Led every lap in the feature at Salina Highbanks
PRYOR, Okla. – Oct. 22, 2016 – Daryn Pittman returned to his winning ways on the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series tour Saturday night, winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts Twister Showdown at Salina Highbanks Speedway. Pittman’s trip down victory lane was his eighth of the season.
With the win, Pittman – like his teammate Brad Sweet the night before – shattered a winless streak that spanned four months. His last victory was at Williams Grove (Pa.) Speedway on July 22. Pittman made his return to victory lane convincing, as he led all 31 laps of the night’s feature in his No. 9 Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb GF1 car.
“We haven’t really been struggling, but I haven’t been able to finish the job and get the win,” Pittman said. “We’ve been there knocking on the door, and it’s the driver’s job to be able to finish and get the win. Our team has really been working hard and the car’s fast. It’s good to finally reward them with a win. It’s been too long. Hopefully we can use this momentum headed into Charlotte – we always seem to run well there – and get the win there.”
By the courtesy of the Craftsman Club® Draw, Pittman led the 24-car field into the green flag. Pittman held his ground in the opening laps. A notably shift in the podium was last year’s winner and Oklahoma-native Shane Stewart, who moved into the podium by passing David Gravel’s No. 5 CJB Motorsports GF1 racecar.
Two cautions on the seventh lap ultimately caused a single-file restart. While Pittman extended his lead to nearly a .400-second margin, the same interval separated Stewart and Gravel. The two battled side-by-side, until Gravel reclaimed third position.
Pittman consistently extended his lead. Pittman had a 2.323 advantage with 10 laps remaining, and behind him, the podium began to shuffle. Jason Johnson, who was forced to use a backup car because of a wreck the night before, began to charge to the front. Johnson solidified fourth position; he started eighth in the feature.
Pittman led as much as 3.799 seconds with six laps remaining, and was on his way to the checkers. But, the race’s final caution on the last lap of the race regrouped the field, giving hope to those drivers behind him. In a green-white-checkered scenario, Pittman led the single-file restart with Gravel behind him. Johnson’s No. 41 Jason Johnson Racing Maxim car was in fourth.
On the restart, Gravel dove to the bottom of the 3/8-mile oval to contend with Pittman for the lead. Pittman slammed the door on Gravel exiting turn four and turn two heading to the checkers. Though Gravel ran out of real estate, Johnson did not for third position. In the closing lap, Johnson made his move into the final podium position in turn three, redeeming the weekend from an 11th place finish on Friday night.
“This car is a car we ran previously this season,” Johnson said. “We had a lot of confidence in it, and all of our Maxim cars. We build a chain of them through the winter months, and they have a lot of similarities. Tonight, when we get in a predicament like that to get a car down, we know what to expect. We had to get down tonight after the wipeout last night in the heat race.”
Pittman joined fellow Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Sweet as the weekend’s feature winners. The duo ended their droughts that dated back to July. Both picked up their eighth win of the season.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series heads into Concord, North Carolina for the season finale Bad Boy Off Road World Finals on October 27-29.