HAMPTON, Va. — Mike Rudy took the lead for good on lap 63 and rolled to a $5,000 payday, winning the Racing For Hope Foundation Modified Madness 100 presented by Sysco, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
Robbie Babb qualified on the pole, at 87.207 mph, but faltered on the start, triggering a caution flag on the opening lap. Finally under way, Anthony Kincaid and Rudy traded the lead twice in the first two laps before Rudy settled into the top spot. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Cale Gale of Winston-Salem, N.C., pushed his car to the front on lap 7, bringing 2012 Langley Mod champ Shawn Balluzzo along with him.
Balluzzo snagged the top spot from Gale on lap 16, only to see Gale return the favor on the following lap. Balluzzo returned to the lead on lap 26, followed by Rudy and Hunter Slayton. On lap 32, Rudy and Slayton slipped by Balluzzo. Nine laps later, Slayton took the lead, while Balluzzo regained second on lap 46. Balluzzo moved back into the lead on lap 58, two laps before a 10-minute break. Returning to the track, Balluzzo, Slayton, Rudy, Gale and Darrell Vance occupied the top five positions. Rudy chose to restart to the outside of Balluzzo and grabbed the lead on lap 61. Balluzzo rallied on lap 62, but gave way to Rudy on lap 63. Balluzzo rode Rudy’s rear bumper until lap 86 when the fourth yellow flag waved. The fifth caution flag appeared for a multi-car snarl on the ensuing restart.
Under green for a dash to the finish, Rudy pulled away, while Todd VanGuilder swiped second from teammate Balluzzo. On lap 87, Gale scooted by Balluzzo for third. Over the closing circuits, Rudy rocketed away from the pack, winning by half a straightaway over VanGuilder. Gale was third, followed by Balluzzo and Vance. � With championship-inspired craziness erupting in his mirror, Larry Venable wired the field for his first win in the 40-lap Heritage Motor Co. Super Street race.
While Venable held a firm grip on the lead, title contenders Renno Marchetti IV and John Pereira dueled for second. On a restart at lap 35, Pereira muscled past Marchetti, who responded by spinning him as lap 36 began, earning both drivers a trip to the rear of the field. Back under green, Pereira latched onto Marchetti�s rear bumper and sent him sailing into turn one. Marchetti avoided contact with the outside wall, but ground to a halt in turn two, prompting another yellow flag. During the caution period, Pereira was black-flagged to the pits for rough driving. As Pereira sat on the pit lane, a scuffle broke out involving crew members and an official, resulting in Pereira being parked and, for all practical purposes, ending the title chase.
At the finish, Venable was the winner, followed by Dale Parro, Ryan Nester, Sean Calway and Rod Busitzky. Marchetti was sixth and claimed the division title over Pereira, who was 11th, last, in the rundown.
Denver Alvis moved out front on lap 21 and sailed to his second straight victory in a 25-lapper for the SavitaPets.com UCARs. Jason Michaud, who led laps 1-20 from the pole, ended up second, three lengths back. Bill Eaker, who clinched the 2012 championship when he took the initial green flag, came home in third, followed by Tim Wilson and Jon Largena.
Steve Williams led all the way from the pole for his second win in the 30-lap Standard Welding Pro Six feature. It wasn’t quite enough, though, as Landon Florian finished second, a car-length back, and claimed the 2012 title by a single point. Casey Sipe and Nelson Moody were third and fourth, respectively, while Neil Sipe completed the top five.
Josh Ayer moved out front on the white-flag circuit and scored his first win in the 15-lap season-ender for the Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts. Jonathan Mullett grabbed the lead on the start and paced the first 14 laps. He couldn’t hold off Ayer on the last lap, though. Jeffrey Johnson tailed Ayer to the checkers, in second, followed by Chris O’Brien, Matthew Dail and Mullett, who drop