It seemed fitting that the top World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series star collided with the premier Californian, who titles himself the “Outlaw killer.”
Both literally and figuratively, championship points leader Daryn Pittman and reigning King of California Tim Kaeding capped the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series five-week West Coast swing in a head-to-head battle on Saturday in the SoCal Showdown at Perris Auto Speedway.
Pittman and Kaeding, along with Donny Schatz, are the only drivers to record multiple feature victories this season and of course, they were in a heated match to decide the winner on the famed half mile.
Kaeding took the lead on the start of the 30-lap feature, which went without a caution, and he entered traffic on Lap 8. One lap later, Pittman passed Schatz for the runner-up position on the bottom groove in turn three.
On the fast track, Pittman reeled in Kaeding before once again powering to the lead in turns three and four of Lap 18.
“Really the pass was the same with the way I got Donny,” Pittman said. “I dove it in pretty deep into (turn) three. Them guys were kind of opening up their entry.
“Basically the same thing with Kaeding and I felt a little contact coming off of (turn) four. They were kinda opening up their entry and trying to come back across. I just shortened up the corner and we kind of met in the middle. It might not have been the prettiest thing, but I don’t think it was anything anybody else wouldn’t do for a win.”
Kaeding saw things a bit differently.
“He slid underneath us and kinda got us in the left front (tire) a little bit,” he said. “I’m just happy we didn’t crash and ended up second. A podium is better than finishing last.
“We’re not in the points deal, but we’re definitely going to be the Outlaw killer this year.”
While Kaeding stayed within five car lengths for the final 12 laps of the main event, Pittman hit his marks to record his first victory at Perris Auto Speedway since 2002. It also gave Pittman his third feature win this season – tops in the series.
A night after winning his second event of the season, Schatz rounded out the podium with a third-place finish.
“The track was fast and we just kind of missed it there in the feature,” he said. “We were ok there at the end, but you just couldn’t hardly get anybody. We just couldn’t even get through lapped traffic. It was a little bit tricky.”
Jason Meyers placed fourth and fast qualifier Chad Kemenah ended fifth.
Joey Saldana was sixth, David Gravel seventh, Sammy Swindell eighth, Craig Dollansky ninth and Cody Darrah rounded out the top 10.