For hometown driver Woody Pitkat, the 2013 SK Modified® season at Stafford Motor Speedway was a dream come true. Pitkat was able to outlast Ryan Preece in the chase for the championship in a season that began with Pitkat in a new partnership with Steve Greer and the #27 Gunsmoke Stables team.
“I talked with Steve Greer over the winter and he knew how bad I wanted to win the championship and he told me that he wasn’t sure he could give me a championship caliber car the first year out,” said Pitkat.
At the start of the season, Pitkat got off to somewhat of a slow start while Preece won three of the first five races of the season. Beginning with the fourth race of the year, Pitkat ran off a 6-race streak where he didn’t finish lower than fourth to move himself into championship contention.
Both Pitkat and Preece had several bad nights, but Preece was continuing to win races while Pitkat had yet to find CARQUEST Victory Lane. Through August 23rd, Preece had racked up 8 feature victories to Pitkat’s zero wins and he held a 36-point lead with four races remaining in the season. Pitkat picked up his first win of the season on August 30th and he followed that win up with another victory the very next week. An 18th place finish by Preece combined with a 5th place finish from Pitkat on the final Friday night race put Pitkat into the points lead by 4 points heading into the season ending CARQUEST Fall Final feature event. In that race, Preece finished second but Pitkat finished right behind him in third place to clinch the championship by the scantest of margins, 2 points or one position on the track.
“We’ve been trying so hard and finished second so many times it’s unbelievable,” said Pitkat. “If it wasn’t for Dave Rowe and Davidson Foods, I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now. He gave me an opportunity to be in a car when I really didn’t have a ride and I really wanted to be able to win a championship with him. I know my godfather Ray Armelin was watching over me today, Bob Hitchcock and Kelly Iverson gave me an opportunity to drive, they’re great people, I learned a lot from Jimmy Fuller, and the list goes on and on. Jimmy Paige, he gives me a car to race at Thompson and an engine to race here at Stafford, anything you need he gives it to you. The people who surround me are just amazing. Earl Pelletier, works his butt off on this car night in and night out, Shawn, Brian, Mike, my family, my Father, my Mother, my Grandmother, they all started with me in the DARE Stocks and Late Models. Billy the Kid, he’s been trying so hard to win a championship with me and there aren’t that many Billy engines in the SK division any more. Believe me this engine is stout and reliable week in and week out so if you need a motor go to Billy the Kid. Magnus Transmissions, CD Chassis, the car was rocket, James R. Paige Plumbing and Heating, American Sleeve Bearing, they’ve been with me forever, East Coast Logistics, CT Used Auto Parts, NAPA Tolland, there’s so many people to thank and I’m so grateful to have the people I have backing me.”
For the year, Pitkat posted 2 wins, 12 top-5 finishes, and 14 top-10 finishes for an average finish of 6.1 over the 18 race 2013 SK Modified® season. Pitkat tied with Preece for the division lead in top-5s while leading the division in top-10s.
Pitkat will officially be crowned the 2013 SK Modified® track champion at the 44th Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 22 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.