Brenden Queen is nicknamed “Butterbean” because of his resemblance as a baby to hard-punching former boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch. Turns out, Chesapeake native Queen carries a pretty good knockout punch himself, and he used it to win the 12th annual Hampton Heat 200 Late Model race on Saturday night at Langley Speedway.
In third place on a restart with six of 200 laps remaining in regulation, Queen, who had not led, dive-bombed to the bottom in between turns 1 and 2 and into the side of leader Corey Heim. The contact sent Heim into the car of second-place Connor Hall, who was then hit by fourth-place Danny Edwards Jr.
Heim and Hall limped to pit road, while Edwards restarted in the back of the pack. The race restarted on lap 201 with a two-lap green-white-checkered (flag) finish.
Queen drove off to a victory of more than a half-second over Brandon Pierce of Oak Ridge, North Carolina. Former Hampton Heat winner Peyton Sellers was third, Trey Crews fourth and 11-time NASCAR Truck Series race-winner Timothy Peters was fifth. Edwards was scored in 18th, Heim 19th and Hall 20th in the 26-car field.
Queen’s victory in the $10,000-to-win event is the second in a row for a Langley Speedway Late Model Division regular after Hampton’s Hall ended a streak of six consecutive victories by visiting drivers a year ago. Like Hall, Queen’s win – just his second in a Late Model at Langley – is his signature accomplishment.
“This is it, the biggest win of my career,” he said in Dale Lemonds Victory Lane. “By no means did we want to wreck on the apron.
“You don’t want to do it, but you’ve got to take it, man.”
Hall won a year ago in making last-lap contact with former mentor and inaugural Hampton Heat winner Nick Smith. However, Hall and runnerup Smith both made it to the finish in one piece.
Before Queen found his late speed the race had been a battle for much of the night between Heim, an 18-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, and six-time Langley Late Model champion Edwards. Hall pulled onto their bumpers at about lap 75.
Edwards had passed pole-winner Heim on lap 6 and led to the mandatory caution at 100 laps. But Heim retook command upon the restart and led the next 93 laps with Edwards and Hall in close pursuit.
Those three were stacked within three- or four-tenths-of-a-second of one another much of the second half of the race. But Queen, who didn’t move into the top 10 until near the halfway point, showed good speed throughout the second half of the race to put himself in position for his biggest win.
Pro six 30: Jared Clarke of Williamsburg led flag-to-flag to win his second 30-lapper in as many division races this season. Area racing radio personality Scott Allen started fourth but moved into second place early and was runnerup for a second consecutive race.
Super Truck 25: Jacob Carr led much of the race, but Louie Pasderetz passed him on a lap-20 restart and held first place the rest of the way as he won his second consecutive race. Ronald Klein held off Carr for second as Rick Poust rallied from far back in the 15-truck field on the last lap to finish fourth.
Super Street 50: Colby Vance took a shot from Landon Abbott shortly after a lap 45 restart, but, after a bobble, kept his car pointed straight and ran away to his second victory in the division’s second race this season. Abbott held on for second with defending division champion Dale Parro third.
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