The Langley Speedway Pace Truck tours the track during pre-race for the Hampton Heat 200 in 2017. Corey Latham Photo

Change and racing go hand-in-hand. Everything is always changing from track temps, to grip, to rules and even the track itself from time to time.

When Bill Mullis, along with Chuck Hall reopened historic Langley Speedway last season, drivers, fans, and media rejoiced. Fast forward to one year later, Matt Waltz was crowned Late Model Stock Car champion and the sun is about to rise on another season at Langley, but change may soon rear its sometimes ugly head.

For those unaware, a handful of years ago Langley was repaved, but now, according to Mullis part of that job may need to be done again.

“It started separating the second year after the repave,” Mullis described to “We ended up with chunks coming out. We patched the worst with a strip, a quick fix during a season, now around it, it’s chunked up terrible.”

“Beyond the patch off of turn two, it’s critical. We are proposing both corners 26’ wide plus groves in both corners which are around 450ft each end. We have the right compounds for the mix this time that will stay, there is a safety factor, and a worry factor for me,” Mullis detailed.

Another account of the area in question by someone who has walked the track shared via a Facebook comment agrees with Mullis.

“I walked the track Monday, and turn two looks like it could come apart any minute,” Wayne Wyatt, former Langley Speedway promoter said. “When it gets hot, or maybe before, the track could come apart and damage someone’s car.”

For drivers, the possible change has varying effects, for Brenden Queen, it means possibly re-allocating sponsor money.

“I feel like the track is safe and it has character,” Queen said. “Just upset because I had 2 motor choices and was told the repave wasn’t happening and now I bought my motor, put it in the car ready to test and now they might change it with the repave so if I would have known that I would have spent my $10,000 on my other one.”

Connor Hall, who is looking to have a breakout season in the Late Model Stock Car ranks at Langley thinks the possible repave could play to his strengths.

“I think it will be great to have better asphalt, nice and re-flattened,” Hall explains. “I know I run great on low banked smooth tracks like Langley and Carteret, so I’m not worried.”

“Everyone in today’s world wants to sit and complain about it, however, isn’t their choice. I enjoy the fact Bill (Mullis) wants to improve his racing surface,” Hall went on to say. “I don’t ever comment or what not because it accomplishes nothing. I just see what cards are being dealt for the 2018 season and get ready to the best of my team’s ability to play those cards.”

Five-time Langley Speedway LMSC champion C.E Falk weighed in on the possible repave as well.

“They could make the corners sand and we all will still go,” Falk quipped. “We are lucky to have a track owner that actually looks at the track.”

Andrew Graham, crew chief of Legends powerhouse Tommy Jackson Jr, thinks the possible repave will improve speeds in their division.

“It’s going to great for the Legend cars, corner speed is key for us and lap times are going to drop,” Graham said. “Only thing I’m worried about is the transition from the new pavement to the old pavement. I saw a lot of people are worried about this repave, I enjoy a challenge and look forward to getting back to the track. I appreciate everything Bill Mullis and his staff do for us in providing us with a great facility to race.”

Whether the repave happens, a few things are certain. It will have an impact on the racing at Langley Speedway when the green flag waves on March 31st for their season opener. It will be a storyline going into the Hamlin race and the summer months and it will be something that if not addressed soon, could carry over into the next offseason.