Buzz Chew Racing Shutting Down Whelen Mod Tour Team; Woody Pitkat Left Looking For Ride

Woody Pitkat celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Whelen All-Star Shootout in July 2015 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Woody Pitkat celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Whelen All-Star Shootout in July 2015 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Since the close of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season last month, rumors have swirled that the Buzz Chew Racing could be shutting down their operation.

Wednesday those rumors became fact.

Whelen Modified Tour driver Woody Pitkat confirmed to RaceDayCT he was informed Wednesday morning by team owner Buzz Chew that the team will be shutting down its Whelen Modified Tour operation to instead join the ranks of dirt racing organizations.

“Buzz called me this morning and said they’re going a different route so they’re not going to run the [Whelen Modified Tour] next year,” Pitkat said. “I was a little bit surprised. At the end of the day it’s Buzz’s decision and he’s the one spending the money, he’s spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and he wasn’t happy and he wasn’t having fun going to the racetrack. I can understand where he’s coming from. Unfortunately I’m the guy out of the deal.”

Attempts to reach officials from Buzz Chew Racing were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Pitkat joined the Buzz Chew Racing operation prior to the 2014 season. He scored his first career Whelen Modified Tour victory with the team on Aug. 8, 2014 at Stafford Motor Speedway. He scored his second victory for the team on Sept. 20, 2014 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

After finishing ninth in the standings in 2014, Pitkat had his best career season on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2015, finishing third in the standings and being in championship contention for the entire season and into the final event. He had one victory, 11 top-five’s and 14 top-10’s in 15 events in 2015.

“I have nothing but good things to say about them,” Pitkat said. “They gave me the opportunity to get in equipment to run for a championship this past year and gave me a car capable pretty much of winning every race. They got me my first wins on the [Whelen Modified Tour] and I had two of my best seasons that I’ve ever had on the tour. Obviously I can’t thank them enough for that.”

Pitkat had one victory, 11 top-five’s and 14 top-10’s in 15 events in 2015. Overall, in 28 events for the team in two years, he had three victories, 16 top-fives, 21 top-10’s and four poles. Pitkat also won the exhibition Whelen Modified Tour All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2015 for the team.

“The relationship with me and Spot [crew chief Ron Ste-Marie] is pretty much second to none now,” Pitkat said. “He’s like a brother I never had. He called me today and I felt a little bit better after I talked to him because I was pretty mad and pretty disappointed after I talked to Buzz and kind of in shock. It is what it is. It’s this sport. It’s pretty much any sport is like this. You can be with one team one day and somebody else the next. Unfortunately it seems like it happens every two years with me.

“I say when I’m at the track that I never give up and I obviously won’t give up now. I’m just going to have to see if I can find something.”


  1. Another one bites the dust ! So sad to bad . How many is this ? Is there any one left with a ride next year ?

  2. Wade cole and Melissa fifield are still in

  3. Smart move! Dirt pays a hell of a lot more, more competition, You Don’t have to jump thru the nascar hoops, you can race just about any nite of the week, and the grand stands are full ! Look at Syracuse, 76 cars take time! and pays 50 grand to win! Dig up Stafford’s blacktop!

  4. And it’s only November.

  5. Same excuse as the others. Spending too much money. Not having fun anymore.

  6. At this rate the late season tour races next year will be lucky to draw 20 cars. I can see the reason behind the Chew team going dirt racing is valid by just reading the racing paper and seeing all the high paying dirt races nearly every weekend.

  7. Bob Npt, it’s not an excuse. It’s the explanation, and it’s fact.

  8. Wait until after the banquet… more to come, or go.

  9. To bad for Woody, they would have contended again.Anybody who thinks its easy to keep a dirt car running all season should talk to Jimmy Blewitt.

  10. Darealgoodfella, Sorry. I should have said “reason” instead instead of excuse. I KNOW it’s a fact. I’ve been associated with a team that left for the same reasons.

  11. I bet they are not starting a dirt team,but sponsoring an existing team, many guess it’s Sheppard as Woody drove a Sheppard backup at Weedsport this summer


  13. Andy Boright says

    Don’t worry, the car counts have never been higher…”

    Where are all the tour apologists now?

    A series lacking in competition just got a whole lot weaker.

  14. Now I will go to LEE to watch the ACT instead of the Icebreaker

  15. When is the banquet?

  16. This is an absolute shame. One of the oldest touring divisions in the country and the teams keep folding. I don’t believe NASCAR really cares either!

  17. The WMT will be here with or without the 88, 93 and the 22. These teams have to stop crying. They quit because the can’t beat the 2 team. Buzz Chew was on cloud 9 at the beginning of 2014 with Woody, now they can’t win the Championship so they quit 1 year later what a joke of a team. The 88 team didn’t do anything prior to 2014. I wonder how much fun Buzz was having wrecking every week before Woody. Same with Pennink. I guess money can’t buy you a Championship. You still have to race for it. This opens the door for some other teams to get some point money.
    The 22 sealed it’s fate with it’s driver selection. No wonder they didn’t have any fun.
    Here today gone tomorrow race teams. They think they can buy Championships. Can anyone say choke on it. These teams need to take up golf.

