Schatz and Pittman Silver Cup Winners

Silver Cup

 Race 1 Results| Race 2 Results

Donny Schatz passed Jac Haudenschild with 10 go on Tuesday night at Lernerville Speedway to capture the first of two A-mains in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup Twins, with Daryn Pittman earning the victory in the second A-main after moving in front with 1 to go and surviving a green-white-checkered finish over hard-charging Kyle Larson, who started in the 26th and final position.

Schatz was the overall Silver Cup champion based on his victory and a seventh-place finish in the second A-main as compared to Pittman’s win and 14th-place run in the first A-main. Schatz and Pittman each collected $10,000 for their victories, with Schatz earning an additional $5,000 bonus as the overall event champ.

Schatz took the money, the glory and some crucial points by winning the first A-main, which counted toward the season-long championship. Chad Kemenah started second in the opening feature and led early. Following a restart on lap 10, Kemenah couldn’t hold off Haudenschild, who led until a lap-20 caution caused by a scary-looking Stevie Smith flip. Smith walked away from the incident and on the ensuing restart Schatz charged ahead of Haudenschild and into the lead in the Tony Stewart Racing STP/Armor All car.

Haudenschild mounted several attempts to take the lead back, but to no avail, and finished a close second to Schatz at the completion of the first 30-lap A-main. Sam Hafertepe Jr. finished third with Kemenah and Joey Saldana rounding out the top five and setting the stage for the second A-main.

“It was a good run for us, the first feature was great and we got the win,” said Schatz, the five-time and defending series champion from Fargo, N.D., who now has a series-high 10 wins this season. “To come through the second one and we had to go a long ways, wish we could’ve gotten up a little further, but it is what it is, it’s over with and we won the Silver Cup again. We’ve been decent everywhere we go, and we’ve had a decent car that’s been competitive and that’s all you can ask for.”

While the first A-main of the night featured great action, including several tight races for the lead, the second A-main stole the show. All 19 lead-lap cars from the first A-main were inverted for the second race, moving Schatz to the 19th-starting position and putting Jason Sides on the pole.

Sides jumped out to a quick lead, but a series of quick cautions gave fourth-starting Cody Darrah a chance to sweep into the lead on lap 4. Darrah powered ahead and led the majority of the event while the action everywhere throughout the field.

After pulling off the track with ignition problems in the first feature, Kyle Larson started the second event 26th. He worked his way up the field, following Schatz a large portion of the race. With 25 laps complete and coming off of a restart, Larson was already running in fifth when plunged into turn one and the car pushed up and over the banking in turn two and he lost several positions. He got a huge break when the night’s top qualifier, local hero Ed Lynch Jr., tumbled into turn two and brought out a red flag. Lynch was okay and the field was reset with Larson in fifth because a lap had not been completed.

On the next restart, Darrah was still in the lead and faced his right rear tire losing air. Darrah was able to stay on the throttle hard enough to keep enough air in the tire to restart the race, but another caution on the next restart because of contact between Larson and Dollansky created concern in the Darrah pits. Darrah again kept enough air in the tire to restart the race in single-file because there were fewer than five laps remaining. Just as Darrah was coming to the white flag, his right rear tire finally let go, allowing his Kasey Kahne Racing teammate and points leader Pittman around and into the top spot as the caution waved, setting up the green-white-checkered finish.

Pittman led Sammy Swindell and Larson to line when Larson charged around Swindell and began gaining quickly on Pittman as the crowd cheered wildly. Larson, though, ran out of laps to complete the last-to-first run as Pittman crossed the stripe in his Kasey Kahne Racing Great Clips car to win for the seventh time this season.

“We struggled in the first one and the best part about twin feature is we were able to try some stuff and make some changes from the first one and get a lot better,” said Pittman, a native of Owasso, Okla. “It’s a pretty cool format to go out there and get two chances to go out on the same race track and Kale did a great job getting the car better. We’ll definitely go to Williams Grove with a little momentum.”

When asked about seeing Larson’s nose wing late in the race, and knowing he started last, Pittman replied, “He’s Kyle Larson, he’s always got a chance.”

Larson still passed 24 cars, generally a full-feature field for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, to earn the second KSE Hard Charger award for the night.

“The first feature I thought I was blowing up,” said Larson, a native of Elk Grove, Calif., who competes regularly in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. “It was making funny noises and slowing down, I pulled off hoping we could change the motor for the second feature, but they didn’t find anything, just changed the spark plugs and ran great second feature. We started dead last and got moving pretty quick early in the race, but then we wasted a lot of time behind Tim [Kaeding]. Once I got by him we got our momentum going and I could get a car or two a lap. We came up just a lap short of the win, but it’s pretty nice getting all these podiums.”

The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series heads to Williams Grove Speedway for the two-night Summer Nationals on Friday and Saturday this weekend.

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