CONCORD, N.C. — Daryn Pittman won the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship by a mere 14 points over Donny Schatz, while Paul McMahan won Saturday night’s World of Outlaws World Finals feature before a sold-out crowd at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Pittman, driver of the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9, entered the weekend with a 50-point lead over Schatz, but after Schatz won on Friday night, Pittman held a 32-point advantage entering Saturday night. While Schatz finished third, Pittman came home 12th and held on to win the title over the five-time series champion who won a career-best 23 races this season.
“Right now I don’t know what I am supposed to say or think or do,” said Pittman. “It has been a roller-coaster the last couple of weeks. I don’t know how anybody could lead the points all season and then lose it in the last race of the season and survive because I don’t know what I would have done. It got closer than we wanted, but we beat Donny Schatz and he had a record year. That shows just how strong this team is.
Pittman won nine races en route to the title, but was hanging on during the final two months of the year.
“We didn’t win this championship because somebody had a bad year,” he said. “The best sprint car driver in the country (Schatz) had the best year that he has ever had and we came out on top.”
McMahan, meanwhile, raced around Jason Sides for the lead as the pair worked traffic on lap 26 and pulled away during the closing laps to win for the second time at The Dirt Track this season, banking $12,000 for his Chad & Jen Clemens-owned No. 51 team.
“My car was just horrible last night and we had a good starting spot but couldn’t get it going. Tonight, Barry Jackson and my crew really tuned it up,” McMahan said. “Jason had a really good pace going there tonight and he was pulling away, but when the money was on the line our car really came in and when we got into lapped traffic, I went to the top and the car really took off in traffic.
“It’s all around great night,” McMahan continued. “To have a crowd like this tonight and to win a World Finals race is right up there with everything. I knew we were getting close to the end there.”
Sides, who didn’t win a race all season, finished second.
“Unfortunately we got behind some lapped cars,” Sides said. “It is a racing thing. Congratulations to Paul. He knew what he was doing and he did it.”
Schatz, who drives the Tony Stewart Racing No. 15, came up short in his bid for a sixth series championship.
“We wanted to win, but the best we could do was third tonight,” Schatz said. “The STP guys had a phenomenal year and we have nothing to hang our heads about.”
The father and son duo of Steve and Kraig Kinser each took provisional on Friday night, but bounced back on Saturday with Kraig finishing fourth and Steve fifth on the final night of the season.
Paul McMahan, Jason Sides, Donny Schatz, Kraig Kinser, Steve Kinser, David Gravel, Craig Dollansky, Logan Schuchart, Jac Haudenschild, Brian Brown, Joey Saldana, Daryn Pittman, Brent Marks, Cody Darrah, Jason Meyers, Kerry Madsen, Randy Hannagan, Greg Wilson, Dale Blaney, Chad Kemenah, Bill Rose, Sammy Swindell, Tim Shaffer, Ryan Smith, Shane Stewart.