Stafford Springs, CT — For Stafford native Woody Pitkat, the 41st CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend will be a busy time as Pitkat will perform triple duty, driving in the SK Modified®, Late Model, and Whelen Modified Tour feature events. This year’s Sizzler is the third consecutive Sizzler that Pitkat will have three separate drives during the weekend. Pitkat will pilot the #11Spectro Oils of America Ford in the 200-lap CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, the #89 Hitchcock Pool Water / James Paige Plumbing Chevrolet in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, and the #88 New Haven Truck and Auto Body Chevrolet in the 30-lap Late Model feature.
Pitkat is coming off a 15th place finish in the season opening Whelen Modified Tour event in which he was involved in a multicar incident that relegated him to the 15th place finish, 30 laps down. But overall Pitkat was happy with his car and he is looking forward to racing at Stafford, where Donny Lia finished third in the #11 car that Pitkat will be driving in last year’s CARQUEST Fall Final.
“We struggled a little at Thompson, but we made the best of the weekend that we could,” said Pitkat. “We had a transmission issue on Saturday, so we lost a bit of practice time and then we only had high gear for time trials. We qualified 20th and I was just riding around, trying to get the feel of the car. The car felt pretty good and then we got caught up in that big wreck in turn 1 and we went a couple laps down while I was helping the guys fix the car. After the race was over, we found that we found a motor issue, so all in all it was a good weekend, the team really jelled well together. We feel pretty confident going to Stafford. These guys have a good setup
for Stafford, Donny Lia almost won the Fall Final with this car, and this car used to be a Todd Szegedy car and Lloyd Agor was helping Todd. Between Lloyd’s knowledge of the track and the car, and I know the track pretty well, hopefully we have our motor issue fixed and the guy behind the steering wheel can go out and get it done this weekend. We certainly hope to have a good finish, it seems like Thompson and Stafford are two of my worst tracks with the Tour car.”
Pitkat will also be looking to have strong runs in both the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events. Last season, Pitkat finished second in the points standings in both divisions, and a strong finish at the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler could be a big boost to his team’s chances of going one step further up the podium at the end of the season in the championship race. Pitkat shook both cars down last weekend during the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Dress Rehearsal, and he is ready to try to put both cars into CARQUEST Victory Lane this weekend.
“We’re feeling pretty good,” said Pitkat. “The setup and handling on both cars were pretty good, so I’m looking forward to the races. We only went out twice with the SK, it didn’t seem to get off the corners as good as some of the other guys and we were in the ballpark with the Late Model. But it was only practice, the track was real green, and not everyone was there, so you’re not really sure how where you are. Both cars were good handling wise, we just need to find a bit more speed in each car. We feel pretty good, the competition this year is going to be good and I feel confident that we’re going to have good cars and a good season in both divisions.”
While driving three very different styles of racecars can be a bit of a burden, Pitkat says that over time he has adapted to the change of cars and driving styles during a weekend.
“I remember at first there was a big difference between the cars,” said Pitkat. “I remember the first time I got into the Late Model after being in the SK, it was a heat race and we went into turn 3 and I just plowed into the guy in front of me and spun him out. I realized I wasn’t in the SK anymore and I couldn’t drive it in as deep. It can be a bit tough when you practice the Tour car for an hour and a half and then you get into the SK car and you think you are way down on power. But I feel like I’ve got it down pretty well now, I’ve been doing it a while and I know what I need to do in each car. Stafford really helps out with the scheduling of when the cars go out on track, so a big thanks to them.”
The 2012 CARQUEST TECH-NET Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 27 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. Action continues on Saturday, April 28 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions. Saturday will wrap up with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. The Sizzler continues on Sunday, April 29 with the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.
Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information on the 41st Annual CARQUEST TECH-NET Spring Sizzler®, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR