2006 World of Outlaws Season Review: Daryn Pittman Concord, NC--Dec. 1, 2006 -- For Daryn Pittman, the hardest task in 2006 was picking up that elusive first win of the season. Once he found his way to RacinSoles Victory Lane in early June, he...
2006 World of Outlaws Season Review: Daryn Pittman
Concord, NC--Dec. 1, 2006 -- For Daryn Pittman, the hardest task in 2006 was picking up that elusive first win of the season. Once he found his way to RacinSoles Victory Lane in early June, he would make six more trips there before the final checkered flag flew on the season.
After five A-Feature and two preliminary feature wins, along with 29 Top-five finishes, Pittman wrapped up the season fourth in the championship standings, matching his career best finish.
Pittman began the season very consistently, as he raced near the front of the field each and every night. He racked up five straight Top-10 finishes to start the year, including a fourth-place run at Volusia Speedway Park on the second night of the season.
When the series rolled into Eagle (Neb.) Raceway in early June, Pittman had already scored 10 Top-Five finishes and was solidly in the Top-Five in championship points. A win on June 9 in the preliminary feature locked him into the dash the following night. He won that dash to earn the pole position for the 40-lap A-Feature, where he held off Craig Dollansky for a sweep of the Eagle Nationals. It marked the first time in his career, that Pittman had swept a World of Outlaws two-day event.
Later in the season, Pittman swept another weekend, this time at Princeton (Minn.) Speedway in late July. This came a week after picking up $20,000 for winning the Summer Nationals at the famed Williams Grove Speedway, an event he dominated from start-to-finish. It also was his first win at the half-mile.
"It was a pretty good year," said Pittman, driver of the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim. "It is hard to complain about the stats we recorded. Obviously everyone's goal is to come out here and win (the championship) and for us it was not meant to be."
In the 56 A-Feature events that were contested, Pittman picked up an impressive 43 Top-10 finishes. He also turned the quickest lap in time trials, three times. In addition to this, he was tied for the series lead with eight dash wins, which earned him seven pole positions.
"Honestly, I felt like second, third, fourth, and fifth place, we were all right there together," he commented. "We were dead even cars. To come out of it fourth, is a little bit of a disappointment. I thought we could come of it third. "
Beginning at Lernerville Speedway in the middle of July, Pittman ran off a steak of Top-Six finishes that stretched all the way to August 26 at Skagit (Wash.) Speedway, among those was four third-place runs. He led 287 laps on the year, second only to series champion Donny Schatz.
"We had five wins and two prelim wins, for seven wins on the season," stated Pittman, a native of Owasso, Oklahoma, who now calls Pittsboro, Indiana home. "That is actually the most that I have ever had. It's definitely hard to complain about that. It's something we can build on over the winter. We know the areas we have to improve and we'll get better and come back out and see if we can put together a year like Donny (Schatz) had this year, and have few DNF's (did not finish). All in all, we're happy, but not satisfied. We'll go back to the shop and work hard work and come back hungry as ever next year."
Pittman headed to California with plenty of momentum for the conclusion of the Gold Rush Tour in early September. He finished third on the second qualifying night at the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. After that race, he said he would gladly finish in the at spot, if he could come back and win on Saturday night. He lived up to his word and pocketed a cool $50,000 for leading all 40 laps on the demanding quarter-mile, with a hard charging Jac Haudenschild riding the cushion and closing in on him as the laps wound down.
"Winning at Chico (Silver Dollar Speedway) was big and that was a great win, but honestly winning at Williams Grove was even bigger," explained Pittman, the 2001 World of Outlaws Gumout Series Champion. "For me personally, I would classify that win as bigger, maybe not for the team, but for me. Williams Grove is a race track that we have wanted to win at. I have been good there for the last several times we had been there. To go in there and be as dominant as we have at the end of last year and this year, we had a really good chance. Even though I would classify Williams Grove as my biggest win, Chico was right there with it. For the team, that was a great effort in the two days we had to work up to it."
The winning was not done yet for Pittman, as the season wound down and the series hit the Arizona desert one last time. He improved upon a ninth-place finish at Manzanita Speedway in the spring, by leading all 30 laps on the historic half-mile, to earn his fifth A-Feature win of the year in late October.
"We had a lot of big wins and I think that helped our year," he recalled. "Two of our wins were where we swept the weekend. We on the prelim and the following night. That was something we had never done. We also got some other big ones. Manzanita is a race track that I had never been very good at. That was a big win for me personally. I never liked that race track and never had been too good there. To go over there and pick up the win was a really big boost and a great confidence builder heading into the winter, knowing that we have our race tracks where we are good at, and when we roll through the gate we can win on any given night. Then there are a handful of race tracks that we know we struggle at. To know that we can pick up wins on tracks that are not to our liking is big championship-wise for down the future."
Gearing up for next season, Pittman has already turned some laps in Australia as has become accustomed to him in the off-season. Upon returning to the United States, he knows his team led by crew chief Glenno Inglis will have plenty of work to do, as they look to capitalize on their strong season, and fourth place finish in the standings.
"I'm going to spend the winter at our shop with the crew," said Pittman. "We'll try to get things organized and better for next year. We have a lot happening and a lot of things that we want to work on. Races are won in the shop in the winter time and in the shop during the week before you ever get to the race track. That's where the preparation and hard work have to go in. We have to put in a lot of hard six and seven day weeks, and a lot of effort to make sure that our stuff is organized and ready to go for the full series. We have to make sure our stuff was even better than this year and make sure we have good race cars ready to go each night."
Next Up: The series of season reviews for the Top-15 in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series continues with Joey Saldana.