North Alabama Speedway
Heat is on, but Putnam wins at North Alabama
By Ben SheltonPRO Dirt Car Series
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (March 20) — Slipping back to third in the early laps, polesitter Josh Putnam of Killen, Ala., swept around the Rickman brothers at North Alabama Speedway on the eighth lap and led the remainder of the PRO Dirt Car Series 40-lapper to pocket $2,500. | Slideshow
The 26-year-old Putnam, who fought an overheating race car that briefly stalled on the frontstretch during a lap-23 caution period, raced to his first victory of the season at the quarter-mile oval near his hometown.
David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss., overtook Rick Rickman of Columbus, Miss., following the lap-23 caution and finished second after chasing Putnam through lapped traffic in the late stages. Rickman was third with Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Anthony Burroughs of Muscle Shoals, Ala., rounding out the top five.
Brian Rickman of Columbus, Miss., Rick's brother, started outside the front row and led the first seven laps, but he faded to an eighth-place finish in a race slowed by six caution flags.
Notes: Putnam's Pierce Race Car has a Competition Racing Engine and sponsorship from ABC Cash Register, Nolan England Auto Parts, Wesley Threet Excavating, HPC Powder Coating and Wise Metals Group. ... Putnam's car showed smoke from the 10th lap on. ... None of the six cautions were for serious incidents. Debris brought out a lap-two yellow, and Jeremy Glasgow (who had a tire going flat) spun on the third lap. Three other yellows slowed the action early while the final yellow appeared on lap 23. ... Eric Cooley's 16th-to-sixth charge earned him the American Race Tires Hard Charger honors. ... The race drew 26 starters from six states; Bryan Sugg and Stacy Caldwell failed to make the main event. ... Putnam's victory was co-sanctioned by the NeSmith Super Dirt Car Super Late Model Series. ... Next up for the PRO Dirt Car Series is a $2,000-to-win event April 3 at Central Mississippi Speedway in Winona, Miss.
PRO @ North Alabama: (1) Josh Putnam, (2) David Breazeale, (3) Rick Rickman, (4) Ronnie Johnson, (5) Anthony Burroughs, (6) Eric Cooley, (7) Kyle Beard, (8) Brian Rickman, (9) Jay Burchfield, (10) Matthew Turner, (11) Mark Dodson, (12) Dean Carpenter, (13) Bradley Price, (14) Clay Fisher, (15) Leon Henderson, (16) Klint Byars, (17) Jeremy Glasgow, (18) Michael McKleroy, (19) Ray Mauldin, (20) Chad Winkles, (21) Ross Camponovo, (22) Neil Baggett, (23) Jason Milam, (24) Jerry Owens. Fast qualifier (among 26 cars): Putnam, 13.393 seconds. Consolation race winners: Baggett, Johnson. Provisional starters: Henderson, Milam, Winkles.
Correction: Fixes Putnam's engine builder.