from Horne, only to see Horne battle back on the following circuit. Meanwhile, Babb was in the wind, racing out to a five-length advantage.
At the checkers, Babb was the winner by 1.502 seconds — about half a straightaway — over Balluzzo. Horne was third, followed by Rudy. Humblet bypassed Hartley on lap 29 and came home in the fifth position.
Hartley headed the second five, in sixth, while Gery, Donnie Holston, Andrew Fortin and Largena rounded out the top 10. Tony Steele, Hobbs-Voelker, Harrell and Curtis Hughes were 11th through 14th, respectively, also on the lead lap at the end.
In Victory Lane after the race, Babb noted the mechanical rigors of so many caution laps on a hot, muggy day: “As hot and humid as it is today, we really had some overheating problems with the motor during the pace laps. We weren’t really running fast enough to keep the motor halfway cool. Other than that, it wasn’t bad. We’ve hit on a little something. These guys are getting closer, so we’ve gotta go back and do our homework.”
The starting order for the second race mirrored the finishing order of the first, putting Babb and Balluzzo back on the front row, followed by Horne, Rudy and Humblet.
As the nightcap got going, Babb and Balluzzo dueled side-by-side until they got to Turn 2. Motoring onto the backstretch, Babb surged ahead.
The first caution flag came out on lap 2 when Hobbs-Voelker spun in Turn 2. Bunching for a restart, Balluzzo continued to stick with the outside lane, joined by Rudy, Gery, Largena and Harrell.
Back under green, Babb dispensed with Balluzzo, who settled into second. Rudy snuck ahead of Horne and took over third, while Gery grabbed fifth from Humblet. Two laps later, Gery charged past Horne in Turns 1 and 2 to take fourth. Soon, he was hounding Rudy for third.
By lap 11, Babb had opened a half-straightaway lead over Balluzzo. Another half-straightaway separated Balluzzo and the Rudy/Gery skirmish. Seeing the lead duo slipping away, Gery pulled the trigger on lap 14 and swiped third from Rudy.
The second caution flag appeared on lap 17 when McPherson spun in Turn 2. For the restart, Balluzzo, Rudy, Humblet, Steele and Holston chose the outside lane.
Back under way, Babb shot ahead of Balluzzo at the flagstand and brought Gery along with him, to second. Balluzzo and Horne were deployed in third and fourth, while Rudy and Humblet battled for fifth. Humblet grabbed the position on lap 18, then moved past Horne for fourth on lap 21.
The third yellow flag was displayed on lap 24 when McPherson spun at the start/finish line.
The next restart resulted in a multi-car mess in Turns 1 and 2 with drivers spinning, ducking and dodging through the accident scene. Babb, Gery and Balluzzo maintained the top three positions, while Rudy and Hartley moved up to fourth and fifth for what would be the final restart. Getting ready for a green flag, Balluzzo, Rudy, Humblet, Holston and McPherson occupied the outside lane.
On the restart, Balluzzo posed a stern challenge to Babb, but eventually gave way as Babb pulled ahead along the backstretch. Balluzzo did, however, manage to retake second from Gery.
By the finish, Babb’s margin of victory had grown to 1.059 seconds — about four lengths — over Balluzzo. Gery was third, while Rudy and Hartley completed the top five.
Humblet was sixth to the stripe, followed by Horne, Holston, Hughes and Largena. Hobbs-Voelker and Harrell were 11th and 12th, the final drivers to finish the entire distance.
Returning to Victory Lane, Babb showed no indication of being ready to rest on his laurels: “We’ve really got it working good. The racetrack did tighten up as it got cooled down. The other guys adjusted on their stuff, so they got a little closer. We’re not quite there. I think we can still pick up a little bit. Like I said, every week, when these guys go home, they’re working on their stuff, so we’re gonna work on our stuff, too.”
Asked about Gery’s strong showing, Babb noted, “Yeah, I knew Gery was back there. He tagged me in the bumper a couple times. He let me know he was there. We’re good friends and I think we can race together. So far, so good.”
In the division standings, Largena’s pair of 10th-place outings was costly. Up by two points over Balluzzo at the beginning of the night, he is now in third place, 14 behind Balluzzo and one behind Babb, who moved up to second. Horne is fourth, only three behind Largena.
The Modifieds will be back in action at Langley next Saturday, Aug. 8, with a 50-lap feature.

