Pittman begins 2003 WoO season with consistency. LAS VEGAS, NV (February 24) - Daryn Pittman and the SherDon Motorsports team started the 2003 O'Reilly World of Outlaws season on a solid note last weekend in California with finishes of fifth and...
Pittman begins 2003 WoO season with consistency.
LAS VEGAS, NV (February 24) - Daryn Pittman and the SherDon Motorsports team started the 2003 O'Reilly World of Outlaws season on a solid note last weekend in California with finishes of fifth and seventh place. The top ten finishes positioned the team fourth early in the WoO point standings.
Pittman had a strong debut on Friday night at King's Speedway in Hanford, CA. The Owasso, OK native qualified fourth in the field of 37 cars before trans ferring through his heat race and placing fourth in his Dash race. The 24 year-old started the 30-lap feature eighth and quickly worked his way up to fifth. He spent most of the race battling with sprint car legends Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell, and finished the race in fifth, which was his career-best finish at the 3/8-mile dirt oval.
On Saturday, the team traveled south to the Los Angeles area and competed at Perris Auto Speedway, the track where Daryn won his first "A" feature of the 2002 season last February. He qualified fifth in the field and again earned a spot in the Dash race by transferring through his heat race. He started the feature seventh and battled Joey Saldana and Shane Stewart during the 30-lap "A" feature. He passed Stewart with five laps remaining, but couldn't get past Saldana and came home seventh.
"It's always good to get the first weekend out of the way," said Pittman. "The crew worked really hard all winter getting things ready, and it's nice to go out and start well. We would have liked to finish a bit better on Saturday, but actually we just got unlucky with the draw. We qualified in the top five both nights, so we feel good about that."
The SherDon Motorsports team was using a newly designed Mopar engine that was built by Gaerte Engines. The team won last years Charlotte Outlaw Championship with a developmental Mopar that was used as one template for the 2003 Mopar motors.
"The engine worked really well," commented Pittman. "I know we went out late on Friday night to qualify and ended up fourth fastest and I believe the Mopar had a lot to do with that. We qualified pretty well last year, but the additional horsepower that we have now should really help. These first two shows were on smaller tracks, and I know next weekend will get to really show how strong the motor is on the big half-mile."
"I was really pleased with the performance of the motor," said Joe Gaerte, who builds the engines and is also the SherDon Motorsports team crew chief. "We're still tweaking things on our end trying to get better. The big thing early is that the Mopar seems to have a lot more torque, which allows you to utilize a higher gear ratio."
The team will compete in the JD Byrider Outlaw Nationals on Friday and Saturday at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in conjunction with NASCAR's event in Las Vegas. Pittman is looking forward to reaching the high speeds at Las Vegas. The half-mile track will provide the team an opportunity to learn more about their Mopar motor development.
"I'm looking forward to Las Vegas," continued Pittman. "Racing on big half-miles is what makes the Outlaws so fun. Joe (Gaerte) and the folks at Gaerte have a few different designs with the Mopars and we're going to try another one this weekend. I know a lot of Mopar people will be there and hopefully, we can make a good showing. Our goal is to continue being consistent. We'll just try to qualify strong and take on the rest of the night from there."