Daryn Pittman Reigns At Rocky Mountain National Speedway Commerce City, CO -- Sept. 13, 2005 -- When a traffic jam Tuesday night forced Shane Stewart to the cushion at Rocky Mountain National Speedway, Daryn Pittman took advantage and raced into...
Daryn Pittman Reigns At Rocky Mountain National Speedway
Commerce City, CO -- Sept. 13, 2005 -- When a traffic jam Tuesday night forced Shane Stewart to the cushion at Rocky Mountain National Speedway, Daryn Pittman took advantage and raced into the lead on Lap 24 of the final World of Outlaws Sprint Series event at the track before the Colorado facility is shuttered at the end of this season.
Once in front, Pittman pulled away in his Titan Garages & Carports Maxim before a caution with 27 laps complete slowed the field and shuffled the top 10. The race would never go back to green because a downpour, the second of the night, ended the event eight laps short of the scheduled distance to give Pittman his third A-feature victory of the season, all on 3/8-mile ovals.
Stewart, the series' leading rookie who had led from the initial green flag, held onto second in his Rudeen Racing Snap-on Maxim. He fought off fast-qualifier and pole-sitter Paul McMahan's Selma Shell Maxim to grab the lead on the first lap and was able to work high and low to weave through early traffic while Pittman was in third and looking for a chance to pounce.
Following a one-hour rain delay between the Dashes, the track became fast and narrow, making it an adventure in traffic. Midway through the feature, the bottom was fast but with lapped cars down low the leaders often had to slide up the track to keep their momentum.
On a restart with 15 laps down, Pittman went around McMahan to steal second and tried to go under Stewart, but Stewart cut him off as Tim Shaffer in the Casey's General Stores Maxim quickly closed on McMahan. Pittman kept up the pressure on Stewart, who went to the top in traffic and slipped over the cushion on Lap 24, giving Pittman the break he needed to swipe the lead.
Once in front, Pittman was edging away from the field when on Lap 28 a caution waved as championship points leader Steve Kinser slowed and turned off into the infield, McMahan stopped in Turns 3 and 4 with apparent rear end trouble and Danny Lasoski slowed in Turn 2. All three had been running in the top 10 at the time. Once the field slowed down the rain fell harder, forcing officials to halt the program and end the race with 27 of the 35 laps complete.
"We were good," said Pittman, a native of Owasso, Okla., and a Mean 15 racer who is only eight points out of the top 10 in the championship standings and earned $10,000 for winning. "We got [Stewart] stuck in traffic and we were able to run the racetrack a little better than we thought so it was good.
"I didn't know it was raining at all. I guess it had sprinkled the whole time but I didn't realize it was raining at all and then when the yellow came we slowed down and saw it was raining and thought, 'Oh yeah, just keep going.' It didn't bother me a bit and it worked out in my favor."
Shaffer wound up third to continue his torrid run with his fifth top-five in the past six race nights to move up to seventh in points. Brooke Tatnell, with a right hand broken during a heat race at Calistoga Speedway, was fourth in the Castol/Steel Dreams Eagle and Joey Saldana rounded out the top five in the Volcano Joe's/Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Maxim for the second race in a row.
Jason Sides was sixth in the Wetherington Tractor Services Maxim, marking the third time in the past four race nights he has been in the top 10. Jac Haudenschild, back in the No. 83 Beefpackers Eagle, was seventh, followed by Brandon Wimmer in the Astro Titanium Maxim, Donny Schatz in the ParkerStore J&J and Craig Dollansky in the VMAC/Karavan J&J.
"I knew lapped traffic was going to be a big key to winning the race and I got high," said Stewart, a native of Bixby, Okla., who is 179 points out of the top 10. "I actually got caught behind a couple of cars. I was pretty good before that caution [with 15 laps complete]. My car was getting a little bit too loose to run the middle. I caught lapped traffic again and then I got hung up behind a couple of cars and I tried to go high in Turns 1 and 2 and went up over the cushion just because of the rain.
"It was real narrow [after the first delay]. It was going to be a pretty good race if it hadn't rained. It definitely made the track narrow. At the end of our race it was just starting to get wide enough to where you could pass."
