PUTNAMVILLE -- The month of July has provided sweltering temperatures, but the heat can't compare to how hot Dickie Gaines has been at Lincoln Park Speedway.
The Mitchell, Ind. sprint car driver remained unbeaten this month at the Putnamville oval scoring his third straight feature at LPS and in the process, took home a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series win on Saturday night. Gaines held off a determined drive by Dave Darland, who won a sprint car feature when the USAC Midget's were at LPS earlier in the summer.
Gaines meanwhile won his third feature of the month at the dirt oval and was followed across the finish line by Darland, USAC Sprint points leader, Levi Jones, Shane Hollingsworth and Daron Clayton.
Damion Gardner topped the qualifying charts with a time of 12.497 to edge out Jerry Coons Jr. by a comfortable margin. Hollingsworth claimed the first heat race of the night, Hunter Schuerenberg was the second heat winner and Darland won the final heat race. Henry Clarke won the B-main.
Starting the feature, Gaines and Jesse Cramer drew the starting nod on the front row despite fifth-place finishes in their heat races. Clayton and Jones started in row two.
On the opening lap of the feature, a turn two pileup gathered up Cramer, Tracy Hines, Bryan Clauson and Ricky Williams.
On the re-start, Gaines took the lead and stayed out front in the clean air as Shane Hmiel and Darland chased him early. Gaines was able to build a bit of a gap during the first half of the race with Darland in tow. Jones slipped into third in the beautiful STP sponsored Tony Stewart Racing sprinter.
Gaines was cruising on the top, but Darland began to make up some ground ahead of Jones and Clayton. That group had separated themselves from a larger pack of cars as the leaders got into some lapped traffic. Darland wasn't able to use that to his advantage as a caution quickly flew to re-set the field.
On a late re-start, Gaines got a good jump on the rest of the field as Darland made a last run on him, but it wasn't enough to halt Gaines' win streak in the Tate Racing/DRC Chevy sponsored by MPHG.
Jon Stanbrough placed sixth ahead of Hmiel, Gardner, Bobby East and Seth Parker.
In the King of the Hill sprint car event, Stanbrough got out front early and was able to pick up the win and $1,025 winner's share.
The 2010 UMP Modified season has been a dream for Clint DeMoss and this weekend was a pretty good example of what a special year it's turning out to be for the Erwin Cooper Racing Enterprise team.
Friday night provided the group with its 14th win of the season as DeMoss scored the win on the red clay of Bloomington. On Saturday, DeMoss nailed down No. 15, which should add another boost in his DIRTcar UMP Modified national points chase. DeMoss was in third-place with 1,783 points, trailing only Devin Gilpin (1,883 points) and Rusty Griffaw (1,861).
On Saturday, DeMoss started outside of row two alongside Paul Bumgardner and behind pole sitter, Greg Amick and Brad Barrow.
From the initial green flag, a three-way battle for the top spot developed between DeMoss out front and a side-by-side race between Amick and Barrow as Bumgardner and Chad Combs early.
DeMoss was able to stretch his advantage up front before a yellow for contact between Combs and Craig Conyer.
On the re-start, DeMoss resumed his pursuit of another win as Barrow gave chase with Amick and Bumgardner behind them. Bumgardner certainly knows the fast way around the track after claiming multiple track championships and he went to the top to try and pass Amick. Brian Hayden and Carlos Bumgardner were behind them.
Paul Bumgardner went door-to-door with Amick as Hayden joined the fray and tried the bottom under Bumgardner, who had taken over the third spot. Hayden was able to squeeze past Amick to lock down the fourth spot.
Up front it was DeMoss on cruise control as no one was able to catch him in the Sowders Lawn & Landscape, A+ Performance, Diamond Racecar. Barrow claimed the runner-up spot with Paul Bumgardner, Hayden and Amick in the top-five. Carlos Bumgardner took sixth with B-Main winner, Travis Shoulders, in seventh followed by Donald Kiger, Rob Fuqua and Brad Robinson.
UMP Super Stock driver, Brad Cummings, has been knocking on the door for his first feature win at LPS, picking up a pair of runner-up finishes over the last month. On Saturday, Lady Luck answered that knock as a last lap opening created by lapped traffic allowed him to edge past Doug McCullough to score the victory.
McCullough led nearly the entire race after an early pileup eliminated Scott Carrington, Kenny Carmichael Sr. and Steve Peeden on the first lap.
On the re-start, McCullough took the point and was able to hold off a number of challenges from Cummings as Randy Petro, Joe Starks and Slick Griffin held down the top-five.
Kenny Carmichael Jr. was rapidly on the move, coming forward after starting 15th in the feature and was quickly a factor with a pass of Starks for the third spot. Petro's night came to a close when he pulled off after a caution.
Once the race resumed, McCullough remained out front, but Cummings was right on his bumper with four laps remaining.
The leaders closed on lapped traffic, which would be a factor on the white flag lap. McCullough came into turn three and caught a lapped car as Cummings went to the bottom off turn four and was able to lead the final couple 100 feet to score the win in the TFX Equipment, Cummings Race Shop, JB Salvage, Rocky's Auto Plus sponsored machine powered by a Terry Cummings Racing Engine. McCullough took second followed by Carmichael Jr., Starks, Mike Staggs, David Kikendall, Griffin, Josh Burton, David Bumgardner and Dennis Morgan.
In the Bomber feature, early race leader, Ron Wallen Sr. suffered a broken axle early in the race as Lloyd Walls took over the lead for several laps. Dustin Shoulders was able to work past Dale Lewis and Bob Farris on his way to challenge for the lead. Chad Nolte was side-by-side with Shoulders briefly in a fight for third.
Walls continued to hold the lead, but Shoulders made his move to the bottom and was able to make the pass stick. From there, he was able to motor on to another feature victory ahead of Walls and Nolte. Farris and Lewis rounded out the top-five ahead of C.J. Bryan, Richard Watkins, Frank Cotton, Josh Presley and David Wallen.
Next week will be the 23rd Annual Putnamville Clash with $2,000 going to the sprint car winner. UMP Modifieds, UMP Super Stocks and bombers will also be on the slate.