David Pintaric, living the dream
August 12, 2016
By Emma McGowen
For David Pintaric, Mid-Ohio isn’t just another track on the Trans Am schedule. It’s his home track, where he grew up watching some of the greats race here. Now he’s lucky enough to be able to follow in their footsteps.
“This is home,” said Pintaric. “Your heartbeat goes down a little bit because you’re relaxed here, but then it increases a little bit because expectations are a little higher and you know that there’s friends and family that are watching and you want to do well in front of them.”
But racing isn’t just about the present, it’s about looking in the past to learn from, and remember, some of the greats that have raced previously. Pintaric understands that concept well, being the second generation in his family business.
“I have a real appreciation of people who came before us,” said Pintaric. “I look at the people who have raced in Trans Am and who I’ve had the chance to meet, some of them have passed on, but they’re the icons of the sport. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that I get goosebumps when I think that my name is among them.”
Not only is this track sentimental for the driver of the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, but it’s also technically difficult, challenging skills and abilities in various ways.
“I’ve got a thousand laps on this track,” said Pintaric, “and I still hold my breath going in to Thunder Valley, wondering if I have it right. And then you come down in to turn four, or the old, traditional turn seven and you’re coming in to China Beach and it feels like you’re falling off the face of the Earth. It’s like, can you really hold on that last tenth of a second there, that last 50 feet, because it does feel like you’re falling off the face of the Earth.”
Of the past three times Pintaric has raced at Mid-Ohio, two of them were classified as “DNF” (did not finish) due to an accident in 2013 and engine failure five laps into the race in 2015. This year, in the first session of the weekend, a drive shaft broke, leaving Pintaric wondering if his “Mid-Ohio Curse” was in effect despite finishing in the top five in four of the five previous rounds this season.
“We’ve had a lot of bad luck in Trans Am at this track,” continued Pintaric. “But good luck at this track in other events. I qualified third at Brainerd and I think that I turned a corner there. I’m finally starting to get my confidence back after I went through a bad spell. We were pretty fast in my first year, then we had some problems in my second year and the third year was new car bugs. I just feel like I’m getting back to the aggressive form of driving that I had before I came to Trans Am.”
In his fourth year with the series, instead of the Chevrolet Corvette that Pintaric has driven for every race with Trans Am thus far, he has decided to change to a Cadillac body.
“It’s really cool,” said Pintaric. “It’s not your daddy’s Cadillac, that’s for sure. Kerry Hit, with Advanced Composite Products out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, built this body, assembled it and put it on the car. We have the same chassis, just a different body, so I don’t think we’re working too many bugs out. I’ve got a lot of affection for the Corvette world, and I haven’t left it behind, but I wanted to try the Cadillac and I wanted to work with Kerry.”
This weekend, where his Cadillac will have its premier, Pintaric ran a fast lap of 1:24.174 in qualifying, gaining him sixth position, in a field of 15. Pintaric will return to the track tomorrow, August 13 at 9:30 ET for the First Energy Trans Am 100 – Round 6 of the Chase for the Trigon Trophy at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Currently, Pintaric is third in the TA points standings with 107 points, behind Amy Ruman with 137 and Cliff Ebben with 110.
Fans can keep up with all the action throughout the First Energy Trans Am weekend, the First Energy Trans Am 100 and the Pura Vida Tequila Muscle Car 100 Presented by ETE Reman Transmissions at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com and on Twitter at @gotransam.
How to Watch on CBS Sports Network
The First Energy Trans Am 100, featuring TA, TA3 and TA4 - Saturday, August 27 at 12:00 PM ET
The Pura Vida Tequila Muscle Car 100 Presented by ETE Reman - Saturday, September 17 at 10:30 am ET
Remaining First Energy Trans Am Weekend Schedule
Saturday, August 13
9:30 – 10:45 AM First Energy Trans Am 100
12:45 – 2:00 PM Pura Vida Tequila Muscle Car 100 Presented by ETE Reman Transmissions
*All times Eastern