Race car drivers will often tell you they would rather be lucky than good any day of the week. Ultimately that sounds better than saying ‘We didn’t have it tonight and lucked into this one.’ Well, what happens when you have that luck on your side and you are good? Track records and wins for 1600, Alex.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Landon Abbott is a “good” Super Street driver. His accolades at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway alone will justify that theory. Former Old Skool Video Game Super Street champion. Multiple victories over the years including seven Langley Speedway opening night wins. Now a track record holder with a time of 18.107 (78.533 MPH). The Henrico, Virginia native expressed that maybe a little bit of luck or the alignment of the stars was on his side.
“I am still shocked,” Abbott said about the record. “The track itself honestly didn’t feel any different to me. The car felt good but nothing, in particular, stood out about it. I think a lot of it had to do with a four-tire night and cool, cloudy weather conditions. It all just aligned perfectly.”
Could Landon find his name etched in Langley Speedway history as a track record holder for the next decade or more?
“That’s a tough question. I would say it’s possible but doubtful. Hopefully, I have it but with a faster time. The competition in the Super Street class seems to get stiffer and stiffer each season. Honestly, I thought the previous record was pretty safe as it was set in 2013 on fresh asphalt/repave. The weather plays a huge factor. It all has to align perfectly. I do think, however, if we had two-lap qualifying it could have been faster. We only had one lap [this past] Saturday which made it very difficult to get heat in the tires.”
Several, out of the cock pit, factors were discussed by fans throughout the speedway over the weekend as to what might play a role in speed. Would it be the patch of asphalt in turn three from over the winter? Would it be cool to cold temps giving engines that little extra kick? The strong headwind down the back stretch. Maybe it was as simple as it was a four-tire race for these big heavy cars?
“I don’t think so,” Abbott said about the wind down the backstretch playing a key role. “Our cars are so big and heavy on a narrow tire, so they move around a lot as it is. We knew after our practice time that we possibly had a shot at the record, and jokingly, I told my guys I hope we got a nice tailwind in qualifying. But it’s hard to say from inside the car.”
Abbott would go on to win the 40-lap feature and collect his seventh opening night win at Langley of his career. He would later admit that he would not be running for a championship but Pepsi Opening Night would not be the last race fans would see of the blue number seventy.
“We will not compete for a championship this season,” Abbott commented. “We decided on a five-race slate over the winter and will be sticking with the plan. We have won opening night seven times now and I will say that each time it does make it tempting to come back for the full schedule. Racing for wins to me is a lot more fun than chasing points.”
Bill Eaker, who will be pulling double duty in 2023, also set a new fast time in the Farley Financial UCAR division during qualifications this past weekend. Eaker’s 18.696 was good enough to beat Cody Bryant’s 18.7 second lap time the year prior. Bill would go on to finish second in the extended UCAR feature.
Racing will return to Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway this weekend with the unofficial second part of the 2023 opening act. Five divisions will be on hand for six races all kicking off once again at 5 PM EDT. Tickets are available at www.langley-speedway.com or may be purchased Saturday at the box office.