BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Daryn Pittman and Shane Stewart had a fierce battle in Friday night’s 30-lap NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series opener during the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.

This time, Pittman came out on top but it wasn’t easy.

“I had a shot at Shane once and didn’t get far enough alongside to slide him before we hit lapped traffic again,” Pittman said. “Luckily, I got a second chance when more lapped cars held him up.  I went in really hard and I was afraid he’d turn and get back underneath me but it worked.”

Stewart ended up second with Christopher Bell, Brad Sweet, David Gravel and Donny Schatz trailing.

Stewart, who got the pole by virtue of his Dash win, had front row companion Bell on his tail in the early going, with the youngster making a couple of strong moves on the lead.

Meanwhile, second row starters Brian Brown and Pittman were battling for third, which Pittman owned by the time the leaders hit lapped traffic on lap seven.  That let him get under Bell when traffic slowed him as they hit turn one two laps later and set out after Stewart.

But much to the full house’s delight, the NASCAR star drove back around Pittman in traffic on lap 11 and two laps later did the same to Stewart off turn two, only to have Stewart dig deep and take the lead back from Bell at the other end.

Daryn Pittman in action at Volusia Speedway Park. (Chris Seelman photo)

At halfway it was Stewart, Pittman, Bell, Sweet and Brown but Pittman was about to pick up the pace even further. On lap 20 he made his first charge, getting even into turn one and five laps later his wicked slide job into the same corner gave him the lead.

“He did a good job,” said Stewart. “I heard him coming but he had a really good car and I made a couple of mistakes that cost me. We were in position to win, which is all you can ask for.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.”

The action wasn’t over, as Bell managed to challenge Stewart again with two to go and Gravel barely edged Schatz at the flag.

“I thought I’d get the lead a couple of times,” said Bell. “But anytime you run this well with the Outlaws, it’s cool.”

As for Pittman, he summed up his night by saying “This car is badass. Thursday night we gave up a few spots but tonight we were right on. I wanted to be close to Shane at the end but I didn’t want to make my move too early. I knew he was strong enough to get right back by me if someone held me up but it all worked out in our favor.”

Ian Madsen turned fast time among the 33 entrants, with Cale Conley besting the B-main field.

To view complete race results, advance to the next page.