NORTHWEST

BILL LUTZ

2017 INDUCTEE

A native of Louisville, Ky., Bill was the Late Model Stock Car Champion at the old O’Hare Stadium in Schiller Park in 1959 and again in 1964 and was always among the frontrunners at the banked quarter-mile paved oval that once sat in the shadows of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.  Bill was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he began his racing career in and around the Louisville area.  In 1952, he was among the top drivers in the stock car action at the Jeffersonville Sportsdrome in southern Indiana.  In 1954, He raced full time on the Society of Autosport, Fellowship and Education (SAFE) Circuit of Champions “showroom stock” late model tour, visiting tracks throughout the Midwest and eastern states.  When SAFE merged with NASCAR, Bill was among the drivers who competed on the new NASCAR convertible circuit in 1956.  He competed in 30 of NASCAR’s 47 convertible events that year.           

  During his career, Bill made only a handful of NASCAR Grand National events.  He competed on the Daytona Beach, Fla. road and beach course in February of 1957.  Driving his Petty Enterprises 1957 Oldsmobile No. 43, a teammate to NASCAR champion Lee Petty, he started 27th in the field and came home in sixth place. 

  1958 saw Bill busy commuting between Louisville and Chicago in order for him to race late model stock cars at O’Hare Stadium and at Soldier Field. Lutz would be crowned the overall “Chicago City Champion” after a special three-race, three-track series that pitted drivers from O’Hare, Soldier Field and Raceway Park.  He scored three second-place finishes to capture the title. During his career, Bill made “spotty” appearances on both the United States Auto Club (USAC) and Midwest Association for Race Cars (MARC) stock car circuits.