By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Despite much cooler temperatures Saturday night at Lincoln Park Speedway, the hearty fans in the grandstands were treated to some heated racing at the Putnamville oval.
Twenty-nine sprint cars were on hand and the crowd was able to take in qualifying for the field with Jared Harris taking fast time ahead of Justin Marvel and Cole Carter.
Marvel parlayed his time into a heat race victory along with Alvin Brantley and Casey Shuman.
Lining up the feature it was Shuman alongside Marvel in the front row followed by Alvin Brantley and Travis Welpott.
The opening wave of the green wouldn’t last long as Russ Harper and Cole Carter spun on the first lap for a caution. However, Shuman took full advantage of the next re-start and began to build a bit of a lead as Marvel and Jesse Cramer worked on each other for second-place. Thomas Meseraull and the No. 7p of Anthony Peterman were close behind and had a battle of their own brewing.
With a scrum going on for the second and fourth positions, Dickie Gaines crept into the mix and was right on the tail tank of Peterman in the early going.
Another caution came out for a three-car tangle in turns one and two, which re-set the field and brought Shuman back to the pack.
On the green, Shuman again built his advantage ahead of Cramer brought out the caution with a broken right front that ended his night with an 18th-place finish.
Shuman darted out into an even bigger lead on the next start and pulled out to nearly a straightaway advantage as the laps began to add up. Behind him it was Shane Hollingsworth working the top line, who was making some noise coming through the field from an 11th-place starting spot.
With nearly the entire field working the middle to bottom groove, Hollingsworth was picking off competitors at a rapid rate as he got past Meseraull for fifth. Marvel and Gaines then had their hands full with Hollingsworth in a three-way battle for second. With under five laps left, Hollingsworth was able to take the spot before Marvel spun to bring out the caution with two laps remaining.
The yellow set up a stunningly wild finish to the feature as Shuman was able to hold Hollingsworth off for the first half lap before he pulled even off turn two with one lap remaining. Hollingsworth darted down the backstretch with a small advantage, but the two brushed wheels coming through turns three and four. With Hollingsworth leading by the smallest of margins, the two locked wheels coming out of turn four with Shuman’s car climbing Hollingsworth’s left front tire. Neither driver got out of the throttle as the two crossed the finish line locked together before spinning in turn one as the hard charging Gaines was collected as well.
Hollingsworth earned the top spot by the width of his front bumper as Shuman settled for a thrilling second followed by Gaines, Marvel and Meseraull in the top-five. Kenny Carmichael Sr. made a nice run forward for sixth ahead of Brandon Mattox, Shawn Krockenberger, Chase Stockon and Peterman.
Hollingsworth’s victory came in the J&D Performance, Brownsburg Muffler, Competition Welding, Hoosier Tire-sponsored No. 34.
Though the UMP Modified feature finish couldn’t realistically top the sprint finish, fans of defending track champion Paul Bumgardner might disagree.
Bumgardner qualified fastest of the 18-car field, placed third in his heat race and then battled his way past Randy Shuman and Brian Hayden to reach the “The Mayor” Craig Conyer.
Conyer lead nearly the entire race, holding off Bumgardner’s advances on the top. Conyer would eventually get the worst of some tight racing on a slick track, spinning in turn two with just a handful of laps remaining.
On the late re-start, Bumgardner remained in control to claim the win ahead of Shuman and Hayden. Travis Shoulders worked his way up to fourth ahead of Justin Gregory and Dan Lewellen claimed sixth after starting 16th in the field. Josh Boller was seventh ahead of Chris Kerl, Carlos Bumgardner Sr. and Roger Mills.
Chris Hillman wired the field in the UMP Super Stock feature, but not without challenges throughout.
Hillman’s first and last battle was with the opening weekend’s winner, Kenny Carmichael Sr.
Carmichael won his heat and started on the pole inside Hillman and the two might have had a legendary battle brewing if Carmichael didn’t get sideways coming out of turn four early on to bring out the yellow.
