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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.

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 2 88 Woody Pitkat Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet 200 47 4 Running
2 9 4 Todd Szegedy Mystic Missile Racing Dodge 200 43 1 Running
3 1 6 Ryan Preece TS Haulers/East West Marine Chevrolet 200 43 2 Running
4 15 58 Eric Goodale GAF Roofing/Supreme Skylights Chevrolet 200 40   Running
5 4 8 Donny Lia Sypher Construction/Bardahl Chevrolet 200 39   Running
6 11 2 Doug Coby Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance Chevrolet 200 38   Running
7 3 93 Rowan Pennink Van Wickle Auto Supply Chevrolet 200 37   Running
8 12 07 Patrick Emerling Buffalo Auto Auction Chevrolet 200 36   Running
9 24 99 Jamie Tomaino Dunleavy’s Repair/Atlantic Sprinkler Chevrolet 200 35   Running
10 18 29 Brendon Bock * Pro-System Brakes Ford 200 34   Running
11 7 44 Bobby Santos Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet 200 33   Running
12 10 22 Keith Rocco Canto Paving/Milton Caterpillar Chevrolet 199 32   Running
13 33 77 Gary Putnam Curb Records Chevrolet 199 31   Running
14 13 3 Troy Talman * Cape Cod Copper/DCU/NAPA Chevrolet 199 30   Running
15 23 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood Chevrolet 199 29   Running
16 8 16 Timmy Solomito Diversified Metals /R.B. Enterprises Chevrolet 199 28   Running
17 27 75 Shawn Solomito Eastport Feeds/Axel Anderson Inc. Chevrolet 199 27   Running
18 25 36 Dave Sapienza * Frankie’s Towing/Wine Country Chevrolet 197 26   Running
19 29 33 Johnny Bush Performance Engines/Kendall Oil Chevrolet 197 25   Running
20 5 51 Justin Bonsignore M3 Technology Chevrolet 197 25 1 Running
21 19 14 Max Zachem * Lu-Mac’s Package Store/Broadbrook Chevrolet 196 23   Running
22 28 19 Brandon Oltra * K&K Racing/Ruby’s Inn Chevrolet 196 22   Running
23 22 46 Jeff Goodale * Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 193 21   Running
24 6 13 Ted Christopher Mr. Rooter/Cape Cod Aggregates Chevrolet 190 20   Running
25 16 31 Steve Masse * El Gee Products Chevrolet 183 19   Steering
26 21 64 Anthony Nocella * Nocella Reclamation/Complete Const. Chevrolet 179 18   Running
27 31 37 Dave Salzarulo Brickenmore Bricks Chevrolet 146 17   Accident
28 30 26 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape/TRC Electric Pontiac 140 16   Accident
29 32 01 Melissa Fifield Big Moose RV Chevrolet 104 15   Handling
30 26 79 Spencer Davis Hillbilly Racing/Coors 21 Means 21 Pontiac 89 14   Running
31 14 63 Tom Rogers, Jr. East End Statuary Chevrolet 79 13   Alternator
32 17 9 Chase Dowling * S&S Asphalt Paving/Dunleavy’s Repair Chevrolet 55 12   Steering
33 20 17 Kyle Ellwood * Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 26 11   Steering

* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

Race Statistics
Fastest Qualifier: Ryan Preece, Time: 17.96 Seconds, Speed: 100.223 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 28 mins, 35 secs
Average Speed: 67.733 mph
Margin of Victory: 2.616 Seconds
Caution Flags: [Beneficiary] Laps 19-22 (Car #19 stalled (Frontstretch [01]); 29-32 (Car #37 spinout (Turn 2) [none]); 34-39 (Cars #3 & 79 accident (Turn 4) [36]); 66-71 (Car #26 spin (Turn 2), #13 accident [36]); 97-102 (Cars #07, 13, 58 spinout (Turn 4) [33]); 111-115 (Car #16 & 46 spinout (Turn 2) [36]); 137-142 (Car #37 spinout (Turn 4) [none]); 144-147 (Car #44 accident (Turn 4) [16]).  8 for 41 laps.
Lap Leaders: Ryan Preece 1-21, Woody Pitkat 22, Justin Bonsignore 23, Woody Pitkat 24-30, Justin Bonsignore 31-68, Ryan Preece 69-98, Woody Pitkat 99, Ryan Preece 100-116, Todd Szegedy 117-138, Ryan Preece 139, Todd Szegedy 140-160, Woody Pitkat 161-200.
Total Laps Led: Ryan Preece 69, Woody Pitkat 49, Todd Szegedy 43, Justin Bonsignore 39.  11 changes involving 4 drivers.
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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