Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- Saturday was champions night at Lincoln Park Speedway as the season points races were decided in all four classes at the Putnamville oval.
Dickie Gaines has been a top competitor every week that he's been at LPS and on Saturday he came home with his sixth feature win of the season. However, it was Shane Hollingsworth's consistency, coupled with several wins of his own, that allowed him to pick up the championship over Chris Babcock, 1,129 to 1,002. Gaines was close behind however, racking up 988 points despite missing a few races throughout the season.
Last week's winner, Wes McIntyre, won the first heat race of the night and was followed by Ethan Barrow and Jared Fox, who was piloting Jon Sciscoe's familiar red No. 7.
Shawn Krockenberger captured the B-main feature ahead of Conner Donelson and Lance Grimes.
In the A-main, Kent Christian and Fox started out front, however, Barrow was in row two alongside McIntyre.
The feature got underway, but didn't stay green for very long as Barrow took a hard tumble in turn three to bring out the red flag. He was later transported to the hospital for further examination.
Once the race resumed, McIntyre took the point and led the first handful of laps as Gaines lined him up in the crosshairs from the second position. Christian, Fox, Hollingsworth and Todd Keen were jockeying for the third spot in a tight pack.
McIntyre remained smooth out front, however, Gaines was coming full bore behind him with designs on ending a late season string of bad luck.
However, he wasn't to be denied on Saturday, Gaines reeled McIntyre in over the next few laps and made the pass for the lead coming through turns one and two. Gaines opened up a solid lead over the top-five as Hollingsworth and Keen battled for a couple of laps before Hollingsworth was able to assume third with Bub Cummings, Fox, Kenny Carmichael Jr. and Tyler Waltz in the top-10.
With Gaines entering lapped traffic, Hollingsworth began to close on the bottom after passing McIntyre for the runner-up spot. Hollingsworth ate into Gaines' lead over the final five laps and had closed with a couple of car lengths as the white flag flew. However, it was Gaines' turn to celebrate in victory lane for the sixth time at LPS, holding off Hollingsworth and McIntyre. Cummings and Christian made up the top-five with Grimes, Krockenberger, Keen, Carmichael Jr. and Troy Link rounding out the top-10.
The UMP Modified points race proved to be a bit anti-climactic as Paul Bumgardner had wrapped up the title several weeks earlier, but he put an exclamation point on the win with a feature victory on Saturday.
Bumgardner and Jimmy Hayden were bumper-to-bumper early on during the feature, each making their way through several early lap pile-ups that collected Chris Brewer and Don Kiger along with Mark Grosvener, Dane Tilstra and Jim Bailey in separate incidents.
Bumgardner opened up a small gap ahead of Hayden as Brian Hayden joined the leaders as a big pack fought over fourth-place. Josh Boller, Arby Burton, Craig Conyer and B-main winner, Wes McClara were in the mix for that top-five position.
Meanwhile, up front, Bumgardner was flawless on the top and wasn't going to be caught despite a determined effort from both Haydens. The Greencastle, Ind. native cruised to the victory in the Cardinal Contracting, Durabuilt Racing, Bumgardner's Auto & Truck Repair No. 54. Jimmy Hayden, Brian Hayden, Boller, Conyer, Burton, McClara, Randy Millburn, Kevin Davis and Chris Brewer made up the top-10.
Bumgardner has won nine modified features this season and also two super stock main events.
Bumgardner topped Carlos Bumgardner in the points race, 1,339 to 1,165 with Conyer in third, Boller in fourth and McClara in fifth.
In the UMP Super Stock feature, no one has been hotter than Chris Hillman as the season winds to a close.
Hillman picked up his third straight win at Lincoln Park, edging out Steve Peeden by a mere couple of feet at the finish line. However, it was the consistency of Kenny Carmichael Sr. that helped him score the points title over Brazil's Slick Griffin, 1,307 to 1,240 as Doug McCullough, Kris Starks and Kenny Carmichael Jr. in fifth.
The feature was practically a two-car race throughout as Hillman and Peeden battled lap-after-lap as several cautions broke up the action. Over the second half of the race though, Hillman held the point with Peeden working the bottom with success.
