Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- Lincoln Park Speedway played host to 140 top race car drivers on Saturday night in the second evening of some exciting action at the scenic Putnamville oval. The annual "Patriot 100" for UMP Modifieds has quickly become a highlight of the LPS schedule and 43 of the most talented modified drivers were on hand looking to take home the big prize money and the bragging rights over his fellow competitors.
Brent Mullins, the winner of the inaugural "Patriot 100," had admittedly struggled some during the early months of the season, but he has certainly gotten it figured it out. Since putting together a new race car at the end of July, Mullins has raced 10 times since the beginning of August and placed first or second in seven of the races. The resurgence continued this weekend as Mullins added his third win of the season to the books.
"We've been struggling some the first half of the season, this is a brand new Hughes Chassis, we brought it out on a whole new suspension," Mullins said of some recent changes. "First half of the season we just couldn't do nothing with it. We changed it over about nine races ago and we've run in the top-two in eight of the nine nights. We're real pleased with it."
The Mt. Olive, Ill. native topped a very talented field of UMP Modifieds on Saturday night to claim the top prize of $3,000, dominating the final 50-plus laps to earn the win in the 100-lap marathon. Mullins held off UMP National Points leader Mike Harrison, Roger Mills, Clint DeMoss and Chad Kinder in the top-five.
In victory lane, Mullins talked about the details that go into winning a prestigious race like the "Patriot 100."
"You can have mechanical failures when you are running these cars so hard. They are hooked up so tight. You've always got your fingers crossed because anything can happen, but you've always got to have a little luck in a 100-lapper," Mullins said. "You come to one of these races with 40 or 50 modifieds and you take 20 of those guys and you are out there with some top-notch equipment. There's usually not many cautions, generally you hate to see those late cautions when you are leading the race.
"We're two-for-two (at Lincoln Park Speedway) so it would be a good place to make a trip," Mullins said of his LPS success. "I've got to give a shout out to my crew, of course Mullins Racing Engines, it's the baddest modified motor built and R.P. Lumber, I've got to thank all of those guys.
Two of the top-five and five of the top-50 in the UMP National Points were looking to boost their standings. Harrison, the top dog in national points and the defending champion after a win at LPS on Friday night had designs on the $3,000 top prize and a potential $500 bonus from Burns Architectural for a repeat win. However, he had UMP No. 4 Nick Allen, No. 20 Demoss as well as Gabe Menser and Richie Lex on hand for the battle.
Heat races went to Paul Bumgardner, Mullins, Menser, Harrison and Roger Mills. Denny Schwartz battled to a B-main win over Jacoby Hines, Rob Fuqua and Wes McClara to make it to the A-main and Randy Shuman, Clint DeMoss, Schuyler Nahre, C.J. Bryan and Jimmy Hayden make it out of the second B-main.
Once the field went green, the initial battle was between Menser and Harrison, who went at it hot and heavy over the early laps with Mullins in tow and Thomas holding off Mills and Chad Kinder for fourth.
The first 15 laps was a dog fight as Menser held off Harrison up front, but the race is a marathon instead of a sprint. Menser ended up a casualty of a mechanical problem, pulling off 20 laps in and turned the reigns over to Harrison, who was lightning quick on the top. However, Mullins had the bottom mastered and pulled into a door-to-door slugfest with Harrison followed by Thomas, Kinder and Mills. Paul Bumgardner pulled off the track early as the laps ticked towards the mid-way point break.
Mullins would take over the lead heading into turn four and made the pass stick as he built a couple car length lead over Harrison. Kinder was in third ahead of Mills with Thomas in a three-way tussle with Demoss and Daryl Herbert.
A caution a few laps before the halfway point was a perfect break heading into lap 50 as crews made their way out to make adjustments for the final 50-lap finishing segment.
When the second half started, Mullins wasn't going to give up the lead as he maintained the point as Harrison split a couple of lapped cars in chase of the leader, who had built a corner's worth of an advantage. The real battle lay in the group behind the top-two as Kinder, Mills and DeMoss were in tight contention for third.
Up front however, Mullins was on a rail, ticking off laps on the way to his big win as Harrison tried valiantly to make up ground, but merely had second locked up. Mullins built nearly a straightaway lead over the final five laps on the way to his second "Patriot 100" victory in the R.P. Lumber, Hughes Racing Chassis, Mullins Salvage, KBC No. 41m.