In the evening’s other feature events:

In the 40-lap Pepsi Grand Stock race, Jamie Sample overcame a four-car inversion to post his first win of the season, taking the lead on the eighth circuit.
Sample was the fast qualifier, at 79.101 mph, but ended up on the outside of Row 2, while Andrew Condrey assumed the pole position. Tommy Sweeney was the outside pole-sitter, followed by Mark Frye, Sample and UCAR standout Tim Wilson, at the wheel of Brandon Hinson’s #17 machine.
On the start, Sweeney, gunning for his fifth straight win, motored into the lead, pulling ahead of Condrey through Turns 1 and 2 on lap 1. Condrey retreated to second, followed by a door-to-door battle between Frye and Sample.
The only caution flag flew on lap 2 when Jack Robinson, a late addition to the field, laid down a streak of fluid, prompting a lengthy cleanup.
For the restart, third-place Sample broke out of line and pulled alongside Sweeney. Thomas Marks, Chris Flowers and Paul Lubno also opted for the high side.
Back under green, Sweeney cleared Sample in Turns 1 and 2. Sample didn’t fade, though, settling in right on the leader’s rear bumper.
Sample stalked Sweeney until lap 8 when he drove to the inside at the end of the backstretch and roared out front off the fourth corner. Two laps later, Sample had fashioned a three-length margin.
Deeper in the field, Frye slipped past Condrey on lap 11 to take over third, then set his sights on second-place Sweeney. Passing the halfway mark, he caught up to Sweeney and began hunting for an opening. Meanwhile, Sample had stretched his margin to half a straightaway.
Frye took a peek to the inside of Sweeney in Turn 1 on lap 26, but came up empty. He tried again on lap 34, but was forced back in line by a looming lapped machine. For Frye, the third attempt was the charm as he scooted ahead of Sweeney at the end of the backstretch on lap 36. All the while, Sample was steadily increasing his advantage.
At the finish, Sample was the winner by 2.861 seconds — a full straightaway — over Frye. Sweeney ws third, while Marks and Condrey rounded out the top five.

Renno Marchetti IV took the lead on the opening circuit and sailed to his seventh victory of the season in the 40-lap Butterfoss & Barton Orthodontics Super Street feature.
Marchetti was the fast qualifier, at 75.747 mph. An inversion of the top two bumped him to the outside pole, though, as he swapped front-row spots with Jason Michaud.
On the start, Michaud and Marchetti raced door-to-door until they reached the backstretch. Heading toward Turn 3 for the first time, Marchetti powered ahead, leaving Michaud to battle Sean Calway for second. Calway came out on top in that scuffle and brought Landon Abbott, Randy Akers and Sammy Gaita along with him, dropping Michaud from the top five.
While Marchetti and Calway held a firm grip on the top two spots, positions began to change hands in their wake. On lap 7, Akers overhauled Abbott for third. Gaita tagged along and took over fourth. A lap later, Abbott regained fourth from Gaita. Bill Eaker took a run at Gaita for fifth on lap 9, but soon abandoned the chase and pulled into the pits with mechanical issues.
With Eaker on the sidelines, Gaita turned his attention back to Abbott, moving back into fourth on lap 14. In the meantime, Marchetti enjoyed a comfortable, half-straightaway edge over Calway.
Marchetti maintained his healthy margin over the second half of the caution-free run and cruised to victory, winning by 3.249 seconds over Calway. Akers was third, while Gaita came home in fourth. Abbott survived a scrape with a lapped machine on the next-to-last lap and finished fifth.

