Kasey Kahne Racing dominated the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series weekend at Calistoga Speedway as Daryn Pittman put the finishing touches on a masterful Sunday night for the three-car team.
Pittman led teammates Brad Sweet, who won Saturday night, and Cody Darrah to the checkered flag at picturesque half-mile Calistoga in California’s mountainous wine country to become the first teammates in series history to sweep the top three finishing positions.
Pittman earned the Sunday night victory in his Great Clips #9 car by passing polesitter Darrah on lap 17, then holding off Sweet to the checkered flag. Rico Abreu finished fourth with Joey Saldana rounding out the top five.
Darrah and his Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb Ollie’s Bargain Outlet #4 led the field to green and built a lead while the field raced side-by-side behind him, including a duel for fourth between Saldana and two-time champion Jason Meyers. The two swapped positions several times before Meyers took the position on lap eight as Pittman and Sweet set their sights on Darrah.
Nine laps into the 25-lap feature the leaders hit traffic, with Darrah moving through the first few cars while Pittman was unable to make a move. On lap 11 Pittman started weaving through the traffic and began tracking down Darrah. Two laps later Sweet had caught the leaders, battling with Pittman back and forth before Pittman moved ahead and started reeling in Darrah.
Pittman closed within a car length on lap 15 and on lap 17 went to the bottom in turn three and made the line stick to pass his teammate coming out fourth corner.
The lone caution of the event was on lap 20 for a slowing Logan Schuchart. When the green flag flew to restart, Sweet went to the top to get a run on Pittman, but Pittman stuck the car on the bottom and took his second win of the season.
“For us to finish one, two, three for our organization is awesome,” said Pittman, of Owasso, Okla. “To be leading it makes it that much better. I’d be happy if I ran third to these two guys. Brad [Sweet] has been the car to beat all year so for him to drive by us and for us to get back by him when he made a mistake and missed the bottom is a big win for this team. We haven’t been struggling by any means, but we just haven’t got the wins and may be the top-fives we think we should be getting. We got lucky we got back by Brad and were able to get the lead and luckily we were able to hold on to it.”
Sweet, who also set quick time on Sunday night, followed up his third win of the season on Saturday with a runner-up finish in the SureTestSupplies.com #49.
“It just shows you how great this organization is,” said Sweet, who grew up in Grass Valley, Calif. “You know three cars, this isn’t an easy competition it isn’t easy to come out here and run top three with these guys. Hopefully Kasey’s in Texas smiling at us you know watching three cars battle for a win like that. I got by Daryn [Pittman] there for a second and kind found the bottom and then I missed the bottom and kind gave that spot back. The right rear started going down a little low and we were just kind of happy to bring it home in second.”
Trying to break up the sweep was Abreu, who continued attacking Darrah all the way to the checkered flag. Darrah was able to hold the position to complete the sweep for KKR.
“With such an open notebook here, everyone can see each other’s set-up,” said Darrah, of Red Lion, Pa. “I didn’t think I was going to get the start. Starting on the bottom all night has been tough, but I got the jump and got out there. I was making pretty good pace, but I got to the back of that lapped car and felt like I wasn’t gaining. I started to move around and I put together two terrible laps together there. I didn’t see the hole off of two until I got in it and I kind of cheated three and four and really slowed up and Daryn got by us. I felt like our car was good enough to win and I didn’t put it together for them. This is awesome to be out here top three with our guys.”