By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Race fans at Lincoln Park Speedway were treated to nearly perfect weather with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80’s as the sprints, UMP Modifieds, UMP Super Stocks and bombers took to the Putnamville oval.
Thirty-five sprint cars were on hand on Saturday evening with Shane Hollingsworth, Jonathan Vennard, Bub Cummings and Dickie Gaines winning their heat races.
Hollingsworth has been perhaps the most consistent driver all season in the sprint car ranks at LPS with Gaines right there as well.
The two drivers are right in the thick of the season points race and will likely come right down to the wire.
Hollingsworth and Vennard started on the front row for the feature with Danny Holtsclaw and Gaines in row two ahead of Blake Fitzpatrick and Brandon Petty. As the field took the green, it quickly became apparent that Hollingsworth wanted this win pretty badly as he built a solid lead as Vennard and Petty battled for second position. Hollingsworth was fast enough that he quickly found himself approaching lapped traffic on a slick track. He would get a brief reprieve on navigating traffic as a caution came out as Chad Davenport ended up on top of the hood of Kenny Carmichael Jr.
When the race resumed, Hollingsworth used a good re-start to regain a solid lead while running the top as Vennard and Petty chased. Cummings led a third-place pack that also included Holtsclaw, AJ Anderson, Fitzpatrck and Todd Kimmell.
As the laps ticked off Hollingsworth wasn’t going to be caught despite some contact via a lapped car coming off turn four. Hollingsworth stayed on the throttle and powered through as a caution came out for Petty, who spun, nearly saved it, but came to a stop.
On the re-start, Hollingsworth jumped on the competition and stayed out front for the remaining few laps to claim his third LPS victory of the season. Vennard came home as the runner-up ahead of Gaines, Holtsclaw and Anderson. Fitzpatrick was sixth ahead of Cramer, Kimmell, Troy Link and Wes McIntyre.
With the victory, Hollingworth now holds the top spot in the points battle with Gaines, 714 to 706 with Chris Babcock in third with 664.
In the Bomber Bash, that paid $300 to the winner, Ben Williams started on the pole position in his 2010 debut alongside Dustin Shoulders, the defending champion of the event. Last week’s winner, C.J. Bryan started in row two beside Lloyd Walls.
Shoulders jumped out front early after a flat tire sent Walls to the pits prematurely. Shoulders was going to be pretty tough to beat on a track that didn’t give up a lot of passing without mistakes. The Rose-Hulman-bound youngster drove pretty much a flawless race as he stayed out front on the way to a repeat victory in the Bomber Bash.
Williams and Bryan put on a great show with plenty of side-by-side racing over the latter half of the feature with Williams eventually grabbing the runner-up position ahead of Bryan. Bob Farris came through with a third-place finish ahead of Ron Wallen Sr., who started back in 14th after winning the B-main. Ryan Freeland was sixth followed by Josh Settles, Kevin Kemp, David Wallen and Corey Gregory.
In the UMP Modified main event, Craig Conyer started up front and wouldn’t relinquish that spot despite the determined effort of points leader, Paul Bumgardner.
Conyer maintained his high line and held off a couple of late challenges from Bumgardner, but was up to the task in claiming his second feature win of the season in the Wilburn Dry Stripping, Hufford Race Engines, Jamestown Auto Parts, Wilson Race Car.
Conyer looked as if he might have a serious challenge on his hands during the middle stages of the feature as he rocketed through lapped traffic and caught a pair of cars racing each other for position. With both those cars taking up much of the preferred, racing line, Bumgardner closed on Conyer and looked as if he was going to take the battle to him. However, a caution came out to re-set the field with Bumgardner, Brian Hayden, Rob Fuqua, Clint DeMoss and Larry Lambert in the top-five.
On the re-start, Bumgardner tried to go underneath Conyer coming out of turn two, but couldn’t maintain his momentum and nearly lost the second spot to Fuqua, but another caution put the clamps on Fuqua’s pass.
