Stafford Notes: Woody Pitkat Back In Front With Late Model Victory

STAFFORD – The reigning champion of the Late Model division came into Friday night’s racing card at Stafford Motor Speedway sitting on his throne at the top of the standings at the track.

Woody Pitkat

But there was something missing for Woody Pitkat after three events this year at the track.

Friday night he filled in that missing piece.

Pitkat held off rookie Cory Casagrande over the closing laps to win the 30-lap Late Model feature.

It was the first victory of the season for Pitkat, of Stafford.

“We’ve been close and tonight was our night,” Pitkat said. “We were a little bit loose there, looser than I’d like to be, but hats off to the crew for working their butts off.”

Casagrande, of Stafford, held on for a career division best second place. Adam Gray of Belchertown, Mass. was third.

On lap 19, Casagrande made a bid to get under then race leader Jay Stuart in turn three. The two made contact, getting Casagrande sideways briefly. Casagrande wrangled the car in but not before Pitkat passed him for second place.

On lap 21 Pitkat went under Stuart for the lead, with Casagrande following him to second.

Casagrande hounded Pitkat’s bumper the rest of the way, but couldn’t find a way back to the lead.

“He did an outstanding job,” Pitkat said. “Hats off to Cory Casagrande because if he would have been able to get by Jay and not get screwed up there he would have been very hard to beat. We were pretty loose there and I knew he was right on my bumper. He ran me clean, he could have gave me the boot, but that’s how he’s going to gain respect here.”

Said Casagrande: “I learned a lot running behind these guys. I’ve got to take that and learn from Woody. You’ve got to expect them to drive down on your fender when you’re on the inside. I didn’t hold my wheel straight enough I guess.”

Chase Dowling of Roxbury scored his second win of the season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature. Glenn Griswold of Vernon was second and Troy Talman of Oxford, Mass. was third.

Austin Bessette of Stafford picked up his first career Limited Late Model victory in the 20-lap feature. D.J. Burnham of East Hartford was second and Josh Wood of Palmer third.

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