By December 14, 2022 News & Announcements

GET TO KNOW YOUR CHAMPIONS, PART 2: Milan Dragway is featuring its 2022 McCormack Racing E.T. Bracket Series Sunday class champions. Here’s more on the Sportsman champion, who took the title with the same car he gets groceries in.




HOMETOWN: Milan, Michigan


CAR: 1983 Chevy Malibu station wagon, although his normal race car is a 1981 Monte Carlo. It broke “spectacularly” in 2020 and he plans to put it back together this offseason.


He didn’t expect to go far with his wagon this year, but wanted something to race. It goes about 15.20 in the quarter mile.


“It’s a legit street car. I drive it back and forth to work when the weather’s nice,” Luttrell said. “I drive it to the grocery store. I use it for its intended purpose. It’s just a cruiser. It still has the original 305 in it still.”


While his Monte Carlo requires refueling and a few other things between rounds, the wagon is low maintenance.


“I don’t even check the air in the tires,” Luttrell said.


2022 MILAN WINS: 1


DAY JOB: Machinist


YEARS RACING: Matt’s first race was the High School Nationals in 1994 and he won his class. He started racing more regularly in 2001.


HOW HE GOT STARTED: At age 15, Matt started tagging along with his coworker, Doug Beauch, to races at Milan and Norwalk. Doug still races the same car today.


“He’s really the guy that got me into it. I was always really into cars, but that set the hook,” Luttrell said. “If it wasn’t for him, who knows what I would have been doing.”


FIRST STREET CAR: 1984 Monte Carlo SS


“Parts of that car are still on my Monte Carlo that I normally race all the time. I’m sitting in the same seats, the dash, the steering wheel, the driver’s door, some other parts,” Luttrell said. “It still feels like the same car from high school.”


MOST MEMORABLE CAREER WIN: In 2010, Luttrell was racing Jim Adams in a Sportsman final, with an NHRA “Wally” on the line.


Adams was still in in two classes, but his battery died. He wasn’t going to be able to get his car ready fast enough to race the Sportsman final.


“I didn’t want to win that way,” Luttrell said. “I knew I could have taken the easy win. But in my mind, I wouldn’t feel like I earned it. So I was like, ‘No, we’re not running this final until we get his car going. I’ll take the battery out of my truck and put it in his car if we have to.’”


So they waited. And it was a tight race, but Adams broke out at the finish line, giving Luttrell the Wally. Twelve years later, he still calls it his biggest win.


“That was a big moment because I felt like I did the right thing, I did the sportsman thing and I actually earned it,” Luttrell said. “You didn’t hit the easy button on that one.”


ADVICE TO HIS COMPETITORS: “Don’t get caught up in how fast you’re going. Just focus on your reaction time and getting the car consistent. And focus on doing the same routine every round,” Luttrell said. “That’s what matters more than anything else.


“I think a lot of people get caught up in the speed. You have to find out, what does your car like to be consistent? More importantly, focus on the tree. Because if you can’t do that worth a darn, you’re not getting anywhere.”