Zach Lightfoot started on the pole, at 63.798 mph, and held off a race-long challenge from Autumn Weaver to bag his fourth win of the year in a caution-free 15-lapper for the Cycle City Corp. INEX Bandoleros.
Lightfoot jumped into the lead as the initial green flag waved. Starting third, Weaver tagged along and took over the second spot. Meanwhile, outside pole starter Bradley Kilby had difficulty getting up to speed and sank to sixth place on the opening circuit.
As Lightfoot and Weaver contested the lead, Elysia Potter, Colby Flowers and Jacob Putman battled for the third spot. Having regained his bearings, Kilby also got into the mix. He grabbed fifth from Putman on lap 2, then shot past Potter for fourth on lap 3.
At the front, Lightfoot maintained a slim, two-length edge over Weaver. That margin remained fairly constant throughout the race as Flowers, Kilby and Putman tried to close the gap.
Coming to the checkers, Lightfoot was the winner by 0.260-second — a little more than a car-length — over Weaver, who enjoyed her best outing since winning the season opener. Flowers was third, followed by Kilby and Putman.

In the evening’s final race, a 30-lapper for the Bojangles’ Enduros, Scotty Buchanan took the lead on lap 16 and rolled to his first win of the season.
Wendell White drew the pole for the start, but gave way to outside pole-sitter Rodney Davis as the race got under way. Davis’ stay at the front lasted just one lap as Derrick Boggess moved atop the leaderboard on the second circuit. Buchanan was right on Boggess’ heels and took over second place.
The first red-flag stoppage came on lap 3 when Bubba Firman spun into the inside wall just past the start/finish line, moving the barricade back a good three or four feet. While the safety crew assisted Firman from his battered car, a tow vehicle returned the wall to its proper place. The race was also stopped at laps 7 (twice) and 11 as Buchanan continued to stalk Boggess.
On lap 16, Buchanan finally worked his way around Boggess. Once out front, he rocketed away. By lap 22, his lead had swelled to better than a full straightaway.
The final red flag appeared on lap 26 for a multi-car fracas in Turn 1.
Under green for the last time, Buchanan maintained his full-straightaway margin over Boggess all the way to the finish. Then, things got a little strange.
As cars had been slipping and sliding in Turn 1 for most of the race, it was obvious that some fluid had been deposited there. Beginning his cooldown lap, Buchanan was snared in the slick stuff and slid into the Turn 1 wall, joining a couple other victims. Climbing from his battered ride, Buchanan enjoyed a leisurely stroll back up the frontstretch to Victory Lane.
The cars of the apparent second-, third- and fourth-place finishers — Boggess, Dustin Cisco and Randy Constable — failed to clear the post-race inspection and they were disqualified.
In the official rundown, Buchanan was the winner, followed by Richard Quinn, the only other driver on the lead lap. White was third, while Ronald Klein and Austin Davis completed the top five in the night’s wildest and weirdest race.
• • •
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Daughtrey
Track: (757) 865-7223
E-mail: daughtrey@langley-speedway.com

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway – Hampton, VA
4CDL.com Night presented by
Thomas Nelson Community College
Race Results
Saturday, August 1, 2015

LARRY KING LAW MODIFIEDS – Twin 30s
Race #1:
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (44) Robbie Babb; 30
2. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 30
3. (6) Evan Horne; 30
4. (8) Mike Rudy; 30
5. (20) Chris Humblet; 30
6. (37) Wayne Hartley; 30
7. (60) Bobby Gery; 30
8. (1) Donnie Holston; 30
9. (5) Andrew Fortin; 30
10. (4) Jon Largena; 30
11. (51) Tony Steele; 30
12. (14) Sunny Hobbs-Voelker; 30
13. (95) Danny Harrell; 30
14. (70) Curtis Hughes; 30
15. (16) Eric McPherson; 25
16. (33) Mark Slye; 21
17. (88) Jack Sharkey; 14
Pole: Babb – 87.594 mph.

