Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- Saturday evening presented the last chance for drivers to earn points to solidify their final position in the season-long points battle.
Brownsburg's Billy Puterbaugh had all but wrapped up the sprint car championship for a second consecutive year at Lincoln Park Speedway. So what better way to put the finishing touches on the championship than with another victory?
Puterbaugh stepped out of his familiar, family-owned No. 16 sprinter to pilot Carla and Steve Phillips' No. 71p.
The decision was a good one for both parties.
Puterbaugh gassed it up and won going away after a late caution to pick up his fifth sprint feature of the season at LPS.
Carmichael took the green and the early lead, opening a solid gap as Arnold and Kyle Cummins jostled for position ahead of Puterbaugh and Jesse Cramer.
Cautions marred the first segment of the A-Main, but Carmichael Sr. maintained his spot at the front ahead of Arnold.
On a restart, Carmichael slipped high off turn four and slipped back to third as Arnold claimed the point followed by Puterbaugh.
Arnold would soon succumb to the same fate as Carmichael, jumping the cushion in four, which was the opening that Puterbaugh was looking for.
He quickly began to add to his lead in the Greene's Truck and Auto, Church Brothers and Gale Enamel sponsored sprint car. Bobby Stines had slipped into the top-five and settled into a slide job fight with Todd Kimmell, who, in turn, was embroiled in a battle with Carmichael for third.
With several laps remaining, a caution flew to set up a final charge to the finish.
Puterbaugh got a strong start ahead of Arnold, but it was Stines who was the hard charger. The Bloomington driver climbed into second ahead of Arnold at the line as Kimmell won the fight for fourth in the feature and second in the season points. Cramer took sixth-place ahead of Cummins, Kent Christian, Kenny Carmichael Jr. and Michael Bridges.
Greencastle's Paul Bumgardner must have liked the way Puterbaugh concluded his title run for 2008 because he repeated the show for the Putnamville fans.
Starting from the pole, Bumgardner wouldn't be caught despite the determined advances of Ray Humphrey.
Humphrey, one night after claiming $2,400 in feature and lap prize money for a win at Bloomington, started third and had designs on a second win over the weekend.
Bumgardner led from the opening green ahead of Carlos Bumgardner, who would be sidelined quickly with mechanical woes.
A series of early cautions kept the drivers from gaining much of a rhythm, but Bumgardner remained ahead of Humphrey headed into lapped traffic. Bumgardner was able to slip past Robert Albright, but Humphrey was collected in a spin in turn four.
Travis Shoulders had blasted his way up to third-place by mastering the bottom side of the track. Mark Auler assumed second after Humphrey was sent to the back on the restart.
On the restart, Bumgardner began to build his lead again. However, the night came to a close for Shoulders, who left the track with mechanical problems. Wes McClara would have the same problem after moving up to third ahead of Dan Lewellen and Jimmy Hayden.
With a final caution with just a few laps remaining, Humphrey had blasted his way back through the field to third-place and an eventual runner-up spot following an amazing comeback. Bumgardner however went on to claim the feature win and the championship once again.
Auler took third ahead of Hayden, Lewellen, Andy Buckler, Phil VanSant, Doug Bryant Jr., Brad Robinson and Wes McClara.
The win was the third of the season for Bumgardner in the Cardinal Contracting, Phillps Auction and Appraisal, Jackson Oil and Solvents, Spiker Plumbing, Durabuilt Racing sponsored machine.
Slick Griffin claimed his second UMP Super Stock feature of the season in the Griffin Auto Salvage, Hoosier Towing sponsored No. g2 on Saturday.
Griffin's run was powered by a Bonewell Racing Engine, which kept him just ahead of a charging Joe Whisler, who came up from a 14th starting position. David Bumgardner held on to a third-place finish ahead of Kenny Carmichael Jr., who earned repeated as season points champion by a wide margin.
Kris Starks placed fifth ahead of Chris Hillman, Jim Moore, Tami Lawson, Doug McCullough and Scott Carrington.
In the bomber feature, Dustin Shoulders patiently worked his way up from his fourth starting spot to win his third career feature and a third place in the points.
Terre Haute's C.J. Bryan claimed the points championship with his ninth-place finish in the feature ahead of Lloyd Walls, who placed third on Saturday.
Bob Farris took second in the feature with Kevin Kemp solidifying his third-place in the points with a fourth in the feature. Sean Yakel had a strong run that culminated in a fifth-place followed by Michael Thompson, Ron Wallen Sr., Justin Clodfelter, Bryan and David Wallen.
Next Saturday will be the last race of the season and will include an on-track awards presentation during a regular schedule of sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers as well as a Powder Puff/Mechanics race.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint Car Feature
|1.||Billy Puterbaugh, 2. Bobby Stines, 3. Marc Arnold, 4. Todd Kimmell, 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Jesse Cramer, 7. Kyle Cummins, 8. Kent Christian, 9. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 10. Michael Bridges, 11. Andrew Prather, 12. Stephanie Tuttle, 13. Erik Folger, 14. Eric Walker, 15. Jeff Wimmenauer, 16. Brandon Mattox, 17. Greg Boyd, 18. Ron Gerhardt, 19. Kurt Gross, 20. Troy Link|
Heat winners: Kenny Carmichael Sr., Todd Kimmell
UMP Modified Feature
|1.||Paul Bumgardner, 2. Ray Humphrey, 3. Mark Auler, 4. Jimmy Hayden, 5. Dan Lewellen, 6. Andy Buckler, 7. Phil VanSant, 8. Doug Bryant Jr., 9. Brad Robinson, 10. Wes McClara, 11. Gary Ricketts, 12. Tony Helton, 13. Travis Shoulders, 14. Josh Edmondson, 15. Robert Albright, 16. Carlos Bumgardner, 17. Gary Hall, 18. Jared Hix, 19. Gordon Curtis, 20. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 21. Scott Ricketts|
Heat winners: Paul Bumgardner, Carlos Bumgardner
UMP Super Stock Feature
|1.||Slick Griffin, 2. Joe Whisler, 3. David Bumgardner, 4. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 5. Kris Starks, 6. Chris Hillman, 7. Jim Moore, 8. Tami Lawson, 9. Doug McCullough, 10. Scott Carrington, 11. Tony Erdly, 12. Mike Wright Jr., 13. Michael Beatty, 14. Travis Heramb, 15. Curt Leonard, 16. Elijah Himinger, 17. Greg Amick, 18. Troy Clark, 19. David Zikes|
Heat winners: Scott Carrington, Slick Griffin
|1.||Dustin Shoulders, 2. Bob Farris, 3. Lloyd Walls, 4. Kevin Kemp, 5. Sean Yakel, 6. Michael Thompson, 7. Ron Wallen Sr., 8. Justin Clodfelter, 9. C.J. Bryan, 10. David Wallen, 11. Ben Williams, 12. Daylan Chambers, 13. Jon Moon, 14. Wayne Payne, 15. Dennis Jackson, 16. Dallas King, 17. Gary Long, 18. Ron Smith, 19. Greg Riser, 20. Frank Cotton|
Heat winners: Bob Farris, Ron Smith