LIMA — Daryn Pittman is back on track just in time.
Last Saturday, the World Of Outlaws Series points leader ended a 15-race winless drought with a victory in Dodge City, Kan. On Thursday, he was hoping that luck would continue to be in his favor at Limaland Motorsports Park for the Brad Doty Classic, an event Pittman has never won.
“It’s kind of a struggle here for us,” Pittman said. “I’ve only ran it a handful of times, but it’s definitely a race you want to win. I’m definitely trying to improve over what I’ve done in the past.”
Entering Thursday, Pittman’s best finish at the local quarter-mile is seventh place, the finish he achieved in last year’s race. He says that a win Thursday would mean a great a deal to him in the WOO standings, but also personally.
“Brad (Doty) is a great ambassador to our sport, and one of my heroes growing up,” Pittman said. “Everyone wants to go out and win a race with his name on it. We’re just going to go out and try and contend for a win. And if we can’t, we’ll just have to salvage the best finish we can.”
Pittman has won seven races in 2013, second only to Donny Schatz (eight). Schatz is third in the WOO points standings, he won the Doty Classic in 2011. Schatz was looking to reach rare company Thursday at Limaland, where if he could secure a victory, he would join Dave Blaney, Danny Smith, and 20-time WOO champion Steven Kinser as the only drivers to win the event more than once.
Due to rainy weather early in the week, the Doty Classic had to be pushed back one day, from Wednesday to Thursday night. Nevertheless, there was no shortage of fans quickly filling up the bleachers in preparation for the night’s action.
“It’s humbling and heartwarming to see the crowd and all of the people that have supported this over the years,” Brad Doty said. “We don’t just open the gates and start the show, it takes months and months of a lot of preparation and to see it all come together, I always compare it to Christmas morning.”
It’s the 25th year that Limaland has hosted the Doty Classic, and the event seems to grow every year.
“All the staff here at Limaland do a great job,” Doty said. “We’ve all learned, and hopefully improved every year. It’s a big deal to have this sanctioned by the World Of Outlaws to ensure that the best drivers in the world show up every year.”
Thursday’s Brady Doty Classic results were late for Lima News press time. See Friday’s sports section for race results.
Brad Doty Classic