Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE -- It's certain that Saturday's racing action at Lincoln Park Speedway provided an instant classic in the annals of dirt track racing at the Putnamville oval. Close racing and thrilling finishes highlighted the night, led by a stunning finish to the sprint car main event.
Kyle Cummins went from third to first off the final corner of the A-main, capitalizing on contact between the race leaders, Casey Shuman and Brady Short, in turn four. Cummins squeezed through and nosed past Short at the finish line for his second victory at Lincoln Park Speedway this season. His win came in the Vincennes University, Greenwell Auto Body, Cummins Racing Engine, Tim Mason Re/Max, Simpson Racing Products, All-Star Performance, Fitness Elite-sponsored No. 3c.
Cummins, Shuman and Ryan Pace picked up heat race victories to start the evening and Josh Burton won the B-main to set himself up in the feature.
Shuman and Cummins shared the lead during the first half of the A-main and six different lead changes at the finish line highlighted an incredible show at the front of the field during the first 13 circuits. Short was hot on the tail tanks of the co-leaders as Kent Christian kept the front runners close as Pace and Wes McIntyre held down top-six spots.
On a re-start near the midpoint, Shuman, Short and Cummins went three-wide for the lead and Short came out in the lead and began to add to his advantage over Shuman, Cummins, Christian and a wheel-to-wheel battle between Scotty Weir and Pace for fifth. A caution flag slowed the field with just eight laps remaining and set up a finish sure to be talked about all week.
As the field returned to green flag racing, Shuman pulled a huge slider across the front of Short in turn four, but couldn't make it stick. Short crossed Shuman back up and held down the lead for the next lap, but Shuman would try once more on lap 23, sliding past Short's nose and maintained his momentum enough to grab the lead from Short with one lap to go.
Short made his final charge and was even with Shuman down the backstretch heading into turns three and four. The two slid high into turn four and banged wheels, losing momentum and opening the door for the stalking 3c of Cummins.
Cummins pulled even with the leaders off four and edged ahead as he stayed quick as Short broke free and chased him to the finish line. Cummins pulled a wheel stand to the line, nosing out Short for a classic victory. Shuman held third with Christian and Weir in the top-five. Pace was sixth as AJ Hopkins moved up eight spots to take seventh ahead of McIntyre, Brent Beauchamp and Jeff Bland Jr.
Richie Lex has been on a roll this season in the Steve Thomas Racing, Community Chrysler Jeep, Lambert's Towing, BSB Manufacturing, No. 7L modified.
While Lex led from the opening wave of the green flag, a three-wide battle for second had the crowd's attention with Levi Kissinger, Carlos Bumgardner Sr. and Randy Shuman fought for position followed by Chris Kerl, Dan Lewellen and Josh Boller.
Kissinger was able to separate himself from traffic to move up on Lex's bumper and last week's runner-up, Eric Varner, put together another strong effort in advancing into third ahead of Shuman and Lewellen. Boller would bring out the caution with a spin with 13 laps scored as he and Paul Bumgardner moved to the tail on the restart.
When the field went green again, Lex maintained his advantage over Kissinger as Lewellen took over fourth behind Varner. At the finish line it was Shuman holding down fifth ahead of Matt Bex, Scott Ricketts, Wes McClara, Kerl and Carmichael Jr. in the top-10.
Troy Clark has had one of those seasons that many drivers dream about in 2012. The pilot of the No. 13 Hill's Historic Painting, Napa of Madison, Scentsy Independent Consultant, XD-4 Late Model Noses, V.H.R. Chassis super stock leads the nation in UMP points as well as topping the state list as well.
Clark and Carmichael squared off for the entire length of the A-main with Clark making the bottom work to his advantage and not giving up a line for Carmichael. Bruce tried to go even lower in his pursuit of the second spot as Doug McCullough looked to close the gap on third. Slick Griffin and Mike Staggs were side-by-side in the top-five over the second half of the feature.
