Daryn Pittman Captures Summer Nationals Finale At Williams Grove Speedway Mechanicsburg, PA -- July 22, 2006 -- Daryn Pittman dominated the final night of the Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals on Saturday to earn the first victory of his...
Daryn Pittman Captures Summer Nationals Finale At Williams Grove Speedway
Mechanicsburg, PA -- July 22, 2006 -- Daryn Pittman dominated the final night of the Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals on Saturday to earn the first victory of his career at historic Williams Grove Speedway.
Pittman, who entered the finale as the Summer Nationals points leader in the Titan Garages and Carports Maxim, won the JakesKarts.com Dash, started on the pole and held off Donny Schatz's ParkerStore J&J for 30 caution-free laps to roll into the RacinSoles Victory Lane with a $20,000 share of the Month of Money.
Craig Dollansky, who won the second night of the Summer Nationals, finished third in the Karavan Trailers Maxim with Brooke Tatnell in the Race Outfitters Eagle and Joey Saldana in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI completing a top-five sweep for the Mean 15 in the heart of Pennsylvania Posse country.
Pittman had been close to winning before at Williams Grove, but something always conspired to keep him out of the winner's circle until Saturday night. That's why even though he was starting from the pole, Pittman refused to be confident about winning until the checkered flag waved.
"I think I thought that twice here in the fall last year and it bit me," said Pittman, of Owasso, Okla. "We led the most laps and lost. You never know with Schatz and [Fred] Rahmer and some of those guys behind you that are normally pretty good here. You can never take any lap easy. I just told myself when we got down to the last five that I'd try to start running them harder and harder. You never take it easy, but there's no room for mistakes. I just didn't want to run second here again. Schatz is awfully good and to finally be able to beat him here at one of his best racetracks is a great accomplishment. Our car was just awesome. This is a brand new Don Ott motor this weekend and it was just incredible. All in all, I couldn't ask for a better weekend.
"It seemed like we had been on the outside for every start so to be on the pole was a good advantage. So many times throughout the past years we've always had good prelim nights and come full point and full pay days, we seem to fall apart. We kicked the rods out here in the spring on the last lap and fell out. I was confident in the car, but nervous on the other side, too, knowing we needed to take full advantage of it."
The luck also went Pittman's way in the feature. Schatz was trying to reel in Pittman, cutting the deficit each lap as they weaved through traffic. Then midway through the main event, Schatz's motor had trouble. He stayed out and managed to finish second despite losing a cylinder.
"We blew a motor," said Schatz, of Fargo, N.D. "We got to him and it broke the head off of a valve so I ran around on seven cylinders. That's basically what lost us the race but we didn't fall out. You blow a motor and normally you're sitting in the pits. We finished second."
By nursing his car to the finish, Schatz managed to increase his lead in the championship standings to 207 points.
"We're consistent," Schatz said. "You've got to be, not just for championship points, but money-wise. You've got to be in the money every night. That's what we're here for. These guys worked hard and I wanted to get them a win tonight. We weren't very good the last two nights and tonight we were good and had something go wrong. It wasn't anything anybody did. You just can expect some of the metal in these motors to do all these miracles. It got real hot and we took a chance on us and it bit us."
Pittman never let up, instead increasing the pressure on himself and the field as the race went on.
"I didn't know what Schatz was doing behind me," Pittman said. "I knew once we got to traffic, the first four or five cars we got to I split and got by real quick. ... I kept seeing Schatz try to slide me a little bit so I knew I was getting pressured pretty hard and I had to make something happen. Luckily we made all the right calls and got through it clean enough and in one piece."
While Pittman certainly deserved the spotlight for his dominating run on Saturday and consistent performance throughout the Summer Nationals, it was the World of Outlaws in general that shined against the vaunted Pennsylvania Posse. Not only did a Mean 15 driver win each of the three nights (Terry McCarl in the opener, Craig Dollansky on the second night), but World of Outlaws racers swept the top five spots in the finale.
"The top five finishers are the top five in World of Outlaws points, too," Pittman said. "That's real rare. We've got a great bunch of guys out here who are tough. You never know what you're going to get when the National Open rolls around, it could change 100 percent. You've got to stay on top of your game at Williams Grove and qualify and be good every time you hit the racetrack. We definitely have an advantage because we qualify every night and they don't have to do it each time. It's not for a lack of equipment because they've got as good as anybody. It's a huge compliment to the Outlaws. Hopefully an Outlaw can bring him the big money here in the fall, too."
