Pittman battles Kerry Madsen to notch his seventh win for the season
A late lap battle through lapped traffic gave Daryn Pittman the opportunity he needed to win the NAPA Outlaws Classic at New Egypt Speedway Tuesday night and capture his fourth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win in a row.
Pittman, who swept the three previous Outlaws races in his Great Clips car, came into tonight’s NAPA Outlaws Classic as the most immediate winner at New Egypt. The 7/16-mile oval challenged Pittman as he looked for the best line and worked to keep Madsen in his sights.
“Yeah, we had to earn this one,” Pittman said. “That was a lot of fun. I love this race track – it’s been awfully good to me. Heck, I wish they would schedule a lot more races here.”
On the week and the four wins, Pittman said he has been left speechless. He thanked his crew chief and crew members for all the hard work they have done to put him in position to win every race.
“I can’t believe this has happened, this has been an awesome week,” Pittman said. “One that I’ll never forget, that’s for sure.”
Pittman’s four-race winning streak is the longest since Jason Meyers won five in a row during the 2011 Outlaws season.
Pittman’s championship lead has been extended to 19 points over second place Joey Saldana.
Madsen, driving the American Racing Custom Wheels car, led the field to the green flag with Pittman in second, and Ryan Smith and Saldana in row two.
Two yellow flags in the early laps of the race slowed the action on track. On the lap three restart, Pittman looked for an opportunity to take over first place but Madsen held him off and built a strong lead. Just as Madsen began catching lapped traffic on lap 12, 20-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars Series champion Steve Kinser had a problem that caused him to spin into a barrier at the entry of the turn three exit gate. Kinser left the car on his own power.
When the green flag again flew, Madsen built another strong lead that would ultimately prove fleeting. As he caught lapped traffic with 10 to go, Pittman caught him.
“I don’t really know what [Madsen] did but he did it on the top and I hit the bottom and got a good run,” Pittman said. “I was kind of afraid the lapped car was going to block my run but I was just able to sneak underneath him and we just kind of drag raced down the backstretch and he left me enough room.”
Pittman took the lead from Madsen.
As Madsen fell to second, David Gravel, who started on the inside of row four, was surging forward. In the final laps, Gravel muscled his Roth Motorsports car around Madsen.
“Late in the race the lapped cars were going just as fast as us,” Gravel said. “I rolled the bottom one time and got side-by-side with Kerry and slid him in one and two and got the pass. Starting seventh and finishing second is awesome.”
Madsen said he was disappointed by the day. He said he lost the race fighting his way through lapped traffic.
“I kind of feel like I gave it away,” Madsen said. “I just didn’t make the right moves in traffic and got caught out of position and that’s how Daryn got by me. Great result for the team. The car was great, it was a good run. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for and sometimes it’s not your night. We’ve got a very fast race car this year so it’s quite fun to drive. Obviously disappointed by not getting it done tonight but it should be a fun rest of the year for us.”
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series