By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Hearty fans braved chilly temperatures at Lincoln Park Speedway on Saturday night as racing action trumped Mother Nature.
Alabama’s Kevin Thomas Jr. got the jump on a late restart in a return to victory lane in the sprint car division. Jeff Deckard went two-for-2 at LPS as he picked up his second win in the UMP Modified division at the Putnamville oval. Steve Peeden was also a repeat victor as he captured the UMP Super Stock feature and CJ Bryan was the Bomber Spring Fling winner. Mark Dickerson won the second bomber feature of the evening.
Fresh off a top-five finish last week in the bomber A-main, Bryan battled his way to victory lane and a $500 payday in the Spring Fling.
Bryan had his work cut out for him this week after placing fifth and snagging the final transfer spot in his heat race. The Terre Haute native started 13th in the main event.
Martinsville’s Aaron Sloan was the early feature leader after placing second in his heat and starting on the pole. However, an early spin sent him to the tail after leading a couple circuits. Jason Hunt took over the point and made the most of it through the halfway mark as Tom Cox and Cody Wright were in the mix along with Jordan Almanza. Bryan had climbed to fifth by lap 10 and had set his sights on the leaders. Hunt and Wright made contact coming out of turn two while battling door-to-door for the lead. The resulting spin sent both cars to the tail and left Cox out front.
However, his Cox’s lead was only momentary as a spin on the restart sent him to the back of the field and put Bryan out front.
Bryan and Almanza duked it out over the final four laps of the feature, but it was the No. 86 of Bryan that claimed the win in the KGB Racing Engines, Specialty Graphix machine. Almanza was the runner-up ahead of Josh Litton. Kyle Prince climbed from 17th to place fourth and Hunt finished fifth. Greencastle’s Megan Cavaness advanced from 18th to take sixth.
In the sprint car feature, Thomas Jr. put the Pace Performance Coatings, J&D Performance, CSI Shocks, Tim Engler No. 44 in victory lane after starting 12th in the A-Main.
Thomas Jr. rocketed through the field on the high side, picking off the competition and stalking the leaders over the first 15 laps.
Brent Beauchamp was the early leader ahead of Jarett Andretti, Brady Short, Justin Grant and Shane Cockrum. After a lap eight caution, Short snagged the point coming out of turn three and set sail briefly. Grant and Beauchamp were wheel-to-wheel for a couple circuits with Thomas making his way to the fourth spot by lap 15.
A caution flag came out on lap 17 to re-set the field and it was Grant that took advantage initially. The Ione, Calif. driver battled to the lead past Short on lap 19, but two laps later it was Thomas that found the opening he needed off a re-start.
Thomas dove underneath Grant off of turn four and outraced him to the first corner. Once he assumed the top spot, the Cullman, Ala. driver stayed out front for the final four laps to get his first victory since an ASCS winged sprint car victory in Arizona on March 11.
Grant, Short, Beauchamp and Cockrum rounded out the top-five positions.
Jeff Deckard was the class of the UMP Modified field on Saturday night to earn his second feature win at LPS this season.
Deckard won his heat race and led wire-to-wire to claim the win in the Diamond Race Car, Lineal Contracting, Accent Limestone & Carving, Davis Automotive, Durham Heating & Cooling, Bud May Racing, Nahshville General Store & Bakery, No. 28. Deckard outran Bloomington’s Roy Bruce Jr. following a caution with several laps remaining. Michael Fish placed third ahead of Paul Bumgardner and Jay Humphrey Jr.
Paragon’s Steve Peeden wheeled the No. P3 UMP Super Stock to the lead on lap five and didn’t look back as he won by a full straightaway in a caution-free feature.
Peeden and Doug McCullough each challenged for the top spot side-by-side through the early laps before Peeden gained the lead and set sail. McCullough maintained the second spot over the final 15 laps as Cullen Goodman took third ahead of Jonny Newgent and Chris Hillman.
Greencastle’s Mark Dickerson claimed the top spot in the second bomber feature of the evening. Dickerson pulled away to the lead as Devin Wallen and Tyler Rodgers claimed the second and third spots ahead of Ethan Linton and Josh Presley.
This weekend will feature the first appearance by the American Modified Series with $2,000 going to the winner. Sprint cars, UMP Super Stocks and bombers are also on the card.
Sprint car feature
1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Justin Grant, 3. Brady Short, 4. Brent Beauchamp, 5. Shane Cockrum, 6. Max McGhee, 7. Jarett Andretti, 8. Koby Barksdale, 9. Tim Creech II, 10. Tyler Thomas, 11. Nate McMillin, 12. Cole Smith, 13. Shelby VanGilder, 14. Ben Knight, 15. Billy Cribbs, 16. Brady Ottinger, 17. Eddie Lake, 18. Charlie Belden Jr., 19. Nevil Algie
UMP Modified feature
1. Jeff Deckard, 2. Roy Bruce Jr., 3. Michael Fish, 4. Paul Bumgardner, 5. Jay Humphrey Jr., 6. Matt Tiller, 7. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 8. Sydney Landes, 9. Aaron Zellers, 10. Michael Kettnich, 11. Jake Leitzman, 12. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 13. Travis Shoulders, 14. Cole Parker, 15. Rob Brickert, 16. JR Watkins, 17. James Walters, 18. Josh Boller, 19. RJ Pruitt, 20. Dan Lewellen.
UMP Super Stocks
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Doug McCullogh, 3. Cullen Goodman, 4. Jonny Newgent, 5. Chris Hillman, 6. Larry Raines, 7. James Campbell, 8. Steve Hawkins, 9. Wes McClara, 10. Scotty Massie, 11. Paul Wright, 12. Justin Massie, 13. Kenny Fields
Bomber feature 1
1. CJ Bryan, 2. Jordan Almanza, 3. Josh Litton, 4. Kyle Prince, 5. Jason Hunt, 6. Megan Cavaness, 7. Cody Wright, 8. Tom Cox, 9. Aaron Sloan, 10. Glen Ogden, 11. Jerry Hutto, 12. Justin Bumbardner, 13. Robert Farris, 14. Matt Raber. 15. Keivan Clodfelter, 16. Travis Heramb, 17, Matthew Cooley. 18.Davd Wallen, 19. Ron Smith, 20. Josh Settles
Bomber Feature 2
1. Mark Dickerson, 2. Devin Wallen, 3. Tyler Rodgers, 4. Ethan Litton, 5. Josh Presley, 6. Sean Yakel, 7. Adam Farr, 8. Scott Crouch