GIBSONTON, Fla. — “The harder and higher I ran on the track, the better it was for me,” said a beaming Daryn Pittman after becoming the 11th different winner of the 13th King of the 360s, which concluded with the 10th annual $10,500-to-win Ronald Laney Memorial Saturday night at East Bay Raceway Park.
Wearing his new crown, holding his daughter Taylor and his lighted scepter, Pittman posed beside his six-foot trophy.
“My owner Mike Heffner never came to Florida, but he loves big trophies and I can’t wait until he sees this one,” Pittman said.
The Heffner Race Products Maxim with a Rider engine was the class of the 20-car field in Saturday’s 40-lap finale at the third-mile dirt track.
“There was a point in the race that I thought I heard something behind me, plus I was getting tired of running third behind Danny Smith and Terry McCarl, so I thought I better get going and it turns out that was on lap 24 and I made an outside move on Danny in turn two to get to second. Two laps later I got by McCarl for the lead,” Pittman explained. “Nobody thought the race would go non-stop, so with my set-up working so well it played out perfect for me. I had no idea I won by 6.050 seconds over McCarl.”
McCarl nailed second in his own Burch powered Eagle.
“I can’t thank Mark Burch enough for loaning me a truck and trailer, a motor and tires to help me start my own team. After my health issues with my arm and my leg, I think I was in pretty good shape to finish this non-stop race even though my car was a little tight,” McCarl said.
Cap Henry, Smith and Michael Dupuy rounded out the top five.
Brett O’Donnell won the mini-sprint feature.
Daryn Pittman, Terry McCarl, Cap Henry, Danny Smith, Michael Dupuy, Mark Smith, David Gravel, Tim Shaffer, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Pat Cannon, Jessica Zemken, Russ Hall, Greg Wilson, T.J. Winegardner, Ryan Grubaugh, Robbie Smith, Chad Layton, Dave Franck, Timmy Thrash, Aaron Berryhill.