Carmichael re-started at the back of the 17-car field, but quickly began to pick off competitors as several cautions kept Hillman within sight. Kris Starks didn’t stray far from Hillman’s bumper over the duration of the feature. Slick Griffin was third ahead of Tony Anderson, but Carmichael was a rocketship coming forward and into the top-five late in the main event.
With his right side tires squeezing out every last inch of the top of the track, Carmichael advanced forward and got past Starks for a late challenge for the lead. However, the Terre Haute native would run out of laps as Hillman took the checkers in the Kay Hardwood Floors, Citizen’s Bank, Red Barrel Liquors, Griffin Auto Salvage No. 11 powered by a Williams Precision Engine.
Carmichael, Starks, Anderson, Jim Moore and Kenny Carmichael Jr. wrapped the top-six with Griffin, Brett Smedley, Donnie Shoemaker and Matt Jordan in the top-10.
In the bomber feature, it was a good day for Barnbuilt Racecars as David Bumgardner claimed the win over C.J. Bryan.
Bumgardner got out front early and didn’t look back as Bryan stayed within striking distance late and held off Lloyd Walls and Ron Wallen Sr. at the finish line. Josh Fagg was fifth ahead of Barry Hicks, David Wallen, Chad Nolte, Russell Bennett and Richard Watkins.
Both Bumgardner and Bryan featured Barnbuilt cars with Coatsville Auto Parts, Cooper’s OK Hardware, Durabuilt Racing and Bumgardner’s Auto & Truck Repair also sponsoring the winner.
Next Saturday will be Cloverdale Night at LPS with residents with a valid ID receiving $2 off admission.
Sprint car feature
1. Shane Hollingsworth, 2. Casey Shuman, 3. Dickie Gaines, 4. Justin Marvel, 5. Thomas Meseraull, 6. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Shawn Krockenberger, 9. Chase Stockon, 10. Anthony Peterman, 11. Jared Harris, 12. Brian Lake, 13. James Bradshaw, 14. Russ Harper, 15. Jimmy Wingo, 16. Cole Carter, 17. Wes McIntyre, 18. Jesse Cramer, 19. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 20. Travis Welpott, 21. Alvin Brantley B-main winner: James Bradshaw Heat winners: Casey Shuman, Justin Marvel, Alvin Brantley Fast Qualifier: Jared Harris
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Randy Shuman, 3. Brian Hayden, 4. Travis Shoulder, 5. Justin Gregory, 6. Dan Lewellen, 7. Josh Boller, 8. Chris Kerl, 9. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 10. Roger Mills, 11. Brent Gregory, 12. Scott Ricketts, 13. Craig Conyer, 14. Chris Brewer, 15. Nathan Voorhies, 16. Brian Amos, 17. Larry Babbs, 18. Keno Brewer Heat winners: Carlos Bumgardner Sr., Craig Conyer Fast Qualifier: Paul Bumgardner
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Chris Hillman, 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Kris Starks, 4. Tony Anderson, 5. Jim Moore, 6. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 7. Slick Griffin, 8. Brett Smedley, 9. Donnie Shoemaker, 10. Matt Jordan, 11. Doug McCullough, 12. Jim Bailey, 13. Travis Heramb, 14. Jamie Adams, 15. Brandon Engler, 16. Joe Starks, 17. Doug Flynn Jr.
>Heat winners: Kenny Carmichael Sr., Chris Hillman
1. David Bumgardner, 2. C.J. Bryan, 3. Lloyd Walls, 4. Ron Wallen Sr., 5. Josh FAgg, 6. Barry Hicks, 7. David Wallen, 8. Chad Nolte, 9. Russell Bennett, 10. Richard Watkins, 11. Frank Cotton, 12. Josh Presley, 13. Ronald Blake, 14. Blake Cross, 15. Gary Long, 16. David Daniels, 17. Jake Hodge, 18. Gerald Bennett Jr., 19. Dustin Shoulders, 20. Dale Lewis, 21. Corey Gregory, 22. Tony Cochenour B-main winner: Josh Presley Heat winners: David Bumgardner, Dustin Shoulders, C.J. Bryan