By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – Saturday evening was a night of joyous returns to victory lane at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Tyler Thomas made his second trip to the winner’s circle in sprint car action this season at the Putnamville oval. While Josh Litton did the same in the bomber division, it was Steve Peeden’s eighth victory in the UMP Super Stock class. Perhaps the happiest winner of the night was Roy Bruce, who scored his first win in the UMP Modifieds since 2015 at LPS.
Thomas picked up a big payday after winning the Midwest Sprint Car Series main event with a dominant performance. The Oklahoma native topped series points leader Brady Short and Brent Beauchamp.
Robert Ballou set the quick time of the evening and picked up the win in the third heat race as Thomas and Short won the first two heat races.
Koby Barksdale and Beauchamp set on the front row to start the 30-lap A-main, but it was Thomas that set the early pace after a couple of early caution flags. Once the field got into a green flag rhythm, Thomas got into lapped traffic by the 10th circuit as Beauchamp made his way to second ahead of Barksdale, who ran a distant third with Ballou and A.J. Hopkins.
Thomas had a sizable lead by the halfway mark before a caution came out as Hopkins spun after contact with another car. During the caution, Ballou was briefly forced to the pits along with Barksdale. Both drivers would restart from the back of the field.
After the restart, Thomas ripped out to another big lead with Short cruising to the second spot ahead of Beauchamp and Jamie Williams with Jon Stanbrough in fifth-place. A final caution re-set the field with four laps to go, but Thomas was determined to stay out front.
Thomas got a strong start and wouldn’t be denied a second victory at LPS as Short and Beauchamp lead Ballou and Williams across the finish line.
Bruce has had every little good luck over the last couple of racing seasons, battling a variety of engine gremlins. So it was high time that he caught a bit of positive luck and it came Saturday night in the form of a modified victory.
Paul Bumgardner and Josh Boller started on the front row, but contact between the two early on would send both drivers to the tail of the field as Bruce started back in the 11th position. RJ Pruitt briefly assumed the lead ahead of Tim Prince as Kenny Carmichael Sr. ran third. Prince pulled even with Pruitt on lap 10 and the duo battled for the top spot for two laps before Prince snagged the lead off of turn four. Shortly thereafter, Prince pulled into the pits with mechanical issues as Pruitt regained the lead as Bruce had fought his way through the field to second-place ahead of Carmichael and Michael Fish. Pruitt would soon fall to some mechanical problems as well as Bruce took over the top spot and stayed out front over the final five laps. Fish scored the runner-up spot ahead of Carmichael, Brent Hudson and Matt Tiller.
In the super stock feature, Peeden had his work cut out for him after starting in the 12th position as Wes McClara and Jonny Newgent started out front.
The night ended prematurely for Brazil’s Larry Raines as he made contact with the turn one wall and got upside down to bring out a red flag. Raines would climb from the car under his own power, but his evening was over.
Newgent would pace the field through the first 12 laps as Bryce Shidler, Paul Wright, Aubrey Eagan and McClara were all in a tight battle for the second spot. However, Peeden was on a mission, ripping around the top side as he picked off car after car on his way to the front. A caution slowed the field moments after Wright, McClara, Shidler and Peeden went four-wide through turns three and four. The caution flag opened the door for Peeden, who hammered the cushion on the restart to pull even with Newgent. Peeden rocketed to the lead coming out of turn two and wouldn’t look back. A final caution wasn’t enough for the field to catch the leader as Peeden claimed another victory. Newgent was the runner-up with Eagan, Cullen Goodman and McClara wrapping the top-five.
The final feature of the night went to Litton, who fended off C.J. Bryan over the final few laps with Jim Litton Jr. coming home third.
Megan Cavaness lead the field over the opening seven laps as Josh Litton tried several times to make a pass for the lead as caution flags slowed the field. Cavaness resumed her lead several times as the yellow flag flew. However, Litton wouldn’t be denied over the final six laps, taking the lead off of turn two and cruising to the win. Bryan came forward to place second after starting 14th overall. Jim Litton Jr. took third ahead of David Bumgardner and Glen Ogden.
This weekend will feature a regular schedule of sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Midwest Sprint Car Series feature
1. Tyler Thomas, 2. Brady Short, 3. Brent Beauchamp, 4. Robert Ballou, 5. Jamie Williams, 6. Aaron Farney, 7. Matt McDonald, 8. Jon Stanbrough, 9. Brandon Mattox, 10. A.J. Hopkins, 11. Travis Berryhill, 12. Ben Knight, 13. Kent Schmidt, 14. Brady Ottinger, 15. Kendall Ruble, 16. Tim Creech, 17. Kyle Cummins, 18. Koby Barksdale, 19. Nate McMillin, 20. Daron Clayton
Heat winners: Thomas, Short, Ballou
UMP Modified feature
1. Roy Bruce Jr., 2. Michael Fish, 3. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 4. Brent Hudson, 5. Matt Tiller, 6. RJ Pruitt, 7. James Walters, 8. Sydney Landes, 9. Josh Boller, 10. Paul Bumgardner, 11. Dave Popielarz, 12. David Collier, 13. Tyler Loughmiller, 14. Tim Prince, 15. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 16. Josh McDaniel, 17. Scott Ricketts, 18. Jake Leitzman, 19. Aaron Zellers, 20. Michael Beatty
B-main winner: Landes
Heat winners: Pruitt, Carmichael Jr., Boller
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Steve Peeden, 2. Jonny Newgent, 3. Aubrey Eagan, 4. Cullen Goodman, 5. Wes McClara, 6. Paul Wright, 7. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 8. Bryce Shidler, 9. Chris Harcourt, 10. Brandon Morin, 11. Kenny Fields, 12. Jack Campbell, 13. Terry Leitzman, 14. Doug McCullough, 15. Chucky Walden, 16. Larry Raines, 17. Josh Boller DNS
Heat winners: McClara, Newgent
1. Josh Litton, 2. CJ Bryan, 3. Jim Litton Jr., 4. David Bumgardner, 5. Glen Ogden, 6. Justin Bumgardner, 7. Megan Cavaness, 8. Sean Yakel, 9. Tyler Rodgers, 10. Cody Wright, 11. Jordan Almanza, 12. Bob Farris, 13. Keivan Clodfelter, 14. Devin Wallen, 15. Adam Farr, 16. Corey Anstead, 17. Larry Cowan, 18. Matt Raber, 19. David Wallen, 20. Tom Cox, 21. Alex Beach, 22. Travis Heramb, 23. Chad Casassa, 24. Bobby Tarrh, 25. Gary Hayden
Heat winners: Cody Wright, David Bumgardner, Jim Litton Jr.