Daryn Pittman Goes Back-to-Back, Sweeping the Boot Hill Showdown presented by Roto-Mix
Earns ninth win of the season after a hard fought battle with Kerry Madsen
DODGE CITY, Kan. – July 5, 2014 – After battling Kerry Madsen for much of the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series feature Saturday night, Daryn Pittman won back-to-back nights at Dodge City Raceway Park, sweeping the Boot Hill Showdown presented by Roto-Mix.
Pittman, who started the race in fourth in his Great Clips car, had to fight his way past Madsen, Joey Saldana and polesitter David Gravel.
“I kind of love Dodge City – this place has been really nice to me,” Pittman said.
The first caution came out on lap two. On the restart, Madsen and Pittman jumped into the first and second positions, passing Gravel. The two battled, with Pittman looking for a way around Madsen. He got his first opportunity as Madsen hit lapped traffic for the first time on lap eight, but Pittman was not able to make up ground.
When the caution again came out on lap 17, Pittman got the opportunity he had been looking for. Madsen chose the bottom lane putting Pittman on top. As the green flag flew, the drivers drag raced down the front stretch with Pittman taking the lead from Madsen as they dove into turn one.
Madsen looked for opportunities to pilot his American Racing Custom Wheels car around Pittman in the remaining 13 laps and almost had his chance in the final laps as Pittman worked his way through lapped traffic and almost made contact with an inside barrier.
“When it gets rubbered like that, [lapped cars are] in the groove and the worst thing you can do as the leader is move out of the groove and give up the race,” Pittman said. “So I was pretty committed to staying on the bottom and trying to make [the lapped car] bobble at least enough that I could get my nose underneath him, but it just wasn’t going to happen… Luckily, [the lapped car] opened up the door there just enough at the end that I was able to get by on the front stretch and I thought that might be enough to get us to the end as long as the tires held up and luckily it was.”
With family and friends in attendance, the Owasso, Okla. native, won his second feature in as many nights and his ninth race of the season. As great as win nine was, Pittman said he is looking forward to a bigger prize.
“It feels good, but it means nothing come November if we’re not at the top of the charts in the points,” Pittman said. “Obviously we didn’t win the most races last year. That was something we knew we needed to improve on, and we’ve got off to a good start… So hopefully, this is halfway, if we can get to 18 at the end of the year we’ll be in the hunt for that championship again and that’s our main goal.”
Pittman closed the gap between he and Donny Schatz to 73 points in the race for the championship.
Madsen, who led 15 laps Saturday night, said the bottom lane was the right one on the lap 17 restart, he just had an issue.
“Obviously, if it had gone non-stop we would have had a good chance,” Madsen said. “Once that groove got in we really had to play it conservatively, and when it was time to attack, try to attack. Definitely wasn’t the wrong lane choice, just didn’t happen for us. Got beat on the start, but that’s sprint car racing and it was a great result for us.”
Polesitter Gravel led the first two laps of the race in his Roth Motorsports car. After finishing 15th on night one of the Boot Hill Showdown presented by Roto-Mix, Gravel said Saturday was a good rebound night for he and his team.
“I led the first two laps and then the second restart there Daryn and Kerry were definitely more aggressive and got by me,” Gravel said. “Early in the race we really stood up and I really couldn’t enter the corner too hard which kind of hurt me… Obviously, when you start on the pole, you don’t want to finish in third.”
“It’s a good run to go into the Brad Doty Classic and Kings Royal. I’m a little upset but I can’t complain about third.”
Farther back in the field, 20-time champion Steve Kinser took tonight’s ASE Hard Charger Award, picking up ten positions to finish fourth.