Texas: Daryn Pittman preview

Daryn Pittman set for US Air Force showdown at TMS. FT. WORTH, TX (March 26) -- With the first 10 races under his belt in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws 25th anniversary campaign, 24 year-old Daryn Pittman seems happy. The 2002 World Series ...

Daryn Pittman set for US Air Force showdown at TMS.

FT. WORTH, TX (March 26) -- With the first 10 races under his belt in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws 25th anniversary campaign, 24 year-old Daryn Pittman seems happy. The 2002 World Series Sprintcars champion realizes that he and his Sherdon Motorsports team have had their share of luck, more bad than good, early on, but in regard to how has he has been racing, he likes how things have gone.

"We can't be too down about the early going," said Pittman as he prepared for this weekend's United States Air Force Showdown for O'Reilly World of Outlaws sprint cars at the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway. "Of course, we would like to already have at least one win under our belts, but we're getting better. We had one bad weekend, but other than that we've been right there."

Pittman is coming off a career-best WoO season in 2002 winning six races including one at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway -- the sister track to site of this weekend's action. The Owasso, OK native, who in January became the first American to ever win the Australian World Series Sprintcar title, has been trying to stay focused on his season goal of a top five finish in the standings.

"Consistency is the key in this deal," said Pittman, who has spent four full seasons with the WoO and stepped away in 2001 to conquer the WoO Gumout series. "We had some things slow us down a little early, but I'm confident most of that is behind us. The J&J car has been terrific. Joe and all the guys at Gaerte Engines are really working hard to perfect this Mopar motor program, and I know that's really going to help us all season."

Pittman currently ranks 9th in the WoO standings and certainly would be knocking on the door of the top five had he not struggled through a dismal weekend with mechanical gremlins that ended with a pair of 26th-place finishes. The young hot shoe is excited to return to the ultra-fast 3/8-mile Dirt Track at TMS.

"I really like the track, and last fall they had an awesome surface," continued Pittman, who's best career finish at the track came last April when he finished sixth. "When they opened it in 2000, I knew it was a first-class facility, and I think if they can give us another two-groove racetrack, we'll put on a heck of show. We just want to be close to front come feature time and take our chances from there."

Being close to the front is key with the caliber of competition the Outlaws put on the track night in and night out. Pitman's ability to qualify well was a big key to last year's success and he knows that his two laps against the clock really play a big role in the evening's outcome.

"You can't start any worse that sixth or seventh and realistically have a chance to win," said Pittman. "I mean last week we started fourth and a couple guys in front of us had problems and we came home second. The guys are just too good and you can't spot someone that kind of track position and be able to run them down.

"The Mopars have been great for us in qualifying and the J&J cars have been right on come feature time. That's what this weekend is all about. Get qualified well and keep working to get the car perfect for the feature."

The two-night program will begin on Friday and both events can be heard live on SCN (Sprintcar Network). Check out www.sprintcarnet.com for start times.

-www.darynpittman.com

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Daryn Pittman