KNOXVILLE, IA - Daryn Pittman will be making his first appearance in the Kele World Challenge on Friday night at the 42nd annual Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals, and he accumulated the most points of qualified drivers in Wednesday night's opener...
KNOXVILLE, IA - Daryn Pittman will be making his first appearance in the Kele World Challenge on Friday night at the 42nd annual Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals, and he accumulated the most points of qualified drivers in Wednesday night's opener to the lead the field of World Challenge entrants.
"We knew coming in that we wanted to get as many points as we could to help us in the Nationals," said Pittman, the 23 year-old driver of the #21 J&J. "We qualified really well (2nd) and finished second in my heat. I just had a terrible start in the "A" feature. I think at one point we dropped all the way back to 15th, so to be able to run sixth was acceptable. I think we had at least a third place car tonight, but I simply didn't get it done. The J&J car was really good tonight, I just made a few mistakes at the start of the race. We'll be fine for the Challenge on Friday night."
Pittman, who accumulated 485 points, is tied for second overall following the first night of action. Seven other drivers that will race in the Kele World Challenge accumulated points also. Brad Furr (441), Jeff Shepard (431), Skip Jackson (410), Toni Lutar (404), Brooke Tatnell (348), Tommy Tarlton (297) and David Murcott (283) all must wait until after Thursday's second qualifying program before they'll know the lineup in Friday's $10,000-to-win race. Both Tatnell and Shepard made tremendous charges in the "B" and "A" features respectively. Tatnell started 21st and raced to fifth in the 12-lap "B" Feature, while Jeff Shepard came from 23rd to 8th in the "A" Feature.
"We worked all night to get the car better," said Shepard. "We were awesome by feature time and I wish we had five more laps. I think we'll be in the "B" (Feature Saturday) based on points, but we should be in the middle of the Kele World Challenge field. If the we get the car this nice again and the track is as racy as it was tonight, I think we'll have a lot of fun."