Maddox Langham: Into the Woods and Into Victory Lane

Maddox Langham: Into the Woods and Into Victory Lane

Saturday night didn’t start off well for Maddox Langham. He found himself out of the ballpark, in the woods, during his first feature at Mobile International Speedway in Irvington, Alabama. However, the next feature that night he visited a much more desirable area. Victory lane.

Into the Woods

First, the low point of the night. It came during the sportsman feature when contact from another competitor sent Maddox Langham off the track and into the woods.

“As soon I went off the track and into the grass, I locked the brakes up,” said Langham, 16, of Mobile, Alabama. “When I did that, the car did nothing but speed up.”

As Langham approached the drop-off from the track, he had flashbacks of another wreck.

“My brother, [Jonathan], when he was about my age, had a bad wreck and he flipped about seven times,” Langham said. “On the other side of the dirt mound, there’s a drop-off and trees. So, in my head, [I thought,] ‘This is going to hurt.’”

The car landed on its right front in the woods, and then settled on its four wheels.

“The first thing I did was make sure I wasn’t hurt,” said Langham. “I got out of my car and stood on my door, because I didn’t know where I was at. There was a grass field, so I couldn’t see how far down it was [to the ground].”

Aftermath of the Wreck

Langham was not injured. He sat in an ISP full-containment seat, with a five-point harness. Langham wore a Simpson helmet paired with a HANS device.

The car suffered damage primarily to its right front, including a bent frame, which Langham was working on, on Wednesday. The car’s history dates back to when his brother Jonathan was 13. Jonathan bought the Buick Regal for $40 out of his allowance money and he and the Langham brothers’ father, Howard, transformed it into a race car. Jonathan debuted it in 2007, and in its second race, Jonathan won with it. Since then, Maddox took over the ride, winning six races at Mobile International Speedway and six at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, over the course of the past three seasons.

With the car parked for the night, Maddox still had two more features to go.

The Rest of the Night for Maddox Langham

First, the pro trucks.

“I started racing when I was five,” Langham said. “I’ve dealt with wrecks and all kind of that stuff. So, I knew I had to put that [wreck] behind me and worry about that later. I was mad, [so] I used it to drive the truck as hard as I could, but doing my best to race as clean as I could.”

Langham must have channeled the right energy, as he won his first pro truck feature.

“I wanted to cry,” said Langham. “To have the night go the way it went, with wrecking the sportsman and then winning my first truck race, I was so happy.”

After experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows all in one night, Langham still had one more feature to race, the outlaw stocks.

“It was my debut in that car,” Langham said. “We lost power steering on lap 15 out of 40. I have to say, I was pretty worn out after that race.”

Maddox Langham finished ninth in the outlaw stocks. After all that went on during this night, perhaps an unremarkable run was welcomed. After all, it’s not every day a racer flies off the track and into the woods and then wins his first feature in a division.

Langham said he plans to have the sportsman car ready for this Friday’s race at Five Flags Speedway, where he looks to recapture the magic of the car that’s treated him and the rest of his family so well.