By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- The weather couldn't have been much better for the
opening night of the Bill Gardner Indiana Openwheel.com Racin' Fest.
A packed grandstand was on hand along with a talented crop of hot shoes
looking for a spot in Victory Lane.
The headline event was a crop of sprint car drivers chomping at the bit
for the nearly $1,500 worth of lap money as well as the $2,000 on hand
for the pilot that crossed the finish line first.
As the weather finally turned warm in their home state, plenty of
drivers took their experience from Florida's Speed Weeks back to the
Midwest and brought it to LPS.
Jeff Bland Jr. captured the first heat in the B&B Autobrokers, ServPro,
Iron Pit Restorations ride as Brian Hayden returned home in a sprinter
to claim a well-earned victory in heat number two ahead of Kent
Christian. Casey Shuman caught heat number three ahead of Seth Parker.
The A-main lined up with Bland and Hayden up front with Shuman and Kyle
Simon in row number two. Christian and Parker towed the third line.
Bland took the green and had the hammer down from the beginning, leading
the feature over Hayden, who had designs on the lead early on.
Brady Short made a quick run to the front and challenged the leaders
before lap 10. Hayden was in line behind Bland as Shuman and Chase
Briscoe were closely in tow. Short and Hayden dueled with each other for
several laps before contact between the two checked Hayden.
The duo put on a great show lap-after-lap before Short slid up high and
made contact with Hayden to end his evening.
On the re-start past the midway point of the 40-lap main, Bland
continued to hold the point as Shuman closed the gap. Short was right on
the tail tank of the leaders, stalking his chance at the lead.
With seven laps remaining, Shuman got upside down in turn two and Chris
Gurley checked up and got upside down as well. The ensuing red flag
re-set the field for a battle to the wire.
On the re-start, Bland and Short duked it out ahead of Chase Briscoe,
who was fast throughout. Bland held down the top spot as the white flag
As the pair entered turn two, smoke began to pour out of Bland's
machine, but Short wasn't able to catch him through the final corners.
Bland finished the feature on top of the field, but his motor let go
several hundred feet after the finish to make the victory somewhat
Bland took the victory ahead of Short and Briscoe in the Competition
Suspension, Hinchman Racewear, Auto Credit No. 38. Briscoe took third
ahead of Josh Burton, who came forward from 13th. Kyle Simon was fifth
with Jon Stanbrough coming forward from the tail of the field to place
sixth with Kent Christian, Seth Parker, Ethan Barrow and Rod Henning
wrapping the top-10.
Though he ended up with a disappointing finish in the sprint feature,
Brian Hayden returned to capture the UMP Modified A-main after getting
past Paul Bumgardner and Craig Conyer during the early stages of the
Hayden went to the bottom to get past Bumgardner in turns 1-2 as Bradley
Sterrett and Kenny Carmichael Sr. were in a door-to-door battle for
As the race played out, Hayden maintained the top spot ahead of a
side-by-side challenge between Kenny Carmichael Jr. and Bumgardner.
Randy Shuman and Kenny Carmichael Sr. were closely behind the
Carmichael Jr. closed on Hayden in traffic over the late stages of the
A-main, but couldn't overtake the Greencastle native. Carmichael Jr.
held off a spirited challenge from Bumgardner off the fourth turn for
the runner-up position in a feature marred by several stoppages.
Hayden's win came in the Cyclone Custom Products, York Chevrolet,
IndianaOpenwheel.com, Lucas Oil sponsored 2H.
Kenny Carmichael Sr. moved up from a 13th-place starting position to
take fourth ahead of Craig Conyer. David Bumgardner debuted his modified
and placed sixth with Carlos Bumgardner, Randy Shuman, Scott Ricketts
and Garry Ricketts in the top-10.
In the UMP Super Stock main event, Steve Peeden took advantage of
mechanical problems by Chris Hillman, who had led from the opening green
Hillman came to a stop with just four laps remaining in the A-main as
Peeden took over the point on the re-start. He was able to hold off the
field as Kenny Carmichael Jr. repeated his runner-up spot from the
modified feature. Mike Staggs came up from 13th to take third with Doug
McCullough leading Dan McCullough across the finish line. Tyler
Loughmiller was seventh followed by Scott Carrington, Christian York and
In the final feature of the evening, Doug McCullough provided a dominant
effort to claim the bomber feature, pulling away from the field
following a re-start with just three circuits left on the docket.
McCullough held the top position ahead of a battle between Josh
Foxworthy (2nd) and Brandon Roundtree as Tyler Neal claimed fourth ahead
of Kevin Kemp and David Wallen. Bob Farris was seventh with Kyle Krupa,
David Shepherd and Jeff Shepherd in the top-10.
Next week will be a regular card of sprints, modifieds, super stocks and
Lincoln Park Speedway
"Bill Gardner Racing Fest"
Sprint car feature
1. Jeff Bland Jr., 2. Brady Short, 3. Chase Briscoe, 4. Josh Burton, 5.
Kyle Simon, 6. Jon Stanbrough, 7. Kent Christian, 8. Seth Parker, 9.
Ethan Barrow, 10. Rod Henning, 11. Jordan Kinser, 12. Garrett Abrams,
13. Chris Babcock, 14. Brian Karraker, 15. Casey Shuman, 16. Chris
Gurley, 17. Brian Hayden, 18. Jarrett Andretti, 19. Chad Boesplug, 20.
B-main winner: Karraker
UMP Modified feature
1. Brian Hayden, 2. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 3. Paul Bumgardner, 4. Kenny
Carmichael Sr., 5. Craig Conyer, 6. David Bumgardner, 7. Carlos
Bumgardner, 8. Randy Shuman, 9. Scott Ricketts, 10. Garry Ricketts, 11.
Elijah Heminger, 12. Jason Clark, 13. Matt Freeman, 14. Casey Davis, 15.
Wayne Newlin, 16. Dan Lewellen, 17. Bradley Sterrett, 18. Jimmy Hayden,
19. Mike Fish, 20. Brent Hudson
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 3. Mike Staggs, 4. Kenny
Carmichael Sr., 5. Doug McCullough, 6. Dan McCullough, 7. Tyler
Loughmiller, 8. Scott Carrington, 9. Christian York, 10. Josh McDaniel,
11. Chris Hillman, 12. Kenny Fields, 13. Josh Fagg, 14. Roy Bruce Jr.,
15. Lee Hobbs, 16. Harold Grayless, 17. Larry Babbs, 17. JR Watkins, 19.
1. Doug McCullough, 2. Josh Foxworthy, 3. Brandon Roundtree, 4. Tyler
Neal, 5. Kevin Kemp, 6. David Wallen, 7. Bob Farris, 8. Kyle Krupa, 9.
David Shepherd, 10. Jeff Shepherd, 11. Danny Wampler, 12. Fred Grayless,
13. AJ Smith, 14. Cody Wright, 15. Josh Settles, 16. Leonard Krupa III,
17. Jack Campbell, 18. Ron Smith, 19. Jeff Cast, 20. Mike Spencer, 21.
B-main winner: Cody Wright
Jeff Bland Jr. claimed nearly $3,500 with his sprint car win at
Lincoln Park Speedway on Saturday night.
Steve Peeden (No. P3) and Scott Carrington battle during the UMP Super Stock feature.