When the field went green again, it was Fuqua who nearly lost his spot as he jumped the cushion off turn four as Hayden regained third. Up front, Conyer continued to motor along the cushion ahead of Bumgardner as Fuqua was able to get back past Hayden for third in the closing laps.
Conyer would finish strong ahead of the field to claim the victory with Bumgardner, Fuqua, Hayden and Lambert making up the top-five. DeMoss, currently second in the National UMP Points race, placed sixth ahead of David Baldwin, Carlos Bumgardner, Chad Combs and Michael Bradley.
Slick Griffin and Kenny Carmichael Sr. started on the front row of the UMP Super Stock feature with Doug McCullough and Steve Peeden in row two.
Carmichael Sr. took the lead briefly before mechanical problems sent him to the pits as Peeden took over the point ahead of McCullough and David Bumgardner with Griffin and Kenny Carmichael Jr. racing side-by-side for the fourth spot.
Peeden slowly built a comfortable lead up front and wasn’t going to be caught over the final laps as McCullough claimed the runner-up spot ahead of Carmichael Jr. as Kris Starks advanced to take fourth after starting in the 12th spot.
Bumgardner eventually took fifth with Mike Staggs, Brett Smedley, Joe Starks, Griffin and Jamie Adams capping the top-10.
Carmichael Sr. holds a 24-point lead over Griffin in the points chase this season.
Next weekend will be Heritage Lake/HARF Night with residents of Heritage Lake receiving $2 off admission with state ID.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Shane Hollingsworth, 2. Jonathan Vennard, 3. Dickie Gaines, 4. Danny Holtsclaw, 5. A.J. Anderson, 6. Blake Fitzpatrick, 7. Jesse Cramer, 8. Todd Kimmell, 9. Troy Link, 10. Wes McIntyre, 11. Bub Cummings, 12. Brandon Mattox, 13. Shawn Krockenberger, 14. Ethan Barrow, 15. Aaron Mosley, 16. Jordan Kinser, 17. Brandon Petty, 18. Kurt Gross, 19. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 20. Chad Davenport
B-main winners: McIntyre, Gross
Heat winners: Hollingsworth, Vennard, Cummings, Gaines
UMP Modified feature
1. Craig Conyer, 2. Paul Bumgardner, 3. Rob Fuqua, 4. Brian Hayden, 5. Larry Lambert, 6. Clint DeMoss, 7. David Baldwin, 8. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 9. Chad Combs, 10. Michael Bradley, 11. Keaton Streeval, 12. Greg Amick, 13. John Hipps, 14. Randy Millburn, 15. Wes McClara, 16. Michael Spencer, 17. Gary Hayden, 18. John Davis, 19. Brad Barrow, 20. Nathan Voorhies
B-main winner: Voorhies
Heat winners: Paul Bumgardner, Conyer, Brian Hayden
UMP Super Stocks
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Doug McCullough, 3. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 4. Kris Starks, 5. David Bumgardner, 6. Mike Staggs, 7. Brett Smedley, 8. Joe Starks, 9. Slick Griffin, 10. Jamie Adams, 11. Bill Hart, 12. Bruce Stantz, 13. Josh Burton, 14. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 15. Dennis Morgan Heat winners: Griffin, Carmichael Sr.
1. Dustin Shoulders, 2. Ben Williams, 3. C.J. Bryan, 4. Bob Farris, 5. Ron Wallen Sr., 6. Ryan Freeland, 7. Josh Settles, 8. Kevin Kemp, 9. David Wallen, 10. Corey Gregory, 11. Sally Yakel, 12. Josh Presley, 13. Josh Fagg, 14. Dale Lewis, 15. Lloyd Walls, 16. Larry Shelley Jr., 17. Richard Watkins, 18. Cory Williamson, 19. Chad Nolte, 20. Gerald Bennett Jr.
B-main winner: Wallen Sr.
Heat winners: Williams, Bryan, Shoulders Group Fast Qualifiers: Walls, Shoulders, David Wallen