Woody Pitkat Heading West for Toyota All-Star Showdown First-Ever NASCAR Grand National Appearance to Come In Front of Live Television Audience STAFFORD, CT (October 15, 2007) -- The 2007 season has been an unforgettable one for Woody Pitkat.
Woody Pitkat Heading West for Toyota All-Star Showdown
First-Ever NASCAR Grand National Appearance to Come In Front of Live Television Audience
STAFFORD, CT (October 15, 2007) -- The 2007 season has been an unforgettable one for Woody Pitkat. If there was a race somewhere along the Eastern Seaboard, chances are Pitkat was behind the wheel. With nearly 80 starts to date during the 2007 calendar year in everything from weekly Late Model and SK Modifieds to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Pitkat has not just been one of the busiest drivers, but also one of the most successful racers in the country.
But on Saturday, October 20th, Pitkat will be spreading his racing wings beyond the East Coast and venturing out West, when the 28-year-old driver will be making his first-ever appearance in a full-bodied NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series racecar in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California.
Pitkat, the runner-up in the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship standings, will pilot a second Fadden Racing entry as a teammate to two-time NASCAR Busch East Series Champion Mike Olsen in the #6 The Davidson Company Chevrolet in the Showdown that will be presented live on SPEED Saturday night.
"I'm looking forward to going out there," said Pitkat. "I've never been out that far to visit, never mind to go race. It'll be cool to see what's out there and to race in a different division. It'll just be awesome to run those cars at a new track and get the television exposure too.
"I try to get into anything that has four wheels and a steering wheel. Obviously, if I can ever get to the next step in my career, I've got to get the experience in all kinds of different cars and I have to get the exposure like the Showdown has. I know some people that have gotten a lot of good exposure for their career by running well out there on TV, so hopefully I can be the next guy that the announcers mention as a guy to keep an eye on."
A lot of eyes have been on Pitkat throughout the 2007 season. Pitkat was a busy racer, running as many as five races in one weekend at tracks from New Hampshire to North Carolina. But it was one chance meeting at a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Busch East Series combination event in Ohio that led Pitkat to the opportunity to compete in the Toyota All-Star Showdown.
"Back at Mansfield, I talked to Mike Olsen about doing something because at the time I was leading (the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series) National Points. He told me to stay in touch and to tell him if I wanted to do something. I never called him, but last week NASCAR told me that Steve Carlson (2007 Whelen All-American Series Champion) wasn't going and that I could take the guaranteed starting spot that he was supposed to get as the champion, so I'd get the guaranteed spot. I was pretty happy with that.
"I made a bunch of phone calls trying to find something, then I got back in touch with Mike and he said he'd still want to do something, but I needed to let him know pretty quick because there'd only be a week to get it ready. I called NASCAR back and told them I got a ride and I figured out everything I'd need for tire sponsors and stuff. Then the guy called back and told me I didn't have a starting spot anymore because the starting spot didn't actually transfer to me and it was their mistake.
"I called Mike back and told him I didn't have a guaranteed spot anymore and he said he didn't care. He thought I should be fine to make it in the show and run good. That's good to know that he thinks I can get the job done in his car."
With top-10 finishes in nearly three-quarters of his 79 starts to date this season, Pitkat has proven that he can wheel any kind of racecar at any track. Even though he's never been to Irwindale before, he is prepared for the challenge that awaits him in the Golden State.
"I don't think I'd be going out there if I didn't think I could run well. Obviously if I had a guaranteed spot, that's one thing, but you can't look at it that way and rely on that. I've got the confidence that I can get in the show without needing the guaranteed spot anyways. I know Mike's got the setup for that track because he won the race there a few years ago before getting penalized. He's won two championships, so I'm not worried about the car. It'll come down to me, the driver, but I think I'll be alright because of the Late Model experience I've got and the experience of testing one of those cars at Thompson a while back."
Qualifying events for the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway take place Friday, October 19th, with the 250-lap main event scheduled for a green flag live on SPEED at 7:30pm PT, 10:30pm ET on Saturday the 20th.