CONCORD, N.C. — Audio and recap by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Chris Seelman photo —
Rico Abreu had the dominant car, but it was defending World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Daryn Pittman who had the right moves at the end of Friday night’s Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals A-main.
Pittman powered around Abreu in turn four on lap 23, just before a caution came out for a slowing Craig Dollansky, to grab the lead. It was one he would not relinquish, despite a green-white-checkered finish that pushed the race one lap past its scheduled distance after Dollansky and Bill Balog tangled to bring out the caution just after Pittman took the white flag.
“Hats off to my crew. (Crew Chief) Kale Kahne – he’s just been working really hard to try to get us that next little step that we need to win more races and win races from not on the front row,” said Pittman, who started in sixth and methodically worked his way forward. “We’ve been creeping up on it. We had a really good car.”
“(Crew members) Kale, Kolten and David – I just couldn’t do it without them…. I’m only as good as the people around me and I’ve got some of the best. It’s just a lot of fun to come out here and try to finish the year off on a good note.”
Abreu, who passed pole-sitter Terry McCarl on the opening corner of Friday’s feature, came up a couple car lengths short at the finish and said he just didn’t have enough at the end when the track blew off to hang on.
“The bottom just got really clean there at the end and I knew (Pittman) was going to be there at some point, I just wasn’t sure when,” Abreu said. “I was trying to watch and judge off of lap cars. I thought I did really good running in lap traffic… I thought I had a really good car tonight. I felt like I just needed to make some better decisions just judging cars.”
Abreu, who has won 24 races across 10 different sanctions this season, says he feels the best about his chances as he has all season, and added it would mean a lot to grab his second career Outlaws win at the World Finals.
“I’m so confident in my cars this year so I feel like everywhere we go we’ve got a good baseline and we just roll out of the trailer good,” said Abreu, who has one World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win this season. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow night… obviously this race wasn’t won from the front row so if you’ve got a good car you’re going to go to the front and I’m ready to make that happen.”
“This is a special place and it means a lot to win here. I hope we can do it tomorrow.”
Pittman’s Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Brad Sweet finished third after winning the Last Chance Showdown, and tried to make a last ditch charge to snag second from Abreu but came up short.
“Yeah, we’ll take (third),” Sweet said. “Hats off to my guys. They gave me a great car. You can’t run that close to the wall without a good racecar. I made a lot of mistakes and I still ran third. That just shows you how good our car was.”
“I’ve got to thank my guys – Mike Carber is my new crew chief, so it was nice to come out here and run top-three. We’ve got a new guy, Austin, and George has been with us all year long. It just shows with Daryn winning and us running third, (Kasey Kahne Racing is) real strong.”
Danny Lasoski finished fourth after challenging for a podium result early, and Greg Hodnett rounded out the top five.
David Gravel was the KSE Hard Charger, moving from 25th to finish ninth after being forced to use a provisional to start the feature. Polesitter Terry McCarl fell back through the field late in the going and finished tenth.
Steve Kinser, in his final full-time weekend as an Outlaw, fell four positions shy of advancing through the Last Chance Showdown and did not have a provisional to start Friday’s A-main.
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series returns to action on Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the conclusion of the Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals.
Audio with race winner Daryn Pittman:
Audio with runner-up Rico Abreu:
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; The Dirt Track at Charlotte; Concord, N.C.; Nov. 7, 2014
A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$12,000]; 2. 24R-Rico Abreu  [$5,500]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet  [$3,200]; 4. 2D-Danny Lasoski  [$2,800]; 5. 27-Greg Hodnett  [$2,500]; 6. 19M-Brent Marks  [$2,300]; 7. 51S-Stevie Smith  [$2,200]; 8. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$2,100]; 9. 83-David Gravel  [$1,050]; 10. 24-Terry McCarl  [$2,000]; 11. W20-Greg Wilson  [$1,500]; 12. 63-Kody Swanson  [$1,200]; 13. 15-Donny Schatz  [$1,100]; 14. 94-Ryan Smith  [$1,050]; 15. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$1,000]; 16. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$1,000]; 17. 1s-Logan Schuchart  [$1,000]; 18. 1A-Jacob Allen  [$]; 19. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$1,000]; 20. 17B-Bill Balog  [$1,000]; 21. 4-Cody Darrah  [$1,000]; 22. 51-Paul McMahan  [$1,000]; 23. 98H-Dave Blaney  [$1,000]; 24. 7S-Jason Sides  [$1,000]; 25. 45-Tim Shaffer  [$1,000]; 26. 14-Lance Dewease  [$1,000].
Lap Leaders: Rico Abreu 1-22, Daryn Pittman 23-30.
KSE Hard Charger Award: 83-David Gravel [+16]
Qualifying – 1. 9-Daryn Pittman, 12.579