2007 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Season Review: Daryn Pittman After winning seven feature events in 2006 as well as being victorious in Australia prior to the season, Daryn Pittman could not wait for the 2007 season...
2007 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Season Review: Daryn Pittman
After winning seven feature events in 2006 as well as being victorious in Australia prior to the season, Daryn Pittman could not wait for the 2007 season to begin. He earned his first win right out of the chute in the finale of the Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park to open the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season last February.
Pittman wrapped the season up with six A-Feature wins and 52 Top-10 finishes on his way to a fourth-place finish in championship points. He was one of only four drivers that led over 200 laps of feature competition on the season. He also won the Crane Cams Dash five times, as well as picking up the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award a series-best eight times.
He capped the season off by showing his versatility and winning on the largest track on the circuit, the sprawling 5/8-mile Orange County Fair Speedway in New York to earn his 25th career World of Outlaws A-Feature victory.
"It was a steady year," said Pittman, driver of the Titan Garages Maxim. "In many ways I feel like it has been one of my best years. As a team we were solid from the beginning to the end. We had some off nights, but usually we have off months and we didn't have any of those this year. We just need to get the win column up there a little better and work on our qualifying so we have a chance to win more races. All in all we were pleased with the season."
A runner-up finish at Houston Raceway Park in March began a stretch of eight Top-10 finishes for the native of Owasso, Oklahoma, which would help entrench him in the Top-Five in the championship standings. He scored an emotional win on May 5 at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas with a number of family members in attendance, as the World of Outlaws visited the ¼-mile for the first time since 1981. He stayed consistent through the first East Coast swing of the season in May.
Pittman returned to Victory Lane in the Boothill Showdown at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas in the second event of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2 in June.
"Anybody would be hard pressed to say this wasn't the most challenging and competitive season," he noted. "All the car owners are spending more money. There were a lot of very well financed teams out here this year. It's healthy for sprint car racing and has made it pretty tough."
The former World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion credits his crew for their continued dedication and endless work ethic to making it a very successful season. Glenno Inglis, a native of Australia again served as crew chief this year, along with Bingo Jenkins as his lead mechanic. Along with the continued support of car owner Reeve Kruck, a native of Australia, the team was usually one of the cars to beat each and every night.
"Those guys have been together for almost five years," he proudly said of his crew. "It's good knowing that I had the right two guys and we worked toward the same goal. They want to win as bad as I do. That is definitely a big help."
Like every other driver, Pittman had several strong runs cut short by bad luck, including a couple of races that he was leading. With the demanding schedule the World of Outlaws contest, he knows that dwelling on those races would impede the progress of the team.
"Unfortunately that is part of racing," he lamented. "I can think of two races that we had won hands down, Skagit (Speedway) and Kokomo (Speedway) and we had a flat tire and broke a driveshaft at Kokomo leading by a mile. That's racing and there are always 'wouldve's and couldve's.' Eight wins is a realistic goal and we were near that this year and we look to improve on that next season."
One of Pittman's six wins came at Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas, with the ESPN2 cameras rolling for the "SuperClean" Summer of Money. He ran strong in a number of the events that were televised in 2007, including the thrilling season finale at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway where he and Danny Lasoski battled 20-time World of Outlaws Steve Kinser for the win, which was broadcast live on SPEED.
"Any television is good, especially on that big of a network," he said. "It gives us national exposure to fans and sponsors and that is hard to beat."
Pittman also picked up a couple of Top-10 finishes in his first ever racing trip to Canada. He was amazed at how enthused the fans were to see the series, including well over a thousand fans that stayed at the track in the rain to get autographs when the second night of the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton was postponed a day.
"It always helps when we run in front of people that we know want us there," Pittman said. "The people up there got a big thrill and were excited for the event. That was good to get up there and see some fans that had not seen us in a long time."
Pittman has a busy off-season planned, including heading to Australia to climb back into a sprint car in preparation for the 2008 season.
"I'll go over to Australia for about three weeks," he said. "I plan on spending most of the time back home at the shop, regrouping and making our race team better. We have to put in a lot of long hours and good seasons start the week after the last race. A lot of work goes into making sure we are prepared to run a 100 nights a year."