Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. -- Beautiful warm weather greeted fans and racers alike at Lincoln Park Speedway Saturday night. With temperatures hovering around 80 degrees and plenty of sunshine, fans got to work on their tans and see some top notch racing at the Putnamville oval over the weekend.
While Hoosiers don't often see such perfect weather this early in the spring, the conditions were perfect for San Jose, Calif., native, Thomas Meseraull.
T-Mez as he has become nicknamed, unloaded the Indy Race Parts, Chances Are Showclub black No. 5 sprint car for his first foray at LPS.
He'll likely remember the visit for quite some time as Meseraull jumped to the point in the early laps of the A-Main and was able to power his way to victory over defending track champion, Billy Puterbaugh.
Kyle Robbins claimed the opening heat of the evening by holding off Jesse Cramer and Kenny Carmichael Sr. In the third heat, Blake Fitzpatrick, sponsored by First Financial Bank, held off Puterbaugh and Casey Shuman.
Cramer pushed off on the pole alongside Fitzpatrick, but from the green flag, it was Meseraull who got the jump.
Powered by a Clayton Engine, Meseraull left the competition to sort themselves out early as Fitzpatrick was charged with holding his spot ahead of Hughes, Shuman and Kimmell.
The first caution came near the mid-point as B-Main winner, Brandon Mattox, spun in turn four. The re-start didn't last too long either as Troy Link jumped a tire off four and got upside down. The veteran walked away under his own power, though considerably unhappy about the premature ending to his night.
With 12 laps into the books, Meseraull remained out front on the re-start as Puterbaugh threw a slidejob at Fitzpatrick into turn three. He was able to make the pass stick and moved into second-place as Kimmell and Shuman kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. The pair of young hotshoes went wheel-to-wheel for several laps as laps wound down before Kimmell was able to take the fourth finishing spot. Shuman stayed in fifth as Hughes took sixth ahead of Hollingsworth, Cramer and Mark Perry III crossed the finish line in 10th.
T-Mez was plenty excited to take the win and turned a half dozen celebratory donuts at both ends of the oval. Meseraull, afterall, has plenty to celebrate after a LPS victory and his upcoming wedding on May 12. The trophy and the winners' share of the purse should make for a nice wedding gift.
In the modified feature, there were no gifts given in feature action.
Travis Shoulders certainly earned his UMP Modified victory on Saturday, putting on a thrilling show for the fans with last week's winner, Daryl Herbert.
The two were nearly attached at the door over the second half of the feature and the two raced cleanly and quickly through and around lapped traffic in a race to the checkers.
Shoulders held off Herbert, who had gotten nearly even coming off turn four. But it was Shoulders who was able to outdrag Herbert to the line in the Cardinal Contracting, Durabuilt Racing machine.
Paul and Carlos Bumgardner weren't to be outdone either, waging their won turf war for third-place. In the end, it was the defending track champion, Paul Bumgardner, who was able to hold off the challenge for the spot. Carlos Bumgardner took fourth ahead of Doug Bryant Jr., Phil VanSant, Albert Gardner, Scott Ricketts, Jaymie Turner and Gary Hall.
There was plenty of excitement in victory lane on Saturday night, especially in the Ump Super Stock division, as Scott Carrington piloted the Precision Outdoor Care, Superior Towing, No. 84 to the first win of his career.
Carrington led wire-to-wire in the feature, beating Mark Dickerson to the finish line. Doug McCullough led Kris Starks and Greg Amick to the line after a sometimes three-wide battle over the final laps. Mark Blalock was sixth ahead of Cullen Goodman, Harry Shepherd, Travis Heramb and Joe Starks rounded out the top-10.
In the final feature of the night it was Ryan Freeland claiming a victory over the determined efforts of Ron Wallen Sr. and C.J. Bryan.
Freeland had his hands full for most of the race with Dustin Shoulders and C.J. Bryan as a three-wide door banger developed amongst the three. However, with one lap remaining, David Daniels joined the fray and all four went for the same spot into turn one where Daniels made contact with the left rear quarterpanel of Shoulders spinning the No. 65.
Both drivers were forced to the back of the field, leaving Freeland to cross the line for the victory.
Freeland's win came in the Teresa Wyeth Designs, Fleece Insurance, North Salem Food Plaza-sponsored bomber. Ron Smith was fourth ahead of Ron Wallen Jr., Chuck Walden, Josh Presely, Doug Dunagan, David Daniels and Daylan Chambers.
Next week will be a regular card of sprint cars, UMP Modifieds, UMP Super Stocks along with bombers. Residents of Cloverdale with a state-issued ID will receive $2 off admission. Main gates open at 4:30 p.m. with hot laps at 5:30 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m.
Admission is $13 for adults, kids ages 6-10 are $5 and those five-and-under are free.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Billy Puterbaugh, 3. Blake Fitzpatrick, 4. Todd Kimmell, 5. Casey Shuman, 6. J.J. Hughes, 7. Shane Hollingsworth, 8. Jesse Cramer, 9. Mark Perry III, 10. Jason Holt, 11. Dusty Wright, 12. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 13. Brandon Mattox, 14. Kenny Niflis, 15. Danny Holtsclaw, 16. Russ Harper, 17. Kyle Robbins, 18. Ty Deckard, 19. Troy Link, 20. Kenny Carmichael Sr.
B-main winner: Brandon Mattox
Heat winners: Kyle Robbins, Thomas Meseraull, Blake Fitzpatrick
UMP Modified feature
1. Travis Shoulders, 2. Daryl Herbert, 3. Paul Bumgardner, 4. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 5. Doug Bryant Jr., 6. Phil VanSant, 7. Albert Gardner, 8. Scott Ricketts, 9. Jaymie Turner, 10. Gary Hall, 11. Harold Grayless, 12. Wayne Cooper, 13. Chris Martin, 14. Josh Fagg, 15. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 16. Jared Hix, 17. Josh Edmondson, 18. Kenny Weaver
Heat winners: Daryl Herbert, Paul Bumgardner
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Scott Carrington, 2. Mark Dickerson, 3. Doug McCullough, 4. Kris Starks, 5. Greg Amick, 6. Mark Blalock, 7. Cullen Goodman, 8. Harry Shepherd, 9. Travis Heramb, 10. Joe Starks, 11. Dennis Morgan, 12. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 13. Michael Conner, 14. Elijah Heminger, 15. Tony Erdly
Heat winners: Michael Conner, Kenny Carmichael Jr.
1. Ryan Freeland, 2. Ron Wallen Sr., 3. C.J. Bryan, 4. Ron Smith, 5. Ron Wallen Jr., 6. Chuck Walden, 7. Josh Presley, 8. Doug Dunagan, 9. David Daniels, 10. Daylan Chambers, 11. Ben Williams, 12. Dustin Shoulders, 13. Marlin Burns, 14. Josh Fagg, 15. Corey Gregory, 16. David Wallen, 17. Cullen Sandusky, 18. Richard Watkins
Heat winners: David Daniels, Ben Williams