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AUTO RACING: Daryn Pittman captures WoO feature at RCS; Schatz second

Local driver Mark Dobmeier , center, tries to slip by World of Outlaws driver Kerry Madsen on their way out of turn two as Thomas Kennedy comes in from behind Friday evening at River Cities Speedway. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald1 / 5
Sprint car trailers fill the pits Friday evening during the final World of Outlaws race of the year. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald2 / 5
Fargo-native Donny Schatz makes his way down the backstretch Friday evening during the heats at the World of Outlaws feature race. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald3 / 5
Driver Steve Kinser sits in front of the grandstands at River Cities Speedway Friday evening just before receiving an award in honor of his retirement from the World of Outlaws racing series. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald4 / 5
Steve Kinser waves to fans after being given gifts including a handmade clock, a signed banner, a table made from sprint car parts and a street named after him, "Steve Kinser Victory Lane." Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald5 / 5

Daryn Pittman admits that short tracks aren’t his strength when it comes to sprint racing.

However, he looked pretty strong Friday night — leading from start to finish to capture the World of Outlaws 40-lap feature before another near-capacity crowd of more than 6,000 fans at River Cities Speedway.

It was the 15th time the Outlaws have raced at The Bullring, dating back to 2007.

However, it was Pittman’s first win at RCS.

He wasn’t favored coming into the night since Donny Schatz has been by far the dominant driver on the circuit.

Pittman won the dash and started on the pole. However, he had to survive a number of restarts early in the race. Then the Oklahoma driver had to survive lapped traffic for 20-plus laps and a late charge from Schatz.

With three laps to go, Pittman had to hold on for one final restart. Schatz was on his tail but Pittman was strong on the start and wound up beating Schatz by 1.247 seconds.

“Really, small bullrings like this haven’t been the best for me,” said Pittman. “I came here worried that I would struggle. But my crew gave me a great race car and made me look better than I am.

“When I say I struggle here, it doesn’t mean I don’t like this track. I love it. I just don’t run well here.”

Schatz finished second, followed by Cody Darrah, Kraig Kinser and Paul McMahan. Schatz was coming off a Knoxville Nationals win — his eighth in the past nine years — and also a win at McCool Junction, Neb., on Tuesday. He started ninth and slowly made his way toward the front before challenging Pittman during the final few laps.

It was Pittman’s 12th win of the season. He is second in WoO season points behind Schatz.

RCS regular Mark Dobmeier finished sixth, and was the hard-charger of the feature. He started 24th.

“We had some motor issues during qualifying,” said Dobmeier. “It’s frustrating but we’ll take sixth.”

RCS officials also honored Steve Kinser, the King of the Outlaws who is running his last season on the circuit.

The crowd gave Kinser, a 20-time WoO champion, an ovation when he was presented with ceremonial gifts from RCS during intermission.

More racing Saturday

The World of Outlaws wrapped up their second show of the race season Friday night at River Cities Speedway.

But more racing is on tap at RCS for Saturday.

NOSA sprints and NLRA late models will race Saturday to complete a weekend of racing in Grand Forks.

The field of sprint cars may be stronger than a regular night at RCS. A handful of non-WoO race teams may stick around for Saturday’s show.

RCS officials have increased Saturday’s purse for the sprints.

Saturday’s winner will receive $2,000, an increase of roughly $800 from a regular night’s winnings. Also, if a driver elects to start in the back row and wins, the driver will take home and extra $1,000.

Auto racing

River Cities Speedway

Friday’s results

World of Outlaws


1. Joey Saldana 10.134; 2. Dusty Zomer 10.263; 3. Brad Sweet 10.338; 4. Daryn Pittman 10.341; 5. Donny Schatz 10.378; 6. Steve Kinser 10.417; 7. Paul McMahan 10.437; 8. Kerry Madsen 10.440; 9. Jason Sides 10.481; 10. David Gravel 10.494; 11. Logan Schuchart 10.496; 12. Kraig Kinser 10.500; 13. Cody Darrah 10.534; 14. Austin Pierce 10.734; 15. Greg Nikitenko 10.745; 16. Casey Mack 10.755; 17. Chris Shirek 10.773; 18. Ian Madsen 10.825; 19. Austen Wheatley 10.833; 20. Thomas Kennedy 10.851; 21. Wade Nygaard 10.873; 22. Jordon Adams 10.903; 23. Dave Glennon 10.905; 24. Mark Dobmeier 10.936; 25. Jacob Allen 10.994; 26. Jordan Graham 11.002; 27. Mitch Mack 11.048; 28. Ryan Wilson 11.084; 29. Alex Larson 11.094; 30. Trent Stengl 11.240; 31. Nick Omdahl 11.248; 32. Shane Roemeling 11.267; 33. Kyle Fedyk 11.390; 34. Bob Martin 11.406; 35. Jade Hastings 11.759

First heat — 1. Cody Darrah; 2. Joey Saldana; 3. Donny Schatz; 4. Jason Sides; 5. Wade Nygaard

Second heat — 1. David Gravel; 2. Dusty Zomer; 3. Steve Kinser; 4. Ian Madsen; 5. Austin Pierce

Third heat — 1. Logan Schuchart; 2. Brad Sweet; 3. Paul McMahan; 4. Greg Nikitenko; 5. Austin Wheatley

Fourth heat — 1. Kraig Kinser; 2. Daryn Pittman; 3. Casey Mack; 4. Mark Dobmeier; 5. Kerry Madsen

Dash — 1. Pittman; 2. Schuchart; 3. Gravel; 4. Sweet; 5. Darrah; 6. Saldana; 7. Zomer; 8. K. Kinser

B main — 1. Chris Shirek; 2. Thomas Kennedy; 3. Jordan Adams; 4. Dave Glennon

A main — 1. Pittman; 2. Schatz; 3. Darrah; 4. K. Kinser; 5. McMahan; 6. Dobmeier; 7. Saldana; 8. I. Madsen; 9. S. Kinser; 10. Gravel; 11. Zomer; 12. Schuchart; 13. K. Madsen; 14. Pierce; 15. Sides; 16. Casey Mack; 17. Wheatley; 18. Shirek; 19. Kennedy; 20. Adams; 21. Nikitenko; 22. Nygaard; 23. Glennon; 24. Sweet

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
(701) 780-1268