New Frontiers: Woody Pitkat Ready For Title Chasing On Whelen Modified Tour

Woody Pitkat celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Getty Images)

Woody Pitkat celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Getty Images)

It was the question for years many around the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour would ask when the topic of Woody Pitkat came up in conversation.

Could he win with the series?

Last year Pitkat answered that question, and definitively so. Pitkat not only got his first career victory in his 86th series start in last August at Stafford Motor Speedway, but he followed it up by winning on the division’s biggest stage, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.

Now comes the new question. Can the driver who has multiple track championships in a variety of divisions chase one down on the Whelen Modified Tour.

“That would be our next step,” Pitkat said. “We’ve proven that we can win and we had a lot of people talking about us in practice last year, so that was always a good thing. So that would be our next step. We just need to be more consistent. That’s our next step. I think we’ll keep getting better as a team and hopefully be there at the end for a title run.”

Pitkat’s made his first season driving for Buzz Chew Racing on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2014 one to remember. In his first event with the team, at least year’s season opening Icebreaker, he won his first career pole and finished second in the race.

And while the team was fast at most tracks, consistency was the issue. With five top-fives’s and seven top-10’s in 13 events, Pitkat ended up ninth in the season standings.

Pitkat and his Buzz Chew Racing team, led by crew chief Ron Ste. Marie, are ready to show they can crack that they’re ready to be included in that championship contenders list when the 2015 season kicks off with the running of the Icebreaker 150 Sunday at Thompson Speedway.

“I’m pretty excited about things,” Pitkat said. “I had the best year that I’ve had on the Tour. I didn’t get the points finish that I would have liked to have had, but to have two wins and two poles and win at one of the biggest tracks on the Tour was obviously huge. I feel like if we could have got through that summer stretch better, I don’t know if we would have been right up there, but I feel like we could have been in the top-five in points. I’m obviously just looking to get a lot more better finishes and contend for some wins and hopefully be in contention for the championship at the end of the year.

“Those guys work so hard, [Ste. Marie] and everybody, and Buzz gives them everything that we need to contend for a championship. There’s nothing that we don’t go without so there’s no reason we shouldn’t be there at the end. So that’s going to be the biggest goal, is to go out there and get rid of the flaws that we had in the summer and contend every week.”

As usual, Pitkat’s schedule will be a busy one even beyond the Whelen Modified Tour.

The Stafford driver has connected with longtime veteran Stan Mertz to drive a Mertz owned SK Modified regularly at Thompson Speedway. He will also be chasing a second SK Modified championship at Stafford Motor Speedway for car owner Adam Skowyra. Pitkat will also compete in Open Tour Type Modified events for car owner Peter Kulessa at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H., Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., Seekonk (Mass.) and at the New London-Waterford Speebdowl.

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