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Hometown Win Perfect For Pitkat; Stafford Driver Claims Whelen Modified Spring Sizzler Victory

04-26-15-ACTWMTSTAFFORD, Conn. — Woody Pitkat completed a picture perfect homecoming Sunday afternoon.

The 35-year-old Stafford, Connecticut, driver powered to victory in the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200, the traditional season-opening event for Stafford Motor Speedway. In the process, the driver of the No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet became the first hometown driver to win the prestigious NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event.

It was Pitkat’s third career tour win. He scored his first career win last year in the August event at Stafford before following it up with a win a month later at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“To have a car that’s that good – and it’s been that good since I’ve been with these guys – it’s just unreal,” Pitkat said. “I never thought at 16 years old racing a DARE Stock that one day I’d come here and win a tour race, especially the Spring Sizzler with how big it is.”

Sunday, Pitkat led the last 40 laps after muscling his way past Todd Szegedy through the bottom of Turn 3. It was the last of 11 lead changes.

Szegedy held onto the runner-up spot, followed by Ryan Preece. Preece won the Coors Light Pole Award in Saturday’s qualifying, just edging Pitkat for the top spot.

Eric Goodale and Donny Lia were fourth and fifth, respectively, in Sunday’s race.

“I would say that Woody just won the race of his life,” said Szegedy. “To win at his home track, to win the Spring Sizzler, that has to be amazing. He’s mastered this track and he’s come a long way.”

Doug Coby, Rowan Pennink, Patrick Emerling, Jamie Tomaino and Sunoco Rookie of the Race Brandon Bock rounded out the top 10.

Pitkat assumed the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points lead for the first time in his career, three points ahead of Coby and seven over Preece. Szegedy and Goodale are both 12 points behind Pitkat.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track Saturday, May 30 with the Mr. Rooter 161 at Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Pos No. Name Sponsor Laps Diff
1 88 Woody Pitkat Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East 200
2 4 Todd Szegedy Mystic Missile Racing 200 2.616
3 6 Ryan Preece TS Haulers/East West Marine 200 3.984
4 58 Eric Goodale GAF Roofing/Supreme Skylights 200 8.059
5 8 Donny Lia Sypher Construction/Bardahl 200 9.529
6 2 Doug Coby Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance 200 12.364
7 93 Rowan Pennink Van Wickle Auto Supply 200 14.292
8 07 Patrick Emerling Buffalo Auto Auction 200 16.091
9 99 Jamie Tomaino Dunleavy Truck Repair/Atlantic Sprinkler 200 17.196
10 29 Brandon Bock* Pro-Systems Brakes 200 17.426
11 44 Bobby Santos Curb Records/Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley 200 18.670
12 22 Keith Rocco Canto Paving/Milton Caterpillar 199 1 Lap
13 77 Gary Putnam Curb Records 199 1 Lap
14 3 Troy Talman* Cape Cod Copper/DCU/NAPA 199 1 Lap
15 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood 199 1 Lap
16 16 Timmy Solomito Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises 199 1 Lap
17 75 Shawn Solomito Eastport Feeds/Axel Anderson Inc. 199 1 Lap
18 36 David Sapienza* Frankie’s Towing/Wine Country 197 3 Laps
19 33 Johnny Bush Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan’s 197 3 Laps
20 51 Justin Bonsignore M3 Technology 197 3 Laps
21 14 Max Zachem* Lu-Mac’s Package Store/Broadbrook 196 4 Laps
22 19 Brandon Oltra* K&K Racing/Ruby’s Inn 196 4 Laps
23 46 Jeff Goodale* Riverhead Building Supply 193 7 Laps
24 13 Ted Christopher Mr. Rooter/Cape Cod Aggregates 190 10 Laps
25 31 Steve Masse* El Gee Products/R.Brien Paving 183 17 Laps
26 64 Anthony Nocella* Nocella Relamation/Complete Const. 179 21 Laps
27 37 Dave Salzarulo Brickenmore Bricks 146 54 Laps
28 26 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscaping Supply/TRC Electric 140 60 Laps
29 01 Melissa Fifield Big Moose RV 104 96 Laps
30 79 Spencer Davis Hillbilly Racing/Coors 21 Means 21 89 111 Laps
31 63 Tom Rogers, Jr. East End Statuary 79 121 Laps
32 9 Chase Dowling* S&S Asphalt Paving/Dunleavy’s Repair 55 145 Laps
33 17 Kyle Ellwood* Riverhead Building Supply 26 174 Laps

Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 28 minutes 35 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.616 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Preece (100.223 mph, 17.96 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 41 laps.
Lead Changes: 11 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-21; W. Pitkat 22; J. Bonsignore 23; W. Pitkat 24-30; J. Bonsignore 31-68; R. Preece 69-98; W. Pitkat 99; R. Preece 100-116; T. Szegedy 117-138; R. Preece 139; T. Szegedy 140-160; W. Pitkat 161-200.
Standings: 1. W. Pitkat, 89; 2. D. Coby, 86; 3. R. Preece, 82; 4. T. Szegedy, 77; 5. E. Goodale, 77; 6. D. Lia, 75; 7. B. Santos, 74; 8. P. Emerling, 69; 9. R. Pennink, 68; 10. T. Solomito, 66.

 

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