PEVELY, Mo. — Daryn Pittman got underneath Sheldon Haudenschild to lead lap 31 en route to his second consecutive World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory Saturday night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
Donny Schatz finished second and Haudenschild completed the podium.
Schatz won the Craftsman Club Dash and earned the pole of the 40-lap feature alongside Ian Madsen. Madsen powered around Schatz to lead the opening circuit of the feature. Sheldon Haudenschild used every bit of the racing surface to quickly take second from Schatz and begin chasing down Madsen for the lead.
Just as Haudenschild was ready to make a move on Ian Madsen for the lead on the sixth circuit, the caution flew Ian’s older brother, Kerry, who was facing traffic on the backstretch. Ian Madsen was able to turn under a pair of Sheldon sliders, before Haudenschild took command to lead lap eight.
As Haudenschild navigated heavy traffic, both Madsen and Pittman were able to close in significantly. Daryn Pittman made an eye-catching three-wide pass for the lead down the backstretch on lap 13, only for it to be negated by a yellow for Cory Eliason.
As the rubber became more prominent on the racing surface, experience became a factor. Pittman and Schatz quickly closed in on Haudenschild for the lead. Haudenschild had a minor hiccup in turn one and missed the rubber by no more than a car length, but that was all Pittman needed as the 2013 Series Champion stuffed his Kasey Kahne owned No.9 car underneath Haudenschild to take command down the backstretch.
A couple laps later, Haudenschild hiccupped in turn one again and Schatz was able to sneak by for second. Ian Madsen’s top-five run came to an end with five laps remaining, due to a flat tire. A clear track ahead of Pittman allowed the veteran driver to hit his marks en route to his 74th career Outlaw victory.
“Man, this is starting to be fun again. It’s been a frustrating start to the season, but this car has been a blast to drive the past two nights,” Pittman said. “This is the way we envisioned we would start the year. We are really happy with where we are at right now, this is why you never give up.”
When asked about the negated three-wide pass for the lead, Pittman said, “I thought that was the end of our chance to win it. This really was a great team win.”
Schatz also went with a harder tire compound. “I was way too loose in the beginning and we had to pay the price, but we made it back it up. All in all, it was a great night,” Schatz said.
After leading 22 laps, Haudenschild had all the reason to be dejected, but that was not the case. “We definitely want to win these races, but we want to finish them too. I’m happy with a podium. The guys worked really hard after tearing a car up last night. I missed the rubber twice and I got passed twice,” he said.
David Gravel and Brad Sweet completed the all-Outlaw top five.
To see full results, turn to the next page.