Picking the winners of big short track races throughout the country is a tradition that our staff at Speed51.com has enjoyed for many years. With the Valenti Modified Racing Series racing on the series’ biggest stage Sunday afternoon at the New England Short Track Showdown, we decided to challenge our staff once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the Valenti Modified Racing Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Woody Pitkat (nine votes) who was named the favorite to win the big race.  Overall, four different drivers received votes from our panel of 16 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the New England Short Track Showdown at New Hampshire Motor Speedway below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com National Correspondent 

Pick: Jon McKennedy

I was going to pick Woody Pitkat to win for the second year in a row, and he very well could. But once I saw that Jon McKennedy had been entered in the Gary Casella No. 25 in place of Rowan Pennink who will be in Virginia, I had to go with the racer who has already been victorious at a couple tricky facilities this season. These two and many other front-runners will put on a show much like the mighty Modifieds always do at NHMS.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Announcer

Pick: Woody Pitkat

Woody Pitkat will win for the second year in a row at Loudon in the Valenti Modifieds.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Jon McKennedy

Jon McKennedy to me is a racer and it would mean the world for him to win at Loudon. That desire and his talent will propel him to victory one.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Woody Pitkat

I really didn’t want to pick the overwhelming favorite here, but despite my best effort I couldn’t convince myself to pick anyone else. Pitkat has the most impressive resume out of anybody in the field at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He simply knows how to run up front and race in the draft at the Magic Mile. That will pay dividends again on Sunday afternoon.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Anthony Nocella

The No. 92 squad has shown no signs of slowing down after winning the VMRS title in 2017. Yes, Loudon was one of their weak points, but mostly due to outside forces. Nocella has also mixed it up on the Magic Mile on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, delivering a top 10 last fall. He is a definite favorite to deliver a top finish on Sunday.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)

Pick: Ron Silk

Silk has seen success at New Hampshire in a Modified with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He will be a frontrunner on Sunday as he looks to go to Victory Lane.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Ron Silk

For the Valenti Modified race, I will pick Ron Silk. Silk probably has the most laps at New Hampshire and could use a big win.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Woody Pitkat

It’s hard to go against Pitkat. He’s got over 2000 laps on the track and some of the names on the list haven’t seen that many laps from the stands there. Go with the crafty veteran I will.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Woody Pitkat

Pitkat knows the fast way around New Hampshire as he has collected Modified wins there in the past before. He should definitely be a contender for the victory.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Editor

Pick: Woody Pitkat

I’m going to go with Woody Pitkat. I’m not a big Modified guy being from the West Coast, but I know that Woody will find a way to get the win at New Hampshire.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Southwest Editor

Pick: Woody Pitkat

Pitkat is another driver who seems to save his best efforts for New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He was victorious twice at NHMS last season and has had a strong start to the Valenti Modified Racing Series season. Look for Pitkat to be a strong contender for his fifth career win at Loudon.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Woody Pitkat

He won at New Hampshire in 2017 and has had good, consistent finishes when racing with the Valenti Modified Racing Series so far this year.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Ron Silk

Silk has had a lot of top five and top 10 finishes over the last few years at NHMS, and he’s had a couple good runs as of late in various Modified series.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor

Pick: Woody Pitkat

Pitkat knows how to get the job done at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in pretty much any race car.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Woody Pitkat

The defending race winner will have another magical weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. When all is said and done, Pitkat will park it in victory lane.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Jon McKennedy

If you’re just going to make a pick purely on talent, without a doubt you have to go with McKennedy.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Speed51.com Staff Picks for Valenti Mods at New Hampshire