OWASSO, Okla. – Daryn Pittman, the 2013 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion, revealed Thursday afternoon that his days as a traveling racer are numbered.
The Owasso, Okla., veteran plans to step away from full-time life on the road at the conclusion of the season, departing the Roth Motorsports No. 83 sprinter that he has driven since 2019.
Pittman, 41, posted a lengthy statement on social media detailing the reasoning behind his decision, including that he plans to look into future business opportunities in racing as opposed to stepping away from the industry.
“After much time and reflection over the past couple (of) seasons, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortened 2020 season, I began to realize that I would like to explore some new opportunities. Although racing full time for the past 25 years has provided me and my family a great living, many wonderful opportunities to travel the country and the chance to make friends and fans all over the world, I would like to shift my focus to what life will look like from outside the driver’s seat full time in 2021,” Pittman wrote.
“Racing full time and traveling with the World of Outlaws for 17 years has taught me many valuable lessons along the way. I feel it is time to focus on other interests and avenues in the racing community,” Pittman added. “Although my plans are not fully certain at this time, I would like to pursue the business side of the racing industry. Racing has been my life since I was a kid. We have lived and breathed this sport as a family our whole lives. I feel my passion and knowledge of the sport can be beneficial in many areas outside of driving.
“While I don’t have anything set in stone yet, I know I want to focus on something different in 2021. We are currently pursuing a few different ideas, and I am very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I am excited for what opportunities the future may hold.”
Pittman is an 85-time World of Outlaws winner and has made more than 1,400 starts with The Greatest Show on Dirt throughout his career, which includes 17 full-time seasons.
His biggest highlight was securing the series title in 2013, wrapping up the crown on the final night of the season at The Dirt Track at Charlotte by 14 points over Donny Schatz.
At the time, it was the closest points margin in series history.
Though Pittman doesn’t have any set racing plans for 2021, he stopped short of saying he was retiring from driving.
“I am by no means willing to call this a retirement at this time; I just don’t know what the future might hold or how much time this next adventure will allow me to race,” Pittman noted. “One thing I want to make clear: I love being part of the racing community. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to chase my dreams for as long as I have, and accomplish as much as I have.
“I look forward seeing everyone at the track for many years to come. Thanks for the support!”
Thursday’s decision is not something that comes out of the blue for Pittman. “What’s next” is something Pittman been charting a course for quite some time, as he explained to Shawn Miller in the July issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine.
“(A plan for life after racing) something we think about daily and is something that we’ve started looking at heavily as our family grows,” said Pittman, who has spent most of his adulthood chasing races. “You can’t race until you retire and very few are making the living you can retire off of. At some point you have to start shifting your focus to having a business or starting another means of income. There have been lots of people who have come up with different things, whether they have a daily business they can run, storage units, rental properties.”
Pittman noted in his interview with Miller that owning a business is a logical next step for him, so that he can set his family up for a successful future.
“We’ve been blessed to be able to do this a long time,” said Pittman. “As a family, we do well of living well within our means. That is helping set us up for life after racing. In the same token, it’s nowhere near the point you can retire off of.
“I believe that’s a direction that we’ll head to … whether that’s a racing business or not. That’s something we have looked into and are currently looking into.”