Woody Pitkat And Rain Win Valenti Modified Racing Series Event At Lee USA Speedway

(Press Release from Valenti Modified Racing Series)

Woody Pitkat

LEE, NH. – The Valenti Modified Racing Series traveled to Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH, this past weekend for that tracks Oktoberfest weekend. The series has been part of the annual event since 2005. 26-race teams entered the race.

Mother nature was at it again. A cold mist forced a three and a half hour rain delay, schedule changes, shortened races, and more mist, and a fast closing already extended curfew finished off the 2018 Oktoberfest weekend.

The original plan of twin 50-lap races was reduced to 40-laps with three other divisions scheduled also set to compete in agreed upon lower race distances.

Woody Pitkat, of Bellingham, MA, joined with long-time racer-car owner Stan Mertz, started outside front row, and led the field through 5-caution periods to lap-19 when the race was slowed by a three car crash including series point leader Sammy Rameau.

Series officials chose to count laps under caution stopping at lap-30. The heavy mist intensified and the race program was declared over.

Pitkat was credited with the win with Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH, second, Kirk Alexander, Swanzey, NH, Richard Savary, of Canton, MA, fourth, and Brian Robie fifth.

Jacob Perry, Chase Dowling, Jeffrey Gallup, Dylan Izzo, and Tony Ricci rounded out the top ten.

Josh Cantara, of Alfred, ME, Pitkat, and Alexander, were heat winners.

Reigning champion Anthony Nocella was sidelined by engine problems during practice.

Modified Racing Series announced Tuesday evening the 6MA Racing Team has been penalized for actions that took place at Lee USA Speedway, Sunday, Oct 7, 2018. Issued penalties will be listed on the series website

The series wraps up it’s 2018 season this weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, CT.


  1. The management in this series is clueless! Rules are rules, the race was scheduled for 40 laps, and less than half were run. This should not have been counted as an official race, and no points awarded. Nocella and Rameau, really got screwed. Does the series want Pitkat to win the championship? You have a race scheduled for 40 laps, you run 19 laps, and then decide to count the caution laps to make it an official race.

  2. The series has the right to change the rules as necessary. The tracks pay the bills. The track couldn’t afford to reschedule just for 2 races. The track originally agreed to pay a 24 car field but when 26 showed up the track stepped up and agreed to pay the purse for all 26. The series really had an obligation to work with the track as the track was doing all they could to get the race In. All the competitors paid for their fuel and tires. All the competitors were getting paid their purse. The 6ma team could of gone to Thompson and raced for the championship but instead chose to only think of themselves and not the track,the series or their fellow competitors. If the race got cancelled then non of the competitors would have gotten any purse.

  3. Color me out of the loop. Stebbin’s 52 gone. Pitkat out of that and his Thompson Sunoco Modified guy Stan Mertz whips up a VMRS car that apparently can run up from right from their first race.
    The dust up with the points leader and now Pitkat in a new car is racing off for the series championship at Thompson. And Mertz expected to field two cars for the World Series?
    My head is spinning.

  4. Doug.
    Woody told me he’ll be driving a Todd Patnode owned car at Thompson with the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

  5. Sonny said “The series really had an obligation to work with the track as the track was doing all they could to get the race In.” A great theory, but the reality was very VERY far from that! This was my first time at Lee with the new ownership and I understand there can be growing pains. HOWEVER… I expected a racing family to be more fan and touring series friendly with the threat of bad weather. It rained for 2 hours, took 2 hours to dry the track (not bad for the amount of water and equipment) but it rained again after another 75 minutes. There could have easily been one 50 lapper for the Modifieds if the running order was different. I went & paid primarily to see the VMRS and the GSPSS. Instead we finally saw the VMRS heats AFTER the NEMST and a marathon (45 minutes) street stock features!! At the very least, one VMRS race should have been before the GSPSS feature. With rain likely, it should have been GSPSS scuff, VMRS heats, NEMST, VMRS 1,GSPSS, VMRS 2, street stocks, & LLM’s. Time wise, it would have probably rained initially before the 2nd VMRS race. Lee now has an event next week for the Enduro and LLM’s. The street stocks could have run with them if they were rained out. The touring series should have priority with a weather threat!!

