Craig Lutz couldn’t have gotten much closer to his maiden Whelen Modified Tour victory.
The runner-up finish Lutz earned in the 48th annual Spring Sizzler at Stafford was most certainly bittersweet.
After taking the lead on the final restart, Lutz lost the lead to eventual race winner Doug Coby with less than 15 laps to go. Despite falling back to second, Lutz continued to dog Coby all the way to the checkered flag, finishing a car-length behind the five-time champion.
From Lutz’s perspective, there’s not much more he could’ve done.
“I tried my best,” Lutz said. “We both had really good cars. [Coby] could drive it in harder and I would come off harder. I think If I did have a shot, I would have to drive it in a ton and probably wreck both of us. Don’t want to do that.”
Lutz and Coby shook hands in Victory Lane after the race. To Lutz, the mutual respect was definitely made known.
“[Coby] told me that that’s the hardest he’s ever had to drive a car here,” said Lutz. “If I was the guy to make him do that, that’s pretty damn cool.”
There’s no doubt Lutz wants badly to win a Tour race. But he’s not going to wreck somebody to do it.
“I want to win my first race straight up,” he said. “Congratulations to Doug, and we had a good day… It just worked out that we had a really good car at the end. Just came up one spot short.”
Craig Lutz will take another crack at things next week when the Tour heads to Wall Stadium Speedway.