By CAREY FOXTimes Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Slick Griffin was a well known part of the Indiana racing family and a fixture at Lincoln Park Speedway nearly every Saturday evening. So it was only fitting that after his untimely loss during the off-season that the Putnamville oval would play host to the “Slick Griffin Memorial” race for UMP Super Stocks.
The Brazil native was a successful driver of the No. g2 machine and Ralph Groomer was on hand to drive the car as a salute to Griffin.
With a 24-car field on hand it was Mike Staggs that started on the front row and maintained that position despite challenges from Steve Peeden and Groomer during the 25-lap main event. Following a great pre-race salute to Griffin with Groomer leading the field, Staggs jumped out front as the opening green flag waved and left the rest of the field to sort out their finishes.
The most exciting position battle of the race proved to be a top-five war as Groomer was door-to-door with Josh Boller with Kenny Carmichael Sr. racing hard with Doug McCullough lap-after lap. Just behind that group was Josh Fagg with Kenny Carmichael Jr. and CJ Bryan in tow.
At the midway point, Peeden drove to the bottom and showed his nose to Staggs while attempting to get enough drive off the corners to make the pass. However, Staggs powered off the top to maintain his lead ahead of Peeden, Groomer and Boller.
With five laps remaining, Peeden was still right on Staggs’ bumper, but the Marshall, Ind. native was not going to make a mistake that close to the victory.
Staggs held down the point over the last few laps to claim an extra special A-main victory as Peeden and Groomer wrapped up the podium. Boller took the fourth position ahead of McCullough, Carmichael Jr., Bryan, Fagg, Scott Carrington and Tyler Loughmiller.
The Midwest Sprint Car Series was on hand at LPS Saturday night and a 37-car turn out was in the pits chasing the winner’s share of $3,000.
California’s Robert Ballou brought a brand new Maxim race car to the track and swept his races with a heat race victory and later the A-main to add his eighth MSCS victory. The win ties him for Brady Short for third on the all-time winners list.
Ballou started fourth in the feature and took the lead from Dakota Jackson on the ninth of 30 laps. Chase Stockon gave chase and would eventually take over the second spot and would finish there in the GBR sprinter. Stockon stayed within striking distance over the last half of the race, but was unable to find a fault in Ballou’s attack of the Putnamville oval. Brent Beauchamp placed third after starting fifth and Jackson had his best feature run to pick up a fourth-place. Chad Boespflug moved up five spots to take a top-five finish ahead of Jon Stanbrough. His drive from 16th to sixth earned him the Keizer Aluminum Wheels Hard Charger Award.
The closest finish of the night came in the UMP Modified feature as Eric Varner and Randy Shuman swapped the lead over the final laps before Varner got just enough of a run off the top of turn four to nose out the victory by a couple of feet.
The trio of Varner, Shuman and Bradley Sterrett were in a three-way position battle over the first half of the caution filled A-main. However, Varner began to pull a bit of a gap before Shuman reeled him in during the middle stages. Kenny Carmichael Sr. would reel in the lead pack for a spot in the top-five as Carlos Bumgardner Sr. and Wes McClara were wheel-to-wheel for fifth.
Up front, Shuman would finally make a pass stick on Varner with several laps remaining, but it wouldn’t be enough. The pair went into the final lap side-by-side with a tight pack of Sterrett, Carmichael and McClara chasing them. Varner would get the drive he needed off the final corner as he drag raced down the front stretch with Shuman to gain the win with Carmichael, Sterrett and McClara wrapping a top-five finish that was separated by less than a second.
A super sized bomber feature that saw 26-cars start the A-main would have McCullough starting on the pole and staying out front for the duration of the feature. The victory was his fifth of the season as Tim Wright chased him across the line ahead of Jordan Almanza.
McCullough held fast to the lead despite several cautions over the length of the feature. Wright started in row two and was able to get past Almanza and set his sights on McCullough. However, passing was tough down the stretch as McCullough raced across the finish line once again. Harry Shepherd started on the front row and took fourth ahead of Blake Cross, Carlos Bumgardner Sr., Damon Harrell, Tom Courtney, Bob Farris and Mark Dickerson.
This weekend will be a regular card of sprint cars, UMP Modifieds and super stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Midwest Sprint Car Series
1. Robert Ballou, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Brent Beauchamp, 4. Dakota Jackson, 5. Chad Boespflug, 6. Jon Stanbrough, 7. Kyle Cummins, 8. Ryan Pace, 9. AJ Hopkins, 10. Brady Short, 11. Bradley Sterrett, 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 13. Shane Cottle, 14. Brian Hayden, 15. Kevin Thomas Jr., 16. CJ Leary, 17. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 18. Joe Liguori, 19. Jeff Bland Jr., 20. Blake Fitzpatrick
B-main winners: Leary, Hopkins
UMP Modified feature
1. Eric Varner, 2. Randy Shuman, 3. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 4. Bradley Sterrett, 5. Wes McClara, 6. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 7. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 8. Dan Lewellen, 9. Jeff Deckard, 10. Scott Ricketts, 11. Jamie Rife, 12. Larry Lambert, 13. Chad Combs, 14. Brian Hayden, 15. Jacob Houts, 16. Gary Ricketts, 17. Wayne Newlin, 18. Aaron Zellers, 19. Paul Bumgardner, 20. Roger Mills
B-main winner: Lewellen
UMP Super Stock feature
‘Slick Griffin Memorial’
1. Mike Staggs, 2. Steve Peeden, 3. Ralph Groomer, 4. Josh Boller, 5. Doug McCullough, 6. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 7. C.J. Bryan, 8. Josh Fagg, 9. Scott Carrington, 10. Tyler Loughmiller, 11. Chad Nolte, 12. Chris Campbell, 13. Travis Heramb, 14. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 15. JR Watkins, 16. Steve Smiley, 17. Brandon Query, 18. Josh McDaniel, 19. Gene Barnett, 20. Jeff Shepherd, 21. Jacob Wright, 22. Sample Bob, 23. Kenny Fields, 24. Harry Shepherd
1. Doug McCullough, 2. Tim Wright, 3. Jordan Almanza, 4. Harry Shepherd, 5. Blake Cross, 6. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 7. Damon Harrell, 8. Tom Courtney, 9. Bob Farris, 10. Mark Dickerson, 11. Mike Fisher Jr., 12. Justin Minardo, 13. Cody Wright, 14. Kyle Krupa, 15. Lenny Krupa III, 16. Mike Reitz, 17. Jack Hatton, 18. Jack Campbell, 19. Jerry Hutto, 20. David Wallen, 21. Megan Cavaness, 22. Ron Smith, 23. Brad Neese, 24. Cory Williamson, 25. DJ Smiley, 26. Mike Williamson