Super Nationals history maker Kevin Pittman passes away at 65

WATERLOO, Iowa (May 17, 2024) – An IMCA driver best known for making history at the biggest event in dirt track racing has passed away at the age of 65.

Kevin Pittman died at his home in Waterloo on May 9.

Pittman was the first driver to win championship events in different divisions at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s, earning the Modified crown in 1989 and the Late Model title in 1991.

“The two are hard to compare,” he said in a 2007 interview with IMCA. “We kind of lucked into winning the Modified feature. We only led the last half straightaway but it was all we needed to lead. In the Late Model feature Jay Johnson had just checked out on everybody but we were able to run him down and pass him.”

“Super Nationals was still a relatively new event and the idea that the same driver could win championships in different divisions had not really set in yet with a lot of people. It was all they could talk about for a long time,” IMCA President Brett Root recalled. “Four other drivers have won championships in different divisions at Super Nationals since but Kevin will always be remembered as the one who did it first.”

Pittman began racing in the early 1980s, first in the Modified division at Marshalltown Speedway and Independence Motor Speedway.

He’d win 30 Modified features and the 1990 track championship at Benton County Speedway. Pittman totaled 22 Late Model wins with IMCA, was the track champ at Indee in 1998, and also raced to a pair of Summer Series victories.

A two-time qualifier for the Modified main event and an eight-time qualifier in the Late Model show at Boone, Pittman raced at tracks around Iowa, the Midwest and as far away as Texas before taking his final competitive laps in 2013.

The trophies and flags from Super Nationals remained on display at his home.

“Kevin was a very big supporter of IMCA in our early years,” noted Kathy Root, retired owner and president of the sanctioning body. “He was one of the handful of drivers I remember supporting those local weekly and special events 40 years ago who really helped IMCA become the nation-wide organization it is today.”

Pittman was working as a toolmaker at Industrial Standard Tool & Die before his passing. Per his wishes, no visitation or funeral services will be held. While burial will be private, a celebration of life is planned in June.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made by mail or online to UnityPoint Health, 1825 Logan Avenue in Waterloo, Iowa, 50703; or University of Iowa Center for Advancement, PO Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa, 52244-4550.

Survivors in addition to his wife Mary are a daughter AmyJo (Scott); grandsons Kevin and Carson (special friend Sophie); god daughter Kaylee; brother Keith (Sue); sisters Karen, Kathy and Karla; sister-in-law Pam; and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and brother Kenny.

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