BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Night one of sprint car action at Volusia Speedway Park’s DIRTcar Nationals featured the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, but up front it was a battle among a trio of World of Outlaws stars in new rides.

When the dust settled, Shane Stewart had his first win in the No. 5 after running down and driving away from Daryn Pittman in the late stages of the 30-lap feature.

David Gravel in the Priority Aviation No. 41 for Jason Johnson Racing was a solid third, ahead of Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart.

Pittman lined up on the pole by virtue of his win in the first dash and he scooted away from fast-timer Paul McMahan on the initial green flag.

But fifth-starting Stewart made a hard charge around the bottom, running second by lap three. A lap five yellow brought the high-flying Pittman back to his pursuers and on the restart, Stewart got alongside Pittman on the backstretch, though he couldn’t get all the way by.

Stewart DIRTcar Nationals
Shane Stewart takes the checkered flag to win Wednesday night’s DIRTcar Nationals feature. (Paul Arch photo)

Stewart kept the pressure on, and lap eight saw Pittman go right to the wall in turn two, letting Stewart close rapidly. The next time, around he dove under the leader in turns three and four.

Meanwhile, Schatz delighted the crowd with a charge from the 11th row that got him into the top five, picking off cars wherever he got to them on the big, sweeping half-mile.

By lap 12, Stewart was lapping cars by the handful as Pittman and Gravel dueled behind him. But as the duo seemed to slow in the late going, Stewart got even faster.

“This win says a lot about all the work that went into the car over the winter months,” offered Stewart. “This car is notorious for getting faster as the race wears on. You have to be good at the end to win these races and tonight, we really were.”

“Shane is a good driver in a good car and we just got beat,” summed up the disappointed Pittman. “Technically it’s not my first ride for Dennis Roth, as I ran a second car for them at Las Vegas one time, but it’s close enough that we’ll call it a solid first night, even if second does suck.”

Gravel was smiling as well.

“We’re happy with that!” noted Gravel. “We had trouble getting going on the start and restarts, but otherwise the car was great!”

The finish:

1. 5-Shane Stewart [5]; 2. 83-Daryn Pittman [1]; 3. 41-David Gravel [7]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz [22]; 5. 1S-Logan Schuchart [11]; 6. 1K-Kyle Larson [14]; 7. 49X-Tim Shaffer [12]; 8. 2-Carson Macedo [6]; 9. 87-Aaron Reutzel [10]; 10. 13-Paul McMahan [2]; 11. 49-Brad Sweet [18]; 12. 18-Ian Madsen [3]; 13. 14-Tony Stewart [4]; 14. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [21]; 15. 9-Kasey Kahne [8]; 16. K4-Chad Kemenah [20]; 17. 21-Brian Brown [9]; 18. 19-Brent Marks [23]; 19. 26-Cory Eliason [17]; 20. 7S-Jason Sides [13]; 21. 17W-Shane Golobic [16]; 22. 71-Parker Price-Miller [24]; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen [15]; 24. 48-Danny Dietrich [19].

Lap Leaders: Daryn Pittman (1-8), Shane Stewart (9-30)