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Craig Lutz Breaks Into Victory Lane in NAPA Fall Final at Stafford

By: NASCAR.com

STAFFORD, Conn. — For the second straight year, the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway produced a first-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winner.

Craig Lutz took the lead from Doug Coby on a restart with 33 laps to go, and drove away from Coby, and defending series champion Justin Bonsignore, to earn his first career checkered flag in his 66th series start.

Prior to Sunday, Lutz had finished inside the top five in four of his 12 Stafford starts, including the last three. He had also finished inside the top five in eight of the 14 races in 2019.

For the first time, the Miller Place, New York, driver was able to celebrate a trophy.

“The first win is always special,” Lutz said. “Everyone kept on asking me when it was coming. To finally knock one off, it’s an amazing feeling.”

Lutz started ninth and rode inside the top 10 for the duration of the race, but shined when it mattered most. Chris Pasteryak earned his first career Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole award in qualifying, and led the first six laps, before Coby took control.

Bonsignore took the lead from Coby just before halfway, and paced the field until a caution just after lap 100, when leaders pitted multiple times for tires. It would be the only caution of the day that Coby, Bonsignore and Lutz entered pit road.

Pasteryak would lead eight more laps after cycling back to the lead, but couldn’t hold the top spot, as Coby slid by, then a restart gave Lutz his opportunity. Lutz passed Coby and never looked back, minding a gap back to Bonsignore for the final 10 laps.

“I just didn’t look in my mirror,” Lutz said. “I have an awesome spotter, who has a lot of experience, and he kept telling me to stay smooth and hit my marks. That’s what I kept doing.”

Bonsignore would finish second, while Coby settled for third. Chuck Hossfeld, who missed practice and qualifying on Saturday, charged from the rear of the field to finish fourth. Matt Swanson was fifth.

Ron Silk finished sixth, followed by Bobby Santos III, Woody Pitkat, Chase Dowling and Patrick Emerling.

Coby leads Bonsignore by 19 points with one championship points race remaining in search of his sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

The NAPA Fall Final 150 will air on NBCSN on Friday, October 4, at 7 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, the final race of the season, on Sunday, October 13.

2019 NAPA Fall Final 150

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race number 15 of 15
Sunday, September 29, 2019 at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT
150 laps on a .500 mile paved track (75.0 miles)

Time of race: 1:05:17
Average speed: 68.93 mph
Pole speed: 97.218 mph
Cautions: 5 for 27 laps
Margin of victory: .733 sec
Attendance: n/a
Lead changes: 5

Glossary    2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour results   /   2019 standings

