WOODY PITKAT LOOKING TO ADD ANOTHER EXTRA DISTANCE VICTORY TO HIS RESUME IN COORS LIGHT SK MODIFIED® 100 AT STAFFORD
(Stafford Springs, CT)---When it comes to extra distance feature racing at Stafford Speedway, SK Modified® and Late Model driver Woody Pitkat has enjoyed a fair amount of success. Pitkat has won 100 and 150 lap races in both the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions at Stafford, and he hopes to become the first repeat winner in the SK Modified® division during the 2012 season with another victory in the 39th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100. With a win and a second place finish in the last 3 races at Stafford, Pitkat and his #89 Jimmy Paige Plumbing & Heating team have some momentum on their side.
“The SK is pretty good,” said Pitkat. “We had it running real good a couple weeks ago at the Tour race, and it got wrecked and we had to put a front clip on it and start all over again. Luckily I have a guy like Jimmy Fuller that’s been around racing and knows a little bit. Our plan is to run this just like any other 100 lapper. We’ve had a couple of good runs the last couple weeks, so we’re probably going to start outside the top-10 and my mindset is to get up to around 5th or 7th with the top running cars and be ahead of any wrecks that might happen. I like to be able to pace myself and save the tires and not do anything stupid. I say that, but it seems like the last couple of extra distance races Ryan [Preece] and me have gone right to the front. But that works out too because you can get to the front and start to pace yourself early, which isn’t a bad thing. You like to try to save the car, but if you have a really good piece and if you’re not abusing it too bad, you can drive right to the front and then set your own pace and you only have one place to go and that’s backwards.”
Pitkat credits a trip to Finish Line Racing School way back in 1999 for the success that he has had in extra distance feature events, as well as being behind the wheel of good cars and having a bit of Lady Luck on his side.
“For the most part, it comes down to setting your own pace and just riding and saving the car until the end,” said Pitkat. “I think a lot of that comes from going to Finish Line Racing School in Florida in 1999. They focus on being consistent every lap. Like last Friday, my fastest lap of the race was on lap-40, so that’s a positive that you know your car is fast at the end of the race. Knowing that you can be consistent every lap, hit your marks every lap, and do the same thing every lap obviously makes you go faster. I think setting your own pace and doing things differently than other drivers is the key for the longer races, where in the 40-lappers everyone want to get to the front as quick as they can. You also have to have really good cars and I’ve been very fortunate to have really good cars and really good equipment for those races. I’ve also had a lot of luck in the longer races. One year where we came back from 2 laps down and then one year in the 100 lapper we had a flat and Jimmy [Fuller] made a great call to come in and take 3 tires with 19 laps to go because there was no rule on tire changes then. I never thought in a million years we would have enough time to get back to the front but we got three tires and we were able to win the race.”
Pitkat enters the 39th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100 sitting in fourth place in the SK Modified® standings this season. That is thanks to his team’s never give up attitude, as Pitkat has had issues that have brought him to pit road in three of the five races thusfar. After finishing second in the points standings in four of the last five years, including the last three in a row, Pitkat and his team know what they need to do in order to move that one final step up the podium at season’s end.
“I’ve been in the pits every race except two this year,” said Pitkat. “The first race we broke the heim joint and came back to finish in the top-10, the second race was the night we were racing for the lead with Keith and we spun, and the night of the Tour race we wrecked and we came back out with 3 laps left and we picked up five spots. I’m confident that if we can bring the car home in one piece and be able to work on it, that would be huge for us. It just shows that our team never gives up. We’ve got the motor where it needs to be, we just need to work on the car. When the car is tight, there’s only one way to free the car up and that’s to run low and clip the apron to free the car up. We’re a bit tight and we’re scrubbing speed off, but we’re going to keep battling and working on the car and we’ve got to take the blows as they come if we have a bad night.”
Tickets for the 39th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100 are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $20.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $22.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information on the 39th annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.