Highlights from Saturday's Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway.

For history buffs, the idea of C.E. Falk winning the Hampton Heat Late Model 200 and Danny Edwards Jr. finishing second made perfect sense. With nine Late Model Division titles between them – four for Falk and five for Edwards – they had the most impressive resumes in the 37-driver field.

If we’re talking recent history, that scenario seemed unlikely. Falk had started just once at Langley this season and has struggled elsewhere, while Edwards hasn’t contended for a win in years.

They put that behind them on Saturday, as Falk won the $10,000 first prize in the Heat for the third time in five years. Edwards bagged his best finish in the Heat since taking second and third in the 2008 and ’09 editions.

“We had a good car the past two days, and the only thing that didn’t go well was qualifying,” said Falk, who started in the 13th position. “We have no sponsors, just some black and red on (the car) and she’s mean.

“It was good in the first half and even better in the second.”

Falk won with the last of a great series of restarts necessary because of 10 cautions. The final one came on lap 204 – in a race extended to 205 laps because of the cautions – as he surged ahead of Dillon Bassett and Edwards to win comfortably.

Edwards quickly shuffled Bassett aside to take second, then held off his brother, Greg Edwards, for the runnerup spot. The past two Heat champions, Peyton Sellers and Matt Bowling, rounded out the top five while Bassett fell to seventh behind Brandon Gdovic.

Danny Edwards’ recent form (12th in the Langley Late Model standings) and starting position (19th) gave no indication he would finish near the front. Nor did a mediocre practice in which he barely cracked the top 20.

“We couldn’t get any speed in the heat (of the day) during practice,” Danny Edwards said. “Then when the track cooled down, the car had a whole different attitude.

“The car took off and was running great. I was surprised at how good it was running.”

But as good as Falk was on the restarts and short runs, and as much as Danny Edwards improved throughout the race, the big surprise of the night was that neither Matt Waltz nor Nick Smith were in the hunt at the end. Matching mental mistakes proved their undoing.

Waltz won the pole and led the first 98 laps. Smith and Greg Edwards underscored the dominance of track regulars by running second and third much of that time.

Smith edged by Waltz for the lead on the 99th circuit and, when the caution flag came out to signify the halfway point, it appeared they would restart the second half 1-2. But as the pace truck led the field through cool down laps, Smith and Waltz entered pit road without waiting for the pace truck to do so first.

That was a no-no because the drivers had been instructed to wait for the pace truck to bring the field to the pits.Both were penalized and dropped to the back of the lead lap to restart the second half of the race: 24th place for Waltz and 25th for Smith. That proved disastrous, as cautions sprouted like mushrooms from deep in the pack in the second half of the race, and both were caught up in wrecks that sidelined them.

The loss of more than 20 points to Greg Edwards – who held a three-point lead in the Late Model standings to begin the night – could be a catastrophe for Waltz’s championship hopes. Greg Edwards began the second half of the race in first.

Falk passed Greg Edwards for the lead after five laps and maintained the point against several challengers for the rest of the night. Danny Edwards finished a couple of car-lengths behind Falk and both were happy.

“We’ve been struggling the past couple of years, so this feels pretty good,” Danny Edwards said. “We’ve got to see if we can duplicate this.

“We may not be ready to win, but we’re making strides.”

Falk said, “We’ve had a terrible year, but (the crew) is awesome and they’ve done nothing but work hard for me.

“We’ve been in the trenches and to finally get a third Hampton Heat is awesome. We’re the only ones to do it and we’re going to keep it that way.”

NOTES: Because of rain, the green flag did not drop on the race until 11:21 p.m. and the race did not end until almost 1:40 a.m. Other winners on Saturday were Jonathan Mullett (Champ Karts), Sammy Gaita (Super Street) and Chris Hilderand (Legends). Hildebrand took his checkered flag after 3:15 a.m.