Daryn Pittman Prepares for Chili Bowl, Australia and 2013 Season
A new year is upon us, and with that begins a new chapter of racing. For Daryn Pittman, 2013 will be a season full of anticipation, a season full of challenges, and most importantly one of new opportunities. Pittman will kick things off with the one race he anticipates most of all, the 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, OK on January 8-12. “I absolutely love the Chili Bowl. For me, that is the one race of the year that is all about the fun. We race over 100 nights a year and I look forward to that race more than any other race of the year,” he said.
One glance through the swelling entry list confirms the Chili Bowl is a virtual “who’s who” in racing. “It’s just a blast to race those cars with all the talent that is there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s intense. Racing powerful cars, indoors, on a tight bullring, in the middle of winter? It’s just awesome. Not to mention, it is just enjoyable to watch when you’re not racing. We don’t qualify until Friday night so we enjoy sitting back and watching the show,” said Pittman.
If you ask Daryn about his Chili Bowl midget, you will quickly find that it is more than just another racecar for another race. It is more like his hobby or an escape from his ‘real job’. “I really, really enjoy building and working on my own car. Even though it’s only for one race, it’s like my own little project I get to play with,” explained Daryn. “I used to approach the race with no pressure, no expectations and just have fun. That’s easy to do when you don’t do very well. But, you know, it’s funny. After you start making the show (Saturday’s A Main) a few years…it gets harder and harder not to expect results,” Pittman explained.
Hailing from Owasso, OK, Pittman enjoys the opportunity to race close to home. “It’s nice to race close enough to home that I can see some of my family and friends make it out to the track. I also have some sponsor partners close to the area that we are able to see each year as well. Without the help of those partners, fielding my own car wouldn’t be possible so I need to thank them for their support,” said Pittman. Those Chili Bowl partners include Bob Hurley Ford, MHC Kenworth, Hop n’ Sack Convenience Stores, Danny’s Auto Salvage, American Bank of Oklahoma, Sooner Surplus Sales along with product sponsors Hoosier Tires, Penske Shocks, Schoenfeld Headers, Hepfner Racing Products, Simpson Race Products, Ultra Shield, Pace Performance Coatings and Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil.
But things don’t slow down for Pittman once the Chili Bowl is in the books. He and his wife Mandy will leave Tulsa immediately following the Chili Bowl for Australia where Daryn will join Aprile Racing to pilot the NQ42 Maxim for six nights. “A good friend of mine, Glenno Ingliss, is involved with the race team so when (team owner) David Aprile called me, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Pittman. “The Aprile Racing Team has great equipment and Glenno and I have won a lot of races together, so I’m excited to work with him again. I’m really looking forward to racing with the entire Aprile Racing Team and catching up with old friends in Australia,” he said.
Having recorded over 20 victories in Australia, the 2002-03 World Series Sprintcar Champion and Australian Driver of the Year is no stranger to the Australian competition. This year their schedule includes six nights, starting with two World Series Sprintcar events at Sydney Speedway, The Presidents Cup at Avalon, The Kings Challenge at Mount Gambier’s Borderline Speedway, and concluding with The 41st Grand Annual Classic at Premier Speedway in Warrnambool.
“We’ve won races at all four of those race tracks, so I’m hopeful that we can win a couple more. The Classic is Australia’s version of the Knoxville Nationals. It is the one race that everyone wants to win, so we are looking forward to racing against all of the strong teams in Australia. It also is a qualifying race for the World Challenge held during the 2013 Knoxville Nationals. We’ve won that race twice, so it is important for us remain qualified for that event as well,” he said.
When Pittman returns to the USA, he returns to the World of Outlaws tour aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing, Great Clips/Sage Fruits No. 9 as racing begins in Florida. “I’m really excited to return to run full time with the World of Outlaws. We’ve been away from the tour for four years now, and I’ve really missed racing with those guys every night. I think we’re going to have a great year together and I just can’t wait to get back out there,” said Pittman. To learn more about Daryn Pittman and to follow his progress, check out www.darynpittman.com.