Pitkat wins tough ACT Invitational at NHMS
The race was called with 18 of 50 scheduled laps completed as daylight waned. Two false restarts attempting to complete lap 19, with Pitkat and runner-up Jimmy Hebert on the front row, sealed the deal.
Multiple accidents and long clean-up and line-up times prolonged the race for nearly two hours.
Pitkat started 19th on the grid, eight spots ahead of Hebert. He passed Mike Ziter and eventual third-place finisher Kyle Welch for the lead on lap six.
Hebert gained 25 spots as the hardest charger of the race. He was also the runner-up in 2016.
The race was red-flagged on lap 12 when Ziter, Ray Christian and others were involved in a hard crash into the inner barrier exiting turn four.
Eddie MacDonald, trying for his third consecutive ACT win at NHMS started 26th and finished seventh.
Positions 4-6 went to Joel Monahan, Aaron Fellows and Josh Masterson. Bucky Demers, Adam Gray and Tom Carey Jr. completed the top ten.
Hebert moved ahead of Pitkat more than once only to have the lap cut short and rendered unofficial by another caution.
“It was a very frustrating race for everyone,” Pitkat said. “I got off the radio with my spotter for a while. I was trying not to hyperventilate. He (Hebert) probably had the fastest car. He rolled through the center of the turns better.”
Pitkat spoke emotionally of the recent loss his longtime competitor and friend, Modified standout Ted Christopher.
“I want to say the right things for Ted,” Pitkat said. “He taught me a lot. What he did in a race car was amazing. Nobody could do it like him in my opinion.”
The ACT Invitational was a non-points race. The final event of ACT’s 2017 schedule is set for Saturday, October 14 at Thompson Motor Speedway’s World Series.
9th Annual ACT Invitational Finish - NHMS - start in (*)1. Woody Pitkat (19) 2. Jimmy Hebert (27) 3. Kyle Welch (8) 4. Joel Monahan (16) 5. Aaron Fellows (17) 6. Josh Masterson (18)