Waltz Wins Two, Closes Langley Points Gap
HAMPTON, Va. – Matt Waltz notched his 11th and 12th victories of the season with a sweep of the NAPA Auto Parts Twin 64s for the ComServe/Verizon Wireless Late Model Stock Cars, the featured events of Saturday evening’s s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.
In the opener, Nick Smith started on the pole, at 88.615 mph, and led the first lap before giving way to Waltz on lap two.
Smith remained within striking distance until lap 40 when Waltz began to ease away, stretching his lead to better than half a straightaway.
Meanwhile, points leader Greg Edwards moved into second on lap 50, swiping the spot from Smith.
At the finish, Waltz was the winner by nearly four lengths over Smith, who out-dueled Edwards in the closing laps.
Mark Wertz and Brenden Queen were fourth and fifth, respectively, tailing the lead trio to the line.
Waltz’s win put him on the pole for the second race and he chose the outside lane, swapping positions with Smith.
Edwards was slated to start third, but an unapproved tire change dropped him to the tail of the field.
As the nightcap got under way, Waltz rocketed into the lead and fashoined a comfortable margin as Smith and Wertz battled for second.
Waltz was up by nearly a full straightaway when the first caution flag flew on lap 49. Smith, Wertz, Michael Hardin and Queen rounded out the top five as the field slowed.
After another caution flag on lap 50, the race resumed with Waltz, Wertz and Smith jockeying for position at the head of the pack.
Waltz and Smith made contact in Turn 4 on lap 51. Waltz maintained the lead, while Smith emerged in second, dropping Wertz to third.
Over the remaining circuits, Waltz steadily added to his lead. At the finish, his margin of victory stood at four lengths over Smith.
Wertz was third, holding off Brandon Gdovic at the stripe, and Queen completed the top five.
After protracted duels with Casey Wyatt and Hardin, Edwards ended up seventh.
Ahead by 24 points over Waltz in the division standings at the start of the night, Edwards saw his advantage trimmed to 16, 491-475.
Race No. 1: Matt Waltz, Nick Smith, Greg Edwards, Mark Wertz, Brenden Queen, Michael Hardin, Connor Hall, Casey Wyatt, Terry Carroll, Brandon Gdovic, Spencer Gallagher, Justin Carroll, Evan Horne, Bruce Livingston, Duane Shreeves, Cameron Bowen, Danny Edwards Jr.
Race No. 2: Matt Waltz, Nick Smith, Mark Wertz, Brandon Gdovic, Brenden Queen, Michael Hardin, Greg Edwards, Danny Edwards Jr., Connor Hall, Spencer Gallagher, Terry Carroll, Justin Carroll, Evan Horne, Casey Wyatt, Cameron Bowen, Duane Shreeves