Rally Ride: Ronnie Williams Fights Back For Win In CBYD Open Modified 81 At Stafford

Ronnie Williams celebrates victory in the Call Before You Dig Open Modified 81 Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Ronnie Williams hit the track in his Tour Type Modified for practice Friday at Stafford Speedway and the optimism was through the roof for the Tolland driver.

Woody Pitkat tried to player spoiler and ruin that optimism, but it wasn’t meant to be for him.

After losing the lead to Pitkat, Williams fought back and then checked out to win the CBYD Open Modified 81 Friday at Stafford.

It was the third Open Modified win at Stafford for Williams.

“This car was stout all day,” Williams said. “From the second I took it out in the first practice I was like ‘Wow, we’ve got something here.’ It showed in the heat, we won our heat.”

Pitkat, of Stafford, was second and Eric Goodale of Riverhead, N.Y. third.

Williams dominated most of the first 50 laps.

Williams led Goodale in second and Chase Dowling in third when caution flew on  lap 51, sending all the lead lap cars to the pits.

Williams led the parade off of pit road, with Matt Galko coming out second, Chase Dowling third and Woody Pitkat fourth.

On the lap 51 restart it was Galko getting past Williams for the lead with Pitkat moving to second.

On lap 53 Pitkat got under Galko into turn three to take over the lead. Williams quickly followed to get past Galko for second.

On lap 59 Williams found a lane under Pitkat into turn three and came off turn back out in front of the field.

The caution flew again on lap 61 for the spinning car of Jeffrey Gallup. Williams held off Pitkat on the ensuing restart, but the caution flew before the lap could be completed thanks to another wreck.

On the ensuing restart it was Pitkat using the outside lane off of turn two fire past Williams and regain the lead. Behind them it was Teddy Hodgdon III moving to third place.

On lap 65 Williams found the lane under Pitkat through turns one and two and took control of the lead back into turn three. Pitkat crossed over to the bottom coming off of turn four to put himself in the position go back under Williams to the lead in turn one on lap 66.

On lap 67 it was Williams fighting back again to get under Pitkat into turn three and go back to the front. Four laps later Williams had left Pitkat far behind, opening a 10-car length lead.

“I was trying,” Pitkat said. “We were just so loose in the first run. I was trying to not get [crew chief Cam [McDermott] to over adjust. I was trying to give him the best feedback I could. It’s still a brand new car. They did a great job in the pits. … We gained four spots [on pit road]. I was pumped about that. I just drove the wheels off it as hard as I could and tried to keep [Williams] behind me. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep him behind me.”


  1. Jim Higgins says

    It was a good night at the track last night. I was so happy Stafford changed the schedule to accommodate the weather. It’s nice to see that they can run a quick show if they want. Narducci can wheel a car. The guy who can’t even pick out a 1/2 wrench ran a great race even though I was going for 88

  2. Pete Duhamel says

    The guy that can find a 1/2 wrench – he builds them and drives them had a much better night!

  3. So glad Stafford accelerated the program due to weather threats. Good move. Should keep the events quick and slim regardless of the weather.

  4. Brian DaRos says

    Way to go Ronnie ! !

  5. Rafter fan says

    Yes – kudos to Stafford for juggling the schedule because of the weather.

    Does anyone know why the 7ny withdrew?

  6. gary casella says

    fyi Mr. Williams has been well educated on all types of 1/2 inch wrenches

  7. Rafter Fan,
    Had mechanical issues before the event.

  8. Suitcase Jake says

    Ronnie Williams is a GOOD SHOE …. I don’t quite understand why he seems under-appreciated… He can wheel a race car… Maybe because he doesn’t build them like Owen & Rocco… Hey .. Bugsy wasn’t a mechanic either but He was a Great Wheelman… Or maybe because He works a White Collar Job at Empower Financial and people are jealous that He has Big Bucks behind Him …. Like Jeffrey Bodine … They didn’t like Him because Car Owner Armstrong Had Big Bucks Diamond Buisness ..? He can really drive a racecar so give Him credit for that.. Had some nice Wins in the 25 car also .. Some really big Wins …..Ronnie is a top Talent in the North East…True Facts….

  9. Congratulations to Ronnie, Adam, Les and the whole #50 team. Great win. All that hard work is paying off.

  10. Hmm, Ronnie Williams a cross between Bugsy Stevens and Geoff Bodine. Nope, not seeing it but I’ll ponder on if some more.
    Let’s see, what do I like about Woody Pitkat. Just about everything pretty much. He’s a winner in multiple divisions, a worker bee not a honey bee a good start but it’s more then winning. I love his Facebook page where he is never political and very sports minded. GO HURRICARES. Don’t really care about hockey but if Pitkat likes them I’m on board. He supports the Pat’s and Red Sox and that I can definitely get on board with. Woody steps in between Nicole LaRose and her interviewee being playful and I love that. He says right in victory lane he challenged the pit crew to get him some spots, they did and that was pure Woody. He said they are driving the spec engine that is a bit of a disadvantage in opens. Not something to love but good information.
    There’s the beautiful wife and family as well and the dark framed glasses. Maybe that’s going a bit overboard but fans can like anything they like don’t you know.
    A word about Doug Dunleavy the owner of the 88 well into recovery from a hip replacement. Please take it slow. No testing how good the procedure was getting in fights and chasing people like Rocco did with his new equipment.

  11. I’m failing to make the connection between what a person does for work and how they drive a race car. Say what you will about Ronnie, fact is he’s a good driver. Consecutive SK championships at Stafford, a Tri track title, and multiple open mod wins speak to that. As far as him working on the car? Well that’s a very debatable subject, many drivers do just that…drive, they leave the car to others, and as long as they can provide good feedback,bit usually ends well. Case in point, William Byron.

  12. Pollution Pete says

    Suitcase Jake said “Car Owner Armstrong Had Big Bucks Diamond Buisness (sic)”

    Sure was a big bucks diamond business–one that you and I paid for a giant EPA Brownfields Cleanup of… but they sure had fast race cars in the 70s!

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