West Memphis, AR – Daryn Pittman has had a slow start to the 2018 season. That all changed Friday night at Riverside International Speedway, when the Owasso, OK native picked up his 73rd career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory, moving him into 10th all-time on the Series win list. Pittman’s Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Brad Sweet came from ninth to finish second, with Paul McMahan completing the podium.
“I’m not done yet,” Pittman said after emerging from his ionomy sponsored No.9 machine in Victory Lane. “As a driver, when you start off the season like that, you can’t help but question yourself and your ability,” Pittman, who had yet to score a top-five finish before tonight’s win, added.
Sheldon Haudenschild continued his blazing start to the 2018 season, setting fast time over the 32-car field and storming from fifth to take the Craftsman Club Dash. But it was Daryn Pittman leading the opening lap, coming from third to take command of the field down the backstretch.
As Pittman quickly approached traffic on the bullring, Haudenschild was able to rim-ride his way to the lead on the eighth circuit. Pittman, the 2007 Outlaw winner at Riverside, committed to the bottom and took the lead back a lap later. A caution for 1981 Riverside Outlaw winner, Sammy Swindell, who was running in the top-five, halted the intense action.
Haudenschild wasn’t done yet as the young Wooster, OH native was banging down the wall trying to close in on Pittman. Unfortunately for Sheldon, he ended up on his lid in turn two on Lap 19. Sheldon would return to action with a damaged race car and limp his way to a 19th place finish.
An ((Open Red)) allowed teams to make minor adjustments and discuss their plan of action with 21 laps remaining.
“I was questioning what to do, the bottom was getting really slow in turns three and four, but my guys told me that Sheldon was banging down the wall and still couldn’t quite get by. I figured I would stick to what we were doing until someone showed me different,” Pittman said.
And that was the case as Pittman held off charges from McMahan and Sweet to win by .518 seconds. Brad Sweet was able to close in on the top off of turn four but was unable to make any ground up in one and two and ultimately settled for the runner-up position.
“The top was a little better in turn four, but I didn’t want to show Daryn my nose. We’ve had a couple of bad runs in a row, so it’s nice to get a good finish. This team deserves to be on the frontstretch,” Sweet said after exiting his NAPA Auto Parts No.49 machine.
Paul McMahan threatened for the lead multiple times in lapped traffic but came home third.
“Everyone had me washed up two years ago, so to be up front and on the podium with these guys is a lot of fun,” McMahan said.
Rico Abreu was strong all night and finished fourth, his best finish of the season. David Gravel earned KSE Hard Charger honors coming from 21st to complete the top-five.
In no discounting fashion to the Feature, which saw action all over the track, it was the Heat Races that brought the capacity crowd to their feet. Specifically, Heat 2 that saw Arkansas native Derek Hagar charge from fifth to grab a Dash spot after spending nearly three laps three-wide with Kerry Madsen and Cale Thomas. The Dash also saw multiple laps of three-wide action. Highlights of both aforementioned qualifying events are posted on the World of Outlaws Twitter.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series continues its 40th Anniversary season at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO before completing its triple-header weekend at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, IN. If you can’t make it to the track, be sure to watch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.com!
-World of Outlaws Press Release & Photo
Feature Results (40 Laps): 1. 9-Daryn Pittman [$10,000]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [$5,500]; 3. 45-Paul McMahan [$3,200]; 4. 24-Rico Abreu [$2,800]; 5. 5-David Gravel [$2,500]; 6. 26-Joey Saldana [$2,300]; 7. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg [$2,200]; 8. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,100]; 9. 41-Jason Johnson [$2,050]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$2,000]; 11. 9JR-Derek Hagar [$1,500]; 12. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,200]; 13. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$1,100]; 14. 2M-Kerry Madsen [$1,050]; 15. 83-Cory Eliason [$1,000]; 16. 2-Shane Stewart [$900]; 17. 19-Brent Marks [$]; 18. 21-Carson Short [$800]; 19. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$800]; 20. 40-Howard Moore [$800]; 21. 91-Cale Thomas [$800]; 22. 18-Ian Madsen [$800]; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen [$800]; 24. 3-Sammy Swindell [$800]; 25. 91A-Ernie Ainsworth [$800] Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman 1-7, 9-40; Sheldon Haudenschild 8; KSE Hard Charger Award: 5-David Gravel[+16]