2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Dary Pittman Daryn Pittman has been one of the most consistent drivers with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series over the last five years. He has finished...
2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Dary Pittman
Daryn Pittman has been one of the most consistent drivers with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series over the last five years. He has finished eighth or better in the championship standings each of those seasons, winning 19 A-Feature events along the way. He has also finishes a career-best fourth in points in three of those campaigns. He and his team have spent the winter meticulously preparing in their Brownsburg, Indiana shop for a run at the series title this season.
Pittman spent a couple of weeks in Australia during the off-season gearing up for the new season. He was victorious at Brisbane International Speedway in December and also competed against a number of fellow Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway. He began his 2008 season on North American soil on Thursday night at East Bay Raceway Park in Florida with the American Sprint Car Series.
"It definitely doesn't hurt racing there," said Pittman of his stint in Australia. "I don't know how much it helps, but it helps you stay active. The more you physically drive a race car, the better you hopefully get. I've always enjoy going over there. It gives us a chance to try a few things that we normally would not be able to try in the middle of a season while chasing points."
The 2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season will begin for Pittman at Volusia Speedway Park next week with the 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals. He won the finale of the event last season, leading all 30 laps in a dominating performance. In seven starts with the World of Outlaws at the half-mile, he has earned six Top-10 finishes.
"It's important, but it's not the end of the year," he explained of the three races in the Sunshine state that open the season. "You have a long time to make up for it, but it is always easier to start off good and on top and make everyone else chase you, rather than the one chasing everyone else. We don't stake the whole year on it, but hopefully it sets the tone for the year when you go there and do well. If you win there, that gives you a good platform and good motivation to get started on."
Pittman won six A-Feature events last season to bring his total with the series to 25 in his career. Along with his win in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals last February, he was also victorious at Riverside International Speedway in Arkansas, Dodge City Raceway Park in Kansas, Nodak Speedway in North Dakota, Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin and at Orange County Fair Speedway in New York. He wound up fourth in championship points on the strength of 52 Top-10 finishes.
He was one of just four drivers that led more than 200 laps of feature racing competition in 2007. In addition, Pittman won the dash five times to earn the same number of pole positions, as well as picking up the hard charger award eight times over the course of the year. Entering the 2008 season, he and the team have a number of areas outlined that they want to improve on from last year.
"We want to win more this year and move up in the points and be more consistent," noted the native of Owasso, Oklahoma. "The biggest thing is that we have to qualify better and qualify more consistently. We had very good race cars last year, probably the best we have ever had. We just didn't qualify very well and found ourselves battling from the back of the pack more times than not to salvage decent finishes. We just have to go out and qualify well no matter what situation we are in and put ourselves in a better position to win races."
Over 80 races dot the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule this year from coast-to-coast. Pittman will have the chance to visit a number of tracks he has never been to before including: Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, North Dakota, Gillette Thunder Speedway in Gillette, Wyoming and Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Virginia. Of the tracks on the 2008 schedule, he has won at 17 of them.
"The more races the better for me," shared Pittman. "This is how we make a living, so the more we race the more money we can make. That is part of the excitement of the Outlaws deal, that we run so much. You have to basically be good for nine, almost ten months a year."
Pittman will have Glenno Inglis back on board as crew chief this season on the Titan Racing USA machine. The pair have worked together for a number of years. They will also welcome a new crew member to the team after long time crewman Bingo Jenkins returned home to pursue other opportunities.
"Everything is going well," Pittman said about his crew. "We picked up another crew guy and I am looking forward to everything. There should be no reason why we aren't headed in the right direction and should be better than last year."
After facing one of the strongest fields in World of Outlaws history last season in which 21 drivers completed the entire season, Pittman expects the level of competition to be ratcheted up even more this season, as again over 20 drivers and teams are expected to compete full-time.
"The better the competition is, the more that the teams step it up," he said. "You saw at the end of last year that teams refused to give up and got better. More teams were able to win races. Realistically I think there are seven or eight teams that are in contention for the Top-Three spots in the points."
Pittman's main goal is to win races and run at the front of the field, and to let the points take care of themselves. With the strong team that car owner Reeve Kruck has assembled, Pittman is confidence that they can be a contender each and every night.
"Consistency is obviously a big thing and you have to win a lot of races," said the former World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion. "I think it will take 15 wins a year for someone to be in contention, and to have a good enough race team to give them a car to finish in the Top-Three and Top-five on the nights they don't win. You have to make bad nights into good salvageable point nights. It's a big challenge over the course of 85 races, but definitely something have been gearing up for over the last three or four years."