With recent warmer weather greeting the state over the past week, racers all across the state have kicked preparations for the 2005 racing season into high gear.
An improved Lincoln Park Speedway will begin the 2005 season on April 16 when the 5/16th mile oval hosts the Super Spring 30 which will feature a $1,000 top prize for the Super Stock class and will also play host to the UMP Modifieds, Bombers and Modified Lite classes.
The Lincoln Park facilities were improved over the last half of the 2004 season and that led to increased car counts and a wealth of exciting racing.
Points chases came down to the final week of the season in several classes, highlighted by a four point margin in the Bomber Class as Lloyd Walls edged out Travis Heramb for the championship. But the Super Stock class was also tight over the final weeks as Doug McCullough was the champion over Dave Kikendall Jr. and in Modifieds, Craig Conyer won by 28 points over Paul Bumgardner. Youngster, Bobby Stines won the Sprint Car Championship ahead of Aaron Mosely.
The biggest changes since last year involved the work done on the track itself.
Drivers will be interested to find out that a great deal of time has been spent and both widening and improving the condition of the track according to track owner Dave Allison.
"Last fall, Track Facilities Manager Tom Skene placed 300 tri-axle loads of dirt on the track, making both ends more symmetrical. In the next few weeks that dirt will need to be fine-graded to prepare for the 2005 season. There was also drainage tile installed in the infield of the track."
The improvements to the drainage system should be a very nice addition as heavy rains often caused a buildup of mud and standing water in the infield. With proper drainage this year, drivers should have fewer obstacles to avoid when bringing their car into the infield which should also decrease chances of unnecessary damage to equipment.
The regular classes will remain the same from last year with regular cards featuring sprint cars, modifieds, super stocks and bombers. According to Allison, the focus this year will be on the fans.
"Our goal is to feature great racing as well as making more improvements to the facilities. We're trying to expand the local fan base for the track through a variety of special deals like group/company nights."
Admission prices will continue to be among the lowest in the area with regular Saturday show gate prices at $10 for adults and pit admission ranging from $22-25. Special shows may cost slightly more for admission.
Once again, LPS has a wide variety in the 2005 schedule with some very special events scheduled.
The King of Indiana Sprint Series will visit on May 21 with the modifieds, super stocks and bombers also on the card.
The month of July should feature some great shows for the LPS fans.
On July 9 the WolfPack Challenge will feature a $1,000 to win show for the Modified class and drivers will get $100 to start the A Main. Sprint car fans will abound the following week as the 18th Annual Indiana Sprint Week will visit the track with superstocks and bombers also on the slate. When the USAC veterans clash with some of the state's best sprint car drivers for a week long battle over seven tracks, fans who've attended in the past can vouch for how hot the action can get.
And if that wasn't enough for a month of racing, July 23 will feature the King of Non-wing event where every attending sprint car will run a feature. UMP Modifieds, super stocks and bombers will also run that evening.
As the Summer heat builds, so will the action at LPS as the 19th Annual Putnamville Clash takes place on August 13 with a $2,000 to win show for the sprints to go with a regular schedule of racing. On September 10 will be the second running of the Patriot 100 with a one day, $2,000 to win show for the UMP Modifieds along with the regular classes. The exception however will be that 50 bonus points will be awarded to all classes.
Fans who attended Lincoln Park Speedway last season saw a steady rise in car counts as the season progressed and Allison believes with the improvements made to the track during the offseason, that the trend will continue. "By the end of last year we had 60+ sprint cars, that is more than the track has seen in five years I would think a 35 to 45 car count per night should be about the average."
Full pits this year will certainly provide excellent racing for fans in the midstate and with an emphasis on providing a fun, family oriented atmosphere, everyone is encouraged to come out and check out the action.
|4-9||Open Practice: (Not to the public)|
|4-16||Super Spring 30: SuperStocks, $,1000 to win1; UMP Modifieds, Bombers, Modified Lites|
|4-23||Season Opener: Sprints, UMP Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers|
|4-30||Regular Show: Sprints, UMP Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers|
|5-7||Regular Show: Mothers Day Special -- All Moms will receive a gift|
|5-21||KISS -- King of Indiana Sprint Series, Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers|
|5-28||Regular Show plus Modified Lites|
|6-18||Regular Show plus Modified Lites|
|7-2||Fireworks Spectacular: Sprints, UMP Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers|
|7-9||Wolfpack Challenge, $1,000 to win, $100 to start; Sprints, SuperStocks, Bombers, Modified Lites|
|7-16||18th Annual Indiana Sprint Week, SuperStocks, Bombers|
|7-23||Sprints Special -- King of Non-Wing (Every Sprint car runs a feature), UMP Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers|
|8-13||19th Annual Putnamville Clash, $2,000 to win Sprints; UMP Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers, Modified Lites|
|9-3||End of the Summer Fireworks Extravaganza: Sprints, UMP Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers|
|9-10||Patriot 100, $2,000 to win, UMP Modifieds, SuperStocks, Bombers, Modified Lites; 50 bonus points for all classes excluding Modified Lites; more details to be forthcoming for SuperStocks and Bombers|
|9-17||Champions Night at LPS: Regular Show|