By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – Eight long years had elapsed since the Midwest Sprint Car Series had invaded Lincoln Park Speedway, but a stout field of competitors were on hand to contest for a $3,000 payday at the Putnamville oval.
There were many story lines at hand, including the one that had Bedford, Ind. hotshoe, Dave Darland doing double duty with a USAC Traxx Silver Crown race slated at the Springfield Mile in Illinois. The afternoon event allowed Darland the ability to race back to Putnamville to re-join Daryl Tate’s No. 21x in pursuit of the winner’s share. However, it was Saturday evening’s teammate, Casey Shuman, who climbed into the back-up Tate car and hammered it down to a dominating feature victory that had plenty of fans and team members celebrating.
Jimmy Laser was the winner the last time the series was held at LPS and Hud Cone was the points winner that season. On Saturday, Shuman was a rocket from the beginning and represented the team in style despite the fact that Darland wasn’t able to get back in time from Springgield to battle in his heat race and was relegated to the back of the B-main.
However, it just meant that Darland would put on still another incredible show for the fans as he started 18th in the consolation event and flashed through the field for second, just behind Jonathan Hendrick. Brent Beauchamp and Ethan Barrow each had great runs to make the A-main.
Heat race winners were Wes McIntyre, Logan Jarrett, Shuman and Kent Christian as the top-16 were locked in through heat race finishes and passing points accumulated.
Lining up the main event it was Shuman on the pole followed by Eric Gentry, Braylon Fitzpatrick, McIntyre, Christian and Damion Gardner.
Shuman wasn’t interested in letting anyone trying to snag the victory that he wanted to give to the Tate’s as he dropped the hammer on the opening green and built himself a comfortable lead as the field shuffled behind him. Brady Short, who has proved to be a master of Bloomington’s red clay and has had great success at Lawrenceburg Speedway, wasn’t shying away from the challenge of the 5/16th mile oval at LPS. The Bedford, Ind. native came into Lincoln Park Speedway’s MSCS date with a tentative 79-point lead over Braylon Fitzpatrick with Critter Malone in third, just six points behind Fitzpatrick of West Terre Haute.
Short busted through the field to reach third from his 11th-place start by the time a caution flew on lap 13. Gardner was second as Fitzpatrick held fourth.
On the re-start, Short and Gardner were in a battle for second as Fitzpatrick attempted a slide job on ‘The Demon.” The move wouldn’t quite stick as Gardner held down third after the challenge.
Up front, Shuman was beginning to check out in lapped traffic as Short had second locked up at the end. Gardner was in third with Fitzpatrick and Kyle Cummins in a dead heat for fourth ahead of Christian, Gentry and Hendricks.
The B-main qualifiers were putting on a show of their own as Darland masterfully worked through traffic all the way to a ninth-place finish after starting back in 18th position. Ethan Barrow was the final transfer out of the consolation and made it count, working his way to 11th in the Pottorff-owned sprinter.
In the final laps, Shuman cruised home for his fourth feature win of the season as Short took second and Gardner was third. Fitzpatrick claimed fourth ahead of Cummins and Hendrick, who started 17th. Christian took seventh ahead of Eric Gentry, Darland and Dakota Jackson.
Next up on the slate for the MSCS is a date at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt with $3,000 going to the
winner of the Labor Day Weekend Challenge on Sept. 4.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Midwest Sprint Car Series (35 entries)
1. Casey Shuman, 2. Brady Short, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 5. Kyle Cummins, 6. Jonathan Hendrick, 7. Kent Christian, 8. Aric Gentry, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Dakota Jackson, 11. Ethan Barrow, 12. Chase Stockon, 13. Logan Jarrett, 14. Seth Parker, 15. Brandon Mattox, 16. Brent Beauchamp, 17. Brett Burdette, 18. Critter Malone, 19. Wes McIntyre, 20. Chase Briscoe, 21. Kenny Carmichael Jr.
1. Jonathan Hendrick, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Brent Beauchamp, 4. Ethan Barrow, 5. Shawn Krockenberger, 6. Donny Brackett, 7. Kent Schmidt, 8. John Boyd, 9. Keaton Dobbs, 10. Brian Lake, 11. Josh Burton, 12. Tyler Waltz, 13. Conner Donelson, 14. Daylan Chambers, 15. Matt Brannin, 16. Brandon Mattox, 17. Mike Hagemier, 18. Blake Fitzpatrick DNS
Heat winners: Logan Jarrett, Casey Shuman, Kent Christian, Wes McIntyre