October 10, 2013 — Audio/Recap by Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Concord, N.C. — Just like the Texans at the Alamo, Donny Schatz’s last stand came up short.
On a night when Schatz had to win at all costs, a vastly different race track than the one he rolled to Victory Lane on Friday night challenged the STP/Armor All #15 to a point that he could never mount the charge he needed to on the World of Outlaws final night. Schatz, who started 6th, made it to third but could never advance any further to challenge for back-to-back victories.
Cue stage left, Daryn Pittman, who ended up mired back in traffic for the majority of the 30-lap STP Sprint Car Series main event, but when it counted, was able to make several crucial passes on the bottom of the race track. The Great Clips #9 machine ultimately finished 12th, several spots clear of the 15th-place threshold that Pittman needed in order to officially clinch his first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship, as well as the first World of Outlaws championship for Kasey Kahne Racing. At the final flag, the margin Pittman held over Schatz was a minuscule 14 points, marking the closest title race in the history of the series.
“Congrats to the whole team, because that’s what it is a team effort,” said Pittman, a native of Owasso, Okla., who scored eight wins, 45 top-5s, 59 top-10s and 13 quick times in the #9 Great Clips car this season and becomes just the 9th driver to win the Outlaws championship in the series’ 36-year history. “That last race was not pretty. It was everything but what we were hoping it would be, but it worked out ok. I’ve been a mess the last few weeks, just having way too much time to think about it. At the end of the day I just had to settle down and trust the car that Kale [Kahne] gave me.
“To lead from the first race to the last race, and lead it all is something you just dream about. Thanks to Kale, Kolten (Gouse) and Michael (Carber) they do a great job and they’re the ones who make this a reality. There are a lot of teams out here who have a lot of money and good equipment and we came out on top.”
Pittman also becomes the first driver in series history to lead the title chase wire-to-wire, after winning the season-opening event at Volusia Speedway Park back in February.
As all that was going on, a furious battle between Paul McMahan and “Double Down” Jason Sides was raging at the front of the field in late-race traffic. McMahan worked the high side to perfection, a feat most of the front runners were never able to accomplish, and ran down Sides, who was looking for his first win of the season, on Lap 25. McMahan made the winning pass in Turn 4 when Sides’ 7S was pinned behind lap traffic and sailed to his 4th win of the season and second in 2013 at Charlotte.
“I feel great, just having my wife with me when I win a race is very special to me,” said McMahan, a Nashville, Tennessee native. “To win the World Finals is just amazing. Last year we ran from 22nd-to-second and came up a little short. I really enjoy coming here and this is going to make the winter much easier. This year has been really neat. When we started this season we weren’t planning on running a full season with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars, but to come out and win four races and run third in points is real special. Congrats to Kasey Kahne Racing and Daryn Pittman, they had a phenomenal year, but we’re really looking forward to next year.”
Sides hung on to match his best finish of the season, 2nd, with Schatz, Kraig Kinser, and the King, Steve Kinser, in possibly his final full-time start with the World of Outlaws, rounding out the top five finishers.
In Super DIRTcar action, Stewart Friesen capped off his 2013 campaign with a stunning flourish, passing series points leader Brett Hearn on Lap 37 and driving away to an upset victory after Hearn’s utter dominance of this season’s World Finals.
“It’s always good to go out with a bang,” said Friesen following the event. “We passed the best in the business.”
Friesen, who finished second to Hearn on Friday night and had watched Hearn jet out to a huge lead after seizing the lead on the opening lap from polesitter Ryan Godown, said he learned a few things from his run on Friday night that gave him the chance to strike on Saturday.
“We went with a little bit harder of a tire. We just hung on at the beginning and waited and waited, bided our time. During that one long run, we were able to get back to second and get through the lapped traffic,” the Ontario driver, who bookended his season with victory after winning the season-opening “Hall of Fame 60” at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in June, explained. “After that caution, we just tried to keep the heat in the tires and, when I went to work after that the car was awesome. It was definitely a 40-lap car, and that’s what they pay for – the end – so that’s where we need to be.”
Hearn, who all told led 37 of the 40 laps in Saturday’s feature and a combined 77 of 80 feature laps on the weekend, finished second and wrapped up his record eighth Super DIRTcar Series championship, on the strength of four season wins and 12 top fives in 16 races.
“It feels great to win the championship,” said Hearn after receiving the championship spoils. “It’s a really tough series, and we had a really good, consistent series this year. We had good speed, we qualified good, we had a lot of top-fives, and that’s what it takes to win a championship.”
“To win the championship, and to come out of here with a first and a second, it makes for a great end of the year and a great weekend for us,” Hearn continued. “We’re just really happy to be part of the event, it’s really second-to-none.”
The DIRTcar feature was slowed by just two caution flags, one for an accident on the opening lap which claimed this year’s Syracuse 200 winner Billy Dunn, and a second on Lap 28 when Tim McCreadie slowed in Turn 2.
In the World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature, Josh Richards, who had already wrapped up his record third modern-era WoO LMS championship the night before, used the lack of title pressure to his advantage, starting from pole and blasting out to a dominating lead. Richards held off the advances of John Blankenship and 2011 series champion Rick Eckert to claim his 10th victory of the 2013 season, and 49th career win.
“It feels awesome,” said Richards, who became the first driver to win three WoO LMS championships since the WoO LMS was restarted in 2004 under the World Racing Group banner. “It’s definitely icing on the cake (to win the A-Main).”
