Pittman, Sherdon Motorsports Team Hope To Continue Consistency in 2004 PHOENIX, AZ (February 19) -- The off-season is usually the hardest time of the season for sprint car drivers. These nomads can't stand to be sitting around without a race.
Pittman, Sherdon Motorsports Team Hope To Continue Consistency in 2004
PHOENIX, AZ (February 19) -- The off-season is usually the hardest time of the season for sprint car drivers. These nomads can't stand to be sitting around without a race. World of Outlaws star Daryn Pittman couldn't go three months without jumping into a sprint car, so he's more than ready for his "official" season to begin this weekend in Phoenix, when he'll return to the seat of his Sherdon Motorsports sprinter in the Outlaws season opener at Manzanita Speedway.
"I guess its what I do best, so the more I do it the better I'll get," said Pittman, following a test and tune session at Manzanita on Tuesday evening. "I know the guys (Crewman Joe Gaerte, Glenno Ingliss and Bingo Jenkins) have spent a lot of time getting us ready for the season. I just hope we can continue building on what we've accomplished the past two season. Donnie and Sherie Woodburn have given me a great opportunity to drive for them the past two years and again this season. I'm really excited about what we can accomplish this year."
Pittman, who is coming off a career-best fourth place finish in last year's World of Outlaws standings, spent the months of December and January racing in Australia. He competed in several World Series events and the big money events including the World of Outlaws Down Under event at Parramatta City Raceway. He won several feature races driving the Titan Racing entry in World Series action and also claimed two of his final three starts - The King's Challenge and the Classic Prelim. A flat right rear tire cost him a chance at winning Australia's biggest sprint car race: The Warrnambool Classic in late January. After winning the opener, Pittman led 21 laps before his tire went flat.
"After winning the World Series title last year, we just wanted to win as many races as possible while I was over there," said Pittman, regarding his "Australian Vacation". "Winning really helps no matter what you do. Last year, we wanted to win more races with the Outlaws, but the ones we did really helped us. We struggled to get a handle on our motor program during the early season, but got a win in June at Lakeside that propelled us for a while. We dominated at K-C and kept the momentum up later that week and made a last lap pass to win another one at Beaver Dam. Having those three wins under our belt gave us the confidence we needed to do well in the Big One and we ended up winning it. We won a great race at Texas Motor Speedway late in the year that has all of us excited about this year."
Once he returned home to the states, Pittman spent some time with his Sherdon Motorsports crew in Rochester, IN, putting the final pieces together for the upcoming 2004 season. This year will mark the first time in his career that his entire crew will be the same from the previous season. Joe Gaerte, Glenno Ingliss and Bingo Jenkins will once again maintain the #21 Hop & Sack/Gaerte/Mopar/GLR CMC sprinter, which will have a new look designed by Mike and Meegan Eubanks of Action Signs.
"Having everyone return is so important to us," continued Pittman. "When you look at the guys and teams that have been really successful, their teams have been together for a while. Steve (Kinser) and Scott Gerkin, Mark and Karl Kinser, Danny (Lasoski) and Jimmy Carr prove that to win consistently you need to have consistency within your race team. I hope someday people will throw Daryn Pittman and Joe Gaerte into that same category."
The 25 year-old driver had many highlights in the 2003 season including racing to the biggest win of his career - the $100,000 Historical Big One at Eldora Speedway. Winning races and finishing fourth in the final standings were major accomplishments for the team and its sponsors. Pittman is pleased to represent everyone that is associated with the Sherdon Motorsports team.
"I've driven for my family before and know how important it is to have outside sponsorship assistance," continued Pittman. "Donnie and Sherie help us with their Hop & Sack Stores in Oklahoma, Gaerte Engines builds the Mopar motors we run, GLR (Geringer, Luck & Rode LLC) came on board with us late last year and will be a tremendous asset. We also work with a number of manufacturers that have really developed products specifically for us. Hepfner Racing Products, Red Line Oil, XYZ Machining, CMC Chassis Ultrashield and DJS Safe Seat are a few examples. We couldn't compete for wins and be successful in this series without the support we get. I personally want to thank everyone that helps this deal go and hope to give them a great season."
Friday's opener at Manzanita Speedway will be the first Outlaws US race of the season after staging three in Australia where Pittman finished fifth, seventh and seventh. The opening races from Manzanita Speedway will be taped and air on The Outdoor Channel on Wednesday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.