ALGER, Wash. — Former World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion Daryn Pittman is finally hitting his stride, and that is not a good sign for the rest of the competition.
A night after being collected in an accident while racing for the lead, Pittman convincingly charged forward late to pocket $12,000 for winning the finale of the Outlaw Energy Showdown at Skagit Speedway.
David Gravel picked up KSE Hard Charger honors finishing second with Brad Sweet completing the podium.
In open air, Jason Johnson set a torrid pace. Timely caution flags helped Johnson led the first 34 laps before he gave way to Pittman on the 35th circuit.
The longer the race stayed under green-flag conditions, the better Pittman was, and his surge to the front happened in a matter of laps. With the top five cars under a blanket, Pittman surged from fourth to the lead in a span of six laps around the three-tenths-mile oval.
“Man, I can’t say enough about this Great Clips team. I messed up early and kept losing spots on those restarts,” Pittman said upon exiting his Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 machine.
One of the biggest storylines of the 2017 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series was Pittman having no wins heading into the month of August.
Now, Pittman has three wins – the most of any driver since August – to his credit.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever had more fun driving this race car. It’s fast every time it hits the track,” a relieved Pittman said, making a rare appearance racing in front of his friends and family.
Pittman excelled in turns three and four after getting a big run down the short backstretch.
“I saw Jason [Johnson] was struggling in traffic,” he explained. “When I got an opening in [turn] three and four, I took it and luckily it was good enough to hold on.”
As Pittman made his charge to the lead, Gravel was equally as fast, coming from fifth to second in a span of three laps. But by the time Gravel reached second on lap 38, Pittman had already extended a sizeable lead.
“We were able to really charge at the end,” Gravel said. “First through sixth was a hell of a battle and a lot of fun as a race car driver. Just happy to end the race on a good note.”
Brad Sweet and Johnson settled for third and fourth, respectively, with Donny Schatz completing the top five.
An open red was called after a fuel leakage on lap 15, when Skagit 360 sprint car points leader Robbie Price had nowhere to go after Clyde Knipp and Jacob Allen got together battling. All three were uninjured in the accident.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to action on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4, at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington.
RESULTS: World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series; Skagit Speedway; Sept. 2, 2017
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 9-Daryn Pittman [$12,000]; 2. 5-David Gravel [$5,700]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [$3,500]; 4. 41-Jason Johnson [$3,000]; 5. 15-Donny Schatz [$2,600]; 6. 2-Shane Stewart [$2,400]; 7. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild [$2,300]; 8. 7S-Jason Sides [$2,200]; 9. 4-Paul McMahan [$2,150]; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,100]; 11. 35-Jamie Veal [$1,600]; 12. 18S-Jason Solwold [$1,350]; 13. 17-Jac Haudenschild [$1,300]; 14. W20-Greg Wilson [$1,200]; 15. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,100]; 16. 19-Brent Marks [$1,000]; 17. 44W-Austen Wheatley [$900]; 18. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [$850]; 19. 59-Eric Fisher [$800]; 20. 26-Tayler Malsam [$800]; 21. 1A-Jacob Allen [$800]; 22. 13-Clyde Knipp [$800]; 23. 21P-Robbie Price [$800]; 24. 11EH-Marc Duperron [$800].
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-34, Daryn Pittman 35-40
KSE Hard Charger Award: 5-David Gravel (+6)
CREDIT: World of Outlaws