Following a postponement of the Old North State Nationals at Tri-County Motor Speedway due to inclement weather, the 100th race for the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour’s Late Model Stock division will instead take place in Saturday’s VisitHampton.com 125 at Langley Speedway.
Constructed in 1950, Langley boasts a proud short track heritage that has seen many notable drivers visit victory lane. Among the names on this prestigious list include seven-time Cup Series champion Richard Petty, along with David Pearson, Ned Jarrett, Jack Ingram, Tommy Ellis, Doug Coby and many more.
Langley has been a staple on the LMSC Tour schedule over the past several years and has produced many fantastic finishes, starting with Deac McCaskill’s last lap pass during the inaugural race in 2019 after Bobby McCarty and Layne Riggs made contact in Turn 3.
A talented field of Late Model Stock competitors are set to make the trip up to Langley on Saturday for an opportunity to win the LMSC Tour’s 100th overall event.
Track: Langley Speedway
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Length: .395 mile
CARS LMSC Tour races: 4
Langley LMSC winners: Deac McCaskill (1), Layne Riggs (1), Kaden Honeycutt (1), Brenden Queen (1)
LMSC Entry List (29 cars): #03 Brenden Queen, #04 Ronnie Bassett Jr., #08 Deac McCaskill, #0 Landon Pembelton, #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #2W Matt Waltz, #4 Dylon Wilson, #5B Bryant Barnhill, #6 Bobby McCarty, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8B Chase Burrow, #10 Kaden Honeycutt, #15 Ryan Millington, #16 Chad McCumbee, #20 Josh Dickens, #22 Landon Huffman, #24 Mason Diaz, #31 Cole Bruce, #42 Carson Brown, #44 Conner Jones, #47 Ryley Music, #51M Ryan Matthews, #77 Connor Hall, #81 Mini Tyrrell, #90 Terry Carroll, #91 Justin S. Carroll, #95 Jacob Heafner, #99 Layne Riggs
Brenden Queen rides momentum into Langley homecoming
Brenden ‘Butterbean’ Queen has been proudly representing his home track of Langley Speedway during his first full-time CARS LMSC Tour campaign.
Fresh off one of the most prestigious victories of his career at the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway, Queen is carrying plenty of confidence heading into Saturday’s 125-lap race at Langley, where he looks to defend his thrilling victory over Carson Kvapil from the previous year.
“Momentum is such a big thing in this sport,” Queen said. “Coming back to my home track riding the momentum from North Wilkesboro is something you dream of. This is an exciting time, and nothing would be better than winning in my hometown to go two in a row.”
Daily life for Queen has already started to change since his triumph at North Wilkesboro.
Queen has lost track of the phone calls and the number of times people have stopped to congratulate him on his accomplishment. The hype surrounding North Wilkesboro also provided Queen some additional exposure on a national level, but he knows the best way to sustain that notoriety is to keep winning at every possible opportunity.
Winning at Langley in the LMSC Tour last year was the catalyst towards putting Queen in his current position. With him and Lee Pulliam Performance having made strides on their overall speed, Queen is ready to electrify Langley’s loyal fanbase with another LMSC Tour victory.
“I’m biased, but I’m sure there will be some Butterbean fans in the stands [on Saturday],” Queen said. “That place went crazy when we won last year, and I would definitely love to celebrate with the fans again. I’m looking forward to having a chance to back-to-back in 2023 and at Langley.”
As for the potential celebration, Queen took notes from Josef Newgarden’s Indianapolis 500 win on Sunday, but he plans to simply act on the moment should he emerge victorious on Saturday.
Connor Hall hoping for more success in second Langley CARS Tour outing
The first CARS Tour race for Connor Hall at his home track of Langley Speedway did not go exactly as he envisioned.
Although he earned a solid sixth place finish in 200, Hall fully expected to take home a checkered flag in front of Langley’s fanbase but believes additional track time at the historic short track this season will give him an advantage on Saturday evening.
“I overthought things a little bit last year and it cost us a chance at the win,” Hall said. “I know what I need to do going into [Saturday’s VisitHampton.com 125], which is why I’ve been racing so much at Langley this year. I’m going to go in and do my thing. Hopefully it will be enough.”
Hall already had a win on his CARS Tour resume entering last year’s VisitHampton.com 125 but has yet to find victory lane through five races this season.
The speed has been prevalent for Hall so far in 2023 with only one finish worse than fourth, but admitted he and Chad Bryant Racing are still trying to figure out how to put a complete race together. Hall said progress is made with each race and knows his win will come sooner rather than later.
Having won the prestigious Hampton Heat in 2019, Hall has plenty of experience against stacked fields at Langley and admitted claiming CARS Tour victory inside the facility where he developed his race craft would be a significant confidence booster as he looks to get back within championship contention.
“It’d be cool to win [a CARS Tour race at Langley],” Hall said. “I’ve been trying to get one on the board this year. We’ve been close, but just haven’t been good enough. Langley should be a good opportunity for us to get that victory.”
Landon Huffman embracing full-time role with Nelson Motorsports
It’s not often Landon Huffman ventures above the northern border of North Carolina to compete in a Late Model Stock event.
With Huffman set to finish out the 2023 CARS LMSC Tour season in a Nelson Motorsports car, the defending Hickory Motor Speedway track champion will turn his first competitive laps at Langley Speedway on Saturday with the goal of building upon the chemistry he’s developed with Nelson in their first two races together.
“We’ve had our trials and tribulations in trying to get this program going in the right direction,” Huffman said. “We had a really good test at Tri-County last weekend, and I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress. I’m just as positive going up to Langley because Nelson’s stuff has typically run well there, so I’m looking forward to heading up there.”
Since Huffman has worked with the same crew for most of his Late Model Stock career, he admitted there is an ongoing process towards developing relationships with Nelson’s crew members but feels everyone is starting to get more comfortable with each other.
Although Nelson has not scored a Top 5 in the LMSC Tour since last year’s North-South Shootout at Caraway Speedway, the organization does have a Hampton Heat win at Langley with Bobby McCarty in 2017. Combined with the possibility of conserving tires in the VisitHampton.com 125, Huffman feels optimistic heading into the weekend.
Huffman believes he can win an LMSC Tour race with Nelson if they continue to make strides during the summer months. For now, he is taking his commitment to the organization one race at a time and hopes to see everyone’s hard work get rewarded with a solid performance on Saturday.
“The goal anywhere we go is to have a shot at winning the race,” Huffman said. “We haven’t had the results I would have wanted, but there has been a step in the right direction. Going into Langley, a solid Top 10 run would be a win for us, but it’s not out of our reach to go run in the Top 5.”
There will be a full docket of on-track action for Saturday’s VisitHampton.com 125 starting with preliminary events in the Bandolero, Super Street, Legends and UCAR classes. Racing begins at 7 p.m. ET, with the 125-lap CARS LMSC Tour race wrapping up the evening’s festivities.
Every feature in the VisitHampton.com 125 can be seen live on FloRacing.
For more information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Pro Late Model Tour, visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour.
Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.
-CARS Tour Release
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America