By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — A long, hot week of steamy temperatures culminated with some sizzling racing at Lincoln Park Speedway on Saturday night.
Shane Hollingsworth has been as locked in as any sprint car driver in the state over the summer and this weekend was no different as he held off a field of 27 sprint cars to claim his fourth feature win at the Putnamville oval and his fifth overall this season.
The sprint cars got the opportunity to qualify this week and got the excitement cued up early as Danny Holtsclaw claimed the fastest mark of the evening.
Hollingsworth set himself up for success by qualifying second ahead of James Bradshaw, Dickie Gaines and Brian Olson.
Gaines, who owns several LPS wins this season, had virtually nothing go right the rest of the evening. The former points leader in the sprints, had a right front wheel lock up before his heat race, which forced him to the B-main, where he suffered more mechanical problems and failed to make the A-main. Jon Sciscoe was a rocket all night long and drove away from the other eight cars to claim his heat race. Jesse Cramer and Troy Link also were winners. Sciscoe started on the pole alongside Cramer with Link and Jonathan Vennard in row two.
Once the green dropped, Sciscoe set the pace and built a solid lead with Cramer running by himself in second as Vennard and Hollingsworth duking it out side-by-side for third. An early caution came out for Aaron Mosley, who pulled off turn four.
On the re-start, Cramer made a challenge for the point, but slipped the cushion off turn four the following lap. Sciscoe maintained his lead over Cramer as Kenny Carmichael Jr. moved up to third ahead of Hollingsworth and Chris Babcock.
Sciscoe’s lead continued to grow as the No. 7 sprinter was on a rail through the midpoint of the 25-lap main event. However, Cramer would begin to reel him in over the final 12 laps and it would later become clear why Sciscoe was coming back to the field.
With Cramer and Hollingsworth closing quickly in lapped traffic, Sciscoe was forced out of the lead by a flat right rear tire that had apparently been losing pressure for a number of laps.
Cramer would take over the lead briefly, but Hollingsworth wasn’t going to be denied the break that he needed as the snuck through and grabbed the lead from Cramer. A caution opened the door a bit as Chase Stockon came to a stop in turn three and re-set the field.
On the final re-start with three laps remaining, Hollingsworth got the strong re-start that he needed and pulled away for the victory that strengthened his season points lead.
Cramer took second ahead of Carmichael Jr., Cummings and Link as Holtsclaw, Babcock, Caleb Armstrong, Bret Triplett and Brandon Mattox wrapped the top-10.
The UMP Modified division has provided some of the best racing of the season at Lincoln Park and Saturday’s feature could easily be the at the top of the list.
Rob Fuqua and Brad Barrow were heat race winners ahead of Josh Boller and Travis Shoulders, who started on the pole for the feature.
Shoulders, piloting the Jason Lawson-owned No. 59, has had his share of tough luck in 2010, leading a number of features before mechanical issues sidelined him. However, Saturday was a whole different story.
From the opening green, Shoulders grabbed the lead ahead of Boller and Barrow as Fuqua and Paul Bumgardner gave chase.
Boller stayed on Shoulders’ bumper early during a couple of cautions. With Shoulders leading, Boller, Barrow and Bumgardner were tangled in a three-way battle for second with Matt Boknecht and Fuqua close behind.
Bumgardner would win the second-place battle and set his sights on Shoulders over the final 10 laps. Shoulders held the middle line as Bumgardner went to the top on the cushion.
Bumgardner, the current points leader, tried everything in his arsenal and made several advances on the lead. However, on this night it was Shoulders turn to reach victory lane.
On the final lap, Bumgardner dove under Shoulders coming through turns three and four and pulled ahead by a few feet off the final corner. However, Shoulders maintained his momentum and blasted past by several feet for the victory.
Shoulders’ win came in the Cardinal Contracting, Still Here Liquors, Citywide Paving, Durabuilt Racing, Lightning Chassis machine.
In the UMP Super Stock class, 26 drivers were seeking the victory as Steve Peeden, Kris Starks and Kenny Carmichael Jr. took heat race wins.
Dan McCullough started on the front row alongside Carmichael with Starks and Peeden in the second row.
Carmichael worked his way clear early and built a big lead and wasn’t going to be caught as the rest of the field fought for second.
Peeden and Joe Starks worked side-by-side ahead of Starks and Doug McCullough as Brett Smedley chased the leaders.
While Carmichael cruised up front, Peeden won the battle for the second spot ahead of Dan and Doug McCullough. Kenny Carmichael Sr. took fifth ahead of Starks, Smedley, Brad Cummings, Jeremy Hines and Marty Cooper.
In the bomber class, Lloyd Walls, Bob Farris and Josh Settles claimed heat race victories. Walls and Farris started up front with Kevin Kemp and Dale Lewis in the second row.
Dustin Shoulders entered the fray quickly with Walls in a door-to-door battle for several laps. Kemp and Lewis were in a fight for third as Farris, Ron Wallen Sr. and Eric Miller in the top-five.
Up front, Shoulders was able to make a late pass to get by Walls for the lead as Kemp went on to claim the third spot ahead of Lewis and Wallen Sr. David Wallen was sixth ahead of Miller, C.J. Bryan, Chad Nolte and JR Watkins.
Next week will be a regular show with sprint cars, UMP Modifieds, UMP Super Stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Shane Hollingsworth, 2. Jesse Cramer, 3. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 4. Bub Cummings, 5. Troy Link, 6. Danny Holtsclaw, 7. Chris Babcock, 8. Caleb Armstrong, 9. Bret Triplett, 10. Brandon Mattox, 11. Jonathan Vennard, 12. Dakota Jackson, 13. Brian Olson, 14. Chase Stockon, 15. James Bradshaw, 16. Tyler Waltz, 17. Jon Sciscoe, 18. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 19. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 20. Aaron Mosley
UMP Modified feature
1. Travis Shoulders, 2. Paul Bumgardner, 3. Josh Boller, 4. Brad Barrow, 5. Brian Hayden, 6. Matt Boknecht, 7. Clint DeMoss, 8. Rob Fuqua, 9. Matt Bex, 10. Chris Brewer, 11. Wes McClara, 12. Larry Lambert, 13. Garry Ricketts, 14. Michael Spencer, 15. JP Hume, 16. Doug Bryan Jr., 17. Carlos Bumgardner, 18. John Hipps, 19. Michael Beatty
UMP Super Stocks feature
1. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 2. Steve Peeden, 3. Dan McCullough, 4. Doug McCullough, 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Kris Starks, 7. Brett Smedley, 8. Brad Cummings, 9. Jeremy Hines, 10. Marty Cooper, 11. Josh Burton, 12. David Bumgardner, 13. Steve Ware, 14. Kenny Weaver, 15. Tony Helton, 16. Mike Staggs, 17. Joe Starks, 18. Brandon Engler, 20. Matt Jordan
1. Dustin Shoulders, 2. Lloyd Walls, 3. Kevin Kemp, 4. Dale Lewis, 5. Ron Wallen Sr., 6. David Wallen, 7. Eric Miller, 8. C.J. Bryan, 9. Chad Nolte, 10. JR Watkins, 11. Corey Gregory, 12. Josh Settles, 13. Blake Cross, 14. Kenny Treash, 15. Frank Cotton, 16. Josh Presley, 17. Sally Yakel, 18. Bob Farris, 19. Billy Tarrh, 20. Michael Thompson