Calistoga: Finale race report

Pittman leads last five laps to win Harvest Classic. CALISTOGA, CA (September 1) -- Daryn Pittman's right rear tire was flat when he celebrated his last Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature victory -- at I-55 Raceway July 13th. The ...

Pittman leads last five laps to win Harvest Classic.

CALISTOGA, CA (September 1) -- Daryn Pittman's right rear tire was flat when he celebrated his last Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature victory -- at I-55 Raceway July 13th. The defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion did an even better job of conserving the tires on the #21 Hop & Sac J&J while winning the 10th Annual Harvest Classic Sunday at Calistoga Speedway.

Brad Furr was leading the 30-lap main event five 4 ¾ laps remaining when a flat right rear tire sent him flipping into the retaining wall in the first corner. Pittman, who started inside the fourth row, restarted in first place and held off Jac Haudenschild for the $20,000 victory.

"Compared to Pevely, this tire wasn't even close (to being completely used)," Pittman said. "We were a lot worse at Pevely. We didn't have a very good car the first couple of days (at the Harvest Classic). We had driveline problems and I drove like crap. But my guys kept working at it, and we had an awesome car for the feature tonight. I think we may have been able to win before the track took rubber. It's unfortunate for Brad. He may have had us covered once the rubber got down."

Furr, who won the Southern Bleacher Classic on a dry-slick surface at Texas Motor Speedway April 5th, passed outside pole-sitter Danny Lasoski for the lead late in the 13th lap and appeared to be on his way to his second "A" Feature victory of the season when the flat right rear tire on his #2 Sanmina/SCI Eagle sent him crashing.

Mark Kinser, who won the opening-night feature and followed Tim Shaffer under the checkered flag Saturday, scored the most points in the qualifying programs. He started on the pole in the O'Reilly's Auto Parts Dash and earned the privilege of starting on the front row for the third straight night.

Kinser burst into the lead from the pole, but the #5M Mopar Maxim turned sideways late in the opening lap, allowing Lasoski and Furr to race past. Pittman and Craig Dollansky passed the two-time series champion the next time around, and Haudenschild replaced Kinser in fifth place early in the third lap.

"The Dude," who won the 2000 Harvest Classic, was 15 car-lengths ahead of Furr when he drove the #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into lapped traffic eight laps into the race. Furr caught the defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion in dense lapped traffic two laps later, however.

Furr answered Pittman's challenge during lap 11, then passed Lasoski for the lead deep in the fourth corner two laps later. Pittman, who won the Third Heat Race, used a similar move to pass "The Dude" the next time around.

A flat tire on the 11H Vivarin Maxim forced Stevie Smith to stop in the back straightaway midway through the race. Joey Saldana lost ninth place when his crew replaced the right rear tire on his #17 Eagle Raceway/HEM Saw Eagle during the caution period.

Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser, a five-time winner at Calistoga, passed Dollansky for fourth place as the green flag replaced the yellow. Haudenschild passed Dollansky several seconds later, then drove the #5 Wirtgen Maxim past Kinser for fourth place two laps later. "The Wild Child" took the high line around Lasoski for third early in the 20th lap.

Furr was a straightaway ahead of Pittman when he caught the back-markers one lap later. He lost the lead early in lap 25, however, giving Pittman the lead.

Pittman, whose crew changed the driveline in the #21 following the hot-lap session, raced away from the field as the race resumed, and took the checkered flag with 15 car-lengths to spare. Dollansky's right rear tire lost air pressure on the back stretch as the race ended. After crossing the finish line in fifth place, Shaffer hit the wall and flipped in the second corner.

Although a back injury caused Pittman to miss nine events in March and April, his five victories tie him with Saldana for third place on the list of 2002 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main event winners.

"I've won four races so far this year (before Sunday), but they've all been one-day, $10,000 races, so this is my biggest win by far," Pittman said. "Everything's looking really good for the rest of the year. I leave two days after our last race in Las Vegas for Australia, and I'll be over there for three months running the whole World Series. Then I'll come back here and right now everything looks like we'll be back with Sher-Don Motorsports and Gaerte engines for next year with the same team and hopefully the same crew."

Steve Kinser raced into third place from outside the fourth row. Lasoski finished fourth, ahead of Shaffer, Jason Meyers, Randy Hannagan, Mark Kinser, 15th-starting Brent Kaeding and Smith.

The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run a $51,600 event at Watsonville Speedway Tuesday, then sanction the 49th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

-WoO-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild