Craig Lutz Claims Tri-Track Modified Opener

Craig Lutz in victory lane Sunday at Monadnock Speedway. (Dick Ayers Photo)
Craig Lutz in victory lane Sunday at Monadnock Speedway. (Dick Ayers Photo)

WINCHESTER, N.H. — Craig Lutz used a bump-and-run in the final corner to earn a $6,000 payday in the Tri-Track Open Modified Series season opener at Monadnock Speedway on Sunday night.

Lutz, who was making his debut in the series, started off the day by not qualifying through his heat race, but rebounded in the B-Main, winning the 15-lap dash to lock himself into the stacked field.

He started outside the top-20, but slowly worked his way through the field to the front for the final dash to the finish. On a restart with five laps to go Lutz, who took the green in third, made his way to second. He started chasing down leader Les Hinckley and entering the final corner Lutz used the front bumper of the No. 46 Riverhead Building Supply Modified to slide Hinckley up the track and come out on top in a dash to the line.

“It’s modified racing,” Lutz said. “You have to understand that I’m going for the win, he’s going for the win. He’s hanging on for dear life. I gave him a little tap that he wasn’t expecting and I was able to open up the bottom. We both finished, he still finished second.”

Hinckley, who finished second, wasn’t happy with the way Lutz drove him in the final corner. Hinckley was looking for his first Tri-Track Open Modified Series win.

“I’ve passed a lot of cars here on the outside and I’ve never driven through anyone like that,” Hinckley said. “That was his only shot. He wasn’t faster than me, he didn’t have a shot to drive around me. He didn’t have any turns left to get it done in. That was his move — not lift, drive me through the corner, and as I got out of the groove, he would drive by me.”

Ben Byrne was third at the finish, followed by Ron Silk and Chase Dowling.

The finish:

Craig Lutz, Les Hinckley, Ben Byrne, Ron Silk, Chase Dowling, Matt Kimball, Matt Hirschman, Woody Pitkat, Ronnie Williams, Matt Swanson, Dave Sapienza, Brian Robie, Ryan Doucette, Jeff Gallup, Austin Kochenash, Kurt Vigeant, Jacob Perry, Blake Barney, Andy Jankowiak, Derek Robbie, Kirk Alexander, Joey Cipriano, Tommy Barrett, Cameron Sontag, Anthony Nocella, Anthony Sesely, Sam Rameau, T.J. Bleau.