Stafford Springs, CT — After two consecutive seasons of finishing second in the Late Model standings at Stafford Motor Speedway, Woody Pitkat was able to finally climb the top step of the podium at season’s end as he claimed his second career Late Model championship.
The 2012 season began strong with a second place showing in the season opening CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, but a series of 8th and 7th place finishes in three of the first five races left Pitkat 4th in the standings, but only 12 points off the lead. From June 15th to August 3rd, Pitkat and the #88 New Haven Truck and Auto team went on an absolute tear, finishing either first or second in 6 consecutive races, putting Pitkat firmly into the lead of the championship standings.
From June 15th through September 14th, Pitkat’s worst finish was 5th, which gave him a nearly insurmountable 46 point lead over former Stafford Late Model champion Mike Quintiliano. A first lap crash relegated Pitkat to a 20th place finish, his worst of the season, in the CARQUEST Fall Final, but he was still able to clinch the championship by a 36-point margin over Quintiliano thanks to his run of top-5 finishes.
“It feels great,” said Pitkat. “I was thinking we should have had one a couple years ago and then we finished second again last year. We’ve had to go through the ups and downs the last couple years, I could easily be a three or four time champion, but the way things transpired, it wasn’t meant to be. I guess this year, the third time was the charm for us. I’m so proud of all the guys on the team. From where they were when I first started to where they are now, they regrouped and changed and turned into contenders over one winter. They climbed the ladder pretty quick and I’m just so proud of all the guys and thankful to Bill Snow for giving us what we needed to go out there and do the best we could every week.”
The last two seasons Pitkat had finished second behind Ryan Posocco in the Late Model standings. Although Pitkat says that he didn’t want to win the championship without racing against Posocco, he owes Posocco a big thanks after taking his car out for a practice session midway through the season.
“I didn’t want to come here and win with Ryan Posocco not being here racing,” said Pitkat. “I wanted to be here and beat him because he’s the best, but Mike Quintiliano, he took a couple of years off, he came back and he gave us a heck of a run. I have to actually thank Ryan Posocco because the week we were racing up in Loudon, he took the car out for practice and I don’t know if they found something or what, but after that we started clicking off top-3’s every week.”
For the season, Pitkat posted 4 wins, 13 top-5 finishes, and 16 top-10 finishes for an average finish of 4.5 over the 17 race 2012 Late Model season. Pitkat’s numbers were division leaders in all three categories and his performance also helped him to win the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division 2 national championship.
Pitkat will officially be crowned the 2012 Late Model track champion at the 43rd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 16, 2012 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East 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.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR