Woody Pitkat To Run Part-Time For Owner Kevin Stuart On Whelen Modified Tour In 2016

Woody Pitkat (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Woody Pitkat (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

The grind of chasing championships in full-time rides on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the Valenti Modified Racing Series and with two weekly SK Modified teams took on a toll on Woody Pitkat in 2015.

After winning his first Valenti Modified Racing Series title and an SK Modified championship at Thompson Speedway, Pitkat was in the hunt for his first Whelen Modified Tour title right down to the division’s finale last October at Thompson Speedway.

The Stafford driver ended up third in the Whelen Modified Tour standings, then unfortunately found out not long after the season that his team owner Buzz Chew, was shutting down on operation with the series.

This year it looks like the grind of chasing points on the Whelen Modified Tour will be put aside to instead solely focus on chasing wins.

RaceDayCT has learned exclusively that Pitkat will compete part-time on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2016 for Lowell, Mass. team owner Kevin Stuart.

“There’s not really a whole lot out there,” Pitkat said. “I had [Buzz Chew] talk to Bob Garbarino a little bit [about the open seat with the Mystic Missile team] but I don’t think he’s sure what he wants to do. I think he wants to race again but he doesn’t want to jump into anything right away. We all know how he pretty much waits until the last minute. I didn’t really want to do that.”

Stuart has been a longtime regular fielding at team on the Valenti Modified Racing Series. Stuart purchased a new Troyer chassis for this season to compete part-time on the Whelen Modified Tour. Stuart said his plans are to run 11 of the 17 Whelen Modified Tour events in 2017. Stuart wants to run the four events each at Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway, the two events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the event at Oswego Speedway.

“I talked to Kevin and heard it was going to be a brand new car and it would be a good piece, with a brand new motor and stuff, with the races that he wanted to do, that’s where I shine,” Pitkat said. “I think it’s a good thing. We won’t be having to run week in and week out. We’ll have the extra time to look over the car a little more when we may miss a race or two, and see how it goes. Maybe if it goes good we could be doing more races.”

Stuart had fielded a car for the last two years on the Valenti Modified Racing Series for Todd Szegedy.

“I asked Todd [Szegedy] right out, who I should put in the seat and he said ‘Woody,’” Stuart said. “I asked him about a couple other guys and he said ‘Get Woody.’”

Stuart had intended to field a car in 2016 for Szegedy part-time on the Valenti Modified Racing Series, but those plans changed when Szegedy decided recently that he would sit out the coming season. Stuart said he is still looking for a driver to fill his seat for the Valenti Modified Racing Series events he plans on running. Pitkat is already committed to a full-time team with that series in defending his series title.

Stuart said even though the plan is to run part-time with the Whelen Modified Tour, anything can happen.

“We said we’ll do those races and see what happens from there,” Stuart said. “We’ll see how it goes. That’s what the intentions are right now.”

Said Pitkat: “You never know what might happen. In the past I’ve gotten into things where we said we were only going to run some races. The Valenti [Modified Racing Series car in 2015], we were only going to pick and choose some races and we won the championship. It was kind of the same that I had started with [Bob Hitchcock and Kelly Iverson] in 2006 with their SK Modified at Thompson [Speedway]. We were only going to run a couple races and we came out the first weekend tied for the point lead and kept going. Could that happen again? I don’t know. The first two races are [Thompson and Stafford] so we could be right up there.”

Pitkat has made 109 Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to the 2007 season. He got his first win in the series in his first season with Buzz Chew Racing in August of 2014 at Stafford Speedway. He followed that up with a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Sept. 2014. He had one victory, 11 top-five’s and 14 top-10’s in 15 events last year on the Whelen Modified Tour.


  1. Great news. Glad he found a quality ride. Now I’m really curious about who the driver will be for the Missile.

  2. congrats woody hope you guys do good and run all the shows

  3. Quality ride?

  4. Quality ride, only time will tell,they were a quality ride on the VMRS ,I think they’ll be a quality ride again with Woody

  5. Andy Boright says

    Stuart needs to do a better job following rules on the NWMT, than he did on the VMRS. NASCAR won’t tolerate the games Stuart played on the VMRS.

  6. Kevin always has the best equipment. Woody should go great.

  7. Very glad to see Woody has a ride.

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