Craig Lutz just landed a new home for the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.
Danny Watts Racing confirmed on Thursday that Lutz will pilot the No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials/Danny’s Cesspool machine for the full 16-race slate in search of the championship. Lutz will bring crew chief Douglas Ogiejko and his established team to the Danny Watts Racing stable to try and get right to Victory Lane.
Goodie Racing, the team Lutz sat behind the wheel for over the last few years, shut down in the middle of the 2021 season, leaving Lutz without a ride. After a few one-off appearances for different teams, including one for Watts Racing at Riverhead Raceway in September, Lutz was heading into the offseason with a lot of question marks about what 2022 might look like.
Those questions have now been answered.
Although Lutz will not drive for him, Goodie Racing and owner Russell Goodale will join the new team as a sponsor.
“Being able to plug in all of our guys is a huge part of putting this deal together,” Lutz said. “Danny Watts has everything there to make this all happen, and we’re excited to head to New Smyrna for the season opener in February. Russell and Goodie Racing are still going to be coming on board to help us and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support.”
In 88 career Whelen Modified Tour starts, Lutz has three wins, including checkered flags at Jennerstown Speedway, Thompson Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway. His best career finish in points was fourth, twice. It was the 2020 season in which the Miller Place, New York, driver really broke out — winning two of nine races in the abbreviated COVID season.
Lutz will also drive the car for the historic Islip 300 at Riverhead Raceway as part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series action in New York on Saturday, Nov. 13.
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Anthony Nocella, who drove the car for Danny Watts Racing for the last two years, will part ways with the team.
“We would like to thank Nocella Paving along with the whole Nocella family for the past two seasons together,” Watts said. “We are grateful for everything they have done to make our team successful. We want to wish Anthony nothing but the best in the future. We’re excited to get started at Riverhead.”
NASCAR announced the 16-race slate for the 2022 season on Wednesday. Thirteen races have already been established, including the season opener as part of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 12, 2022, and the championship race at Martinsville Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Three races are still to be announced.