Daryn Pittman Sweeps World of Outlaws Sprint Series Eagle Nationals Eagle, Neb. -- June 10, 2006 -- Daryn Pittman shook off a season of bad breaks and tough luck in one weekend by rolling to victory on Saturday night and capturing the Eagle ...
Daryn Pittman Sweeps World of Outlaws Sprint Series Eagle Nationals
Eagle, Neb. -- June 10, 2006 -- Daryn Pittman shook off a season of bad breaks and tough luck in one weekend by rolling to victory on Saturday night and capturing the Eagle Nationals title for the first time.
Pittman fought past Craig Dollansky on a restart on Lap 9 of the 40-lap World of Outlaws Sprint Series A-feature event, then held off a furious charge by Brooke Tatnell to put the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim into the RacinSoles Victory Lane for the second night in a row. It marks the first time in his career with the World of Outlaws that Pittman swept a multi-day event. He also becomes the World of Outlaws 13th different main-event winner this season.
Tatnell charged to second and tried to pull alongside Pittman on a restart, but he wound up chasing Pittman to the checkered flag in the Race Outfitters/Castrol Eagle, holding off Dollansky's Karavan Trailers Maxim during a thrilling mid-race, two-groove duel. Points-leader Donny Schatz brought the ParkerStore J&J to the checkered flag in fourth with Joey Saldana rounding out the top five in the Dodge/Curb Records JEI.
Jeremy Campbell, who was fourth in the preliminary feature, wrapped up a strong weekend by finishing sixth on Saturday night in the Americas Best Value Inn Maxim. Mark Dobmeier in the Senske & Son Schnee, Wayne Johnson in the Clark Construction J&J, Kevin Swindell in the York Excavating Maxim and Kerry Madsen in the TK Concrete Cool wrapped up the top 10.
But the Eagle Nationals this year belonged to Pittman, who with back-to-back wins has been one of the top Mean 15 drivers on 1/3-mile ovals this season next to Schatz, who also has two victories this season on 1/3-mile ovals. In addition to the two A-main wins this weekend, Pittman also captured the Snap-on Dash on Saturday night to earn the pole that helped give him the position to run down Dollansky in the early going.
"I think we reached our goal," Pittman said. "We were really good here in the fall last year so I was looking forward to coming back. I've never swept a weekend and with the competition out here, it's a big achievement for our team."
The racing surface on Saturday was completely different from the night before, when it was hot and humid. Cooler temperatures and wind made for a slick surface with the tires laying down some rubber in both grooves.
"When it rubbers up, the lead isn't always the best place to be because you're not really searching for it," Pittman said. "The racetrack was tough. It was slick. This was what I call the Eagle of old. This is how this place used to be forever. Recently the bottom has been faster, but we were good around the top."
Still, the action was racy. And with Tatnell charging from seventh to challenge for the lead, the victory was never secure until Pittman took the checkered flag.
"We didn't exactly win the start and had to battle back," Pittman said. "Brooke came from seventh and was close to winning. I saw somebody try to slide me on a restart. I was a little too cautious with about 12 to go and left him just enough room. If he wanted to, it could have gotten real ugly but he ran me clean. Brooke's always a clean racer and I feel like we do the same with him. It's a lot of fun doing that and running with guys who give you enough room pass when they can do it clean."
Perhaps Pittman had a little added incentive to win, too. His wife, Mandy, was celebrating a birthday on Saturday, and the $12,500 winner's check certainly made for a nice gift.
"We're just spoiled because if we need something we go get it," Pittman said. "It's hard to come up with good birthday and Christmas gifts. That's one you can't put a price tag on. She probably wanted that more than anything, to be sure."
He'll have a chance to go for three-in-a-row on Wednesday night at The Raceway at Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis. -- a track where Pittman has done quite well.
"Three wins in a row is definitely not out of the question for us," he said. "I look forward to going to Beaver Dam. I think we've won two races there before and I think we still have the track record. It's always good to finish the weekend with a win knowing we have another good track coming up for us."
Tatnell has been racing with a heavy heart of late as his father, George, is ailing many miles away in Tatnell's native Australia. However, Tatnell remains focused on the track during race nights, as was evidenced by his showing at Eagle where he posted the quick time on Saturday night and charged to second from a fourth-row starting position.
"The restart was going to be everything," said Tatnell, a two-time winner this season who will return to Australia for a few days to be with his family following next weekend's Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., before returning to action on June 23-24 at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. "We were more maneuverable than he was, but he didn't have to be maneuverable, he just did what he needed to do. Why take a chance. We were wearing out our trying to bang through the cushion. On the second to last restart, I had one shot at him. We slammed it in there and got as close as we could without touching wheels. We gave it everything we had.
