OSKALOOSA, Iowa -It’s been a tough year for Daryn Pittman. But the Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway provided just the rest medicine for him and his team.
The Owasso, Oklahoma native led all 25 laps to earn his 7th career University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions victory and second series win of 2012. Pittman leads the UNOH All Star?s Eastern Region points,
“This belt just saved my job. My car owner (Mike Heffner) is adamant about trophies and after the year we’ve had I really wanted to get this for him,? said Pittman of his Lelands.com, Pasquariello’s, Danny’s Auto Salvage backed #27. “I pulled probably the biggest bone head moves of the season at the 360 nationals and killed a brand new car. But, my crew worked their butts off to build this car. They have worked hard all year and this is the best medicine for this team.”
Grain Valley, Missouri’s Brian Brown tried to hunt down Pittman the entire race, but just couldn’t catch him.
“Congratulations to Daryn, his team made the right changes and he was just better than us. I thought I would be better at the beginning of the race, but he was just too strong,? said Brown beside his Casey’s General Store, FVP, Searsboro Telephone Co. backed #21. “After the bangs and bruises that team has had this week?they deserved that.”
It was a very good night for Elk Grove, California?s Kyle Larson. He won the USAC non-wing preliminary feature and then charged from his 12th starting spot to finish third in the Front Row Challenge.
“The top was so fast and once we got to traffic I was able to pick off some guys. I was hoping for a caution late” that could have made it interesting, but we didn’t get it. This is a big momentum boost for us heading into the (Knoxville) Nationals,? said Larson beside his Abreau Vineyards, Stadelhofer Construction backed #1k.
Pittman and Brown would bring the field to the green for the 25-lap UNOH All Star feature by virtue of topping the ?King of the Hill? match races. Both would also turn down the chance to go to the tail to try and claim the $50,000 bonus.
Pittman would lead the first lap with Brown, Mark Dobmeier, Jonathan Allard, Ryan Bunton, Bryan Sebetto and Tim Kaeding in tow. The caution would fly for a crash in turn two involving Brad Sweet, Sheldon Haudenschild and Jason Meyers, with Sweet going pit side. On the ensuing restart, Caleb Helms would spin. When the green came back out, something would break on Dobmeier?s car, as he made contact with the turn three fence.
When the green flew again, the race would go the remaining 24 laps caution-free.
Pittman would pull away from Brown, as Allard, Bunton, Kaeding and Larson battled for third. Pittman would catch lapped traffic by the fifth circuit, but Brown could not close. Allard would exit the track on lap seven, moving Bunton into third with Kaeding, Larson and David Gravel in pursuit. As Pittman and Brown ran away, Kaeding would take third on lap 15 with Larson into fourth. Larson would take third on lap 16, and started to close the game on the two front runners.
Once clear of traffic, Pittman would pull away for the win with Brown, Larson, Kaeding and Bunton rounding out the top five.