Stafford Springs, CT — Last year’s NAPA Spring Sizzler was a dream come true for hometown driver Woody Pitkat as he became the first driver from Stafford Springs to win “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring.” Pitkat has since changed teams from Buzz Chew’s #88 to Kevin Stuart’s #85 Stuart’s Automotive team and he will go for two in a row with a new team when he takes the green flag in the 45th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler on April 24.
“It’s a little frustrating in that it seems every couple of years I’m switching teams,” said Pitkat. “But doing something different allows me to meet a bunch of new people and have a better relationship with people that I’ve raced against for most of my career. I’ve been to the shop a couple of times and Kevin’s team works really hard on the car and Kevin has nothing but the best on the car. I’ve been fortunate enough to find good people and good rides and I’m excited to go back to Stafford and hopefully win or at least be in contention for back to back Sizzler wins with Kevin’s team. It’s probably going to be a tough feat. Last year was my second year together with Buzz’s guys and they knew what I liked in a car and the equipment that we had was a big help in winning that race. It might take a little time for me to get acclimated with Kevin’s guys but races are won at the shop and all of Kevin’s guys are working hard to make the car bulletproof for the 200 laps and we’re going to give it our best to try to win the race. One thing I do have that’s beneficial is Greg Felton, who was my crew chief with the VMRS car last year, is helping us out and Spot, my old crew chief from Buzz’s team, has gone above and beyond to take some phone calls from me as to what direction to go with the car even though I’m not racing with him anymore. That just shows the friendship that we have and his help really means a lot to me. I think we’re going to be in real good shape.”
Although Pitkat may be driving a new car and engine combination he says that there are enough similarities between the #88 car he drove last year and the #85 car that he’ll be piloting this season that the change in teams may not be as big of a challenge as it might look like from the outside.
“The 85 car is a Troyer chassis and it’s kind of like what I had when I was driving the #88 car,” said Pitkat. “The rear end of the car is more similar to what I had in the #42 VMRS car, so it should be pretty good on the long run. Kevin has a relationship with Mike Pettit from his VMRS experience and if his Tour motors run as good as his SK motors do, we should be in really good shape. There’s no reasons why we shouldn’t be good. Kevin has nothing but the best equipment and it’s all new stuff and they’ve had a lot of success in the VMRS with Todd Szegedy driving the car. It might just take a little time to get used to new guys and what we want to do on pit road with our pit stops. We have all the right pieces, we just have to put them together the right way.”
Pitkat will also be looking to turn some heads behind the wheel of the #50 Flamingo Motorsports SK Modified®. Steve Greer, who Pitkat drove for when he won the 2013 SK Modified® championship, has purchased the #42 VMRS car that Pitkat piloted to 2 Stafford wins and the VMRS championship last season and Pitkat will be driving that same car in the SK Modified® division this season. If the car drives as good as it did during the three VMRS races at Stafford last season, Pitkat could be among the contenders for the track title this season.
“I’m really excited to see how the car will run as an SK,” said Pitkat. “If it runs as good as it did last year, I think we might have something for the boys this year. Steve Greer has given us the car and engine and we’re going to maintain it at Adam Skowyra’s shop. I won a championship with Steve and then we kind of went our separate ways. He gave us a motor to use last year and with that motor we were able to give the Skowyra Family their first SK Modified® win so it’s a nice story that we’re all back together again.”
Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Tickets will be available at all 57 participating NAPA Auto Parts stores beginning on Monday April 4th. For a full list of the 57 locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island, call the speedway office or visit us on the web at www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores.
For more information on the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen