2023 Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway

Virginia Triple Crown Points Update Entering Hampton Heat 200 At Langley

Virginia Triple Crown Points Update Entering Hampton Heat 200 At Langley

See the top 10 in Virginia Triple Crown points heading into Saturday's Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway.

Jul 20, 2023 by Rob Blount
Virginia Triple Crown Points Update Entering Hampton Heat 200 At Langley

The second leg of the Virginia Triple Crown is ready to be contested this weekend at Langley Speedway, the easternmost track of the series. The middle leg is always the best indicator for who will be contending for the $7,000 prize in September, and some might say it’s the most challenging. After all, the Hampton Heat 200 is “America’s Hottest Race.”

With that in mind, we wanted to take some time to refresh everyone on where things stand following the opening leg of the Triple Crown, Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 at South Boston Speedway earlier this month.

When everybody left the race track, we all expected to be heading to Langley with Carson Kvapil and JR Motorsports atop the Triple Crown standings after Kvapil dominated the second half of the race. But it was soon announced that Kvapil was disqualified from his victory and placed at the bottom of the finishing order due to a left-rear shock that was out of compliance with the 2023 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series rule book. More specifically, it was the shock’s internal piston that was deemed to be out of compliance. 

That decision made 2021 Virginia Triple Crown champion Bobby McCarty the winner of the race at South Boston, and also the points leader of the Triple Crown heading to Saturday’s race at Langley. McCarty has won the Hampton Heat 200 just once, back in 2017. He finished eighth at Langley last season.

Landon Huffman was the third driver to cross under the checkered flag at South Boston Speedway, but he too was disqualified after the race due to multiple infractions discovered in post-race technical inspection. Huffman’s Nelson Motorsports car was found to have a “rear-end housing with camber on the left and right axle tubes, which is not permitted per the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series rule book. The car was also found with a left-rear spring and shock assembly that was out of compliance.” Huffman was scored 35th after the disqualification at South Boston.

Huffman’s DQ made Brenden “Butterbean” Queen the second-place finisher at South Boston and has him scored second in the Triple Crown standings right behind McCarty. Queen has never won the Triple Crown or even a Triple Crown race. Queen has, however, won the Hampton Heat 200, but he did so in 2020 when the Triple Crown was not contested. Queen has seven top-10 finishes in nine Hampton Heat starts to go along with his three track championships at the Hampton, Virginia oval. But, Queen’s last two Hampton Heat results have not been too great with a 26th-place effort in 2021, and a 13th-place finish last season.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s Trevor Ward rallied back from a roller-coaster evening to finish third at South Boston. Ward has never competed for the Triple Crown before, but he’s entered for Saturday’s Hampton Heat. He heads there currently scored third in the standings. 

Scored fourth in the standings is Amelia, Virginia’s Landon Pembelton. Pembelton also has never raced for the Triple Crown before in his young career, though Pembelton does have a victory in a Triple Crown race. That victory is the one that put Pembelton on the Late Model map. We’re of course talking about his shocking victory in the 2021 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway. 

And rounding out the top five in the standings is Elon, North Carolina’s Jacob Borst. Borst has run two of the three legs of the Triple Crown each of the last two seasons. He entered the Hampton Heat 200 last year in the second position following a runner-up result in a thrilling conclusion to the 2022 race at South Boston, but Langley wasn’t too kind to him. Borst dropped out of the race on Lap 123 and finished 30th. He did attempt the third and final leg of last year’s Triple Crown at Martinsville, but he failed to qualify for the 200-lap feature.

Also in the top 10 entering Saturday’s Hampton Heat is Mason Bailey, Carter Langley, Brandon Pierce, and Stacy Puryear. 

Missing from the top 10 in Triple Crown points is four-time Triple Crown champion, Peyton Sellers. Sellers is the defending champion of the Triple Crown and one of only two drivers to have won the award multiple times (Lee Pulliam being the other). Sellers was collected in a crash at South Boston. He limped a heavily damaged race car to a 17th-place result. It will take a Herculean effort at Langley and Martinsville for Sellers to add a fifth Triple Crown title come September.

Saturday’s running of the Hampton Heat 200 from Langley Speedway will be broadcast live on FloRacing, the broadcasting home for the Virginia Triple Crown, the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, and the CARS Tour. Fans can subscribe to FloRacing by clicking here.