A Win to Remember: Daryn Pittman Looks for Success in Follow Up to Emotional Victory Last Season at Riverside International Speedway West Memphis, AR-- July 4, 2008-- Daryn Pittman is usually one of the most calm, cool and collected drivers...
A Win to Remember: Daryn Pittman Looks for Success in Follow Up to Emotional Victory Last Season at Riverside International Speedway
West Memphis, AR-- July 4, 2008-- Daryn Pittman is usually one of the most calm, cool and collected drivers in the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series pit area, but he could not help but getting emotional after winning at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas with the series last season.
Not only was it the series first visit to the always racy ¼-mile in over 25 years and his first career win at the track, but he was victorious with a large contingent of family and friends in attendance, including his wife Mandy's stepfather who was battling cancer at the time.
"It was a very special win because Mandy's step dad was there and it was one of the last races that he got to see us run before passed away," shared Pittman. "It was a pretty emotional night and it was great to get back to a place that has that much history."
Pittman is excited to head south to Riverside International Speedway this weekend, where he has made six career starts, finishing in the Top-10 in all of them. This will be the fans only chance this season to see the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in the Mid-South region. Last year, a standing room only crowd packed the track, with fans still filing through the gates as the first heat race was taking the track.
"The fans around Memphis are diehards," he noted. "They are some of the best fans in all of the country. "It's always neat to go back there. Last year with it being an Outlaws show was especially exciting. It will be a lot of fun again this year."
Last season at Riverside International Speedway, Pittman turned in the 12th fastest lap in time trials of the 37 cars that took to the track aboard the Titan Garages Maxim. That number was golden for him, as that earned him the pole position in the fourth heat race. He finished second in that heat race, to earn a spot in the Crane Cams Dash, after a thrilling side-by-side battle with his father-in-law Mike Ward. Pittman finished fourth in the Crane Cams Dash to earn a second-row starting spot in the A-Feature, where he quickly moved into the second spot, getting around Justin Henderson and 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser at the outset of the 40-lap contest. He took the lead on the 10th-lap and would on to lead the remainder of the race to pocket $10,000.
"The night went great there last year," he recalled. "We had the car to beat and were able to win. Going into it, I didn't expect to have an advantage, because I had never run all that well there when I had raced there with the ASCS (American Sprint Car Series)."
Pittman had a very solid night last Friday night finishing fifth at River Cities Speedway in North Dakota, which is a very small track like Riverside, though the latter is more of a flat ¼-mile. The former World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion has 12 Top-10 finishes this season, as he is just outside of the Top-10 in the championship standings. He looks to have another strong run at Riverside, a track he knows very well, as he chases his first A-Feature win of the 2008 season.
"It's a small bullring and has always been an awesome place to go and put on races," he said. "There is always a lot of passing and a lot of action. It's one of the smallest places that we go on the Outlaws circuit. They have made a lot of improvements to the facility as well over the last five or 10 years. The racing there has always been great."
While the event on Saturday night will be the first of the season on a ¼-mile for the World of Outlaws, Pittman and his team have competed on a number of bullrings this season, including making a couple of separate stops during the spring at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio, when rain interrupted the series schedule.
"The biggest thing is the moisture in the track," explained the native of Owasso, Oklahoma when asked about the characteristics of Riverside. "They usually have it really wet and it's a black gumbo-type surface. It's small so it has a tendency to be a little choppy. We used to park in the inside and they had a concrete wall which they removed, so the track actually looks a little bit bigger than it did in the past. We just try to compare it to anything that may be similar, by way of the dirt or the size. That gives us a good starting point."
Pittman would like nothing more than to win at Riverside International Speedway this weekend, which would put him in elite company, as 20-time series champion Steve Kinser is the only driver that has two wins with the series at the track. Win or lose, Pittman is excited for the fans who will get to celebrate part of their Fourth of July weekend with the World of Outlaws, as the "Bullring Swing" continues.
"Any time that the Outlaws come to town, the fans love it," he said. "There has been such an absence there. They pack the place for weekly shows and 360 shows. When a special event comes to town, it is really a lot of fun. Between the Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee fans there is a lot of talent and a lot of fans in the area."