Woody Pitkat Gets Second Chance at a Whelen Mod First Impression Pitkat Teaming With Don King for Five WMT Races In Addition to Chasing NASCAR Weekly Championships STAFFORD, CT -- When Woody Pitkat was hired by Hillbilly Racing in the Summer...
Woody Pitkat Gets Second Chance at a Whelen Mod First Impression
Pitkat Teaming With Don King for Five WMT Races In Addition to Chasing NASCAR Weekly Championships
STAFFORD, CT -- When Woody Pitkat was hired by Hillbilly Racing in the Summer of 2007 to drive the #79 car on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Pitkat saw it as his chance to prove that his wins and championships on the NASCAR local racing level were deserving of a shot in a major touring series.
Several strong runs followed in the #79, in addition to the 2007 Connecticut State NASCAR Championship in the Weekly Racing ranks, but still Pitkat was left without a ride on the Whelen Tour for 2008.
Pitkat continued to win on the local level in the first half of the 2008 season while turning wrenches in the shop and at the track for owner Don King's #28 Whelen Tour team with hopes to land a coveted Tour ride. Now, that hard work has landed Pitkat back in the Whelen Modified Tour ranks, as the 29-year-old will pilot King's #28 in five, with a possibility for more, races this season.
For Pitkat, it is a second chance at proving he can get the job done on the tough Whelen Tour.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to drive the #28," said Pitkat, who will split time with veteran Mod pilot Doug Coby in the Don King-owned car for the remaining events on the Tour. "It's a good deal for me. Nowadays, it's hard to find a ride that's free without having to bring anything to the table. I work hard in the shop for Don, so it's cool to be rewarded. He's willing to give me a shot so I really appreciate that."
Pitkat will start his foray in the #28 WMT mount on Thursday, August 14th at Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut. Events at Mansfield Motorsports Park (OH) on August 23rd, Martinsville Speedway (VA) on September 20th, and Chemung Speedrome (NY) on October 4th, as well as the non-Tour open North-South Shootout event at Concord Motorsport Park (NC) on November 8th are the solid dates on Pitkat's schedule, with possible additions for more.
"I'm excited about going back to Mansfield, Ohio because that's where I got my best finish, a third, in the #79 and Don's car won there last year. We should be pretty good there, so I'm excited about that. Thompson next week is a good one because the team always runs well there and I run well there too. Martinsville is a good race just because it's such a big deal to run there. I'd like to go to Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September). There's nothing set in stone there, but if the cars are okay, Don may have no problem going there with two cars."
The Stafford, Connecticut native Pitkat is jumping into a car mid-season for the second year in a row, but this time it will be in familiar surroundings, as Pitkat turns wrenches in the King shop during the week and had been a crew member for previous driver of the #28, James Civali in recent seasons. Pitkat was rewarded for his hard work with a ride in a second King entry at Stafford Motor Speedway earlier this year and a test session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to set the stage for this new opportunity.
"When we do the setups on the #28, Don's the one that's doing it with me. He tells me what to put for shocks and springs and when we scale it, it's me and him doing it together. It's going to be a big benefit knowing the cars I'm driving. They seemed pretty happy when I practiced their car at Loudon for them and gave them some pretty good feedback with how the car was. I'm really excited."
In addition to his Whelen Modified Tour events, Pitkat will continue his chase of two track championships in weekly Modified racing for the remainder of the 2008 season. Pitkat currently sits third in SK Modified points at Stafford, just 84 points behind the leader, and 44 points outside the point lead in the Sunoco Modified standings at Thompson.
For the remainder of the season, Pitkat has his sights set on accomplishing all of his goals on the local and the Whelen Tour levels.
"Even though I'm eighth in points at Thompson, it's only by 44 points, so I think both track championships is still attainable. Obviously it's going to be hard, but I think it can still be done. I really want to get back to being consistent. This year, I haven't really had that consistency I want. It's like I either win or finish 23rd. Even if it's just two seconds in a row, that'd be fine. I want to finish consistently in the top-five and the wins and the championships will come after that.
"In the #28, I just want to qualify good and run as best I can to prove I can run in the Tour. I didn't really qualify all that well in the #79 last year, so I want to improve my qualifying efforts and from there the finishes will come. Obviously, I want to win a race and that would be huge, but I'm thinking realistically and just going to go out there and do the best I can to prove I belong on the Tour by being consistent.
Pitkat will pilot the #99 Hitchcock Pool Water Sunoco Modified at Thompson International Speedway this Thursday, August 7th, and the #52 TSI Harley-Davidson/The Davidson Company SK Modified at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday the 8th before his Whelen Modified Tour return at Thompson August 14th.