By JACOB SEELMAN
BARBERVILLE, FL – Former World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion Daryn Pittman wanted to start off his tenure with Roth Motorsports on a strong note, and so far he’s done exactly that.
Pittman came out on top of a torrid battle with NASCAR star Christopher Bell to notch his second-straight win during the DIRTcar Nationals on Saturday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
The two Oklahoma natives exchanged the lead five times during the final 12 laps of the 30-lap main event, with Pittman making the decisive slide job in turns one and two with three circuits remaining.
From there, Pittman drove off to a 1.119-second victory in the No. 83 sprinter for Dennis and Teresa Roth, with Bell chasing him home in second in the Swindell SpeedLab No. 39 entry.
Raindrops threatened to wreak havoc with the event, but it wasn’t until the victory lane ceremonies were in full swing that the skies opened up at the Florida half-mile.
“Man, that one was a hell of a race. That was really fun, even if I tried really hard not to win that one,” Pittman said. “I felt like I kept making mistakes. I got to the lead, saw the white flag and just completely missed the bottom in (turns) one and two. Christopher got a run on me, but he was awfully nice. He would have had position on me and could have moved down on the backstretch, but he was committed to the top.
“This car was really good and a lot of fun to drive. Like I said, I made a lot of mistakes, but luckily we got the job done,” Pittman added. “I couldn’t be happier with the way our season has started here.”
Pittman also paid a nod to his chief competition as well.
“Christopher Bell is a hell of a talent. I can’t beat him in a midget, but man, I love racing with him,” Pittman said. “It’s a lot of fun and I’m a big fan of his. For as little as he races these cars, damn he’s good. I’m just glad we were able to get one on him here tonight. It means a lot.”
Bell, who finished third on Friday night at Volusia, was able to improve one spot but still just missed out on earning a DIRTcar Nationals feature win.
“It sucks to lose one like that, but Pittman ran a perfect race,” noted Bell. “When I pulled onto the frontstretch and started looking back on it, I don’t know what I could have done any differently. That’s something I’ll think about when we get on down the road. I hope the fans enjoyed the show, though. I love this race track and love getting the opportunity to come down here.”
Ten-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz completed the podium, followed by Brad Sweet and Brian Brown.
David Gravel, Aaron Reutzel, Logan Schuchart, Jason Sides and Carson Macedo completed the top 10.
Daryn Pittman, Christopher Bell, Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, Brian Brown, David Gravel, Aaron Reutzel, Logan Schuchart, Jason Sides, Carson Macedo, Lucas Wolfe, Tim Shaffer, Sheldon Haudenschild, Cory Eliason, Kraig Kinser, Parker Price-Miller, Paul McMahan, Spencer Bayston, Shane Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Cale Conley, Brent Marks, Brock Zearfoss, Shane Golobic, Ian Madsen, Jacob Allen.