Woody Pitkat Back To Victory Lane In SK Modified At Stafford Speedway

Woody Pitkat (Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Woody Pitkat (Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR)

STAFFORD – The victory lane celebrations have essentially hit the road the last two seasons for Woody Pitkat.

Long a dominator in multiple weekly divisions at Stafford Motor Speedway, Pitkat has instead been sizzling in the touring ranks of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since the start of the 2014 season and also with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in 2015.

But Friday night the Stafford driver brought the party back in a hometown division at the track where his racing career began.

Pitkat held off the charges of the track’s all-time winningest driver, Ted Christopher, to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

It was the first SK Modified victory at Stafford for Pitkat since Sept. 6, 2013. Pitkat, who sits second behind Christopher on the track’s all-time win list, went on to win his first SK Modified division championship in 2013. But Pitkat went winless in the division at Stafford in 2014.

“This is just unbelievable,” Pitkat said. “If we didn’t win a race this year that would have been two years in the making of not winning an SK race and that’s not like me. I’m just so happy and relieved to win.”

It was Pitkat’s 74th victory all-time at Stafford and 27th in an SK Modified. Christopher leads the all-time list with 122 wins, which includes 101 SK Modified victories.

Christopher, of Plainville, was second and Keith Rocco of Wallingford third.

On lap seven Christopher used a pass in the high lane in turn one to go by Michael Gervais Jr. for second and then a diving move low under Eric Berndt to take the lead in turn three.

Ryan Preece went by Christopher for the lead on lap 11. Christopher battled back to regain the top spot on lap 15, only to lose the lead to Preece again on lap 16. But under caution on lap 17, Preece ducked to pit lane and went behind the wall with mechanical issues, handing the lead back to Christopher.

Pitkat went by Berndt for second on lap 19 and then got under Christopher for the lead a lap later off turn four.

“To be able to beat the king [Ted Christopher] like that, we actually had a great car,” Pitkat said. “I’ve been complaining all year. We’ve been battling, battling, battling. We took a month off and that kind of put us behind the eight-ball against everybody.”

It marked the first podium finish in the SK Modified division this season for Christopher.

“Finally,” Christopher joked after the race. “This is the first time I’ve made it to [post-race tech inspection]. I’ve got to find out where it is.”

Division points leader Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. rallied from an early pit stop to finish fourth. Coupled with Preece’s 15th place finish, Pennink saw his points lead over Preece go from 26 to 48 points with three events left this season. Rocco is third in the standings, 72 points behind Pennink.


  1. Sammy Crane says

    Was Ted in his regular Stafford car or did he bring the vastly superior one he drives at Waterford?

  2. Sammy it was neither .

  3. preece lightning says

    You are all in trouble when Preece Debuts his new T/A engine next week. Look for Him in VL next week!

  4. Is the new T/A engine the same as the one in the 59 that broke the crank Friday?

  5. Sammy Crane says

    So did Ted get a new car? Anyone know?

  6. Preece lightning says

    I hope the crank in the new t/a is as light as the 59’s. Only stronger.

  7. in duh know says

    sammy they quit wasting their time with that outdated car and brought the Troyer back out. Also a new east coast race engines motor not a petitt under the hood.

  8. ModFan Homtracks says

    It was a good race Friday night. It would have been more exciting with the 59 and 6 there at the end. Good to see TC running up front. With 3 races left, Pennick should take the now anticlimactic championship but what will make it fun is that Everyone else will be running for wins.
    I know Williams will be back with a new T/A motor Friday night and with his crew chief Stash, he will be tough to beat in the final races. Did Preece really change from Petit to T/A? Why would he do that when the Only T/A motor that is winning is in the 59 Williams car?

  9. preece lightning says

    ModFan Homtracks, How many T/A engines do you think are in quality cars that have a chance to win?

  10. Why have CD chassis been so successful at Stafford in recent years?

  11. ModFan Homtracks says

    “Preece Lightning” – well let’s see, the 22 Gervais car who has a win this year and last year, the 3 car Galko who’s had his best year ever, 4th in points but no wins, the 84 Zip drive who is always fast in practice and wins heats but no wins in the feature. Eric Berndt who’s 5th in points, runs up front but no wins in what, 2 years.
    So all quality cars with good drivers and T/A power but, 2 wins in the last 2 years. Williams has 7 in the last 2 years( 7 wins in 32 features), has that ever been done before? Nevertheless it is unbelievably impressive. That’s 1 win every 4-5 starts on average in his first 2 seasons. The motor is important PL, but having a great set up man like Ronnie has in Stash, a top of the line race program and probably the best driver that has come out of Stafford since Preece, that creates wins. Ryan has Petit, Mike from CD on set up and Ryan is a great driver, so again, why switch motor programs? T/A has lots of quality cars weekly. Williams is the only one winning. Driver and set up wins races.

  12. ModFan Homtracks says

    I don’t know where PL gets his information but let’s fact check.
    1. Preece is not running a T/A motor, this week or any week and,
    2. Not sure what blew in the 59 car but if it was the crank, the way Williams rolls in the corners, it has to be a heavy, probably 50 lbs crank not a light weight one. A light crank would act like a brake when he lifts and he would get no roll. The heavier crank would allow him to roll so from your earlier post, I have no idea what you were inferring or talking about with that light crank comment.
    Just a simple fact check.

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