Doug Dunleavy Still Forming Full Plan For What 2022 Will Bring For New Modified Team

Doug Dunleavy (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

Doug Dunleavy has enjoyed plenty of roles in the local racing scene over the last decade. From fan, to team sponsor, to event sponsor to partial team owner, Dunleavy has worn many hats.

The 2022 season will bring a new role for Dunleavy as a full team owner of a Tour Type Modified racing organization.

On Sept. 28 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team owner Eddie Harvey announced that Dunleavy had taken on full ownership of his team. Dunleavy, who had been a crew member for the team, had also taken on a partial ownership role of the team before the 2020 season.

Just how the new Dunleavy owned organization will fit into the puzzle of local Tour Type Modified racing in 2022 is still not clear for the new team owner.

This much he does know: His team will have Woody Pitkat behind the wheel of his car, his team will support whatever Tour Type Modified events take place at Stafford Speedway and his team will be racing at Whelen Modified Tour events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway.

“My goal is to have a full-time Whelen Modified Tour team for the 2023 season,” Dunleavy told RaceDayCT. “For now, we are just focused on building the team for 2022 really. I’ve got the cars and all, but I want to get the full team put together. I still have to get the truck and the trailer. We’re working on sponsors. We’re working on what races we’re even going to race. It’s all up in the air.”

Dunleavy said any rumors of his team changing drivers are just rumors. He said he is committed to moving forward with the veteran Pitkat as his driver. Pitkat finished seventh in the 2021 Whelen Modified Tour standings with two top-fives and eight top-10’s in 14 events. Pitkat has four career Whelen Modified Tour victories. His last win was in 2019 at Wall (N.J.) Stadium driving for team owner Danny Watts. Pitkat left the Watts owned team after 11 Whelen Modified Tour events in 2019 and ran the final three events of the 2019 season for the Harvey owned team.

“I am not looking for another driver,” Dunleavy said. “I need to get him where he deserves to be. I know, I saw it plain as day this year that we’ve got to get the crew together right. The whole team has got to be on the money. Woody was on the money this year, but we weren’t. And it’s a shame because we had so many opportunities to win.”

Pitkat sits second on the all-time win list at Stafford Speedway with 78 career victories. Dunleavy said a focus of the 2022 season will be growing that number. Stafford hosted four Open Modified events in 2021 and is expected to have as many, or possibly more, in 2022. It’s unclear at this time if the Whelen Modified Tour will return to the schedule at Stafford in 2022.

“We know we want to compete and put wins under Woody’s belt at Stafford,” Dunleavy said. “That is my goal is to get him a few more wins for his career at Stafford. That is important to me, more than even he thinks. If it’s five [races] or six [races at Stafford], whatever it is there, we’ll be doing that.”

Dunleavy said it’s unclear how his new team will fit into Pitkat’s plans with team owner Stan Mertz in competing on the Tri-Track Open Modified Series.

“Stan Mertz is a great guy and I don’t want to cross with that and what those guys are doing over there,” Dunleavy said. “I might team up with him on a few different things. If Stan wants to do something and we team up, I’m willing to do that. But that’s totally up to him.”


  1. Dunleavy is really good for local racing. I wish him and his team well this year. It would be nice to see Woody gracing victory lane a little more frequently. Hopefully they can get it done.

  2. Glad to hear Doug is sticking with Woody , with just a little bit of luck they could be a pretty formidable team where ever they decide to race best of luck and also good luck with the sponsorship search

  3. Great to see that Woody will be Dunleavy’s driver. Hoping to see him in numerous victory lanes. Wish them the best of luck

  4. There’s a lot to unpack here isn’t there?
    You may not want to cross swords with Mertz but you just took the guys driver away for four Stafford races didn’t you? Results were mixed for the 6 finishing 17th,9th,2nd and 24th but there was the win last year in the Twisted Tea Open race.
    Dunleavy looking for sponsors is a roll reversal for sure.. I know he is the race sponsor for Modifiedz Night and was part owner of the 1 but exactly how many cars does his name appear on? Now he has to deal with the giant money sucking machine that any tour modified represents so what’s that mean to all the people he’s helped in the past?
    What does Stan Mertz think of all this or Pitkat for that matter. They have something special over there on the 6. Mertz working out of that little shop but getting help from all kinds of people to make the 6 go. Would he be interested in teaming up and what would that look like?
    When Doug Dunleavy decides to change direction he’s so important to local racing a lot of people can be affected for better or worse I would guess. This is part of the story. One that for all intents and purposes makes it sound like Dunleavy unilaterally made a decision the affects another team and driver commitment.
    Doug Dunleavy and the 1, Mertz and the 6, Woody Pitkat and Twisted Tea. All some of my favorite things. If at some point before next season they all end up in the same boat rowing in the same
    direction the odds of winning races would jump significantly one would think.

  5. Stan could return the 6 to the SK ranks, run for the title and Woody would have the best of both worlds at Stafford..

  6. Fast Eddie says

    Great for woody to still have a wmt ride. My guess is the 1 for wmt and stafford, the 6 for tritrack and mybe mrs. Thompson could go either way.

  7. Great move, just run the open shows, the heck with the tour. Will be less money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I’m guessing they have it pretty much figured out , some crew members were on both teams last year so I’m not sure combining the two is going to help much , like Doug said they have to make some improvements , I’m sure crew was trying there best but a few hiccups cost them in the end . Best of luck

  9. So we have one contributor dividing the teams focus up in a manner that will work for the one driver scenario. Mertz dropping down to the SK’s and the notion that the only thing that is important to a team is team members.
    Meanwhile Woody seems more concerned with how the Carolina Hurricanes are doing and Mertz igloo dining at the Black and White Grille.
    I agree with Gary Casella you have to support the companies that support racing. I’m doing my bit as a regular purchaser of the reduced sugar version of Twisted Tea. Less sweet, more tea taste and a staple at our Patriots game gatherings including at tomorrows upset win over a very good Chargers team.

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