By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – There wasn’t a whole lot of spare space to be had Saturday night as Lincoln Park Speedway celebrated “Fan Appreciation Night” with free general admission for a full night of racing and fireworks at the Putnamville oval.
Not surprisingly, the track smashed its previous attendance record set during Indiana Sprint Week. Nearly 5,000 people were in attendance as fans both, young and old, experienced and new to the sport, got the opportunity to see the weekly show at LPS.
There were 22 sprint cars on hand and it was Casey Shuman that came home with a wire-to-wire victory for the Krockenberger Racing Team and the No. 21K.
Shuman finished second in his heat race to Max McGhee and started on the pole for the 25-lap A-main. From the opening green flag, Shuman was on a rail as he began to build his lead just five laps into the race. Scott Hampton quickly worked his way up from sixth to take over the second spot, but had his hands full with a hard charging Jeff Bland.
Bland started third, but lost some ground early before taking the high line and flying back into contention, eventually getting past Hampton. However Bland’s momentum took him over the turn two banking where he made contact with the wall and was forced to the pits. Meanwhile, Shuman and Hampton created some space out front as Lee Dakus slipped into third after rocketing up from a 12th-place start. Behind him, Matt McDonald and Brent Moore were in a battle for fourth. Shelby VanGilder started second, but was caught up in traffic over the middle stages of the race and finished 13th overall.
Up front, no one was going to catch Shuman, who pulled away to the win over Hampton and Dakus. Moore came up to fourth after starting 21st, McDonald placed fifth as Troy Link was sixth and Jadon Rogers battled from 20th to take seventh.
The largest contingent of cars provided the most exciting feature finish of the night as Bloomington’s Bradley Sterrett edged past Cullen Goodman on the final corner to win by just a few feet in the UMP Modified division.
A field of 27 modifieds was on hand as Derek Groomer, Jeff Deckard and Dan Lewellen were heat race winners and Kenny Carmichael Jr. picked up the B-main win to advance to the main event.
Goodman started on the pole alongside Roger Mills with Sterrett lying in wait with a third-place starting spot beside Josh McDaniel.
Starting out front, Goodman led all but the final lap as Mills, Sterrett and McDaniel were fighting for a clear path to challenge the leader. Mills was still running a strong second when a lap eight caution flew. On the restart, Sterrett began to make his move as he changed his line from the bottom to the middle and the line came into at just the right time.
Sterrett moved to second as Josh McDaniel took third ahead of mills with Groomer and Jeff Deckard side-by-side for the fifth spot. McDaniel would suffer a disappointing end to a strong run as he got sideways in turn three on lap 17 to bring out the caution.
When the field went green, Sterrett slowly reeled in Goodman and went door-to-door over the last few laps before he was able to string together a solid run through the last two corners to get past Goodman on the outside for the narrow win. Groomer made it to third as Carmichael Sr. advanced from 11th to place fourth ahead of Mills and Deckard. Roy Bruce Jr. made it back from an early spin to take seventh.
Since his season debut two months ago, most of the Lincoln Park Speedway racing contingent hasn’t been able to solve Martinsville UMP Super Stock driver Steve Peeden.
Peeden picked up his seventh feature win of the year, getting past Larry Raines when the Brazil native made contact with a lapped car. Once he got free, Peeden held off late challenges from a pair of Greencastle natives in Scott Carrington and Josh Boller.
Peeden held his line on the bottom and kept the competition at bay to add another win to his resume ahead of Carrington, Boller, Ralph Groomer and Kenny Carmichael Sr.
Thirty-six bombers were on hand to put on an exciting show for massive crowd on hand.
North Salem’s Ryan Freeland came out on the winner’s end of a three-wide battle through the last couple of laps to win the A-main ahead of Josh Settles and RJ Pruitt.
Freeland took over the lead as early leaders Carlos Bumgardner Sr. and C.J. Bryan made contact while running for the point. As the two lost momentum, Freeland took over the lead and held off both Pruitt and Settles over the last several circuits. Lenny Krupa III placed fourth ahead of Marlin Burns.
In the final race of the night, Greencastle’s Donald Smiley recorded his first career feature win as he pulled away to a straightaway victory over Roachdale’s Tom Plemons. Kyle Farr placed third ahead of Logan Brickert and Zane Fields.
This weekend will feature a two-day event as LPS hosts sprint cars, UMP Modifieds and Super Stocks and bombers on Friday night before the Midwest Sprint Car Series invades Saturday night with modifieds, super stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint Car Feature
1. Casey Shuman, 2. Scott Hampton, 3. Lee Dakus, 4. Brent Moore, 5. Matt McDonald, 6. Troy Link, 7. Jadon Rogers, 8. Hunter ONeal, 9. Kevin Studley, 10. Eric Burns, 11. JJ Hughes, 12. Jared Chastain, 13. Shelby VanGilder, 14. Mike Gass, 15. Mario Clouser, 16. AJ Francis, 17. Wayne Newlin, 18. John Nicoson, 19. Lucas Smith, 20. Brandon Morin, 21. Jeff Bland Jr., 22. Max McGhee
UMP Modified feature
1. Bradley Sterrett, 2. Cullen Goodman, 3. Derek Groomer, 4. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 5. Roger Mills, 6. Jeff Deckard, 7. Roy Bruce Jr., 8. Jay Humphrey Jr., 9. Dan Lewellen, 10. Tim Prince, 11. Scott Ricketts, 12. Jordan Wever, 13. Jake Humphrey, 14. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 15. Gary Hayden, 16. Rory Riley, 17. Brent Hudson, 18. Gary Ricketts, 19. Josh McDaniel, 20. Doug Bryant Jr.
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Scott Carrington, 3. Josh Boller, 4. Ralph Groomer, 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Doug McCullough, 7. Paul Wright, 8. Josh McDaniel, 9. Scotty Massie, 10. Chris Brewer, 11. Chris Harcourt, 12. James Campbell, 13. Keno Brewer, 14. Scott Agnew, 15. Bob Sample, 16. Larry Raines, 17. Cole Shoemaker, 18. Kenny Fields, 19. Chris Bennett, 20. Matt Jordan
1. Ryan Freeland, 2. Josh Settles, 3. RJ Pruitt, 4. Lenny Krupa III, 5. Marlin Burns, 6. Cody Wright, 7. Chucky Walden, 8. Megan Cavaness, 9. Dustin Colvin, 10. DJ Smiley, 11. Jordan Almanza, 12. Glenn Ogden, 13. Tom Courtney, 14. CJ Bryan, 15. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 16. Travis Heramb, 17. Justin Massie, 18. Mark Dickerson, 19. Tim Wright, 20. Ron Smith
Bomber feature 2
1. Donald Smiley, 2. Tom Plemons, 3. Kyle Farr, 4. Logan Brickert, 5. Zane Fields, 6. Keivan Clodfelter, 7. Larry Hutto, 8. Jerry Hutto, 9. Scott Crouch, 10. Bob Farris, 11. Matthew Burns, 12. Bryan Hunt, 13. Matt Boone, 14. Paul Alleyn, 15. Randy McPeak