places fourth in 2018
Trans Am standings
By Greg Gulas
The recently completed Trans Am road racing series was very good to Youngstown native and current Canfield resident David Pintaric.
Of the series’ 11 races in 2018, he registered nine top-5 finishes, 10 top-10 finishes and only once did he fail to crack a top-10 finish.
Winning the season’s last competition at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 10 was also enough to vault him into fourth place in this year’s overall standings, his first top-5 finish while on the professional circuit.
“The season was kind of disappointing for me,” Pintaric said. “I wanted to do better but winning at Daytona was a great way to end the year. This is the high point of my racing career so far, yet I feel like I’m just getting started. I want to win the points championship.”
Pintaric’s season-ending win also places him in an exclusive club as he’s now one of just a handful of racers to ever register victories at both the famed Indianapolis Speedway and Daytona International.
“I started racing in 2004 because I felt like I needed a new challenge in my life, then I really got into it,” he said. “I believe we need to be challenged in life and need an outlet for that challenge. My wife [Janet] told me I was having a mid-life crisis. I simply told her I was trying to avoid one.”
A 1980 Liberty High graduate, Pintaric serves as National Director of Sales for SA Stone Wealth Management, a firm that purchased WRP Investments in 2014. WRP was founded by his family and for which he served as President-CEO prior to its sale.
Pintaric’s love for racing stems to his days when he worked as a sales clerk at Worldwide Auto Parts on the city’s East Side.
A veteran of nearly 200 amateur races, Pintaric started his racing career at age 41 and today at 56, has spent the last 16 years as a member of Kryderacing, a racing prep shop located in Clinton, near Akron.
Owned by Reed and Sandi Kryder, racers since the early 1970’s, his crew chief is Matt Miller and it’s Miller who has served as his top man for most of his races, including all Trans Am series entries.
“David has become one of my best friends, which makes it very easy to communicate with him by radio when he is out on the track,” Miller said. “He is never satisfied with second place, even when his crew might be. We spend a lot of time together over the course of the season and are definitely one happy family.”
Pintaric went to SCCA [Sports Car Club of America] racing drivers school in 2003 at Gingerman Race Track in South Harvey, Mich., in a 1992 Nissan NX2000 race car that was owned by his brother, Bill.
A month later, he was on the track at Nelson Ledges in nearby Garrettsville and over the years in amateur SCCA races, has raced in a variety of cars including Miata, Nissan 240SX, Mazdaspeed 3, Corvette and Dodge Viper.
In 2012 he turned professional in the SRT Viper Cup with a purpose-built Viper ACR-X, which produced second-place finishes on both Saturday and Sunday during his first run at Road Atlanta.
He won at Daytona in his No. 57 Cadillac CTS-V Trans Am car, which he said was a tribute to Reed Kryder.
“I used to be No. 40 because my favorite football player was Bill Bates of the Dallas Cowboys. When I asked Reed if I could take his No. 57 he was absolutely honored,” Pintaric said. “To be in the winner’s circle as No. 57 made me very happy for both Reed and Sandi.”
Pintaric was the circuit’s 2013 Rookie of the Year after entering the SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am Series in his tube frame C6 Corvette.
“The cars are tube frame race cars with carbon fiber bodies and NASCAR 850 horsepower V8 engines,” Miller said. “The cars barely weigh 2,800 pounds with the driver in it, are 600 to 800 pounds lighter than regular race cars and can go nearly 200 miles per hour on the straights.”
Pintaric’s other notable runs include NASA ST2 class champion in 2008, SCCA ST2 class national champion in 2010, NASA ST1 champion in 2011, NASA STU champion in 2012 and in 2017, was SCCA GT1 class national champion in his Cadillac CTS-V Trans Am at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“The win at Indy is very special for everyone in motor sports because it’s Indy,” Pintaric said. “The win at Daytona has gotten me some attention and it is absolutely humbling to be congratulated by those that you grew up watching.”
His Cadillac is currently being worked over by Miller and crew so that it is ready for the 2019 season, which starts in late-February in Sebring, Fla.
“Matt is my very good buddy and has carte blanche to do whatever is necessary so my car is in proper racing condition,” Pintaric said. “I like Matt for two very special reasons, the first being that he is trustworthy and secondly, because he has my credit card but doesn’t abuse the privilege.
“Every time I strap myself in that car, my life is in Matt’s hands and because of him I’ve never had a bad car.”