Story by: Mark Rogers, Jr. ~ [email protected]

Hampton, VA(April 4, 2012) — With such anticipation and much excitement, racing for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models at Langley Speedway is here. With a battle date set for April 7th, everyone around the track is expecting a full field of rockets just waiting to take off!

This year, the speedway will be the host to 19 scheduled races for the Late Model division that spans from early spring to late summer. Several open practice sessions have already taken place with many teams taking full advantage of the time. While others held there own practice time out on the track, keeping that low profile and staying under the radar. If I didn’t know any better, these guys are already playing their games! But come Saturday night, April 7th, there’s no more games and the best Late Models will show there stuff. Three time in a row, current champion CE Falk will headline the event and will be on a huge wave of momentum when he unloads from his hauler.

With a 2 race head start in 2012 and 2 very impressive wins at South Boston and Motormile Speedways. CE Falk will look to continue his early success and good fortune to the tricky low banked 4/10’s mile of Langley Speedway. Last seasons championship run, Falk tied a track record for consecutive titles with early 80’s legend, Elton Sawyer. So for CE Falk, winning a 4th title consecutively certainly is sugar sweet for the VA Beach native. But the challenge to achieve will be tough as 2 time champion and Falk’s nemesis so to speak, Greg Edwards also returns. Tough, relentless and determined is the conversation you’ll hear about Greg Edwards in how he takes to the track.

Greg has been runner up to Falk for 3 years and you can bet he’s had enough! Danny Edwards Jr may seem like a stranger to those who don’t know, but that’s a 5 time Late Model track champion at Langley Speedway. The fierce competitor that Danny is has earned him to be a fan favorite and if Falk ever slips, the savvy veteran will be there! Another savvy veteran but with a hint of attitude, 2 time Late Model champ Mark Wertz is back. Mark comes into the 2012 season, confident as ever and very proud of his teams off season success. If Mark Wertz is feeling really good about things then you can bet Mark is going to be good. Don’t overlook the Shifflett brothers too! Both know how to get around the flat track of Langley Speedway and I promise they will be tough! Every track usually has that breakout race team and really makes the case for respect. Watch for Casey Wyatt to make that move this year.

No doubt there will be others gunning after Falk especially when the Hampton Heat 200 comes to town. CE Falk is leading the points in the inaugural Triple Crown Series and expect the heavy guns to come out for that event. The Triple Crown is a special point’s race that combines the big races from South Boston, Langley and Martinsville Speedways. The driver with the best finishes in all 3 races earns 5 grand and the prestige of the Triple Crown. With Falk’s success in winning the Hampton Heat the last 2 years, in the minds of many, 2012 for CE Falk could have a storybook feel and a dream come true appeal.

What does CE Falk think about the success and the potential that’s in front of him? What about what’s got him to this point and who all is involved? So many questions I have that only CE Falk can answer … Well, through an email conversation … I asked!

Mark: First CE, its been a long off season, has it sunk in yet how difficult it was in becoming a 3 time back to back to back champion?

CE Falk: It really sunk in at the banquet, 2011 was a big year for me. I learned about myself as a racer and grew up a lot. Winning that last race and finally capping of the championship was a huge relief because it was my goal the very beginning of the year and the first few races. We were not great and I had to really dig deep and recommit myself to what I needed to accomplish to win.

Mark: Championship after championship, you have worked with some very well known people CE. How hard on you has it been that these people are no longer there in your racing program?

CE Falk: Well I have had a great opportunity to work with a lot of great people through my career. From go karts, Legends, Hooters Pro Cup, Late Models, Craftsman Trucks and to my friends in Charlotte. Phil and I still talk and go to lunch during the week. Although he is my competitor, I always ask for his input at the track for his take on the attitude of my car and I know I will get a straight answer. It did hurt when Phil left our team because Phil was family. But in that, he still helped me because I had to incorporate what I learned from him and moved on.

Take his outlook on setups, maintenance, leadership and create my own from it. But still, I wasn’t going to quit racing just because Phil left, so we hired Dwaine. Dwaine taught me a lot and never gave up on me, and really took time to teach me and Wesley parts of the car that we ignored. I learned to lean on him for what he was good at and I believed he leaned on me to help carry the rest. I had great success with Phil and Dwaine and don’t regret anything. My family and I take a lot of pride in our team and are very grateful for the people who have helped us. I still have great relationships with these two guys and I hope that if they ever needed anything, I would be on their short list of people to call first, because they are both on mine.