Pittman's victory marked the final World of Outlaws race at Rocky Mountain National Speedway, which will be shut down at the end of the season. It was the 12th time since 1983 the Outlaws have raced at the track just outside of Denver. Steve Kinser was the leading winner with five victories.
"I've always liked Denver," Pittman said. "This has been a good place for me and I always like coming here. It's a great city, I've got good friends here and I like racing here. I've won a 360 race here before. It seems to be good for us. We just need to keep going."
After departing Rocky Mountain National Speedway, the Outlaws return to Eagle Raceway Sept. 16-17 for the 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals in Eagle, Neb.; visit Jackson Speedway Sept. 23 in Jackson, Minn.; return Sept. 24 to Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis.; and compete Sept. 27 at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NOTEBOOK
* The addition of 16 drivers Tuesday night who raced for the first time this season with the World of Outlaws pushed the total number of drivers who have earned points in an Outlaws event in 2005 to 506. While Steve Kinser leads the way with 8,155 points, there are 15 drivers at the other end who have earned only 10 points.
* Paul McMahan paced the 35 cars to go through time trials with a lap around the semi-banked 3/8-mile oval in 12.430 seconds at 108.608 mph, just barely off the single-lap record of 12.014 seconds that Danny Lasoski established on Aug. 17, 2004. Shane Stewart was second quick at 12.466 seconds.
* Daryn Pittman's victory Tuesday night at Rocky Mountain National Speedway was his third of the season. -- Steve Kinser leads the series with 18 A-feature victories in addition to five preliminary wins. -- There have been 17 different A-feature winners this season. Including preliminary events, 22 different drivers have visited Victory Lane. -- Kraig Kinser captured the Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 14 for his sixth A-feature victory of the season. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. -- Donny Schatz's victory on Sept. 4 at Calistoga Speedway was his sixth of the season. -- Jason Meyers earned his fourth win of the season July 2 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. -- Tim Shaffer's victory July 19 in the Silver Cup was his third of the season, going with wins Lake Ozark Speedway and Thunderbowl Raceway. Craig Dollansky has two A-feature victories and three preliminary feature wins. -- Brian Paulus won June 28 at Huset's Speedway for his second victory of the season, and picked up a preliminary feature win in the following race at Red River Valley Speedway. -- Brooke Tatnell has two A-feature victories, winning at Cedar Lake and Fulton speedways, as well as a preliminary feature win at Princeton Speedway. -- Sammy Swindell won his second A-feature of the season June 4 at Eldora Speedway. Swindell also has a preliminary feature win April 8 at Eldora and Aug. 14 at Knoxville Raceway in the Nationals' non-qualifiers event. -- Danny Lasoski won Aug. 30 at Cottage Grove Speedway and has three preliminary feature wins. -- Fred Rahmer won the Summer Nationals crown July 23 and picked up a preliminary feature win in the Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 10. -- Single-event winners include Jac Haudenschild on Aug. 5 at Eldora Speedway, Stevie Smith July 13 at Attica Raceway Park, Tim Kaeding June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park, Chad Kemenah July 9 at I-55 Raceway, and Jeff Shepard Feb. 11 at Volusia Speedway Park. -- In preliminary features, Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart have each won once.
* Rocky Mountain National Speedway is a semi-banked 3/8-mile oval. Including preliminaries, the series has now raced 14 times this season on tracks that length, at Pike County Speedway, Houston Raceway Park, Batesville Speedway, Outlaw Motor Speedway, 81 Speedway, Huset's Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Attica Raceway Park, Fulton Speedway, BMP Speedway, Grays Harbor Raceway and now Rocky Mountain. Steve Kinser held off Brooke Tatnell to win at Pike County, Donny Schatz edged Steve Kinser at Houston, Kraig Kinser dominated at Batesville, Steve Kinser snuck past Jason Meyers late at Outlaw, Daryn Pittman cruised to victory at 81 Speedway, Jason Meyers outlasted the field at Sharon, Brian Paulus started on the pole and won at Huset's, Brooke Tatnell picked up his first win of the year at Cedar Lake and his second at Fulton, Stevie Smith won at Attica, Daryn Pittman won the feature and Steve Kinser won the preliminary at BMP Speedway, Donny Schatz won the feature and Steve Kinser won the preliminary at Grays Harbor, and Daryn Pittman won at Rocky Mountain.
