By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – Saturday night is an evening that Josh Burton will remember for quite some time as the hot shoe bested a third-place finish on Friday night on the red clay at Bloomington by topping a stout field of sprint cars for his first career win in the class.
Burton was certainly no stranger to victory lane, however, it was in the UMP Super Stock class in the past. On Saturday, Burton parlayed a heat race victory and a fourth-place start in the feature into a dream outcome for a large contingent of crew, friends and family.
Casey Shuman looked like he might have the magic combination for the winner’s circle in the early stages of the A-main, piloting the No. 17 of Max McGhee into the lead during the early stages of the feature as Wes McIntyre and Braylon Fitzpatrick chased the front runners in a side-by-side chase. Shuman had the hammer down out front while running the top, but it was clear that Burton’s decision to run the bottom was key.
Brady Short started ninth and played a factor early as he moved into position fifth behind McIntyre and Fitzpatrick.
Ten laps into the main event it was Bub Cummings’ spin that interrupted a side-by-side duel off a restart by Shuman and Burton. The pair would restart with 12 laps scored and would return to the battle that had the attention of a great crowd at Lincoln Park Speedway, but Burton doggedly stayed within striking distance.
With most eyes on the front runners, veteran Jon Stanbrough, who started 18th, was masterfully working the field with his right rear tire on top of the corners where most wouldn’t think of attempting a line. However, Stanbrough worked his high-wire act into contention over the final 10 laps. Burton made the bottom line pay off with a move to the point on lap 16 as Shuman stood second ahead of McIntyre, Stanbrough, Fitzpatrick and a wheel-to-wheel fight by Brent Beauchamp and Ethan Barrow.
Once Burton locked onto the lead, he wasn’t going to let the veterans chase him down as he maintained a slight, but decisive advantage over the final handful of circuits. The Bloomington youngster held his spot on top as Stanbrough kept picking off competitors down the stretch and overtook McIntyre for the runner-up spot in an impressive effort. Shuman placed fourth ahead of Fitzpatrick as Darland recovered from a re-start at the back of the field to take seventh followed by Beauchamp, Jonathan Hendrick and Jon Sciscoe.
Burton’s inaugural victory came in the Jerry Burton Masonry, Fox Construction, Red Zone Laser Tag, Groomer Paving sponsored No. 04.
Twenty-eight UMP Modifieds were on hand Saturday night, but only one driver would find victory lane and for the third time this season that man was Craig Conyer, who led wire-to-wire to top Chad Combs and Paul Bumgardner.
Combs, Brian Hayden and Randy Shuman were heat winners to get the evening started and it was Conyer on the pole alongside Shuman with Hayden and Combs in row two.
Once the green flag dropped, Conyer went to the bottom and established a quick lead as Hayden and Bumgardner fought for second position side-by-side ahead of a three-wide skirmish between Combs, Kenny Carmichael Sr. and Shuman.
After an early caution re-set the field, Bumgardner made the most of the opportunity and pulled alongside Conyer while rocking the cushion on the top. Combs took third ahead of Carmichael and Hayden. Up front however, Conyer began to make up some ground, working the low line to perfection.
Conyer continued to build on his lead as Combs caught Bumgardner and made a late pass on the bottom for second position. Carmichael Sr. and Hayden fought to the wire for fourth with Carmichael winning the battle. Eric Varner placed sixth followed by Carmichael Jr., Kelby Simmons, Wes McClara and Shuman.
In the UMP Super Stock class, Steve Hollars made no mistakes in winning from the pole as a charging Roy Bruce Jr. edged Chris Hillman out at the finish line for the runner-up spot. Hollars claimed the victory in his Douglas Flea Markets, Tate’s Auto Center, BIM Bloomington Iron and Metal, Davis Automotive, Batteries Express No. 18 powered by a Ked Hollars Racing Engine.
