Closing Act: Craig Lutz Wins Whelen Mod Tour Sunoco World Series 150 At Thompson

Craig Lutz celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – There was a time when the .625-mile high-banked layout of Thompson Speedway seemed a beast Craig Lutz could not tame. 

Lutz finished 18th or worse in his first 10 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts at Thompson Speedway from 2015 to 2017. 

“I hated coming here,” Lutz said. “We were terrible. I was getting lapped. I didn’t know where to go out there.” 

Not long after Lutz began driving for team owner Russell Goodale in mid-2017 the relationship between driver and track began to blossom.

Sunday the Miller Place, N.Y. finally slayed the demon that used to haunt him. 

Lutz held off the charges of Jon McKennedy late to win the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway. 

It was the second win of the season for Lutz, his third with the series overall and his first at Thompson Speedway. 

“Finally, after a couple years of running up front and finishing second and third here we were finally able to pull it off,” Lutz said. 

McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass., was second and Ron Silk of Norwalk third. Justin Bonsignore used a fourth place finish to clinch his second Whelen Modified Tour title in the season ending event. 

Lutz ended up fourth in the final series standings behind second place McKennedy and third place Doug Coby.

“It’s awesome,” Lutz said, “A nine race season, to win two of them shows that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

Lutz took the lead from Justin Bonsignore on lap 104 restart. When the caution flew on lap 135 McKennedy was up to second. On the lap 138 restart McKennedy went to the lead. Caution flew again on lap 139 and when the race restarted on lap 144 it was Lutz powering back by McKennedy for the lead off of turn four. 

On lap 145 McKennedy got under Lutz in turn three and both drifted up the track with Lutz hanging on to the top spot. McKennedy looked to attack again, but a bump from Silk with two laps remaining allowed Lutz to pull away.

“It’s kind of the way the racing is here at Thompson,” Lutz said. “You drive it in. … We were both racing hard and I feel like I had the dominant car. He used me up a little bit on the restart and I was just able to get by him and hold him off.” 

Said McKennedy: “[Lutz] and I had pretty evenly matched cars. Ours was a little bit better off the corner, he was better getting in. I thought the race was going to come down to him and I on the last lap. [Silk] got into me a little bit there with a few to go and I about spun out and when that happened it was two [laps] to go and my chance of winning was over at that point. But overall it was a great day.” 

Comments

  1. Before NASCAR goes in a whole for the winter and comes out of hibernation with another dumb modified series idea, please lobby for two races at south Boston, two at Martinsville, two maybe at Myrtle Beach, one during Mustang week. 26 race schedule

    nASCR subsidized purses, $10,000 to win, 9000 for second down to 10th. We need some real racing down here

  2. its getting old says

    The Dive bomb is getting old. just saying.

  3. Just Me - The Original says

    Earl,
    Myrtle Beach Speedway was sold, to be turned into commercial, housing development pending town zoning changes.

  4. Hopefully 2021 isn’t a repeat of 2020. Face it, Covid is anything but controlled at this point, and the 2921 season is only 6 months away. Allot of what happens is going to depend on where the country is in respect to the virus.
    We have the ability to affect this. If everyone does their part, wear that mask, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene and don’t congregate in large groups. It’s tough with the holidays coming, but if we really work at it, we may have some normalcy in 2021.
    Hope everyone is safe strong and sane, keep fighting.

  5. gerald stearns says

    I didn’t see where Ronnie Silk jumped on that restart. I think he got screwed on that call. It cost him a legidiment chance to win the race.

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