A farrier by trade, Utz began racing in 1958 at age 23, with a 1936 Ford coupe flathead he built. He quickly learned his new craft, racing throughout the area and gaining more and more feature wins on the tough central Missouri super-modified circuit.
In the early 1960s, Utz – the “Flying Blacksmith” – began to branch out, and in 1964 won his first Knoxville Raceway championship, followed by a second in 1967.
He was the IMCA Sprint Car champion in 1974, ’75 and ’77 (which was IMCA’s final year for sanctioning a national sprint car series.) Utz continued to race until 1980, when he retired from the sport. Soon, he returned to racing as a track owner. He carved a small track out of the land behind his house and staged mini-sprint races. Although that was fun, he got the bug to return to driving. He joined the field of competitors in the 360-cubic-inch sprint car class in the early 1990s, with a new version of his former “Ol’ Yeller” #56 for the loyal central Missouri race fans.
Utz won over 300 feature races and 20 track championships during a six-decade career that spanned from jalopies to sprint cars. His biggest wins were on the mile tracks, with his four wins in the Missouri Futurity at Sedalia and a 50-lapper at Springfield, IL, as standouts.