For much of Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) it appeared that nobody would keep Stafford’s own Woody Pitkat from winning the pole for the Spring Sizzler 200-lap event.  Throughout much of practice he appeared to be in his own zip code.  But that didn’t faze Ryan Preece who went out and set down a lightning fast lap to claim the top starting spot for Sunday’s race.


“This feels great.  It feels even better knowing that my stock may have gone up a little bit,” joked Preece in reference to episode three of’s “51 War Room” presented by PFC Brakes.  “Honestly, this car is phenomenal.  It was really good in practice all day, so to go out there and lay a pretty good lap down feels pretty good.”


Preece claims the pole for the Spring Sizzler. ( photo)

Preece claims the pole for the Spring Sizzler. ( photo)

Preece put down a lap of 17.960 seconds for an average speed of 100.223 mph.  He beat out Pitkat by just one-tenth of a second.  Pitkat’s lap of record was 18.047 seconds.


Pitkat said that his car was just a bit too tight for his lap, and if he could do things over again he’d have his crew make a different adjustment.


“I tried harder the second lap and I went slower,” laughed Pitkat.  “Sometimes you have to go slower to go fast.  So I’ll start in the same place I started last year.”


Preece narrowly missed out on the Stafford track record of 17.924 seconds that he set in 2012 at this event.


While he can clearly qualify well for this event and has shown that in the past, Preece still has yet to win “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring,” and that’s something he desperately wants to change.


“We’ve come close to winning it before and I haven’t been able to do it,” said Preece.  “We’ve won every other race here as far as the Tour goes.  To be able to win here would make everything real nice.”


For an on-demand replay of our Trackside Now coverage of qualifying as well as all of Saturday’s action at Stafford Motor Speedway, click here:


-By Rob Blount, Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo Credit:


NWMT Spring Sizzler Qualifying Results

Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT


Driver Time
1 6 Ryan Preece 17.96
2 88 Woody Pitkat 18.047
3 93 Rowan Pennink 18.049
4 8 Donny Lia 18.11
5 51 Justin Bonsignore 18.126
6 13 Ted Christopher 18.133
7 44 Bobby Santos 18.156
8 16 Timmy Solomito 18.159
9 4 Todd Szegedy 18.19
10 22 Keith Rocco 18.224
11 2 Doug Coby 18.23
12 07 Patrick Emerling 18.282
13 3 Troy Talman 18.299
14 63 Tom Rogers Jr. 18.318
15 58 Eric Goodale 18.329
16 31 Steve Masse 18.346
17 9 Chase Dowling 18.348
18 29 Brendon Bock 18.416
19 14 Max Zachem 18.421
20 17 Kyle Ellwood 18.486
21 64 Anthony Nocella 18.508
22 46 Jeff Goodale 18.548
23 18 Ken Heagy 18.55
24 99 Jamie Tomaino 18.594
25 36 Dave Sapienza 18.646
26 79 Spencer Davis 18.676
27 75 Shawn Solomito 18.753
28 19 Brandon Oltra 18.764
29 37 Dave Salzarulo 18.789
30 77 Gary Putnam 18.869
31 26 Gary McDonald 19.265
32 33 Johnny Bush 19.364
33 01 Melissa Fifield 20.43


Preece Sizzles In Qualifying, Claims Pole At Stafford