Woody Pitkat To Replace Ted Christopher In Danny Watts Racing Ride At NHMS

Woody Pitkat (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

For any driver, there’s a pride that comes with seeing their name on the roof of the car they’re racing.

But this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Woody Pitkat is hoping it will be someone else’s name on the Modified he’ll race in Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100.

Pitkat, of Stafford, will replace the late Ted Christopher in the No. 82 Danny Watts Racing entry at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Christopher was killed in a plane crash Saturday in Connecticut. He was flying Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, N.Y. to compete in the No. 82 ride in a Whelen Modified Tour event.

“Obviously it’s a huge honor,” Pitkat said. “I’m already trying to think about like the emotions I’m going to have just getting in the car for the first time. I’m hoping that it will still say “TC” on the roof. But it’s going to be gutwrenching. It’s definitely going to be emotional. But at the end of the day I know Ted was a racer. … I know us grieving, I know up in the sky he would probably be saying ‘What the hell’s your problem?’ He’d want us to race.

“I honestly don’t want to put any extra pressure on myself to feel like I have to go out there and win. I don’t think anybody can fill Ted Christopher’s shoes, but we’re definitely going to try. But if anything I’m going to be going out there driving even harder just to try to get that thing in victory lane and see that name again in victory lane.”

Danny Watts Racing announced Pitkat as their choice for the weekend on through a statement on Facebook Monday.

“Knowing Ted would not have wanted us to quit its with heavy hearts that we have made the decision to race this weekend at NHMS,” read the statement. “No one can replace Ted but we feel the best place for us is at the race track surrounded by our race family. Woody Pitkat will be driving the car. Wanted to say thank you to everyone that has reached out to us over the last couple of days. Also thank you Tom Rogers for everything you did for us on Saturday. We are all hoping to make Ted proud!!”

Pitkat was a fan of Christopher’s long before he was driving a Modified.

“I’ve always looked up to him,” Pitkat said. “I used to chase him around way before I was even racing Modifieds. When I was running Late Models. I [was the jackman] for him for a [Monster Energy Cup Series] race when he ran at [New Hampshire Motor Speedway] for [car owner] Kirk Shelmerdine and he needed help on the crew.”

Pitkat said he used to spend a lot of time flying to events with Christopher and relayed a story of one time when he lost his seat to an anxious Christopher.

They had flown together to Mansfield, Ohio for a Whelen Modified Tour race on Aug. 23, 2007. It was Pitkat’s first season competing with the series. He finished third in the event and had to meet with the press following the finish. Christopher had finished eighth and wanted to get home.

“That was the first time I finished on the podium with the Tour,” Pitkat said. “I was trying to take all that in. I had never had gone where you had to go see the press and all that stuff. To me it was a big deal.

“Ted was like, ‘Come on, we’re gonna fly, we’re outta here.’ I said ‘Ted, they want me to go talk to the media.’ He was like ‘Well I’m outta here, give me your keys, I’m taking your truck home.’ I had my truck where we were landing at home. So I had to hitch a ride home with Doug [Coby]. He had finished second that race. My one and half hour flight home went from that to a six-hour drive home. But that was just the type of person he was. He had that little grin on his face when he saw me and was just laughing. He always had is smart-ass remarks but he was awesome. It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow not having him around.”


  1. Thanks to Danny Watts and Woody for running the car. Ted Christopher woulld be fuming mad if that car sat idle in the shop. I’m bumming bigtime over the loss of TC, but I will be at NHMS cheering on the #82 modified with tears under my sunglasses. Thoughts and prayers to TC’s family and his racing family.

  2. What an honor for Woody. He will drive his tail off and give the #82 car the run it deserves.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing