A.J. Hopkins claims $2,500 Midwest Sprint Car Series victory at Lincoln Park Speedway
– Cole Parker scores first UMP Modified win, Cullen Goodman win super stocks, C.J. Bryan claims bomber win
By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – A stacked field of cars across four classes were on hand to start the Memorial Day Weekend for racing at Lincoln Park Speedway. One hundred and 12 cars were on hand at the Putnamville oval as the Midwest Sprint Car Series raced for a $2,500 winner’s share.
Jarett Andretti, Shane Cockrum and Chad Boespflug claimed the top spots in heat racing action after Brandon Morin set the quick time.
Andretti started on the pole for the 25-lap feature and set the early pace ahead of Stevie Sussex, Cockrum and Hopkins. Kevin Thomas Jr. flipped in turn one on the fourth lap to bring out a red flag. When the field went green once again, Sussex briefly took the lead as Andretti was slowed and pulled into the infield. However, his lead was short lived as Hopkins charged into the top spot coming off of turn two on lap nine.
Hopkins held down the point as Brady Short moved into contention before Sussex hooked the cushion in turn two and spun to bring out a caution.
On the restart, Hopkins rocketed out to a solid margin as Carson Short began to challenge Short for second-place. Robert Ballou, who started 13th overall, advanced into fourth-place. Down the stretch, Hopkins opened up a comfortable margin to take the checkered flag ahead of Carson Short with Ballou, Brady Short and Cockrum in the top-five.
A large field of 34 UMP Modifieds unloaded at LPS on Saturday evening, but Coal City, Ind. driver Cole Parker topped the competition to pick up his first career win in the division.
Kenny Carmichael Jr., Travis Shoulders, Richie Lex and Parker set the tone for the evening with heat race victories. Tim Prince and Kenny Carmichael Sr. won the twin B-main’s to advance to the 20-lap main event.
Parker was in prime position to start the race, sitting in the pole position alongside Lex with Shoulders and Carmichael Jr. in row two.
Once the green flag waved, Lex snagged the point and appeared to be the car to beat, hammering the top side on a lightning pace as Parker gave chase ahead of Derek Groomer and Carmichael Jr.
Lex continued to lead the race through several early cautions before a mid-race spin brought out another caution flag. While the race was slowed, Lex pulled off the track with apparent mechanical woes on lap 13.
Parker was left at the front of the field and would not look back, running a perfectly smooth race over the final half of the 20-lapper. Parker held off the dogged attempts by Groomer to catch him as Carmichael Jr. came home third ahead of 17th-starter Tim Prince and Carmichael Sr., who started 18th.
In the UMP Super Stock feature, Shelburn, Ind. native Cullen Goodman was able to break Steve Peeden’s win streak at the Putnamville oval. Peeden suffered early mechanical issues and was forced pit side as Goodman was able to outlast Wes McClara to gain his victory of the year.
Goodman started third in the A-main as McClara and Matt Jordan started on the front row. McClara was the early leader with Goodman quickly moving into contention alongside Scotty Massie. The top-three pulled out to a solid advantage ahead of Jordan and Doug McCullough with Jonny Newgent closing on the pack.
As the laps ticked off, Goodman went door-to-door with McClara for several laps before making the pass for the lead on lap nine. Once he took the lead, he began to slowly put some distance between himself and McClara up front.
Over the final five laps, Goodman pulled away to the win as McClara held down second ahead of Newgent, Massie and McCullough.
In the bomber A-main, Bryan started on the pole and was able to hold off a second half challenge to the checkered flag from Cody Wright to pick up the victory.
The 15-lap feature was marred on lap three as Scott Crouch got upside down heading into turn three. He was able to get out of the car under his own power.
Once the field got back to green, Bryan was rolling with the rest of the field in tow. Wright, Megan Cavanaess, Jordan Almanza and Curt Leonard had the top-five locked down though the first 10 laps. Lapped traffic came into play over the final five circuits as Wright narrowed the gap between himself and Bryan. However, Bryan was able to stay smooth on the throttle to pick up his second feature win of the season. Wright took home second as Almanza advanced to third ahead of Cavaness and Josh Litton, who started 13th.
In the second bomber feature of the evening, Travis Heramb led from the start and was able to pull away to the win ahead of Matt Raber and David Wallen.