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Three Wide Was For Sissies At Langley Speedway

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 21 2009

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

In the rich history of stock car racing, few events can top the night the USAR Pro Cup Series visited Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. on May, 23, 2009

That’s when two-time Pro Cup Series champion Clay Rogers pulled off an improbable four-wide pass in the fourth turn on the final lap (see the highlights on YouTube at the video above this story) to nip Woody Howard, Bobby Gill and Lucas Ransone at the finish line on the .395-mile bullring.

“That race was pretty wild,” said the 28-year-old Rogers, who has 12 career starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and 20 starts in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series.

“Langley is a pretty small race track, so I don’t think anybody there had any idea it would provide that kind of racing.”

The race was USAR’s first stop at Langley since 1998. For the fans in attendance, the wait proved to be worthwhile.

“I’d really like to say I had a plan, but coming off Turn 4 coming to the white flag it was every man for himself,” said Rogers, the 2004 and 2006 Pro Cup champion.

“Woody moved me up the track (and out of the lead) and he and Bobby went by (coming to the white flag). Then Woody moved Bobby up the track and it was like a chain reaction.

“I thought I was only going to be able to get back to second. I remember seeing Lucas going below me and into the grass.”

Rogers, a three-time race winner this season, will be a strong candidate to repeat his stirring victory in his No. 54 Chevrolet when the Pro Cup Series returns to Langley Speedway Saturday at 7 p.m.

“We’re excited about it,” Rogers said. “We had an excellent race car then and led a majority of the race. I feel like there are a few things we can fine tune on.

“Going into the race there back in the spring, there were a lot of unknowns because the series hadn’t been there in more than 10 years. But we can be more prepared and, hopefully, have the same result.”

One thing is certain: Rogers will get quizzed repeatedly this weekend about the night he went four-wide at Langley.

“I’ve had people come up to me to this day and say they’ve been watching racing 40 to 50 years and they’ve never seen a finish like that,” Rogers said. “Surely, that race should make a highlight reel somewhere.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 21 2009
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