Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- Rain has claimed plenty of weekly racing shows around the state this year and an early evening shower threatened to add another notch on Mother Nature's belt Saturday night.
However, some diligent work by Lincoln Park Speedway's track prep workers and some wheel packing by the sprint car drivers enabled a great show to be put on for the hardy fans at LPS.
Twenty-three sprint car drivers unloaded for the evening with Jeff Wimmenauer and Blair Julian making up the front row of the feature after claiming heat race victories. Dickie Gaines and Marc Arnold took the green from the second row, but it was Julian who looked strongest over the early circuits.
Julian caught a bit of an early break as he got sideways in turn four moments after the caution flew for Kevin Chambers. The break in the action also saw Shane Hollingsworth head to the pits.
The restart was brief as Julian continued to lead the field ahead of Wimmenauer and Arnold. Michael Fischesser got upside down off of turn one without injury, however, the red flag halted the race for several minutes.
When the green flew again, Kent Christian charged into contention along with Billy Puterbaugh. The pair duked it out with Wimmenauer and Arnold up front as Russ Harper and Bobby Stines put on a spirited battle ahead of Eric Burns and Todd Kimmell.
Julian opened up a little bit of space up front ahead of Christian and Puterbaugh before he looped the ICW No. 37 sprinter in turn four. The spin collected Christian in the mix, but Puterbaugh held onto the bottom and squeezed past and into the lead.
Just past the midway mark, Puterbaugh rocketed out to a sizable lead on the restart with Arnold holding off Wimmenauer and Jonathan Vennard, who had moved up from 10th place at the start.
A final caution came out with 20 laps scored in the books and Puterbaugh holding the point followed by Arnold, Vennard, Harper and Kimmell.
With the field re-set, Arnold gave Puterbaugh a final shot, but hauled the No. 4 sprinter a bit too quick into turn four and bounced sideways to lose momentum. Puterbaugh powered the Green's Truck and Auto, Church Bros., Zore's, Creative Design Embroidery machine to a repeat victory as Vennard took second ahead of the hard charging Kimmell who gained 10 spots from his starting position. Harper took fourth followed by Stines and Christian. Arnold settled for seventh with Prather, Wimmenauer and James Bradshaw wrapping up the top-10.
Paul Bumgardner has been tough to beat this season wherever he has unloaded and Saturday was no different.
The Greencastle modified pilot took second behind Kenny Carmichael Sr. in his heat race and with the invert, started on the pole alongside Paul Wright to start the A-Main.
Bumgardner assumed the point from the opening green with Carmichael glued to him. Behind the pair, Travis Shoulders, Clint DeMoss and Dustin Christie had a three-way slugfest in store for the fans.
Up front, Bumgardner and Carmichael were artfully weaving through lapped traffic at top speed before a late yellow.
On the restart, a pileup in turn two caught Harold Grayless, Christie, Steve Carpenter and Josh Fagg.
When the green waved once more, Bumgardner held on to the lead ahead of Carmichael over the final laps as DeMoss won the war with Shoulders for third-place. Bradley Sterrett came forward from 14th to grab fifth ahead of Mark Auler. Grayless was able to return to seventh followed by Dan Lewellen, Wright and Brian Kempf.
With the win in the Cardinal Contracting, Bumgardner's Auto and Track Repair, Durabuilt Racing, Lightning Chassis machine, Bumgardner edged back into the points lead by five ahead of Shoulders (430 to 425).
In the UMP Super Stock class, Greg Amick has been knocking on the door all season after winning four LPS features last year.
On Saturday, Amick took the lead early and was able to hold off early challenges from Slick Griffin and then Kenny Carmichael Jr. down the stretch for his first win of the year. Carmichael was the runner-up ahead of Tami Lawson, Griffin and Doug Flynn Jr. Michael Conner took sixth ahead of Cullen Goodman, Elijah Heminger, Tony Erdly and Joe Starks.
Amick continues to lead the points in the K&S Roll Off, Liberty Bail Bonds, Auto Heaven, Eagle's and One For All sponsored machine.
The final feature of the night saw Ben Williams claim his fourth A-Main of the year in the Specialty Grafix, Trump Stix, Franklin-built race car.
Williams was able to overtake C.J. Bryan over the final few laps after Ryan Freeland led the first half of the feature before heading to the pits with apparent mechanical problems. Bryan was able to hold on to second followed by Josh Fagg and Marlin Burns with Chad Nolte in fifth. Chuck Walden grabbed sixth followed by David Wallen, Ron Wallen Sr., Josh Settles and Art Heminger.
On Saturday, LPS will host the Super Stock Summer 30 with $500-to-win for the class and $50 to start the feature. There will also be sprints, UMP Modifieds and bombers in action.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
|1.||Billy Puterbaugh, 2. Jonathan Vennard, 3. Todd Kimmell, 4. Russ Harper, 5. Bobby Stines, 6. Kent Christian, 7. Marc Arnold, 8. Andrew Prather, 9. Jeff Wimmenauer, 10. James Bradshaw, 11. Robbie Shuttleworth, 12. Wesley Gordon, 13. Mark Harden, 14. Broc Burton, 15. Eric Burns, 16. Blair Julian, 17. Dickie Gaines, 18. Michael Fischesser, 19. Brandon Mattox, 20. Kevin Chambers, 21. Shane Hollingsworth|
Heat winners: Jeff Wimmenauer, Blair Julian, Kent Christian
UMP Modified feature
|1.||Paul Bumgardner, 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Clint DeMoss, 4. Travis Shoulders, 5. Bradley Sterrett, 6. Mark Auler, 7. Harold Grayless, 8. Dan Lewellen, 9. Paul Wright, 10. Brian Kempf, 11. David Lawson, 12. Steve Carpenter, 13. Scott Ricketts, 14. Josh Fagg, 15. Dustin Christie, 16. Phil VanSant, 17. Richie Lex, 18. Albert Gardner, 19. Doug Bryant Jr., 20. Gary Hall|
Heat winners: Kenny Carmichael Sr., Dustin Christie, Paul Wright
UMP Super Stock feature
|1.||Greg Amick, 2. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 3. Tami Lawson, 4. Slick Griffin, 5. Doug Flynn Jr., 6. Michael Conner, 7. Cullen Goodman, 8. Elijah Heminger, 9. Tony Erdley, 10. Joe Starks, 11. Mark Blalock, 12. Dennis Morgan, 13. Doug McCullough, 14. Travis Heramb, 15. Jacob Wright|
Heat winners: Slick Griffin, Greg Amick
|1.||Ben Williams, 2. C.J. Bryan, 3. Josh Fagg, 4. Marlin Burns, 5. Chad Nolte, 6. Chuck Walden, 7. David Wallen, 8. Ron Wallen Sr., 9. Josh Settles, 10. Art Heminger, 11. Cullen Sandusky, 12. Josh Presley, 13. Ron Wallen Jr., 14. Justin Clodfelter, 15. Ryan Freeland, 16. Jack Campbell, 17. Robert Corbin, 18. Ron Smith, 19. Russell Bennett, 20. Corey Gregory, 21. Daylan Chambers, 22. Sean Yakel|
Heat winners: Ryan Freeland, Ben Williams, C.J. Bryan