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Larry and Lutz upset at Thunder Valley Raceway sets tone for Day 4 of Drag Week
new vlc Lutz good and evil twins
Jeff Lutz and son Jeffrey Lutz will race these twin cars. - photo by Courtesy of Hot Rod Magazine

Coming on the heels of an upset Wednesday in Noble, Okla., Thursday’s Day 4 of Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week at the SRCA Dragstrip in Great Bend promises to be an exciting race day.  
Contestants in the race face a grueling “torture test” according to Mike Finnegan, host of cable’s Road Kill and Hot Rod Garage.  Unlike other drag races where contestants two their vehicles to the track in trailers, the cars in this race are all street legal.  Hot Rod Magazine requires drivers to drive their cars from track to track, a total of 1,000 miles, in between races.  On top of that, should they break down along the way, no tow trucks or flatbeds are allowed.  Repairs must be made on the road, under far less than ideal conditions.
The road, in fact, can be an amazing ground leveler between the “Daily driver” and the well-heeled pros like Jeff Lutz and Larry Larson, both of whom have held the top spot in years past.  
In fact, Larry Lutz, last year’s overall winner, hadn’t arrived at the track yet by 11 a.m. because he had repairs to be made on the road, Finnegan said.  The crew left Topeka around 3 a.m., waited out a rain storm, only to have the car’s charging system go out.  They hooked a generator up and motored on, commentators said.
Over 7,000 spectators were tuned in to the live feed on YouTube for the final 20 minutes of the race.  Larry finally arrived in Noble at that point to stay in the running with Jeff Lutz.  With only 7 minutes left to go, Lutz, was working on a cylinder head on his 1957 Chevy, “The evil twin,” at the track on his 1957 Chevy.  With five minutes left, this crew pushed the car into the staging lane.  With only three minutes left, Larry had not arrived at the staging lane.  Commentators speculated what this could mean. Then, Larry pulled past the line in his modified S-10 pickup truck, less than a second from being disqualified.  Both racers now had only five minutes to make their runs.  Lutz went first.  His team pushed the car to the burnout box.  and he pushed his car to 6.94; 213.47 mph, short of his best time so far of 6.52; 225 mph.
Larry needed to get a 6.55 to get ahead of Lutz.  After a showy burnout, he ran, or rather, rolled, down the track at 28.36 miles per hour, just barely making it down the track.  43.27 was the E.T.  “Agony and win,” is what the commentators had to say about it.