Whelen Modified Tour Points Battle Remains Heated After Call Before You Dig 150 At Stafford

Doug Coby (left) and Ryan Preece (right) are in the midst of another heated battle for the Whelen Modified Tour championship, with Woody Pitkat also in the mix (Photo:  Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doug Coby (left) and Ryan Preece (right) are in the midst of another heated battle for the Whelen Modified Tour championship, with Woody Pitkat also in the mix (Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NASCAR)

STAFFORD – The battle is the event, but ultimately the war is about points on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

And the war shaping up seems to indicate a feisty three team battle for the championship in the making in 2015.

Ryan Preece snared the points lead away from Woody Pitkat Friday by winning the Call Before You Dig 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway, but he did little more than that in the battle of separation.

Pitkat, Preece and Doug Coby came into the Call Before You Dig 150 1-2-3 in the standings respectively and when the dust settled at Stafford Friday there they were on the podium together.

Pitkat came into the event with a three-point lead over Preece, the 2013 series champion. Coby, the reigning and 2012 champion rolled into Stafford 15 points behind Pitkat.

They exited Stafford with Preece four points ahead of Pitkat and Coby 17 points out of the lead. Preece won the battle for bonus points by leading the most laps. Coby picked up one bonus point for leading a lap. Pitkat got no bonus points.

Preece finished second to Coby in the standings in 2012 and 2014. Coby finished second to Preece in the standings in 2013. Pitkat, though a veteran of the series, has never been a points battle this far into a season.

“This is probably the most intense battle we’ve ever been a part of,” Preece said. “Usually with me and Doug the past three years, we either have our bad race or our good race. Whenever the other had a bad race you usually capitalized on the other one. But man, I won today and I see Doug and I see Woody right there. It’s not easy. You’ve got to consistently top-three, that’s what it’s going to down to. Whoever wins theses races and gets these bonus points. That was huge.”

Coby is hardly surprised by another heated battle at the top of the standings.

“It’s been like that it seems like the past three or four years,” Coby said. “Whoever is in the points deal it seems like they always find a way to get a top-three or a top-five. There’s a reason why our three teams tend to do that and it’s just everybody doing a good job in the pits on the cars. … Everybody is doing what it takes to survive. That’s likely why one of the three of us will win the championship. It’s just one of those things.

“I studied a whole lot of championship seasons before I ended up competing for a championship and you have to learn how to compete for one before you can win one. Ryan and I have obviously won them and Woody has certainly learned how to compete for one, so I would not be surprised if he’s the winner this year. It’s just a lesson to be learned for everybody. You learn who you can race with and who you can’t. Who is going to think ‘These guys are in the points so I can slam them and they’re just going to back off’ and I’m just not going to back off, I don’t care.”

Pitkat said he is doing his best not to think about chasing points. Pitkat is also chasing a championship this season with the Valenti Modified Racing Series, where he is the current points leader.

“I try to not think about it right now,” Pitkat said. “There’s still a lot of racing going on. Obviously Ryan being a champion and Doug being a champion, they’ve been in this position before. We don’t really know. This is the first time I’ve ever ran like this. We try to not think about that. We just try to do the same thing we do every week and just prepare the car really good and try to give them the best feedback that we can to go out there and give it the best that we can.”

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