Woody Pitkat Heading For Thompson With Tribute Paint Scheme
The Icebreaker 125 has a $10,000 prize waiting for top Modified talent.
THOMPSON, Conn. – As Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park prepares to roar to life this weekend with the 49th annual Icebreaker on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, the Outlaw Open Modified Series will help headline the show with a $10,000 prize on the line on Saturday evening.
Some of the top names in asphalt Modified racing are preparing to travel to Connecticut to chase the prize, including names like multiple-time track champion Keith Rocco, Eric Goodale, Woody Pitkat and more.
Pitkat, set to compete for Dunleavy Racing in the No. 88, has a brand new tribute paint scheme he will debut at the Icebreaker, in honor of the late Don King. Pitkat is a multiple-time Thompson champion himself and knows the way around the 5⁄8-mile oval well. He’s won championships in both the Late Models and Sunoco Modifieds at the Connecticut speedplant.
“I was in the infield during a race at Stafford working for another team and Don brought me to the middle of the infield when the race was going on and said he wanted to hire me to work on his cars if I was interested years ago and that’s how we got started,” Pitkat said. “Right around that time, I got a call to drive the No. 79 for Hillbilly Racing and I was working on Don’s cars and driving their cars. Don gave me the shot to go out there and prove myself on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He gave me the opportunity to run up front. I had a really good relationship with him, his wife and his family… even when Don retired, we stayed close.”
Pitkat had thought about doing a tribute scheme for Don King previously, but the stars just didn’t line up to pull it off. This year, he has the opportunity.
“I wanted to do something but I didn’t want to do it for just one race,” Pitkat said. “I’m fortunate enough to have a great car owner like Doug Dunleavy and I asked him if we could do it and he gave me the green light with whatever I want to do. Another part of this is my dad used to come down and work on the cars with me when I was working for Don and we would stop, grab lunch…it was special. With both Don and my dad passing in the last few years, it just means a lot to be able to do this.”
As this will be the first outing of the season for Pitkat’s team, he is looking to open the year with a strong run. Last year, the group went to Victory Lane multiple times at Stafford Motor Speedway in their Open Modified division. With fellow driver Cam McDermott crew chiefing the effort, Pitkat and the team sparked success quickly.
“Cam’s been all over the paint scheme,” Pitkat said. “We even put a Coca-Cola bottle on the car because Don loved to drink Coca-Cola. Last year when we raced at Thompson for the World Series, I think we would have won the race if it went green the whole way. For 125 laps, it’s a long race. If you can position yourself in a good spot and set your own pace until the pit stop, you just have to be there at the end. Working with Cam makes my life so much easier. We came out and showcased what we could do last year and we’re looking forward to 2023.”
Fans can also expect names like Modified veteran Chris Pasteryak and rising star Teddy Hodgdon, a former regular in the SK Modified division throughout New England who is moving to the Open Modifieds full-time in 2023.
Icebreaker weekend includes a 75-lap feature for the Pro All Star Series Super Late Models, which helps headline the second day of racing on Saturday, April 8. With the rescheduled weekend due to inclement weather, PASS moving to the second day is the only true adjustment.
Friday’s card (April 7) includes a 50-lap, $1,200 to win Open Street Stock race, along with the Evolve Bank & Trust Mortgage Pro Truck Challenge for 35 laps, the Sunoco Modifieds for 30 laps, Mighty Mini Stocks for 25 and the Thompson Late Models for 30.
Saturday’s card, headlined by the Icebreaker 125 worth $10,000 to win, also includes another Sunoco Modified 30, along with 25-lap events for the SK Lite Modifieds and Limited Sportsman, 20 circuits for the Mini Stocks and the PASS 75.
There will be an optional practice day on Thursday, April 6, with the pits opening at 3 p.m. and practice rolling from 4-8 p.m.
Thursday Practice Day pricing is set at $25 per person. Two-day general admission tickets are available at $60 for adults and $20 for kids ages 6 to 12. Friday-only general admission tickets are available at $25 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 12 and Saturday-only tickets are available at $40 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children five and under are admitted to the main grandstands for free all Icebreaker weekend.
Racing America will also offer a Live Stream Pay-Per-View two-day All Access Pass for $59.99, subscribers will receive a discount code and save on the All Access Pass! If you have not received your discount code, please contact us at [email protected].
Two-day pit passes are available at $75 for adults and $40 for kids 12 and under. Single day pit passes are available for both Friday and Saturday at $50 for adults and $30 for kids ages 12 and under. A three-day pit pass is also available for $100 which includes Thursday’s practice night.
For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact [email protected] or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. Don’t forget to "Like" the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.
For general Thompson Speedway inquiries, call (860) 923-2280, email [email protected], or visit www.thompsonspeedway.com. You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.
-Story by Souza Media
-Photo: Woody Pitkat/Dunleavy Racing