Pittman Runs Race of his Life in Second Gold Cup Prelim By Richard Day CHICO, CA (September 15) -- Daryn Pittman has wanted to win a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series feature race most of his life. The 22-year-old driver from Owasso, OK, did...
Pittman Runs Race of his Life in Second Gold Cup Prelim
By Richard Day
CHICO, CA (September 15) -- Daryn Pittman has wanted to win a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series feature race most of his life. The 22-year-old driver from Owasso, OK, did just that Friday at Silver Dollar Speedway, leading all 25 laps in the Second Preliminary Feature at the 47th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions. "This is what I've been working for and waiting for since I was five years old," Pittman said in victory lane. "It just goes to show that if you want something bad enough and work hard enough for it, it can happen." Pittman survived Jac Haudenschild's relentless challenges for the lead through the first 20 laps, then held off Danny Lasoski for the $5,000 first prize. "I'm not really very good on small, sticky tracks, but we had a pretty good car tonight," Pittman said. "My guys (Danny Foster and Jim Osbourne) have been working really hard, and it just came together for us tonight. After racing with Jac so much this year, I pretty much knew where he was going to be, so I just held my line and tried to stay in front of him." The runner-up in the 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year race has come close to winning Preliminary Features this season. He has driven his #3 Sander Engineering J&J into the top 10 10 times, including a third-place run at Williams Grove Speedway May 18th. Pittman, the ninth-fastest qualifier in the 44-car field, won the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race. He earned the right to start the 25- lap Preliminary Feature on the pole by winning his second CHANNELLOCK Dash of the year. Pittman burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. He was racing away from the field when Lasoski steered the #83 Beef Packers Eagle deep in the second corner to pass NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winners Sammy Swindell and Jimmy Carr for second place. Swindell took the low line into turn four to pass Carr for third. Haudenschild, who started outside the third row, drove the #22 fetchOmatic Maxim into the high groove in turn four to pass Carr for fourth the next time around. Beau Perkins brought out the first caution flag with a second-corner spin several seconds later. "The Wild Child" continued his run toward the front when the race resumed, taking over third place as Swindell's #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth bicycled in turn two. The caution flag flew early in lap four when Ryan Flynn spun in the second corner. Haudenschild passed "The Dude" for second place as the green flag replaced the yellow, only to have Perkins spin again. "The Wild Child" exchanged the runner-up spot with Lasoski three times between the seventh and ninth laps. He passed Pittman for the lead high in turn four late in lap 10, only to have Jim VanLare nullify the move with a second-corner spin. Haudenschild returned to the high groove when the race resumed, and raced wheel-to-wheel with Pittman on the back stretch. "The Wild Child" was still battling for first place late in the 14th lap when VanLare spun again. Another caution flag brought back a Haudenschild pass for the lead two laps later when a mechanical malfunction caused Billy Wallace to stop on the back straightaway. "The Wild Child" passed Pittman high in turn two early in the 20th lap, only to lose the lead several seconds later when he slid over the bank in the fourth corner. Haudenschild was trying to catch Pittman the next time around when he slid over the cushion in turn two, stood the #22 on its rear tires and spun. Stevie Smith and Swindell exchanged third place during the 23rd and 24th laps while Pittman opened a comfortable advantage. "The Dude" was four car-lengths behind when Daryn took the checkered flag. Lasoski's second-place finish gave him the outside front row starting position in Saturday's championship feature. "The Dude" will start next to First Preliminary Feature winner Tim Shaffer. "I'm not sure where we are in points, but I think we'll be in pretty good shape for tomorrow night," Lasoski said. "My hat's off to Daryn, He ran a great race. I knew it was just a matter of time before the 22 car (Haudenschild) slid off the end of the track. You can't run that hard up there the whole race. We'll just come back here tomorrow night and try to get another one for Dennis Roth before we leave his home state." Smith, the 1993 Gold Cup champion, finished just ahead of Swindell in third place. "We had a pretty good car tonight, but tomorrow's a long race and we'll just have to see what happens," Stevie said. "We've run pretty well here in the past, and I'd really like to get my second Gold Cup win tomorrow night." Tim Kaeding finished fifth, ahead of Jim Skinner, 16th-starting Dean Jacobs, Carr, Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Jonathan Allard and Joey Saldana. WoO