Pittman Starts Season With A Bang for Kasey Kahne Racing

Photo courtesy of Chris Dolack / World of Outlaws

It has been a long, cold winter. For months dirt racing fans have dreamed of tonight, the night when the green flag would drop on the 2013 World of Outlaws season. When the green flag dropped tonight, on the greatest show on dirt, no one was disappointed.

The cars and the stars of the World of Outlaws Series took to a heavy wet track at Volusia Speedway Park tonight. After two days of heavy rain the track was wet and fast. It never slicked off but it gained speed from the first hot lap to the final green flag lap of the A Main.

There was a circus like anticipation. There were new cars, new drivers and new paint schemes.

There were drivers in new rides, Paul McMahan was in the Red No. 51, Daryn Pittman in the Great Clips No. 9, Joey Saldana in the legendary 71M of Motter Motorsports and Justin Henderson in the H07 from Coldren racing.

There were new sponsors for big names like Steve Kinser, Jac Haudenschild and Craig Dollansky.

There was a strong show of respect for legendary driver Fred Rahmer when Tony Stewart put him in the seat of the Chevy Performance Tony Stewart Racing No. 14. The three-time Cup champion was unable to make the event due to NASCAR obligations at the big track in Daytona.

It was as though the circus had come to town - the wonderful odors of methanol and hot Hoosier rubber mixed with concessions and anticipation to create "The Greatest Show on Dirt."

Quick Time went to Paul McMahan who turned a lap of 12.931 seconds or 139.200 mph. The remaining top 5 qualifiers were Daryn Pittman, Kraig Kinser, Craig Dollansky and Chad Kemenah. The big surprise in qualifying was the lack of speed by 2012 Outlaws champion Donny Schatz. Schatz’s lap of record was 13.301 seconds or 135.328 mph, almost 4 mph off the pace of the field. Schatz’s STP team did two engine changes in less than three hours to finally get the speed he needed to be competitive.

Heat race number one was a fast-paced show of speed and dominance for PA Posse member Lance Dewease. Dewease was literally chased to the flag by Brad Sweet as Sweet came on late in the race to cut Dewease’s lead to half a car length to come home second. The top five transferred to the A Main. Chad Kemenah, Paul McMahan, Greg Wilson would transfer to the A Main. Feeling the growing pains of his brand new team, Joey Saldana finished sixth just out of the transfer position.

Heat race number two was a battle royal between Daryn Pittman and Sammy Swindell. The two traded hooks and slides for the lead but at the checkers it would be Pittman taking the top spot over Swindell, Steve Kinser, David Gravel and Cap Henry. Dave Blaney who started on the pole faded from the beginning and would trailer the No. 10 Ford powered car for the night. Also surprising was former champion Danny Lasoski who never really made a run to the front and finished seventh.

Heat race number three showed the skills and speed of one of the best from down under when Brooke Tatnell took the win over a hard charging Jason Sides and Kraig Kinser. Finishing off the transferring class in fourth was Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Dale Blaney who came in the fifth to take the final transfer position.

Heat race number four was a show of old school skill and elbows up driving that is the trade mark of “The Wild Child” Jac Haudenschild. Justin Henderson was able to hold off the last corner charge of Haudenschild to take the win but the display of skill from Haudenschild was a reminder of how he got his name The Wild Child. Craig Dollansky, Cody Darrah, and Donny Schatz rounded out the transferring drivers.

The dash which is made up from the top two finishers of the heats and makes up the top 5 rows of the A Main was a barn burner. Sammy Swindell started on the pole when the inversion of 6 was drawn. Swindell never looked back. Brad Sweet challenged but never really threatened Swindell’s dominance.

The 12-lap B Main would complete the A Main field. It would show the first signs of the strength of the legendary 71M of Joey Saldana. Saldana would dominate the B Main from green flag to checkers. The remaining top four spots would go to Knoxville Raceway winged sprint champion Terry McCarl, PA Posse member Danny Holtgraver and Fred Rahmer in Tony Stewart’s legendary No. 14. Not making the field were Danny Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Kerry Madsen, Jason Leffler and Logan Schuchart.

The A Main would feature 26 cars, with Bill Rose and Kerry Madsen taking provisionals into the A Main. As expected, Sammy Swindell set sail on the green flag. Brad Sweet lost seconds early as Daryn Pittman drove by him on the low side coming out of two. Swindell held on until late in the race when Pittman went by on Lap 22. Swindell had an encounter with the wall that damaged the front wing of the Big Game Tree Stands No. 1. Swindell never backed off until the last lap where he slowed dramatically on the back stretch allowing Jac Haudenschild to pass him and Brad Sweet as well. Swindell would come home a disappointing fourth.

The A Main was a fast paced and hard core race on a heavy track that was holding its moisture. The track began to pick up speed at about Lap 10 and it never slicked off just became very very fast and very very narrow about a car and half wide. It took skill and experience to make solid passes on the track. One driver who had no trouble with the wet fast track was Donny Schatz who climbed from 22nd starting position to eighth to claim the KSE Hard Charger award for the evening.

