Canaan, NH. – Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, CT, is ready for this weekend’s ‘New England Short Track Showdown’ when the Valenti Modified Racing Series competes in a 50-lap shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. The race will be contested this Sunday, June 24, with Saturday set aside for a day of practice. Also on the docket are the Granite State Pro Series, Street Stock Showdown, and North East Mini Stock Tour.
Pitkat, winner of the inaugural race last season, looks forward to the event for good reason.
“Obviously very exited to go back there. I feel I have figured that place out the last handful of years. It’s a place I love going to. It’s our Daytona for the Modifieds with the drafting and passing we do,” said the 2015 VMRS champion and 4-time series winner.”
I’m very exited to be going there with our new Troyer chassis that we changed to a couple of races in. I have some very good notes from up there (Loudon) when I drove for Buzz Chew- won a couple of races and really looking forward to the weekend with that Troyer car. I think we’ll be even better than last year.”
The 2017 race featured 17 lead changes and Pitkat leading the field 9-different times. Can Sunday’s race be as competitive?
“Absolutely now that you have some people that have had an opportunity to race there. Drivers that have had seat time. Now that Jonathan McKennedy is going to be there — the 25-car has been the car to beat all year, they’ll be in contention, Anthony Nocella and Richard (Savary) and the rookies and young drivers have done a phenomenal job this year already.”
Pitkat is quick to point out, in his opinion, the rules package is right where it needs to be for this event.
“ I think Jack (Bateman) has done a good job getting all the engine packages together to create a level playing field, the gear ratio is where everybody needs to be and that’s what creates a lot of passing and a good show.”
Last year Pitkat took it upon himself to help some of the newcomers that had never driven the so-called ‘Magic Mile’. If someone came knocking on the door asking Woody would you help me out?
“Absolutely, I was thinking about that today said the driver of the Mayhew Tools/ Stebbins Racing # 52. Definitely- if anyone wants to ask questions or wants me to go out on the track with them and do some drafting – to see how it is- that is going to give them more confidence and give me as a driver more confidence knowing that I can race with these guys. I don’t want them to go up there and second-guess what they are doing. I have no problem with helping anyone.” Pitkat concluded.”
Reigning Champion Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, has a 21-point lead over former series champion Rowan Pennink (159) with Pitkat (150) currently third in the standings. Mike Willis sits fourth (148) and Sammy Rameau fifth (130).
Pre-race ceremonies are scheduled for 12 noon with qualifying heat races beginning at 12:30 PM