By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE , Ind. – It’s hard to pick a hotter sprint car driver than the winner of the Indiana Sprint Week Championship, Chris Windom, but Dave Darland is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Lincoln Park Speedway.
On Saturday night, it was nearly a photo finish as Darland passed Windom on the final 200 feet to pick up his fourth feature win of the season in the Daryl Tate-owned 21x sprinter sponsored by Leer Racing, Earl’s Indy, Rod’s End Supply, Hoosier Tire, DRC machine. Darland was able to squeak by off the final corner as Windom bumped the cushion on the final lap and pulled a wheel stand to the checkers to edge Windom by inches in a thriller.
In the UMP Modified feature, Paul Bumgardner has found the groove that saw him win the point championship last season as he dominated, running the cushion on the way to a win over Randy Shuman by several car lengths.
The UMP Super Stock feature went to Kenny Carmichael Sr., who got past a side-by-side duel with Slick Griffin early in the main event and won commandingly. David Bumgardner corralled the bomber feature, building a lead over the second half of the feature to edge last week’s victor, Josh Foxworthy.
With temperatures wilting many combatants, the action was just as hot as the weeklong temps in the mid-state. Some of the top sprint car drivers in the nation were on hand looking for the lions’ share of the purse at LPS on Saturday night.
This week’s slate pitted numerous 2011 LPS feature winners, against each other as Casey Shuman, Darland, Brett Burdette, Braylon Fitzpatrick, Seth Parker and Shane Hollingsworth took the green flag.
Windom, who proved his mettle amongst the nation’s best during USAC’s ISW series, claimed his heat race and the lead over the field during the A-main. He appeared to be on his way to another feature victory, his first at the scenic Putnamville oval this season, but a fourth corner encounter with the cushion in turn four opened the door for Darland.
Windom led from opening green, masterfully working the bottom of the track during the early stages of the race as Darland chased. Burdette was a distant third as Kyle Cummins, Kent Christian, Brent Beauchamp and Andrew Elson looked for a top-five spot.
Windom led late after a re-start and found the top cushion to his liking as Darland hunted another victory. The pair pulled away from the field, but the final laps will remain legend as Windom tagged the curb and slowed for a split second. Darland seized the moment and dropped the hammer in a victorious wheel stand to the checkered flag. Burdette placed third ahead of Cummins, Beauchamp, Coleman Gulick, Shuman, Christian, Hollingsworth and Elson.
In the UMP Modified feature, Greencastle, Ind. native, Paul Bumgardner, is quickly finding the simmering summer months to his liking as he scored his second feature win of the season in dominating fashion.
Bumgardner took the lead ahead of Randy Shuman over the early laps of the feature and didn’t look back in claiming the victory in the Dairy Castle, Fairway Restaurant, Lightning Chassis No. 54. Shuman held down second place with Clint DeMoss, Kenny Carmichael Sr. and Brian Yeatman wrapping the top-five.
In the final two features of the night, Carmichael overcame an early, side-by-side struggle with Slick Griffin to pull away from the field of UMP competitors. Troy Clark and Doug McCullough fought for the second spot along with Kenny Carmichael Jr.
Carmichael Sr. claimed the victory ahead of Griffin, McCullough and Clark, who is the current national UMP points leader by a large margin. Kenny Carmichael Jr. placed fifth.
The final feature of the night went to Bumgardner as he fought his way to the lead after a side-by-side battle with Foxworthy early on. Behind them, Jordan Almanza and Blake Cross were door-to-door for the third spot ahead of Kevin Kemp and Bob Farris.
While Bumgardner was able to gain some separation later in the main event, the other battles went to the wire as Almanza captured third ahead of Cross, Kemp and Farris. James Buyno took seventh ahead of Frank Cotton, Michael Harris and Dale Lewis.
Next weeked will feature the Putnamville Clash with $2,000 to the sprint car victor. UMP Modifieds and Super Stocks along with the bombers will also be putting on another exciting show at LPS.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Dave Darland, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Brett Burdette, 4. Kyle Cummins, 5. Brent Beauchamp, 6. Coleman Gulick, 7. Casey Shuman, 8. Kent Christian, 9. Shane Hollingsworth, 10. Andrew Elson, 11. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 12. Ethan Barrow, 13. Keaton Dobbs, 14. Logan Jarrett, 15. Conner Conelson, 16. Josh Burton, 17. Seth Parker, 18. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 19. Dickie Gaines, 20. Chris Babcock
B-main winner: Chris Babcock
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Randy Shuman, 3. Clint DeMoss, 4. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 5. Brian Yeatman, 6. Roger Mills, 7. Rob Fuqua, 8. Schuyler Nahre, 9. C.J. Bryan, 10. Justin Bex, 11. Wayne Cooper, 12. Randy Millburn, 13. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 14. Brian Amos, 15. Dan Lewellen, 16. Michael Beatty, 17. Shelby Miles, 18. David Baldwin, 19. Chad Combs
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 2. Slick Griffin, 3. Doug McCullough, 4. Troy Clark, 5. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 6. Kris Starks, 7. Brett Smedley, 8. Jacob Wright, 9. Paul Wright, 10. Joe Starks, 11. Bill Hart, 12. Bill Wells, 13. Travis Heramb, 14. Josh McDaniel, 15. Mike Staggs, 16. Jason Thomas
1. David Bumgardner, 2. Josh Foxworthy, 3. Jordan Almanza, 4. Blake Cross, 5. Kevin Kemp, 6. Bob Farris, 7. James Buyno, 8. Frank Cotton, 9. Michael Harris, 10. Dale Lewis, 11. Jeff Cast, 12. Bob Roark, 13. Josh Presley, 14. Josh Fagg, 15. Christian York, 16. Ron Smith, 17. Marlin Burns, 18. JR Watkins, 19. Corey Gregory, 20. Sean Yakel