After racing well all season but being seemingly short on luck, Daryn Pittman finally broke his chain of close misses by becoming the king of the Eldora Speedway in Ohio at the 25th Annual Kings Royal. The victory marks his first win of the campaign and it seems that a little luck and a fast car combined with some skillful driving was all it took to take Pittman over the finish line first.
It wasn’t a clean cut victory from the start. Pittman managed to pull into second place in the first half of the race and finally slipped past Joey Saldana on the 28th lap to claim the lead. Saldana could give little opposition to the move after a flat tire caused him to make contact with the back straightway and brought him to a screeching halt. This meant that Pittman was first in the restart and he used his slight advantage to the best of his abilities, holding off Jason Meyers as the two sped through heavy traffic on the last lap. In the end he sprinted over the finish line in first place and was able to pick up his first Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory for the season.
However Pittman is no stranger to Eldora Speedway. This was the third time in his career that he crossed the line in first place at Eldora. As part of the traditional winning ceremony, Pittman was given a purple robe, scepter and crown and then seated on the king’s throne surrounded by the Kings Court. However, it was likely the $50 000 in prize money that really got his attention. Pittman was the 14th person to win the Kings Royal and the victory marks his 26th World of Outlaws win, putting him at 15th on the all-time list.
An overjoyed Pittman described his victory as â€˜unbelievable’ and counted it as an honor to have his name mentioned in connection with legendary greats like Doug Wolfgan, Sammy Swindell and Jac Haudenschild. Still, he wouldn’t take all the credit for his victory and he gallantly credited his Titan Racing USA team for their diligent hard work and effort this season.
The Old Spice Prelude to the Dream racing event is hosted by the Eldora Speedway, which is owned by Tony Stewart. It is an event which sees twenty-five of the world’s greatest drivers donating their time and skill for the charities that the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream raises funds, and to take on their racing counterparts in a day of fun and excitement. Here, spectators can see their favorite drivers take on the dirt track in late model stock cars. But do not be fooled, these old cars can put out more than eight hundred horsepower, and ensure that the racing is as thrilling and exciting to take part in as it is to watch.
The first charity, the Victory Junction Gang Camp, is an organization that was envisioned by a teenage stock car driver named Adam Petty. Together with his parents, Kyle and Pattie, Adam approached Paul Newman, founder of Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, for advice and assistance with his dream. Tragically, Adam was killed at New Hampshire International Speedway in 2000, but his parents kept his dream alive and opened the Victory Junction Gang Camp in 2004. NASCAR driver Kurt Busch got very involved in the camp that offers children who are terminally ill or suffering from life threatening diseases a camp where they can have fun, exercise and make memories, at a facility that has a medical clinic on hand and all the activities they can dream of.
Tony Stewart established the Tony Stewart Foundation approximately five years ago, and has been assisting various organizations in need of help. In the eyes of Tony Stewart, drivers and their families, homeless and abused animals, and children in need of help are as important as the next and his foundation aids them all. Old Spice has been sponsoring Tony Stewart since 1999, and saw the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream as a worthy event to sponsor.
This year, on 4 June 2008, spectators and those watching on HBO Pay-Per-View, can look forward to a star studded racing event that includes Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kenny Wallace, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Robby Gordon, Ray Evernham, J.J. Yeley, Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth, David Reutimann, Red Farmer, Ken Schrader, Aric Almirola, Cruz Pedregon, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, Dave Blaney, Ron Capps and Bill Elliot. These drivers that come from various driving backgrounds and disciplines will man their stock cars to take part in heat races, hot laps, qualifiers and the feature race, which is a thirty lap race. It is all in the name of a trophy, supremacy, fun and a good cause.