Lang Wins a Wild Showdown at Orange County By Elgin Traylor
Mid-Race Paint Trading Session Highlights Renegade 125
(top) Jimmy Lang pulled into victory lane with a banged up right side of his car. (bottom) Lang in victory lane after the race. (51 Sports Photo)
How often do you see the leaders rub each other so hard that parts are seen flying off their cars? Those who were at Orange County Speedway (NC) for the ASA Late Model South event saw just that. Both Jimmy Lang and Colt James worked on each other so hard that pieces and parts were flying off the cars as the yellow came out on lap 83 of the Renegade 125. Neither driver wanted to give an inch, and no one did up until that point. In the end, it was Lang who would go on to make the pass on the next restart, he held on for the victory with half a fender flapping in the breeze.
“Colt didn’t give me any room,” said Lang in victory lane. “I was underneath him and I was up to his door. Then I was up to his number and he gave me no room whatsoever. He pushed me down and we were very low on the track. I am not going to back out and give it too him, I stayed right there with him. We almost both wrecked twice.”
Lang’s victory marks his fourth of the season in five ASA LM South starts, the only race he didn’t win was at Concord where Colt James took the victory. James, who got passed for the lead on lap 84, began to fall back through the pack before contact with Justin Larson ended his night after smacking with the first turn wall.
“It was good racing and we were putting on a good race for the fans,” said James. “I really don’t know what to say. He (Lang) just used me as a wall and there is not much more you can say about it. I think about lap 75, he loses a few of the brain cells that he hasn’t lost already. He becomes erratic and he’s a spaz behind the wheel. He’s just a weapon. Half the series is pissed off at him right now and he’s just going to make it hard on himself because we are only midway through the year.”
James ended up 11th after his second tangle with outside retaining wall. It all started when the yellow came out on lap 75 for a spin by Will Hannah. Lang had been moving in on James prior to the caution flag. When the field went green, Lang was in hot pursuit on James like Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on Bo and Luke Duke. There was everything but the General Lee flying in the in air over the next eight laps. Lang looked low several times only to come up short, paint was traded and tires rubbed and in the end they caused a yellow without actually spinning.
“I don’t understand why someone wasn’t sent to the back,” wondered James. “He used me as a wall and his car was just body damage. My car was junked, the whole right side was gone and it bent the rear end. I am not going to dwell over it, we’ll pick up from here come back and win some races.”
When the caution came out Lang and James entered turn one with James in the low groove and Lang on the apron. A piece of paper would not have fit between them.
“He had me pinched down so hard I had to just learn on him, said Lang. “You can’t give them an inch or they are going to take a mile.”
Lang only had to hold off David Odell in the closing laps. Odell had a good car for a few laps after restarts, but once his tires got warmed up he was no mach for Lang.
“It was a good night for the Odell Motorsports Impala. It didn’t really do as good on the longer runs as I thought it would,” said Odell. “It did great on shorter runs. The first half of the race everything was working on the bottom. The tires wore out and it stopped working down low.”
Odell was running right behind Lang and James when the battle for the lead heated up. He offered his view of what went down.
“I feel sorry for Colt James,” added Odell. “He pretty much had the race won there early on, but he got into a little fender bender with Jimmy Lang. They just started bouncing off
Sprint Cup driver Dave Blaney gives a few final words to his son Ryan Blaney. (51 Sports Photo)
RAIN SLOWS DOWN DAY AT ORANGE COUNTY
A brief rain shower slowed the afternoon just long enough to have lunch. The weather blew in from just over the fourth turn right after the first practice session was completed. The rain did wash down the track for nearly 20 minutes. Because of the high temperatures the track was dried quickly and teams still had their final half hour of practice.
BLANEY MAKES FIRST ASA LM START
Meet the next generation from the Blaney racing family - Ryan Blaney was making his second career Late Model start at Orange County Speedway. The son of Sprint Cup driver Dave Blaney had tested at several tracks before making his first start. Some of those tracks included Anderson, Greenville-Pickens, and Hickory.
“This is the track that I liked the best,” said Blaney.
He got some luck on his side when the redraw put the 14-year old on the pole. Blaney had finished 18th in his other start which was at Orange County in the PASS National event last month. Luck ran out for the youngster as he was caught up in an early wreck.
DUNN HAPPY WITH THIRD PLACE RUN
Low budget racers are often a staple in short track racing. Dustin Dunn made the most of his outside starting spot as he led the opening 17 laps before sliding back to fifth. Dunn said it was great opportunity to show what his team his made of.
“The car was great and if I hadn’t gotten shuffled back we would have been better,” said Dunn. “It messes with your head when you get shuffled back. It was still a great finish for us.”
Dunn has had a decent season with a total of three top five finishes in five starts. They are a week to week team hoping to get some financial backing.
“We do what we can with our low budget, admitted Dunn. “We have one of the smallest budgets around. We do great with only a couple of crew members helping us out.”
Colt James was fast all night until the bumping got out of hand. (51 Sports Photo)
each other and I couldn’t get away. It was just a racing deal, I am sure they are going to be mad at each other.”
Lang crossed the finish line about ten car lengths in front of David Odell, Dustin Dunn was third, Jeremy Gerstner was fourth and Blake Lehr was fifth.