By CAREY FOX Times Sports Editor PUTNAMVILLE – This weekend was an important one for local racers as Lincoln Park Speedway crowned its points champions after a night of racing at the Putnamville oval.
Brian Hayden, in his return to sprint car racing, captured the season points title over defending champion Brent Beauchamp by a scant 22 points. Max McGhee placed a distant third ahead of Jeff Bland Jr. and Brady Short in the top-five. Hayden was also able to record a championship in the UMP Modified division by 65 points over Randy Shuman, defending champion Paul Bumgardner, Kenny Carmichael Sr. and Dan Lewellen.
Doug McCullough picked up the UMP Super Stock title by 29 points over Kenny Carmichael Jr. with Mike Staggs, Steve Peeden and Josh Fagg as Brazil’s Tyler Loughmiller was sixth in points. Cloverdale’s Carlos Bumgardner won his first points championship with his 28-point victory over Greencastle’s Blake Cross in the bomber division. Tim Wright placed third ahead of Damon Harrell, Bob Farris and David Wallen.
Weeks ago, rain claimed the “King of Non-wing” sprint car event at Lincoln Park Speedway, but on Saturday, the rescheduled main event went to Blake Fitzpatrick as he dominated the majority of the A-main on the way to a win over Chad Boespflug in his Terre Haute First Financial Bank, J&D Performance, Indy Race Parts sponsored No. 10f.
Fitzpatrick’s win was the first of the season after his family-owned team got a mid-summer start, but was no less exciting to the Terre Haute-based squad.
Casey Shuman advanced to third-place after starting 11th overall and AJ Hopkins had a big run to fourth after starting back in 15th position. Ethan Barrow wrapped up the top-five.
Thirteen years ago, Brazil native Eric Burns was able to pick up a sprint car points championship at Lincoln Park Speedway, but Saturday night proved to be just as special as he won his first career feature in the class. The Clay County native purchased his car over the summer for $1,300 without a motor, which made for a great story as he picked up the second A-main of the night.
Brandon Morin lead Patrick Giddens for most of the second sprint feature of the evening, but Burns lurked in the distance after starting eighth. JT Stapp held the third spot early on, but Burns went to the top of the track and began to make up ground on the leaders in a hurry.
On the 10th of 15 laps, Burns moved into second ahead of Giddens, Stapp and Eric Edwards and just three laps later he made his move around the top and cruised home to the victory. Morin, Giddens, Stapp and Edwards rounded out the top-five.
For Greencastle’s Paul Bumgardner, who suffered a frustrating end to last week’s evening after motor problems sidelined him after a heat race win, Saturday ended considerably better.
In the UMP Modified feature, battling year-long nemesis Brian Hayden, Bumgardner caught a break while running second as Hayden got caught behind lapped traffic. The veteran, multiple time track champion took quick advantage to take over the lead with one lap left to score the victory. Hayden would recover to pick up second ahead of a strong run by Jake Humphrey. Duane Lee and Lewellen finished the top-five.
Greencastle’s Doug McCullough caught his own bit of good fortune in the UMP Super Stock feature as front running Chris Hillman spun after contact with Roy Bruce Jr. who was charging from second. Bruce had rocketed forward to challenge for the lead after starting 16th overall and making his way into the fourth spot with eight laps remaining. Josh McDaniel brought out a red flag when he caught an infield tire and rolled his Scott’s Custom Color sponsored No. 11. McDaniel was uninjured in the accident, but his evening ended prematurely.
When the field went green, Hillman maintained the lead ahead of McCullough, Josh Boller, Bruce and Derek Groomer.
However, on the start, Bruce quickly took over the second spot as he masterfully worked the top side. As he challenged for the lead, he made contact with Hillman as the two went into turns one and two. Bruce spun while Hillman maintained his spot as the caution flew. The final re-start proved to be the chance that McCullough needed as he made the pass for the lead with a single circuit remaining to pick up the feature win and the season points championship. Kenny Carmichael Sr. took third with Ralph Groomer and C.J. Bryan in the top-five.
