Woody Pitkat Ready To Move On From Goodie Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour Team

Woody Pitkat

If there’s something in racing Woody Pitkat is thankful for right now, it’s NASCAR’s 2017 scheduling for the Whelen Modified Tour.

Pitkat needs a new ride and an extended break between this past Saturday’s Eastern Oil & Propane 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the next event on the schedule, the Stafford 150 on Aug. 4 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Pitkat found out late Tuesday that he was being released by the team after less than a half a season.

Sitting ninth in the Whelen Modified Tour standings after seven events, Pitkat is hoping to find a new ride before the division’s next event.

“I’ve been talking to some people, but as of right now I don’t know what will happen,” Pitkat told RaceDayCT.

Asked for comment on the situation Wednesday, Jeff Goodale declined to speak directly about the decision to release Pitkat. Goodale stepped away from driving duties with the team following last season to focus on overseeing the entry for his family’s Goodie Motorsports stable.

“It’s a tough decision we made,” Goodale said in a message. “We don’t want to draw any attention to it. Just looking forward to continue to race.”

Pitkat said Russell Goodale – the team’s listed owner and Jeff Goodale’s father – contacted him by text message Monday and told him the team was shutting down and selling their equipment.

Pitkat said he contacted Russell Goodale on Tuesday to let him know that he may know someone that would be interested in purchasing some of the team’s equipment. Pitkat said it was late Tuesday when Russell Goodale contacted him and told him that the team was actually going to continue to run, but had decided to change drivers.

Pitkat had two top-10 finishes with the team this year. He was 13th Saturday at NHMS.

“I just want to thank everything that they did for me,” Pitkat said. “I thank Russell and Jeff for the opportunity. Unfortunately it didn’t work out. You see it in NASCAR’s top series’, you see it all the time with ride changes or driver change or crew chief changes because they lack the chemistry and just don’t see eye-to-eye and just don’t work. That’s the biggest thing I see here. We tried and it just didn’t work. It takes a whole team. It’s not one thing, it takes the whole package to make it work and make it be successful. I just appreciate everything they did for me.”

Jeff Goodale referred any further comment on that matter to a status update he posted on Facebook Wednesday saying: “Goodie motorsports has made some sudden changes strictly due to the fact that we just weren’t having fun in the current conditions. Changing personnel and policy’s on a race team is nothing new. We have the utmost respect for everyone past and present who has been apart of this team. My family has learned the hard way how precious time is. We want to experience racing in the most fun way possible. Tough decisions were made. We are looking forward to Stafford as we change our focus, hit the reset button and continue on. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less.”

When asked about who would replace Pitkat Jeff Goodale said in a message: “We don’t have a definite answer yet.”


  1. D. Trickle says

    Ron silk could step in maybe. Interesting situation for sure though.

  2. Ray Skoglund says

    Car has always been a back marker.
    I was kinda surprised Woody took the ride.
    If a driver of his talent couldn’t get it to the front, maybe there is something else going on.

  3. Agreed, if they aren’t having fun this year running top 10 they must have been miserable running 18th last year. The team was making gains. To each their own. They can do as they wish.

  4. Hendree Lecomte says

    I know a driver that can wheel a modified the kid just needs a break. His name is Joey Cipriano. Give him a call a Jennety racing Waterbury,CT.

  5. Dick Trickle says

    Woody can wheel a modified that’s not the issue Joey C. Would probably do worse in the car then Woody did . The people turning the wrenches are the issue in this case .

  6. Too bad the Buzz Chew team shut their doors. That was a solid ride and Woody brought a lot of excitement every week running at the front and mixing it up with Coby, Preece, etc. Hopefully he can find a quality ride and get back to the front.

  7. It will b a kid from Long Island in that car

  8. darealgoodfella says

    The Goodales have never been impressive. All the right parts and never competitive. Yes, I am aware of Eric presently in third place, precedent setting performance for the Goodales. Plenty of time for that to go down the tubes.

    Woody is the scape goat.

  9. Fun???? This ain’t 6 flags

  10. Jeffrey P says

    Ray is right …look at the 44 …winning races a couple years ago..then JUCK ….fire crew chief …still JUNK … now bobby’s dad is crew chief ….winning again …..tino was closing the team down too because of no fun …now the car owner is on the roof of his car in victory lane …. the point here !!!!!!!!!!!!…….. during these years that happened did bobby forget how to drive ? i think NOT ….its called a team because it takes a lot of people on the same page to make it work … cars motors cup haulers mean nothing ..it is ALL about people …but you need the money to do it right at any level that is a fact but were you spend it is more important …..look at dave sap #36 ..50 plus years old no star racer never did grap before now beating the best out there at there came …why? …people a team that is working threw good and bad not blaming each other when crap happens …that is the key ….ask any champion they will tell you the same thing ….

