By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Saturday night was a perfect example of why sprint car fans in the Midwest are so lucky as several tracks contested big races and each track had a solid number of cars on hand to thrill the crowds.
USAC headed to K-C Speedway for a sprint car event while both Lawrenceburg and Paragon Speedway were running regular shows. Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt had the Hoosier Sprint Nationals for MSCS Sprint Cars that paid off $5,000 to the victor and to top it off, Eldora Speedway in Ohio also offered a rare non-wing event. All of the tracks had some great racing on hand and despite the USAC show eventually being claimed by Mother Nature, the Indiana tracks put on great shows with good car counts.
Lincoln Park Speedway played host to the 23rd Annual Putnamville Clash, which paid off a $2,000-to-win share for the driver that was able to top the field. Twenty-four sprint cars were in the pits at LPS and Kent Christian, Troy Link and the red-hot Dickie Gaines were heat winners.
Gaines came in on a three-race win streak in Putnamville and would start the race on the outside of the second row behind Wes McIntyre and Brian Olson up front and alongside AJ Anderson.
When the 30-lap main event got underway, Link’s night took a tough turn as he got upside down on turn two of the second lap to bring out the red flag. He was uninjured in the wreck, but his quest for the win was over prematurely. On the re-start, Olson jumped out front briefly before Gaines came roaring forward and slipped past heading into turn three to grab the point. For a number of laps it looked as if Gaines was going to win going away. However, Olson wasn’t going to let that happen.
The young hot shoe slowly reeled Gaines in and began a wheel-to-wheel dual with Gaines as Anderson, McIntyre and Jesse Cramer gave chase. Christian’s night came to an early end with some steering problems.
Up front, Olson duked it out with Gaines and made the pass to regain the lead in turn two before a caution for a tangle between A.J. Hopkins and Seth Parker re-set the field. While still under yellow, Gaines chase for four-in-a-row came to a close as his right rear tire was flat and he was forced to the pits.
Lady Luck seemed to be smiling down on Olson a bit as he took the green ahead of Anderson and Cramer with Shane Hollingsworth in tow. Cramer was able to make a move and get past Anderson and set his sights on Olson and the Clash title.
Anderson and Hollingsworth fought for third-place with Korey Weyant and Ethan Barrow hooking up for a top-five spot.
Olson and Cramer went wheel-to-wheel for several laps late in the feature before Cramer made his decisive move and slipped past for the lead. Anderson took the opportunity as well, slipping into second with a couple of laps remaining.
As the checkered flag flew, it was Cramer rocketing past the flagstand in the Economy Fireplace, R.R. Construction, Burris DJ Service, Davis Automotive, Haley’s sponsored No. 12 for a big payday and his first LPS win of the season ahead of Anderson, Olson, Hollingsworth and Barrow. Weyant started the second five with Babcock coming forward after winning the B-main, started 16th and placed seventh followed by McIntyre, Chris Urish and Blair Julian. The season points race got even tighter as Hollingsworth holds a four-point lead (647 to 643) over Gaines with Babcock (634) in third.
In the UMP Modified feature, Chris Kerl and Brian Hayden started up front ahead of Travis Shoulders and Carlos Bumgardner Hayden took the lead from the opening green as a great battle developed between Shoulders and Rob Fuqua for second as Paul and Carlos Bumgardner fought for fourth a head of Chris Brewer.
What might have been an eye popping battle between some of the best the track had to offer, took a big hit literally as a turn three tangle collected Shoulders, both Bumgardners, Elijah Heminger and Phil VanSant.
Paul Bumgardner’s car took the bit hit as the season points leader lost his left rear wheel and an apparent punctured fuel tank caused a delay as a fire crew took car of the fuel spill.
Carlos Bumgardner’s night was over as well with a flat tire and Shoulders was forced to re-start from the back of the field.
After the delay, Hayden and Fuqua went at each other tooth-and-nail and door to door for the rest of the feature. As each lap ticked off, Fuqua looked like he might make that winning move as he was hooked up on the bottom three-wheeling on a mighty run for the lead. However, Hayden was more than up to the task in the Cyclone Custom Products, Indiana OpenWheel.com, Marvel’s Miracle Foundation, KMD Motorsports entry.
As the final couple of laps came off the books, Fuqua was able to pull nearly even with Hayden off turn four, but was unable to make the final pass.
Hayden went on to claim the win ahead of Fuqua, Larry Lambert came up from a ninth-place start for third ahead of Matt Bex, who started 12th. Craig Conyer roared forward to take fifth after starting 16th with Donald Kiger in seventh and Shoulders rocketed back to take seventh after the early crash. Josh Boller was eighth ahead of Jimmy Hayden and John Hipps.
