By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – Brady Short might have missed the first three dates on the “Indiana Sprint Week” circuit, but he’ll likely make his presence felt during the second half of the tour.
Short turned an 11th-place starting position in the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car race into a dominating victory at Lincoln Park Speedway Thursday evening. Short took the lead on lap 12 from Dave Darland and would lead by nearly a half lap at one point before capturing his fifth ISW victory. The win came on the 10th anniversary of his first ISW victory back at Bloomington Speedway in 2006.
The UMP Super Stocks were also on the docket and it was Greencastle’s Josh Boller taking home the top prize with his fifth feature win of the season.
The fact that the race even took place was a testament to a team effort by track promoter Joe Spiker and his crew. Following torrential rain Wednesday evening, the Putnamville oval was more fit for power boat racing rather than sprint cars, but the group’s dedication prevailed.
Fans were rewarded with a field of 50 sprint cars as Tyler Courtney claimed the ProSource Fast Qualifier Award with a time of 12.670 to edge out Brent Beauchamp. Courtney came into the night as the ISW points leader and he’d also claim the win in the first heat race of the night.
Thomas Meseraull picked up the victory in the second heat race in his first evening driving for the Landon Simon Racing Team. Short scored the win in the third heat followed by Robert Ballou in the fourth heat race.
Chase Stockon and Dave Darland were the early front runners for the 30-lap A-main. The two were wheel-to-wheel for the first lap before Stockon surged to the lead. Courtney would bring out the race’s first caution when he jumped the right rear tire of Justin Grant while battling for a top-five spot.
On the restart, Darland and Stockon went back to their battle as Darland crossed Stockon over and ripped into the top spot after rocketing off the turn four cushion. Stockon fired a slider right back at the winningest “Indiana Sprint Week” driver in the series history. Darland held off the challenge to hold on to the lead.
Short was clicking off one position at a time as he took over the second spot from Stockon on lap 11 and would snag the point from Darland heading into turn three. From there, Short quickly built on his lead and opened it to a half lap by lap 20.
Stockon got a shot at Short on a pair of re-starts following a spin by Zach Daum with five laps remaining and another after Beauchamp spin from his ninth position. On the following re-start, Short blasted away from Stockon to win by a second and half as Stockon, Chad Boespflug, Ballou and KSE Racing Products/B&W Auto Mart Hard Charger Thomas Meseraull, who raced forward from 18th to fifth.
Short credited his early qualifying effort for setting himself up for feature time success.
“Qualifying was huge tonight, but I went out early and made the best lap I could to give us a good spot,” Short said. “When we took off in the heat race, I knew we were going to be one of the good cars and it was going to be up to me. I tried to give it away a couple times, just because I kept missing my marks and overdriving. I was on vacation last week and decided to come run this second week, so it’s pretty special. To come here and beat 50 cars, you have to have a lot of luck. I didn’t think we’d even be racing today, so that’s a credit to Joe Spiker and his crew because they gave us an awesome race track.”
As the United Midwest Promoter (UMP) battle for the national points championship season heads into the home stretch, LPS played host to what amounted to a bonus night for UMP Super Stock drivers.
Boller came into Thursday night leading the national points ahead of Steve Peeden and was able to add a bit of a cushion as he powered away to his fourth LPS win of the season.
Seven of the top-14 drivers in national UMP Sportsman points were on hand to battle for a leg up on the competition and it was Boller that found his way back to victory lane. The top-three on Thursday night actually mirrored the national standings as Boller, Peeden and Chris Hillman rounded out the top spots. Greencastle’s Jonathon Newgent placed fourth ahead of Doug McCullough.
Boller started outside of Brazil’s Larry Raines as the field went green with Peeden and Hillman close behind. However, Boller quickly built his lead as the rest of the competitors fought for a top-five position.
After five laps, Boller had built a solid advantage over Raines as Hillman and Peeden battled side-by-side for the third spot with a three-way fight between Newgent, Wes McClara and McCullough taking place behind the lead pack. A couple of mid-race caution flags brought the field back to Boller for a re-start, but the UMP leader made short work as the green flag waved.
Ten laps into the A-main, Boller had built another solid lead and would not look back in a dominating victory that will help him open a bigger lead on Peeden, who trailed 1,216 to 1,036 in points through July 10. Hillman’s third-place keeps him within striking distance with 991 points. Hawkins’ seventh-place finish helps him hold on to fifth in points as McCullough gains a bit. Newgent should gain some points after his fourth-place run as he stands 14th in national points.
USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series
“Indiana Sprint Week”
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Short, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Chad Boespflug, 4. Robert Ballou, 5. Thomas Meseraull, 6. Jerry Coons Jr., 7. Shane Cottle, 8. Tyler Courtney, 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 10. Dave Darland, 11. Brady Bacon, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Jarett Andretti, 14. Tyler Thomas, 15. Brent Beauchamp, 16. C.J. Leary, 17. Justin Grant, 18. Logan Jarrett, 19. Chris Windom, 20. Zach Daum, 21. Isaac Chapple, 22. Hunter Schuerenberg, 23. J.J. Hughes, 24. Jon Stanbrough.
C-MAIN: (10 laps) 1. C.Cottle, 2. Hopkins, 3. Farney, 4. Hodges, 5. Creech, 6. Williams, 7. Gaines, 8. Mellenberndt, 9. Light, 10. Schmidt, 11. Kreisel, 12. Chambers, 13. Underwood, 14. Gass, 15. Brannin, 16. Chapple, 17. L.Smth. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. T.Thomas, 2. Leary, 3. Schuerenberg, 4. Coons, 5. S.Cottle, 6. Stanbrough, 7. Cockrum, 8. Mattox, 9. McGhee, 10. DiMattia, 11. Hodges, 12. Cummins, 13. Farney, 14. Hopkins, 15. Shuman, 16. C.Cottle, 17. C.Smith.
Heat race winners: Tyler Courtney, Thomas Meseraull, Brady Short, Robert Ballou
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Stockon, Laps 3-11 Darland, Laps 12-30 B.Short.
KSE/B & W AUTO MART HARD CHARGER: Thomas Meseraull; (18th-5th)
UMP Super Stock Feature
1. Josh Boller, 2. Steve Peeden, 3. Chris Hillman, 4. Jonathon Newgent, 5. Doug McCullough, 6. Wes McClara, 7. Steve Hawkins, 8. Greg Harrison, 9. Scotty Massie, 10. Jack Campbell, 11. Paul Wright, 12. Bob Sample, 13. DJ Smiley, 14. Larry Raines, 15. Randy Brawley, 16. Hayden Rogers, 17. Michael Clark
Heat winners: Raines, Boller