Harrison was second followed by Mills, DeMoss, Kinder, Denny Schwartz, Thomas, Schuyler Nahre, Jacoby Hines and C.J. Bryan.
In the sprint car division, Jon Sciscoe piloted Paul Hazen's famed No. 57 machine into victory lane for the second time this year as he topped Chase Briscoe, C.J. Leary, Kyle Cummins and Ethan Barrow in the top-five.
Sciscoe started on the pole and stayed out front after the green flag as Briscoe and Gaines followed along with Leary and Seth Parker. Sciscoe began to build his lead early over Briscoe as Kyle Cummins made his way up from eighth to fight for third with Leary as Parker and Chad Boespflug. Dickie Gaines battled up front during the first half of the feature before he was sidelined. Up front, Sciscoe stayed on his marks through lapped traffic and wasn't seriously challenged down the stretch.
Jeremy Hines has been the man to beat most times he's checked into the pits for the UMP Super Stock Division as he had claimed 16 feature wins through Friday's race at Lincoln Park Speedway.
The UMP National Points leader added to his lead on Saturday by edging out Kenny Carmichael Sr., by a narrow margin, for win No. 17 of the season. Roy Bruce Jr. followed in third-place ahead of Troy Clark, Doug McCullough, Brad Cummings, Steve Sheeks, Cullen Goodman, Bobby Davis and Steve Hollars.
In the bomber division, it was C.J. Bryan that came home with his second feature win in the "Crazy 8" machine owned by Burns Racing.
Bryan won with a late pass of Josh Presley on the bottom as Scott Tidwell took third ahead of Donnie Baker, JR Watkins, Dustin Shoulders, Jordan Almanza, Corey Gregory, David Bumgardner, David Wallen.
Lincoln Park Speedway
UMP Modified "Patriot 100"
1. Brent Mullins, 2. Mike Harrison, 3. Roger Mills, 4. Clint DeMoss, 5. Chad Kinder, 6. Denny Schwartz, 7. Ryan Thomas, 8. Schuyler Nahre, 9. Jacoby Hines, 10. C.J. Bryan, 11. Jimmy Hayden, 12. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 13. Rob Fuqua, 14. Brian Hayden, 15. Josh Lucas, 16. Darly Herbert, 17. Randy Shuman, 18. Gabe Menser, 19. Paul Bumgardner, 20. Wes McClara
B-main winners: Randy Shuman, Denny Schwartz
Heat winners: Paul Bumgardner, Brent Mullins, Gabe Menser, Mike Harrison, Roger Mills
Sprint car feature
1. Jon Sciscoe, 2. Chase Briscoe, 3. C.J. Leary, 4. Kyle Cummins, 5. Ethan Barrow, 6. Logan Jarrett, 7. Casey Riggs, 8. Jason Soudrette, 9. Chris Babcock, 10. Seth Parker, 11. Kent Christian, 12. Kody Swanson, 13. Brett Burdette, 14. Conner Donelson, 15. Josh Burton, 16. Dakota Jackson, 17. Chad Boesplflug, 18. Bub Cummings, 19. Mitch Cunningham, 20. Dickie Gaines
B-main winner: Brett Burdette
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Jeremy Hines, 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Roy Bruce Jr., 4. Troy Clark, 5. Doug McCullough, 6. Brad Cummings, 7. Steve Sheeks, 8. Cullen Goodman, 9. Bobby Davis, 10. Steve Hollars, 11. Slick Griffin, 12. Mike Staggs, 13. Tony Erdly, 14. Paul Wright, 15. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 16. Jamie Adams, 17. Kris Starks, 18. Ron Smith, 19. Chris Hillman, 20. Travis Heramb, 21. Dan McCullough
B-main winner: Chris Hillman
1. C.J. Bryan, 2. Josh Presley, 3. Scott Tidwell, 4. Donnie Baker, 5. JR Watkins, 6. Dustin Shoulders, 7. Jordan Almanza, 8. Corey Gregory, 9. David Bumgardner, 10. David Wallen, 11. Ron Smith, 12. Tony Tidwell, 13. Gordan Parsons Jr., 14. Doug Parker, 15. David Dobbs, 16. Greg Sims, 17. Tom Courtney, 18. Sean Yakel, 19. Josh Foxworthy, 20. Kenny Treash
B-main: Corey Gregory