The final two features of the night also proved to be a thrill a minute as AJ Smith edged out Tim Wright at the finish line for his first bomber win of the season. The pair battled to the wire after Smith was able to get past Damon Harrell off a re-start with several laps remaining. Once Smith made the pass for second, Wright and Smith went to the wire. The pair were door-to-door as the white flag flew, but Smith edged ahead in the first two corners and was able to hold Wright off coming out of the fourth turn to pick up the victory.
The final race of the night went to Carlos Bumgardner, who pulled out to the lead early and held off a late charge from Jeff Beggs. The victory solidified the final points night as Bumgardner claimed the first season championship of his career. Curt Leonard placed third with Cross and Wallen in top-five spots. Wallen charged up from 10th with Jack Campbell making his way forward to sixth after starting 15th. Cody Wright started 17th and placed seventh.
Next weekend will be a regular card of sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway “King of Non-wing” sprint car feature 1. Blake Fitzpatrick, 2. Chad Boespflug, 3. Casey Shuman, 4. AJ Hopkins, 5. Ethan Barrow, 6. Carson Short, 7. Brent Beauchamp, 8. Chris Gurley, 9. Billy Puterbaugh, 10. Jeff Bland Jr., 11. Brady Short, 12. Brian Hayden, 13. Michael Terry Jr., 14. Bradley Sterrett, 15. Conner Donelson, 16. Brian Karraker, 17. Bub Cummings, 18. Jason Robbins, 19. Joss Moffatt, 20. Levi Shields, 21. Trent Bechinger
Sprint car feature 2
1. Eric Burns, 2. Brandon Morin, 3. Patrick Giddens, 4. JT Stapp, 5. Eric Edwards, 6. Ray Kenens, 7. Tony Main, 8. Nick Johnson, 9. Jamie Frederickson, 10. Garrett Abrams, 11. Hunter ONeal, 12. Braxton Cummings, 13. Devin Cress, 14. Kent Christian, 15. Jarrod Harris, 16. Troy Link, 17. Daylon Chambers, 18. Tyler Shoemaker, 19. Seth Parker
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Brian Hayden, 3. Jake Humphrey, 4. Duane Lee, 5. Dan Lewellen, 6. Broc Burton, 7. Eric Varner, 8. John Hipps, 9. Wes McClara, 10. Elijah Heminger, 11. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 12. Jeff Deckard, 13. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 14. Terry Fish Jr., 15. Geoff Buxton, 16. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 17. Brent Hudson, 18. Gary Ricketts, 19. Jake Byers, 20. Mike Beatty
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Doug McCullough, 2. Chris Hillman, 3. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 4. Ralph Groomer, 5. CJ Bryan, 6. Dustin Shoulders, 7. Josh Fagg, 8. JR Watkins, 9. Tyler Loughmiller, 10. Roy Bruce Jr., 11. Gene Barnett, 12. Josh McDaniel, 13. Eric Bowman, 14. Travis Heramb, 15. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 16. Scott Carrington, 17. Dennis Morgan, 18. Mike Staggs, 19. Steve Peeden, 20. Jake Leitzman
Bomber feature 1
1. AJ Smith, 2. Tim Wright, 3. Damon Harrell, 4. David Kikendall, 5. Josh Foxworthy, 6. Tom Courtney, 7. Mark Dickerson, 8. Lenny Krupa III, 9. Mike Fisher Jr., 10. Junior Shepherd, 11. Kyle Krupa, 12. James Walters, 13. Fred Grayless, 14. DJ Smiley, 15. Doug McCullough, 16. Justin Minardo
Bomber feature 2
1. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 2. Jeff Beggs, 3. Curt Leonard, 4. Blake Cross, 5. David Wallen, 6. Jack Campbell, 7. Cody Wright, 8. Justin Litton, 9. Jerry Hutto, 10. Ron Smith, 11. Curtis Fouts, 12. Brad Neese, 13. Josh Presley, 14. David Shepherd, 15. Bob Farris, 16. Megan Cavaness, 17. Jarod Litton