Marathon Man: Craig Lutz Wins Tour Type Modified Opener At New Smyrna World Series

Craig Lutz celebrates victory early Tuesday morning following the 50-lap Tour Type Modified feature at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (Photo Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

With a stacked roster overflowing with talent, the anticipation for the kickoff of Tour Type Modified division racing at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing has been simmering wildly for weeks. 

On Monday fans had to actually wait for another day to finally see a victory lane for the division this year at New Smyrna. 

A long evening of racing at the World Series saw the Tour Type Modified division take the track for the first of five consecutive nights of features late Monday night. Early Tuesday morning it was Craig Lutz finally celebrating. 

Lutz held off the charges of Matt Hirschman to win the 50-lap Tour Type Modified division opener at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. 

The race, which began just after 11 p.m. on Monday, took a checkered flag just after 12:30 on Tuesday morning. 

It was the second World Series victory for Lutz, of Miller Place, N.Y. The Whelen Modified Tour regular won on night two of the 2020 World Series. 

“This was the longest 50 laps I ever ran,” Lutz said. “But it all worked out. We struggled a little bit in practice, but awesome group and my crew chief Doug Ogiejko put an awesome car together. … It’s a big deal to win down here.” 

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., was second and Ron Silk of Norwalk third. 

Doug Coby of Milford was fourth and Burt Myers of Walnut Cove, N.C. fifth. 

Lutz got by Patrick Emerling for the lead on the first lap and was in first or second place the rest of the way. 

The race was moving along nicely early until things got ugly between a pair of the expected front runners early in the event. On lap 14 Ryan Preece hit Jon McKennedy from behind to send McKennedy spinning out of fifth place. 

The turned McKennedy car set in motion a huge chain reaction wreck that set up for a long cleanup delay. 

“I just got wrecked by an impatient driver, Ryan Preece,” McKennedy said. “Big NASCAR Cup star. I’m not too sure what he’s thinking. Just drove over the back of me, spun me out in front of 40 cars and wrecked us. Bonehead move on his end. Disappointing, we had a really good car. We time trialed outside pole and with the redraw we started sixth. Awful early in the race to drive like that. Pretty stupid on his end. I look forward to the rest of the week racing with him.” 

Hirschman went from fourth to second on a restart with nine laps remaining. Caution flew with four laps to go after Anthony Nocella spun from a battle for fifth with Eric Goodale. 

Caution flew again with two laps remaining when Goodale darted right to spin Emerling out of fourth place. 

Lutz was able to get some breathing room on Hirschman on the final restart before taking the long awaited checkered. 

“I was just hoping it would be the last one,” Lutz said of the final restart. 

Unofficial Results Monday 50-lap Tour Type Modified Feature


  1. Typical opening night at New Smyrna. Preece driving over his head and Goodale causing 4 cautions. Some things will never change.

  2. The cream rises to the top. A solid 13th for my boy Buddy though. Go Buddy!!

  3. Oh, where do I begin?

    Classic opening night… rusty, cobwebs, antsy, stupid, idiocy, etc.

    Then we have Goodale being Goodale. He’s so reliable. Not a question of if, but when. He’s the pinball.

    And we can’t go any further without discussing the Catalano clan. I do hope they are having fun. To use a line from 🌈JD🌈, they had a solid 27th, 28th, 29th, and 34th.

    Shawn, is there a story behind Coby driving the 10 last night instead of Pickens?

    Too many cars wadded up, hobbled, damaged. Shawn, you got a tally list of who is out? Who will be hobbled?

    Preece was driving a brand new car. Anybody know what chassis? I *thought* I saw FURY. Anyways, he ate up the tires, lost fwd drive and was skating. Hope he gets that solved. Otherwise, before he lost grip, he had a very good car. His car had a good nose, enabled him to do what he does.

    The 10 looked strong at the end.

    Lutz had a good car, good bite and jump. It was his race to lose. He will be a factor if he remains consistent. And by consistent, I mean as icy as Silk and MH.

    Do hope McKennedy, Sap, Kopcik, Hossfeld and Blewett have better outings the rest of the week. Hope everybody has outstanding races the rest of the week.

    Who gets the good tires tonight?

  4. Good observation on Preece. The move more “bonehead” then intentional. McKennedy’s word not mine. And like a few races last year driving with a sense of desperation early manhandling a squirrelly car before settling in.
    Hirschman says he’s outgunned on the straights. Maybe so but the lap times indicate only a minor disadvantage..
    Goodale had a reason for causing one caution. Avoiding a car down low and my back seat view was he wasn’t given a whole lot of room to move up to clear the car.
    Just an awful lot of really good cars to look forward to this week.

  5. No comment from Preece huh. He does tend to overdrive a ill handling car though. Maybe he ll have something to say after his next chance to race McKennedy.
    Poll question….. who will have the beast overall finishes? Matt or Ron

  6. Congratulations #46 team, well done! hard work pays off

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