Down the stretch, Clark was able to open a couple car length gap up front as the spotlight shifted to the battle for second. A re-start with three laps left set the stage for the final dash, but Clark held down the top spot with Carmichael nailing down second at the line. Bruce settled for third with McCullough and Griffin in the top-five. Staggs, Starks, Kenny Carmichael Jr., Josh McDaniel and Travis Heramb finished the top-10.
Saturday's bomber feature provided a fitting ending for the night as another classic battle to the checkered flag ensued between the evening's heat race winners.
Scott Tidwell, David Wallen and Marlin Burns gave the fans a three-way battle to the finish as Tidwell was able to hold off numerous challenges from Wallen to capture his first victory of the season. Wallen had a last shot at the win as a caution flew with three laps remaining. Despite pulling even with Tidwell several times in the corners, Tidwell was able to open just enough of a margin in the straightaways to score the victory.
Tidwell's win came in the Pit Stop Ice Cream, Britt Aero Machine Shop, NKP Diesel Performance, Tidwell & Foxworthy Racing-sponsored No. 55.
Burns was close behind the pair the entire feature and held down the third-place position at the finish line. Behind him it was McCullough in a dogfight for fourth-place with David Bumgardner with CJ Bryan in the mix as well. McCullough was able to hold on to fourth after the late restart as Bumgardner, Bryan, Daniel Foxworthy, Tony Tidwell, Michael Harris and Tom Courtney wrapping up the top-10.
Thursday night will feature the second night of Indiana Midget Week at LPS as the Mopar USAC National Midget Series headlines the evening with sprint cars and UMP Modifieds on the slate.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Brady Short, 3. Casey Shuman, 4. Kent Christian, 5. Scotty Weir, 6. Ryan Pace, 7. AJ Hopkins, 8. Wes McIntyre, 9. Brent Beauchamp, 10. Jeff Bland Jr., 11. Joe Ligouri, 12. Blake Fitzpatrick, 13. Chase Briscoe, 14. Keaton Dobbs, 15. Lance Hayden, 16. Josh Burton, 17. Garrett Abrams, 18. Matt Goodnight, 19. Levi Shields, 20. Chris Babcock, 21. Jon Sciscoe
B-main winner: Burton
Heat winners: Pace, Cummins, Shuman
UMP Modified feature
1. Richie Lex, 2. Levi Kissinger, 3. Eric Varner, 4. Dan Lewellen, 5. Randy Shuman, 6. Matt Bex, 7. Scott Ricketts, 8. Wes McClara, 9. Chris Kerl, 10. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 11. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 12. Paul Bumgardner, 13. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 14. Josh Boller, 15. Jake Humphrey, 16. Roger Cary, 17. Duane Lee, 18. Jaymie Turner, 19. Kelby Simmons, 20. Chad Combs
B-main winner: Bumgardner
Heat winners: Simmons, Carmichael Sr., Bumgardner Sr.
UMP Super Stock feature
1.Troy Clark, 2. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 3. Roy Bruce Jr., 4. Doug McCullough, 5. Slick Griffin, 6. Mike Staggs, 7. Kris Starks, 8. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 9. Josh McDaniel, 10. Travis Heramb, 11. Jamie Adams, 12. JR Watkins, 13. Steve Ware, 14. Ron Smith, 15. AJ Clark, 16. Kenny Weaver, 17. Chad Nolte, 18. Bill Wells, 19. Josh Fagg
Heat winners: Carmichael Sr., McCullough
1. Scott Tidwell, 2. David Wallen, 3. Marlin Burns, 4. Doug McCullough, 5. David Bumgardner, 6. CJ Bryan, 7. Daniel Foxworthy, 8. Tony Tidwell, 9. Michael Harris, 10. Tom Courtney, 11. Josh Foxworthy, 12. Josh Settles, 13. Mike Fisher Jr., 14. Megan Cavaness, 15. Kevin Kemp, 16. Doug Parker, 17. Blake Cross, 18. Chris Schepper, 19. Frank Cotton, 20. Jeff Beggs
B-main winner: Foxworthy
Heat winners: Wallen, Tidwell, Burns