Wayne City, IL – The POWRi National Midget Series was in action for a special mid week tribute race. Daryn Pittman claimed victory in the second annual Jason Leffler Memorial at the Wayne County Speedway bullring in Southern Illinois. The race was dedicated to Leffler, who competed in a variety of forms of motorsport including midget, sprint car, IndyCar, and NASCAR.
A field of 38 cars entered the race with many of the top names in dirt midget racing. 40 laps would be the race distance that determined who won the top prize of $10,000.
Christopher Bell would start on the pole after winning heat race 3, and would lead the opening laps. Racing action was slowed early as a multi car wreck occurred on the back straight involving drivers Tanner Thorson, Garrett Aitken, Seth Motsinger, and Dave Darland. Darland returned to the work area to change a flat left rear tire.
The restart would see a lead change. After many laps of close racing, Bryan Clauson slipped under Bell on the inside groove. A brief red flag occurred nearing the midpoint of the race. It was for the car of Seth Motsinger, who was involved in the earlier wreck. This wreck ended his night upside down.
Clauson would take the green flag again and extend his lead over Bell and Rico Abreu. Keith Kunz Motorsports teammates Bell and Abreu would make contact racing for the 2nd position. This allowed a hard charging Daryn Pittman to catch the lead pack. Abreu would have to change a tire under yellow, forfeiting his top five position.
Pittman would catch and pass Clauson for the lead and never look back. The World of Outlaws sprint car regular took the win by an impressive margin. Bell would retake the 2nd position over Clauson, Justin Grant, and Zach Daum.
“I honestly didn’t know we were going to be able to win,” said Pittman, who only competes in a few midget races each year. In victory lane Pittman compared the win with his biggest winged sprint car victories.
Story & Photos By: Neil Cavanah Media