Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- Lincoln Park Speedway put the wraps on the 2008 season on Saturday night.
More than 100 cars unloaded to compete for the final winner's share of the year including track champions, Billy Puterbaugh Jr., Paul Bumgardner, Kenny Carmichael Jr. and C.J. Bryan.
For Puterbaugh and the Carmichael family, the evening ended in a familiar place.
Just one week ago, Puterbaugh capped back-to-back track championships at both Gas City I-69 Speedway and Lincoln Park Speedway. On Saturday evening, he completed another successful season with a sprint car victory over Kent Christian and Todd Kimmell.
Dickie Gaines had designs on winning another feature at the Putnamville oval, pulling away from the field once he got around Puterbaugh after a side-by-side battle. Once Gaines got away from Puterbaugh, he began to build a comfortable cushion.
That was until he hit lapped traffic.
Gaines skillfully maneuvered the Pottorff Logging No. 11p through several backmarkers before he was collected coming out of turn four in a collision.
With the caution waving, Gaines was forced to the back of the field for the re-start as Puterbaugh assumed the point.
Christian was hot on the 'Brownsburg Bulldog's' heels as the green flag dropped once more. Kimmell had his hands full with Danny Holtsclaw and Carmichael Sr.
Working above the cushion, Kimmell piloted the Trucks in Action, Long's Bakery, DRC Chassis machine into a third-place finish following a rocket ride to a B-main victory.
Puterbaugh held onto the lead following a final re-start with four laps remaining to claim his sixth LPS feature of the season.
Christian maintained his second-place position ahead of Kimmell, Cole Carter and Holtsclaw. Carmichael Sr. claimed sixth in front of Kenny Niflis, Carmichael Jr., Michael Bridges and Ty Deckard. Gaines came back to finish 11th overall.
In the UMP Modified feature, Carmichael Sr. was able to over take early leader Dan Lewellen and then held off Harold Grayless and track champion, Paul Bumgardner, for his second modified win of the year.
Carmichael piloted the Bud's Auto Salvage, VP Racing Fuels, Johnson Carburetor, Williams Racing and Carmichael's Exhaust No. 12 into victory lane after taking fourth in the season points.
Lewellen started on the pole after finishing second to Brad Robinson in his heat race and led through the first several circuits of the A-Main.
But Carmichael, Bumgardner, Robinson and Travis Shoulders were immediately on Lewellen's bumper.
Carmichael made the pass for the lead squeezing by on the bottom as the pair dualed through lapped traffic. Lewellen then got to deal with a side-by-side challenge by Bumgardner that ended with Lewellen spinning in turn three.
Both cars ended up heading to the back of the field as Bumgardner was penalized for the incident.
It didn't take him long to make his charge to the front.
As Carmichael pulled out to a comfortable advantage, Grayless was chasing down Shoulders and Jimmy Hayden.
The battle between Shoulders and Hayden concluded with two laps to go when Shoulders was turned around after apparent contact between the pair.
Hayden was then sent to the tail as well and ended up with a ninth-place.
Grayless made the most of the decision, cruising to a second-place ahead of the rapidly rising Bumgardner. Mark Auler strung together another strong showing with a fourth ahead of Lewellen in fifth. Brian Kempf rolled to sixth followed by Shoulders, Wayne Cooper, Hayden and Jeremy Edmondson.
Kenny Carmichael Jr. wasn't to be outdone by his Dad on Saturday night, so he made his way through the UMP Super Stock field to grab his second feature win of the season. He also received recognition as the points champion in the class for 2008.
Joe Whisler stuck the Powder Pro Coating Service, Gallagher's Pizza Express, Porter Paints, 40-Minute Cleaners, Hoosier Hydro No. 21 out front on the drop of the green. David Bumgardner raced him door-to-door early as Kris Starks and Carmichael were bunched in traffic along with Roy Bruce Jr.
Carmichael slipped past Whisler as his left front tire went down and he made a brief excursion into the infield off turn three.