The last three laps, Peeden got more and more bite coming out of turn four on the bottom, pulling even with Hillman. However, it was the final lap that had fans on the edge of their seats as Peeden nosed into the lead off the last corner. However, Hillman had enough momentum on the top to carry him to the narrow win.
Josh Burton was third ahead of McCullough, Carmichael Jr., Roy Bruce Jr., Carmichael Sr., Starks, Travis Heramb and Tony Arthur.
In the bomber class, Dustin Shoulders has been about as dominating as a driver can, but the points race was the closest of any, coming down to the final two weeks.
Shoulders earned his 14th feature win of the season on Saturday night, but needed a little misfortune over the final month from C.J. Bryan to squeeze out a 1,335 to 1,298 with Ron Wallen Sr. in third with 1,231. J.R. Watkins was fourth and Lloyd Walls fifth.
On Saturday, Shoulders got past Jim Litton and Bryan late in the feature to pick up the victory. Shoulders and Litton were side-by-side for several laps before Shoulders made the decisive pass for the win. Bryan came home third with Bob Farris and Kevin Kemp in fifth. Tom Courtney, Ron Wallen Sr., Josh Fagg, David Wallen and Frank Cotton were in the top-10.
Next weekend will be the final event of the season with an on-track awards presentation, a bonfire and Fan Appreciation Party following the race. General admission in $13 with kids 10-and-under free.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Final points night
Sprint car feature
1. Dickie Gaines, 2. Shane Hollingsworth, 3. Wes McIntyre, 4. Bub Cummings, 5. Kent Christian, 6. Lance Grimes, 7. Shawn Krockenberger, 8. Todd Keen, 9. Kenny Carmichael Jr. 10. Troy Link, 11. Jared Fox, 12. Conner Donelson, 13. Dustin Waggoner, 14. Jake Scott, 15. Eric Krockenberger, 16. Daylan Chambers, 17. Tyler Waltz, 18. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 19. Aaron Mosley, 20. Ethan Barrow
B-main winner: Shawn Krockenberger
Heat winners: Wes McIntyre, Ethan Barrow, Jared Fox
UMP Modified feature
1. Paul Bumgardner, 2. Jimmy Hayden, 3. Brian Hayden, 4. Josh Boller, 5. Craig Conyer, 6. Arby Burton, 7. Wes McClara, 8. Randy Millburn, 9. Kevin Davis, 10. Chris Brewer, 11. Mark Grosvener, 12. Kevin Gummere, 13. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 14. John Hipps, 15. Dan Lewellen Sr., 16. Donald Kiger, 17. Jim Bailey, 18. John Grenier Jr., 19. Dane Tilstra, 20. Brad Robinson
B-main winner: Wes McClara
Heat winners: Paul Bumgardner, Jimmy Hayden, Carlos Bumgardner Sr.
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Chris Hillman, 2. Steve Peeden, 3. Josh Burton, 4. Doug McCullough, 5. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 6. Roy Bruce Jr., 7. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 8. Kris Starks, 9. Travis Heramb, 10. Tony Arthur, 11. Don Duncan, 12. Jamie Adams, 13. Josh Foxworthy, 14. Slick Griffin, 15. Mike Staggs, 16. Brian Kempf, 17. Bruce Stantz, 18. Danny Harris, 19. Joe Starks, 20. Scott Tidwell
B-main winner: Tony Arthur
Heat winners: Mike Staggs, Steve Peeden, Danny Harris
1. Dustin Shoulders, 2. Jim Litton Jr., 3. C.J. Bryan, 4. Bob Farris, 5. Kevin Kemp, 6. Tom Courtney, 7. Ron Wallen Sr., 8. Josh Fagg, 9. David Wallen, 10. Frank Cotton, 11. J.R. Watkins, 12. Josh Presley, 13. Alan Bassett, 14. Josh Litton, 15. Jason Thornburg, 16. Kenny Treash, 17. Chad Nolte, 18. Ron Smith, 19. Joe Jeffries, 20. Sally Yakel, 21. Lloyd Walls, 22. Will Fagg, 23. Corey Gregory, 24. Ben Williams, 25. Larry Shelly Jr., 26. Jake Hodge, 27. Ian Keller, 28. Jeff Cast
B-main winners: Josh Presley, Joe Jeffries
Heat winners: Dustin Shoulders, C.J. Bryan, Jim Litton Jr., Lloyd Walls