"We as a team need some wins. This is an expensive sport and I've got the greatest car owners out there right now. They're behind us financially and personally."
As for his dad, Tatnell appreciates all the well-wishers as he tries to help his family in Australia while keeping his car in championship contention.
"We're looking at flying home after Fargo," Tatnell said. "The news hasn't been good about my dad. I need to make sure I'm mentally prepared to go and cope with this too. Right now I've got to be there for my mom and sisters. They're hanging tough, I've got the easy job because I can play racecars and bury my head and escape. They've got no escape. It's going to be a long haul and it's going to be tough, but when it comes to family I'd swim to Australia if I had to."
Early on it looked as if Dollansky had the car to beat. A great jump on the start and a maneuverable car helped him in traffic, but after making contact with the wall his Jacob's ladder was knocked loose, as was his fuel tank, which affected his ability to handle the car. An open red after a scary flip by Jac Haudenschild early in the feature gave his team a chance to repair the damage, but catching Pittman proved to be a difficult task.
"Early in the race I hit the wall and broke the Jacob's ladder and that really hurt us bad," said Dollansky, who along with Pittman was a winner last season at The Raceway at Powercom Park. "We were leading the race but I was dumped over on the right rear. I knew I must have broke something. I actually broke the mounts on the fuel tank as well. We had some trouble with them last week and tried to redo them and they broke off so the fuel tank kind of had a mind of its own. On that restart with a broken Jacobs ladder I kind of opened myself up for a slide job for Daryn to get by us. We tried to get it back after we were able to replace it, but it was just hard to pass at that point. We struggled with that fuel tank. With the mounts broken, it kept flying all the way to the back. We ended up with a couple of thirds out of here so we'll take that and go on."
Dollansky is geared up for Wednesday's race because the event is close to his Wisconsin-based team's raceshop.
"It's like a second home to me over there," said Dollansky, who hails from Elk River, Minn. "It's Karavan country. We have a lot of great friends and fans over there and I'd love to do nothing more than go there and get a win.
Next up for the Mean 15 drivers are three nights of action against the All Star Circuit of Champions on June 14 at The Raceway at Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis., and June 16-17 in the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is brought to the fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire and The Outdoor Channel. Promotional Partners include AMB i.t. and The University of Northwestern Ohio. Associate sponsors are ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, Maxim Racing, RacinSoles and Snap-on. Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions and Wrisco Industries.
EAGLE NATIONALS FINALE NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Brooke Tatnell paced the 37 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the 1/3-mile oval at 11.484 seconds at 104.389 mph. Because the Eagle Nationals is a multi-day show with varying championship point totals on each night, no qualifying bonus points are awarded. By virtue of their top-four finishes in the preliminary feature on Friday, Daryn Pittman, Donny Schatz, Craig Dollansky and Jeremy Campbell did not have to go through time trials. Joey Saldana holds the track record of 11.124 seconds established on September 20, 2002.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: With officials from Snap-on looking on, including regional business manager Neal Osterman, Daryn Pittman raced to victory in the Snap-on Dash and presented young fan Drew Reinhard with an autographed Snap-on cap. -- Kevin Swindell, who earned his first World of Outlaws victory last month at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, picked up the B-main victory on Saturday. -- Heat race winners included Mean 15 drivers Dion Hindi and Jason Martin as well as Lynton Jeffrey and Kerry Madsen.
* MAIN EVENT WINNERS: Daryn Pittman's win on Saturday night at Eagle Raceway was his first World of Outlaws A-feature victory of the season. There have been 13 different winners in 22 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway and May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway and May 20 at Sharon Speedway), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia and June 4 at Terre Haute), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway and May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia),Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway) and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway) and Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: Daryn Pittman's victory on Friday night was his first preliminary feature win of the season. He joins Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim feature on April 7 at Eldora Speedway.
* 1/3-MILE WINNERS: Eagle Raceway is a 1/3-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced four times this season on a track that size, including preliminary features. Winners include Donny Schatz (I-55 Raceway, Grandview Speedway) and Daryn Pittman (Twice at Eagle Raceway).
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on June 14 the finale from Williams Grove Speedway that ran on May 27. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).
* UP NEXT: Next up for the Mean 15 drivers are three nights of action against the All Star Circuit of Champions on June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis., and June 16-17 in the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D.