Langley Speedway: Superstition Night

Langley Speedway: Superstition Night

Vaughan Crittenden, the promoter of Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway, tried to take on some of racing’s biggest myths last Saturday with a “Superstition Night.” However, Lady Luck proved that mere mortals shouldn’t test her. The Hampton, Virginia, track experienced a myriad of issues that led to the night’s cancellation.

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Langley Speedway’s schedule includes nights with themes such as throwback, tailgate, full moon, wrestling, and shake-and-bake nights. Last Saturday, they dedicated the night to superstitions.

“I decided to take on one of the most unique things about racing—superstitions,” said Crittenden. “I was determined to put some of the most well-known superstitions to test on Superstition Night.”

To start the night, Crittenden gave away bags of unshelled peanuts at the sign-in booth. He also handed them out in the pits. Peanut shells, according to some, cause will bring calamity to whose car, pit area, or hauler has any trace of them.

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“Besides breaking a mirror and walking under a ladder, local racers told me that $50 bills in the pits will cause a bad luck moment,” Crittenden said. “So, all of our pole sitters had to break a mirror and walk under a ladder. Then, I handed them a $50 bill that they had to carry on them while racing. The pole sitters could keep the $50 if they won the feature.”

Before Langley Speedway could truly test fate, things began to go awry.

“The computer that is the brains of the FloRacing broadcast crashed in the afternoon,” said Crittenden. “It went kaput without warning. We grabbed the announcers’ computer. We reprogrammed it, uploaded the software, and rebuilt the technology from scratch, just in time for the broadcast.”

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Then came race time. Crittenden headed to pit row.

“We turned the lights on and I went to the front straightaway—I could see weather was on the way,” Crittenden said. “Just before the modifieds got on the track, the power went out. Fifteen seconds later, a microburst hit, with huge gusts of wind, thunder, and lightning.”

The weather put a kibosh on the night. Then, the next day, it took a turn for the worse as Crittenden and his fiancée, Amberley, went hiking.

“I was crossing a stream, my foot slipped, and I broke a toe,” said Crittenden. “Was it because of Superstition Night? Even if so, I want to reschedule Superstition Night. I’m a daredevil and I like to tempt fate.”

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