For much of the A-main, Hollars had his hands full with Carmichael Sr., who started on the inside of row two. Carmichael was making the high line work for him, but couldn’t get enough momentum to get around Hollars on the bottom. Bruce and Hillman gave chase along with McCullough as Slick Griffin charged from 16th at the start into a top-10 spot by the midpoint.
Hollars, Carmichael and Hillman were in a close knit pack up front as lapped traffic became a factor over the final laps. Hollars was able to squeeze through while maintaining his advantage as Hillman and Bruce fought for second in traffic. Hollars would hold on to the lead to pick up the win as Bruce edged out Hillman at the finish with McCullough and Carmichael Sr. in the top-five. Griffin placed sixth followed by Steve Sheeks, Brad Cummings, Kris Starks and Rob Paris.
In the final feature of the evening, CJ Bryan patiently made his way forward after starting fourth and made a pass of David Bumgardner five laps in and cruised to his sixth bomber feature victory this year.
Bumgardner started on the pole and held the lead over the opening circuits as last week’s winner, Scott Tidwell, quickly made his way forward into third ahead of Harry Shepherd as Josh Foxworthy and Tim Wright gave chase.
A series of cautions slowed the pace of the feature, but once it resumed, Bryan got a strong re-start and held down the lead as Tidwell would make his way to second over the final laps. Bumgardner held on to third-place followed by Wright, David Wallen placed fifth ahead of Josh Settles, Ron Smith, Tom Courtney, Michael Harris and Gib Ham.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Josh Burton, 2. Jon Stanbrough, 3. Wes McIntyre, 4. Casey Shuman, 5. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 6. Ethan Barrow, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Brent Beauchamp, 9. Jonathan Hendrick, 10. Jon Sciscoe, 11. Bub Cummings, 12. Shawn Krockenberger, 13. Garrett Abrams, 14. Kent Christian, 15. Seth Parker, 16. AJ Hopkins, 17. Tyler Hewitt, 18. Keaton Dobbs, 19. Jeff Bland Jr., 20. Brady Short
B-main winner: Sciscoe
Heat winners: Bland Jr., Darland, Burton, Shuman
UMP Modified feature
1. Craig Conyer, 2. Chad Combs, 3. Paul Bumgardner, 4. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 5. Brian Hayden, 6. Eric Varner, 7. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 8. Kelby Simmons, 9. Wes McClara, 10. Randy Shuman, 11. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 12. Chris Brewer, 13. Dan Lewellen, 14. Gary Ricketts, 15. Duane Lee, 16. Richie Lex, 17. David Henderson, 18. Wayne Cooper, 19. Scott Ricketts, 20. Chris Kerl
B-main winner: Gary Ricketts
Heat winners: Combs, Shuman, Hayden
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Steve Hollars, 2. Roy Bruce Jr., 3. Chris Hillman, 4. Doug McCullough, 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Slick Griffin, 7. Steve Sheeks, 8. Brad Cummings, 9. Kris Starks, 10. Rob Paris, 11. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 12. Travis Heramb, 13. Dustin Shoulders, 14. Jeremy Stierwalt, 15. Josh McDaniel, 16. JR Watkins, 17. Jamie Adams, 18. Darrell Lewellen, 19. Mike Staggs, 20. Chad Nolte
B-main winner: Griffin
Heat winners: Carmichael Sr., Bruce Jr. Sheeks
1. CJ Bryan, 2. Scott Tidwell, 3. David Bumgardner, 4. Tim Wright, 5. David Wallen, 6. Josh Settles, 7. Ron Smith, 8. Tom Courtney, 9. Michael Harris, 10. Gib Ham, 11. Mike Fisher Jr., 12. Tyler Neal, 13. Josh Presley, 14. Harry Shepherd, 15. Kevin Kemp, 16. Megan Caveness, 17. Danny Ray Wampler, 18. Doug McCullough, 19. Chris Schepper, 20. Josh Foxworthy
B-main winner: Ham
Heat winners: Bumgardner, Shepherd, Schepper