Dollansky, whose motor stumbled at the start of the dash to put him third, was also excited about the performance of the World of Outlaws teams at Williams Grove.
"I think this is a very strong group, there's no question about it," said Dollansky, of Elk River, Minn. "I think you saw that during the Kings Royal weekend as well as this weekend here. There are a lot of good, strong race teams out here. The finish speaks for itself. Out here is as tough as they get with the Pennsylvania Posse. It was definitely a good run for the World of Outlaws teams."
Even Brooke Tatnell, a masterful driver on the bull rings who doesn't hide his disdain for Williams Grove's half-mile, was all smiles after earning a top-five when he failed to make the feature during the May event.
"It's never been a secret of what I think of this place," said Tatnell, a native of San Souci, New South Wales, Australia. "I think of this place like what Americans think of vegemite. You've got to get used to it. I think we've finally figured out where we need to be to run this place. It's a good weekend for the Outlaws. It's not every weekend you get to beat up on Freddie [Rahmer] and Lance [Dewease]."
The positive results also mean Tatnell can relax --if only slightly -- when the Outlaws return for the $50,000 to win National Open in September.
"We don't have to fret about it for the month prior, we can just worry about it two weeks prior," Tatnell joked. "It's definitely a confidence run. We were concerned about how we were going to do this weekend and we've exceeded our expectations. We've come across some things we need to do. Schatz said to me before, 'I used to hate that place then one day I stumbled on something and been good ever since.' Hopefully this was our stumbling block."
A top-five for Joey Saldana's team also was encouraging. The Kings Royal champions, Saldana's team has been doing everything it can to keep pace with Schatz.
"I wish I would have won, obviously, but it was neat that the Outlaws swept the weekend," said Saldana, of Brownsburg, Ind. "You don't see that very often at Williams Grove. It goes to show we're pretty deep and running good at all the tracks. It's nice that everybody has won the big races this season. Hopefully we can keep it going.
"It's a huge confidence here. The first time we were here, my car was really good. This time we've kind of struggled with it. Tonight we finally felt like we were close. Not close enough, but close. At least we have something we can work off of when we come back."
There's no rest for the Mean 15 teams as they race Sunday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y., and Tuesday at Fulton (N.Y.) Speedway before shifting to the PolyDome Princeton Nationals on July 28-29 at Princeton (Minn.) Speedway.
WILLIAMS GROVE SUMMER NATIONALS NOTEBOOK NIGHT #3
* QUALIFYING: Following two nights of action, Daryn Pittman, Donny Schatz, Craig Dollansky and Brooke Tatnell were locked into the main event on Saturday. The rest of the teams were lined up for heat race action according the points they earned through the first two nights.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included Joey Saldana, Kenny Jacobs, Mike Erdley and Lance Dewease. ... Jeff Shepard won the B-Main. ... Daryn Pittman picked up the win in the dash.0x2028
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 14 different winners in 35 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway, June 30 at 81 Speedway, and July 18 at Lernerville Speedway), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia, June 4 at Terre Haute, June 23 at Knoxville Raceway, July 1 at Dodge City Raceway Park, July 13 at Limaland Motorsports Park, and July 15 at Eldora Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway, June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park, and July 7 at Lawrenceburg Speedway), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway, June 4 at Eldora Speedway, and July 14 at Eldora Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway and July 22 at Williams Grove), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway) and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway) and Terry McCarl (July 3 at Huset's Speedway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There have been six preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list included: Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim night on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9, Terry McCarl who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 20, and Craig Dollansky who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 21.
* HALF-MILE WINNERS: Williams Grove Speedway is a semi-banked, half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has now raced 16 times this season on half-mile ovals, including preliminary features. Winners include: Joey Saldana (Volusia, Terre Haute, Knoxville, and Eldora), Donny Schatz (Las Vegas and twice at Red River Valley), Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Danny Lasoski (Manzanita), Craig Dollansky (Twice at Eldora and Williams Grove), Sammy Swindell (Las Vegas and twice at Eldora Speedway), Terry McCarl (Williams Grove) and Daryn Pittman (Williams Grove).0x2028
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 26 the Knight Before the Kings Royal from Eldora Speedway. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).