Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- It's amazing just how much one extra place can mean in feature racing.
One year ago, both Billy Puterbaugh and Clint DeMoss were left looking up one spot on the podium when the sprint car and modified features were over at Lincoln Park Speedway.
On Saturday night, both drivers were basking in the bright lights of victory lane after claiming feature wins.
A steady early evening drizzle threatened to cancel festivities for the third time in five weeks, but due to the diligent work by the push truck drivers and racers to work the track back into racing shape, fans got to savor an impressive night of action.
Thirty-two sprint cars were in the pits and all of them had their eye on claiming the 22nd running of the Putnamville Clash. Dickie Gaines was one of them and he was gunning for a three-peat after wins in 2007 and 2008.
The rains began to fall on the heels of the third heat and action came to a halt for close to 90 minutes. However, the skies finally dried and the racing surface was tacky and fast.
When action finally resumed, Puterbaugh assured a good starting spot in the A-Main by winning the final sprint car heat ahead of Russ Harper.
Robbie Shuttleworth claimed the B-Main to tag on to the back of the feature field as 20 cars lined up with $2,000 at stake for the winner.
Hollingsworth and Prather lead the field to the green, but it was Puterbaugh that jumped out front with Hollingsworth and Danny Holtsclaw battling for the top spot as well.
Seven laps into the feature, Holtsclaw ducked under Hollingsworth coming out of turn two and eyed Puterbaugh, who had run into lapped traffic.
The defending track champion knows his way around the Putnamville oval as well as anyone and Puterbaugh used every line to weave his way around several back markers. However, Holtsclaw slowly reeled him in as Bobby Stines entered the fray along with Gaines and Kent Christian.
Andy Bibler brought out a caution to re-set the field and clear the lapped cars for the leaders.
On the re-start, Holtsclaw made his move and got even with Puterbaugh in a side-by-side fight for the top spot. One lap later, Puterbaugh got back by and wasn't going to relinquish the lead.
Hollingsworth got by Holtsclaw with just a handful of laps remaining to grab second. Christian had his hands full with Gaines and Chris Urish with Rice close behind.
Holtsclaw's hopes for the win came to a close as he rolled to a stop with two laps remaining to bring out the final caution.
When the green waved, Puterbaugh fired away from Hollingsworth, who got out of his line and lost the runner-up spot to the charging Gaines and Christian. As the checkered flag flew, it was Puterbaugh who got to celebrate as the King of the Clash. Gaines missed out on his third straight Clash victory by one spot followed by Christian, Hollingsworth, Urish and Rice. Stines took seventh ahead of a nice run by Todd Kimmel, who started 16th. Prather was ninth ahead of Shuttleworth's charge to a top-10 finish.
In the UMP Modifieds, DeMoss came in as the points leader in the Southeast UMP points standings and 10th in the nation.
He found himself chasing Marty O'Neal over the opening laps with Carlos Bumgardner and Paul Bumgardner hot on their bumpers.
O'Neal was able to hold off DeMoss' challenges over the first half of the feature as Paul Bumgardner moved into contention for the second spot. Travis Shoulders, Brad Barrow and Jimmy Hayden all held down top-five positions.
As the leaders got into lapped traffic, DeMoss got alongside O'Neal and completed the successful pass for the lead. Bumgardner and O'Neal duked it out for a couple of laps before the defending points champ nabbed the second position.
As the laps ticked away, Bumgardner challenged DeMoss down the stretch, but it wasn't enough as DeMoss claimed his first Lincoln Park Speedway win of the year in the Erwin's Drywall, Rachel Cooper Racing, BPW Auto Mart sponsored, Franklin-built No. 78c. O'Neal held down third ahead of Barrow and Hayden. Carlos Bumgardner was sixth ahead of Michael Purtlebaugh and Mark Auler, who came from the back of the feature after winning the B-main. Shoulders and Harold Grayless wrapped the top-10.
In UMP Super stocks, Kenny Carmichael Jr. was able to halt Slick Griffin's win streak with a hard fought, first win of the season at LPS.
