HAMPTON, Va. – This Saturday 30 of the best NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Late Model Stock Car drivers in the region will strap into their machines and look to tame Larry King Law Langley Speedway during the annual running of the 200-lap Hampton Heat event.
Thirty drivers zipping up their fire suits, climbing through that window, and buckling their helmet and HANS all looking for one thing, mostly – the giant $10,000 check with their name written in sharpie. However, this year everyone will be chasing a completely custom and one of the most unique feature trophies in Langley Speedway history. Teams are not going to let this one slip through their hands.
“It was time to take this race to the next level and offer a completely unique trophy,” Promotor and General Manger Vaughan Crittenden said. “This race is like no other race we have on our schedule both with the fan turnout and teams that come race with us. It was time we gave these teams something completely different to take home with them. We were happy to work with local businesses to make this happen.”
Local Taylor Waste Service Late Model drivers are looking to keep the one of a kind of trophy right here in their very own backyard.
“Keeping the trophy [here] is obviously key for us local guys,” 2019 Hampton Heat champion and three-time 2021 winner Connor Hall said.
Much like current Late Model points leader Brenden Queen, Hall is also looking to become just the second repeat winner.
“However, the goal for us is the possibility of earning a second [trophy],” said Hall. “I am blessed to even be a part of the conversation of past winners but we are here for the present. We’re prepared and focused on a great outing for our Townbank, Breeden Concrete, First Team Auto No. 77.”
Mark Wertz, a past Langley Speedway and NASCAR regional champion, is not only looking to keep the trophy in the hands of a local driver, but he will also be looking to earn the first Hampton Heat win of his career.
“You always want to keep a big race trophy home with your home crowd,” Wertz said when asked about what it means to keep the trophy here. “The locals try to put more effort into this race than we do a regular Saturday night.”
The Edwards brothers share 12 track championships and more wins than half the Late Model field has starts. However, neither of them has been able to etch their names in the win column for this event. That of course can all be changed this weekend as both attempt to ensure this unique trophy stays within just minutes of the speedway.
“Absolutely it means more,” Danny Edwards said in regards to keeping the trophy at home. “It’s tough [enough] when the out-of-town teams come to your home track and leave with any trophy.”
The 13th annual Hampton Heat officially kicks off Friday on Facebook with a live look-in as haulers enter the speedway and teams unload. Open practice is scheduled to run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., which will also be broadcast live on Facebook. The weekend festivities will continue Saturday with the final Late Model practice and qualifying before the green flag waves at 6:15 p.m. The race will be broadcast live on NBC’s Trackpass streaming platform.