  11. darealgoodfella says

    Steve Lemay was the Crew Chief for the 44 through all those forgettable seasons. Lemay is now the Crew Chief for Max Zachem who is presently in fourth place.

  12. The 44 is different they are only running races at the tracks where they have had succes

  13. Guessing it will be Silk or….wait for it……Jimmy Blewett….in the car at Stafford. But I predict the car will not make a big leap forward. Both have won at the track.

    Woody could probably lease the v4 Mystic Missile but would need to bring $ and a crew. Don’t see that happening.

  14. And the 20 hasn’t won with him either. I see a trend. Good driver but they haven’t gotten over the hump.

    The 44 has won at almost all the major tour tracks. They owned Stafford for a stretch. Part of their race schedule works around Bobby’s USAC schedule too.

  15. Fast Eddie says

    I believe part of the reason for the 44’s limited schedule is they are running races that do not conflict with Bobby Santos’ USAC schedule, where he’s also driving very well.

  16. darealgoodfella says

    The Goodales have been good for car counts, that’s about it. Their talent and expertise is not where it needs to be for blaming drivers. You must have excellent equipment and car expertise before you blame the driver. The Goodales have never demonstrated excellent car expertise. Suspect they found a driver that will pay big $$$$$ for the ride.

  17. LongTimeFan says

    @Darealgoodfella The Goodale teams are two separate operations, entirely different teams with their own support structure. The only commonality is the last name. Eric and the 58 team have improved significantly as he and the team have grown together as evidenced by his consistent runs this year, and last year for that matter. I don’t believe they are far off at all from being a bigger threat to contend and win regularly. Keep in mind Eric and that team do have a couple wins on the tour and southern tour, as well as several events at New Smyrna so certainly more than a field filler as you say. There is plenty of time left in the season, so we’ll see if they can keep it up.

    The 46 team certainly has not performed to expectations. It’s too bad things didn’t work with Woody, everyone knows he can get it done behind the wheel. Maybe the chemistry just wasn’t there as everyone hoped, maybe they couldn’t get the cars to Woodys liking which seems to be the case. Hopefully Woody lands in a better spot for him where he can be successful. I highly doubt the next driver will be one to bring $$$ to the ride, from what I see there’s no lack of funding.

  18. Am I the only one that thinks a text message was pretty lame in this situation? Phone call would’ve been more appropriate. Oh and looks like LM called it…

  19. Rich Gourleu says

    Craig Lutz has been named the new driver per Speed51 article

  20. darealgoodfella says

    LongTimeFan, thanks for clearing that up. Just means both Goodale operations, after all these years, have yet to field a competitive operation.

  21. Bostonian says

    I feel for Woody, and the Team. Woody probably thought they would compete for wins. While the team was hoping for a fun time and just don’t wreck. Bobby Santos III Won the USAC race last night at Lucas Oil Raceway. It was 100 laps on a 5/8’s track, and paid $8000 to win, and $700 for last. What was the winners take for the “All Star Race” or the Tour race last weekend? Plus it was twice the distance. I could see why some owners don’t enjoy running on the tour anymore. From what I understand, the purse money isn’t there. If you don’t finish in the top 10, does the purse money even cover the pit fees?

  22. Dick hurtz says

    Rumor has it that they have a new Troyer in the works not sure when it will be ready !

  23. Bostonian,I have seen this same question about purses a lot on these threads.Someone always has good info on dirt and other series purses,but everyone seems to guess and gossip about the purses for the best modified tour in the world.Shawn,is this info available?

  24. Art,
    NASCAR does not make the purses publicly available through the results any longer. They are available through the individual entry forms for each event.

  25. Bostonian says

    Do you have to be a licensed nascar member to see the entry form? USAC post theirs on the website under Owner Information. Silver Crown events pay is, 1 mile tracks $10,000 to win, $750 for last. Tracks shorter than a mile. $8,000 and $750 for last. If you finish in the top 5 the money is pretty good. This is a series that runs about the same number of events, and the cost of a car / engine etc. I believe is comparable to the Tour Cars, or ISMA Supers. I realize USAC has many divisions and levels that help to cover the purses. But their No NASCAR.

    P.S. Bobby Santos won a 40 lap wing sprint car race at Toledo yesterday, good for $3,000. Even those racing groups post their purses.

  26. Surprised they didn’t call on Shawn Solomito. He parted ways with Wayne Anderson and i believe has ties to the Goodales.

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