OWASSO, OK - Daryn Pittman knows that if he wants to be a champion that he's has to learn how to handle adversity. The Oklahoma native and his Pittman Motorsports team have endured a difficult start to the 2001 sprint car season and have decided...
OWASSO, OK - Daryn Pittman knows that if he wants to be a champion that he's has to learn how to handle adversity. The Oklahoma native and his Pittman Motorsports team have endured a difficult start to the 2001 sprint car season and have decided that a change in plans might be the best for their future. Pittman has added his name to the list of candidates that will be chasing the World of Outlaws Gumout series championship beginning with Friday's season opener at Lernerville Speedway near Sarver, PA.
"We just got off to a really rough start and we feel like being a young team that it's best to see what we can do in the Gumout Series," said the 22 year-old Pittman. "Our goal is to win a lot of races, compete for the championship and learn how to consistently finish in the top five every night."
Pittman started the season following the Pennzoil World of Outlaws tour, but hasn't had the kind of success needed to keep the Winnebago Motorsports/Gaerte Engines #3 team on the road with the Outlaws. Youth has been one of the reasons for their inconsistency, but the chance to grow together in the Gumout Series has Pittman excited about their future.
"This team is made up of three guys all under the age of 26, and we feel like we can gain some valuable experience and learn how to win versus staying with the Outlaws and getting mentally run down night after night," said Pittman, who won two World of Outlaws preliminary feature races last season. " Our intention is to be the car to beat every night. We're not going to the series because it's easier, but we simply can't afford to run in the middle of the pack with the Pennzoil series."
Another reason to make the series switch was the success several Gumout teams had last year while competing with the Pennzoil series. After winning last year's Gumout championship, Craig Dollansky, has won an "A" feature and currently ranks third in this year's WoO standings. Paul McMahan finished second in last year's Gumout standings and he's already claimed a WoO "A" Feature this year. Both of those drivers as well as Jeff Shepard and Brad Furr had a number of top five runs with the WoO last year as well.
"The success those guys had last year and early this season was a key in helping us make this decision," said Pittman, the 1999 WoO Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year runner-up. "We need time to gel together as a team and you can't afford to do that with the Outlaws. I think their success proved that a team's confidence is a big key. We want to gain confidence in one another and be consistent so that when we do race with the Outlaws, we'll be a lot stronger team and a threat to win."
The Pittman Motorsports team has a solid group of people, including Crew Chief Roger Johnson (22) and Bob Curtis (26), and equipment ready to go after the Gumout crown. The team will use a J&J Auto Racing car, run Gaerte Engines, and also work with product sponsors Sander Engineering, Goodyear Tires, KSE, Afco Shocks, Astro Titanium, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Quaker State Racing and CMI Trailers.
"All of our sponsors were very supportive of us changing plans and going to the Gumout Series," said Pittman. "They all seemed positive that if this was best for the team, then they were all going to be behind us. We feel fortunate to working with such quality products and are confident that we'll have a very competitive car every night."
The team also appreciates their current relationships with Taylor Wings, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, FK Rod Ends, Crane Cams, Simpson, Ultrashield Race Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Wilwood, RPC Powder Coating, Aero-Dynamics, K&N Filters and John Christner Trucking.
Pittman knows that he has a fresh start for the 2001 season. He's been successful in the past at Lernerville, where he led a WoO feature last spring, and that getting off to a good start is the key.
"We all feel like this is a second chance," said Pittman. "We got started on the wrong foot and now we can put that behind us. Lernerville has always been a good track for me and we want to be strong from the beginning. I really hope we can be on top of the series from night one and stay there all year. It's a lot easier to stay on top versus the uphill climb."