Scores fifth win of 2016 in the series first trip to the track since 2014
JACKSON, Minn. – June 24, 2016 – 2013 World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series champion, Daryn Pittman, started on the pole position and captured the lead from Joey Saldana on lap two, then held off a hard-charging Kerry Madsen on a green-white-checkered finish to score his fifth victory of the season at Jackson Motorplex on Friday night.
Pittman, who also claimed the quick-time award and dash victory to complete the sweep of the night, joined 20-time series champion, Steve Kinser, and seven-time series champion, Donny Schatz, as the only drivers to win multiple races at Jackson after he also won in 2005.
“I wouldn’t say winning twice makes you good at a place,” Pittman said. “They don’t call him “Mad Man” for nothing. He’s earned his nickname and you know he is going to give it everything he’s got to try and get by you.
“I felt like I had a pretty good green flag lap up until coming back for the white. I slipped up a little bit in one and two and I thought I could hear him on my outside exiting two – I don’t know if he was there or not, but it sounded like he was pretty close.”
Pittman looked to be cruising to an easy victory until a caution with just two laps remaining brought Madsen, in the Keneric Healthcare/American Racing Wheels No. 29, to the leader’s rear bumper. Madsen tried everything he could to wrestle the victory from Pittman in a green-white-checkered finish, but settled for a second-place finish following a last lap duel.
“I had such a good restart on that final one,” Madsen said. “I knew I had one shot so I ripped it in there wide open, never lifted, and it caught and cut the front on me and I lost a little bit of time.
“It just wasn’t enough. Everything was going to have to be absolutely perfect to get the job done. But it was a heck of a run – I couldn’t have drove any harder, so it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.”
Pittman, in the Great Clips/Sage Fruit No. 9, flashed speed early and often, as he paced qualifying with a lap of 15.746 seconds to claim his sixth quick time of the season. Pittman continued his early night success with a victory in his heat race to earn admittance into the dash.
As if he needed it, Pittman received a lucky break when a dash inversion of zero was drawn, which kept him on the pole position for the six-lap race. Pittman led every lap to capture the dash victory and the pole position for the 30-lap feature.
When the green flag dropped, second-place starter Saldana rocketed around Pittman for the lead on the opening lap. Saldana, who claimed the most recent victory at Jackson in 2014, led the first lap, but did not hold on to the top spot for long. On lap two, Pittman surged back to the front of the field and reclaimed the lead.
Saldana remained glued to the leader’s bumper, but following cautions on lap 10 and 15, Pittman appeared to have an easy control on the top spot.
By the halfway point in the race, Madsen, who started in the 12th position, had climbed to the sixth spot. With a little over 10 laps remaining, Madsen was in the second position with the leader in his crosshairs.
Madsen, who has found victory lane twice this year with the World of Outlaws when he swept the #LetsRaceTwo events at Eldora Speedway on May 6 and 7, caught a lucky break of his own when a caution came out on lap 20.
When the race restarted, following an open red flag that allowed teams to refuel their cars for the final dash to the finish, Madsen was challenged by David Gravel for the second position, which allowed Pittman to escape his pursuers.
Pittman appeared to be cruising to the $10,000 prize until a caution came out on lap 29, which set up a shootout to the finish.
On the final restart, Madsen started just behind Pittman and quickly charged to his outside in turn one. Pittman held strong and kept his car out front, but he had one more lap to hold off the “Mad Man.”
Madsen tried everything he could on the final lap to throw Pittman off his line, but in the end, the Owasso, Okla. -native held on to the lead and scored the victory.
“I know [Kerry] Madsen and [David] Gravel were throwing everything they had at us tonight,” Pittman added. “Hats off to this whole Great Clips crew, they have been working their tails off. I felt like we have been in a slump this last month – we have been fast but have had things happen… but it’s a long season and I’m glad we could get a win.
“It feels like it’s been a long time since we have been here. Our car is fast and I am looking forward to tomorrow, [Beaver Dam Raceway] is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule and I have a pretty good record there, and really looking forward to that one.”
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will voyage over 350 miles east overnight to Beaver Dam, Wis. for the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial presented by Karavan Trailers at Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday night. For more race information and ticket purchasing options, visit: www.WoOSprint.com/Beaver-Dam-Raceway.
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