Griffin didn't go out without a fight and in fact, Carmichael's pass came complete with the nose of Griffin's car.
Griffin lead the first half of the feature, with Kris Starks close behind followed by Doug McCullough and Jim Moore. Starks and McCullough battled door-to-door for a number of laps as Carmichael moved past Moore. Tami Lawson and Scott Buchanan were fighting for sixth.
Starks' challenge for the lead saw him jump over the cushion and slip behind Carmichael, who dove under Griffin to claim the point and his nose.
Following several late cautions, Carmichael was able to hold McCullough and Moore, who each were able to edge past Griffin. Lawson was fifth ahead of Travis Heramb, Mark Dickerson, Jacob Wright, Dennis Morgan and Mike Callahan rounded out the top-10.
McCullough took over the season points advantage ahead of Greg Amick and Cullen Goodman.
In the bomber feature, Dustin Shoulders and C.J. Bryan put on a show for the crowd with a tight battle for the lead. In the end however, it was Shoulders who claimed his second consecutive feature victory and edged closer to the top-five in season points.
Ron Wallen Sr. was third followed by Chuck Walden, Ben Williams, Stacey Ford, points leader Ryan Freeland, Greg Riser, Michael Thompson and Jason Turner.
Next week will feature a regular lineup of sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
|1.||Billy Puterbaugh, 2. Dickie Gaines, 3. Kent Christian, 4. Shane Hollingsworth, 5. Chris Urish, 6. Robbie Rice, 7. Bobby Stines, 8. Todd Kimmel, 9. Andrew Prather, 10. Robbie Shuttleworth, 11. Shawn Krockenberger, 12. Ray Humphrey, 13. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 14. Mike Hagemier, 15. Jimmy Romig, 16. Danny Holtsclaw, 17. Troy Link, 18. Danny Williams Jr., 19. Russ Harper, 20. Andy Bibler|
B-main winner: Shuttleworth
Heat winners: Gaines, Christian, Holtsclaw, Puterbaugh
UMP Modified feature
|1.||Clint DeMoss, 2. Paul Bumgardner, 3. Marty O'Neal, 4. Brad Barrow, 5. Jimmy Hayden, 6. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 7. Michael Purtlebaugh, 8. Mark Auler, 9. Travis Shoulders, 10. Harold Grayless, 11. Phil VanSant, 12. Cullen Goodman, 13. Brian Kempf, 14. Wayne Cooper, 15. Josh Fagg, 16. Paul Wright, 17. Garry Ricketts, 18. Doug Bryant Jr., 19. Gary Hall, 20. Jaymie Turner|
B-Main winner: Auler
Heat winners: Paul Bumgardner, DeMoss, Carlos Bumgardner Sr.
UMP Super Stock feature
|1.||Kenny Carmichael Jr., 2. Doug McCullough, 3. Jim Moore, 4. Slick Griffin, 5. Tami Lawson, 6. Travis Heramb, 7. Mark Dickerson, 8. Jacob Wright, 9. Dennis Morgan, 10. Mike Callahan, 11. Matt Jordan, 12. Joe Starks, 13. Harry Shepherd, 14. Scott Buchanan, 15. Kris Starks, 16. Jamie Adams, 17. Stefan Lathan, 18. Micahel Conner, 19. Gary Archer, 20. Cullen Goodman|
Heat winners: Griffin, Starks
|1.||Dustin Shoulders, 2. C.J. Bryan, 3. Ron Wallen Sr., 4. Chuck Walden, 5. Ben Williams, 6. Stacey Ford, 7. Ryan Freeland, 8. Greg Riser, 9. Michael Thompson, 10. Jason Turner, 11. Richard Watkins, 12. Cory Williamson, 13. Steven Dayhuff, 14. Josh Settles, 15. Sean Yakel, 16. Ron Wallen Jr., 17. Ron Smith, 18. David Wallen, 19. Josh Presley, 20. Cullen Sandusky, 21. Chad Nolte|
B-Main winner: Josh Settles
Heat winners: Freeland, Bryan, Shoulders