By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. — The pits were once again filled with a wealth of talented drivers on a sunny, humid afternoon at Lincoln Park Speedway.
California native, Robert Ballou, has found the Midwest to his liking in 2010 as he has cleaned up while competing with the Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless Series. On Saturday night he made a lucrative stop in Putnamville and came away with another win to add to his resume topping a field of 37 sprint cars that were on hand.
The 21-year-old Ballou, was coming off a win at Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri on July 18, which gave him the points lead in the Sprint Bandits TNT series. The victory was his third series win of the year in Dallas Mulvaney’s Don Ott-powered MPHG Promotions, Triple-X No. 81.
On Saturday, Ballou and Mulvaney were each in action at LPS with Ballou winning his heat and starting on the inside of row one for the feature. Billy Puterbaugh climbed back into his family-owned No. 16 and made it count with a front row start alongside Ballou. Dickie Gaines, seeking his third win at the track this year, was in row two alongside Shane Hollingsworth.
When the green flag dropped, Ballou grabbed the lead shortly before Keith Bloom and Bub Cummings tangled in turn one. Once the re-start got the action going, Ballou was clearly going to be hard to beat.
Gaines tucked in behind him as Ballou built a lead and both Hollingsworth and Puterbaugh settled into a side-by-side battle for third.
Behind them, Chris Babcock was in contention early along with Shawn Krockenberger. Puterbaugh, Gaines and Hollingsworth remained in a pack as Ballou cruised in the clean air out front.
With Ballou out front and approaching lapped traffic, Gaines continued to sling his No. 21x machine hard into the corners, working the bottom while Ballou chose the top. Gaines slowly closed Ballou’s lead as he worked traffic late in the feature. Ballou was able to get past the lapped No.
49 of Troy Link, but Gaines lost a bit of ground and Hollingsworth closed on him. A group of four lapped machines loomed next and Ballou split a pair of them before a caution with one lap to go gave Gaines and Hollingsworth a last shot.
However, on the re-start, Ballou remained flawless in his quest for checkers, leading Gaines across the line with Hollingsworth and Puterbaugh close behind. Jesse Cramer came across in fifth ahead of Chris Babcock, Braylon Fitzpatrick, last week’s winner, Russ Harper, Krockenberger and Joss Moffatt.
In the UMP Modified ranks, Clint DeMoss is having the kind of season that most drivers dream about. Coming off his 10th win of the season at Bloomington Speedway on Friday, DeMoss chalked up No. 11 in his Diamond Racecar sponsored by CiS Rubber Tracks, A+ Performance, Hoosier Drywall, B&W Auto Mart machine.
DeMoss led from the start, opening a small advantage over Jamie Tumey and maintaining it throughout the entire main event.
Chris Brewer, Carlos Bumgardner and DeMoss were heat winners as 31 modifieds were on hand Saturday evening.
Starting on the front row, DeMoss was too much to handle in claiming the victory. Tumey ran strong behind him to keep Brad Barrow at bay at the finish line with Craig Conyer claiming fourth ahead of Paul Bumgardner, Carlos Bumgardner, Roger Cary, Donald Kiger, Greg Amick and Brewer.
In the UMP Super Stock feature, you could have thrown a blanket over the top-three at any one point during the feature as Kenny Carmichael Sr., Chris Hillman and Paul Bumgardner put on a thrilling show to the checkered flag.
The three ran nose-to-tail and side-by-side for nearly the entire feature as Carmichael stayed out front with Hillman challenging for the lead. Bumgardner was mere feet behind the two with five laps remaining in the feature.
Hillman ran the bottom below Carmichael, looking for that extra bit of momentum and got just enough to nose slightly ahead of Carmichael as the two came off turn four and headed down the front stretch. A lapped car was in play over the final two laps and Carmichael looked as if he might be held up just enough for Hillman to take the win. However, coming off the final corner, Carmichael was able to outrun Hillman by a car length to the flagstand for the victory. Hillman and Bumgardner followed across the line ahead of Kris Starks, Brett Smedley, Kevin Arthur, Slick Griffin, Doug McCullough, Josh Burton and Joe Starks.
In the final feature race of the night, Dustin Shoulders was able to hold off a determined charge by David Wallen, Lloyd Walls and David Bumgardner to pick up the bomber victory.
Walls was second for much of the main event, but Wallen, running the cushion on top, was able to claim the runner-up spot as Walls took third over Bumgardner. The group ran in a pack during the feature, swapping spots in a dual to the checkers as Shoulders was able to remain out front for the victory. Dale Lewis came home fifth ahead of last week’s winner, C.J.
Bryan. Ron Wallen Sr. was seventh followed by Richard Watkins, Larry Shelley Jr. and Corey Gregory.
Lincoln Park Speedway puts on a special show this evening as the DIRTcar Summer Nationals for late models invade Putnamville for a $6,000-to-win show. There will also be extra money on the line for the UMP Modifieds with $800 going to the winner along with $500 to the super stocks and $300 to the bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Robert Ballou, 2. Dickie Gaines, 3. Shane Hollingsworth, 4. Billy Puterbaugh, 5. Jesse Cramer, 6. Chris Babcock, 7. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 8. Russ Harper, 9. Shawn Krockenberger, 10. Joss Moffatt, 11. Jake Scott, 12. James Bradshaw, 13. AJ Hopkins, 14. Kurt Gross, 15. Troy Link, 16. Chad Davenport, 17. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 18. Bub Cummings, 19. Rick Vaughn, 20. Keith Bloom Jr.
UMP Modified feature
1. Clint DeMoss, 2. James Tumey, 3. Brad Barrow, 4. Craig Conyer, 5. Paul Bumgardner, 6. Carlos Bumgardner, 7. Roger Cary, 8. Donald Kiger, 9. Greg Amick, 10. Chris Brewer, 11. Derek Groomer, 12. Dan Lewellen, 13. David Baldwin, 14. Wes McClara, 15. Tony Helton, 16. Albert Gardner, 17. Chris Kerl, 18. Kyle Herbert, 19. Brad Robinson UMP Super Stock feature
1. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 2. Chris Hillman, 3. Paul Bumgardner, 4. Kris Starks, 5. Brett Smedley, 6. Kevin Arthur, 7. Slick Griffin, 8. Doug McCullough, 9. Josh Burton, 10. Joe Starks, 11. Jamie Adams, 12. Mike Wright Jr., 13. Dan McCullough, 14. Travis Heramb Bomber feature 1. Dustin Shoulders, 2. David Wallen, 3. Lloyd Walls, 4.
David Bumgardner, 5. Dale Lewis, 6. C.J. Bryan, 7. Ron Wallen Sr., 8. Richard Watkins, 9. Larry Shelley Jr., 10. Corey Gregory, 11. Josh Presley, 12. Josh Fagg, 13. Frank Cotton, 14. Ronald Blake, 15. Billy Tarrh, 16. David Daniels, 17. Jeff Herron, 18. Mike Williams, 19. Kenny Treash, 20. Kevin Kemp