CALISTOGA, Calif. – Daryn Pittman held off Logan Schuchart by a car length to win his eighth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature of the year on Friday night at Calistoga Speedway.
Pittman led all 25 laps from the pole, but shredded a right rear immediately after the checkered and limped his Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 to the scales and to victory lane. Schuchart settled for second, just 0.133 of a second behind Pittman, with Rico Abreu completing the podium.
Pittman used a strong start to lead the first two laps before a red flag for Sheldon Haudenschild and Willie Croft halted the action. Both drivers were uninjured. Haudenschild was able to return and run a few laps, but was forced back to the pits with lingering issues.
The ensuing double-file restart saw Donny Schatz get by Schuchart for third and begin to put pressure on Abreu for second.
Cory Eliason brought out the yellow with seven laps complete running sixth.
As Pittman and Abreu powered away from the field, Schuchart was able to get back by Schatz for third on the restart down the backstretch.
The remaining 18 laps went non-stop, allowing Pittman to reach the back of the field, forcing the Owasso, Okla., native to slow his pace out front. Abreu, Schuchart and Schatz closed in on Pittman as the racing surface became locked down. Schatz took third back from Schuchart with five laps remaining and looked poised to make a late-race charge.
With two laps remaining, the top four were nose-to-tail entering turn one. Schuchart muscled his way underneath Schatz to take third down the backstretch, then hit the rubber perfectly off of turn four to take second from Abreu coming to the white flag.
Schuchart got a big run off turn two and took a peak underneath Pittman for the lead down the backstretch but thought better of it entering turn three. Schuchart turned the car hard left off turn four to try and steal the win, but came up just short in the end despite Pittman’s issues after the checkered flag.
“I knew something was wrong the last three laps, I must have hit something,” Pittman said about the dramatic ending. “Hopefully we can continue to pick up wins and land a sponsor on this thing; it’s been a good stretch for Kasey Kahne Racing, Brad [Sweet] has obviously been really good this year. I’m so blessed to be able to be out here with my family doing this for a living.”
Schuchart matched his career-best Calistoga result with a second-place finish.
“It was one of those deals where you wish it would have been one more lap,” Schuchart said with a smile. “I’m really proud of this team and hopefully we can finish one spot better tomorrow.”
Abreu was the highest finishing local, coming home third ahead of fast qualifier Schatz and recent Placerville Speedway winner Brad Sweet.
Joey Saldana was strong all evening, finishing sixth, with Shane Stewart, 14th-starting Brent Marks, Gio Scelzi and Jacob Allen completing the top-ten.
Shane Golobic earned KSE Hard Charger honors, coming from 19th to finish 12th.
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