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World Series of Asphalt

Craig Lutz wins opening Tour Modified feature at New Smyrna

Luis Torres | STS

The World Series of Asphalt plays out in chapters, marked by what happens each night. 

The story that ran from Monday night to Tuesday morning was the restart clinic put on by Craig Lutz, who took the Tour Modified 50-lap feature at New Smyrna.

“This was the longest 50 laps I ever raced,” Lutz said in Victory Lane. “It all worked out.”

Lutz fended off challenges from Matt Hirschman numerous times over the final few laps, including on a green-white-checkered attempt, beating him to the checkers by two car-lengths. 

Behind Hirschman in third was Ron Silk, followed by Doug Coby and Burt Myers. In sixth was Anthony Nocella, who was involved in a crash early on and rallied for a solid finish. Rounding out the top-10 were Ryan Preece, Brian Robie, Chris Finocchario, and Dave Sapienza. 

The race, which finally ended around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, was red-flagged twice. 

READ MORE: New Smyrna Speedway Tech Official Dies After Overnight Pit Brawl

The first stoppage was for a multi-car accident 14 laps into the feature, set off by contact between Jon McKennedy and Preece. Chris Ridsdale had spun, and was sitting by the inside wall off of turn two, but the race remained green. 

McKennedy was upset with Preece afterwards, calling the contact a “boneheaded move” on Preece’s part. 

“Just got wrecked by big NASCAR Cup Series star Ryan Preece,” McKennedy said. “No patience… Drove right over the fucking back of me off of two and wrecked us. Pretty disappointing. He should know better. He’s been racing a long time. Disappointing.

“Way too early in the race. Big NASCAR Cup star should know better.”

Luis Torres | STS

The wreck was one of many that bunched up the field, putting Hirschman alongside Lutz repeatedly. But Hirschman’s best chance at getting past Lutz was called off when he had to give the lead back after apparently taking it. Race Control ruled Hirschman had jumped the restart ever-so-slightly. 

On the final restart, Lutz was able to clear Hirschman before turn one, and pulled away to pick up his second career World Series victory.

“It’s just like anywhere else,” Lutz said. “You run on the Modified Tour, no matter where you go in a Modified, you’re racing against the best.”

The full results can be found below:

  1. Craig Lutz
  2. Matt Hirschman
  3. Ron Silk
  4. Doug Coby
  5. Burt Myers
  6. Anthony Nocella
  7. Ryan Preece
  8. Brian Robie
  9. Chris Finocchario
  10. Dave Sapienza
  11. JR Bertiuccio
  12. Danny Knoll Jr.
  13. Buddy Charette
  14. Patrick Emerling
  15. Eric Goodale
  16. Matt Galko
  17. Marcello Rufrano
  18. Chuck Hossfeld
  19. Chris Ridsdale
  20. Jeremy Gerstner
  21. Jimmy Blewett
  22. Ronnie Williams
  23. Jim Gavek
  24. Bobby Jones
  25. Tom Martino Jr.
  26. Zane Zeiner
  27. Timmy Catalano
  28. Amy Catalano
  29. Tyler Catalano
  30. Jon McKennedy
  31. Tyler Rypkema
  32. Eddie McCarthy
  33. Stephen Kopcik
  34. Tommy Catalano
  35. Tyler Truex

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Paul Lambert is an aspiring collegiate journalist. A writer and broadcaster, Paul's excited to cover New England short track racing in 2021. Paul has also been published in the Boston Herald, Speedway Illustrated and on Autoweek.com.

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