By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
Sports Editor PUTNAMVILLE — Warm, sunny skies greeted fans and race car drivers on Saturday evening at Lincoln Park Speedway. A large crowd was on hand to bid goodbye to the racing month of August and see the next chapter in several tight points races at the Putnamville oval.
In the sprint car division, Shane Hollingsworth has been unbeatable all month having won three straight features. In the process, he took the points lead away from Dickie Gaines with last week’s win and Gaines competing at Lawrenceburg Speedway in the Dick Gaines Memorial race.
Saturday night, 30 sprint cars were on hand as Jesse Cramer, Casey Shuman and Jonathan Vennard each scored heat race victories. Heat race action was marred by a couple of hard flips involving Daren Krockenberger and Dakota Jackson. Each were taken to the hospital for further tests for precautionary reasons. The feature lined up with Chris Babcock, second in the season points chase, on the pole alongside Vennard, in the Hurst Brothers racing entry. Shuman and Cramer were in row two ahead of Gaines and Troy Link.
When the green dropped, it was apparent that Vennard had every intention of scoring the win as he rocketed away from the field for a comfortable lead to leave the rest of the field sorting out second-place.
Gaines quickly moved into that runner-up spot and despite trailing Vennard by a sizable margin, Gaines set his sights on the leader. Gaines went to the top and was working smoothly on a very fast track as he and Vennard built a big lead over the rest of the field. Cramer was in third with Babcock and Shuman locked in a fight for third ahead of Korey Weyant and Jimmy Light.
The leaders began to get into lapped traffic, which was just what Gaines needed to make a run at Vennard in the Stewart Automotive & Transmissions, Bestway Express and Larry’s Truck Service entry. Vennard began to work his way through a couple of lapped cars as Gaines quickly closed.
Gaines made a move underneath Vennard and showed his nose to the leader and then went back to the top the following lap and the pair went side-by-side before a caution with five laps remaining.
On the re-start, Gaines again pulled even with Vennard, but he was able to maintain the lead and survived one more caution to outduel Gaines and a late charging Casey Shuman for his first victory since a feature win at Paragon in 2007.
Shuman edged Gaines for second with Cramer in fourth ahead of Babcock, Hollingsworth, Bub Cummings, Todd Kimmell, Weyant and Justin Marvel.
In the UMP Modified class, the $2,000-to-win Patriot 50 looms in two weeks and Paul Bumgardner appears ready to defend his 2009 title as he won his second straight feature, holding off Craig Conyer and Brad Barrow.
Twenty-five modifieds unloaded with Barrow, Donald Kiger and Conyer winning their respective heat races. Bumgardner earned the pole spot with a runner-up finish in his heat and started alongside Conyer with Kiger and Barrow in the second row ahead of Jammie Wilson and Dan Lewellen.
As the A-main began, Bumgardner and Conyer were door-to-door over the opening laps as an early caution slowed the pace. When the race resumed, Bumgardner was able to build a small gap as he three-wheeled thru the corners and flashed down the straights. Behind him, Conyer was in second as Barrow and Kiger were side-by-side for third with Lewellen and Wilson together with Josh Boller in a tight pack.
Late in the race, Bumgardner worked his way through a couple of lapped cars, but Conyer wasn’t able to get close enough to threaten the lead down the stretch.
Bumgardner’s win strengthens his points lead to 156 over 11th-place finisher, Carlos Bumgardner Sr. Barrow took third, Wilson Lewellen, Boller, Kiger, Wes McClara moved up from 17th to eighth with Larry Lambert and Kevin Davis wrapping the top-10.
In the UMP Super Stock main event, Steve Peeden has made visits to victory lane a habit at LPS this season.
Just a night after a promising feature run at Bloomington Speedway in the tribute to Boyd “Wheelbar” Koontz feature race was sidetracked by a mechanical issue, Peeden found some retribution on the LPS oval.
Peeden led from the opening green and several cautions weren’t enough to give the competition the opening they would need. Dan McCullough and Kenny Carmichael Sr. battled for second over the middle stages of the feature with Kris Starks and Doug McCullough tangled up behind them. Peeden built a solid lead ahead of the pack as Dan McCullough sorted himself out in second to edge out Doug McCullough and Danny Harris. Starks placed fifth with Carmichael Sr., Brett Smedley, Slick Griffin, Phil Van Sant and Scott Carrington wrapping up the top-10.
