By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Putnamville, Indiana (February 17, 2022)………It’s spectacular. It’s sprintacular. And it’s now $10,000-to-win!
The eighth annual IndianaOpenWheel.com Bill Gardner Sprintacular comes to Putnamville, Indiana’s Lincoln Park Speedway on July 1-2, and will feature the best of the best fighting for $5,000-to-win on Friday night and $10,000-to-win in Saturday night’s finale.
Co-sanctioned by the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the Midwest Sprint Car Series, the event honors the life and memory of Bill Gardner, who passed away in July of 2014. Gardner was born and raised in Putnam County, Ind., but you could also say he was practically raised at Lincoln Park Speedway where he was a fixture throughout his life.
Gardner was a crew member for best friend Brian Hayden who won the 1995 and 2013 Lincoln Park Speedway sprint car track championship. Gardner co-owned a sign and graphics business and created and designed one of his greatest lasting legacies to the racing community, indianaopenwheel.com. Through it all, he developed a special bond with the 5/16-mile dirt track and with a lasting impact on track promoters Joe and Jill Spiker.
“Once in a lifetime, a friend comes along who is your greatest ally and also your outspoken critic,” Jill Spiker said of Gardner. “Bill was that person for us and Lincoln Park Speedway. It is impossible to honor this man in a way that demonstrates how much he means to Lincoln Park Speedway. However, this race would have been something he would love. Bill never wanted a race named after him but gave us permission with added curse of ‘I’ll make it rain on you.’ Hence, why there is always a chance of rain. But these two nights of racing and the final night purse being increased would have Bill all fired up in anticipation of great racing action.”
Friday’s Bill Gardner Sprintacular event will utilize the MSCS format, which features group qualifying as well as an H15 or Medium on the right rear and concludes with a 30-lap feature. All licensed USAC National Sprint Car drivers and entrants will receive 50 appearance points, regardless of finishing position, on Friday.
Saturday’s show will use the USAC format of single-car qualifying to seed the starting lineups, and full points for all events, leading up to the night’s 40-lap feature race.
C.J. Leary (Friday) and Kevin Thomas Jr. (Saturday) are the reigning winners of the Bill Gardner Sprintacular. Past winners during the event also include Jerry Coons Jr. (2015), Robert Ballou (2015 & 2016), Thomas Meseraull (2016), Thomas Jr. (2017 & 2021), Tyler Courtney (2018), Justin Grant (2018), Kyle Cummins (2019), Shane Cottle (2020), Brady Bacon (2020) and Leary (2021).