Pittman dominates I-55 Raceway feature PEVELY, MO (July 13) - Before winning "A" Features at Perris Auto Speedway and Hagerstown Speedway this season, one of Daryn Pittman's fondest Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series memories was his runner-up ...
Pittman dominates I-55 Raceway feature
PEVELY, MO (July 13) - Before winning "A" Features at Perris Auto Speedway and Hagerstown Speedway this season, one of Daryn Pittman's fondest Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series memories was his runner-up run at I-55 Raceway on July 24, 1999.
The defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion improved on that Saturday, driving the #21 Hop & Sac J&J past pole-sitter Blake Feese early in the second lap on his way to winning the "A" Feature at I-55 Raceway.
"We knew it was just a matter of time before the track took rubber again, so we had to be aggressive and get the lead early," said Pittman, whose right rear tire was flat in victory lane. "We tried a 55 (hard compound tire) at Fargo, and it cost us some positions. So I told Joe Gaerte we'd try a 20 tonight, and if it went flat, well, at least we gave it a shot. Joe, Bob (Curtis), and Billy (McTighe) have given me great race cars all year long, and we've had some pretty good finishes lately. I think about what would have happened if we had been able to run all the races, but then maybe if we had we wouldn't be running so good right now. We'd like to think we'd be right up there in the points, but now we just concentrate on winning races. Maybe we'll get a few more before the year's over."
Although a back injury caused Pittman to miss nine events in March and April, his three victories tie him with Mark Kinser for third place on the list of Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main event winners.
Pittman, the sixth-fastest qualifier in the 34-car field, earned the right to start the "A" Feature outside the second row by following Craig Dollansky across the finish line in the Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.
Feese, a 20-year-old driver from Saybrook, IL, burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the 40-lap main event. Pittman raced into second place late in the opening lap, passing Dollansky in the low groove between turns three and four.
Pittman took the lead the next time around, steering Sher-Don Motorsports' #21 J&J to the deepest point in the second corner to pass Feese. Feese was chasing Pittman two laps later when he flipped in turn one.
Jac Haudenschild, a three-time winner at I-55 Raceway, started the race inside the seventh row. "The Wild Child" raced past 12th-starting Danny Lasoski deep in turn four to take over fifth place late in lap five.
Pittman was 1.8 seconds ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic nine laps into the race.
Randy Hannagan, whose only Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature victory came at I-55 on March 24, 2001, drove TH Racing's #1x K&C Drywall Eagle into fifth place the next time around, passing Haudenschild in the inside groove between the third and fourth corners.
Danny Wood and Jan Howard were battling for 15th place midway through the race when they collided in turn four. Howard flipped, bringing out the red flag and tightening the field. Wood restarted at the back of the pack and raced back into 14th place during the final 20 laps.
Pittman controlled the ensuing restart and was 2.08 seconds ahead of Dollansky when he caught the back-markers five laps later. The 2000 Gumout Series champion narrowed the gap to .8 seconds by the 28th lap, however.
Fast-qualifier Brad Furr surrendered third place with 7 2/3 laps remaining when he stopped in turn two with a flat right rear tire. Hannagan (sixth), Stevie Smith (eighth) and Donny Schatz (14th) also lost their positions when they replaced their flat tires during the caution period.
Pittman raced away from the field as the green flag replaced the yellow, and was .9 seconds ahead of Dollansky when he entered lapped traffic with two laps remaining. He claimed the $10,000 first prize with .65 seconds to spare.
"This is great to win with both of my parents here," Pittman said. "My girl friend, Mandy, (Ward) has never seen me win an Outlaw race. I'm not sure she believed me when I told her we won before."
Joey Saldana finished in third place, ahead of Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser, Lasoski, Haudenschild, Tim Shaffer, 24th-starting Mark Kinser, Furr and Hannagan.
Furr paced the qualifying session for the third time this season, circling the high-banked, 1/3-mile oval in 11.122 seconds, an average speed of 107.894 M.P.H.