Story by: Mark Rogers, Jr ~ Mark@RACE22.com
Virginia Beach, VA(October 10, 2012) – One driver in the field for this year’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway that has waited a year to long is CE Falk. A three-time consecutive champion at Langley Speedway,(2009, 2010, 2011) and the 2010 Denny Hamlin Showdown winner, Falk has mounted over 50 career Late Model wins going back to 2008 where it all began from one end of Virginia to the other with wins in North Carolina as well. All of this without question is incredible but for CE Falk, the question of where is that grandfather clock and 25 grand has yet to produce an answer. This time, in 2012, CE Falk may just have the answer after all.
Falk comes into late model stock car racing’s biggest show boasting 16 wins at four different tracks (Langley, Motor Mile, South Boston and Southern National). When the talk begins on who’s hot, sure were going to talk about Pulliam, Bowling, Monteith, McCaskill and, with just a few races in 2012, we just couldn’t forget the 2010 winner Phillip Morris, right? What a mistake it would be not to add CE Falk’s name to that conversation. After winning the last two features at Langley Speedway and putting up fast laps at Martinsville’s first practice, 2012 could be the year for the highly inspired, highly driven CE Falk.
This year’s race season, as successful as it has been, hasn’t gone completely as planned for CE Falk. Between truck arm bushings and left side weights falling off, tech officials at Langley Speedway have been busy with Falk in 2012. If not for those misfortunes, there is no telling how this season would have gone. Most figured that Falk would back off and be the good teammate to his brother Wes Falk who was in contention for the points himself but that would not happen as CE Falk became as driven and determined as we’ve ever seen him. Even the never ending rivalry with 2012 Langley champion Greg Edwards wasn’t going to keep CE Falk from victory lane.
I think the case has been made now as to why we need to consider CE Falk as a contender for this year’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway. But there’s also some more incentive to win this thing for Falk as the inaugural Virginia Triple Crown will be decided in its final race at Martinsville Speedway. The Virginia Triple Crown is awarded to the driver in Virginia’s biggest Late Model events, starting at South Boston Speedway, then Langley Speedway and concluding at Martinsville with 10 grand in prizes. The winner will receive five grand alone for his three best finishes and as it stands, CE Falk is well on his way to add that achievement to his accolades.
I got the chance to talk with CE Falk about this year’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway in a phone interview about the racing, new rules, what’s new for him and what it would mean to become this year’s winner. I asked Falk, how come Martinsville has yet to be on his long list of achievements?
“It’s a race where everything has to be right and goes your way like the Daytona 500,” Falk said. “The last several years we’ve been making gains but Martinsville takes a whole different package. It’s a tough race to win against a lot of great cars but I feel really good about it. Going over my notes, my second lap was my fastest in practice so it didn’t take long to get up to speed.”
We then talked about what’s been missing or needed to get him to victory lane.
“I hate to say it but it’s been experience,” Falk said. “Racing in the trucks has been extremely resourceful for me. Even though you’re going fast in a late model, the sensation of speed is nowhere near the trucks. So with that experience, I’m able to give back great info to Sammy Houston, my crew chief. He’s made some great adjustments and great calls. We had a really phenomenal test the other day which we came off the truck strong and all day we made the car better.”
We discussed the new rules package briefly and, to my surprise, Falk likes it all.
“I think it’s cool,” he said. “I know some have their doubts about it. It’s one less day at the race track. Certainly, the tire rule helps us as were trying to field two cars. It’s almost impossible to feed the amount of tires those guys are feeding to their cars every year so it’s good for us. The practice and qualifying deal isn’t any different from any other form of racing and I really believe that, we as drivers are up for the challenge. I just hope that NASCAR does their part and regulates everybody which I know they will. The way everyone has to race their way in is going to make everything really tight this year.”
Now, we’re talking 25 grand, the prestigious grandfather clock and winning the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300.
“This is something that I’ve worked hard at for a long time,” Falk said. “Not everybody has a clock; they just don’t give those to anybody. You know, I guess it’s up there with the Nashville Guitar and the Harley J Earl trophy for winning the Daytona 500. I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’ve got one of the best cars I have ever had going in to it but that never guarantees anything. We just have to race the race smart and be there at the end.”
I had one last question for CE Falk and one I couldn’t help but ask, “If in the closing laps and the opportunity comes, would you do what Pulliam felt he had to do to McCall to win the race?”
“There’s a good reason why they pay 25 grand to win and 5 grand for second,” Falk responded. “They want everyone to go for the win. You can’t just go into the final corner for that final lap and leave yourself open. You have to protect yourself, come out of those turns hard. I’m going to give it everything I have that’s for damn sure. It’s going to be a tight race. The format is going to be great for the fans. I’m looking forward to Martinsville.”
After my phone call with CE Falk, there is no doubt he is poised, confident and more experienced than ever before to race his way to victory lane at Martinsville Speedway. If there’s ever such a thing as being ready to win, CE Falk will be one to watch at this year’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 coming October 20th and 21st. Like CE Falk, I also believe this is going to be one of the best late model races ever on one of NASCAR’s greatest tracks, Martinsville Speedway.