By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – Kevin Thomas Jr. has struggled to find the right combination to find victory lane at Lincoln Park Speedway. Apparently all it took was a mid-week testing session to solve the equation.
Thomas overcame early leader Brent Beauchamp at the halfway point of the 30-lap sprint car A-main and claimed the 28th running of the “Putnamville Clash” and a $4,000 payday in the Indiana Sprint Car Series event.
Casey Shuman and Thomas both made a stop at the Putnamville oval to get a bit of extra testing in on Tuesday afternoon and it paid off in a big way for Thomas on Saturday night.
He wasted little time in rocketing forward to challenge the pole sitter, Beauchamp. After starting fifth, Thomas was in hot pursuit within several laps by running the extreme top side of the track and Beauchamp held down the bottom line. Tyler Courtney was a close third ahead of Scotty Weir, Jon Stanbrough and Dave Darland over the first five laps.
By lap 10, Thomas had pulled nearly even with Beauchamp, ripping a quick line around the top with a sweeping line through turns three and four. The pair encountered lapped traffic at the halfway point and it gave Thomas the break he needed.
Thomas took over the lead on the 19th circuit and quickly built a lead as Darland moved into third with a slight advantage over Robert Ballou and Courtney. With four laps remaining, a caution flew to set up a dash for the cash.
On the re-start, Thomas got a good jump and was able to hold down the top spot to claim his second Indiana win of the season as Darland beat a tight group to the finish line for the runner-up position with Ballou in tow. Beauchamp placed fourth with Courtney wrapping up the top-five.
There were 27 UMP Modifieds on hand, but it was a familiar face that found his way to the checkered flag as Joe Godsey picked up this third win of the season with a comfortable victory over Clint DeMoss.
Godsey got to the lead early over Gary Ricketts and set sail the remainder of the way by building a solid advantage as the rest of the field attempted to reel him in. Demoss began to pick off spots after starting sixth and got past Ricketts over the final few laps. Jason Clark and Scott Ricketts were both in the mix for the duration of the 20-lap feature and would each take a top-five spot.
Paragon’s Steve Peeden was also a solid winner on his way to picking up his sixth A-main win of 2015 at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Peeden wired the field and won by a solid margin as Tyler Cain was able to make his way to the second spot after starting seventh. Doug McCullough was able to battle his way past Kenny Carmichael Jr. for a hard fought third-place finish while Carmichael Sr. raced forward to take fourth after starting back in 11th position. Carmichael Jr. would finish fifth in the main event.
Josh Settles has made numerous strong runs in the bomber A-main, but hasn’t quite been able to crack the top spot during the middle of the season. However, this weekend, Settles survived challenges from RJ Pruitt late and Ryan Freeland early to score the win over a 28-car starting field.
Settles also maintained the point after several re-starts with one lap remaining as Pruitt made one last challenge on the final green flag. Settles staved off Pruitt, who dove to the bottom in turn one, to come home with the victory. Freeland was the early challenger before a spin with several laps remaining.
Pruitt held down second ahead of Tim Wright, Ron Smith and Travis Heramb were top-five finishers.
Saturday night will feature sprint cars, modifieds, super stocks and bombers and will feature free general admission for “Fan Appreciation Night.”
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint Car Feature (Putnamville Clash)
1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Dave Darland, 3. Robert Ballou, 4. Brent Beauchamp, 5. Tyler Courtney, 6. Jon Stanbrough, 7. Brady Short, 8. Chad Boespflug, 9. Kyle Cummins, 10. Scotty Weir, 11. Jerry Coons Jr., 12. Jeff Bland Jr., 13. Max McGhee, 14. JJ Yeley, 15. Scott Hampton, 16. JJ Hughes, 17. Brian Karraker, 18. Cole Ketcham, 19. Mitch Wissmiller, 20. Logan Jarrett B-main winner: Coons Jr.
Heat winners: Beauchamp, Stanbrough, Courtney
UMP Modified feature
1. Joe Godsey, 2. Clint DeMoss, 3. Gary Ricketts, 4. Jason Clark, 5. Scott Ricketts, 6. Dan Lewellen, 7. Donald Kiger, 8. Chad Combs, 9. Derek Groomer, 10. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 11. Cullen Goodman, 12. Jay Humphrey Jr., 13. Jeff VanLannen, 14. JR Watkins, 15. Brent Hudson, 16. Tyler Loughmiller, 17. Doug Bryant Jr., 18. Mick Landis, 19. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 20. Jordan Wever
B-main winner: Carmichael Jr.
Heat winners: Gary Ricketts, Godsey, Clark
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Tyler Cain, 3. Doug McCullough, 4. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 5. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 6. Jonathon Newgent, 7. Josh Boller, 8. Levi Lokey, 9. Paul Wright, 10. Josh McDaniel, 11. Kenny Fields, 12. James Campbell, 13. Chris Campbell, 14. Cole Shoemaker, 15. Will Barnett, 16. Larry Raines, 17. Scotty Massie, 18. Chris Bennett, 19. C.J. Bryan, 20. David Daniels, 21. James Walters, 22. Jacob Leitzman
Heat winners: Boller, Wright, Carmichael Jr.
1. Josh Settles, 2. RJ Pruitt, 3. Tim Wright, 4. Ron Smith, 5. Travis Heramb, 6. Jordan Almanza, 7. Megan Cavaness, 8. Glenn Ogden, 9. DJ Smiley, 10. Lenny Krupa III, 11. Jerry Hutto, 12. Donald Smiley, 13. Matt Boone, 14. Ryan Freeland, 15. Larry Hutto, 16. Marlin Burns, 17. Matthew Burns, 18. Keivan Clodfelter, 19. Chucky Walden, 20. Dustin Colvin, 21. Logan Brickert, 22. Mark Dickerson, 23. Bob Farris, 24. Zane Fields, 25. Cody Wright, 26. Paul Alleyn, 27. Randy McPeak, 28. Bobby Tarrh jr.
Heat winners: Freeland, Settles, Tim Wright