By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – Nearly perfect weather treated a large crowd to a great night of racing at Lincoln Park Speedway on Saturday night. Temperatures in the mid-70’s greeted fans and the pits were full with 117 total cars ranging over four classes.
Chad Boespflug proved last season that he knew the fast way around the LPS oval in a sprint car by winning four A-mains for car owner Paul Hazen. This season is off to an even better start as Boespflug pulled away from Mitch Wissmiller to win his second feature at the Putnamville oval this season for the Baldwin Brothers Racing Team.
For Bloomington, Ind. native Roy Bruce, the evening proved to be a breath of fresh air as he recorded the UMP Modified feature after battling mechanical gremlins during the early stages of the 2015 racing season. Steve Peeden had exactly the opposite start to his season as he debuted his new No. P3 UMP Super Stock Saturday night and was able to hold off a spirited charge from Josh Boller over the final few circuits.
Camby’s Tim Wright came home with the rescheduled Bomber “Spring Fling” feature win and the $500 payday, holding off Tyler Neal and Josh Settles at the finish line. Roachdale’s Tom Plemons picked up the win by a foot at the finish line of the second bomber feature, nosing out Cameron Harris and Megan Cavaness.
After many hours of work on the racing surface by the LPS crew the past few weeks, Lincoln Park Speedway provided a multiple groove track that set up perfectly by the time features were ready to roll.
Boespflug and Bradley Sterrett started the sprint car feature on the front row ahead of Conner Donelson and Scott Hampton.
Wissmiller jumped out to lead the first several laps as Boespflug battled for the point, but by the seventh circuit it was Boespflug blasted to the lead before a hard flip by Max McGhee halted the race after nine laps. McGhee would emerged and was later diagnosed with a concussion after being checked by medical personnel.
After the lengthy stoppage, Boespflug remained out front after the re-start, holding down the lead as Wissmiller gave chase as Brandon Mattox advanced to third ahead of Ethan Barrow, Donelson and Austin Prock.
With 18 laps down, Boespflug had pulled out to a comfortable margin before Mattox slowed to bring out a caution and Barrow was forced to change a flat tire and re-start at the back of the field.
Boespflug got a good jump on the re-start and would go on to claim his sixth LPS win in the last two seasons as Wissmiller held down second ahead of Prock, Spencer Bayston, Donelson and Shelby Vangilder.
In the modified main event, Bruce started fifth, but quickly made his way to the front after Gary and Scott Ricketts formed the front row to start the A-main.
Bruce got to the front by the fifth lap as Kenny Carmichael Jr. and Gary Ricketts were wheel-to-wheel for second for several laps ahead of Kenny Carmichael Sr. Jake Humphrey and Scott Ricketts did battle behind them with Paul Bumgardner looking for an opening.
As the leaders made their way into traffic, Bruce had built a bit of a cushion ahead of Carmichael Jr. and Sr. However, his the Carmichaels were able to close the gap in lapped traffic over the second half of the race. With Carmichael Jr. right on his tail, Bruce and a lapped traffic made contact to bring out a late caution.
On the re-start, Bruce held fast to the lead as Carmichael Jr. went to the high side. Jake Humphrey and Carmichael Sr. were side-by-side to the checkered flag ahead of a group that included Scott Ricketts, Tyler Loughmiller and Paul Bumgardner.
A final yellow came out on lap 17, but Bruce was able to maintain his lead to claim his first win of 2015. Carmichael Jr., Humphrey, Carmichael Sr. and Scott Ricketts made up the top-five.
The UMP Super Stock main event came down to a two-time winner in Josh Boller and Peeden. The pair started on the front row ahead of Scott Carrington and Larry Raines for the 20-lapper.
When the field went green, it was apparent that Peeden would be tough to beat as he pulled out to a strong lead over Carrington as Boller had Doug McCullough alongside him as Raines and Kris Starks were close behind.
Boller was able to edge into second and began to reel in Peeden over the final five laps with a strong run on the cushion at the top. Boller managed to pull even with Peeden through turn one, but the leader was able to regain his ground down the backstretch and pick up the victory. Boller, McCullough, Carrington and Travis Howe rounded out the top-five. Howe managed to move up from 16th all the way to fifth at the finish.