Daryn Pittman claimed his first Feature win for his new Kasey Kahne Racing team. “First off call a spade a spade. Hats off to my crew. This is not my type of track. I had a lot of fun. I had the greatest car here. But this is definitely not the type of track that I have a lot of confidence at. But this one would drive in anywhere and turn down. This car was just awesome.”

Second place went to Jac Haudenschild who said, “I had a good time. My car felt really good. I’m really looking forward to this year.”

Third place was Brad Sweet who complimented team mate Daryn Pittman saying, “Daryn was the class of the field. Restarts just didn’t go our way. We will come back tomorrow and try it again."

The first night was exciting and quick. It eased the pain of the long, cold winter. It reminded us why we became winged sprint car fans in the first place, the tenacity and the courage of the men behind the wheels, who put their lives on the line every single lap and race every inch of the way to give us the greatest show on dirt.

It was the first of 94 races and a long summer. But for now we look forward to tomorrow when we will once again, fire the engines and take the green and forget about the winter and the summer and the obligations that await us in the real world. For now all that matters is that the Outlaws season has begun and the long wait is over.

Qualifying results: 1) Paul McMahan 12.931 seconds 2) Daryn Pittman 3) Kraig Kinser 4) Craig Dollansky 5) Chad Kemenah 6) David Gravel 7) Sam Hafertepe Jr 8) 8) Jac Haudenschild 9) Brad Sweet 10) Sammy Swindell 11) Jason Sides 12) Cody Darrah 13) Lance Dewease 14) Dave Blaney 15) Brooke Tatnell 16) Justin Henderson 17) Joey Saldana 18) Steve Kinser 19) Danny Holtgraver 20) Fred Rahmer 21) Greg Wilson 22) Terry McCarl 23) Steve Buckwalter 24) Donny Schatz 25) Danny Deitrich 26) Danny Lasoski. 27) Jaym)e Barnes 28) Kerry Madsen 29) Lou Kennedy 30) Trey Gustin 31) Dale Blaney 32) Jason Leffler 33) Mark Coldren 34) Cap Henry 35) Logan Schuchart 36) Tim Shafer 37) Danny Smith 38) Bill Rose 39) Brian Paulus 40) Glen Styres.

Heat Race 1 Results: 1) Lance Dewease 2) Brad Sweet 3) Chad Kemenah 4) Paul McMahan 5) Greg Wilson 6) Joey Saldana 7) Danny Smith 8) Lou Kennedy Jr. 9) Mark Colderon 10) Danny Dietrich

Heat Race 2 Results: 1) Daryn Pittman 2) Sammy Swindell 3) Steve Kinser 4) David Gravel 5) Cap Henry 6) Terry McCarl 7) Danny Lasoski 8) Trey Gustin 9) Dave Blaney 10) Bill Rose

Heat Race 3 Results: 1) Brooke Tatnell 2) Jason Sides 3) Kraig Kinser 4) Sam Hafertepe Jr. 5) Dale Blaney 6) Jayme Barnes 7) Logan Schuchart 8) Danny Holtgraver 9) Glenn Styres 10) Steve Buckwalter (DNS)

Heat Race 4 Results: 1) Justin Henderson 2) Jac Haudenschild 3) Craig Dollansky 4) Cody Darrah 5) Donny Schatz 6) Fred Rahmer 7) Kerry Madsen 8) Brian Paulus 9) Jason Leffler 10) Tim Shaffer

Dash Results:{Inversion was a 6} 1) Sammy Swindell 2) Brad Sweet 3) Kraig Kinser 4) Daryn Pittman 5) Jac Haudenschild 6) Paul McMahan 7) Jason Sides 8) Justin Henderson 9) Lance Dewease 10) Brooke Tatnell

B Main Feature: 1) Joey Saldana 2) Terry McCarl 3) Danny Holtgraver 4) Fred Rahmer 5) Jayme Barnes 6) Danny Lasoski 7) Kerry Madsen 8) Steve Buckwalter 9) Lou Kennedy Jr. 10) Mark Colderon 11) Tim Shaffer 12) Jason Leffler 13) Logan Schuchart 14) Trey Gustin 15) Glenn Styres 16) Danny Dietrich 17) Bill Rose 18) Danny Smith 19) Dave Blaney (DNS) 20) Brian Paulus (DNS)

A Main Feature: 1) Daryn Pittman 2) Jac Haudenschild 3) Brad Sweet 4) Sammy Swindell 5) Paul McMahan 6) Craig Dollansky 7) Jason Sides 8) Donny Schatz 9) Kraig Kinser 10) Steve Kinser 12) Joey Saldana 13) Sam Hafertepe Jr. 14) Cody Darrah 15) Fred Rahmer 16) Kerry Madsen 17) Bill Rose 18) Lance Dewease 19) Justin Henderson 20) David Gravel 21) Dale Blaney 22) Brooke Tatnell 23) Cap Henry 24) Danny Holtgraver 25) Terry McCarl 26) Greg Wilson.

Pittman Starts Season With A Bang for Kasey Kahne Racing Pittman Starts Season With A Bang for Kasey Kahne Racing Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, February 16, 2013 Rating: 5