By Justin Kern; Media Relations Director
Given everything that has gone on over the last year, it is wild to think that 2020 was a highlight year for anyone. That statement couldn’t be any more true for Brenden Queen.
The 23-year-old Chesapeake, Virginia driver picked up his second career Late Model win at his home track of Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in stellar fashion – the prestigious Hampton Heat. Queen’s perseverance and consistent top-five finishes in the race shortened year due to the current global pandemic proved that consistency was key as he was able to win his second career Late Model track championship (his first at his home track) as well as finish in the top fifteen in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Division I points. Queen was more than excited to win the war last year but he is hungry to win more battles.
“It’s a different feeling,” Queen said about coming back as the defending champion. “It’s cool coming back being the defending champion, and when we get around to it the Hampton Heat, it’s still kind of a weird feeling. We were able to celebrate over the off-season but reality has set back in and it’s time to get back to work. We won the war last year and they can’t take that away, it’s in the record books,” Queen said as he spoke about last year’s performance. “I am ready to come back and get back to work, get back into that grind every week, it’s what we live for. We live for the pressure, the adrenaline, the excitement.”
Coming off a season with twelve starts, twelve top tens, and twelve top fives but points-paying win, (that Hampton Heat has been a non points-paying race since 2017) hungry is a term Queen describes himself as.
“I mean we want to get the season off on the right foot,” Queen said looking back on last season and ahead to this year. “We don’t want to dig ourselves in a hole early. That was something that we learned and will take from last year, consistency can pay off. Our goal this year is pretty simple; win races. We would love to go back-to-back but I felt like we gave up a few last year to points race, which takes a little bit of the fun out of it, but at the end of the day, we won the war. This year though I want both, I want to win all the battles which will obviously take care of the war.”
Brenden Queen, however, is not the only Taylor Waste Services Late Model driver looking to win battles this year. Late Model powerhouses Greg and Danny Edwards will return in 2021 looking to settle a lifelong sibling rivalry of collecting championship trophies. Both brothers enter the season with six titles to their name. Both looking to be the first one to tie the great Phil Warren’s (returning as crew chief once again to Queen Motorsports) record or SEVEN titles.
Think that’s all Queen has to deal with? A pair of brothers having more championships combined than half of Queen’s age, he’s going to have to think again. 2020 has been a busy year for a lot of local standouts providing plenty of garage time for drivers like Nick Smith and Woody Howard to build cars. Yes, you read that right 2021 will see the return of “Quick” Nick as well as Woody Howard. That’s not even close to being all that Queen needs to look out for as we hit the asphalt this weekend as guys like Connor Hall, Justin Carroll, Thomas Marks, and Mark Wertz all have their eyes set on victory lane.
2021 is certainly already set to be one of the most competitive years Langley has seen in years and you will not want to miss the action. Langley will drop the green flag on its 71st season this Saturday. Grandstands are set to open at 2:00 PM with the start of rotating practice. Qualifying is scheduled to roll off roughly around 4:30 PM with all the excitement getting underway at 7:00. Make sure to hurry over to www.langley-speedway.com to order your tickets before it is to late. Can’t make it out? Don’t worry our NBC Gold Track Pass team will have you covered flag-to-flag.
Langley Speedway will be following all COVID-19 protocols set forth by state and local government and the Commonwealth of Virginia throughout the entirety of the event. Masks will be required for all fans entering the speedway. Social distancing throughout the property will also be required both in the pits and the grandstands.