By CAREY FOX Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Memorial Day weekend has long been synonymous with racing in the state of Indiana and on Saturday fans were treated to some quality dirt track racing and a fantastic fireworks display put on by Circle City Pyrotechnics at Lincoln Park Speedway.
A large crowd was on tap at the Putnamville oval on a bright, sunny evening with near perfect holiday weather.
Twenty-two sprint cars were on hand and Dickie Gaines, coming off a third-place finish on Friday at Bloomington Speedway, continued a lucrative weekend in the MPHG Promotions, Dan Roberts-sponsored No. 21x machine, picking up his first win of the season at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Gaines was able to overcome, what appeared to be a dominating performance from Thomas Meseraull, who built nearly a full straightaway lead during the feature. However, as he got into traffic, Gaines slowly reeled him in and eventually was able to make the pass coming out of turns one and two late in the main event. Gaines, himself was caught behind some of the lapped machines and simply appeared as he would run out of time in pursuing Meseraull and the lead.
Billy Puterbaugh, starting back in the sixth position, slowly made his way through a quick pack of frontrunners that also included heat winner, Kent Christian and Seth Parker early on. However, Parker would have some mechanical problems early and Christian would end up upside down with three laps to go.
Justin Marvel and Chad Davenport were also part of the late red flag, though neither got upside down, heavy contact ended both drivers’ evenings.
On the final re-start, it was Gaines that was able to maintain the lead as Meseraull started behind a couple of lapped sprinters and was unable to make a serious challenge over the last few circuits. Puterbaugh wound up third ahead of Jon Sciscoe, Nick Bilbee, Chris Babcock, Dakota Jackson, Jesse Cramer, last week’s winner, Danny Holtsclaw and Jordan Kinser in the top-10.
In the UMP Modified class, Wes McClara, Clint DeMoss and Cullen Goodman claimed heat races with Matt Bex winning the B-main race.
Starting the feature, Goodman lined up alongside pole sitter, Paul Bumgardner with DeMoss and McClara in row two.
Once the green flag waved however, Bumgardner assumed the lead and wasn’t going to let go of the point. Brian Hayden’s early season tough luck continued as he was collected in an accident with Chad Combs. Bumgardner led DeMoss in a close struggle as Goodman held third ahead of a side-by-side battle between Roger Cary and McClara followed closely by Jimmy Hayden.
The group was locked in a tight battle throughout most of the feature as Bumgardner and DeMoss pulled ahead of the field in their own battle. Cary was able to separate himself and take over third down the stretch with Bex making a huge run through the field from 16th to a final fourth-place finish.
Bumgardner held on for the win, working through late traffic for the victory ahead of DeMoss and Cary. Bex took fourth followed by Don Kiger, Goodman, McClara, James Tumey, Hayden and Roger Mills.
In the UMP Super Stock division, Bumgardner did his best to repeat last week’s win, but Kenny Carmichael Sr. claimed the victory in a near, wire-to-wire win.
Kris Starks ran up front early as Chris Hillman and Tony Anderson were in pursuit along with Josh Burton. However, Carmichael was pulling away from the rest of the field with only Bumgardner within striking distance. Starks was forced to pull off with mechanical issues and Hillman did the same late in the race.
Bumgardner made one last charge coming off turn four to the checkered flag, but Carmichael had too much momentum on the top of the track and claimed the victory. Burton took third ahead of Anderson and Slick Griffin. Jim Bailey led the second five ahead of Jim Moore, Doug McCullough, Donnie Shoemaker and Hillman.
The final feature of the evening saw David Bumgardner’s near flawless run result in a victory in the Coatesville Auto Parts, Cooper Hardware, Bumgardner Auto & Truck Repair No. 05 Barnbuilt Race car.
Bumgardner held off C.J. Bryan for the victory ahead of Lloyd Walls, Ron Wallen Sr. and Jordan Almanza. Kevin Kemp was sixth with Dale Lewis, Tim Doughty, Josh Fagg and Josh Presley rounding out the top-10.
Next week will be Salute to Brazil Night with residents of the town with valid state ID receiving a discount.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Dickie Gaines, 2. Thomas Meseraull, 3. Billy Puterbaugh, 4. Jon Sciscoe, 5. Nick Bilbee, 6. Chris Babcock, 7. Dakota Jackson, 8. Jesse Cramer, 9. Danny Holtsclaw, 10. Jordan Kinser, 11. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 12. A.J. Martin, 13. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 14. Kevin Chambers, 15. Jimmy Romig, 16. Kent Christian, 17. Justin Marvel, 18. Chad Davenport, 19. Alvin Brantley, 20. Seth Parker, 21. Jon Nicoson, 22. Shawn Krockenberger
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Clint DeMoss, 3. Roger Cary, 4. Matt Bex, 5. Donald Kiger, 6. Cullen Coodman, 7. Wes McClara, 8. James Tumey, 9. Jimmy Hayden, 10. Roger Mills, 11. Phil VanSant, 12. Dan Lewellen, 13. Brad Robinson, 14. Jaymie Turner, 15. Gary Hall, 16. Carlos Bumgardner, 17. Garry Ricketts, 18. Chad Combs, 19. Brian Hayden, 20. Tony Helton
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 2. Paul Bumgardner, 3. Josh Burton, 4. Tony Anderson, 5. Slick Griffin, 6. Jim Bailey, 7. Jim Moore, 8. Doug McCullough, 9. Donnie Shoemaker, 10. Chris Hillman, 11. Kris Starks, 12. Donald Smiley, 13. Travis Heramb, 14. Michael Fish, 15. Steve Sheeks, 16. Jake Byers
1. David Bumgardner, 2. C.J. Bryan, 3. Lloyd Walls, 4. Ron Wallen Sr., 5. Jordan Almanza, 6. Kevin Kemp, 7. Dale Lewis, 8. Tim Doughty, 9. Josh Fagg, 10. Josh Presley, 11. Richard Watkins, 12. Larry Shelley Jr., 13. Frank Cotton, 14. Kenny Treash, 15. Blake Cross, 16. Sally Yakel, 17. Billy Tarrh, 18. Dustin Shoulders, 19. Scott Bennett, 20. Corey Gregory