SYLVANIA, GA. (2-10-11) By Brian Liskai The difference a few months can make.
For Daryn Pittman, when the rescheduled Winter Freeze at Screven Motor Speedway was postponed late in 2011, it took away the opportunity to win the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions Eastern Region championship. Pittman came back to Screven determined to not let that championship get away again. Friday night he proved he will be a contender for that All Star title, leading all 30 laps to claim the $5,000 prize to open the series 2012 season.
Pittman finished just 17 points behind Lance Dewease in the UNOH All Stars final Eastern Region points and its $20,000 payday in 2011. On Friday, the Owasso, Oklahoma native and now Pittsboro, Indiana resident held off several challenges from young gun David Gravel of Watertown, Connecticut including a green-white-checkered finish – to claim his sixth career All Star win.
You can t live in the past. Obviously we would have loved to have battled Lance for the championship last year. He was hurt and couldn t race for the championship and I didn t want to win it like that. But, for us to come down here and win you couldn t ask for a better start to the year, said Pittman beside his Heffner Racing machine.
This proves Shawn and guys worked their tails off over the off season. The opening races are about preparation who has done the best job in the off-season. We took the car we won the last race of the year with and shipped it to Australia to use. So this was a new car, but this team knows what they are doing, added Pittman about his Lelands.com, Pasquariello s Body Shop, Danny s Auto Sales backed #27.
The All Star opener began with Tim Shaffer, who has won the last three straight series championships, grabbing the lead, but it was short-lived as The Steel City Outlaw suffered a broken front end in turn one. On the complete restart, Pittman grabbed the lead with Gravel and fellow 19-year-old driver Logan Schuchart in pursuit.
The caution would fly on lap eight when Gregg Hodnett spun in turns three and four. The running order was Pittman, Schuchart (the grandson of legendary sprint driver Bobby Allen), Gravel, Mark Smith and Aaron Ott. By the halfway mark of the 30-lap affair, Pittman was trying to pick his way through traffic and could not shake Schuchart or Gravel as NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and Hodnett go pit side.
The Wild Child Jac Haudenschild would spin on lap 16 and retire to the pits. When the race returns to green, Gravel would drive around Schuchart for second and stay on Pittman s rear bumper. With six laps to go, Gravel begins battling with Pittman for the lead. As the field comes to the white flag, Sam Hafertepe Jr. spins to necessitate a green-white-checkered finish. Pittman would hold off Gravel to take the opening night of the second annual Winter Freeze.
Gravel, Schuchart, Smith, Ott, Paul McMahan (up from 15th), Alan Krimes, Dale Blaney, Terry McCarl and Jason Sides (up from 20th) would round out the top 10.
After winning one of the final World of Outlaw races of 2011, Gravel couldn t wait to get back to competition in 2012 and his second place run proved he will be a contender for the UNOH All Star title.
I was so excited to get back to racing. I think we are building something here. Tyler (Swank) had the car great tonight, said Gravel beside his DDR Motorsports #89.
That last caution killed us I think we might have had something for Daryn.
I had pulled the wing back and it made the car very tight on the restarts.
It took me two or three laps to get going, added Gravel beside his JRC Transportation, Musco Fuels, P&M Transportation, Model Craft backed machine.
Schuchart, in his first full season of 410 sprint racing, showed his Shark Motorsports, Speedway 94, Don Ott Racing Engines backed team will also be a force to be deal with throughout 2012.
Screven Motor Speedway – 2/10/2012
All Star Circuit of Champions (26 Cars)
Qualifying – Kistler Engines
1. 89G-David Gravel, 12.739; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 12.798; 3. 27-Daryn Pittman, 12.830; 4. 77-Aaron Ott, 12.887; 5. 33-Danny Lasoski, 12.939; 6. 83-Tim Shaffer, 12.992; 7. 39-Greg Hodnett, 12.996; 8. 2-Dale Blaney, 13.001; 9. M1-Mark Smith, 13.021; 10. 54-Cap Henry, 13.092; 11. 87-Allan Krimes, 13.102; 12. 24-Terry McCarl, 13.147; 13. 9-Joey Saldana, 13.158; 14. 14-Tony Stewart, 13.239; 15. 45-Paul McMahon, 13.255; 16. 4-Danny Smith, 13.342; 17. 4D-Cody Darrah, 13.342; 18. 51-Fred Rahmer, 13.401; 19. 1-Sam Hafertepe Jr., 13.433; 20. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.444; 21. O7-Mark Coldren, 13.475; 22. 3-Pete Miller III, 13.583; 23. 7T-T.J. Winegardner, 13.604; 24. 5-Jack Haudenschild, 13.666; 25. 94-Jack Sodeman Jr., 13.971; 26. 6W-Brd Wickham, 14.287
Heat 1 – Kears Speed Shop (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 9-Joey Saldana ; 2. 4-Danny Smith ; 3. 77-Aaron Ott ; 4. 39-Greg Hodnett ; 5. 54-Cap Henry ; 6. 89G-David Gravel ; 7. 1-Sam Hafertepe Jr. ; 8. 3-Pete Miller III ; 9. 94-Jack Sodeman Jr.
Heat 2 – All Pro Heads (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 14-Tony Stewart ; 2. 4D-Cody Darrah ; 3. 2-Dale Blaney ; 4. 7S-Jason Sides ; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 6. 87-Allan Krimes ; 7. 33-Danny Lasoski ; 8. 6W-Brd Wickham ; 9. 7T-T.J. Winegardner
Heat 3 Dragon Race Fuels (8 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 45-Paul McMahon ; 2. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 3. 51-Fred Rahmer ; 4. 24-Terry McCarl ; 5. 27-Daryn Pittman ; 6. M1-Mark Smith ; 7.
5-Jack Haudenschild ; 8. O7-Mark Coldren
Dash – Outerwears Performance Products (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature
1. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 2. 27-Pittman Daryn ; 3. 89G-David Gravel ; 4. 39-Greg Hodnett ; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 6. 77-Aaron Ott
B-Main MSD Ignition (12 Laps – Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 1-Sam Hafertepe Jr. ; 2. 33-Danny Lasoski ; 3. 5-Jack Haudenschild ; 4. 3-Pete Miller III ; 5. O7-Mark Coldren ; 6. 94-Jack Sodeman Jr. ; 7. 6W-Brd Wickham
A-Main University of Northwestern Ohio (30 Laps)
1. 27-Daryn Pittman; 2. 89G-David Gravel; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 4. M1-Mark Smith; 5. 77-Aaron Ott; 6. 45-Paul McMahon; 7. 87-Allan Krimes; 8. 2-Dale Blaney; 9. 24-Terry McCarl; 10. 7S-Jason Sides; 11. 1-Sam Hafertepe Jr.; 12. 51-Fred Rahmer; 13. 4-Danny Smith; 14. 4D-Cody Darrah; 15. 54-Cap Henry; 16. 9-Joey Saldana; 17. 3-Pete Miller III; 18. 5-Jack Haudenschild; 19. 39-Greg Hodnett; 20. 14-Tony Stewart; 21. 94-Jack Sodeman Jr.; 22. O7-Mark Coldren; 23. 33-Danny Lasoski; 24. 83-Tim Shaffer; 25. 6W-Brd Wickham[-]
Hard Charger: 7S-Jason Sides[+10]