HAMPTON, Va. — Greg Edwards moved out front on lap 19 and sailed to a convincing victory in the Pomoco Auto Group 100 for the ComServe/Verizon Wireless Late Model Stock Cars, the headlining event of Saturday evening’s season-opening NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Nick Smith nabbed the pole position, at 90.464 mph, sharing the front row with Matt Waltz. Edwards qualified third on the 15-car grid.
As the race got under way, Smith nosed ahead of Waltz to take the lead at the end of the first lap. On the second circuit, Waltz worked underneath Smith off turn four and drove alongside the leader as they sped into turn one to begin lap three. Off turn four, Waltz motored ahead to take the lead for the first time.
The only caution flag of the race appeared on lap four when Duane Shreeves and Jeremy Grogg tangled on the back straightaway. Robert Bruce was also collected in the fracas. The incident sidelined all three drivers.
Lining up for the ensuing restart, Smith pulled to the outside of Waltz, hoping to reclaim the top spot. He was joined in the outside lane by Mark Wertz and Justin Carroll.
As the race resumed, Waltz inched ahead of Smith to hold onto the lead. He cleared Smith on lap 5 and left the door open for Edwards, who took over second on lap six.
After a couple of green-flag laps, Waltz had forged a three-length advantage. Soon, though, Edwards began to narrow the gap. By lap 17, the two leaders were nose-to-tail.
Edwards launched a bid for the lead on lap 18, driving under Waltz as they exited turn four. He powered ahead at the end of the backstretch on lap 19, taking over the top spot for good.
At the end of the event, Edwards was the winner by five lengths over Waltz. Smith was third, the only other driver to complete the entire distance. Brandon Gdovic and Casey Wyatt were fourth and fifth, respectively, both a lap in arrears.
Other winners at Langley on Saturday included Landon Abbott (Super Street), Chase McAdams (Super Trucks) Tommy Jackson Jr. (INEX Legends), Jesse Jones IV (UCAR) and Devon Courtney (INEX Bandoleros).