Craig Lutz, Matt Swanson To Step Up On Whelen Modified Tour

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

By Jason Cunningham ~ NASCAR

Craig Lutz (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Craig Lutz (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

After testing the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour waters as part-time participants year ago, drivers Craig Lutz and Matt Swanson are ready to step up to full-time competition and contend for the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

Lutz, of Miller Place, New York, made his first Whelen Modified Tour appearance in 2014 at New London-Waterford Speedbowl where he has competed in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division in recent seasons. Last year the 21-year-old, who works as a carpenter on Long Island, made four Whelen Modified Tour starts.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Lutz said. “I’m excited for the experience of going to tracks I haven’t been to and getting some seat time there. Hopefully we’ll be able to make a competitive run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year.”

Swanson hails from Acton, Massachusetts. The 16-year-old student debuted on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2015 with five appearances, highlighted by a seventh-place finish in the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. His debut at Stafford in August made him the youngest race starter in Whelen Modified Tour history at 15 years, five months and 22 days old. Swanson earned the modified division track championship at Star Speedway in 2014 at age 14 before moving to touring competition last year.

“This year we’re coming into it really prepared,” Swanson said. “We only had one car last year and we used last year as a learning experience. This year we know what to expect and we’re coming back with two open motors from Billy the Kid and two Spafco chassis to see what we can do.”

Swanson, like Lutz, is looking forward to an opportunity to vie for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

“The driver that earns that award gets some pretty good publicity,” Swanson said. “To earn something like that on the Whelen Modified Tour would really be something to look back on years later. It’s really cool to be able to contend for that.”

The 17-race NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season will commence with the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 10 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.


  1. Good luck Matt, you definitely had that car going real good at the World Series last year. It is a shame you had to drop out with mechanical issues or a top 5, maybe top 3 was in order for you.

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