  6. Does anybody really know why Sammie’s team had a problem with the officials. Pretty discussing what happened and the officials would not even acknowledge!!!. One of the inspectors should not be there!!!! Discusting. Very discouraging. Car and fan count will drop.

  7. Thanks Shawn.
    Running a Patnode car aye. Patnode under performed at Stafford in the last VMRS race. Thompson isn’t Stafford but it should be really interesting to see if he can be competitive. How amazing is it for Pitkat to patch the season end together with super glue and bailing wire and maybe luck into a championship because of actions he had nothing to do with.
    I don’t know about the rain or calling it a race. If someone has a beef with how it ended or the decision to call it a completed event they obviously have a legitimate beef.
    But the penalty to the 6MA team is not the VMRS’s fault. The 6MA inflicted the controversy on the VMRS and created the mess. You think the VMRS is going to wilt on this ask Tommy Barrett the likelihood they’ll cave on a penalty. Showing resolve in the short run pays dividends in the long run.
    Man up, take responsibility, appeal the fine, whatever. Think about it over the winter and hopefully we’ll see the team back in 2019.

  8. This probably would not have happened if they had used the Oktoberfest format that had been in place for many years previous. That was all the qualifying and some of the features on Saturday, then the rest of the features on Sunday.(with either no practice or a VERY brief practice session Sunday) That way the features are starting several hours earlier on Sunday

  9. Fast Eddie. Here is a fact for you. The mod heats were supposed to be before the street stock race but when the officials were trying to get the mods over the scales so they could line up for their heats the teams were dragging their feet. The track was trying to push the show along as quickly as possible so when it became obvious that the mods weren’t going to be ready the track decided to put the streeters out to give the mods more time. This ultimately changed the complete schedule. The mods teams screwed themselves. Anyone who was on the mod series scanner or the tracks knew this. The track didn’t screw the mod fans, the mod officials didn’t screw the fans, the drivers screwed the fans. More of the race would of gotten in if drivers such as Rameu and Savery drove with a little respect instead of wrecking the other competitors. Two senseless cautions because of those two.

  10. The woody pitkat victory has more to do with starting position than anything else. I believe he started top 3. Only running 19 green flag laps there was no way anyone from the back was going to come through the field especially when they thought they had 40 laps to get to the front.

    VMRS has rules in place and they changed them half way through the race. If I was in attendance or racing with them that is what I would be upset about. I think the fair thing to do would have been to give everyone equal show up points. Split the purse equally and go on to Thompson. A 19 lap race should not determine or factor into the championship. I can see how someone could feel slighted by what happened Sunday. Now that in no way condones fighting with race officials and there should be consequences for any physical altercation. You have to be better than that. Where mistakes made with the schedule, yes. Can you control the weather, no. It was a tough situation, I feel bad for the series, Rameu, the fans, and Lee Speedway, Clearly there were no winners here, aside from Woody Pitkat.

  11. What about the official handing out numbers? That was the main contraversy with Sammy. There was witnesses. Will not mention names, but this is what started the scuffle. You got favorites. Not right

  12. Joe what do you mean handing out numbers? I don’t understand that comment. Can you elaborate..

  13. Fast Eddie says

    Sonny, thank-you for the info. My view is that of a fan in the stands without a scanner. However, the event responsibility still ultimately lies with officials and track management. “Weigh-in is at 0XX:XX. If you’re not in line by then, you don’t race.” Something like that might promote a little more ambition from the teams to get weighed in a timely manner. Management and officials need to be in charge of how the show is run, particularly when there is impending bad weather.

  14. Sonny, you think it is acceptable for a series that claims to only “count the green flag laps” to decide to change the rule in the middle of a race? I think not.

    Steve Masse should show up at Thompson and pay Woody back for a couple years ago at the world series.

  15. JMB, I agree with you on the format that was used for the Octoberfest previously. We ran a mod there for years, practice and qualifying on Saturday and feature on Sunday. It was a fun weekend and we really enjoyed ourselves.

    That is the problem with racing in general and the reason we stopped. I always said, when I am not having fun at what I am doing then I am done doing it.

  16. The conspiracy thickens. Was it anonymous? Giving out numbers… oh boy!

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