No Complaints: Woody Pitkat Mistakenly Tries To Give Away Mod Tour Pole At NHMS

Woody Pitkat

Woody Pitkat

LOUDON, N.H. – When NASCAR officials made the decision Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to cancel Whelen Modified Tour qualifying because of weather conditions, it meant a time to celebrate for Woody Pitkat.

Unfortunately for the Stafford driver, nobody made him aware of that fact. Instead of celebrating, Pitkat accidentally tried to lobby NASCAR officials to take the pole position away from him.

An odd set of circumstances Friday put Pitkat on the pole for Saturday’s Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Whelen Modified Tour’s originally scheduled 10 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. practice was scrapped because of rain Friday morning and rescheduled for 1 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. A little after 10 minutes into that practice, action again because of rain and the remainder of the practice was eventually cancelled.

The NASCAR rulebook states that if qualifying is cancelled because of weather conditions that the starting field for the event is set by speeds during the first practice, which put Pitkat on the pole.

Pitkat had a fast lap of 129.459 mph during the about 10 minutes of practice the series got before rain came.

When Pitkat heard that qualifying would be cancelled to allow for another round of practice Friday he was under the impression the field would be set by the order of the point standings. Pitkat, who races part-time on the series for team owner Kevin Stuart, came into the event 21st in the standings.

“I went over to talk to [series director Jimmy Wilson] after the practice,” Pitkat said. “I just asked him, ‘Why are we cancelling time trials? I want time trials if we’re going to go by points.’ He said ‘I don’t have time to talk to you right now, read the rule book’ and he closed the door. … I didn’t know. I went over there thinking I’m starting [in the back]. I want time trials instead of another round of practice. I think he was kind on my side right there. I appreciate that.”

Pitkat got eight laps in during the abbreviated first practice session.

“With only 25 minutes of practice [scheduled] I elected to put our change set of tires for tomorrow right away to just get them scuffed and get them out of the way,” Pitkat said. “With 25 minutes you just don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if that helped us get the [fast lap]. So be it, I’ll take it.”

One of Pitkat’s three career Whelen Modified Tour victories came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the September 2014 F.W. Webb 100.

He said the limited amount of practice works in his favor.

“When we unload here we’re good out of the box,” Pitkat said. “I’ve got to give credit to the guys at the shop for just fine tuning this thing and looking over and making sure the thing was perfect.”

Pitkat’s brother-in-law, Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass., will start second. Santos had a fast lap of 129.164 in the first practice.

“It’s cool that my brother-in-law is starting on the outside pole like that,” Pitkat said. “That’s cool for family and everything to see us on the front row together.”

Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was third fastest at 128.863 mph in the first practice and will start behind Pitkat in third. Doug Coby of Milford, the series points leader and winner of the last two Whelen Modified Tour events at NHMS, was fourth fastest at 128.863 mph. Coby ran eight laps during the first practice while Santos and Pennink each ran 10 laps.

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