Bigger crowds at Caraway as season passes midpoint

ASHEBORO — The racing season has sped past the midway mark at Caraway Speedway, and there are encouraging signs, general manager Darren Hackett said.

The ninth card of the season produced one of the bigger crowds of the year for Saturday night’s Rusty Harpe Memorial.

“It hit pretty much what I had in mind,” Hackett said of a turnout of about 3,000 spectators. “So far, I’m satisfied.”

What might not have been anticipated was the winner of the SMART Star race. That was Concord’s Gary Putnam, who claimed the 100-lap feature in the No. 77 car.

Putnam passed Caleb Heady with about a dozen laps remaining on his way to his first victory since 2015.

“It fits my driving style,” Putnam said of the track. “I’m just thankful for all the help and support my friends give me and my family.”

Putnam, who had the fastest time in qualifying, became the fifth different race winner in five events in the Southern Modified series this year. There were 17 cars entered.

Heady ended up second, followed by Joey Coulter, Brian Loftin and Jimmy Wallace. John Smith was the leader at the halfway mark.

Other winners were Winston-Salem’s Dylan Ward (Late Models), Davidson’s James Civali (602 Modifieds) and Asheboro’s Johnny Baker (Mini Stocks).

Caraway has held nine events this year, with one other rained out. Saturday night’s car count was listed at 43 entrants. The next race night comes July 24 with the Hot Summer Clash.

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