Craig Dollansky and Daryn Pittman have a couple of things in common. They both earned championships with the former World of Outlaws Gumout Series. They also both scored their first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at Perris Auto Speedway in California, leading all 30 laps of the respective races to earn their maiden voyage to the winner’s circle.
Dollansky earned his win in 1999, holding off current World of Outlaws driver Terry McCarl while Pittman took the checkered flag for the first time in 2002 over 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser.
They will have the chance to compete at the half-mile located just east of Los Angeles on Saturday, October 20 for the first time since 2004, as the World of Outlaws return to Perris Auto Speedway for a full night of racing.
“Anytime you get a win of that caliber, especially your first one, it means something special to you,” said Dollansky, driver of the Karavan Trailers Maxim. “There is no doubt that that was a special night and a race that I will always remember.”
On February 23 of 2002, Pittman started on the pole and held off Kinser by just inches at the finish line. Kinser, the winningest driver in World of Outlaws history, made a number of attempts to get around Pittman as the laps wound down, with the latter entirely focused on running his line and not making any mistakes.
“We had won two preliminary features before that, so we felt like we had already won a race, but it didn’t count in the official record book,” explained Pittman, driver of the Titan Garages Maxim. “My future car owner Reeve (Kruck) was actually at that race, even though he didn’t own the car. We held off Steve Kinser the whole race and only beat him to the line by about a wheel. To win your first race and to beat Steve Kinser the guy who obviously has won the most races, that one will be etched in my mind forever.”
Dollansky has had a great deal of success at Perris over the years. He finished second in the World of Outlaws last visit to the track in 2004. In his career, he has five Top-10 finishes at the half-mile. Heading into the event this weekend, he has 45 Top-10 finishes on the season, to go along with three A-Feature wins, including a $25,000 triumph at Skagit Speedway in Washington in August.
“That is one of the tracks that I have felt comfortable with from the first time that I went there,” noted Dollansky when asked his thoughts on Perris Auto Speedway. “They do a good job preparing the track and it gets pretty racy. There is a lot of action going on there, and I feel comfortable heading in there, even though it’s been a couple of years since we have been there.”
Pittman has made four starts at Perris Auto Speedway with the World of Outlaws and has finished in the Top-10 in each event. In 2003 when he won at the track, he won the Crane Cams Dash to earn the pole position in that race.
“I’ve always liked Perris,” Pittman said. “It’s a nice area to go to around Los Angeles and it’s a good race track. It’s kind of like a small Williams Grove (Speedway, in Pennsylvania). It has fairly long straightaways and tight corners, so it’s difficult to get around. We’ve always been pretty good there, even before we won the race and we have been good since. I’d love to go back and have another good night and pick up another win.”
After competing on high-banked bullrings for the last two races, Dollansky and the rest of the World of Outlaws will compete on two sweeping fast half-miles this weekend, beginning at Manzanita Speedway in Arizona on Friday night and wrapping up with the return to Perris Auto Speedway on Saturday night. This will be the only chance that fans in Southern California have to see the series compete this season and that has Dollansky excited. It also marks the final event of the season for the series on the West Coast, before heading east for the inaugural Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
“When they get that track prepared well, like they normally do when we go over there, it’s a racy race track,” said the native of Elk River, Minnesota, of his past experience at Perris. “We’re looking forward to going there and putting on a good show.”
Even through the series has not competed at Perris for a few years, Pittman does not see that as a problem with all the drivers getting up to speed the first lap they take in hot laps. The series has competed 25 times this season on half-mile tracks, and Pittman won on a track that size during the season opening Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
“If it does (take a couple of laps to get up to speed), we will be in trouble, because it won’t take anyone else a few laps,” smiled Pittman. “On our 90th race of the year, we had better have something figured out no matter what the size of the race track is. It will come back pretty quick.”
With just four points paying events remaining on this schedule, including the pair of races this weekend, Dollansky and his team have a couple of simple goals. They are currently seventh in championship points and have won three A-Feature events on the season.
“We just want to win a few more races before this year is up,” said Dollansky. “We want to finish the year off on a strong note and get ourselves going for next year.”
Pittman is fourth in championship points and continues to battle with Danny Lasoski for the third position, and is just 38 markers behind. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma has won six A-Feature events this season and has 48 Top-10 finishes. He too wants to pick up another win before the season concludes.
On Saturday, October 20 at Perris Auto Speedway, adult general admission tickets will be $44, with general admission tickets for children 12-under $25. Adult reserved tickers in the lower grandstand will be $44, with reserved tickets for children 12-under in the lower grandstand $25. Adult reserved tickets in the middle grandstand will be $46, with reserved tickets for children 12-under in the middle grandstand $26. Adult reserved tickets in the upper grandstand will be $48 with reserved tickets for children 12-under in the upper grandstand $30. Adult reserved tickets in the upper grandstand with seat backs will be $55, with reserved tickets in the upper grandstand for children 12-under with seat backs $33. For ticket information visit: http://www.perrisautospeedway.com.