Carmichael began to add to his lead as Starks claimed second ahead of Bruce as Bumgardner faded a bit down the stretch.
Whisler would slip back to sixth to finish ahead of Josh Fagg, Rob Paris, Mark Blalock, Justin Davis and Jerry Brunner.
The fans were also treated to an appearance by late model legend, Don 'The Real Deal' O'Neal, who jumped into Slick Griffin's super stock for some action on Saturday.
O'Neal started the feature at the back of the field and was charging hard before being collected in an early crash and forced to the pits for repairs.
In the bomber feature, Ron Wallen Sr. celebrated his 34th and possibly final year of racing by scoring a feature win.
Wallen, who lost a motor several weeks ago, got a new lease on racing when L & R Roofing stepped forward to provide another power plant.
He didn't disappoint.
Wallen was able to slip by a last lap crash in turn four to edge out leader C.J. Bryan at the finish line. Ben Williams rolled to third-place after battling with Wallen for much of the feature. Dustin Shoulders motored up to fourth ahead of Bob Farris, Michael Thompson, Lloyd Walls, Frank Cotton, Sean Yakel and Matthew Nelson.
David Wallen had a top-five finish in his grasp before being collected in the last lap melee in turn four. He would take a 12th-place after the crash.
Congratulations go out to all the drivers and the fans for what turned out to be another great year of racing at the Putnamville oval that put its' 40th consecutive season into the record books.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Billy Puterbaugh, 2. Kent Christian, 3. Todd Kimmell, 4. Cole Carter, 5. Danny Holtsclaw, 6. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 7. Kenny Niflis, 8. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 9. Michael Bridges, 10. Ty Deckard, 11. Dickie Gaines, 12. Tyler Reddick, 13. Ryan Kline, 14. Stephanie Tuttle, 15. James Bradshaw, 16. Nick Johnson, 17. Bob Bourff, 18. Brandon Mattox, 19. Troy Link, 20. Aaron Mosley
B-main winner: Todd Kimmell
Heat winners: Danny Holtsclaw, Dickie Gaines, Michael Bridges
UMP Modified feature
1. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 2. Harold Grayless, 3. Paul Bumgardner, 4. Mark Auler, 5. Dan Lewellen, 6. Brian Kempf, 7. Travis Shoulders, 8. Wayne Cooper, 9. Jimmy Hayden, 10. Jeremy Edmondson, 11. Phil VanSant, 12. Wes McClara, 13. Carlos Bumgardner, 14. Josh Edmondson, 15. Steve Carpenter, 16. Gary Hall, 17. Michael Beatty, 18. Garry Ricketts, 19. Tony Helton, 20. Brad Robinson
B-main winner: Wes McClara
Heat winners: Paul Bumgardner, Travis Shoulders, Brad Robinson
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 2. Kris Starks, 3. Roy Bruce Jr., 4. David Bumgardner, 5. Joe Whisler, 6. Josh Fagg, 7. Rob Paris, 8. Mark Blalock, 9. Justin Davis, 10. Jerry Brunner, 11. Cary Switzer, 12. Scott Carrington, 13. Jamie Adams, 14. Travis Heramb, 15. Don O'Neal, 16. Elijah Heminger, 17. Chris Hillman
Heat winners: Kenny Carmichael Jr., David Bumgardner
1. Ron Wallen Sr., 2. C.J. Bryan, 3. Ben Williams, 4. Dustin Shoulders, 5. Bob Farris, 6. Michael Thompson, 7. Lloyd Walls, 8. Frank Cotton, 9. Sean Yakel, 10. Matthew Nelson, 11.Daylan Chambers, 12. David Wallen, 13. Ronald Blake, 14. Jon Moon, 15. Dennis Jackson, 16. Justin Clodfelter, 17. Chad Nolte, 18. Kevin Kemp, 19. Ron Smith, 20. Dallas King, 21. Wayne Payne
Heat winners: Ben Williams, C.J. Bryan