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Connor Hall outduels Nick Smith in Hampton Heat classic

No. 77 capitalized on a second chance at the lead and never surrendered …

Racing Virginia

It took longer than it should have to reach the finish, but the final four laps of the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway was worth it on Saturday night.

Following an incident in which Peyton Sellers took himself and leader Lee Pulliam out of contention, Connor Hall outdueled Nick Smith in a thrilling side-by-side battle of Hampton regulars.

Hall chose the outside lane on the ‘choose cone restart’ while Smith chose the inside. Hall only won the battle, and the race, when he slipped up from the bottom on the final lap and doored his pursuer in Turn 2.

He didn’t mean to, not that it mattered to the fans who booed him in victory lane because they wanted to see a side-by-side finish to the checkered flag.

“I know it may not look like it, but after around Lap 150 my front end had nothing,” Hall said. “I knew it was going to come down to me and Nick having to rough house it. I really didn’t mean to slide up to him in one and two, but I had to just go with it. Once it happened, I kind of had to go with it. I’m pretty speechless.”

Smith led the first 40 laps of the race, but fell outside of the top-five when he developed a clutch issue, which handed the lead to Greg Edwards. He led until Lap 150 when Hall asserted his own brand of dominance until Lap 161 – when Pulliam took the top spot.

Sellers got around Hall too.

But that’s when Hall got a second chance, Sellers punting Pulliam out of the lead, eliciting a penalty from track officials that sent both drivers to the rear of the field.

Hall held off Smith in the final four laps to win the Hampton Heat for the first time in his career. He is the first Langley regular to have won the race since CE Falk achieved the feat in 2014.

Several drivers struggled with dehydration issues, including Falk, who was forced to retire when he fainted during a late red flag.

Greg Edwards finished in third. Sellers recovered from his incident with Pulliam to finish fourth. Brenden Queen also showed signs of dehydration and posted a fifth. Pulliam finished sixth.

The complete results can be found below.

1. 77 Connor Hall
2. 12s Nick Smith
3. 21 Greg Edwards
4. 26s Peyton Sellers
5. 03 Brenden Queen
6. 5 Lee Pulliam
7. 41 Woody Howard
8. 12p Timothy Peters
9. 90 Terry Carroll
10. 91 Justin S. Carroll
11. 26 Danny Edwards OUT
12. 87 Mike Looney -7
13. 89 Craig Eastep -19
14. 8 Tyler Hughes OUT
15. 8s Thomas Scott OUT
16. 99 Layne Riggs OUT
17. 40 CE Falk III OUT
18. 9 Trey Crews OUT
19. 55 Mark Wertz OUT
20. 2 Brandon Pierce OUT
21. 29 Casey Wyatt OUT
22. 7 Michael Hardin OUT
23. 10 Maddy Ryan Mulligan OUT

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