BARBERVILLE, FL – Kasey Kahne Racing dominated the final night of Sprint Car Week on Sunday at Volusia Speedway Park, with Brad Sweet taking the World of Outlaws feature and Daryn Pittman earning the overall championship.
Afterward, Austin Dillon, who spent the day qualifying for the Daytona 500, charged from ninth to victory to win the final DIRTcar UMP Modified qualifying race for Monday’s Gator Championship event.
In the final race of the week for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars at this year’s edition of the DIRTcar Nationals, Paul McMahan jumped out to a quick lead before being challenged by Sweet, who started fifth. Sweet grabbed the lead on lap 7 before McMahan swiped it back a lap later. McMahan tried to stretch his advantage but in the caution-free race he hit heavy traffic with Sweet closing fast. Sweet surged to the lead with seven laps to go and held off McMahan for his first win of the season.
“I was a little mad at myself because I passed him and then I let him pass me back, so I thought I gave it away because then I showed him the bottom and he was able to kind of get going,” said Sweet, of Grass Valley, Calif. “It’s just one little mistake, the grease kept coming back in three and four and then it would go away for a few laps and then come back. So it was just searching down there to try to figure it out, but my guys gave me a great car. We were knocking on the door all weekend so it’s nice to end it on a high note. Really nice to come out and start the season this strong for KKR as a whole, and especially our team.”
Pittman finished third, and combined with his two victories earlier in the week, was crowned the DIRTcar Nationals Sprint Week champion for the second time in three years. He used the momentum from winning the last one to propel his team to its first overall World of Outlaws championship in 2013.
“That’s a tough trophy to win and this is a tough track to come and start your season out on,” said Pittman, a native of Owasso, Okla. “We had our annual goals meeting on the way down here via text on what our goals were this week and they were pretty lofty and we almost got there. It was to win three Gators and the big one. And we got three within the company of KKR, two of them ourselves and the big one. It was a great week all the way around. We just put ourselves in position every night to get a good finish. Pretty disappointed with our finish last night but it was a good rebound for tonight.”
In the UMP Modified main event, Ken Schrader set the early pace but Dillon was pushing hard from his ninth starting position. He eventually swept past Schrader to grab the lead and pull away to the checkered flag, giving him his second Gator trophy of the week and a prime spot for Monday’s Gator Championship showcase for UMP Modifieds.
“I just made a pool, so hopefully it will swim in it later,” said Dillon, the grandson of legendary car owner Richard Childress and driver of the famous #3 NASCAR Sprint Cup car. “That was fun. I want to thank my Team Dillon Racing guys. I got wrecked in that heat race and I wasn’t happy about it, as you can tell by the way I was driving. Trying to get up through there, when you get inverted to fourth it’s hard in eight laps to get back to the lead. I’m just proud of these guys. It’s been a fun weekend already. Had a good qualifying day over there at Daytona. Hit the wall in the Unlimited, so hopefully the rest of the week can keep going like this.”
Nightly doubleheaders at Volusia run Monday through Saturday. On Monday night, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds will compete in their DIRTcar Nationals showcase Gator Championship while DIRTcar Late Models kick off the final week of action at the half-mile dirt oval.
DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 15, 2015; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.
DIRTcar UMP Modified A-Main (20 Laps) – 1. 3-Austin Dillon  ($700); 2. 9-Ken Schrader ; 3. 64JR-Billy Workman Jr. ; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson ; 5. 1G-Devin Gilpin ; 6. 36-Kenny Wallace ; 7. 88-Matt Crafton ; 8. 25-Tyler Nicely ; 9. 9M-Dale Mathison ; 10. 1X-Cody Erickson ; 11. 85-Kent Robinson ; 12. 51-Justin Allgaier ; 13. BD4-Jackie Boggs ; 14. D4-Dave Jamison ; 15. 10-Scott Mooers ; 16. K9-Will Krup ; 17. O1-Todd Sherman ; 18. Z8-Max McLaughlin ; 19. 85S-Mike Smith ; 20. OO-Bobby Rose ; 21. 11T-Dugan Thye ; 22. 71-Joel Ortberg ; 23. 1-Andy Galgoci ; 24. 15-Hunter Gustafson .
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Main (30 Laps) – 1. 49-Brad Sweet  ($10,000); 2. 51-Paul McMahan  [$5,500]; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$3,200]; 4. 7S-Jason Sides  [$2,800]; 5. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$2,500]; 6. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$2,300]; 7. 1-Lucas Wolfe  [$2,200]; 8. 2L-Danny Lasoski  [$2,100]; 9. 24-Terry McCarl  [$2,050]; 10. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,000]; 11. 27-Greg Hodnett  [$1,500]; 12. 2-Shane Stewart  [$1,200]; 13. 1s-Logan Schuchart  [$1,100]; 14. 83-David Gravel  [$1,050]; 15. 10H-Chad Kemenah  [$1,000]; 16. 45-Tim Shaffer  [$900]; 17. 14K-Dale Blaney  [$800]; 18. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$800]; 19. 11-Steve Kinser  [$800]; 20. 4-Cody Darrah  [$800]; 21. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$]; 22. 41-Jason Johnson  [$800]; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$800]; 24. 98H-Dave Blaney  [$800]; 25. 63-Kody Swanson  [$800].
DIRTcar Nationals Sprint Week Championship Points: 1. 9-Daryn Pittman, 2400; 2. 29-Kerry Madsen, 2386; 3. 49-Brad Sweet, 2376; 4. 71M-Joey Saldana, 2356; 5. 51-Paul McMahan, 2346; 6. 27-Greg Hodnett, 2331; 7. 2L-Danny Lasoski, 2320; 8. 7S-Jason Sides, 2317; 9. 15-Donny Schatz, 2295; 10. 83-David Gravel, 2262.
DIRTcar Nationals Day-by-Day Schedule (Grandstands open at 5 p.m.)
Monday, Feb. 16 – DIRTcar Late Models & DIRTcar UMP Modifieds ‘Gator Championship’
Tuesday, Feb. 17 – DIRTcar Late Models & DIRTcar UMP Modifieds Triple 20s
Wednesday, Feb. 18 – DIRTcar Late Models & Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds
Thursday, Feb. 19 – World of Outlaws Late Models & Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds
Friday, Feb. 20 – World of Outlaws Late Models & Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds
Saturday, Feb. 21 – World of Outlaws Late Models & Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds