Aviation Institute of Maintenance Night At The Races April 19th 2014
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
at Langley Speedway - Hampton, VA
Aviation Institute of Maintenance Night
Saturday, April 19, 2014
HAMPTON, Va. (Apr. 19) — Matt Waltz moved out front on the fifth circuit and sailed to his first victory of the season in the Aviation Institute of Maintenance 100 for the ComServe/Verizon Wireless Late Model Stock Cars, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Qualifying ace Nick Smith claimed his second pole position in as many races, lapping the .395-mile oval at 89.733 mph. Greg Edwards was second-fastest, just four-thousandths of a second off Smith’s pace. Waltz lined up third, while father-and-son duo Terry and Justin Carroll completed the top five on the 15-car grid.
As the race got under way, Smith and Edwards dueled side-by-side until they reached Turns 3 and 4. Through the corner, Smith pulled ahead and brought Waltz along with him, dropping Edwards to third. Terry Carroll emerged in fourth, followed by Casey Wyatt.
Waltz went after the lead on lap 5, ducking underneath Smith at the end of the backstretch. At the flagstand, Waltz eked out a half-length advantage, then gained the clear-cut edge on lap 6.
As Waltz motored away, Edwards closed in on Smith, looking to snag second place. He worked his way under Smith on lap 8 and grabbed the spot off Turn 2 on lap 9. Before the lap was officially in the books, though, the first caution flag waved for a three-car tangle in Turn 2. Scoring reverted to lap 8 and Smith moved back into the runner-up position.
Lining up for the restart, Edwards broke ranks, giving up his third place in the running order to test his luck on the outside of the leader. He was joined on the top side by Brandon Gdovic, Mark Wertz and Rick Gdovic.
Back under green, Waltz cleared Edwards off Turn 2 and Smith tagged along, retaining second. Behind the front three, Terry Carroll and Brandon Gdovic went door-to-door for fourth with Gdovic taking the spot.
The second yellow flag flew on lap 12 when Terry Carroll spun in Turn 2, collecting Conner Hall, Justin Carroll and Rick Gdovic. The ensuing caution period was a lengthy one as Hall and Justin Carroll plowed through the soggy infield and splashed a good bit of water onto the track.
After cleanup was completed, the field bunched for what would turn out to be the last restart. This time, Smith decided to try the outside lane. Wertz, Paige Decker and Danny Edwards Jr. also went to the high side.
As the race resumed, Waltz pulled ahead of Smith on the backstretch and Edwards picked up the second spot when Smith bobbled in Turn 4. Within a few laps, Waltz and Edwards had begun to distance themselves from Smith and the rest of the pack.
While Waltz, Edwards, Smith and Wertz held a firm grip on the top four positions, an entertaining contest was taking shape deeper in the field as Brandon Gdovic and Wyatt battled for fifth. For much of the first half of the event, the two were either door-to-door or nose-to-tail, trading the fifth position a couple of times. Gdovic finally grabbed the spot for good on lap 53.
Meanwhile, back at the front, Waltz waded into heavy lapped traffic for the first time on lap 47. He dealt with the slower cars for the next five laps and extended his lead over Edwards in the process. By the time Edwards broke free, on lap 59, Waltz had widened his margin to almost a full straightaway.
Heading into the closing laps, Waltz continued to storm through the field. He lapped seventh-place Danny Edwards Jr. on the 71st circuit and overtook sixth-place Wyatt three laps later. With Waltz on a roll, it became apparent that his pursuers would need a “friendly” caution flag to have any chance at derailing him.
The yellow flag remained hidden, though, as Waltz strolled to the checkers. At the finish, he was a whopping 2.954 seconds ahead of runner-up Greg Edwards. Smith was third, nine seconds back, while fourth-place Wertz was the final driver to complete the entire distance. Brandon Gdovic rounded out the top five, a lap off the pace. Wyatt headed the second five, in sixth, followed by Danny Edwards Jr., Justin Carroll, Decker and Late Model newcomer Connor Hall.
After the race, Waltz commented on the team effort which landed him in the winner’s circle: “I gotta thank all these guys for all the hard work today. Y’know, they made it happen. I thought we had a good car. I came out yesterday and tested and stuff, just trying to make sure we didn’t chase the race track today and it worked out for us. Just really happy for everybody, happy to get back in Victory Lane for the first time here in 2014. Hopefully, we can do it a lot more. Just definitely want to wish all the fans a ‘Happy Easter.’ Glad all y’all came out after it rained all day.”
In the evening’s other feature events:
Continuing his early-season hot streak, Mark Frye led all 40 laps and bagged his second and third victories in Twin 20s for the Pepsi Grand Stocks.
