Ridgeway, VA – The final crown jewel – ValleyStar Credit Union 300 – in Late Model Stock Car racing is finally in the books and Larry King Law Langley Speedway drivers put their blood, sweat and tears into bringing home a couple top twenty finishes in front of a national audience.
Defending champion and current Taylor Waste Services Late Model Stock Car points leader Brenden Queen lead the stable of six drivers to a twelfth place finish this evening at Martinsville Speedway. The young driver hailing from Chesapeake, Virginia was hoping to use a different strategy from the rest of the field along with having the best car he has had in previous appearances but came up just a little bit short at the end of the day.
“With the tire situation we unloaded on some [old] tires but showed some good speed which was pretty surprising,” Queen said about his finish tonight. “However, with those old tires we couldn’t really adjust too much on the car and didn’t know which direction to go for qualifying but wound up eleventh which was our best effort to date which I was happy with. Not to mention we had the best car we have ever brought here. Wasn’t the finish that we wanted, we tried a different strategy than most but just missed a little bit on setup and it didn’t work out for us but we were really happy with the caliber of cars we ran with.”
Queen will head back to Hampton Roads, however, with a victory this weekend and that is loading his potential back-to-back championship car in the hauler in one piece.
“Now that Martinsville is in the books we will turn our full attention back to Langley,” Queen said. “We can focus on finishing the last three races in 2021 out strong and get that second championship!”
Connor Hall, who as split many of the victory lane time with Queen this year, was overall happy with his rookie performance. As with any driver who gets behind the wheel winning is the ultimate goal but the Hampton native came into the weekend with a few small goals and managed to accomplish them all.
“We came here with no notes, no nothing, just wanted to try and make the show and run all 200 laps which we managed to accomplish,” Hall was excited to say following the race. “We were struggling there at the beginning but were able to make adjustments on the car throughout and take tires and drove from thirtieth up to sixteenth. Overall I think we were good car wise but we were missing something in the brake package. We will do some research and maybe try again next year.”
Past Taylor Waste Services Late Model Stock Champion Matt Waltz came out of semi-retirement this season after getting married and buying his first home to run some of the bigger races – CARS Tour and all three VA Triple Crown Events – throughout 2021. With taking a few years away from the sport making the race and loading the car up in once piece at Martinsville is a win in its own right.
“That was about our only win tonight,” Waltz commented about loading the car on the trailer in once piece. “The car was just tight. Tight in the middle and loose off and we got banged around a little bit there in the beginning of the race and got shoved to the back. The car just wasn’t really all that great, we were able to get some speed out of it early on but just wouldn’t last. We got some work to do at the shop over the winter to get the car back to what it was, we might go back to some of our older stuff in the notebook.”
Justin Carroll, who has been running both Late Model Stocks at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway along with select ARCA series events, crashed out of the event on lap 80 but overall was optimistic on the remainder of the 2021 season.
“I was on the outside of Conner and I think the field just stacked up in front of him,” Carroll commented on the wreck. “Natural instinct there he kinda washed up there to avoid it – nothing intentional – and when he did it hooked my left front tires in his right side tires and I caught some air which shot me into the outside wall. The car is not terrible bad, think it can be fixed but its kind of what you get from starting in the back. We learned a lot and will move onto the next one.”
Langley Speedway will be back in action next weekend October 2nd with a full card of racing and the return of the VA Sprint Car series, twin Late Model Stock, Grandstocks, Pro Six, Legends, Bando’s, and Enduro’s. Tickets can be purchased online and will be broadcasted live on NBC Sports Gold TrackPass.