Thursday, September 21, 2023

Weather puts damper on Langley’s season, but it wasn’t just the rain that affected the track this year

When the weather was good, the fans show up in droves this season at Langley Speedway. (Photo courtesy of Jim Arend)
When the weather was good, the fans showed up in droves this season at Langley Speedway. (WYDaily Photo/Courtesy of Jim Arend)

Mother Nature was about the only thing that could slow down the action in 2018 at Langley Speedway in Hampton.

“The season’s been good,” said Chuck Hall, the general manager and promoter at the Hampton track. “Unfortunately, like a lot of outdoor entertainment event venues, we’ve been devastated by weather. We had seven rainouts.”

It wasn’t just the rain that affected the track this year.

“Then we had three weekends where attendance wasn’t great and it was (because) … of a heat index of 105 degrees,” he added. “If it’s not a weather-related situation, our attendance is good.”

When the weather did cooperate, the action on the track was great.

In nine of the 11 divisions, the season-long points battle still was up for grabs heading into the final race or night of action.

While the Fall Day of Destruction Saturday closed out the schedule, the final points races were held Oct. 13, with six divisions running. The previous week, the other five divisions finished their seasons.

There still were 19 dates of racing held at the fourth-tenths paved oval.

The scheduled for the 2019 season should be out by the end of October, Hall said.

He’s already looking forward to it, especially with the return of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Hall said the season next year will open either the last Saturday of March of the first Saturday of April, and there is a lot more racing planned.

“Next year, we’ve sweetened the pie a little bit,” said Hall, who’s been at the track since 1995, except for a break from 2004-09. “Denny Hamlin and those guys will return April 11. We have a new thing called the CARS Tour, which is a Late Model touring division. And then we have the Hampton Heat, obviously we have that every year. Those three things are going to gravitate drivers, more drivers, blue-chip drivers, to this region because they will want to run in one to get ready for another one.”

Hall has another reason for optimism.

“The highlight for me (this year) is to see divisions grow, and see a lot of new young drivers coming into it,” he said. “To me, that’s a barometer of the future.”

And as long as the weather cooperates, the immediate future should be another successful year.

“The attendance is great when we’re running,” Hall said.

Season points champions: Late Models (Danny Edwards), Bandoleros (Layton Harrison), Super Trucks (Jacob Carr), Legends (Tommy Jackson Jr.), Grand Stocks (Paul Lubno), Enduros (Ronald Klein), Super Streets (Dale Nichols), Modifieds (Shawn Balluzzo), Pro Wing Champ Karts (Aaron Leach), UCARs (Austin Davis); Pro Six (Travis Wall).

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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