Daryn Pittman Pursues the Golden Driller
By Bob Jones
At this time last year, Daryn Pittman was looking forward to 2013 with great anticipation as he teamed with Kasey Kahne Racing to take on the World of Outlaws. The arrival of the new opportunity came with loads of expectations and after being away from the tour for four years, it left Pittman wondering exactly what was in store. The team found success immediately, winning their first night out, and subsequently maintaining the points lead the entire season to become the 2013 World of Outlaws Champions. “As I look back, 2013 was a pretty amazing year. Winning the World of Outlaws Championship is something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, so it literally was a dream come true. It says a lot about the strength of the KKR team for a new driver to come in and have the success we had right out of the gate. The whole operation is absolutely first class,” said Pittman.
But now that 2013 has come to a close, it’s time to shift the focus to the new season. Up first is the 28th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, OK on January 14-18. “I just love the Chili Bowl. It’s one of my favorite races and one that you circle on the calendar each year, one you look forward to. The Chili Bowl is unique. There’s nothing else like it and, at least for me, it is all about fun. The atmosphere is great, the racing is phenomenal, and besides, what else are you going to do when it’s freezing cold outside?” he laughed.
After competing in the closest points race in World of Outlaws history, the Chili Bowl format is a welcomed change of pace. “We spent the entire Outlaws season locked in a tight points battle. When your race team is in a position to challenge for the series title, it’s hard not to think about it night in and night out. You try not to, but it’s easier said than done. So to be able to show up and just race, no points, no standings to watch…that will be a nice change. Each year I try to keep my expectations low and remind myself to have fun, but after you make the show (Saturday’s A-Main) a couple years it gets harder not to expect results. We missed the A Main by one spot last year, so that gives us something to shoot for,” he said.
As the Chili Bowl entry list continues to update one thing remains constant, the quality of competition never ceases to disappoint. “Just like every other year, the Chili Bowl will have no shortage of talent or fast race cars. For someone like me it’s pretty cool to be able to be able to hang out and race with some of these guys…Outlaws, ASCS, USAC, NASCAR, Late Models, you name it; there’s a little bit of everything. You just don’t see this level of competition anywhere else but the Chili Bowl. We don’t qualify until Friday, so I get to be a race fan for a couple nights before we get started. I really enjoy watching the other qualifying nights unfold beforehand,” said Pittman.
One great thing about the Chili Bowl being located in Tulsa, OK is the opportunity for Pittman to race close to home. “Owasso is only about 10 miles from Tulsa, so a lot of my family and friends get the chance to come and see us every year. The amount of people you meet or visit with over the course of the week is amazing. We also have a lot of partners and sponsors from the area that come to see us as well. Without the support of our partners, I wouldn’t be able to field my own car each year so I cannot thank them enough for all they do for us. I hope we can do our part to make them proud to be a part of our team,” Pittman said. 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, Business Planning Group along with product sponsors Hoosier Tires, Factory Kahne Shocks, Schoenfeld Headers, Hepfner Racing Products, Simpson Race Products, Ultra Shield, and FK Rod Ends.
Daryn Pittman is not alone in his quest for Chili Bowl fortune. They all come for the same elusive reward, a trophy known as the Golden Driller. One of the crown jewels of modern era racing. “I’ve been fortunate enough in my racing career to win some big races, but I don’t have a Golden Driller. That is a tough one to get a hold of and I’d love to add it to my trophy collection for sure. Like I said earlier, 2013 was a great year but if I leave Tulsa with the Driller, I can’t think of a better way to start off 2014,” he said. To learn more about Daryn Pittman and to follow his progress, check out www.darynpittman.com.