By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – A tough field of talented sprint car drivers were on hand to chase a $2,000-to-win top prize at Lincoln Park Speedway on Saturday night.
Ryan Bernal looked to have the field wired, but it was Indiana’s Jeff Bland Jr. that managed to navigate lapped traffic and take the lead with three laps remaining. Bland got past Bernal, who slipped high in traffic through turn two, and made the move stick over the final laps to gain his second win at LPS this season.
Bernal won his heat race and was the driver the beat over the majority of the feature as Bland gave chase ahead of Josh Burton, Andrew Elson and Jon Sciscoe. Bernal threatened to check out on the field, but it was the late traffic that opened the door for Bland, who took advantage. With Bernal managing the first set of lappers on the bottom side, Bland closed the gap as Sciscoe, Elson and Chris Windom all duked it out for the third position. Burton and Casey Shuman were close behind as more traffic came into play.
Bland saw a small opening as Bernal slipped high above a back marker and dove through for the winning move. Windom placed second with Bernal, Sciscoe, Elson, Shuman, Burton, Richard Vander Weerd, Logan Jarrett and Brent Beauchamp.
The UMP Modified main event was a caution filled battle of attrition as 19 cars started and just six finished the final lap.
Broc Burton was the victor as he held off Paul Bumgardner to the checkered flag with Derek Groomer in tow.
Burton managed to survive an opening lap melee that gathered up several challengers including Craig Conyer, Richie Lex and Carlos Bumgardner. Once the field re-started, Burton survived a multitude of cautions out front as Ricketts, Groomer and both Kenny Carmichael Sr. and Jr. held down top-five positions.
Ricketts maintained his spot as the top challenger early on as Groomer found Bumgardner on his door. However, Ricketts would pull to the pits shortly before a caution for Dan Lewellen’s stoppage.
On the re-start, Burton had Groomer and Bumgardner close behind him with both Carmichael’s in tow at the mid-point of the feature. Groomer challenged for the top spot with Bumgardner sneaking into the mix and eventually battling past Groomer late to take over second. Down the stretch however, Burton was able to make his lead stick and hold off Bumgardner to the checkered flag. Groomer finished third with Kenny Carmichael Jr., Kenny Carmichael Sr., Jeff Deckard, Gary Ricketts, Richie Lex, Clint DeMoss and Greg Amick.
In the UMP Super Stock feature, Brazil’s Slick Griffin swapped the lead over the final laps with Kenny Carmichael Sr. before charging to the advantage in lapped traffic to pick up his first 2012 victory at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Griffin led the early laps of the race as Carmichael looked for an open lane as Fagg and Cullen Goodman chased the pair. Griffin gave Carmichael little room to make a culminating pass through the midpoint of the A-main, opening up a several car length advantage. However, as lapped cars came into play, Carmichael moved up the track to try his luck with Josh Fagg and Goodman in a side-by-side fight for the third spot. Carmichael was able to chase down Griffin and moved into a door-to-door fight for the lead as the duo made their way into turns three and four. Carmichael took a brief lead as a lapped car held up the frontrunners. With Carmichael leading momentarily, it was another encounter with traffic that allowed Griffin the chance to make the pass for the point.
Griffin, regained his advantage as Carmichael had Troy Clark to deal with in a chase for the second spot. Griffin would not relinquish his renewed lead as Carmichael and Clark came home second and third over the final laps. Cullen Goodman took fourth ahead of Jake Byers, Fagg, Dustin Shoulders, Steve Peeden, Doug McCullough and Marty Cooper.
Last week’s bomber feature winner, David Bumgardner, got a little bit of luck and a strong finish to capture a repeat victory on Saturday night. Tim Wright and CJ Bryan made contact late in the main event battling for the lead and the duo spun to force a caution with three laps remaining.
Blake Cross assumed the lead on the re-start, but it was Bumgardner, who wasted minimal time in making his crucial pass for the lead. From there, Bumgardner rolled to the top and was able to hold off a challenge from Josh Foxworthy over the final circuits. Cross placed third ahead of Frank Cotton, David Wallen, Chris Schepper, Jeff Beggs, Tom Cox, Tony Tidwell and Kevin Kemp.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Jeff Bland Jr., 2. Chris Windom, 3. Ryan Bernal, 4. Jon Sciscoe, 5. Andrew Elson, 6. Casey Shuman, 7. Josh Burton, 8. Richard Vander Weerd, 9. Logan Jarrett, 10. Brent Beauchamp, 11. Jace Vander Weerd, 12. Matt Goodnight, 13. CJ Leary, 14. Troy Link, 15. Lance Hayden, 16. Tyler Courtney, 17. Keaton Dobbs, 18. A.J. Martin, 19. AJ Hopkins, 20. Ethan Barrow, 21. Garrett Abrams
Heat winners: Bernal, Bland, Burton
UMP Modified feature
1. Broc Burton, 2. Paul Bumgardner, 3. Derek Groomer, 4. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Jeff Deckard, 7. Gary Ricketts, 8. Richie Lex, 9. Clint DeMoss, 10. Greg Amick, 11. Kyle Herbert, 12. Wayne Cooper, 13. Dan Lewellen, 14. Scott Ricketts, 15. Andrew Auler, 16. Jake Waggoner, 17. Randy Millburn, 18. Craig Conyer, 19. Carlos Bumgardner Sr.
Heat winners: Scott Ricketts, Burton
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Slick Griffin, 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Troy Clark, 4. Cullen Goodman, 5. Jake Byers, 6. Josh Fagg, 7. Dustin Shoulders, 8. Steve Peeden, 9. Doug McCullough, 10. Marty Cooper, 11. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 12. Josh McDaniel, 13. Travis Heramb, 14. Randy Millburn, 15. Steve Ware, 16. Kris Starks, 17. Jamie Adams, 18. JR Watkins, 19. Mike Staggs
Heat winners: Watkins, Griffin
1. David Bumgardner, 2. Josh Foxworthy, 3. Blake Cross, 4. Frank Cotton, 5. David Wallen, 6. Chris Schepper, 7. Jeff Beggs, 8. Tom Cox, 9. Tony Tidwell, 10. Kevin Kemp, 11. Josh Presley, 12. Josh Settles, 13. C.J. Bryan, 14. Danny Ray Wampler, 15. Tim Wright, 16. Ron Smith, 17. Tom Tidwell, 18. Jerry Hutto, 19. Scott Tidwell, 20. A.J. Wilson, 21. Megan Cavaness, 22. Harry Shepherd, 23. Mike Fisher Jr.
Heat winners: Cross, Bryan, Wright