Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- After two weeks of weather disappointments, racing action finally won out over the rain as Lincoln Park Speedway made its debut on Saturday night.
Undoubtedly, sprint car hotshoe Casey Shuman would probably agree that the track was to his liking though he certainly wishes his fuel cell held a tad more fuel next go round.
Shuman started outside the front row alongside defending track champion Billy Puterbaugh as the A-Main gassed up.
Shuman took the point from the initial green flag and survived a couple of caution flags for the victory over Puterbaugh and Kenny Carmichael Sr. in the top-three.
But his arrival in Victory Lane was nearly cut short as he climbed from his car and proclaimed that he had run out of fuel on the final lap and had to get a push back to the pits in the Maxwell Industries, Sprint Mart machine.
Puterbaugh had Shuman in his sights for the entire feature, but each time a caution flag flew, Shuman was able to get on the throttle at precisely the right time and kept Puterbaugh guessing.
The final yellow came out with just one lap remaining and Shuman was able to get the jump on Puterbaugh and had just a few precious drops of fuel to spare heading across the finish line ahead of Puterbaugh.
Carmichael Sr. had his best race of the early season and was able to beat Kent Christian across the line with Blake Fitzpatrick in fifth, Robbie Rice in sixth, Shane Hollingsworth, Todd Kimmell, Aaron Mosley and Stephanie Tuttle rounded out the top-10.
Fitzpatrick came from 13th to take his top-five spot.
When it comes to UMP Modified racing at LPS, it's never wise to bet against No. 54.
Paul Bumgardner, the defending track champion, drove away late from the feature's early leader, Harry Shepherd, to take the opening night victory.
Bumgardner won his heat in the Spiker Excavating, Cardinal Contracting, Durabuilt Racing ride and started the feature outside Shepherd.
A first lap melee quickly brought out the yellow for several damaged cars, but Shepherd grabbed the lead on the re-start.
Bumgardner was hot in pursuit and was soon part of a side-by-side war with the Terre Haute competitor in the No. 35 Kessco Water sponsored modified.
Meanwhile, back in the pack, Daryl Herbert was starting near the tail of the 18-car field and began picking off competitors from the opening lap.
Bumgardner slipped underneath of Shepherd coming out of turn four to grab a slight advantage with Kenny Carmichael Sr. and the quickly arriving Herbert.
With laps quickly ticking off, Bumgardner was extending his advantage over Shepherd and Bradley Sterrett had joined the fray with Herbert and Carmichael. The group gave Shepherd all he could handle down the stretch, but Shepherd held down the second spot across the line.
Sterrett settled into the third spot ahead of Herbert and Carmichael. Harold Grayless took sixth, Gary Hall, Jaymie Turner, Mark Auler and Jeremy Edmondson wrapped the top-10.
Travis Shoulders won his heat race, but was unable to take his first row starting spot after suffering motor problems.
Mooresville's Chris Hillman decided to chase UMP Super Stock points this season and that decision brought him to Lincoln Park Speedway.
He seemed to be one of the first to figure out the quickest line around the track and won his heat race accordingly along with Greencastle's Curt Leonard.
Starting outside of row one, Hillman checked out from the rest of the field soon after the green dropped.
Leonard was left to deal with Doug McCullough and Kenny Carmichael Jr. along with Kris Starks down the stretch.
McCullough eventually took down the third spot followed by Carmichael, Starks, Joe Whisler, Travis Heramb, Joe Jeffries, Michael Beatty and Scott Carrington.
Hillman's win came in the Kay Hardwood Floors, Mooresville Welding BC Chassis No. 11.
The opening race of 2008 will be one that 16-year old Dustin Shoulders remembers for a long while.
Shoulders staged a spirited dual with defending track champion Lloyd Walls throughout the main event.
Shoulders, who made his debut during the final month of last season, has quickly made an impression amongst his peers.
On Saturday, Shoulders roared to the top and overcame a late race bobble that lost him several spots before a caution flag came out.
On the re-start, Shoulders jumped to the top and took over the lead ahead of Walls, C.J. Bryan and David Daniels. David Wallen of Brazil, placed fifth in the feature after winning his heat race. Gary Long began the second-five ahead of Kevin Kemp, Michael Thompson, Stacey Shepherd and Josh Ford.
Next week will be "Salute to Cloverdale Night" with anyone with a Cloverdale residence and a state-issued ID receiving $2 off admission. Sprints, modifieds, super stocks and bombers are on the card.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint Car Feature
|1.||Casey Shuman, 2. Billy Puterbaugh, 3. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 4. Kent Christian, 5. Blake Fitzpatrick, 6. Robbie Rice, 7. Shane Hollingsworth, 8. Todd Kimmell, 9. Aaron Mosley, 10. Stephanie Tuttle, 11. Shawn Krockenberger, 12. Kevin Studley, 13. Danny Pollock, 14. Andrew Prather, 15. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 16. Mark Nieft Jr., 17. Eric Krockenberger, 18. Joey Moughan|
Heat winners: Billy Puterbaugh, Casey Shuman
UMP Modified feature
|1.||Paul Bumgardner, 2. Harry Shepherd, 3. Bradley Sterrett, 4. Daryl Herbert, 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Harold Grayless, 7. Gary Hall, 8. Jaymie Turner, 9. Mark Auler, 10. Jeremy Edmondson, 11. Josh Edmondson, 12. Jared Hix, 13. David Kingery Jr., 14. Tony Helton, 15. Phil VanSant, 16. Robert Albright, 17. Travis Shoulders, 18. Garry Ricketts|
Heat winners: Travis Shoulders, Paul Bumgardner
Super Stock Feature
|1.||Chris Hillman, 2. Curt Leonard, 3. Dough McCullough, 4. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 5. Kris Starks, 6. Joe Whisler, 7. Travis Heramb, 8. Joe Jeffries, 9. Michael Beatty, 10. Scott Carrington, 11. David Bumgardner, 12. Derek Doub, 13. Elijah Himinger, 14. Dan McCullough|
Heat winners: Curt Leonard, Chris Hillman
|1.||Dustin Shoulders, 2. Lloyd Walls, 3. C.J. Bryan, 4. David Daniels, 5. David Wallen, 6. Gary Long, 7. Kevin Kemp, 8. Michael Thompson, 9. Stacey Shepherd, 10. Josh Ford, 11. Marc Yakel, 12. Brad Neese, 13. Ron Wallen Jr., 14. Ron Smith, 15. Dallas King, 16. Ryan Freeland, 17. Ron Wallen Sr. 18. Sean Yakel|
Heat winners: David Wallen, Lloyd Walls