The UMP Super Stock feature was a family affair come feature time as Kenny Carmichael Jr. and Kenny Carmichael Sr. started on the front row and did battle to the checkered flag.
The father/son duo were side-by-side for most of the second half of the A-main while Brad Cummings gave chase in pursuit of a repeat feature win. Scott Carrington stayed out front of a battle between Slick Griffin and Chris Bennett.
Carrington made a move for second, but couldn’t make the pass stick as Carmichael Sr. held off the challenge and a late caution allowed Cummings to remain in third.
With five laps remaining, the Carmichael’s continued their fight up front while holding off Cummings. A re-start with two laps to go gave Carmichael Sr. one last shot at the lead, but in the end, Carmichael Jr. was able to maintain the lead and won by a couple car lengths. Cummings held down third followed by Carrington, Griffin, Bennett, Doug McCullough, Josh Burton, Kris Starks and Mike Staggs.
Carmichael’s win came in the L&R Roofing, Carmichael’s Exhaust sponsored No. 3 machine.
In the final feature of the night, Lloyd Walls started alongside Bob Farris up front with Ron Wallen Sr. and Harry Shepherd.
Walls took the lead during the early stages ahead of Farris and Shepherd as Wallen held down fourth. Dustin Shoulders and C.J. Bryan jockeyed for the fifth position.
Bryan went to the bottom and started to pick off a couple of competitors in a charge to the front as Shoulders tried to split both Bryan and Farris coming out of turn four. Walls remained up front as Bryan and Shoulders took over second and third.
Bryan was able to complete his run to the front, making the pass for the lead in turn four as Shoulders moved to the outside ahead of Walls.
As the final laps were contested, the group found lapped traffic and Bryan was able to use them masterfully, making a solid move past one competitor coming off turn four to pick up the victory ahead of Shoulders and Walls. Shepherd was fourth ahead of Farris, Wallen Sr., Chad Nolte, Josh Fagg, David Wallen and Will Fagg.
Walls holds the season points lead with 862 ahead of Bryan’s 814 and Shoulders’ 789.
Next Saturday will be the re-scheduled Bomber Bash with $300-to-win and $50 to start along with sprint cars, UMP Modifieds and UMP Super Stocks.
Lincoln Park Speedway
“23rd Annual Putnamville Clash”
1. Jesse Cramer, 2. A.J. Anderson, 3. Brian Olson, 4. Shane Hollingsworth, 5. Ethan Barrow, 6. Korey Weyant, 7. Chris Babcock, 8. Wes McIntyre, 9. Chris Urish, 10. Blair Julian, 11. Domain Ramsey, 12. Brent Berry, 13. Dustin Waggoner, 14. Seth Parker, 15. Dickie Gaines, 16. AJ Hopkins, 17. Kent Christian, 18. Daren Krockenberger, 19. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 20. Troy Link
B-main winner: Chris Babcock
Heat winners: Christian, Link Gaines
UMP Modified feature
1. Brian Hayden, 2. Rob Fuqua, 3. Larry Lambert, 4. Matt Bex, 5. Craig Conyer, 6. Donald Kiger, 7. Travis Shoulders, 8. Josh Boller, 9. Jimmy Hayden, 10. John Hipps, 11. Neil Rollins, 12. Gary Hall, 13. Jeremy Edmondson, 14. Chris Kerl, 15. Chris Brewer, 16. Paul Bumgardner, 17. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 18. Phil VanSant, 19. Elijah Heminger, 20. Michael Beatty
B-main winner: Kiger
Heat winners: Bumgardner Sr., Shoulders, Hayden
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Brad Cummings, 4. Scott Carrington, 5. Slick Griffin, 6. Chris Bennett, 7. Doug McCullough, 8. Josh Burton, 9. Kris Starks, 10. Mike Staggs, 11. Joe Starks, 12. Steve Ware, 13. Jamie Adams, 14. Carl Potter, 15. David Bumgardner Heat winners: Bumgardner, Carmichael Jr.
1. C.J. Bryan, 2. Dustin Shoulders, 3. Lloyd Walls, 4. Harry Shepherd, 5. Bob Farris, 6. Ron Wallen Sr., 7. Chad Nolte, 8. Josh Fagg, 9. David Wallen, 10. Will Fagg, 11. Richard Watkins, 12. Josh Settles, 13. Jason Thornburg, 14. Dale Lewis, 15. Frank Cotton, 16. Corey Gregory, 17. Kevin Kemp, 18. Billy Tarrh, 19. Josh Presley, 20. Stacey Ford
B-main winner: Thornburg
Heat winners: Shoulders, Farris, Walls