DODGE CITY, KS — official release — The fireworks flew early Friday night at Dodge City Raceway Park where contact on the first turn of the first lap between Paul McMahan and Sammy Swindell left Swindell on his roof and out of the race, and set the stage for Daryn Pittman’s eighth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series win of the season at the Boothill Showdown presented by Roto-Mix.
As the green flag fell on the race, three-time champion Swindell led the field to the start-finish line. He jumped out to the lead as the three cars behind him, McMahan, Pittman and Sides jockeyed for position. McMahan drove low into turns one and two, looking for the lead.
“[Swindell] opened the corner up and I tried to dive in on the bottom and it’s a little greasy,” McMahan said. “And as soon as I got down there, the car took off and I got into him.”
Swindell climbed from his damaged racecar with his night ended prematurely. McMahan, who finished the night in second in his CJB Motorsports car, apologized to Swindell following the race.
“I know it doesn’t make him feel any better,” McMahan said. “It wasn’t intentional – it’s not the way I race. We’ve run all year long with Sam and never had a problem. I hate it for him and all the Big Game guys.”
Pittman, who went on to lead all 30 laps in his Great Clips car, holding off challenges from McMahan, said in victory lane he was not sure what happened, but that the first lap incident between McMahan and Swindell was a big break for he and his team.
“You know what they say, I’d rather be lucky than good any day,” Pittman said.
“This is a good win. This is too good of a team for us to run the way we have the last couple of races and nobody got down.”
Pittman, who won four in a row during the month of May but went winless in June, said he struggled to give his crew chief Kale Kahne the information Kahne needed to make changes to the car
“We just looked at everything we could do better and [crew members] Kale [Kahne] and Kolten [Gouse] and [Mike] Carber, they did a great job. They just came back and just gave us a good car all night and put ourselves in position to win, and got some breaks. It feels great to get a win – it’s been a long time.”
Notably, it was a good night for Kasey Kahne Racing. According to Pittman, his win was the 106th for the organization while team owner Kasey Kahne won his race in Daytona Beach, Fla. earlier Friday.
This was Pittman’s eighth win of the season, tying him for most wins on the year with Donny Schatz.
Kerry Madsen, who came into Dodge City after a third-place finish with his American Racing Custom Wheels team at Huset’s Speedway two nights earlier, said it was frustrating not having opportunities to get around McMahan.
“I thought I was a little quicker than Paul,” Madsen said. “He was running a line and trying to capitalize on what Pittman was doing, and I could get a lot more aggressive line. I was trying hard and I thought I had a couple runs but I got into one too high, too hard and got her on two wheels, up and down, and thought maybe we just need to finish this one tonight.”
Madsen said he is looking forward to taking on Dodge City again Saturday night.
This was Madsen’s 20th top-five finish of the season.
After a seventh place finish Friday night, Donny Schatz’s championship points lead shrank slightly to 95 over Pittman. McMahan remains in the third, 106 points out of the lead, while Joey Saldana is in fourth, 162 points out of the lead.
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series returns Saturday night to Dodge City Raceway Park for night two of the Boothill Showdown presented by Roto-Mix. On July 9, the Outlaws head to Limaland Motorsports Park for the Brad Doty Classic.
DODGE CITY RACEWAY PARK NOTES: Daryn Pittman won his eighth race of the season, tying him with Donny Schatz for most on the season… Joey Saldana scored his 16th fast time of the season… This was the second event in a row that Sammy Swindell won the Dash and sat on the A main pole… Paul McMahan, Sammy Swindell and Daryn Pittman all won their heat races tonight.
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; Dodge City Raceway Park; Dodge City, Kan.; July 3, 2014
A-Main – (30 Laps) – 1. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$10,000]; 2. 51-Paul McMahan  [$5,000]; 3. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$3,000]; 4. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$2,700]; 5. 7S-Jason Sides  [$2,500]; 6. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr  [$2,200]; 7. 15-Donny Schatz  [$2,000]; 8. 4-Cody Darrah  [$1,800]; 9. 49-Brad Sweet  [$1,600]; 10. 1s-Logan Schuchart  [$1,450]; 11. 11-Steve Kinser  [$1,300]; 12. 77X-Wayne Johnson  [$1,200]; 13. 41-Jason Johnson  [$1,100]; 14. 45X-Johnny Herrera  [$1,000]; 15. 83-David Gravel  [$950]; 16. 74X-Josh Hodges  [$900]; 17. 1X-Tony Bruce Jr  [$850]; 18. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$750]; 19. 33-Kris Miller  [$725]; 20. 97-Brian Herbert  [$700]; 21. 1W-Jordan Weaver  [$700]; 22. 1-Sammy Swindell  [$700]; 23. 6G-Bryan Gossel  [$700]; 24. 1J-Danny Jennings  [$700].
Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman 1-30.
KSE Hard Charger Award: 11-Steve Kinser [+4]
Qualifying – 71M-Joey Saldana, 12.659