CARLISLE, PA - The World of Outlaws traveling sprint car series has a schedule like no other. Racers climb out of their cars in one state and after signing a few autographs and selling a few T-shirts, it's time to head down the road to the next ...
CARLISLE, PA - The World of Outlaws traveling sprint car series has a schedule like no other. Racers climb out of their cars in one state and after signing a few autographs and selling a few T-shirts, it's time to head down the road to the next show. In the last six days, Daryn Pittman and his Sherdon Motorsports team have been in five states at three race tracks and he'll race five times in the next six days at three tracks in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland.
On Thursday and Friday, Pittman will pilot the #21 Hop & Sack/Mopar/Gaerte J&J in the Outlaws invasion at historic Williams Grove Speedway. The famous half-mile oval in Central Pennsylvania brings out the best of every driver. Outlaw or not. With super long straightaways and tight corners, the track can tame many, and the 24 year-old from Oklahoma is still trying to conquer it.
"We race at a lot of places and they all have their good points and Williams Grove is really one of the best," said Pittman, who currently sits fourth in the Outlaws standings. "I've only been able to crack the top five a couple of times, but maybe this time we'll have an ace up our sleeve. At least I hope we do."
For the 2003 season, former Outlaw driver and current engine builder, Joe Gaerte, has joined the Pepsi-backed WoO team as crew chief and "the Grove" just happens to be one of Gaerte's favorite tracks.
"Joe's been talking about Williams Grove since the season started," said Pittman. "I know when he use to race here that he really liked it. This place is like no other. You've got to enter the corners just right and have the car working good in both corners and also have the horsepower to get from one corner to the next."
Gaerte's been spear heading Gaerte Engine's development of a Mopar engine package. With the big half-miles of "the Grove" and Saturday night's stop at Hagerstown (MD) Speedway, Pittman is optimistic about the team's chances.
"We've been working all year trying to make everything come together with this new Mopar motor program," continued Pittman. "They just tried some different combinations with it in the last two weeks, and I think we really found something. We had a good night at Terre Haute (last Friday) and earned our first quick-time on Tuesday in Delaware. We've got a lot of races in the next few weeks, so hopefully we can breakthrough and get that first win of the season."
Although, Pittman hasn't visited victory lane yet this season, he has been consistently strong. Tuesday's fifth place finish at Delaware Int. Speedway was his seventh top five finish of the season, and it marked his third in the last four races.
Even though Pittman is eyeing his return to "the Grove" on Thursday and Friday, Saturday's venue - Hagerstown Speedway - was the setting for one of his most impressive performances in 2002. Pittman started ninth and worked his way to the front and chased down leader Tyler Walker during the first 24 laps. On lap 25, he passed Walker and checked out on the field during the final five laps winning by a large margin.
"Last year's race at Hagerstown was unbelievable," continued Pittman, who spent his off-season racing in Australia where he became the first American to win the coveted World Series Sprintcar title. "The J&J we had was perfect. I could drive anywhere on the track and I just hope I took good notes, so we can try and make the car that good again."
Following Saturday's show in Maryland, the crew of Gaerte, Shawn Young and Bingo Jenkings will return to Pennsylvania for a race at Grandview Speedway on Sunday before heading to Western Pennsylvania for Tuesday's race at Lernerville Speedway.
"My guys have been working really hard all season and I just want to reward them with a victory," continued Pittman. "I couldn't be racing without great owners (Donnie and Sherie Woodburn), sponsors (Hop & Sac, Pepsi, Mopar) and crew. We just have to keep working hard every night and we'll get there."