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PUTNAMVILLE -- If there was any doubt about Dickie Gaines' claim to royalty before Saturday night, they were squashed after an emphatic win at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Gaines' third consecutive win at the Putnamville oval came in the 21st annual Putnamville Clash and was his second straight win in the event, which meant a $2,000 payday.
Just call him the King of the Clash.
Gaines started in the sixth position on the inverted feature start after winning his heat race. Billy Puterbaugh started on point alongside Casey Shuman.
The first few laps went to Puterbaugh, but Gaines seemingly picked off a few cars at a time, appearing mostly immune to a black, slick racetrack.
Riding the cushion at the top, Gaines blasted into the top spot five laps in and settled into a rhythm, hitting his spots lap-after-lap.
Puterbaugh was left to duke it out with his co-worker, Casey Shuman, for much of the A-Main, though Kent Christian's entertaining match-up with Jon Siscoe and J.T. Stapp provided some thrills in the top-five.
Following an early caution, Gaaines got a strong restart and proceeded to add to his lead until hitting lapped traffic during the second half of the feature.
Masterfully, Gaines weaved high and low amongst the competitors, his car working to perfection regardless of the location on the track.
While many cars were slipping up the track, Gaines found the top to his liking and pulled away down the stretch for the win that strengthened his hold on third place in the LPS points.
Puterbaugh and Shuman nailed down the second and third spots followed by Christian and Broc Burton. Siscoe placed sixth in the Clash ahead of Michael Bridges, Stapp, Aaron Mosley and Troy Link in the top-10.
Sprint car points leader Shane Hollingsworth had some bad luck, getting knocked out of the feature on the first lap after contact and his lead was narrowed to 18 (472 to 454).
UMP Modified pilot, Travis Shoulders has had more than his fair share of bad luck this season at Lincoln Park Speedway. Often starting near the front of the pack after strong runs in the heat races, he's suffered a variety of ill fates ranging from mechanical to structural after contact.
On Saturday, that was all in the past as he led wire-to-wire, holding off a dogged run from Clint DeMoss.
The 1-2 modified battle was perhaps the showcase of the night as DeMoss slowly closed the gap on Shoulders over the latter stages of the feature.
The final result was a four-lap sprint to the finish with Shoulders holding tight to the top side and DeMoss making the bottom work. A late caution gave DeMoss a good opportunity to make a final run and over the last couple of laps the two ran side-by-side with fans on the edge of their seats.
However, Shoulders got a good bite off turn four on the final circuit and rocketed to the line just ahead of DeMoss' excellent run.
Behind them, another great race shaped up between a host of mods that included defending track champion Paul Bumgardner, Kenny Carmichael Sr., Matt Bex and James Tumey.
Bumgardner uncharacteristically was forced to the bottom, but made the tactic work by working underneath Tumey and Carmichael to challenge Bex in a side-by-side war to the checkers.
Carmichael slipped the cushion in turn three down the stretch, but recovered nicely to finish seventh after and losing quite a few spots.
Tumey eventually finished fifth in his first visit to the track this season. Brad Robinson had a good run end with a sixth-place ahead of Carmichael, Mark Auler, Dan Lewellen and Wayne Cooper.
Shoulders' win in the Cardinal Contracting, Durabuilt Racing, Eubank & Sons, Pizza Den and Still Here Liquors sponsored machine closes the points' gap for third to 22 behind Auler. Bumgardner holds a narrow lead over Carmichael, 508-499.
A familiar face found Victory Lane in super stock action as Chris Hillman rolled to his fourth LPS win of the season in convincing fashion.
He wasn't able to gain much of a points advantage however as season leader, Kenny Carmichael Jr. took third on Saturday night. The points' deficit for Hillman is still at 11 (512-492) with Joe Whisler back at 470 after an early spin left him in 11th in the feature.
Brazil-native, Slick Griffin, led early in his Griffin Auto Salvage, Hoosier Towing machine with Hillman stalkeing his competition from the fourth starting spot.
