Manchester, NH. — Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, Connecticut, was honored Saturday night, November 7, as the Valenti Modified Racing Series Champion for the 2015 season.
The event was held at the Best Western Executive Inn at Manchester, New Hampshire.
Pitkat was joined by car owner Peter Kulessa, crew chief Greg Felton, and the Patterson Farms race team for the special presentations. The VMRS championship was the first for both Pitkat and Kulessa.
In accepting his award Pitkat thanked the Perry family and Valenti (Auto Group) for all their support and sponsoring of the series. Pitkat acknowledged Jack Bateman, the series founder, saying “thank you for your hard work, time, and sacrifice, to give us a great affordable series to race at week in and week out. I admire your dedication.”
Pitkat also stated winning the series title was his first ever series championship and he considered it a special feat. “I may never win another so this one means a lot.”
He complimented VMRS drivers. “Just because I run the tour does not put me above anyone. I am a race driver and so are these guys with this series. I am grateful for the opportunity to run with them and compete here. I look at it as another addition to my resume.”
Kulessa spoke proudly of his first championship. “It’s unbelievable the guys just worked so hard. Last year we made the switch to Woody and had top five finishes. We knew we had a good car and we knew we had a good driver. This year we were supposed to run a limited schedule. When July rolled around we were leading the points so we decided we might as well give it a shot.”
In addition to the champion, the top 14 drivers were also recognized for their accomplishments. Runner-up Chris Pasteryak, Norman Wrenn, Todd Patnode, Todd Szegedy, Donnie Lashua, Mike Willis Jr, David Schneider, Dennis Perry, Jon McKennedy, Rowan Pennink, Dylan Kopec, Russ Hersey, Anthony Nocella, and Kirk Alexander were recognized.
Annual sponsor and officials awards were also part of the presentation.
Sunoco Race Fuels Jacket: Woody Pitkat
Thirty Race Care Wear Fire Suit Recipient: Matt Mead
Magnus Transmissions Rookie of the Year : Dennis Perry
Jack Competition Engines Most Improved: Carl Medeiros Jr
Tough Luck Award: Todd Patnode
Sportsmanship Award: Mike Willis Sr
Mechanic of the Year Award : Greg Felton
Dedication To Racing Award : Matt Mead
Bob Polverari Award : Kirk Alexander
Above and Beyond Award : Laura and Jerry Elliott
Jack Bateman disclosed that 14 races are on the schedule for 2016 and he anticipates two more dates to be added in the near future. The series will make the announcement as soon as those dates are finalized.
-Valenti Modified Racing Series Press Release. Photo credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com