Homer: Woody Pitkat Gets First Career Whelen Modified Tour Victory At Stafford Speedway

Woody Pitkat celebrates his first career Whelen Modified Tour victory Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Woody Pitkat celebrates his first career Whelen Modified Tour victory Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)

STAFFORD – Woody Pitkat has literally grown up on the half-mile oval at Stafford Motor Speedway.

It’s where he started his racing career as a teenager in the entry level DARE Stock division and where he worked his way up through the ranks of weekly racing and onto the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

So it was perfectly fitting that the biggest victory of his racing career came at his hometown track.

Pitkat, of Stafford, left little doubt who had the most dominant car at Stafford Speedway Friday, rolling to his first career Whelen Modified Tour victory in the Call Before You Dig 8-1-1 150.

“This is obviously my dream come true right now,” said the 35-year old Pitkat, who had 69 career victories at Stafford before Friday in the SK Modified, Late Model and DARE Stock divisions. “You can’t get any more special than winning at your hometrack. … To be able to win here, we’ve been trying so hard. We’ve had fast cars everywhere we’ve gone. We just needed a little luck.”

Ron Silk of Norwalk was second and Donny Lia of Jericho, N.Y. third.

“I’m happy to see him win,” Silk said. “For a while I know Woody was doubting if he could do it in this division for whatever reason. I told him when he got the ride in that car this year that I thought he would show himself that he could and I’m glad he did.”

Pitkat was making his 86th career start in the division dating back to 2007. Before Friday Pitkat had nine career top-five finishes, with three second place finishes.

Pitkat ended the 2013 season without a ride in the series when Hill Enterprises decided to discontinue running full-time with the Whelen Modified Tour. He went into the offseason wondering if he would be back with the series. But those doubts vanished when he was named to drive the Buzz Chew Racing ride in November.

And out of the gate Pitkat showed the chemistry was there as he won the pole and finished second in the season opening event at Thompson Speedway in April.

Pitkat started second Friday and went by pole-winner Bobby Santos III for the lead on the first lap. He was leading when all the front-runners went to pit road after a lap 77 caution. He came out of the pits in eighth, but quickly clawed right back to the front.

“I knew there was plenty of time,” Pitkat said. “I just kept my cool.”

He was up to third on lap 95 and went under Doug Coby to second on lap 101. On lap 115 he went by Silk for the lead and then left the field far behind.

“I was just telling myself to take it easy and save the tires in case there was a caution at the end,” Pitkat said. “I figured that would be my luck, there’d be a caution with 10 [laps] to go. I knew I had a good car. A lot of those guys gave me respect. I wanted to try to get out front and set my own pace. I didn’t think it would end like this. I thought it would maybe be a little bit harder. But it’s awesome to get that first win.”

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  1. Congrats to Woody! Is this the first time the 88 team has won a race?

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