(Back) Curt Leonard and (foreground) Doug McCullough race for position during the early stages of the super stock feature at Lincoln Park Speedway. Leonard would go on to win the feature.
PUTNAMVILLE -- There was plenty to celebrate for Curt Leonard, Bobby Stines and Richie Lex. All three got their first wins of the season at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Stines has had some rough luck in sprint car action the past two seasons at LPS, but the 2004 track champion was on a rail Saturday night.
Terre Haute's Shawn Krockenberger made a strong bid for his second win of the year, leading from the green flag of the feature. After a first lap caution that ended the evening for Daren Krockenberger, Billy Puterbaugh and Jeremy Vanosky, Stines began his quest for the front from the sixth starting position.
Behind Krockenberger, Kenny Carmichael Jr., Kent Christian and (#99) ran in a pack, dueling for the runnerup spot. Stines set up against the top cushion and found the quick line and started heading to the top spot. He moved up a spot and hooked up in a side-by-side battle with Kent Christian for third.
Stines would get a huge run off the corner to slip past Christian, but a caution flag would negate the initial pass.
But on this night, there would be no denying Stines in his quest for the checkered flag.
Stines got solid position in front of Christian and would eventually make his move on the top past Carmichael as well. Making their way into lapped traffic, Krockenberger would briefly extend his margin two three car lengths, but Stines was simply too good on the top to let the lead stand. He quickly closed the gap, but the exciting battle to the wire was lost when Krockenberger suffered a mechanical problem coming out of turns one and two with only a few laps remaining.
The caution would come out with Stines up front where he would stay for the victory.
The win will give Stines a nice boost in the points standings where he stood 13th (213) heading into the night with Vanosky currently in eighth with 269 points.
Greencastle's Curt Leonard found his way to victory lane with a thrilling final lap pass of Kris Starks coming off turn four in street stock action.
Starks led the majority of the feature, holding a very tenuous lead around the bottom line of the track. He had Doug McCullough in tow along with Cullen Goodman over the first portion of the feature.
Leonard and Goodman narrowed Starks' advantage when he got a bit loose down the backstretch before a caution came out for a spin. On the restart, Leonard would work his way past McCullough around the outside with Starks holding fast to the bottom. The pair ran the final couple of laps door to door, before, on the final lap, Leonard drove just hard enough into turns three and four and got enough bite to overcome Starks at the line.
The win moves the fourth place season point man, Leonard, a bit closer to the top in the Spiker Excavating, Classic Flooring, Black Diamond Contracting and Therese Cunningham sponsored machine.
In the modified division, Lex has had his struggles this season, but could be turning his fate around with his win heading into the Wolfpack Challenge next Saturday.
Lex was able to get out front early from the outside of the front row and never looked back, holding off challenges from Phil VanSant, Larry Raines and Paul Bumgardner over the final laps for the victory.
In the bomber class, Richie Hawkins led wire-to-wire for the victory that will boost him back to the season points lead as Kenny Carmichael Jr. suffered mechanical problems during the opening laps of the feature.
Hawkins, Ron Wallen Jr., Lloyd Walls, Marlin Burns all separated themselves from the main pack followed by Ron Wallen Sr., and Travis Heramb.
Hawkins would hold off the pack to take the feature victory and advance into the season points lead.
The Wolfpack Challenge for UMP Modifieds will be next week along with super stocks, sprint cars and bombers.