By Richie Murray
Putnamville, Indiana (July 3, 2021)………Shane Cottle has been a winner and a frequent frontrunner in the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car portion of the Bill Gardner Sprintacular over the years.
On Saturday night at Putnamville, Indiana’s Lincoln Park Speedway, the Kansas, Ill. driver added a USAC Midwest Regional Midget feature victory to his Sprintacular resume, leading all 20 laps from his pole starting position aboard the Danny Stamper/Guyer Farms – A.J. Adams & Sons – Nutrien Ag Solutions/Spike/Esslinger.
For Cottle, it was his second USAC Regional Midget win of the year at Lincoln Park after capturing the series’ most recent visit to the 5/16-mile dirt oval in April.
“The car was good all night,” Cottle stated. “We just had to stick it on the bottom and hope that nobody went around me on the outside.”
After winning his heat race, Cottle claimed the number one position in the starting field, and on the start, shot his way underneath outside front row starter, heat race winner and fast qualifier Hayden Reinbold.
Cottle had to contend with traffic throughout much of the caution-free event as he occupied the low line, putting all but the first six finishers in the 15-car field a lap down.
Reinbold pursued Cottle for the majority of the race and got right to the back bumper of Cottle entering turn three on the 11th lap, but overcooked it just a tad, causing him to lose ground as he checked up and regathered the car up and carried onward.
Cottle never wavered from rolling the bottom in turns three and four and through the middle in turns one and two. Reinbold mounted a late charge and closed to within a single car length of Cottle exiting turn two on the final lap.
However, Cottle throttled away from the challenge, pulling a nice wheelstand as he crossed the finish line to put an exclamation point on the evening, winning by four car lengths at the checkered flag over Reinbold (Gilbert, Ariz.) with Bryan Stanfill (Bakersfield, Calif.), Chance Crum (Snohomish, Wash.) and Tyler Nelson (Olathe, Kan.) rounding out the top-five while defending series champion and current point leader Chett Gehrke (Broken Arrow, Okla.) finished 7th.
USAC MIDWEST REGIONAL MIDGET RESULTS: July 3, 2021 – Lincoln Park Speedway – Putnamville, Indiana – 5/16-Mile Dirt Track – Bill Gardner Sprintacular
QUALIFYING: 1. Hayden Reinbold, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.724; 2. Tyler Nelson, 88, Nelson-13.857; 3. Shane Cottle, 86, Stamper-13.906; 4. Chance Crum, 26, Rudeen-14.225; 5. Bryan Stanfill, 75AU, Griffiths-14.343; 6. Jeff Beasley, 83B, Beasley-14.368; 7. Jonathan Miller, 67, Miller-14.544; 8. Chett Gehrke, 10, Moore-14.722; 9. Billy Lawless, 17L, Lawless-14.739; 10. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-14.765; 11. Jeff Schindler, 11, Martin-14.766; 12. Glenn Waterland, 11c, Waterland-14.898; 13. Kayla Roell, 4K, Martin-14.913; 14. Mark Nieft Jr., 20N, Nieft-15.892; 15. Don Epley, 12x, Rocket-17.169; 16. Ryan Thomas, 1FR, Wingo-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Shane Cottle, 2. Bryan Stanfill, 3. Billy Lawless, 4. Chett Gehrke, 5. Jeff Schindler, 6. Jonathan Miller, 7. Justin Dickerson, 8. Glenn Waterland. NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Hayden Reinbold, 2. Chance Crum, 3. Tyler Nelson, 4. Kayla Roell, 5. Mark Nieft Jr., 6. Jeff Beasley, 7. Don Epley. NT
FEATURE: (20 laps) 1. Shane Cottle, 2. Hayden Reinbold, 3. Bryan Stanfill, 4. Chance Crum, 5. Tyler Nelson, 6. Billy Lawless, 7. Chett Gehrke, 8. Kayla Roell, 9. Glenn Waterland, 10. Justin Dickerson, 11. Jeff Schindler, 12. Mark Nieft Jr., 13. Don Epley, 14. Jonathan Miller, 15. Jeff Beasley. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-20 Shane Cottle.
USAC MIDWEST REGIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Chett Gehrke-256, 2-Tyler Nelson-252, 3-Bryan Stanfill-247, 4-Shane Cottle-228, 5-Jeff Beasley-190, 6-Chance Crum-175, 7-Kayla Roell-161, 8-Jeff Schindler-109, 9-Abby Hohlbein-99, 10-Emerson Axsom-75.
NEXT USAC MIDWEST REGIONAL MIDGET RACE: July 9, 2021 – Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Indiana