* Drivers who have raced to victory in preliminary features this season include (in alphabetical order) Craig Dollansky three times (Manzanita/Williams Grove/Silver Dollar), Jason Johnson once (Williams Grove), Kraig Kinser once (Las Vegas), Steve Kinser five times (Eagle/Billings/Elma/Calistoga/Silver Dollar), Danny Lasoski three times (Australia/Knoxville/Calistoga), Kerry Madsen once (Australia), Paul McMahan once (Williams Grove), Brian Paulus once (Red River Valley), Fred Rahmer once (Knoxville), Joey Saldana once (Lernerville), Shane Stewart once (Knoxville), Brooke Tatnell once (Princeton), Sammy Swindell twice (Eldora/Knoxville).
* In the B-main, Rich Bubak had a great jump and slipped in front of Brian Paulus. The two weaved through traffic and restarted nose-to-tail after a caution with five laps to go. Paulus pulled along side as they went through Turns 3 and 4 for the final time with Bubek winning a drag race to the checkered flag to reach the main event in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series race at Rocky Mountain National Speedway for the third year in a row. Keith Rauch held onto third to transfer to the A-main in a 360-sprint car, earning a $500 bonus from promoter Fred Brownfield. Preston Peebles held on to pick up the final transfer spot in his first night competing against the Outlaws in a 410-sprint car.
* In the Stacker 2® Dash that made up the top six inside rows of the main event, fast-qualifier Paul McMahan started on the pole, traded the lead with Tim Shaffer over the first three laps and then motored to victory by slightly more than 1 second over Shaffer. Danny Lasoski wound up third, with Joey Saldana, Gary Taylor and Jac Haudenschild rounding out the field.
* After about an hour rain delay, the second Dash that set the outside top six row for the A-main rolled off with Shane Stewart leading from flag-to-flag by turning laps near qualifying speed on the slick track. Daryn Pittman held on to finish second ahead of Brooke Tatnell, Jason Sides, Steve Kinser and Brandon Wimmer.
* In the first heat, Jason Meyers quickly charged into the lead from the outside of the front row and pulled away. Halfway through the 10-lap heat he hit lapped traffic, but used it to his advantage as he smoothly worked through the field before they held up the rest of the lead pack. Jac Haudenschild, back in the No. 83 Beefpackers Eagle that he won with in August at Eldora, was second with fast-qualifier Paul McMahan, Donny Schatz and Jason Sides also transferring.
* In the second heat, 2005 Knoxville Nationals champion Kraig Kinser held off his father, Steve, as they raced high and low for 10 laps before Kraig took the checkered flag. Steve Kinser wound up second with Terry McCarl, Shane Stewart and Danny Lasoski also reaching the A-main.
* In the third heat, Patrick Bourke and Mike Woodruff flopped front spots on the first lap with Bourke sliding to the lead and driving to the checkered flag. Woodruff held off Craig Dollansky for second as Tim Shaffer and Brooke Tatnell picked up the remaining transfer spots.
* In the fourth heat, Jason Solwold was pulling away to an easy victory when the lapped car of Chad Corken, making only his third sprint car start, tapped Solwold's tail as they were coming to the white flag, sending them into a spin that also collected second-place running Brandon Wimmer. That moved Joey Saldana to the front for the green-white-checkered finish. Saldana held off Daryn Pittman to win with Gary Taylor winding up third. Solwold and Wimmer recovered to earn the final transfer spots.
* After departing Rocky Mountain National Speedway, the Outlaws return to Eagle Raceway Sept. 16-17 for the 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals in Eagle, Neb.; visit Jackson Speedway Sept. 23 in Jackson, Minn.; return Sept. 24 to Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis.; and compete Sept. 27 at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio.
* The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 14 the Harvest Classic from Calistoga Speedway and Sept. 21 the Gold Cup Race of Champions from Silver Dollar Speedway.