From Bob Vores
Third quick in time trials, Daryn Pittman later stood in victory lane at Hagerstown Speedway after scoring the second night victory in the 4th Annual Keystone Cup 410 Sprint Cup Series event on Thursday. Pittman, driver of the Heffner Racing Enterprises sprinter, started fourth, chased Brian Leppo through traffic until grabbing the lead on lap 23 to take the checkered by only .53 seconds for a new track record of 9:01:250, demolishing Bobby Allen’s record of 10:22:21 set in May 1986. Pittman, from Oklahoma now residing in Pittsboro, Ind, previously won a World of Outlaw event at the speedway in May, 2002.
“I knew from the drop of the green flag we were going to have the car to beat,” said Pittman, who finished second in Wednesday’s opener at Grandview Speedway. “Leppo obviously is fast and you put him up front and he’s going to be hard to catch. I kept thinking, “Man if we get to traffic, I’m going to have something for him,” because I felt like I could really move around on the race track but man, he got through traffic as good if not better than I did.”
With the top two from each heat drawing for position, Leppo pulled the number one and was flanked by Danny Dietrich for the 30-lap feature.
The opening lap was not completed as the cars of Justin Henderson, Dave Ely, Kyle Pruitt were involved in a fourth turn incident with Michael Heckman unable to avoid it and ending upside down.
On the restart, Leppo sped from the inside to take the lead while Pittman quickly grabbed second before Dietrich with Alan Krimes taking third on the third circuit.
Leppo opened some distance on Pittman but Leppo was to the rear of the field by the sixth lap and Pittman closed to a half second. Leppo continued to round the high side past lapped traffic and opening his margin to just over a second past the halfway mark. By the 20th lap, Leppo was 1.06 seconds ahead but Pittman came charging closer and made his presence know the next lap.
Pittman closed to Leppo’s bumper entering turns one and two of lap 22 and charged from the second turn to take command. Leppo wasn’t giving up easily, but also had Krimes alongside with two laps to go when they split a lapped car on the front stretch. Leppo escaped Krimes to finish .53 seconds back.
“Luckily that is a disadvantage of him being out front,” said Pittman. “It was making me use all of the race track. I starting shortening up 3 & 4 and even shortening up 1 & 2 a little bit. I really noticed I was starting to gain, so that’s just one of those unfortunate things when you’re out front, you don’t know what’s going on behind you.”
Krimes, Stevie Smith, who was last year’s winner and 11th starter, Fred Rahmer, completed the front five. Sixth went to Dietrich, while Mark Smith, Brent Marks (13th), Tyler Walker and 19th starting Greg Hodnett followed.
In qualifying, Leppo set quick time of 15.412 seconds around the half mile with Fred Rahmer, 15.478; Pittman, 15.488; Mark Smith, 15.545 and Mike Wagner, 15.595 the next quickest. Walker, Pittman and Dietrich won the heat while Hodnett was the B-Main winner
The Memorial Day weekend special on Saturday the 29th is the 15th Annual Richard “Boney” Bonebrake Tribute which will feature the Three State Flyers Late Models in action for the second of four times during the season in a 35-lap open event along with the late model sportsman and pure stocks.
4th Annual Keystone Cup Sprint Car Series, 30 laps, 26 entries, 1.Daryn Pittman; 2.Brian Leppo; 3.Alan Krimes; 4.Stevie Smith; 5.Fred Rahmer; 6.Danny Dietrich; 7.Mark Smith; 8.Brent Marks; 9.Tyler Walker; 10.Greg Hodnett; 11.Chad Layton; 12.Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 13.Mike Wagner; 14.Jared Ridge; 15.Justin Henderson; 16.Kyle Pruitt; 17.Nichole Bower; 18.Troy Fraker; 19.Aaron Ott; 20.Tim Glatfelter; 21.Joey Hershey; 22.Lance Dewease; 23.Dave Ely; 24.Michael Heckman, DNS – Rod Stroup, Doug Esh
(Lap Leaders – Brian Leppo 1-22, Daryn Pittman 23-30)