Woody Pitkat To Replace Michael Bennett In Late Model Special Event Friday At Stafford

Woody Pitkat (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Woody Pitkat (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

In the weeks leading up to the 50-lap Xtra Mart sponsored Late Model feature originally scheduled for May 13 at Stafford Motor Speedway, Woody Pitkat went looking for a ride.

His search proved fruitless, but the race ended up getting rained out.

Now, the unfortunate penalty for another driver has helped Pitkat, of Stafford, land a ride for the event, which will be made up on Friday at Stafford Speedway.

Because of some issues at the track last Friday, Michael Bennett was handed a two-week suspension from competition. Despite not running full-time in the division this year, Bennett, the 2015 Late Model champion at the track, had intended on running the 50-lap event, which he won last year.

But his car will hit the track for Friday’s 50-lap Late Model event with Pitkat behind the wheel instead.

“Without me having a chance to be behind the wheel – Woody had called with some interest to drive the car – and we decided to give our sponsors the best chance to get back in victory lane in the 50-lapper and defend our team win from last year that we would put Woody in the car,” Bennett said. “Who else is better than Woody? We’ve grown up together, I’ve worked on his racecars, he’s raced this racecar. He built in back in 2003. It’s his old racecar. I’m sure it shouldn’t take that long for him to get acclimated back to the Late Model division at Stafford and he’s got 50 laps to get the job done so I’m not really too concerned about that.”

Pitkat is a 2006 and 2012 Late Model champion at the track. His 39 victories in the division is second at Stafford only to the 45 wins of the division’s all-time winningest driver, Ryan Posocco.

“With the extra laps and extra money it was something I wanted to do,” said Pitkat, who runs full-time in the SK Modified division at Stafford for team owner Adam Skowyra. “I still wish I could run Late Models because I’m down there every week and it’s something that I like to do. Obviously it’s a tough situation for Michael but it’s a good opportunity for me. I feel like it’s probably – looking at last year and the beginning of this year – it’s probably the best car down there and the best team. They have good sponsors and stuff for the Late Model division. To be able to get an opportunity to run what is basically the best car in the Late Models is a huge honor to me.”

Bennett, of Stafford, was suspended by the track after his team was involved in a fight on the infield during last Friday’s 30-lap Late Model feature at Stafford. He was also penalized for leaving his car on the track after he was involved in an accident with second-year driver Chase Cook.

“I own up to getting out of the racecar,” Bennett said. “The track has said plenty of times not to get out of the racecar until the emergency people are there. I thought the contact that was made from [Cook], the kid is young and he’s going better this year than he was last year, I just wanted to let him know ‘Use your head’. I don’t know what he was thinking. … I own up to that mistake of getting out of the racecar.

“Fighting isn’t what we promote. Whatever happened [in the infield], I can’t speak for, I wasn’t there. But it happened and my guys own up to getting into a physical altercation. Whether it was provoked or not, it is what it is and we’ll take our penalty and just move on.”

“But, with the 50-lapper coming up this week and with Xtra Mart putting up that money and always supporting Stafford Speedway and I’m from here, even though I’m not racing full-time this year, if I was going to that’s where I would want to be. We planned on racing this race for our sponsors and our team and our fans.”


  1. Rob Wallace says

    For all the times I have seen Bennett get underneath people and push them up the track to get by them it amazes me he complains about what happened to him last Friday night. Someone once said ” sometimes you’re the bat and sometimes you’re the ball…. It sucks being the ball.”

  2. Maybe that’s why he’s back in late model’s, can’t drive that way in SK

  3. He was only talking to them
    I hear they are going out for tea and cheese

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