Carmichael Sr. leads the points with 1,069 with Griffin in second with 1,014. The final feature of the night also included the tightest points race at Lincoln Park Speedway. Four drivers are within 75 points of the lead after Saturday’s race.
Dustin Shoulders came in on a hot streak with three straight feature wins since C.J. Bryan’s win on July 31. The wins, combined with some tough luck by Lloyd Walls had put Shoulders right in the thick of the points race along with Bryan and Ron Wallen Sr.
More mechanical woes followed Walls this weekend as he switched cars, taking the wheel of David Wallen’s No. 59, but was unable to get the car started for the feature and took a 20th-place finish.
Starting the A-Main, Dale Lewis started on the pole alongside Ron Wallen Sr. with Bryan and Josh Fagg in row two.
Wallen and Bryan duked it out over the early laps of the race as Shoulders moved past Corey Gregory into third ahead of Bob Farris and Lewis. The race for the lead continued on for several laps as Shoulders closed the gap from his 10th-place starting spot. With Bryan leading after a re-start, Shoulders made his move into second and challenge for the lead before a caution late.
When the race resumed, Bryan and Shoulders went at it for the final few laps, but Bryan was able to hold off the challenge to earn another feature win. Wallen Sr. was third with Gregory and Eric Miller in the top-five. JR Watkins claimed sixth with Lewis, Fagg, Chad Nolte and David Wallen, driving Blake Cross’ No. 44, placing 10th overall.
After Saturday’s feature results, Shoulders takes the points lead with 1,054 with Walls in second with 1,033, Bryan in third at 1,028 and Wallen Sr. in fourth with 979.
Next week will be the King of Non-wing for sprint cars paying $2,000-to-win with UMP Modifieds, UMP Super Stocks and bombers on the card along with the End of Summer Fireworks Extravaganza.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Jonathan Vennard, 2. Casey Shuman, 3. Dickie Gaines, 4. Jesse Cramer, 5. Chris Babcock, 6. Shane Hollingsworth, 7. Bub Cummings, 8. Todd Kimmell, 9. Korey Weyant, 10. Justin Marvel, 11. Blake Nimee, 12. Ty Deckard, 13. Wes McIntyre, 14. Jon Sciscoe, 15. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 16. Jimmy Light, 17. AJ Hopkins, 18. Seth Parker, 19. Billy Puterbaugh, 20. Troy Link
B-main winner: Bub Cummings
Heat winners: Jesse Cramer, Casey Shuman, Jonathan Vennard
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Craig Conyer, 3. Brad Barrow, 4. Jamie Wilson, 5. Dan Lewellen, 6. Josh Boller, 7. Donald Kiger, 8. Wes McClara, 9. Larry Lambert, 10. Kevin Davis, 11. Carlos Bumgardner, 12. Randy Millburn, 13. Harold Grayless, 14. Chris Brewer, 15. John Hipps, 16. Mike Trimble, 17. Michael Spencer, 18. Dale Hayes, 19. Rob Fuqua, 20. Jacob Houts
B-main winner: Rob Fuqua
Heat winners: Brad Barrow, Donald Kiger, Craig Conyer
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Dan McCullough, 3. Doug McCullough, 4. Danny Harris, 5. Kris Starks, 6. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 7. Brett Smedley, 8. Slick Griffin, 9. Phil VanSant, 10. Scott Carrington, 11. Don Duncan, 12. Steve Ware, 13. Donnie Shoemaker, 14. Matt Jordan, 15. Joe Starks, 16. Josh Burton, 17. Travis Heramb, 18. Mike Staggs, 19. Bill Hart, 20. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 22. Brandon Engler
Heat winners: Slick Griffin, Mike Staggs, Dan McCullough
1. C.J. Bryan, 2. Dustin Shoulders, 3. Ron Wallen Sr., 4. Corey Gregory, 5. Eric Miller, 6. JR Watkins, 7. Dale Lewis, 8. Josh Fagg, 9. Chad Nolte, 10. David Wallen, 11. Josh Presley, 12. Tom Courtney, 13. Kenny Treash, 14. Larry Shelley Jr., 15. Kevin Kemp, 16. Bob Farris, 17. Tony Axsom, 18. Greg Riser, 19. Ben Williams, 20. Lloyd Walls
B-main winner: David Wallen Heat winners: C.J. Bryan, Ron Wallen Sr., Dustin Shoulders