After winning his opening 11 races of the season at Langley Speedway, 26-year-old Connor Hall captured his first NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championship.
The championship is the first for a Langley Speedway-based driver in the top division of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series in the 73-year history of the track. The late Shawn Balluzzo won the Division II national title in 2011.
Hall’s opening series of wins included 10 Weekly Series Late Model Stock events, and the CARS Tour event on June 3. He would go on to tally 18 total wins in 26 Weekly Series races at Langley (14 of the wins), Hickory Motor Speedway (three wins) and Southern National Motorsports Park (one win), recording 23 top-five and 24 top-10 results overall.
The championship is a full-circle moment for Hall, who got his start in racing at the age of eight with the Hampton Roads Kart Club at Langley. He competed in Karts for seven years before trying his hand at arena racing and then Legends cars. He began racing Late Models in 2014.
“Connor had a storybook path to a title, winning the championship by racing out of the track where he first got his start as a young child,” said Joseph Dennewitz, NASCAR Managing Director, Touring Series. “And as NASCAR wraps up its 75th Anniversary season, it’s especially meaningful to have a grassroots champion from one our most historic short tracks win the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series title.”
Hall is a professed Late Model Stock Car fan, running home from school on Mondays as a kid to watch local highlight videos on YouTube that recapped the exploits of drivers such as Lee Pulliam, Phillip Morris and Josh Berry at tracks like South Boston Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway. This makes winning the Weekly Series championship that much sweeter for the Virginia driver.
“The biggest thing for me is I grew up as the biggest Late Model Stock Car fan,” said Hall. “I thought these guys were way cooler than the top guys in NASCAR, I have always been obsessed with it. I grew up thinking I would never get to race Late Models, so when I got my first Late Model, we were so bad, but we were so happy to do it at the time.
“That was eight years ago, and to see where we are now, it’s just crazy.”
The magnitude of the championship is just beginning to sink in for Hall, who marked a special anniversary in his Late Model racing career last weekend at Langley when he ran his last race of the points season.
“This past Saturday, that same day six years ago, I got my first win at Langley when I was 20-years old,” said Hall. “To be there six years later and having the national title wrapped up…sitting here talking about it now and where I was six years ago, gives me goosebumps.
“I started Late Model racing in my dad’s garage and we won a national championship out of the same garage.”
In addition to winning the Weekly Series national championship, Hall also won the Southeast Region title.
“From all of us at Advance, we congratulate Connor and his race team on becoming NASCAR champions,” said Samantha Avivi, Advance’s chief marketing officer. “Winning the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championship requires talent, consistency and passion, all of which Connor demonstrated in his incredible, record-setting season. Connor has proven his status as an elite competitor, and we’re excited to follow along as he advances in his racing career.”
The complete list of regional and state Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champions and Jostens Rookie of the Year awards, as well as the champions of the other national divisions, will be released in the coming days.
Hall next takes to the track this weekend at Martinsville Speedway in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race and the final race in the Virginia Triple Crown finale, on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7:00 p.m. Practice and qualifying begin at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.
Two-time Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion (2005, 2021) Peyton Sellers, as well as Brenden “Butterbean” Queen, the 2023 Triple Crown points leader and winner of the opening 2023 Triple Crown race at Langley Speedway will also be featured in the race. 2023 South Boston Speedway track champion Carter Langley is also slated to compete.