Woody Pitkat has been trying for a long time to get to victory lane on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He finally got that win in his 86th career start after taking the lead from Ron Silk with 35 laps to go Friday night in the Call Before You Dig 811 150 at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway.
Pitkat had to battle back from a slow pit stop under the final caution to get to Silk. He went to pit road under caution on lap 77 as the leader. He came off pit road in eighth.
“I could see they were having a little bit of trouble with the right front,” said Pitkat. “He (Pitkat’s crew chief Ron Ste-Marie) came over the radio and said, ‘You’re the class of the field. Drive that thing right to the front.'”
That’s exactly what Pitkat did. He picked drivers off quickly. He said that he used Doug Coby as a guide through the field, at least until he got by Coby for third place on lap 95.
Pitkat got by Lia just a few laps later and set his sights on Silk who had a lead of just over a second.
Pitkat reeled Silk in and passed him within two laps of catching him. Pitkat dove to the bottom of turn three almost putting the left side tires in the grass. The two ran door to door the entire way down the frontstretch before Pitkat cleared Silk on the exit of turn two.
Silk said he didn’t have anything at all for Pitkat after he got passed.
“If I did I would have been near him,” said Silk. “When we were both on good tires I had something for him, but his car just stayed better a lot longer than mine. I was kind of hanging on by the end, just really loose.”
Pitkat beat Silk to the checkered flag by a margin of 3.268 seconds. Donny Lia, Doug Coby and Eric Goodale completed the top five.
The win may be Pitkat’s first in NWMT competition, but it’s his 72nd career win at Stafford Motor Speedway. The hometown boy tied Bugsy Stevens for third on the all-time wins list at Stafford.
“That’s a huge honor,” said Pitkat. “It’s an honor I never even thought of. Running Late Models and DARE Stocks as a kid you never think of how many wins you’ll accumulate.”
Pitkat said that getting his first Tour win at his home track is a dream come true.
“Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won last week in the 88 and then today for me to be able to win in the 88 on August eighth, it obviously was meant to be.”
– By Rob Blount, Twitter: @robblount – Regional Editor (CT, NJ and Long Island) for Speed51.com
1. Woody Pitkat
2. Ron Silk
3. Donny Lia
4. Doug Coby
5. Eric Goodale
6. Rowan Pennink
7. Ted Christopher
8. Justin Bonsignore
9. Ryan Preece
10. Matt Hirschman
11. Timmy Solomito
12. Bobby Santos
13. Keith Rocco
14. Mike Stefanik
15. Tommy Barrett Jr.
16. Glen Reen
17. Ron Yuhas Jr.
18. Jamie Tomaino
19. Patrick Emerling
20. Gary McDonald
21. Wade Cole
22. Melissa Fifield
23. Dave Salzarulo