Craig Lutz Claims Second Straight Speedweeks Opener

The win was his third in Tour Type Modified action at New Smyrna.


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It was a case of ‘new look, same results’ for Craig Lutz on opening night for the Tour Type Modifieds in the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway.

A year ago, Lutz survived the carnage of Night One and emerged victorious for team owner Russell Goodale at the start of Speedweeks. This year, opening night was considerably less destructive and Lutz won in his Speedweeks debut for Danny Watts with Goodale support.

Lutz led every lap and held off Jimmy Blewett over the final five laps to take the 50-lap feature. For the near entirety of the race, Lutz was under pressure from Ronnie Williams but the final restart saw Blewett unsuccessfully take his shot at the lead.

He had to work for that one harder than he already was.

"For sure," Lutz said. "It was already five to go so you're giving it everything you've got and then the caution comes out. They stack ‘em up and it's hard to get going again."

Lutz ultimately chose the top side for the restart, but there was some trepidation because what if Williams was loose on the bottom?

"It can go both ways," Lutz said. "If someone gets a good launch off the bottom, they can beat you, but I prefer sweeping around the top and it worked out tonight."

Williams sank on the restart and Blewett found an adjustment that nearly won him the race especially starting second row on the outside. Blewett was able to make a run to the outside but couldn’t complete the pass before taking the white flag.

"I was free up until that [second caution]," Blewett said. "So I said ‘I’ve got nothing really left to lose so let me just bury this brake adjuster one way and if it works it works.’ And it did, it worked out. I knew when we had the restart we were going to have something for them once I realized what was going on with the brake issue there. I had him off of [turn two] down the backstretch and then the caution came out."

Patrick Emerling completed the podium and was largely hanging on.

"Not a bad first night for us," Emerling said. "We lacked a little bit right at the beginning. We were just kind of biding our time there to save a little toward the end there."

Ron Silk and Teddy Hodgdone completed the top-five. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race winner Matt Hirschman posted the quickest time in qualifying and raced as high as seventh but faded after restarting on the bottom with five laps to go.

He faded to 12th.

2022 World Series of Asphalt
Tour Type Modified Race 1

1. Craig Lutz
2. Jimmy Blewett
3. Patrick Emerling
4. Ron Silk
5. Teddy Hodgdon
6. Ronnie Williams
7. Eddie McCarthy
8. Marcello Rufrano
9. Brian Robie
10. Chris Young
11. Tyler Rypkema
12. Matt Hirschman
13. David Sapienza
14. Stephen Kopcik
15. Cam McDermick
16. Tommy Catalano
17. Michael Christopher, Jr.
18. Anthony Bello
19. Paul Charette
20. Tyler Truex
21. Dylan Slepian
22. Earl Paules
23. Chris Andretta
24. Amy Catalano
25. Tom Martino, Jr.
26. J.R. Bertuccio
27. Dillon Steuer
28. Andrew Krause
29. Jeff Malave
30. Joey Coulter
31. Jeremy Gerstner
32. Ricky Moxley