Double the Races, Double the Wins
Between the high speeds and racing adrenaline, there is little room for mistakes inside the racecar. Lap-by-lap, the driver fights to grip the track, pass cars, and find the perfect balance between tight and loose. All in a days work, right?
But what does it take to run multiple races in a single day? Woody Pitkat will be racing in two of the three events featured in the Saturday tripleheader on September 23. In preparation for double duty, Pitkat was at Wednesday's American Canadian Tour test session and gave some insight on what it will take to drive 150 laps across two series in one day.
Participating in the test session allows teams and drivers the opportunity to determine how the car handles in various conditions which the driver will face during the race. While around 40 drivers are expected to race in the ACT Invitational, only 25 drivers attended the test session. Pitkat knew the experience he gained would be valuable to his racing performance.
"It gives you an advantage," Pitkat said. "For me, not running a late model all the time, just getting used to the car again because we only run it like once a year, which definitely helps. It gives you some confidence if the car is good to come back strong, and if you learn some stuff or if you feel like you have to get better, then you know what to try to do to come back and make it a little bit better".
During the Tripleheader Saturday, Pitkat will run the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 before jumping into his late model for the ACT Invitational. Although the handling of the cars is different, there are still lessons to take away from the first race that can be applied to the second. "Definitely you can learn the line," Pitkat said. "Whenever you can get more seat time, you get more laps on the track, it's definitely more of an advantage".
It's not enough to just show up and race the day of the event. Pitkat knows he has to be both physically and mentally prepared to take on both races. "(I) usually try to get to bed early the night before, get a good night's rest, eat well, don't drink a whole lot the night before," giving an smirk and adding "alcohol, anyways". On the day of the race, a positive mindset is just as important as having a fast car. "Just come prepared with a good head on your shoulders and take care of yourself during the day".
Pulling double duty certainly is not unprecedented at NHMS. Ryan Preece pulled off the feat in July and finished second on both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Eastern Propane and Oil 100 and then the NASCAR XFINITY Series Overton's 200. Pitkat will look to better Preece's results with a trip to victory lane, which he has visited twice in his NHMS racing career.
September's race weekend will host another Tripleheader Saturday featuring the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100, and the ACT Invitational. Tickets for the tripleheader on September 23 are good for the day. Adult tickets start at $35 for advance purchase and $45 at the gate. Children ages 12-and-under get in free.