CARNAGE, CHAOS, AND C.E. FALK
Saturday night, C.E. Falk proved it doesn’t matter where you start. It’s where you finish that counts.
It was domination through determination for Falk, who vaulted from worst to first to win a calamitous, caution-marred season opener in the Bull & Bones Late Model Stock Car division.
“Coming from last to first, I thought that was a lot of fun,” Falk said from victory lane. “I haven’t passed that many cars in a long time.”
The 107.1 Country PSK 150 deteriorated into a race of attrition almost from the outset, as the 21-car field dwindled rapidly to a pack of 13 racers by lap 55. And not even the winner was spared from misfortune.
Falk, the Price’s Body Shop pole award recipient, was forced to surrender the position prior to the green flag after exhaust problems warranted a pre-race pit stop.
“The right-side exhaust fell off; I don’t know why, we checked it right before we went out,” Falk explained. “We got lucky. Those double-file restarts helped us out. We were able to make our way quickly to the lead.”
Implemented for the 2012 season, the double-file restarts were beneficial to some, and a burden for others. While Falk found the new format favorable, it also precipitated some of the carnage that ensued.
Five cautions littered the first half of the contest, with the final yellow flag unfurling at lap 55, ushering in the event’s lone red flag period. When the field came to the restart on lap 64, Falk found himself in third.
The remarkable rebound continued. Four laps later, Falk literally left his competition in the dust, driving through the residual oil dry at the end of the front straightaway to complete the pass on Matt Bowling for first.
Bowling, who had paced the initial 65 circuits of the race, faded from Falk as the laps began to wane. At the checkers, Falk had amassed a colossal 4.3 margin of victory.
“We were just happy with what we did and what we had,” Bowling stated. “We’ve got some room for improvement; we didn’t really have anything for C.E. I was glad to hold on to second.”
Outside pole-sitter Josh Berry finished a consistent effort in third in his JR Motorsports entry, and expanded upon the impact of the double-file restarts.
“The double-file restarts are definitely going to be interesting. We got to beating and banging a little bit [early] and I think it knocked the toe out,” Berry said. “I can’t complain too much about a third.
“It’s gonna be a good year.”
Mike Looney and Adam Long rounded out the top five.
Falk, the 2011 Langley Speedway track champion, is not a full-time competitor at the New River Valley oval. While his Motor Mile Speedway triumph will aid in his national ranking, Falk is anticipating a full schedule at Langley Speedway in 2012. In fact, the top two finishers Saturday night were interlopers, as Bowling will return to South Boston Speedway next weekend.
IN OTHER DIVISIONS:
Matt Taylor, the back-to-back defending Collision Plus Limited Sportsman track titlist, fended off numerous challengers in the waning laps of the 50-circuit season opener to claim victory over Kyle Dudley and Karl Budzevski in a race that went two laps past the scheduled distance.