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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — C.E. Falk III won his third consecutive Langley Speedway track championship in 2011. Falk, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va., also improved his finishing position in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points to a career-high fourth place.
His national ranking was fifth in 2010 and sixth in 2009. He also placed third in 2011 state NASCAR standings behind national champion Philip Morris and Lee Pulliam.
“It’s pretty cool to keep improving,” Falk said. “We had a great year but we just let the points take care of themselves. You can’t win ‘em all, but that’s what we try to do.”
Falk’s overall record between his home track of Langley and South Boston (Va.) Speedway was 11 wins, 20 top-fives and 22 top-10s in 23 starts.
The family-owned Eddie Falk Motorsports team made a significant crew chief change last January when they transitioned from Phil Warren to Dwaine Skinnell. Having graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, the 2011 season was the first time Falk was in his Late Model race shop on a daily basis.
He found out he had a lot more to learn.
“I had to find out how I could be a better driver. That’s easier said than done,” Falk said. “There was a combination of things to be learned in the shop. From helping maintain the cars to the notes we take at the track, I now know exactly where everything is on the car and how it all works together. I understand what the car likes in a set-up. Langley Speedway (a .396-mile paved oval) is two different tracks from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. When we make changes, I know how each change is supposed to feel.”
The team was well prepared for the 2011. They acquired a new Creech Motorsports Fabrication Toyota Camry along with home sponsorship from Hampton Roads Toyota Dealers and horsepower built by Clark’s Automotive.
The team’s work ethic was tested immediately. In their first race of the season at South Boston, their brand new car was heavily damaged in an accident. With vital help from car builder Bobby Creech, the car was rebuilt in 10 days for the first race of the season at Langley.
“That was a lot of hard work, but Bobby Creech and our team made it look easy," Falk said. "It took patience and dedication, but we were ready. We finished second in the first race at Langley, and ended up with 12 wins (one of them in post season). The competition at Langley caught up to us this year, so we had it tougher than ever.
“Rain hurt us in points this year, too. We might have done better if we had more races.”
Cars made it onto the Langley track only twice from August 13 until October 1 due to weather.
In addition to crew chief Skinnell and his car owner parents Eddie and Susan Falk, team members include brother Wesley Falk, George Spencer, Troy Turnage, Shaun Maulbeck and Jeremy Jordan. Joining Hampton Roads Toyota Dealers with sponsorship are Creech Motorsports Fabrication, Clark’s Automotive, Avalon Fishing Pier, Acredale Vending, Racing Electronics and VonZipper Sunglasses.
With continued support from Hampton Roads Toyota Dealers, Falk plans another full season schedule at Langley Speedway in 2012. He is also exploring opportunities next year to enter some events in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East or the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he made two starts in 2010.
NASCAR Division I track, state and province champions, NASCAR Finalist Division leaders, and special award winners earn invitations to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet. The event is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9 at the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.