Hillman dove low to gain Carmichael's spot several laps in as David Bumgardner and Curt Leonard fought for position ahead of Kris Starks and Scott Carrington.
Once Hillman gained the top spot, he checked out on the field, leaving Griffin to fend off Carmichael over the waning laps. Bumgardner held on to fourth ahead of Leonard, Starks and Carrington. Tami Lawson took ninth ahead of Doug McCullough and Mark Dickerson.
Ben Williams is no stranger to the winner's circle, taking several bomber features in the 2007 season at Lincoln Park Speedway.
He claimed his first of the season on Saturday, holding off Chad Nolte and C.J. Bryan for the victory.
Dustin Shoulders was the last regular feature winner and according to the rules, started from the tail of the field. With a rubbered down track, Shoulders was only able to pick his way up to a 10th-place finish. Bob Farris placed fourth and Bryan retained the points lead with his third, leading fifth-place finisher Lloyd Walls by 28-points. In sixth was Michael Thompson, besting Ryan Freeland, Kevin Kemp, David Wallen and Shoulders in the top-10.
Next week is a regular program with sprints, UMP Modifieds, UMP Super Stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
|1.||Dickie Gaines, 2. Billy Puterbaugh, 3. Casey Shuman, 4. Kent Christian, 5. Broc Burton, 6. Jon Siscoe, 7. Michael Bridges, 8. J.T. Stapp, 9. Aaron Mosley, 10. Troy Link, 11. Kenny Carmichael Jr. 12. Jesse Cramer, 13. Mike Hagemier, 14. Bill Rose, 15. Chris Coers, 16. Josh Clemons, 17. Lance Hayden, 18. Tyler Reddick, 19. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 20. Shane Hollingsworth, 21. Jonathan Hendrick|
B-Main winners: Bill Rose, Aaron Mosley
Heat winners: Tyler Reddick, Kent Christian, Dickie Gaines, Jon Siscoe
UMP Modified Feature
|1.||Travis Shoulders, 2. Clint DeMoss, 3. Matt Bex, 4. Paul Bumgardner, 5. James Tumey, 6. Brad Robinson, 7. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 8. Mark Auler, 9. Dan Lewellen, 10. Wayne Cooper, 11. Doug Bryant Jr., 12. Phil VanSant, 13. Chris Brewer, 14. Carlos Bumgardner, 15. Jeremy Edmondson, 16. Wes McClara, 17. Brad Thrasher, 18. Tom Black, 19. Marlin Burns, 20. Kenny Weaver|
B-Main winner: Wayne Cooper
Heat winners: Travis Shoulders, Brad Robinson, Matt Bex
UMP Super Stock Feature
|1.||Chris Hillman, 2. Slick Griffin, 3. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 4. David Bumgardner, 5. Curt Leonard, 6. Kris Starks, 7. Scott Carrington, 8. Tami Lawson, 9. Doug McCullough, 10. Mark Dickerson, 11. Joe Whisler, 12. Rob Paris, 13. Travis Heramb, 14. Mark Blalock, 15. Elijah Himinger, 16. Michael Beatty, 17. Erik Norman|
Heat winners: Kenny Carmichael Jr., Slick Griffin
|1.||Ben Williams, 2. Chad Nolte, 3. C.J. Bryan, 4. Bob Farris, 5. Lloyd Walls, 6. Michael Thompson, 7. Ryan Freeland, 8. Kevin Kemp, 9. David Wallen, 10. Dustin Shoulders, 11. Sean Yakel, 12. David Daniels, 13. Gary Long, 14. Ron Wallen Sr., 15. Ron Smith, 16. David Bumgardner II, 17. Scott Dillion, 18. Matt Freeman, 19. Joe Frye, 20. Justin Clodfelter|
B-Main winner: Ryan Freeland
Heat winners: Ben Williams, Dustin Shoulders, David Daniels