Langley Speedway (VA) reopened its doors Saturday afternoon after a year dormant, and it was a familiar face visiting victory lane in the track’s Late Model Stock Car division. Despite a year away from the 4/10-mile asphalt oval, 2015 track champion Greg Edwards returned to his winning ways by winning the 100-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature.
2016 Dominion Raceway (VA) champion Nick Smith led the field to green with Edwards to his outside.
Edwards took the lead on lap seven, passing Smith in turn three. From there, Edwards, a five-time champion at the historic Southeastern Virginia oval held on, fending off multiple challenges from Smith to take the checkered flag in an emotional race at Langley.
Edwards was over-joyed not only to win, but to be back at his home track, Langley Speedway.
“We are really happy to be back here. I won the last race here in 2015, and to come back with the track re-open it feels great,” Edwards expressed.
“I knew we had a good car in practice, it was around fifth fastest and we hadn’t even put new tires on it yet; it wasn’t flawless, it was a little loose but I knew once we got fresh tires under us we would be a factor in the race. I knew if I could get this car turning right we had a good shot here tonight.”
Justin T Carroll finished second after starting third. Carroll, the 2012 PASS South Super Late Model winner at Anderson Motor Speedway (SC), moved through the field, saving just enough to get into the top five and pass Matt Waltz late in the race.
We were tight at the beginning; we are running the old Chevy Build motor, compared to these guys with the new Chevy Spec motor, when their stuff went away we just got better.” Carroll told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We really had a good long run car, we really prevailed over the course of the race but Greg (Edwards) just had a really good car today.”
Finishing third behind Edwards and Justin T Carroll was two-time Langley champion Mark Wertz.
“It felt good to get 100 laps under our belt here at Langley, we definitely learned a lot and it was a good night to collect data with the long green flag run and I think we can use tonight to get better for next race, we really learned a lot tonight,” Wertz explained.
Wertz started ninth and rose to the front quickly but faded as the race went on.
“We began to fade over the last 30 or so laps, we started to use up the right-rear tire a little too much, after that we started to get free and late in the race we kind of struggled rolling off the middle and the pace did begin to fall back a little bit.”
Matt Waltz finished fourth with polesitter Smith rounding out the top five.
Race fans can find on-demand Trackside Now coverage of Saturday’s race by clicking here.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent – Twitter: @RNoblesSpeed51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Late Model Stock Car Unofficial Results:
|2||57||Justin T Carroll|
|15||91||Justin S Carroll|