Mother Nature may have provided a week long soaking for the midstate, but she finally relaxed her rainy grip on Saturday so that area racing fans could enjoy some excellent racing at Lincoln Park Speedway this week.
The crew at LPS worked long and hard to work the track into racing shape after a wet week leading up to Saturday's action, but the gates were open and the car count was excellent for the second weekend of racing at the 3/8 mile Putnamville track.
Thirty-seven sprint cars were on hand, including Bloomington regulars Jon Sciscoe, Kevin Briscoe, Brady Short and Bryan Clauson which provided some stout competition for the rest of the field.
Sciscoe had a rough opening to the evening when he took a tumble in turn one during heat race action. He, along with Briscoe both were sent to the B Main after not racing to a transfer spot in their heat races.
Both however would transfer out of the semi after Briscoe ran away from the competition in the B event to beat out Jared Fox, Short and Sciscoe who all moved on for a shot at the $1,200 payday in the feature.
Matt Brun would start from the pole for the main event with Terre Haute's Shawn Krockenberger on the outside of the front row. Kent Christian, who was fast all night and dominated his heat race, started alongside Brandon Petty.
Brun would jump out to the early lead ahead of Petty and Christian before the redflag came out for a flip in turn four by Krockenberger on the third circuit. He would emerge unscathed though his night was over prematurely.
On the restart, Petty and Burn would do battle up front for the lead and maintained their side-by-side battle before a caution slowed the race for a spin by Kenny Carmichael Jr. Clauson had moved up into contention from his ninth place starting spot but he would bring out the second redflag of the night when his Armstrong Farms mount got upside down in the middle of turns 3-4.
Amazingly enough, his ride was mostly undamaged and the gritty Noblesville teenager remained in the race that began to resemble a war of attrition in the latter stages.
When the race resumed, Petty would climb out to a solid lead ahead of Brun and Christian.
Kenny Carmichael Sr. would move into a fight for third place using the low line while Christian was quick around the top of the track. Christian would close the gap between himself and Brun and move into second place with four laps remaining. Petty retained the lead while his closest pursuers clashed for the runnerup spot. Christian held the spot briefly before he jumped the cushion off turn four and Brun briefly reclaimed the position. But as the white flag came out, Christian took back the second spot and was able to hold off the charging Brun at the stand with Petty taking the Reynolds Racing mount to his first win of the year.
Afterwards, Petty admitted he knew Christian was close on his heels.
"I knew Kent was back there," commented Petty. "I've known him for a long time, he's a great driver.
For Petty, who was semiretired for part of last year, the win was his first since winning last year's opener at Lincoln Park. "I just want to thank Reynolds Racing," said Petty. "They've really been out there spending the big bucks for the team and the crew has really done a great job with the car."
The fans were treated to another great feature in the modified division as a loaded crop of drivers came to compete.
Lincoln Park regular, Paul Bumgardner, got out of the gate quick but Ray Humphrey overtook him to take the point ahead of John Demoss and Ritchie Lex.
The group tangled for position over the first 10 laps of the race before a caution flag reset the field at the halfway point of the feature.
Humphrey retained the lead on the restart but Demoss was quick on the low groove. Gary Barrow moved up to fourth with Jeff Wellum close behind. The lead pack began to overtake lapped traffic and the battle for the top spot began to get tight for Humphrey and Demoss.
Demoss was able to squeeze past Humphrey to take the lead as the pair headed down the back stretch into the final five laps. However, Schuyler Nahre would spin in front of the leaders in turn four. Demoss was able to squeeze through but Humphrey had nowhere to go and was collected.
Humphrey was forced to the back of the field and Demoss was able to cruise to the win ahead of Bumgardner and Lex just nosed out Barrow at the flagstand for third place.
With the win, Demoss continues his early season hot streak that includes a win at Brownstown in the Hoosier Dirt Classic and a second at Bloomington.
"(Running out front) I was able to slow down a little," said Demoss. "We had quite a bit left at the end. I know Ray (Humphrey) pretty well, he's a great driver. "I just want to thank Serve Pro and Tate's Auto Center and Superior Towing."
Chris Hillman repeated his week one victory in the Super Stock class by holding off Carmichael for the win. The Camby, IN native took home a $1,000 check for his Spring Fling win at LPS two weeks ago and was once more in victory lane on Saturday.
The pair was able to skillfully maneuver their way through lapped traffic along with Dan McCullough, Kris Starks and Curt Leonard.
In the end, McCullough held on to third place followed by Greencastle's Leonard and Starks in fifth place.
In the Bomber Class, Harry Shepard was untouchable all night and cruised to a dominating victory in the feature event.
Shepard easily won his feature and started third in the feature behind Doug Klyn, who was on the pole, and John Thomas alongside him in the front row. Shepard started beside Gibb Hamm who would race his way to a second place finish ahead of Klyn, Thomas and Mike Moody.
Lincoln Park Speedway will be back in action next week featuring sprint cars, modifieds, super stocks and bombers.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint Car Feature
1. Brandon Petty, 2. Kent Christian, 3. Matt Brun, 4. Kenny Carmichael, 5. Mitch Cunningham, 6. A.J. Anderson, 7. Jon Sciscoe, 8. Jared Fox, 9. Brady Short, 10. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 11. Bryan Clauson, 12. Bobby Stines, 13. Aaron Mosley, 14. Dustin Beliles, 15. Brad Marvel, 16. Robb Botts, 17. Kevin Briscoe, 18. Kenny Lacey, 19. Doug Heck, 20. Shawn Krockenberger
Semi winner: Kevin Briscoe
1. John Demoss, 2. Paul Bumgardner, 3. Ritchie Lex, 4. Garry Barrow, 5. Jeff Wellum, 6. Carlos Bumgardner, 7. Tom Russell, 8. Craig Conyer, 9. Brad Robinson, 10. Matt McDonald, 11. Andy Bishop, 12. James Tumey, 13. Jimmy Hayden, 14. Jeremy Settles, 15. Tom Black, 16. Ray Humphrey, 17. Zach Fair, 18. Schuyler Nahre, 19. Gary Hall, 20. Cullen Goodman
Semi winner: Carlos Bumgardner
Super Stock Feature
1. Chris Hillman, 2. Kenny Carmichael, 3. Dan McCullough, 4. Curt Leonard, 5. Kris Starks, 6. Marty Cooper, 7. Jeff Wellum, 8. David Bumgardner, 9. Jerry Donica, 10. Joe Jeffries, 11. Jeff Starks, 12. Randy Lines, 13. Ron Roe, 14. Lloyd Bumgardner, 15. Bill Brewer, 16. Scott Warrington, 17. Randy Howe, 18. Donald Smiley
1. Harry Shepard, 2. Gib Hamm, 3. Doug Klyn, 4. John Thomas, 5. Mike Moody, 6. Derrall Smallwood, 7. David Bumgardner II, 8. David Wallen, 9. Mike Ham, 10. Phil O'Neal, 11. Mark Smith, 12. Travis Heramb, 13. Arvis Shepard, 14. Ron Smith, 15. Gary Long, 16. John Grenier, 17. Ron Wallen Jr., 18. Dustin Colvin, 19. Jeff Shepard, 20. Kevin Helton