In the rescheduled bomber “Spring Fling” feature, Tyler Neal parlayed his pole spot to an early lead, but a blanket could be thrown over a top-three that included Wright and Settles.
John Grenier and Tom Courtney fought for the fourth spot ahead of a four-car group that included Eric Miller, Carlos Bumgardner Sr., Tom Cox and RJ Pruitt.
Settles took a brief lead at the halfway point, but Wright made his move to the front shortly after the halfway point and was able to hold off multiple challenges from Neal to claim the victory. Settles took home the third spot ahead of Miller and Pruitt.
In the second bomber feature of the evening, Plemons picked up the win by the smallest of margins over Harris and Cavaness with DJ and Donald Smiley in the top-five.
Next week will feature sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers as well as the first Kids’ Bicycle Challenge of the season.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Mitch Wissmiller, 3. Austin Prock, 4. Spensor Bayston, 5. Conner Donelson, 6. Shelby VanGilder, 7. Mike Gass, 8. Bub Cummings, 9. Braxton Cummings, 10. Scott Hampton, 11. Hunter ONeal, 12. Ethan Barrow, 13. JJ Hughes, 14. Matt McDonald, 15. Brandon Mattox, 16. Bradley Sterrett, 17. Max McGhee, 18. Brandon Morin, 19. Jeff Bland Jr., 20. Kent Christian
B-main winner: Brandon Morin
Heat winners: Bland Jr., Barrow, Christian, Wissmiller
UMP Modified feature
1. Roy Bruce Jr., 2. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 3. Jake Humphrey 4, Kenny Carmichael Sr., 5. Scott Ricketts, 6. Tyler Loughmiller, 7. Paul Bumgardner, 8. Josh McDaniel, 9. Gary Ricketts, 10. Jay Humphrey Jr., 11. Dan Lewellen, 12. Dustin Bruce, 13. Tony Houk, 14. Chris Hanley, 15. Chris Schepper, 16. JR Watkins, 17. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 18. Brent Hudson, 19. Doug Bryant Jr., 20. Damon Harrell, 21. Derek Groomer, 22. Jeff VanLannen
Heat winners: Paul Bumgardner, Roy Bruce Jr., Carmichael Jr.
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Josh Boller, 3. Doug McCullough, 4. Scott Carrington, 5. Travis Howe, 6. Kris Starks, 7. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 8. James Walters, 9. Jonathon Newgent, 10. Chris Harcourt, 11. Dennis Morgan, 12. Josh McDaniel, 13. Matt Jordan, 14. Paul Wright, 15. C.J. Bryan, 16. Larry Raines, 17. James Campbell, 18. Jaylen Frye, 19. Scott Agnew, 20. Kenny Carmichael Sr.
B-main winner: Howe
Heat winners: Peeden, Boller, Carrington
1. Tim Wright, 2. Tyler Neal, 3. Josh Settles, 4. Eric Miller, 5. RJ Pruitt, 6. Cody Wright, 7. Tom Courtney, 8. Curt Leonard, 9. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 10. Chucky Walden, 11. Tom Cox, 12. Ryan Freeland, 13. Kevin Kemp, 14. Barry Hicks, 15. Scott Tidwell, 16. John Grenier Jr., 17. Ron Smith, 18. Chad Weiner, 19. Justin Massie, 20. Travis Heramb, 21. David Wallen, 22. Mark Dickerson, 23. Marlin Burns, 24. Lenny Krupa III
Bomber second feature
1. Tom Plemons, 2. Cameron Harris, 3. Megan Cavaness, 4. DJ Smiley, 5. Donald Smiley, 6. Bobby Tarrh Jr., 7. Adam Farr, 8. Bob Farris, 9. Kyle Krupa, 10. Jerry Hutto, 11. Larry Babbs, 12. Josh Litton, 13. Paul Alleyn
B-main winner: Chucky Walden
Heat winners: Neal, Cox, Settles, Wright