With only five races remaining on the track’s 2019 Late Model schedule, two drivers have emerged as the clear-cut favorites to secure a track championship in the division at Langley Speedway.

Poquoson, Virginia native Greg Edwards currently holds a 16-point lead in Langley’s Late Model point standings, but he is facing a strong challenge from Hampton, Virginia resident Connor Hall, who’s solid 2019 campaign includes a victory in the Hampton Heat.

The deck is stacked in Edwards’ favor with nine wins at his home track this year, but even though he faces consistent pressure from Hall, he is confident that he has everything needed to secure his sixth Late Model title at Langley.

“Our car has been very consistent,” Edwards said. “We made some changes over the offseason and we were competitive from the get-go. We’ve run good every race, we’ve led just about every race, and everyone has been in good spirits all year long. It’s been uneventful, and we’ve just been having a fun time with everything.”

Langley served as the inspiration for Edwards becoming a Late Model driver, as he vividly remembers watching numerous races on the backstretch as a child, where competitors such as Butch Lindley and Tommy Ellis would regularly battle it out for victories.

Edwards began logging laps in a Late Model at Langley during the 1990s and would become engrained in the facility’s racing community after registering his first track championship in 1998 and would keep adding to his legacy with four more titles in 2006, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

For the latter three championships, Edwards had the support of local country music station 97.3 The Eagle as his primary sponsor, but after both sides mutually agreed to part ways at the end of the 2018 season, he elected to change his car number from #97 to #21 to pay tribute to his car owner James Long’s favorite driver David Pearson.

Edwards brought home his renumbered Late Model in the third position during Langley’s season-opener on March 30, but a victory in a 100-lap feature on May 18 galvanized him and his team, as they now find themselves in the middle of a six-race win streak that dates back to the beginning of August.

Edwards credits his recent streak of success to the amount of track time that he has had at the facility over the past three decades, and believes that experience will be crucial in staying in front of competitors such as Hall and his brother Danny Edwards Jr.

“I grew up at this track,” Edwards said. “My brother and I have raced there a lot over our careers, and we’ve competed in all types of series from the ASA National Tour to the Xfinity Series, and this is where we’re at now. Our family usually packs the skybox every week and we have plenty of fans that come out and support us, so I want to do what I can to support this track.”

Although Edwards has been thrilled by the amount of success he has experienced in 2019, he stated that he plans to stay aggressive over the next two months to ensure that Hall does not develop any momentum of his own and stays second in the point standings.

Edwards singled out the Hampton Heat earlier this year as an example of how mistakes and poor circumstances can be costly, as he dominated the early portion of the event before suffering a bad pit stop, which relegated him to third while Hall pulled away with the win.

Edwards knows that any miscue could evaporate his advantage over Hall, but he stated that he does not want to get heavily involved with the points battle and is more focused on adding victories to his impressive win total this year.

“We just need to keep winning,” Edwards said. “We’re winning quite a bit, but Connor finishes second every week, and with only one point separating each position, you really can’t get away. I don’t think we need to get defensive at all, because if we have a car that’s capable of winning, then we need to make sure we can win with it.”

Outside of Langley, Edwards plans to test a Late Model for Justin Carroll at Martinsville before deciding whether to compete in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, but he expects to make the trip down to South Carolina later this year in his own equipment for the Myrtle Beach 400.

Cover photo by Andy Newsome.