Scores his 10th victory of the season, his first ever double-digit Outlaw season; closes championship points gap on Schatz
The Pennsylvania Posse gave Daryn Pittman a run for his money Thursday night at Lincoln Speedway - ultimately though the Posse was no match for Pittman as he notched his 10th World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win of the season.
Pittman, who earlier this season swept both nights at Williams Grove after finishing third at Lincoln in his Great Clips car, credited his crew for providing him with the car he needed Thursday night to hold off strong challenges from J.J. Grasso, Alan Krimes and Brian Montieth.
"How about that crew I've got? Hats off to Kale Kahne. Man, he does a great job," Pittman said. "Kolten, Carber - these guys work their tails off every day and just give me a really good car. I'm only as good as the equipment I use and this car is pretty good every night."
20-time champion Steve Kinser led the field to the green flag but it was Pittman who led the first lap. Early on, J.J. Grasso challenged Pittman, before an issue side-lined Grasso for the night. As Kinser fell back in the field, Posse members Krimes and Montieth made their moves.
As cautions plagued the early laps of the race, Krimes, who started in fourth, advanced his way to second by lap seven. Through restart after restart, Krimes challenged Pittman but was not able to get around. Farther back in the field, Montieth, who started in 15th, had moved into the top-ten by lap eight.
As the laps ticked by, Krimes faced a challenge from Joey Saldana, but was able to hold him off. By lap 11, Montieth, who was dominate on the high-side of the track, had moved into the top-five and shortly after, found his way around Saldana. With his sights set on the lead, just a few laps later, Montieth took over the second spot.
"I knew when there was a car going around me on the outside it was more than likely him," Krimes said. "He gets going around the top pretty good around here. I tried to move up a little bit when he got around us and I was alright in three and four up there, but I wasn't very good in the top of one and two."
As Pittman ran the bottom, Montieth, dominate at the top in his Premiere Auto Works car, picked up position after position. Montieth caught Pittman in turns one and two with 18 complete. As Pittman slid to the top onto the backstretch, Montieth moved to the bottom, drag racing Pittman. Montieth took one last shot, sliding out of four, trying to hold the lead.
"Anybody who's raced here very long knows the last car number they want to see behind them with a couple of laps to go is that 21," Pittman said. "I moved to the top in one and two and the top in three and four and thought that's probably where he's at and I thought if I can make a couple of good laps here, I think we'll be OK."
Montieth was able to close the gap a couple of times as Pittman battled lapped traffic, but was never able to find a way around the Outlaws champion.
With the win, Pittman notched his first ever double-digit win season with the World of Outlaws. He is also now the winningest driver of the season, so far.
"This is a big accomplishment for me personally," Pittman said. "I've never gotten to double-digit wins in one year with the Outlaws so I'm pretty proud of that. This is a tough part of the country to come in and win, and this is probably one of the toughest racetracks to come in and win - just a great accomplishment for this team."
Montieth, a native of Phoenixville, Pa., said he has raced with Pittman enough to know not to show him his line around the track until he knew he could get around Pittman.
"He's raced with me," Montieth said. "I didn't really want to show him my nose until I knew I could get by him. If it weren't for the double restarts; I really made a lot of time up on them. We just keep finishing second a lot - we'll see what happens tomorrow night (at Williams Grove)."
Krimes, who finished the night in third in his Midnight Antiques car, said he was pleased to represent the Pennsylvania Posse fans and drivers.
"It always feels good to represent the local guys here," said Krimes, a Denver, Pa. native. "We've got a great group of guys that run here weekly and anytime you add the Outlaws to the mix there are probably 25 to 30 cars that can win on any given night here. To come out of here in the top three - we beat a lot of really good cars."
Pittman's win, combined with a 14th place finish by points leader Donny Schatz helped him continue to close the gap in the race for the Outlaws championship. Schatz's lead is now only 50 points over Pittman. Third place Paul McMahan is 93 points out of the lead.
Earlier in the night, Joey Saldana scored the quick time during time trials. It was his 18th quick time of the season.
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series continues its swing through Pennsylvania stopping next at the historic Williams Grove Speedway Friday and Saturday nights for Summer Nationals. After that, the Outlaws head to Lebanon Valley Speedway and Fulton Speedway in New York.
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series