By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Mother Nature finally relented at Lincoln Park Speedway Saturday night as action resumed a week after a rainout and a night after inclement weather claimed racing at several other tracks around the state.
Jeff Bland Jr. was certainly happy that the rain subsided as he got past Casey Shuman late in the sprint car main event to snatch the checkered flag in his B&B Auto Broker, Brent Pottorff Logging sponsored No. 38.
In UMP Modified competition, Mason, Ill. native Kelby Simmons made an outstanding pass of Jacoby Hines on the final turn to pick up the victory over a 32-car field. Troy Clark is undefeated at Lincoln Park Speedway feature racing as he picked up win number three at the Putnamville oval in the UMP Super Stock division. CJ Bryan was a repeat winner in the bomber A-main, topping Harry Shepherd.
Kent Christian, Shuman and Bland Jr. each scored heat race wins to start the night in the sprint car class and the group started up front along with Brent Beauchamp in the top two rows.
Shuman appeared the man to beat as he took the green flag and quickly began to open a gap on the rest of the field as Christian went side-by-side with Bland as Jon Sciscoe and Beauchamp battled for fourth. Ethan Barrow and Seth Parker were close behind the lead pack.
However, Shuman wasted little time getting into lapped traffic as his No. 22 sprinter was on a rail as Bland attempted to chase him down past the midway point. Shuman might have won easily, but appeared to have some brief mechanical issues as he slowed just enough to allow Bland to take over the point in traffic. Shuman regained power and maintained his lead over Beauchamp, who was able to make the pass over Christian after some contact with a lapped car.
Once he had the lead, Bland wasn’t going to give it up, masterfully managing traffic over the final five laps to claim the win in the West Baden Indoor Kart, VanHorn Graphics, ServPro sponsored sprint car. Shuman remained second ahead of Beauchamp, Sciscoe, Christian, Barrow, Mike Hess, who started 14th, Parker, Dakota Jackson and CJ Leary.
The UMP Modified feature had some twists and turns throughout as Wes McClara led past the halfway point ahead of Hines and a battling group that included Bradley Sterrett, Simmons, Greg Amick, Paul Bumgardner and Clint DeMoss.
However, McClara got loose coming out of turn four, which opened the door for the charge of Hines into the lead as McClara slipped to third behind Simmons. Behind them, Amick and Bumgardner brought out the caution in turn one to re-set the field. Both drivers would not make the re-start and a late dash for the cash was set.
As the field went green late in the A-main, Hines was holding off Simmons’ advances over the final few laps. The final two corners proved pivotal as Simmons got a big run through turn three and was able to carry the momentum out of turn four and enable the ‘Mason Missle’ to reach the checkers mere feet ahead of Hines.
Simmons’ win came in the Faithful Oil, Mullins Racing Engine, Forward Racecar. Hines, McClara, Sterrett and DeMoss made up the top-five. Craig Conyer was sixth ahead of Schuyler Nahre, Kenny Carmichael Jr., Scott Ricketts and Kenny Carmichael Sr.
Cullen Goodman and Slick Griffin took the green at the front of the super stock field and duked it out for the lead ahead of Roy Bruce, Clark and Kenny Carmichael Sr. early in the feature.
Clark moved into a door-to-door battle with Goodman after a re-start and was able to get to the top for the pass over Goodman. Once he made the pass, Clark was able to put some distance between himself and the second-place battle behind Goodman and Griffin as Carmichael moved to fourth ahead of Bruce, AJ Clark and Kris Starks.
The spirited race for second resulted in contact between Goodman and Griffin with Goodman slipping back in the field as Carmichael Sr. took over second-place. That’s the way it would stand as Clark claimed another feature win with Bruce Jr. in third, Griffin scored fourth ahead of AJ Clark, Starks, Justin Hammond, Doug McCullough, who won the B-main, Bobby Davis and Mike Staggs.
In the bomber feature, early mechanical problems sidelined front row starters Josh Settles and Tim Wright as Shepherd took over the lead. Michael Harris held down second-place ahead of Daniel Foxworthy and McCullough as Bryan moved through the field after starting 10th.
McCullough would slow as Bryan picked off the frontrunners and moved into a fight with Shepherd for the top spot. The pair would duel for several laps before Bryan made the pass on the bottom and maintained that position for a repeat win.
Shepherd stayed in second ahead of Daniel Foxworthy, Josh Presley, David Wallen, Jeff Beggs, Harris, Tony Tidwell, Mike Moody and Josh Foxworthy.
Next week will be a regular field of sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers along with a bicycle race for the kids.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Jeff Bland Jr., 2. Casey Shuman, 3. Brent Beauchamp, 4. Jon Sciscoe, 5. Kent Christian, 6. Ethan Barrow, 7. Mike Hess, 8. Seth Parker, 9. Dakota Jackson, 10. CJ Leary, 11. Keaton Dobbs, 12. Conner Donelson, 13. Shawn Krockenberger, 14. Troy Link, 15. Jimmy Simpson, 16. Matt Goodnight, 17. Jamie Frederickson, 18. Chad Davenport, 19. Brandon Mattox, 20. Mark Perry III
B-main winner: Hess
Heat winners: Christian, Shuman, Bland Jr.
UMP Modified feature
1. Kelby Simmons, 2. Jacoby Hines, 3. Wes McClara, 4. Bradley Sterrett, 5. Clint DeMoss, 6. Craig Conyer, 7. Schuyler Nahre, 8. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 9. Scott Ricketts, 10. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 11. Wes Leigh, 12. Doug Bryant Jr., 13. Jake Humphrey, 14. Wayne Newlin, 15. Doug Arnold, 16. Greg Amick, 17. Paul Bumgardner, 18. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 19. C.J. Bryan, 20. Harold Grayless
B-main winner: Bryan
Heat winners: Grayless, McClara, Bumgardner Sr., Amick
Super stock feature
1. Troy Clark, 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Roy Bruce Jr., 4. Slick Griffin, 5. AJ Clark, 6. Kris Starks, 7. Justin Hammond, 8. Doug McCullough, 9. Bobby Davis, 10. Mike Staggs, 11. David Bumgardner, 12. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 13. Jeremy Hines, 14. Dustin Shoulders, 15. Travis Heramb, 16. Chad Nolte, 17. Dustin Bruce, 18. Steve Sheeks, 19. Josh Fagg, 20. Josh McDaniel
B-main winner: McCullough
Heat winners: Hines, Griffin, AJ Clark
1. C.J. Bryan, 2. Harry Shepherd, 3. Daniel Foxworthy, 4. Josh Presley, 5. David Wallen, 6. Jeff Beggs, 7. Michael Harris, 8. Tony Tidwell, 9. Mike Moody, 10. Josh Foxworthy, 11. Tom Tidwell, 12. Megan Cavaness, 13. Jerry Hutto, 14. Tim Wright, 15. Doug McCullough, 16. Marlin Burns, 17. Josh Settles, 18. Mike Fisher Jr., 19. Steve Runyan, 20. Sally Batchelor, 21. Scott Tidwell
B-main winner: Tony Tidwell
Heat winners: Settles, Wright, Shepherd