The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

July 20, 2013

Shawn Wood's Inside Track column: No longer intimidated

For any 20-year-old, going to the bright lights of a big city for the first time can be an intimidating experience.

That was the case for Owasso, Okla., native Daryn Pittman, who made his first-ever start at Williams Grove Speedway in the family-owned car in 1998.

Pittman leads the World of Outlaws (WoO) point standings as the series returns to Central Pennsylvania for its battle against the Posse in the two-day Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway tonight and Saturday night.

"We came there for the TV shows that the Outlaws had," he said. "It is an intimidating place for sure. You have the competition and there is not another place like the Grove in the country."

Williams Grove was a place he first read about in magazines.

"I was in awe," he said. "Seeing Lance (Dewease) and Fred (Rahmer) in person after reading about them in the magazines. It was pretty overwhelming."

Pittman is not the first outsider to come to the sprint car capital of the world and be in awe. Even five-time WoO champion Donny Schatz did not take a liking to speedway until he started to win.

"I think everyone goes through that phase," he said. "We were only going to the Grove three or four times a year back then and we were not good for a lot of those years. It took a while for us to get used to the place. You just keep going and pick up what you can."

Like Schatz, one weekend turned around Pittman's view on the track.

"We had one solid weekend out of the blue and we learned some stuff," he said. "We struggled a bit, but it changes your attitude. I love going there and I really look forward to this weekend. Williams Grove can be a humbling place. You can win one night and be in C-main the next night."

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