LETSON, LANGHAM WIN ON FRIDAY NIGHT by Matt Kentfield
Super Stock Race Lasts Well Into The Night
HAMRAC’S MISFORTUNE IS LANGHAM’S DELIGHT
“I worked so hard for this,” said Langham. “I got up yesterday morning at 8 am and started working on the car and I was reskinning it from yesterday until this morning. I haven’t slept in about a day and a half because I’ve been working on this car. This is great.”
After crossing the finish line, Langham proceeded to ruin the brand new body on his car by backing it into the inside frontstretch wall during post-race burnouts. Hamrac dejectedly watched Langham celebrate, frustrated about giving up the win.
“With 30 to go I lost all the water out of the car,” said Hamrac. “I think we blew a head gasket and then the motor blew up. We had the car to beat but we just couldn’t keep the water in it. On a scale from one to 10, my frustration’s a 12 right now.
It wasn’t frustration for the winner Langham, it was elation.
“Under the last red flag, I was praying that something would happen to help me. Sure enough, something did and I won. This is like winning Daytona for me.”
LETSON CONQUERS MODIFIED FIELD
Howard Langham won the Super Stock event. (Dan Butler Photos)
Howard Langham didn’t have the fastest car in the 75-lap Super Stock feature on Friday night of Snowball weekend. He was the luckiest.
Donnie Hamrac had the field covered and was well on his way to the win. He withstood 11 restarts and three red flags, avoiding the on-track carnage and had the checkered flag in sight. His machine would not cooperate and let him win the Snowball Super Stock race for the second straight season, however. Hamrac slowed off the fourth corner with just four laps remaining which put the lead in the Langham’s lap and he never looked back.
In the 75 lap Modified feature Jeff Letson took the lead from arch rival Billy Melvin on lap 46 and checked out on the field to take his third Snowball Derby Modified division win. The win looked like an easy one for Letson, but inside the cockpit the driver was sweating it out.
“When we had that caution with a few laps to go and I told the guys on the radio that we lost one a few years back with a flat tire late in the race, so I knew it wasn’t ours until the end,” said Letson. “We changed a lot of things with the car over the last few weeks and we were able to pull it off in the end.”
Jeff Letson (#131) out ran the field in the Modified class on Friday night.
Melvin held the lead early in the race and looked to be on his way to an easy victory. Many mid-race cautions kept Letson and the rest of the field close to his bumper, but about halfway through the event it was Letson who made the charge underneath Melvin low in the first turn to take the lead that he would not relinquish. The two ran bumper to bumper for the rest of the race, but Letson would not be denied.
“I’ve raced with Billy for like 15 years and he’s a tough driver. He was getting a little loose up there and I was able to get under him and that’s what I had to do to get the lead and it worked.”
MERCER, HOLLAND GET OPENING NIGHT WINS by Dan Butler
Wild Bunch And Bendable Bombers Open Derby Racing With Much Carnage
Mercer Leads Flag to Flag for Derby Win
That's a headline Eddie Mercer fans have waited to see for a long time! Unfortunately for Eddie, he didn't win (yet) and it wasn't THE Derby, but nontheless Eddie's brother Stevie that wowed the crowd by leading all 75 laps of last night's Spectator Division Derby feature.
As he had done all race, Mercer pulled away in the final two laps to win his second spectator division Derby feature, the other coming back in 1992.
"This is my last race in this old car, and it makes this win that much sweeter," said after the race while celebrating with Eddie, sister Wanda and the rest of his family and crew.
Holland Puts Exclamation Point On Championship Season
Stevie Mercer took the win in his Spectator car. (Dan Butler Photos)
Mercer qualified on the pole with a fast time of 21.477, just edging his arch rival Jim Pokrant for the top spot. Before the race, we asked Mercer who he thought his biggest threat in the race would be, and surprisingly it wasn't Pokrant or 2005 Spectator Division Champion Mike Austin.
"I'm keeping an eye out for Keith English in the #31 car, he's been real fast lately," said Mercer.
When the green flag flew, nobody seemed to be a threat to Mercer, as he quickly raced far out ahead of the strong 34-car field. After six cautions, including Daniel Majors blown motor and wild 360 in turn two, Mercer found himself staring at a green white checkered finish with South Alabama Speedway regular Sam "Shanky" Smith and Pokrant hot on his tail.
With a new baby girl on the way in less than a month and winning the bomber division championship this year at Five Flags Speedway, things couldn't get any better for Pensacola's David Holland. Or so he thought until last night.
After lady luck threw the lead into Holland's lap with just four laps to go, he went on to win the 30-lap feature and top of his incredible 2005 season. Tim McIntosh led from the green flag and seemed unbeatable for most of the race, chased by Willie Kitchen early and then by Holland for most of the final 13 laps.
The red flag came out on lap eight for a vicious multi-car crash in turn two that sent Larry Roberts to the hospital and left Tyler Chapman shaken up. On lap 26 McIntosh couldn't avoid a disabled car on the front straight and ended up looping his car around while leading the race, sending him to the back and putting Holland in lead for the win.
Rick Teevan finished second and Willie Kitchen rounded out the top three.
"Man I'm glad that's over, I've got to be at work early tomorrow,” said Holland.
There were some big wrecks in the support division races (above), but it wasn't enough to stop David Holland.