HAMPTON, Va. – Nick Smith and Matt Waltz shared the spotlight on Saturday evening, splitting the NAPA Auto Parts Twin 75s for the ComServe/Verizon Wireless late models at Langley Speedway.
In the opener, Smith took the lead for good on lap 17, then held off Waltz in a close finish to score his first win of the season.
Waltz started on the pole, at 90.068 mph, and paced the first six circuits with Smith in tow.
By the halfway mark, Smith had pulled ahead and extended his lead to four car lengths. As the race wore on, though, he was unable to hold his car at the bottom of the track and Waltz began to close the gap.
Waltz pulled up on Smith’s rear bumper on lap 42 and remained there to the finish. On several occasions, he poked a fender underneath the leader, but couldn’t pull off the pass.
On the white-flag lap, Waltz took a final run at Smith in Turns 3 and 4. The two made contact and skittered sideways.
Smith dirt-tracked his car off the last corner, barely avoiding the frontstretch wall, and rolled on to the checkers.
Waltz, meanwhile, looped his machine in Turn 4, but still continued on to a second-place finish.
Greg Edwards was a distant third, while Mark Wertz and Casey Wyatt completed the top five.
With the win, Smith claimed the Commander’s Cup for the U.S. Army as the track celebrated Armed Forces Day.
In the second 75-lapper, Waltz made sure that the outcome wouldn’t hinge on any last-second drama. He snatched the lead from pole-sitter Smith on the first lap and strolled to his third win of the year.
Edwards was second, more than half a straightaway behind, followed by Smith, Wertz and Wyatt.