Eckert finished second at the checkered flag, 0.941 seconds behind Richards, with 16-year-old young gun Bobby Pierce, out of Oakwood, Illinois, completing the podium. Blankenship, who ran second for 29 of the first 30 laps of the 50-lap A-main, slipped to fourth at the checkered flag.
With the conclusion of the 2013 World Finals at Charlotte, the World of Outlaws now officially moves into the offseason. As teams prepare for the 2013 season, fans can shift their focus to the season ahead. Event ticket renewals to several events are available at WoOSprint.com.
COVER PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Seelman Photography
Results – World of Outlaws World Finals at Charlotte, Night 2
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series
A-Main – (30 Laps): 1. 51-Paul McMahan  [$12,000]; 2. 7S-Jason Sides  [$5,500]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz  [$3,200]; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$2,800]; 5. 11-Steve Kinser  [$2,500]; 6. 89G-David Gravel  [$2,300]; 7. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$2,200]; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$2,100]; 9. 9W-Jac Haudenschild  [$2,050]; 10. 21-Brian Brown  [$2,000]; 11. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$1,500]; 12. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$1,200]; 13. 19M-Brent Marks  [$1,100]; 14. 4-Cody Darrah  [$1,050]; 15. 49-Jason Meyers  [$1,000]; 16. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$1,000]; 17. 11N-Randy Hannagan  [$1,000]; 18. W20-Greg Wilson  [$1,000]; 19. 2-Dale Blaney  [$1,000]; 20. 63-Chad Kemenah  [$1,000]; 21. 6-Bill Rose  [$1,000]; 22. 1-Sammy Swindell  [$1,000]; 23. 55X-Tim Shaffer  [$1,000]; 24. 94-Ryan Smith  [$1,000]; 25. 77-Shane Stewart  [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Tim Shaffer 1, Jason Sides 2-25, Paul McMahan 26-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 89G-David Gravel [+18].
Interview with event winner Paul McMahan:
Interview with event runner-up Jason Sides:
Interview with third place Donny Schatz, who finished second in the championship by 14 points:
Interview with 2013 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Champion Daryn Pittman:
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
1. (1) Josh Richards/50 $12,650, 2. (12) Rick Eckert/50 $5,650, 3. (17) Bobby Pierce/50 $3,550, 4. (4) John Blankenship/50 $2,500, 5. (5) Dan Stone/50 $2,000, 6. (2) Jimmy Owens/50 $1,700, 7. (21) Brandon Sheppard/50 $1,500, 8. (13) Shane Clanton/50 $2,000, 9. (22) Earl Pearson Jr./50 $1,350, 10. (23) Clint Smith/50 $1,950, 11. (26) Eric Wells/50 $2,100, 12. (18) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,750, 13. (24) Tim Fuller/50 $1,700, 14. (16) B.J. Robinson/50 $1,200, 15. (20) Kenny Moreland/37 $1,050, 16. (10) Gregg Satterlee/30 $1,000, 17. (9) Duane Chamberlain/29 $1,000, 18. (25) Tim McCreadie/29 $1,650, 19. (15) Ryan Gustin/28 $1,000, 20. (7) Chris Ferguson/26 $1,000, 21. (6) Tyler Reddick/23 $1,000, 22. (8) Steve Francis/23 $1,100, 23. (14) Scott Bloomquist/20 $1,100, 24. (3) Bub McCool/11 $1,500, 25. (19) Darrell Lanigan/9 $1,650, 26. (11) Steve Shaver/9 $1,000, 27. (27) Jeremy Miller/6 $1,000
Interview with 2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champion Josh Richards:
World of Outlaws Super DIRTcar Series
1. 1F Stewart Friesen, 2. 20 Brett Hearn, 3. 98h Jimmy Phelps, 4. 747 Ryan Godown, 5. 14s Duane Howard, 6. 84 Gary Tomkins, 7. 7z Dale Planck, 8. 74M Matt Billings, 9. 91 Billy Decker, 10. 9s Matt Sheppard, 11. 21k Danny Johnson, 12. 6m Mat Williamson, 13. 10v Billy VanInwegen, 14. 3h Justin Haers, 15. 66x Carey Terrance, 16. 8R Rob Bellinger, 17. 42B Kevin Bates, 18. 19w Justin Wright, 19. 21a Pete Britten, 20. 7x Rick Laubach, 21. 10c Tim Currier, 22. 43 Keith Flach, 23. 48too Dave Rauscher, 24. 115 Kenny Tremont, Jr., 25. 83 Brian Swartzlander, 26. 4* Tim McCreadie, 27. 8 Rich Scagliotta, 28. 49 Billy Dunn
Did Not Qualify: 3D Matt DeLorenzo, 4J Stephane Lafrance, 5H Chris Hile, 7 Mike Maresca, 14G Brian Gleason, 14M C.G. Morey, 21K Randy Chrysler, 21m Bob McGannon, T21 Roger Chrysler, 26 Ricky Richter, 27T Travis Stacey, 29E Erik Martin, 37MD Jeremiah Shingledecker, M40 Mark Forte, R40 Ryan Forte, 47 Bob Sarkisian, 74 Tim Fuller, 63 Adam Roberts, 323 Neal Williams, 711 JaMike Sowle
Interview with event winner Stewart Friesen: