Gary Putnum Dominates S.M.A.R.T. Modified Tour Race at Caraway Speedway

“RUSTY HARPE MEMORIAL” presented by DAGGETT SHULER ATTORNEYS

7/3/2021 - Gary Putnam has been a regular competitor in Southern Modified racing for more than a decade. However, he had gone winless since 2015 with the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series at Orange County Speedway. That changed on Saturday night at Caraway Speedway, as Putnam scored the win in the fifth round of the SMART Modified Tour season as part of the Rusty Harpe Memorial.

A jubilant Putnam celebrated the big win in victory lane afterwards, excited to win at one of his favorite local tracks. Putnam was fast throughout the evening at the Sophia, North Carolina facility.

Putnam set fast time in qualifying, but started sixth due to a redraw. The Concord, NC native methodically worked his way through the field, taking the lead just before a caution on lap 72. Young gun Caleb Heady, who won the tour's second race of the season at Florence Motor Speedway, left the pit road first under that caution thanks to his Tommy Baldwin Racing pit crew, while Putnam restarted fourth. Again, Putnam worked his way back to the front, taking the lead from Heady on lap 88 and pulling away for the win.

Any time you're behind cars, you never know what everybody's going to do, what they have, what they're saving. After the pit stop, I knew Burt and the 7 [of Caleb Heady] just had right-rears. They had swapped lefts earlier. I felt like if we had a long enough green-flag run, we'd have a chance to get them. I was fortunate enough, we went caution-free to the end.” Heady entered the race determined to prove his win at Florence was not a fluke.

While he finished second, he still left stoked with another strong run. It was crazy. I can't thank these guys enough, with Tommy Baldwin Racing and my grandpa, he's the one who funds all this. First is nice, but this one's pretty nice, too. – Caleb Heady

Last November, Putnam's No. 77 went to victory lane in the North-South Shootout with Max McLaughlin behind the wheel. Saturday's win continued the strong showing for the machine at Caraway. “The race before Max drove it at the North-South Shootout, I finished second to John Smith. I'm like, man, this is a really good car.

I think we could win with it if we put a real kid in it, a real good race car driver in it. Max backed it up and won his first time out in the car. That was awesome. To do it myself, it's even more special.”

“It's huge. I was fortunate enough five years ago to win at Rougemont for my first career win. This is where I started was right here. This is pretty special. I really enjoy the place. It fits my driving style. I'm just thankful for all the help and support my friends give me and my family. It's awesome. – Gary Putnam Joey Coulter completed the podium, while Brian Loftin and Jimmy Wallace completed the top five.

The SMART Modified Tour returns to action August 28 at Dillon Motor Speedway. After Putnam's win, five different drivers have won the first five races of the SMART Modified season.

Photos from Rusty Harpe Memorial @ Caraway Speedway

S.M.A.R.T. Tour 99 Race Results From Caraway Speedway


1
#77 Gary Puttnam
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:02.290
33
00:16.763
2
#7 Caleb Heady
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:04.228
75
00:16.728
1.938
1.938
3
#2 Joey Colter
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:06.932
78
00:16.868
4.642
2.704
4
#15 Brian Loftin
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:08.727
5
00:16.799
6.437
1.795
5
#22 Jimmy Wallace
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:10.305
81
00:16.839
8.015
1.578
6
#79 James Civali
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:10.802
2
00:16.606
8.512
0.497
7
#24 Danny Bohn
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:12.665
78
00:16.942
10.375
1.863
8
#55 Jeremy Gershner
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:13.033
5
00:16.873
10.743
0.368
9
#07 Dennis Holdren
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:14.319
6
00:16.616
12.029
1.286
10
#4 Jason Myers
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:21.800
2
00:16.937
19.510
7.481
11
#1 Burt Myers
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
99
47:22.263
6
00:16.578
19.973
0.463
12
#18 Daniel Yates
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
98
47:18.902
3
00:16.851
16.612
13
#12 Mike Norman
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
97
47:03.833
9
00:16.719
1.543
14
#8 Darin Redman
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
96
47:20.669
23
00:16.972
18.379
16.836
15
#99 Jamie Tomaino
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
69
29:58.382
3
00:16.797
16
#17 John Smith
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
67
29:05.183
33
00:16.832
17
#76 Brian Weber
Laps
Total Time
Best Lap
Best Time
Diff
Gap
40
21:40.317
7
00:17.382