Jonathan Allard Completes California Driver Sweep of Gold Cup
Allard follows up win by fellow California-native Carson Macedo, to complete a California sweep of the Gold Cup
CHICO, Calif. – Sept. 6, 2014 – Daryn Pittman had the Gold Cup Race of Champions win in his sights Saturday night but Jonathan Allard had other ideas. In the final turn, on the final lap, Allard got around the reigning series champion to score one of the biggest prizes on the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series schedule – the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway.
Allard’s win made him the 21st different driver this season to win a World of Outlaws feature and gave the California crew a sweep of the weekend’s events at Silver Dollar Speedway over the Outlaws.
“Did I win? What?” Allard said in victory lane following his victory. “You have no idea. After the week we’ve had, just to come home with all my friends and family, especially this crowd has always supported me, this hometown win is pretty special. I’ve always wanted to win a Gold Cup since I was sitting up there eating ice cream. I can’t even believe it!”
Allard, a Chico, Calif. native, led just one lap of the feature in his Tri-C Machine car – the one that counted. After Pittman took the lead from California native Sean Becker on a restart on lap 25, Allard bided his time. He worked his way past Becker and then set his sights on Pittman and the race lead. On the final turn of the final lap in the 40-lap feature, Allard smelled victory.
“I knew we had to finish to be able to stay in contention,” Allard said. “The way the week has been going I was pretty settled in second but I smelled the rubber get down and I’ve passed on the middle of four for the lead before.”
“I can’t believe we won it.”
Like Carson Macedo the previous night at Silver Dollar Speedway, this was Allard’s first ever World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win. He became the 11th different non-Outlaw of the season to win a World of Outlaws feature.
Sean Becker led the field to the green flag with fellow California drivers Allard and Macedo, the winner of night one of the Gold Cup, in second and third. Pittman, who started the feature in fifth, quickly moved forward, advancing into the top-three by lap five.
On lap 12, following a caution as Bud Kaeding spun in turn two, Pittman moved to second on the restart. Through several cautions, Pittman struggled to find a way around Becker. That was until another restart on lap 24. Pittman this time looked high on the track and found a line around Becker. He led lap 25.
“I just picked the wrong line on the restart and the bottom was working so well for me,” Becker said. “I knew I was going to have to move up eventually on one of the restarts, I just picked one too late.”
Through subsequent cautions Becker lost ground, eventually falling back as far as fourth before rallying back to third.
In the closing laps, Pittman looked set to cruise to his 14th win of the season, but Allard saw to it that that did not happen, passing Pittman on the final lap. Saturday was the second night in a row Pittman finished second in his #9 Great Clips car. Pittman is the only Outlaw to score a podium finish on both nights at Silver Dollar Speedway.
“We put on really hard tires banking on it laying rubber and I was surprised that it didn’t lay rubber until so late,” Pittman said. “I only got lucky and found it on that last yellow. I just didn’t find any in three and four. I got lucky and got to the rubber in one and two but just had no idea where it was at in three and four and got beat.”
“Same story, different night. This one just stings a hell of a lot worse than last night, I can tell you that much. Congrats to them. Jonathan is a great guy and it’s a good team.”
Becker, who led the first 24 laps in his Cherry Street Mini Storage car, finished the night in second after holding off a strong challenge from the #2 of Shane Stewart.
“Definitely proud of my team,” Becker said. “I’m so thankful to be part of this Dan Menne team. We had a lot of races on our motor so we were basically keeping our fingers crossed that it would last one more race. So we basically picked tonight to come out… Man, we were really good tonight, it was hard breaking.”
“Hats off to Daryn Pittman, he’s obviously one of the best in the world and (Jonathan Allard) is a big hero of mine. To finish behind these two guys, it’s quite an accomplishment. Hopefully we get a couple of spots better next time.”
Donny Schatz lost a little more ground Saturday night in the race for the championship as his points lead over second place Pittman shrank to 191. Third place Paul McMahan is now 308 points of the lead for the championship.
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 7 at Antioch Speedway in Antioch, Calif. The Outlaws then return to the Upper Midwest for The Arnold Motor Supply Shootout at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Spencer, Iowa on Sept. 12 and the ASGROW/DEKALB Clash at the Creek at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn. on Sept. 13.