By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Race car driver Shawn Balluzzo has passed away. He was 64.
Balluzzo passed away following an accident on Saturday night at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia. He was the winningest driver at the track, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
“Our hearts are heavy this morning,” Langley Speedway said in a statement. “Driver Shawn Balluzzo passed away following an incident during Saturday night’s modified feature at Langley Speedway, leaving behind a championship legacy both on and off the track. He won the hearts of our fans with 11 track championships and driving style that made him one of the most respected competitors we’ve ever known.
“The Langley Speedway family grieves at this terrible loss and offers our deepest condolences to his wife Terri and his three children. We ask that you respect the family’s privacy during this trying time.”
Balluzzo made contact with Chris Johnson’s vehicle in Turn 2 on lap 13, according to the Pilot’s story. Balluzzo’s vehicle then went airbone, over Johnson’s hood, and into the Turn 2 wall at 70 mph.
“I saw him impact the wall head-on and you know that’s never a good hit,” driver Mark Wertz said. “You don’t know it’s as bad as it was, but it was kind of surreal.”
Balluzzo was extricated from his vehicle. Then, he was transported to a local hospital, where he passed away.
Despite Balluzzo’s accident, Langley Speedway resumed the action. Matt Carter won the race.
In 2019, Balluzzo won 16 of the track’s 16 modified races at the Virginia facility.
On Saturday, it was the first races of the season for the twin modified races at the track. Carter won the first race.
The Virginia Pilot also reported in their story that this was the second death at the venue since 2004. Dale Lemonds, a former Legends Division driver, crashed into Turn 2 and passed away.