Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- Cooler than usual temperatures and a few sprinkles of rain weren't enough to dampen the spirits of race fans that came out to support Lincoln Park Speedway's return from a two-week, rain induced hiatus.
A strong car count unloaded in the pits and enjoyed one of the top racing surfaces of the season at the Putnamville oval.
Twenty-four sprint cars were on hand and gunning for a feature victory and that included California 16-year old, Keith Bloom Jr., who was making his second appearance of the year at LPS.
Travis Welpott and Russ Harper started on the front row ahead of Billy Puterbaugh Jr. and Casey Shuman.
Drivers and fans alike endured several early cautions as Cole Carter was forced to the back of the field after some early contact and Bloom Jr. was going to have his hands full after a lap one spin put him to the back of the field as well.
Harper took charge over the early laps of the main event with Shuman, Welpott and Puterbaugh all jockeying for the second spot.
With just nine laps scored, a caution reset the field once more as Mark Harden and Chris Kopczynski were sidelined.
On the re-start, Harper led Shuman, Puterbaugh and Hollingsworth to the line with all four bunched in a tight battle. Harper edged out a bit as Shuman had a tenuous grip on second with Puterbaugh close behind.
As the leaders hammered their way into turn one, Shuman rode hard into the cushion, getting a little too sideways and went over as Puterbaugh avoided heavy contact, but came to a halt and would be forced to re-start from the back. Shuman was okay, however, his night came to a premature close.
Harper maintained the lead as the green waved just past the mid-point, Bobby Stines had roared up into third after starting deep in the field and Bloom Jr. had made his way back to the fourth position with some nifty work.
Hollingsworth had designs on taking the lead away from Harper and he finally got his chance as the remaining laps dwindled. Harper broke loose a bit between turns one and two and got too sideways, losing momentum. Hollingsworth shot by as Harper recovered to stay in third as Bloom Jr. took over second.
Welpott brought out the final caution of the A-Main after spinning in turn four, which set up a five-lap dash for the cash.
Hollingsworth led Bloom Jr., Harper, Carter, Kimmel and Stines to the green and held the top spot to the white flag. This time it was Bloom's turn for some good fortune as Hollingsworth left a little daylight on the top in the final circuit and Bloom Jr. shot around him for a last lap dazzler.
The win for the California youngster is his first 410-sprint win in Indiana and came in the Abreu Vineyards, Epperson Bros., Indy Race Parts sponsored machine.
Hollingsworth maintained second ahead of Harper, Carter, Stines, Puterbaugh, Carmichael Sr., Kimmel, Troy Link, Kenny Carmichael Jr. and Ray Humphrey.
Puterbaugh maintains a sizable points lead (604) with Kimmel (496) slipping past Kent Christian (485).
In UMP Modified action, Kenny Carmichael Sr. was able to break the nearly season long stranglehold that Paul Bumgardner and Travis Shoulders have had on feature victories.
Since the season opener was won by Daryl Herbert, Shoulders has posted three wins and Bumgardner has taken five.
On Saturday night, it was Carmichael who ran a flawless race, leading wire-to-wire and holding off a Bulldog-like challenge from Bumgardner the entire race.
The pair battled from the opening flag ahead of C.J. Bryan and Carlos Bumgardner in a battle with Jared Hix and Mark Auler.
As the laps ticked by late in the feature, Bumgardner slowly reeled in Carmichael for a last chance at a dramatic pass. Carlos Bumgardner had slipped into third-place holding off Phil VanSant's charge followed by Bryan.
Hix and Jaymie Turner made contact to bring out a caution and ending both of the drivers' evenings.
On the late restart, Carmichael held on to the lead as the two-to-go signal was given. Carmichael rocked the cushion and kept Bumgardner at bay as the white flag came out. Bumgardner gave one last shot at the pass, but simply ran out of room as Carmichael took the checkers for his first win of the season in the Carmichael's Exhaust, Bud and Son's Auto, L&R Roofing, Specialty Grafix and Kessco Water modified. Bumgardner maintained his points lead with a second-place followed by Carlos Bumgardner, VanSant, Bryan, Gary Hall, Josh Fagg, Mike Trimble, Brian Kempf and Tony Helton.
A season-high 27 super stocks took to the track on Saturday night and it was Brazil's Slick Griffin that held off a strong battle with Cullen Goodman and Travis Heramb for his second straight feature win.
An early pileup sent points leader, Greg Amick to the pits along with Kris Starks and left Heramb with the early lead.
However, Griffin charged up to challenge Heramb and eventually make the pass at the halfway point of the feature. Goodman was able to follow Griffin and stay side-by-side down to the wire. With one lap remaining, Goodman's nose actually was ahead of Griffin at the start/finish line, but Griffin was able to maintain a powerful run off the top of turn four to beat Goodman to the checkers in the Hoosier Towing, Griffin Auto Salvage, Budda Transmissions and Bonewell Racing Engines machine.
The annual Bomber Bash feature wrapped up the evening and it was Dustin Shoulders holding the trophy at the end of the night. Marlin Burns came from seventh-place to challenge Shoulders before settling for second ahead of Bryan, Ryan Freeland, Chad Nolte, Josh Settles, Chuck Walden, Josh Fagg, David Wallen and Ron Wallen Jr.
Shoulders is sponsored by Nutra Lawn, Creative Trailer Products and Curtis Garage and Wrecker.
Lincoln Park Speedway will be off next weekend as the Brickyard 400 takes centerstage before re-opening on August 1.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
|1.||Keith Bloom Jr., 2. Shane Hollingsworth, 3. Russ Harper, 4. Cole Carter, 5. Bobby Stines, 6. Billy Puterbaugh Jr., 7. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 8. Todd Kimmell, 9. Troy Link, 10. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 11. Ray Humphrey, 12. Travis Welpott, 13. Eric Krockenberger, 14. Casey Shuman, 15. Brandon Mattox, 16. Mark Harden, 17. Shawn Krockenberger, 18. Chris Kopczynski, 19. Michael Fischesser, 20. Wil Newlin|
B-main winner: Bobby Stines
Heat winners: Shuman, Puterbaugh, Harper
UMP Modified feature
|1.||Kenny Carmichael Sr., 2. Paul Bumgardner, 3. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 4. Phil VanSant, 5. C.J. Bryan, 6. Gary Hall, 7. Josh Fagg, 8. Mike Trimble, 9. Brian Kempf, 10. Tony Helton, 11. Mark Auler, 12. Bradley Sterrett, 13. Jaymie Turner, 14. Jared Hix, 15. Albert Bumgardner, 16. Josh Edmondson, 17. Travis Shoulders, 18. Tom McKinney, 19. Doug Bryant Jr., 20. Dan Lewellen, 21. Paul Wright|
Heat winners: Carmichael Sr., Shoulders, Bryan
UMP Super Stock feature
|1.||Slick Griffin, 2. Cullen Goodman, 3. Travis Heramb, 4. Doug McCullough, 5. Travis Butler, 6. Stefan Lathan, 7. Doug Flynn Jr., 8. Joe Starks, 9. Mark Dickerson, 10. Michael Conner, 11. Doug DeMoss, 12. Chris Bennett, 13. Tami Lawson, 14. Harry Shepherd, 15. Scott Carrington, 16. A.J. Smith, 17. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 18. Gary Archer, 19. Kris Starks, 20. Greg Amick, 21. Jacob Wright|
B-main winner: Butler
Heat winners: Heramb, Griffin, Amick
|1.||Dustin Shoulders, 2. Marlin Burns, 3. C.J. Bryan, 4. Ryan Freeland, 5. Chad Nolte, 6. Josh Settles, 7. Chuck Walden, 8. Josh Fagg, 9. David Wallen, 10. Ron Wallen Jr., 11. Ron Wallen Sr., 12. Ron Smith, 13. Cullen Sandusky, 14. Robert Corbin, 15. Josh Presley, 16. Ronald Blake, 17. Richard Watkins, 18. Jordan Almanza, 19. Corey Gregory, 20. Michael Thompson, 21. Dallas King|
B-main winner: Corbin
Heat winners: Bryan, Nolte, Thompson, Shoulders