Bruising: Craig Lutz Wins Tour Type Mod Feature On World Series Night Two At New Smyrna

Craig Lutz celebrates victory in the Tour Type Modified feature Tuesday at the New Smyrna World Series (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

After two nights of Tour Type Modified division racing at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway the theme has been first-time winners. 

On Monday it was Anthony Nocella grabbing his first career New Smyrna World Series victory in the 50-lap opener for the division. 

Tuesday Nocella looked to be rolling on rails to a second consecutive victory, until Craig Lutz got physical and grabbed victory away late. 

Lutz got aggressive on a lap-25 restart to grab the lead from Nocello and went on to win in the 35-lap Tour Type Modified division feature Tuesday at New Smyrna Speedway. 

It was the first career New Smyrna World Series victory for Lutz, of Miller Place, N.Y. 

“This is huge,” Lutz said. “To come down to Florida you’re against the best of the best. I’m just so thankful for this opportunity. … It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done.” 

Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. picked up his second consecutive second place finish. Nocella, of Woburn, Mass., was third. 

Nocella started on the pole and had checked out from the field twice. Nocella chose to use the outside lane for the lap 25 restart, but it was Lutz who pushed up him the track through turns one and two to grab the lead. 

“You’re stuck on the bottom, you don’t have much you can do except try to beat the guy into turn one,” Lutz said. “It’s short track racing. We’ve got nerf bars and we rub. We both ended up down here on the podium.” 

Said Nocella: “I still think the outside is the preferred groove and the place to fire off here, if you didn’t get out way up in the marbles. That’s racing. We were a little free off on the bottom. I knew my best shot was really to get it in deep and get around him on the outside as I did the time before. He did what he had to do to win. I would have ran him a little cleaner than that. Maybe run him up, but not in the fourth groove. He did what he had to do to win and we’ll go from there.” 

Hirschman was able to get by Nocella for second on the decisive restart and then stalked Lutz over the final five laps, but for the second night in a row, couldn’t find a way to the lead. 

“We’re right there,” Hirschman said. “I like wins, but we’ll just take a second. We’re in one piece.” 

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  1. Nocella got a bit of a raw deal with a understated reaction. Tough guy. Hirschman like a Cheshire cat happy with the place he’s in with extra distance races coming up. Here comes Brad Van Houten. A Stafford open regular that couldn’t get out of his own way at first but improved and took a remarkable 5th last night.

  2. Nocella v. Lutz will be the battle to key an eye on in the Tour-Type Mods as we round out the week at New Smyrna! I know I’m looking forward to see some Chrome-Horn action!

  3. Decent race. Attrition took a few out, hope they can get repaired and continue. One of the cars had the RF taken off down to the frame, looks like it needs major repairs.

    This show belongs to Nocella, Lutz and Hirschman.

    Long distance race tonight, let’s see how this plays out. Tire management in play and Hirschman is a master at saving tires.

    Weather looks dicey for Thur and Fri.

  4. What was Fuller doing yo the 46 on the track after the race? Did anyone else see that??

  5. Congrats to Craig and the #46 team for the win. Great job.

  6. Gino, I just watched the replay and the only thing I saw was Fuller reaching in a shaking Craig’s hand a saying something to him.

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