Craig Lutz Expanding To Full-Time Whelen Modified Tour Effort For 2016

Craig Lutz celebrating his first career SK Modified victory in May 2014 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Craig Lutz celebrating his first career SK Modified victory in May 2014 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

In 2013 Canadian driver Cole Powell raced to the Rookie of the Year title on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Three years later some pieces of Powell’s legacy on the series will be chasing that same title again.

New London-Waterford Speedbowl SK Modified division regular Craig Lutz will run full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour for the 2016 season.

The Lutz family operation purchased much of Powell’s equipment during the 2015 season.

“The plan for the year is to make a run for the Rookie of the Year title on the Tour,” the 21-year old Lutz said. “To run full-time and hopefully at the end of the year be in contention to win the Rookie of the Year.

“We got to a point at Waterford with the [SK Modified] – I consider that my hometrack and we were having a lot of fun there – but you’re always trying to make the next step and get my name out there. So we figured that the [Whelen Modified Tour] is the way to go.”

“I’m proud to be on the Tour. It’s a huge step for me but it’s been a childhood dream for me to run on Tour and now I have my shot so I’m pretty excited about it.”

Lutz, of Miller Place, N.Y. ran part-time in the SK Modified division at Waterford in 2012 and made the jump to a full-time effort in the division in 2013. He got his first win in the division in 2014 and got his second win last season.

“I think the Speedbowl produces the drivers it has because there’s a lot of side-by-side racing and it’s not just follow the leader,” Lutz said. “I think I’ve learned a ton racing there but I still have a ton to learn on the Tour too. But I think I can compete – maybe not for wins yet – but go to a lot of tracks that I haven’t been to and run well.”

Lutz made his Whelen Modified Tour debut at the Speedbowl on June 21, 2014. It was his only start that season.

In 2015 Lutz started four of the final six events of the season. He had a career best 11th place in the division’s September visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, his team’s first visit to the 1.058-mile oval.

“We learned a lot about the whole atmosphere of the Tour,” Lutz said of the four late season starts last year. “If I go to Waterford and I don’t finish in the top-five it’s not a good night, but to run on the Tour and you finish in the top-20 and you’re excited about it, especially being a rookie. The whole strategy of the longer distance racing, I enjoy that. It’s a whole different learning experience.”

Lutz, who will have backing for his Whelen Modified Tour effort from Moroso Performance Products and Competition Engineering, said he hopes to continue to run part-time in the SK Modified division at Waterford when time allows.

“We’re going to do as many races as we can there, we’re just not exactly sure when right now though,” Lutz said.


  1. I hope Mario fiore will give this kid the credentials to run the tour. Probably not but we all no he lives in the past and maybe he should live in the past we no phone, computer, or social media tool bag!!!

  2. Greta Grammar says

    I’ll say one thing about Mario: At least he can regularly construct grammatically correct complete sentences…

  3. crazy in NY says

    Greta shoots and scores!!! LOL. anyway..why drag Mario into this? He keeps busy enough dumping on the MRS. Good for the Lutz gang. The Tour needs an influx of young talent and if they have the
    financial backing to go for it…more power to them. Good luck in 2016.

  4. When you had more money backing you then any other race team you where racing against and you where the biggest cheater in the the series to this day then of course your gonna have all those accomplishments. Must feel real good knowing you had to cheat to do all that just like the New England Patriots!
    You a hero

  5. Please clarify says

    Am I the only one who has no idea what the eff Big Smoke is talking about?

  6. He thinks Mario was the only cheater,look at Chad ,Jimmy at the top level they have never been caught and there isn’t any money at that team either Time to take the blinders off ,or maybe it’s the smoke, the guys that don’t cheat are in the back

  7. Grey Matter says

    Everyone points fingers at a fast car. Well handling cars are fast, I’m sure that is a known fact but there are some people here that point fingers at Lutz and not at Teddy, Keith and Monahan? Sounds pretty hypocritical.

  8. What the hell is this guy talking about? Mario has nothing to do with Craig at all!!

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