Langley Speedway points leader Matt Waltz is looking ahead to Saturday night’s Hampton Heat 200, hoping to score what would be the biggest victory in his Late Model Stock Car career.
Waltz has been competing at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway on a off and on basis since 2008. When he started racing, he didn’t have the best look in Late Models, you could say his performances were pretty dismal and heartbreaking in the first few seasons. However, he has become a perennial contender in Late Model Stock Car racing since 2013.
Ever since the track opened it gates back up earlier this year, Waltz has had his best season yet. However, he 27-year-old driver from nearby Newport News, Virginia has been on a streak since the 0.395 mile track reopened back in early April. A win on the third week of racing back on April 15th and top 10 finishes in every race so far, has showed he’s a perennial contender for the championship.
The hometown boy who lives only 30 minutes away from the legendary track has had some great moments at the track. He’s beaten out drivers like Greg Edwards, Danny Edwards Jr. and Mark Wertz for his first win. He even won 12 out of 25 races back in the 2014 season. Waltz is more than happy to see his favorite track come back into the Virginia racing scene.
“It’s good having Langley Speedway back and opened up, brings life back to the racing community in Hampton Roads,” Waltz said. “The Hampton Heat bring back is great for the community here as well not just the racing here, but the whole area, it’s brings business to the are from out of town which is always good.”
The biggest race on the Langley Speedway racing calendar is the Hampton Heat 200. The Hampton Heat event is a newer Late Model Stock Car race that started in 2008 and has quickly established itself as one of the best races in the Mid-Atlantic region. It’s winners list boasts track champions, state champions and even national champions. While the race features some big names, Matt Waltz is looking to carry his 8 point lead and momentum into the Hampton Heat 200 in hopes of winning it.
“I feel pretty good about my car and my team,” Waltz explained. “The car has been pretty good lately, we sat on the pole last week just had the car too tight and wasn’t able to save tires enough to be there at the end of the race. We will just have to make sure that we do everything we can do to be prepared for the race this weekend. As long as we do that, I think we should be able to keep in contention for a win.”
With a possibility at winning perhaps the biggest race of his career, some people may write off Waltz as a favorite. With a expected entry list that features the likes of Greg Edwards, C.E. Falk, Matt Bowling and Phillip Morris, it’s easy to forget someone like Matt Waltz. However, with past success at Langley Speedway and in this event, Waltz doesn’t think anyone should take their eyes off of him.
“We’ve led over 100 laps in the last two Hampton Heats,” Waltz remarked. “I wouldn’t count us out at all, we just have to position ourselves in the front at the right time. If we can get the strategy & car working the right way and keep the fenders on it during the race, which that is something we haven’t been able to do yet, I think we’ll be pretty good”
If Waltz can keep it all together and he scores the win this weekend, it would be his first career Late Model Stock Car major event win. He has raced at Martinsvile, Myrtle Beach and Southern National in their respective major, but he’s never won a Late Model major. He’s hoping to finally grab a win in the race that’s eluded him in five previous starts.
“I got to thank my Mom and Dad, Waltz Engineered Sales, Davcon Inc, my crew Kyle, Daniel, Austin, Brandon, Glenn, Paige, Creech Motorsports, Banks Racing Engines and everyone else that helps make it happen. If it wasn’t for all of them, I wouldn’t be able to do something that I love.”
The Hampton Heat 200 kicks off on Friday July 21st with a four hour long test session. The gates will swing open Saturday morning at 9:00 with practice commencing at 12:00, the unique qualifying session will take place at 4:30 and the Hampton Heat 200 is scheduled to start around 9:00. General Admission tickets are $12, Military discounted and Senior Citizens tickets are $10, children (6 to 12) is $5 with kids 5 and under get in for free. Langley Speedway is offering a special Family 4-pack which features 2 adults and 2 children for $30. Come on out to Langley and enjoy the second round of the Virginia Triple Crown Championship.