Woody Pitkat was just one turn away from winning his second straight Whelen All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon. Pitkat led Todd Szegedy into turn three on the final lap before the two leaders made contact. The contact sent Pitkat spinning, Szegedy towards the outside wall and allowed Bobby Santos to cruise by for the win.
“Todd was giving me good pushes there those last four or five laps, I think he was trying to get us out for it to come down to me and him,” Pitkat told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I went down the back straightaway and protected the bottom, actually like I did with him two years ago. I gave him the outside and he didn’t want to use the outside. He got down on the bottom and had nowhere to go. He caught the flat and he shot up into my left rear and he turned me.
“I know today is only for fun but still, I don’t think Todd had to race like that. Todd has raced with these guys in the past, so for him to do that I thought was pretty bad. I’ll just put that in the memory bank.”
Szegedy said after the race that he blew a right front tire on his No. 15 when he made contact with Pitkat in turn three. He blamed that flat tire as the reason why both drivers came up one corner short of the checkered flag.
“I just got down underneath him and he protected the bottom,” said Szegedy. “We touched wheels and it blew a right front tire and we just went straight. If it didn’t blow a tire I think I would have been fine, but when that happens you go straight and we spun him out. That happens, we’re here to race and to try to win.”
Pitkat and Szegedy swapped the lead throughout the final laps of the 35-lap event staying glued to each other’s back bumper. Szegedy pushed Pitkat all the way down the backstretch before attempting the winning move near the entrance of turn three.
Santos, who was riding in fourth when he crossed under the white flag, capitalized by moving to the outside of Goodale as they worked their way through turn four. Santos powered away with the lead off of turn four and beat Goodale to the line for his first Whelen All-Star Showdown win.
“I saw the leaders get together and the 58 (Goodale) went high and it all worked out for us,” said Santos. “We just made the right move with the 58 there at the end. I’ve just got to thank my guys. They worked really hard all week, all year leading up to this. There’s nothing better than winning at New Hampshire in the Modifieds.”
Ron Silk, Ryan Preece and Doug Coby completed the top-five.
More information can be found by visiting NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live coverage powered by Speed51.com.
Click here for video interviews with Santos, Szegedy and Pitkat.
Whelen All-Star Shootout Unofficial Results
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51