Frye started the opening event from the pole, at 81.012 mph, and powered ahead of Jamie Sample in Turn 3 on the first lap. Ritchie German tagged along with Frye and took over second. Mark Claar and Brandon Hinson moved up to third and fourth, while Sample slipped to fifth.
On lap 7, Hinson nosed ahead of Claar for third. Their tussle came to an abrupt end, though, when they scuffled in Turn 2 on lap 8, bringing out the race’s only caution flag.
Back under green, Frye, German and Claar bolted from the pack, looking to settle things between themselves. No one could touch Frye, however, as he maintained a steady, two-length advantage.
At the finish, Frye was the winner, followed by German, Claar, Rodney Boyd and Sample.
By virtue of his win in the first race, Frye also started the nightcap from the pole, sharing the front row with German. He took the lead in Turn 3 on the opening circuit and left the door open for Claar, who moved up to second on lap 2. On lap 5, Sample muscled underneath Claar in Turn 4 and advanced to second on lap 6.
The first caution flag waved on lap 9 when German spun on the frontstretch. Gathering for a restart, Tommy Sweeney gave his sixth spot in the running order to challenge Frye from the outside lane.
As the race resumed, Sweeney remained on the leader’s flank. At the flagstand, Frye led by half a car-length. He cleared Sweeney on lap 10, bringing Sample along with him. At the end of the backstretch, Sample drove under Frye in a bid for the top spot. The effort came up empty, though, as Frye regained the clear-cut edge on lap 11.
The second yellow flag appeared on lap 12 when Hinson got shuffled out of the pack and into the backstretch wall, collecting German in the process. The incident chased both drivers to the sidelines.
On the restart, Frye faced his sternest test of the night as Claar launched from the outside groove and briefly took the lead. Returning to the flagstand, though, Frye bypassed Claar to retain the top spot, while Sample moved back into second. A lap later, Claar’s charge went awry when he drifted wide through Turns 3 and 4, flirting with the outside wall. He made the save, but dropped to seventh place.
At the front, Frye held a two-length advantage over Sample, while another half-straightaway separated them from Sweeney and Boyd, the third- and fourth-place runners.
The third, and final, yellow flag was unfurled on lap 17 when Sweeney spun in Turn 3, collecting Thomas Marks.
On the last restart, Frye quickly fashioned a comfortable margin over Sample and drove on to his second victory of the night, winning by two lengths. Boyd was third to the line, while Michael Waters and Claar completed the top five.
In the 25-lap KeesVacations.com Super Truck race, Chase McAdams started on the pole, at 74.976 mph, and led all the way for his second straight win.
Michael Waters shared the front row with McAdams and held down the second spot throughout the caution-free contest.
After taking the lead on the start, McAdams quickly forged a slim advantage over Waters. By lap 10, he had eased away by four lengths. Passing the midway mark, though, Waters began to close the gap.
Over the second half of the event, Waters continued to narrow McAdams’ margin. The lead looked even more tenuous when the leader’s truck began to show smoke with five to go.
McAdams gutted it out for the last handful of circuits, though, holding off Waters by a truck-length to seal the win. Colby Vance was third, nipping Jacob Carr by a bumper at the checkers. Rookie Trevor Battoia was fifth.
Justin Fuller took the lead on lap 14 and rolled to his first win of the season in the 25-lap Carroll’s Automotive UCAR feature.
Courtney Shiflett started on the pole, at 73.163 mph, and led the first 13 circuits. Meanwhile, Fuller, who started on the outside of Row 1, dropped to third in the early going before rallying back toward the front.
After erasing a half-straightaway deficit, Fuller took a run at the leader at the beginning of lap 14, muscling Shiflett aside in Turn 1. Just one lap later, he had already pulled away by five lengths.
At the end of the caution-free race, Fuller was the winner by half a straightaway over Shiflett, who held off Richard Ellis to secure second. Kevin Morgan was fourth to the line, followed by Eric Schaffer.
Dave Wedding grabbed the top spot on the opening circuit and led all 30 laps to post his first win in the Bojangles’ Enduro race, the evening’s final event.
Richard Quinn started on the pole, but got tangled up with Derrick Boggess as the field sped into Turn 1 for the first time. Spotting an opportunity, Wedding leaped to the point, while Boggess emerged in second and Quinn fell to the rear of the field.
Wedding pulled away to a half-straightaway advantage in the early going and was never really threatened, maintaining his margin to the checkers. Boggess was the runner-up, while Quinn recovered to finish third. Ronald Klein and Dustin Cisco were fourth and fifth, respectively, both a lap down.
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