  18. Rowen Pennik is no quitter.He is a good driver but like most drivers they need money.Shouldn’t be a big mystery it happens constantly

  19. I know we don’t mention teams that are JOINING the tour next year but they are out there. They don’t get reported because it goes against the negative position here. Once again, car counts were the best in years in 2015. At the moment the tour is down 2 or 3 teams in 2016? That happens every year. Rowan is actively looking for a deal. Andy Jankowiak is joining the WMT on a part time deal. Emerling is a bright young star even if they pull back from a full time schedule. Chase Dowling is another hot shoe. TC will put something together if he chooses to do a tour deal. Ya’ll go enjoy the ACT Tour. I am very much looking forward the 2016 WMT season.

  20. Craig, since you know it all how much money and time do you have involved in owning a race team like the 88, they have field a team for 15yrs in nascar divisions. All year they were scrutinized over ticky tack things with there cars by the mall cop drop outs, maybe the want some more free time instead of being at the track for three days to run an hour race on Sunday at 4 o’clock, or get there at 7 in the morning to race at 9 30 at night, maybe buzz got sick of being lie too from the series director, it’s more to the story than the championship. What are you going to say when you here the 2 won’t be back either,FORE!!

  21. When Waterford speedbowl can pay 2000 for a heat win,and a race team has a chance to take home up to 10 grand, why race in tour at Stanford or Thomson . Love to see Stafford go back to dirt…cost to high for mod tour ,crap money to win .. I’m not saying running dirt is less expensive but having 40 dirt mod compare to 25 tour cars something to think about…I love the mods but racing has been lackluster as of late….

  22. Craig you have no clue ! I am willing to bet that the first call to buzz chew after this announcement was from nascar . When all these teams complain then something is really wrong . The problem is nascar is to late they should have listened to the people that butter their bread years ago . Just look what their don’t care aditude got them a shrinking series with many teams that used to be dedicated going away or going to race elsewhere. Modified have no place with nascar because they don’t conform to what they want. Craig wake up . The tour is not fine it’s a tour with cookie cutter cars just like nascar wants .

  23. Craig you are a moron , get your facts straight before speaking

  24. In 1971 a 100 lap dirt race at Syracuse paid $9000.00 to win, That’s more than the tour pays now! Go figure ! Richie Evans told you this would happen!

  25. speed kills says

    its cost to compete plain and simple.. need to rethink the requirements ,rules and allow more teams to participate and level the playing field . have similar rules for all “touring ” divisions ..guys will run where thay are treated fairly and where there is a reasonable purse (tow money) ..

  26. Buzz Chew racing planing to race a partial Super Dirt Series (which almost always means no Quebec races) and other special events with Mike Mahaney as driver. Possible Troyer / Billy The Kid combination. No word on any home tracks, but Mahaney did race weekly at I-88, Thunder Mountain, and Utica-Rome last year. All three are outlaw tracks (Non-DIRT), but Utica-Rome, a Nascar track, did get a SDS race last year and probably one in 2016. If they did want to run the whole schedule for points, they would need to choice a weekly DIRT track to get the Home Track Bonus.

  27. The normal purse for a Super Dirt Series race is about $35,000 with the winner getting $6000 and 20th to last getting around $300-400. Team/Driver can become a Platinum “team” if they sign a contract with DIRTcar to run all the SDS races and have a Dirtcar home track. Teams get a guaranteed tow money amount, free pit passes and premium parking for souvenir trailer, provisionals and points fund money. But miss a race, the team loses all privileges.

    There larger purse races in the fall. But except for Super Dirt Week, the purses are very top heavy to the top 3-5 finishers.

  28. Craig, many teams were trying to “buy” the championship. That would be every team with a huge hauler. The 2 was successful at it.

    Is that what you are trying to say?

  29. Almost every NASCAR Modified Tour event takes to much time from the owners, crew and drivers in comparison to the amount of enjoyment. The two or three days spent at the track for a total of 2 to 4 hours of total car running is what many complain about. Sit around and wait…The Purse for that time doesn’t help either. I think One-day events would bring back ten or 13 teams in one season.

  30. Lets have a show of hands, how many of you have owned or currently own a race team and understand the personal commitment and dollars that are invested, for the return you receive on the investment especially in the modified division? If you don’t fit in the above question then some of you don’t a clue what you are talking about.

    Rick. I agree with the majority of your statement. Travel, fuel, food, lodging expenses never mind the traditional expenses related to the car. The purse stinks. Whether one day events bring back the teams I am not certain as I believe the ones that are gone will not come back any time soon especially when they are liquidating their equipment (check out racing junk).

  31. humphry, it’s not a secret that a team can win all races and barely cover the costs to run a car for a season. This revelation is not limited to owners. This information is not a secret. Total costs to run an event exceed the first place winnings at most if not all tracks except Loudon, usually. Why doesn’t NASCAR post monetary winnings on the standings anymore? Well, it showed that the championship team won maybe $60,000 in placements, and that does not come close to the total cost of running a team for a season. The points fund is not significant either. Ever see NASCAR brag about the Modified Tour points fund???? No owner makes money at this, it is just a matter of losing less.

    Forget addressing the expenses… owners have to pay what is needed to be competitive. NASCAR cost improvements only make it more expensive. It’s the purses that need work. Get sponsors, fans, etc.

  32. So dareal, you did not answer my question in the first paragraph.

    And for the statement you make “owners have to pay what is needed to be competitive”. No they don’t, they find something else to do and that is why the field is getting slimmer. NASCAR is their own worse enemy.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing