Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- Thomas Meseraull hasn't turned nearly as many laps at Lincoln Park Speedway as many of the weekly competitors that regularly compete at the 5/16th mile dirt oval in Putnamville.
However, he's made nearly every one of them count.
On Saturday night, Meseraull hit the dirt in veteran sprint car owner, Paul Hazen's familiar, Bud's Auto Sales, Keco Coatings, K&N Filters, Kircher Engines, Physical Medicine Consultant, No. 57 sprinter. Though it was just his second night in the car, Meseraull claimed the victory in a hard fought battle with Kent Christian, Russ Harper and Dickie Gaines.
With the win, Meseraull is 2-for-2 at LPS this season after winning on April 25 in his only other visit. Since then, Meseraull has gotten married to wife, Taryn, who was in attendance this time around.
The win wasn't easy for Meseraull, who had to battle past a couple of veteran hotshoes in front of him to grab the lead.
Todd Kimmell got the start on the pole, but caught a rut in turn one of the first circuit and had to reign in a series of bounces that nearly put him upside down. The caution sent him to the back of the field and forced a re-start.
When the green flag came down once again, Harper and Christian locked up side-by-side for several laps dicing and slicing for the top spot. Behind them, Kimmell hadn't let his opening lap ride deter him from dropping the hammer and flying back up to eighth position just a handful of laps into the A-Main.
Not to be left out of the mix, back-to-back LPS feature winner, Billy Puterbaugh, coming off a $2,800 payday for his win Friday in Gas City Speedway's Mid-Season Doubler event, was threading his way through the field.
Puterbaugh suffered a flat tire in his heat race, which put him in the back of the field for the feature. After a late race caution, Puterbaugh had fought his way to sixth, one spot behind Kimmell as Christian maintained the top spot. Harper was second ahead of Meseraull and Gaines.
On the restart, Harper Meseraull descended upon Christian in a three-wide battle for the lead. Christian was able to originally hold off the first challenge, but Meseraull jumped to the top and snatched the lead moments before a caution returned the lead back to Christian.
On the restart, Christian and Meseraull went side-by-side to thrill the crowd with Meseraull edging past for the lead with just a few laps remaining. Harper lost some ground in the battle, but remained third at the checkers ahead of Gaines, Puterbaugh and Kimmell at the line. Kenny Carmichael Jr. took seventh ahead of Stines, A.J. Martin and Ray Humphrey.
In the UMP Modified feature, Paul Bumgardner continued his impressive run this season by garnering his third straight win and fifth overall at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Bumgardner came forward from fourth place at the start and survived a four-way battle for the top spot with Mark Auler, Gary Hall and Clint DeMoss.
Once he got free, Demoss and Bumgardner were door-to-door for the first half of the A-Main as Travis Shoulders moved to fourth-place with Kenny Carmichael Sr. in contention as well.
Unfortunately for both Shoulders and Carmichael, flat tires ended the night for both during a late caution for Charley Waldon.
On the restart, Bumgardner opened up some distance on DeMoss, who in turn, had a several car length lead over Auler. Phil VanSant had marched up to fourth from his 13th-place starting position. Behind him, Hall and Dan Lewellen battled for fifth with Paul Wright.
Bumgardner survived a trip through several lapped cars over the final two laps to take the win ahead of DeMoss, Auler, VanSant and Hall. Wright was sixth ahead of Lewellen, Walden, Steve Carpenter and Brian Kempf.
Bumgardner added to his points lead in the Cardinal Contracting, Bumgardner's Auto and Track Repair, Durabuilt Racing, Lightning Chassis machine.
In the UMP Super Stock feature, $500 was on the line to the winner of the Summer Sizzler.
Slick Griffin jumped out from the pole to start the feature with Greg Amick, Kris Starks and Kenny Carmichael Jr. bunched together.
With 30 laps on the docket, the feature was as much about endurance as speed. Griffin set the pace early as Amick assumed a very challenged second ahead of Starks, Tami Lawson and Doug Flynn Jr.
Heading into the second half of the marathon, Amick had caught Griffin and pulled even. The two struggled for the advantage for several laps before Amick dove under Griffin for the lead just past the halfway mark.
A red flag for a possible engine fire by Dennis Morgan halted action and Starks was forced to the pits with obvious damage to the front end. Carmichael Jr. was forced out with a broken front end after a strong early run.
On the restart, Amick got a great jump and used it to his advantage as Griffin and Lawson had their own battle. Cullen Goodman had moved to the top of the track and found a great line and a wealth of momentum and charged up to third position.
Amick was able to hold off a final challenge by Griffin with Goodman in third, Lawson and Flynn Jr. wrapped the top-five. Doug McCullough moved up to sixth, Joe Starks was seventh ahead of Doug DeMoss, Michael Conner and Mike Callahan.
Amick was also able to strengthen his points lead in the K&S Roll Off, Liberty Bail Bonds, Auto Heaven, Eagle's and One For All sponsored super stock.
In the final race of the night, Ryan Freeland made a return to victory lane after winning twice earlier this season.
He put the No. 72, Fleece Insurance, Turf Pro, Teresa Wyeth Desins, North Salem Food Plaza sponsored bomber in victory lane ahead of C.J. Bryan and a strong run by Chuck Walden.
Freeland managed lapped traffic during the early stages of the race and a side-by-side tussle with Walden early. Dustin Shoulders had a good run going, moving into a top-three spot before being collected in a collision with a lapped car.
On the re-start, Freeland pulled away as Bryan jumped into second with Walden ahead of Josh Settles and Ron Smith. Ron Wallen Sr. settled into sixth ahead of Ron Wallen Jr., Chad Nolte, Jack Campbell and Cory Williamson in the top-10.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Kent Christian, 3. Russ Harper, 4. Dickie Gaines, 5. Billy Puterbaugh, 6. Todd Kimmell, 7. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 8. Bobby Stines, 9. A.J. Martin, 10. Ray Humphrey, 11. Doug Heck, 12. Mark Harden, 13. Cam Schafer, 14. James Bradshaw, 15. Michael Fischesser, 16. Shane Hollingsworth, 17. Chris Kopczynski, 18. Jeff Wimmenauer, 19. Kurt Gross
Heat winners: Todd Kimmell, Dickie Gaines, Russ Harper
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Clint DeMoss, 3. Mark Auler, 4. Phil VanSant, 5. Gary Hall, 6. Paul Wright, 7. Dan Lewellen, 8. Charley Walden, 9. Steve Carpenter, 10. Brian Kempf, 11. Josh Fagg, 12. Travis Shoulders, 13. Kenny Carmichael Jr. 14. Doug Bryant Jr., 15. Josh Edmondson, 16. Davis Lawson, 17. Jared Hix, 18. Garry Ricketts, 19. Michael Beatty, 20. Bradley Sterrett, 21. C.J. Bryan
Heat winners: Travis Shoulders, Jared Hix, Paul Bumgardner
UMP Super Stocks
1. Greg Amick, 2. Slick Griffin, 3. Cullen Goodman, 4. Tami Lawson, 5. Doug Flynn Jr., 6. Doug McCullough, 7. Joe Starks, 8. Doug DeMoss, 9. Michael Conner, 10. Mike Callahan, 11. Elijah Heminger, 12. Travis Heramb, 13. Kris Starks, 14. Dennis Morgan, 15. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 16. Matt Jordan, 17. Jacob Wright, 18. Mark Dickerson
Heat winners: Slick Griffin, Doug Flynn Jr., Kenny Carmichael Jr.
1. Ryan Freeland, 2. C.J. Bryan, 3. Chuck Walden, 4. Josh Settles, 5. Ron Smith, 6. Ron Wallen Sr., 7. Ron Wallen Jr., 8. Chad Nolte, 9. Jack Campbell, 10. Cory Williamson, 11. Robert Corbin, 12. James Cass, 13. Art Heminger, 14. Josh Fagg, 15. Richard Watkins, 16. Dustin Shoulders, 17. Doug Dunagan, 18. David Wallen, 19. Dale Lewis, 20. Kevin Helton, 21. David Daniels
Heat winners: Ryan Freeland, Ron Wallen Sr., Chuck Walden