LAKE PERRIS, CA (February 23) -- Like Jeff Shepard, Paul McMahan, Jason Meyers and Brad Furr proved last year, the World of Outlaws Gumout Series teaches drivers how to win. Defending Gumout Series champion Daryn Pittman won the first ...
LAKE PERRIS, CA (February 23) -- Like Jeff Shepard, Paul McMahan, Jason Meyers and Brad Furr proved last year, the World of Outlaws Gumout Series teaches drivers how to win.
Defending Gumout Series champion Daryn Pittman won the first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature of his career Saturday at Perris Auto Speedway. Ironically, inaugural Gumout Series champion Craig Dollansky also won his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series race in Lake Perris.
Despite winning the Gumout Series championship, Pittman was unemployed until Sherdon Racing called recently and asked him to drive the #21 Hop-n-Sac Avenger.
"Three weeks ago, I wasn't sure I was going to be out here at all," Pittman said. "Then we put this deal together with Donnie Woodburn, and our crew has worked really hard just to get things ready to start the year."
Pittman, who earned the right to start on the pole by winning the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash, almost crashed early in the fourth lap but led all 30 laps and held off Steve Kinser by inches for the $10,000 victory.
"All night long I kept telling myself, 'it doesn't matter where you finish, just don't make any mistakes out there,'" Pittman said. "I got behind (Brian) Paulus getting into turn one and got off the gas the same time I hit the cushion, and just about turned the thing over. Once I figured out it wasn't going to turn over, I just got back in the gas. I'm sorry Joey (Saldana) crashed trying to miss me -- you hate to see something like that.
"I know you can never count Steve Kinser out. I think beating him like this is better than winning by 10 car-lengths. When you can finish in front of Steve and Sammy (Swindell), you know you've had a pretty good night. Our car was really good all night long, but when we got into the wall over there we must have bent a radius rod or something on the front suspension. After that, the front end just wanted to roll under the car any time we got near the cushion."
Pittman, the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 27-car field, burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Swindell steered the #83jr Beef Packers Eagle into the low groove in turn four to pass Mark Kinser for third place late in the opening lap. Kinser returned the favor high in the fourth corner two laps later.
Pittman was 10 car-lengths ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" during the sixth lap when the leaders entered traffic. He jumped the cushion and bumped the wall in turn one two laps later, however, allowing three cars to pass him. Saldana also hit the wall and stopped, bringing out the caution flag and giving Pittman the lead again.
Pittman raced away from the field again as the green flag replaced the yellow, opening a six-car-length advantage within seven laps. Swindell passed Mark Kinser for third again with an inside move in turn four late in the 16th lap. Mike Faria's fourth-corner spin brought out caution flag several seconds later.
Steve Kinser raced wheel-to-wheel with Pittman through turns one and two as the race resumed, but was unable to drive his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the lead.
Jac Haudenschild lost fifth place during the 18th lap when engine problems in the #5 Wirtgen Maxim forced him out of the race.
Pittman was three car-lengths ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" when they entered lapped traffic with 9 ½ laps remaining. Jim Carter took them out of traffic when he spun in front of the leaders the next time around.
Furr and Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski exchanged sixth place during the 25th and 26th laps. Donny Schatz, who started outside the sixth row, won a back-straightaway drag race with Mark Kinser to take over fourth place midway through the 27th lap.
Steve Kinser caught Pittman again with less than half a lap remaining. They raced side-by-side through turn four, but Pittman beat him under the checkered flag by inches.
Swindell finished in third place, ahead of Schatz, Mark Kinser, Lasoski, Furr, Dollansky, 14th-starting Stevie Smith and Randy Hannagan.
Lasoski became the first driver to break the 14-second barrier at Perris Auto Speedway, circling the semi-banked, ½-mile oval in 13.875 seconds, an average speed of 129.730 m.p.h.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will sanction the Silver State Shootout at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Thursday through Saturday.