Brenden Queen is still chasing his elusive first career victory at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway and he feels, after a runner-up finish in the summer highlight last year, that win could come in Saturday night’s Hampton Heat 200.
Queen, 20, from Chesapeake, Virginia is a former champion at East Carolina Motor Speedway. Throughout his career, he has excelled in long distance races like the Hampton Heat 200. He has had top-10 finishes in all four of Late Model Stock Car racing’s “majors” and has been a threat to win both the Hampton Heat and Southern National Motorsports Park’s Thanksgiving Classic.
“I like the strategy of having to play your cards right,” Queen said when asked why he runs so well in long distance races. “You have to be in it at the end to win it. You have to play the tire game and manage those the whole race. All the pieces of the puzzle have to come together to complete it and that’s how you come away with a win in these type races.”
Last season, Queen finished second to Bobby McCarty as he methodically raced his way to the front after qualifying 19th. At the time, the result was a moral victory as he had struggled through much of the season, but it was also a heartbreak at the same time.
“It was a heartbreak for sure looking back on it, to be one spot away from such a huge win,” Queen stated. “But at that point of the season, it was a win for us. It set up a lot of momentum for the future. We know what we need to do this year to improve one spot.”
If Queen can do that, it will be a form of redemption, and while he is winless on the season so far, Queen expects to finish one spot better this year.
“I think we have a good shot at it with racing there every week,” Queen remarked. “We have a lot of notes on what to expect. It would be a huge win. Probably the biggest of my career. I would feel a whole lot of redemption from finishing second last year.”
After qualifying 19th last year, Queen will put some emphasis on trying to have a better starting position this year. However, he feels tire management will be more important than track position on Saturday night.
“I’m sure we will do a mock qualifying run in practice but, to be honest, with the way Langley is on tires, I don’t believe a starting spot is going to win this race,” Queen explained. “It’s going to be saving tires like last year but 10 times worse. We may not be high on the speed chart but we will be working on our race trim.”
Queen will not just rely on his instinct, but on the experience and expertise of his crew chief, Phil Warren. Warren is a seven-time champion at the .396-mile track located in Hampton, Virginia and is credited as the winningest driver in Langley Speedway history to date.
“Oh man, he is the best in the business,” Queen commented. “He keeps a positive attitude and makes sure I feel we can win. He is a great coach and helps me so much throughout the race being my spotter as well.”
With the pieces on the table, Queen hopes he can put them all in place and score his first career Langley Speedway victory – a win that would mean a lot to him at his home track.
“I’ve been so close so many times, especially this year,” Queen mentioned. “I really thought we had it opening night. To win at Langley will be a huge check off the list, just to say we have won at one of the toughest tracks in the nation. I also think it would give us that extra little bit of momentum needed to go win this championship.”
Brenden Queen will be competing in Saturday night’s Hampton Heat 200 with the support of Old Skool Video Games, Duragloss, Foxers, Brinn Trim, East Coast Brake Rebuilders, and Three Brothers Distillery. The Hampton Heat 200 will get underway after 7pm on Saturday night.