Race #2:
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (44) Robbie Babb; 30
2. (48) Shawn Balluzzo; 30
3. (60) Bobby Gery; 30
4. (8) Mike Rudy; 30
5. (37) Wayne Hartley; 30
6. (20) Chris Humblet; 30
7. (6) Evan Horne; 30
8. (1) Donnie Holston; 30
9. (70) Curtis Hughes; 30
10. (4) Jon Largena; 30
11. (14) Sunny Hobbs-Voelker; 30
12. (95) Danny Harrell; 30
13. (16) Eric McPherson; 29
14. (88) Jack Sharkey; 29
15. (5) Andrew Fortin; 26
16. (51) Tony Steele; 23
17. (33) Mark Slye; 1
Pole: Babb – via Race #1 finish.

PEPSI GRAND STOCKS – 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (28) Jamie Sample; 40
2. (29) Mark Frye; 40
3. (11) Tommy Sweeney; 40
4. (88) Thomas Marks; 40
5. (36) Andrew Condrey; 40
6. (79) Chris Flowers; 40
7. (6) Shawn Scovel; 40
8. (17) Tim Wilson; 39
9. (75) Jeff Driskill; 38
10. (71) Paul Lubno; 27
11. (7) Mark Claar; 14
12. (1) Kevin Morgan; 14
13. (24) Jack Robinson; 1
Pole: Condrey – Top 4 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Sample – 79.101 mph.

BUTTERFOSS & BARTON ORTHODONTICS
SUPER STREETS – 40 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (01) Renno Marchetti IV; 40
2. (12) Sean Calway; 40
3. (21) Randy Akers; 40
4. (24) Sammy Gaita; 40
5. (70) Landon Abbott; 40
6. (46) Jason Michaud; 39
7. (2) Rod Busitzky; 39
8. (47) Craig Warren; 39
9. (50) Jim Bennett; 38
10. (53) Zac Stongle; 37
11. (22) Bill Eaker; 11
12. (14) Wayne Hartley; 5
13. (50x)Matt Morgan; 4
Pole: Michaud – Top 2 qualifiers inverted.
Fast Qualifier: Marchetti – 75.747 mph.

CYCLE CITY CORP. INEX BANDOLEROS – 15 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (7) Zach Lightfoot; 15
2. (18) Autumn Weaver; 15
3. (33) Colby Flowers; 15
4. (5) Bradley Kilby; 15
5. (3) Jacob Putman; 15
6. (24) Elysia Potter; 15
7. (48) Wesley Newell; 13
Pole: Lightfoot – 63.798 mph.

BOJANGLES’ ENDUROS – 30 laps
Fin. Pos. (Car #) Driver; Laps Compl.
1. (73) Scotty Buchanan; 30
2. (31) Richard Quinn; 30
3. (4) Wendell White; 29
4. (80) Ronald Klein; 29
5. (3) Austin Davis; 28
6. (27) Tyler Baker; 28
7. (91) Don Masingo; 28
8. (9) Robert Perry; 28
9. (98) Justin Fansler; 27
10. (33) Michael Kanary; 27
11. (28) Ray Haynes; 27
12. (12) Doug Patrick; 27
13. (19) Daniel Balduf; 27
14. (54) Ralph Stevens; 26
15. (13) Larry Drommerhausen; 24
16. (32) Robert Hilby; 24
17. (2) Jessica Knapp; 23
18. (21) Curtis Harrell; 21
19. (38) Rodney Davis; 15
20. (11) Jay Milliarons; 7
21. (23) Shane Loving; 3
22. (34) Bubba Firman; 2
DQ (18) Derrick Boggess; 30
DQ (44) Dustin Cisco; 30
DQ (49) Randy Constable; 30
Pole: White – via draw.