PUTNAMVILLE -- With Indiana Sprint Week heading to Haubstadt on Saturday night, several top drivers opted to make the haul to Lincoln Park Speedway following their visit to Bloomington on Friday evening.
Dickie Gaines assuredly is glad he made the decision that he did as he outran a solid field, topping Robbie Rice, Jeff Bland Jr., Billy Puterbaugh and Thomas Meseraull.
Gaines is having a pretty nice month of July with a win to his credit on the red clay of Bloomington and a solid 13th there with sprint week.
The Pottorf Logging sponsored machine was dominant in Putnamville on Saturday, taking his heat win and running wire-to-wire in the feature.
His lightning run left the rest of the field to battle for the scraps and the action was intense, especially amongst the top five spots.
Puterbaugh, the season points leader, held a slim lead over Case Shuman over the early laps with Rice and Shawn Krockenberger giving chase. However, Puterbaugh made a rare mistake in turn three, spinning his sprinter in traffic. He was able to make a terrific recovery while not drawing any contact with other cars who got past. Unfortunately for Puterbaugh though, he lost quite a few spots in the process.
Shuman assumed second for a short time before he slipped out of the race with mechanical woes leaving Rice to take over the second spot.
The spot was tentative as Todd Kimmell and Meseraull were measuring Rice's spot up immediately. Bland had meanwhile reeled in the group with Troy Link and Kent Christian in tow as well. Puterbaugh kept picking off drivers on his way back through the field, eventually making it back to finish fourth.
A late caution bunched the field, setting up a short dash to the checkers. No one would have anything for Gaines who was hooked up perfectly. Rice wasn't able to make a final move, but was able to hold off the hard charging Bland who showed off his talents by winning his heat race at Bloomington on Friday over a field that included Daron Clayton, Kevin Swindell and Cory Kruseman.
Puterbaugh regained a fourth place finish with Meseraull in fifth, Kimmell in sixth, Christian in eighth followed by Andrew Prather and Blake Fitzpatrick.
Twenty-nine sprinters unloaded for the night and Puterbaugh maintained his points lead with a 685 to 649 advantage with Krockenberger in third followed by Christian.
In the UMP Modified feature, Travis Shoulders had his hands full the entire event piloting the Cardinal Contracting, Patterson Driveline, Eubank & Sons Transport machine. He outlasted several yellows and an intense battle with Matt Bex and Paul Bumgardner. He was able to cross the line mere feet ahead of Bex who made a pass with a two laps remaining to take the runnerup spot.
As if the competition wasn't enough, Shoulders managed to nail down his first feature of the season despite two sparkplug wires that had come off and a gearing problem that locked up his car after the checkers rendering the #166 machine unavailable for the victory lane photo.
Shoulders started on the pole and had Bumgardner and Harry Shepherd on his tail at the green with Bex slipping to the front along with Bradley Sterrett and Jeff Wellum. Dan Lewellen was having a solid run near the front before mechanical problems and Wellum was eliminated after contact with Sterrett early.
Bex and Bumgardner put on a great show for the crowd over the entirety of the race as Shoulders kept his nose clean up front. Bumgardner had the high side and Bex was getting great bite on the bottom of three and four. Bex was able to continually get alongside Bumgardner, and occasionally Shoulders as well, out of the final corner, but momentum kept the lineup the same.
With two laps remaining, Bumgardner got penned up behind Shoulders down the front stretch and Bex got the opening he needed and dove to the second spot where he would finish.
Bumgardner, the season points leader, stayed in third ahead of another good run by Shepherd and Phil VanSant. Kenny Carmichael Sr. made his way to sixth from the back of the field for hard charger honors. Daryl Herbert was seventh ahead of Gary Hall, Jeff Wellum and John Martin.
In the super stock main event, Carlos Bumgardner led from green to checkers in convincing fashion ahead of Paul Wright who made a strong bid down the stretch for the top spot. However, Bumgardner was able to maintain his top spot for his first win of the season. Kenny Carmichael Jr. kept up his string of solid finishes with a third place and Doug McCullough was hot on his heels for the fourth spot. Cullen Goodman made his way up to a fifth place finish followed by Jeff Starks, Ritchie Hawkins, David Bumgardner, Joe Whisler and Tony Erdly at the finish line.
Carmichael's tenuous points lead stands at just 681 to 677 heading to next week with Curt Leonard in third place.
In the bomber bus bash feature, run with a school bus on the track as well as the race cars to make things interesting, Ron Smith got his first feature win of his career ahead of Arvis Shepherd and Chad Nolte. Kevin Kemp and Ron Wallen Sr. rounded out the top five ahead of Ron Wallen Jr., Michael Thompson, David Wallen, Larry Shelley and Stan Sandusky.
Next week will feature the 20th annual Putnamville Clash for sprint cars as well as modifieds, super stocks and bombers.
Sprint Car Feature
1. Dickie Gaines, 2. Robbie Rice, 3. Jeff Bland, 4. Billy Puterbaugh, 5. Thomas Meseraull, 6. Todd Kimmell, 7. Troy Link, 8. Kent Christian, 9. Andrew Prather, 10. Blake Fitzpatrick, 11. Kenny Niflis, 12. Daren Krockenberger, 13. Shane Golobic, 14. Kenny Carmichael SR., 15. Casey Shuman, 16. Shawn Krockenberger, 17. Rick Vaughn, 18. Josh Clemons, 19. Stephanie Tuttle, 20. Kenny Carmichael JR
UMP Modified Feature
1. Travis Shoulders, 2. Matt Bex, 3. Paul Bumgardner, 4. Harry Shepherd, 5. Phil VanSant, 6. Kenny Carmichael SR., 7. Daryl Herbert, 8. Gary Hall, 9. Jeff Wellum, 10. John Martin, 11. Jeremy Edmondson, 12. John Gurley, 13. Brian Kempf, 14. Jared Hix, 15. Dan Lewellen, 16. Don Grant, 17. Michael Sterrett, 18. Bradley Sterrett, 19. Shelby Miles, 20. Tim Meany
Super Stock Feature
1. Carlos Bumgardner SR., 2. Paul Wright, 3. Kenny Carmichael JR., 4. Doug McCullough, 5. Cullen Goodman, 6. Jeff Starks, 7. Ritchie Hawkins, 8. David Bumgardner, 9. Joe Whisler, 10. Tony Erdly, 11. Ray Humphrey, 12. Larry Raines, 13. Mark Dickerson, 14. Curt Leonard, 15. Robert Haberle, 16. Joey Cox, 17. Larry Rowley JR., 18. Kris Starks, 19. Mike Wright JR, 20. Harry Shepherd, 21. Stefan Latham
Bomber Bus Bash
1. Ron Smith, 2. Arvis Shepherd, 3. Chad Nolte, 4. Kevin Kemp, 5. Ron Wallen SR., 6, Ron Wallen JR., 7. Michael Thompson, 8. David Wallen, 9. Larry Shelley JR., 10. Stan Sandusky, 11. Dallas King, 12. Windel Payne, 13. Gary Long, 14. Brandon Dunogan, 15. Chris Wood, 16. Robert Hogan, 17. Marlin Burns, 18. Lloyd Walls, 19. Gary Hayden, 20. Ben Williams, 21. Dustin Colvin, 22. Tony Tidwell JR., 23. David Daniels, 24. Sean Yakel