Darryn Durham had made the right steps toward the W this year, starting by leading some laps and scoring his first career podium at the East opener in Dallas. It was a pivotal race for Durham, who admitted he was very nervous in his first race for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki. If he choked in Dallas, it could have sent him reeling for the whole season, but he instead left with positive thoughts. A few more solid races left him feeling that he could indeed win one, and when he took off with the early lead in New Orleans, the perfect opportunity had unfolded.
A late mistake almost cost Durham his first career Lites win.
Carl Stone photo
But then those nerves started to creep in. It was sink or swim time for Durham. Would he stay strong and hang tough for a breakthrough victory, or cave under the pressure?
His moment came when he made a mistake and landed on a Tuff Block. Right there, he could have gone down and lost his best shot at a win, but instead he barely saved it. He lost most of his lead in the process, but stayed cool under pressure from his teammate Blake Baggett to hang on and get the win.
It’s often said in racing that once you get the first win, the rest come much easier. We don’t know how many more race wins Durham will get, but we do know that if he gets more, he can thank that one big save in New Orleans for paving the way.