With 18 divisions on tap for the 55th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing this Friday through Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT), there are always a number of drivers who will never limit their time to just one division. While three or even four divisions in the weekend have been done before, the ever-versatile Woody Pitkat is taking it to another level, as he will enter six different divisions this weekend.
Pitkat will start Friday running the Granite State Pro Stock Series 60-lap feature in the No. 42 car and the Thompson NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race in his usual No. 91CT ride.
Saturday is a combination of full-bodied and open-wheel cars as Pitkat will see action in the No. 07MA Late Model for the American-Canadian Tour 75-lap showcase, and then move to the No. 52 Tour-type Modified for the Valenti Modified Racing Series feature for 50 laps around Thompson.
Sunday is all about Modifieds, as he starts off in the No. 6 Sunoco/SK Modified for a 30-lap sprint and finally finishing the weekend with the No. 82 Modified for the 150-lap season finale for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
It is a weekend of work that will shatter Pitkat’s personal record for World Series appearances or any other racing event for that matter.
“Most I’ve done before was three. I think it’ll be pretty cool, it’s obviously going to be hectic,” Pitkat told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Sunday will be the easy day because we’ll already have all the qualifying stuff in. The good thing is it’s a little broken up, running two races each day, but I’ll have to practice three cars, qualify three cars, and race two cars on Friday. Then it’s kind of the same thing on Saturday.
“It’s going to be pretty busy, I won’t have a lot of time to talk to anybody, so I’ll have to give people the best feedback I can about what the cars are doing during practice and qualifying, then onto the next car. We’ll see if the track will work with me a little bit, give me a bit of time to move from car to car, might need a golf cart ride to get out of a jam. Other than that, just another weekend at the races.”
In typical Woody fashion, he expects to compete for wins in all six races, but he is being realistic for the weekend ahead. While he knows that a few wins are definitely achievable, he is set for another goal that is possible.
“They’re all good cars that have accomplished and have good people backing them and stuff. Obviously, it’ll be hard to go out and go 6-0, but that’s your goal; your goal is to go and win or get the best finish you can at the end if you can’t win. The big goal if we can’t win them is to try and finish every lap, to do that over six divisions would be a pretty big accomplishment in itself.”
With both feature and heat race distances bringing the lap total to over 400 for the weekend, plus a number more for practice Friday and Saturday, the biggest challenge Pitkat expects will be communication. But he expects this to not be too much of a problem, especially with the three teams he works with on a regular basis.
“Those guys are probably the best at knowing about jumping from car to car, teams like that don’t have a problem with that. They understand what I’m doing and what to do when I’m not around. I think we’ll be in good shape with all of them.”
While Pitkat is an unfamiliar face to the GSPSS and ACT, one of the biggest challenges will still be on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, where Pitkat is still fresh in the Danny Watts No. 82 after taking the seat following the unfortunate passing of Ted Christopher in September. Despite this just being the third race together, Pitkat is proud of what the team has already accomplished.
“The 82 is still a learning thing. We’re all still trying to gel with each other, but I think it’s coming along,” he explained. “At Stafford, we were getting better all weekend there, if the rear-end didn’t break we would’ve had a top-five car there. I can’t thank them enough. I can’t thank all my teams enough for letting me do this. Someone could say I’m doing too much and they want me to focus more on one car. It takes a lot of teamwork and trust. I can’t thank them enough. I’ll go try to do the best I can.”
Be sure to follow Pitkat and the entire Sunoco World Series from Thompson all this weekend on Speed51.com.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Rick Ibsen