The 7th Viper Cup race of the inaugural season roared to life yesterday with a clean start and the coveted top three spots occupied by Ryan Schimsk, Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles, and guest driver Charles Putman (respectively). Although the launch was flawless, action quickly heated up around turn one with a flurry of attempted passes and the squealing of locked brakes. Putman and Gilles battled neck-and-neck for the privilege of ousting Schimsk from first place, with veteran Viper Cup racer Ben Keating trailing close behind. Unfortunately, a mid-race spin out forced Keating to surrender his chokehold on his position, allowing Putman to plant himself firmly in 2nd with Gilles staking claim to 3rd. Still determined to pursue the victory, Gilles and Putman continued to jockey for the top position until Gilles temporarily lost control and careened into the dirt. Executing a flawless 180-degree turn that would have brought a tear to even Andrettis stoic eye, Gilles quickly righted his racer and narrowly kept Keating from swiping 3rd place. When the checkered flag finally dropped, the top positions were claimed by the usual suspects: 1st place Ryan Schimsk (1:36.441), 2nd place Charles Putman (1:36.970), and 3rd place Ralph Gilles (1:36.858).
Photos from their white-knuckle run after the jump.