CONCORD, NC -- On Sunday night, the Coca-Cola 600 won't be won until a driver completes 600 miles. The race isn't over until the checkered flag drops, and Daryn Pittman didn't let anyone tell him he didn't deserve last year's Charlotte Outlaw ...
CONCORD, NC -- On Sunday night, the Coca-Cola 600 won't be won until a driver completes 600 miles. The race isn't over until the checkered flag drops, and Daryn Pittman didn't let anyone tell him he didn't deserve last year's Charlotte Outlaw Championship.
"Ever since I started racing as a five year-old, my dad always told me the first one to the checkered flag wins," said Pittman, who led the final three laps to win last year's October WoO feature event. "We worked our way to the front and when (race leader) Tyler (Walker) blew a tire, we were right there to take advantage. Crazy things happen, but it sure felt great to win at The Dirt Track last year."
The victory was the capper to a career season for Pittman, who took home six World of Outlaws "A" feature trophies in 2002. He followed that up by becoming the first American driver to win the Australian World Series Sprintcar title in January. Even though he and the Sherdon Motorsports team have yet to re ach victory lane in 2003, his consistency has him sitting a career-best third in the WoO standings.
"Things have been going really well for us lately," continued Pittman, a 24 year-old driver, who hails from Owasso, OK. "Everybody knows getting that first one is the toughest. The key is our qualifying program with this Mopar motor package is really coming around. The win here last fall was our first using a Mopar and we'd like nothing more than to get our second this weekend."
The consistency Pittman has shown may be a direct reflection of learning patience and how to win a championship during his journey to the land down under. He has nine top five finishes and 20 top ten runs in 28 starts this season driving the #21 Hop & Sack / Mopar / Gaerte J&J. He has qualified first or second in three of the last four races and has finished sixth or better in six of the last seven races.
"You always want to do the best you can in qualifying," said Pittman, "but with the format you are at the mercy of the inversion draw. The last four races it hasn't worked out for us, but I know it will. To win against these guys you have to be within the first couple of rows. The last few races we've started in the third or fourth row and just haven't got to the leaders."
Pittman, who won the World of Outlaws Gumout title in 2001, has always liked the atmosphere of The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"Even though we've only been coming down here for three years, this race has quickly become one of the biggest events of the year," said Pittman. "I really enjoy coming down here to race. The pit area is usually a buzz with all of the NASCAR people walking around and taking a look at our cars. The fans are great too. I can't tell you how awesome it felt standing on the frontstretch after that win."
"The track is really unique and super fast. It can be difficult to pass on, but if you get your car right you can drive to the front. The rain here may cause some problems, but I know everyone here will do their best to give us a good track. Winning here last year won't give us any advantage this year, but we do have some notes on where to start out."
The event at The Dirt Track will be aired live on Sprint Car Net beginning at 8 PM (EST).