Pittman Captures World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Finale; Henry Prevails Over UMP Modifieds
ROSSBURG, OH (May 4) – Daryn Pittman (World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series) and Jon Henry (UMP DIRTcar Modifieds) both returned to the Victory Lane stage at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night, putting an end to winless streaks in their respective divisions that carry back to 2008.
Pittman, who started seventh in the WoO main event, turned in his race car for a rocket ship when he blasted off during a restart. Pittman shot past race leader Brian Brown, who had paced the field for the first 22 laps, to lead the final eight and capture the 30-lap feature. Brown finished second for his highest career Eldora finish, topping a fifth place run last year.
“We just had great restarts all night,” said Pittman following his third career WoO victory at Eldora and the first since winning the Kings Royal on July 12, 2008. “(Friday) night my restarts were pathetic. We rebounded and that’s what won us the race.”
A caution with 22 laps complete put Brown and Donny Schatz on the front row for the double-file restart. Pittman rocketed past them both and led by 1.6 seconds just two laps later. The win salvaged a strong effort for the current WoO point leader following Friday night’s 13th place finish that kicked off the doubleheader weekend at Eldora.
“We were terrible (Friday) night. I tell you what, for us to come back tonight as bad as were (Friday night), this is probably one of the toughest race tracks to race at,” Pittman said. “Brown, hats off to him because he doesn’t come here very often.”
Brown was unable to mount a challenge after that restart and finished 1.9 seconds behind Pittman at the checkered flag.
“I just didn’t get it done on that last restart and it ended up costing us,” Brown said. “Nothing to hang our head about. … It was my job as a leader to get going and I didn’t get going like I should.”
Brown fought to keep the lead on lap 13, this time with a WoO official; when Brown stopped on the front stretch during a yellow-light caution as the rest of the 24-car field continued at caution speed. Brown said he needed to make an adjustment to his safety belts and was granted his first-place spot back.
“My belts had been undone since about the fourth or fifth lap. That’s probably not too smart running Eldora with your belts undone,” Brown said. “When that yellow came out I thought it was a good opportunity to hook them back up. … Congrats to Daryn and his team. He’s got a great team and they deserve to win. If you’re going to win these Outlaws shows you better put 30 good laps together.”
Schatz, Jac Haudenschild and Joey Saldana rounded out the top five.
Track owner and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart again made the 1,200-mile round-trip journey from Talladega, Ala., to race with the Outlaws. After mechanical problems forced him out of his heat race, Stewart won the Last Chance Showdown to qualify for the feature. He started 11th and finished 17th.
In the Modified feature, Ada’s Henry started on the outside pole and vaulted past inside pole sitter Brandon Vaughan of Spencerville. Henry and Wapakoneta’s Jerry Bowersock recreated their duel from Limaland Motor Sports Park on Friday night when the two battled in that Modified feature. Henry edged out Bowersock for that win, too.
Bowersock appeared to take the lead with two laps left when Henry slowed on the front stretch, but got back on the gas in Turn 1. Henry said he thought a caution came out but realized it hadn’t when Bowersock shot past him. Fortunately for Henry a caution did come out before Bowersock could click off the lap. Without the completed lap the lead reverted back to Henry.
He kept it this time with a two-lap shootout despite another caution on the white flag lap. Bowersock tried to peek under Henry on the final turn but was too far behind to pull off a slide job.
The Modified win was the first for Henry at Eldora since winning two straight on June 4 and June 28 in 2008. It was his fifth Modified win overall at Eldora.
“It’s absolutely awesome to be back here in Victory Lane at Eldora,” Henry said. “I have to thank Miracle Motorsports and Dean and Jane for letting me wheel this race car. We’re having fun out here. I’m just blessed to be able to do this.”
Eldora Speedway returns to action when the TRAXXAS TORC Series hits the high banks for its first-ever appearance at Eldora Speedway on May 10-11. The off-road racing series is scheduled to run its PRO Buggy, PRO Light, PRO 2WD and PRO 4×4 divisions. Complete event and ticket purchase information for the TRAXXAS TORC Series, along with the other exciting race events on the 2013 Eldora calendar, is available on the track’s website www.EldoraSpeedway.com. Race fans and race teams can get behind-the-scenes access by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at Facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and view video highlights at YouTube.com/EldoraSpeedwayInc. The new Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is now available for download via iTunes and Google Play.