Mark: CE, you know and I know that you have a chance at Langley Speedway Late Model history. How does four consecutive titles sound to someone who has already won 3? If you fall short, could the disappointment even be measured?

CE Falk: I’m very proud of what I have accomplished at Langley. It hasn’t come easy and I don’t take it for granted whatsoever. My goal this year, not just at Langley, is to my absolute best each week. I know in my heart that if my team and I work hard, are smart about decision making whether it’s at the shop or the track, we can win every race we compete in. Sure, lady luck is looming in every corner, but I believe in my team and my guys know I race every race like it’s my last. I really don’t want to talk about falling short, but if we do, then we didn’t do our job. If we get beat, we get beat, that’s racing, but as long as we don’t beat ourselves, we have a great chance at a 4 peat.

Mark: CE, at this point in your career, is there a moment that defines you as a racer and the competitor that you are?

CE Falk: I have been very blessed for all the success I have had and none of it would be possible without the people that have been in my life. As far as one moment, I have a lot of great moments, but I feel im not finished yet so we can look at some moments later on down the road.

Mark: Were well aware of the rich racing history in your family, but what is it that really motivates and drives CE Falk to perform?

CE Falk: The drive to compete is my pure love for racing. Not just simply going out and banging doors with competitors, but learning something new about the way I need to drive in certain circumstances. Things I can adjust on my car to create a different feeling and educating myself daily of making a race car go faster. Every driver likes to be a hero and make that awesome move off turn 4 to take the victory. But when I can sit on the pole, lead every lap, and win by a considerable margin. I know im doing my job and heading in the right direction.

Mark: CE, 2012 has gotten off to a fast start for you and EF Motorsports. Wins at SOBO and Motormile have many talking, how important is Langley now in your quest for a National title?

CE Falk: I’m more worried about Langley than those other tracks. South Boston and Motor Mile are certainly tough tracks with great competitors, but Langley is always on mind. I always feel that if I do not give it my full attention, that it will bite me. We have a lot of great sponsors that are counting on me to run well based on our past success, so I don’t want to let those people down. I’m not worried about the points because it’s mostly based off our car count and that’s something I can’t control, but what I can control, I want to excel at.

Mark: You know, there are some really good race teams that have had it with you and your success at Langley Speedway. While they respect you and your talent, they’re all gunning for you this year! Is this a welcomed pressure for CE Falk?

CE Falk: I’m sure they are getting tired of me because I was getting tired of them when I went winless in 2008. We all respect each other and will race each other as hard as we can without crossing the line. Sometimes the line gets blurry to the guy who gets the raw end of the deal, but I race with a great list of champions over there. I’m sure 2012 is going to be tougher than ever, but I am ready for it.

Mark: CE, I attended media day at Langley Speedway and everything seems poised for a great season. Everything is in place but what is your take of the low banked, big turn 4/10s mile short track and what it means to you as your home track?

CE Falk: Langley is the lady in black to me. Be nice to her, treat her kindly with respect and she will give it back. If you miss one thing on your car or decide to not check something twice, she will strike. I’m just glad I get to race there. In 2007, Langley didn’t even run our Late Model stock class and we had to travel 3 hours away to compete. Being close to home and having a lot of my family show up every week, I have to thank Bill Mullis for all that. He has kept the doors open to this place and made it a great track to compete at each week.

Mark: You are on a torrid pace in the Whelen All American Late Models to be considered as one of the greats in just a very short career. Phillip Morris has accomplished such and many even proclaim him as a,” King”. Is it to early to dream of yourself as a King or are you better served to go out and just beat the king?

CE Falk: Philip has done a lot more than I have so he will be the king for a long time. I love the Whelen All American Series, but I have a bigger goal to be competing in the top three series of NASCAR. If that works out, my childhood dreams will be met. If they don’t, Id just be as happy racing something on Saturday nights.

Mark: Is there anything CE wants his fans or the racing community to know?

CE Falk: That I really appreciate the guys who come help me day in and day out. They mean a lot to me and give me my drive to succeed. Also the fans! I get emails, Facebook messages, twitter requests and although I forget to reply to some of them. Their kind words and support is something that I always carry with me. I can promise any fan that comes to race I am competing in, if I can’t win, I will do my best to put on a show. Because that’s what you paid your good hard earned money for to see and I always want to deliver that to each fan who came to see me or boo me.