Heading into the second leg of the Virginia Triple Crown Late Model Stock Car series at the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway, one driver comes in nearly as hot the expected heat index for Saturday.

Mike Looney is easily the hottest driver in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car racing right now and comes into the Hampton Heat 200 with three straight victories at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford including sweeping twins for the first time in his career a week ago. He’s moved from outside the top ten in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National points to third position just 76 points back from leader Peyton Sellers.

Both of those points contenders will compete in the Hampton Heat 200 with Looney competing for the first time in his career. Looney did make his first two starts in twin races back on June 22nd and he won the first of those two races and missed winning the second after cutting a tire while battling for the lead late with Greg Edwards.

Looney, who is as humble as the day is long, says he’s just hoping to be competitive this weekend.

“We’re hoping to go be competitive,” Looney told RACE22. “That’s been a month ago [referring to his win at Langley Speedway], when you got 16 or 18 cars on the track it’s a lot different when you have 40 cars.”

Looney says he knows he can’t just unload the car like it was and expect to win.

“We’re going with our work gloves. We’re not just going to unload it and run it just like it was. We’re going to work hard and do like we do every week and try to survive that thing. I don’t know, there’s a lot of heavy hitters coming, a lot of big boys and if I can park it on the same straightaway with those guys I’ll be honored.”

Looney will be looking for his second career Langley Speedway win and his eighth overall on the season. He’ll also be looking to steal points from his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National points competitors. Sellers won the biggest race of the season thus far at Langley Speedway in the Grassroots 200 back in April and has a previous win in the Hampton Heat 200 in 2013.

Looney will certainly gain points on second place points runner and five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion Philip Morris, who today withdrew his entry for the Hampton Heat for unknown reasons.

Cover photo by Jaden Austin.