Woody Pitkat wins 15th annual Budweiser Modified Nationals

Woody Pitkat wins 15th annual Budweiser Modified Nationals


Waterford, CT (September 3, 2011) - Woody Pitkat led the final 17 laps to take the win at Waterford Speedbowl’s 15th annual Budweiser Modified Nationals Saturday evening.  The event was one of eight features as part of the track’s Thunder on the Sound program, presented by the Connecticut National Guard.  The win, carrying a $5,000 payday, was Pitkat’s first at the Speedbowl and came in just his second career start in the SK Modified® division at the track.  Ted Christopher was second and Diego Monahan finished third.


Pitkat’s run to the checkered flag came on the heels of a wild chain of events in which Pitkat inherited the lead when Todd Ceravolo ran out of fuel following the final caution flag on lap-133. Ceravolo’s fuel problem may have triggered a multi-car accident on a previous attempt to restart the race on lap-133.  The incident drew the red flag for clean up and when the race went back to caution, Ceravolo discovered the fuel issue.



The Budweiser Modified Nationals rolled to the green flag with Joe Perry and Nichole Morgillo pacing the field.  Perry got the jump at the green to lead lap-1.  The action picked up right away as several side-by-side battles ensued as the field sorted out.  Keith Rocco asserted himself early, making his way into the top-five in the first five laps.  He picked off cars one at a time until he got past Perry’s inside and into the race lead on lap-9.  The first caution waved on lap-10 when Gregg Hurley spun in turn three. 


Rocco led the restart but Ceravolo made a power move under Rocco to take the lead in turn three on lap-15.  Christopher followed Ceravolo past Rocco, who had to fight off Rob Janovic Jr. to settle into third position. 


Ceravolo held Christopher back over two restart attempts.  Christopher kept the pressure on Ceravolo throughout while Rocco, Janovic and Glenn Pressel were content holding down their spots in the top-five.  Further back, Pitkat paced himself in the top ten as the race reached lap-50. 


Pitkat continued to pick off positions following a lap-64 restart for a spin by Monahan in turn two.  He rose to fifth place behind the top four, who remained unchanged.  When caution waved on lap-96 for a spin by Joe Gada, Christopher and Rocco each ducked into the pits for fresh right side tires.  Ceravolo showed the way over Janovic, Pitkat, Mark Bakaj and Tom Abele Jr. after the shuffle and flurry of pit activity.    


Pitkat found his way past Janovic into second position on a lap-108 restart after Abele spun out of contention. Ceravolo continued showing the way, however over the next run of green flag racing Rocco was slicing his way back through the pack into contention just outside the top-five.  He pressured Morgillo, who was holding down fifth position, finally pulling outside her on lap-120 before taking the spot on lap-123.  Christopher was moving up fast just behind, pressuring Morgillo for sixth when caution returned on lap-128 as Bakaj was in the infield in turn two.


The restart on lap-131 halted put a damper on Rocco’s march to the front.  He and Christopher came together down the front chute on the restart, sending several cars scattering and keeping the race under caution.  Rocco suffered a flat left rear tire after the contact and returned to the pit area for repair, while Christopher was able to stay out.


Ceravolo was up to the task on every restart attempt, keeping any challengers including Pitkat at bay.  Caution on lap-133 following a hard trip to the frontstretch wall for Wendell Dailey set the stage for the pivotal restart attempt.   Ceravolo appeared to falter on the attempt to restart the race, sending the field behind crashing down the frontstretch.  Several cars made hard contact including Morgillo, Rocco, Kyle James, Randy Churchill and Joe Perry, drawing the red flag.  Ceravolo was pushed to the pits once the race went back under caution.


The turn of events gave the lead to Pitkat, who got the jump on the final restart ahead of Monahan.  The final 17 laps ran through the checkered flag, with Pitkat going unchallenged the rest of the way.  Christopher raced by Monahan but had nothing left to throw Pitkat’s way.  Monahan held back Janovic for third, while Janovic rebounded from a late pit stop to take fourth.  Ceravolo rallied furiously over the final run to finish fifth.


 


NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® Budweiser Modified Nationals (150-laps):  1. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs;  2. Ted Christopher, Plainfield;  3. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill;  4. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford;  5. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry;  6. Jeff Pearl, Salem;  7. Keith Rocco, Wallingford;  8. Joe Perry, Ashaway, RI;  9. Glenn Pressel III, Gales Ferry;  10. Mark Bakaj, Lebanon;  11. Greg Moran Sr., Preston;  12. Chris Correll, New London;  13. Joe Gada, Salem;  14. Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford;  15. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI;  16. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale;  17. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry;  18. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich;  19. Shawn Solomito, Islip, NY;  20. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford;  21. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard;  22. Gregg Hurley, Beverly, MA;  23. Adam Gada, Bozrah;  24. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill


Standings after eighteen events:  1. Rocco, 806;  2. Pearl, 762;  3. Janovic, 741;  4. James, 700;  5. Chadwick, 698; 6. Abele, 654;  7. Pressel, 624;  8. Morgillo, 580;  9. Perry, 548;  10. Mucciacciaro, 426

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