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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


Stafford Driver Claims Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler Victory

Woody Pitkat completed a picture perfect homecoming Sunday afternoon.

The 35-year-old Stafford, Connecticut, driver powered to the 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. Preece led four times for a race-high 69 laps, while Pitkat led 49.

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.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Unofficial Results
Sunday At Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Conn.
Lap length:
0.5 miles

  (Start position in parentheses)
  1.   (2) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200 laps, 67.733 mph.
  2.   (9) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Dodge, 200.
  3.   (1) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (15) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  5.   (4) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  6. (11) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
  7.   (3) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (12) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
  9. (24) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 200.
10. (18) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y., Ford, 200.
11.   (7) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 200.
12. (10) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 199.
13. (33) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 199.
14. (13) Troy Talman, Oxford, Mass., Chevrolet, 199.
15. (23) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
16.   (8) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
17. (27) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
18. (25) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 197.
19. (29) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, N.Y., Chevrolet, 197.
20.   (5) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 197.
21. (19) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 196.
22. (28) Brandon Oltra, Alden, Pa., Chevrolet, 196.
23. (22) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 193.
24.   (6) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 190.
25. (16) Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass., Chevrolet, 183, steering.
26. (21) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 179.
27. (31) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, Mass., Chevrolet, 146, accident.
28. (30) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 140, accident.
29. (32) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 104, handling.
30. (26) Spencer Davis, Dawsonville, Ga., Pontiac, 89.
31. (14) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 79, alternator.
32. (17) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 55, steering.
33. (20) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 26, steering.

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.

April 30, 2015 - UPDATE:

No. 88 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Team Penalized For Rules Violations At Stafford Motor Speedway

The No. 88 team that competes in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered during post-race inspection April 26 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

This infraction is a P2 level penalty and violates the following Sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:

12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;

20D-4.1: General Engine Eligibility:

As an option, Teams may compete in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour/Whelen Southern Modified Tour with a NASCAR-approved “Spec Engine”. If used, the “Spec Engine” must be completely assembled using only NASCAR-approved “Spec Engine” components without any modifications.

INFRACTION: Non-approved fasteners were used.

The options for a P2 penalty are outlined in the following sections of the NASCAR rule book:

12-4.2: P2 Penalty Options:

Minor fasteners, nuts, bolts, etc. of the wrong material, but not of a nature rising to higher numbered Penalties.

As a result of this violation, crew chief Ron Ste-Marie has been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.
Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
: April 26, 2015

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