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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Start Your Engines: Langley Speedway Zooms into 74th Racing Season

Langley Speedway will open for its 2024 season on March 16. (Langley Speedway)

HAMPTON — Langley Speedway is gearing up for a new racing season, with the highly anticipated spring Day of Destruction set to kick off on March 16.

Langley Speedway first opened as a dirt track in the 1950s. It was paved in the late 1960s, and the speedway has been home to asphalt racing to the present day.

A few things have changed since the early days. The original dirt track was 0.8 miles. The track is now 0.4 miles. And after undergoing renovations, the previous back stretch is now the front stretch, and vice versa.

The Day of Destruction will provide spectators the chance to see all sorts of tricks, stunts, high-caliber racing, and antics to welcome back the race season.

Racing at Langley Speedway is something everyone can enjoy. (Langley Speedway)

“It’s total carnage. We put soap and water all over the track, we put bags over driver’s faces and they listen to their co-pilot to get around the track, we run races in reverse, we have a race that is called the ‘second place race’, where the winner is the one who finishes second,” Justin Kern, Director of Communications for Langley Speedway, said.

When NASCAR season kicks off in April, every Saturday night, 11 different divisions go head to head on the oval track, including stock and old-school cars.

Kern spoke about the importance of the facility to the greater Hampton Roads community. To lure visitors, Langley offers some perks that other tracks don’t.

“There’s not many places you can go in Hampton or Newport News where all you have to do is buy a decently priced ticket. Parking is free at Langley Speedway, you are allowed to bring coolers and outside food into the racetrack. There’s not a lot of places you can go for an affordable price. Where else are you going to go where you can do that?” Kern shares.

Spectators can also get into the action at Wacky Wednesday’s. Wacky Wednesday offers guests the opportunity to drive the track in their everyday car. That portion of the season kicks off in mid-May.

“The racetrack is run and operated by a racer at heart. He’s there for the racers, he’s there for the fans, it’s kind of like he has the drivers back, the drivers got his back, and he’s got an excellent relationship with the city and the surrounding communities,” Kern said of speedway owner Bill Mullis.

Mullis truly is a racer, having risen through the ranks and even taken to the track at Langley in several divisions before becoming an owner.

After every race, spectators can visit pit road and get up close and personal to the drivers and their cars. While spectators love the unique opportunity, the drivers equally feel the same way.

Langley Speedway’s 74th season kicks off March 16. (Langley Speedway)

“Once the races are complete, anybody that has been there that night is more than welcome to go down into the pits and look at these cars. The drivers enjoy that. You can come in, you can touch it, they’ll let you get in it and mess with the steering wheel. Having that openness and to be able to do that is something that we excel at,” Kern said.

While it’s known for racing, Langley Speedway has also been home to concerts, circuses, and car shows. In Kern’s mind, the speedway is a community hub.

“Racing is at the heart of Langley Speedway but Langley Speedway is at the heart of Hampton Roads,” Kern said.

Tickets for Saturday race nights are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and military, and $7 for kids. Family 4-pack tickets are available for $35.

For more information on Langley Speedway, visit langley-speedway.com.

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