Fin St # Driver Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Status Led Pts
1 9 46   Craig Lutz Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 150 running 34 47
2 4 51   Justin Bonsignore Phoenix Communications Inc.   (Kenneth Massa) Chevrolet 150 running 58 44
3 2 2   Doug Coby Mayhew Tools / Reynolds Auto Wrkg Chevrolet   (Mike Smeriglio III) Chevrolet 150 running 43 42
4 28 21   Chuck Hossfeld Gershow Recycling / Blewett Scrap   (Joseph Bertuccio) Chevrolet 150 running 0 40
5 6 3   Matt Swanson Ceravolo’s Auto / USNE   (Jan Boehler) Chevrolet 150 running 0 39
6 5 85   Ron Silk Stuart’s Automotive   (Kevin Stuart) Chevrolet 150 running 0 38
7 3 36   Bobby Santos III Sapienza Enterprise   (Judy Thilberg) Dodge 150 running 0 37
8 13 1   Woody Pitkat Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer   (Eddie Harvey) Chevrolet 150 running 0 36
9 17 82   Chase Dowling Horton Avenue Materials LLC   (Danny Watts Jr.) Chevrolet 150 running 0 35
10 12 07   Patrick Emerling Sahlen’s   (Jennifer Emerling) Chevrolet 150 running 0 34
11 1 75   Chris Pasteryak Dawley’s Collision & Custom   (Charles Pasteryak) Chevrolet 150 running 15 34
12 24 55   Matt Galko * TBD Chevrolet 150 running 0 32
13 7 x6   Timmy Solomito Starrett Racing Ford 150 running 0 31
14 15 14   Blake Barney Atlantic Sprinkler   (Richard Barney) Chevrolet 150 running 0 30
15 21 54   Tommy Catalano Catalano Motorsports   (Amy Catalano) Chevrolet 150 running 0 29
16 11 64   Rob Summers Lumiere / Dell Electric / Rocky’s Plumbing   (Mike Murphy) Chevrolet 150 running 0 28
17 26 34   J.B. Fortin * John’s Tree Removal / Discount Cess Pool   (Nicole Fortin) Chevrolet 149 running 0 27
18 20 35   Andrew Molleur * Tick Mike   (Mike Molleur) Toyota 149 running 0 26
19 32 52   Mark Bakaj * Ferndalo Construction   (Jason Nogiec) Chevrolet 149 running 0 25
20 25 18   Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood   (Robert Pollifrone) Ford 148 running 0 24
21 8 58   Eric Goodale GAF Roofing   (Edgar Goodale) Chevrolet 147 running 0 23
22 18 19   Joey Cipriano, III * Gunsmoke Stables / Dunleavy’s Truck Trailer   (Steve Greer) Chevrolet 147 running 0 22
23 34 26   Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape / TRC Electric   (Sean McDonald) Chevrolet 147 running 0 21
24 29 33   Wade Cole Performance Engines / 1812 Auto Body   (Wade Cole) Ford 146 running 0 20
25 33 83   Dave Salzarulo Performance Engines / 1812 Auto Body   (Richard Rodenbaugh) Chevrolet 146 running 0 19
26 19 47   Joey Mucciacciaro * Pools by Murphy Chevrolet 131 electrical 0 18
27 16 92   Anthony Nocella Nocella Paving / K and D Associates / Airgas   (Anthony Nocella) Chevrolet 112 running 0 17
28 30 25   Calvin Carroll Power with Prestige / Cruising w / Betty   (Joe Carroll) Chevrolet 111 crash 0 16
29 10 22   Kyle Bonsignore Chalew Performance   (Kyle Bonsignore) Toyota 104 crash 0 15
30 22 45   Timmy Catalano * Catalano Motorsports   (Dave Catalano) Chevrolet 97 suspension 0 14
31 31 01   Melissa Fifield Pine Knoll Auto Sales   (Kenneth Fifield) Chevrolet 62 handling 0 13
32 14 06   Sam Rameau * Central Mass Tree   (Randy Rameau) Chevrolet 41 crash 0 12
33 23 32   Tyler Rypkema * Musco Lighting   (Dean Rypkema) Chevrolet 15 axle 0 11
34 27 38   Kyle Ellwood Performance Engines / 1812 Auto Body   (Linda Rodenbaugh) Chevrolet 2 clutch 0 10
Rookie drivers are denoted with an asterisk.
Failed to qualify, withdrew, or driver changes:
Pos Name Nbr Sponsor Owner Car
WD J.R. Bertuccio 12 Gershow Recycling TBA Chevrolet
WD Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. 78 Last Minute Racing Steven Sutcliffe Chevrolet
WD Chase Dowling 99 S&S Cheryl Tomaino Chevrolet
Caution flag breakdown:
Condition From
Lap
To
Lap
# Of
Laps
Reason Free
Pass
1 13 13
14 17 4   #32,34 accident frontstretch #01
18 27 10
28 31 4   #34 spun turn 3 #01
32 41 10
42 48 7   #06 spun turn 1 #01
49 102 54
103 109 7   #debris turn 3 #x6
110 111 2
112 116 5   #58,92,35,85,45 accident backstretch #54
117 150 34
  Percent of race run under caution: 18.0%             Average green flag run: 20.5 laps
Lap leader breakdown:
Leader From
Lap
To
Lap
# Of
Laps
  Chris Pasteryak 1 6 6
  Doug Coby 7 48 42
  Justin Bonsignore 49 106 58
  Chris Pasteryak 107 115 9
  Doug Coby 116 116 1
  Craig Lutz 117 150 34
Points standings after this race:
Rank Driver Points Diff
1   Doug Coby 624
2   Justin Bonsignore 605 -19
3   Ron Silk 556 -68
4   Craig Lutz 552 -72
5   Matt Swanson 481 -143
6   Eric Goodale 480 -144
7   Timmy Solomito 479 -145
8   Patrick Emerling 476 -148
9   Chris Pasteryak 471 -153
10   Blake Barney 436 -188
11   Tommy Catalano 424 -200
12   Woody Pitkat 412 -212
13   Rob Summers 390 -234
14   Sam Rameau 389 -235
15   Timmy Catalano 350 -274
16   Wade Cole 346 -278
16   Jimmy Blewett 346 -278
18   J.B. Fortin 343 -281
19   Calvin Carroll 309 -315
20   Jon McKennedy 295 -329