Woody Pitkat To Run SK Modified For Dan Avery At Thompson Speedway, Run Part-Time At Stafford

Woody Pitkat with his daughter Ella at Stafford Speedway last September (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

The SK Modified kingdom of driver/car owner Dan Avery is growing to another car and another track in 2019. 

Avery, a longtime Modified competitor, brought Glen Reen into the fold as his SK Modified division teammate at Stafford Speedway a couple years ago. 

For 2019 Woody Pitkat will join the fun with Avery’s Horsepower Hill team. 

Pitkat said Tuesday the plan as it stands now is for him to attempt to run full-time in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson for Avery in 2019 while also making some starts at Stafford for the team. 

Pitkat filled in for Avery for one event in the SK Modified at Stafford in 2018 when Avery was serving a suspension. Pitkat ended up second that night. 

“We had a good time,” Pitkat said. “And I ended up second. After that that just kind of got the ball rolling. Dan is getting to the point where he knows his years [racing] are limited and eventually he feels like he’s going to sit back and just be a car owner. So I had a lot of fun that day when I did that.

“So I had talked to him over the winter and he said ‘What do you think you could do?’ … Friday’s are hard for me [with family]. So I honestly told him just that [Thompson] schedule works out. A lot of those are weekend race races minus the Wednesday shows when the [Whelen Modified Tour] is there. We just kind of talked. I told him I’d also like to do a couple races at Stafford that work when I’m there with like the Modified Tour or the [Open Modified] events. He said he was cool with that.”

Pitkat, Reen and Avery will all run in the Sunoco Modified division for Thompson’s Icebreaker weekend April 6-7. 

Reen, who had run a Late Model in recent years at Stafford and won that division’s championship in 2017, will focus his efforts solely on the SK Modified at Stafford in 2019. Avery will run a part-time schedule in the SK Modified at Stafford. 

“I think he’s going to do the Spring Sizzler at Stafford and he wants to do the [NAPA SK 5K],” Pitkat said. “He just basically said ‘Let’s go to the Thompson Icebreaker.’ He and Glen are going there. And just see how it goes and go from there. If all goes good and we come out of there in decent shape we’re going to try to get to the next one. I think it works out pretty good because you’re basically doing one race a month. So that gives him the opportunity to run some races at Stafford. With Glen, not running the Late Model this year, pretty much putting all his eggs in a basket to go for the championship at Stafford.” 

In addition to the efforts with Avery, Pitkat will also run this year on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for Danny Watts. He’ll also run Tri-Track Open Modified Series and Bullring Bash events for team owner Stan Mertz and he’ll run in the Late Model division at Thompson for team owner Jeff Hartwell. 

With 77 career victories at Stafford, Pitkat is the second winningest driver in the history of the historic half-mile behind the late Ted Christoper (131 victories). Pitkat is fourth all-time on the track’s SK Modified win list with 30 wins and third on the track’s Late Model all-time win list with 40 victories. 

“I always get people asking me if I’m coming back or they ask my family members,” Pitkat said. “… It’s definitely a place that I miss because of the success that I’ve had there and with it being my home track. … You never know what’s going to happen. Maybe one day I’ll end up back there. But right now traveling with the Tour and doing Tri-Track races with Stan and a couple of those Bullring Bash races, it just gets too much to try to do that all that and try to go to Stafford on Friday nights. I’ve just got a lot going on.” 

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  1. Great news. He would have been missed at Thompson and having him compete occassionally at Stafford will make a great field of SK;s even better. It would be nice to know when he is expected to compete at Stafford so his fans can plan on going.

  2. It was a big deal when he raced Avery’s car to a second place finish. Occasional visits to Stafford is nice but it would have been better seeing him weekly.
    On the other hand his schedule is exhausting just contemplating the different commitments. He has to be viewed as one of the most successful drivers in New England from a versatility and demand standpoint.
    The 99 as well as the 36 are still in the Stafford team listings with no driver. I was hoping Pitkat would be the guy in one of them. He’s not so we wait to see if those cars will race or are they place holders.

  3. Can’t wait to see Woody back on friday nights!
    Also i need to hear some engines at stafford speedway to make it feel like Spring!

  4. Doug I heard the 36 was sold awhile back to someone in NY, if true Ben is just holding #

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