Woody Pitkat Awarded SK Modified Victory At Thompson After Keith Rocco Disqualification

THOMPSON – Keith Rocco took the green flag and it was open track in front of him the rest of the way, not a challenger in sight behind the wheel of his SK Modified at Thompson International Speedway Thursday.

Woody Pitkat

“This car is just real easy to drive here,” Rocco said immediately following the race.

But while getting to victory lane in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature might have looked easy for the Wallingford driver, getting through post-race inspection was another story.

Rocco was disqualified from the victory after he failed post-race inspection for motor issues.

The disqualification gave second place finisher Woody Pitkat of Stafford the victory, his first of the season at Thompson.

It moved Ryan Preece of Berlin to second place and Ted Christopher of Plainville to third.

“They’re throwing me out for heat shields that are on the bottom of the intake that there’s no rules about,” Rocco said. “It’s not in the rules. There’s zero rules about not having heat shields on the bottom of the intake.

“I’m going to protest this with NASCAR. There’s nothing in the rules about that. And on top of it that thing has been through tech the last three years like that and they never once said a word about it.”

It was the second time this season that Pitkat was awarded an SK Modified victory at a state track after crossing the finish line second at the end of the race. On May 18 he was awarded a victory at Stafford Motor Speedway after Preece spun Keith Rocco on the final lap in a battle for the win.

“I honestly didn’t think they were going do anything with Rocco,” Pitkat said. “It’s kind of been my year for that. I kind of lucked into a win at Stafford with the SK Modified. I would have probably finished third that night. I’ll take them any way I can get them but it will be nice to one night be able to drive across the start-finish line and get the checkered flag.”

Shawn Thibeault was on the pole for the start of the race with John Catania on the outside, but on the first lap the two crashed together coming off turn four when Catania seemed to get sideways. It meant a full restart of the race and put Rocco at the front.

Preece went from fourth to second on the second try at starting the race again. Preece got one good shot at Rocco before losing second place to Pitkat on lap 16.

“I felt like we were starting to lose power like something was starting to blow up,” Preece said. “The car was awesome in the beginning and then it snugged up a little bit. What are you going to do? It’s still third, it’s still not bad.”

After taking over second, Pitkat was able to cut into some of Rocco’s lead, but never got close enough to make a challenge for the win.

“We were just a little bit too tight,” Pitkat said. “I was catching him. I was obviously driving as hard as I could. We were just a little bit too snug. We were biting off little chunks at a time, but that’s how the racing is here. You have to be pretty much spot on because it goes green-to-checker with the low car counts. We’ve just got to work on the car, we’ll get it better.”

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing