Groomer picks up mid-season modified title at LPS
By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE — Saturday was an evening of streaks at Lincoln Park Speedway as Derek Groomer captured his second straight UMP Modified win. Cullen Goodman added his third consecutive UMP Super Stock win at the Putnamville oval. AJ Hopkins continues a stellar mid-season run in the sprint car ranks with another victory at LPS and Cody Wright won his second bomber feature of the year. Randall Caldwell took the second bomber feature of the night in just his third night in a dirt stock car.
The modified mid-season championship broughht cars/drivers to the track in pursuit of the $1,000 winner’s share of the 25-lap A-main.
Cloverdale’s John Grenier Jr. won the opening heat race with Bloomington’s Jay Humphrey Jr. taking the top spot in heat number two. Richie Lex claimed the third heat and Groomer took the final heat race win. Brazil’s Tyler Loughmiller won the B-main to set the A-main feature lineup.
Dan Lewellen would start inside the first row alongside Jeff Deckard. However, Deckard’s quest for the top prize ended early as he pulled off the track after a spin on the second lap.
Lewellen would set the early pace, mastering the bottom line as Groomer ran the top side after starting third. Behind the pair, Humphrey and Kenny Carmichael Sr. were side-side with five laps down.
As the laps mounted, Lewellen was able to build a solid cushion ahead of Groomer. However, Groomer was lying in wait, saving his tires for a second half charge.
Lewellen held the lead at the halfway mark, but Groomer was closing ahead of Carmichael and Lex ahead of Humphrey, Grenier and RJ Pruitt.
Groomer pulled wheel-to-wheel with Lewellen with 10 laps remaining and made the pass on the top side moments later. Once he took the point, Groomer set off on a dash for the cash. The Bloomington, Ind. hot shoe pulled away to a sizable lead on his way to the checkered flag as Lewellen took second ahead of Lex, Carmichael Sr. and Humphrey.
In the sprint car division it was Shane Cockrum and Brent Beauchamp picking up heat race wins.
In the A-main Hopkins and Beauchamp put on a thrilling battle over the first 12 laps with both drivers trading slide jobs. Each lap provided another highlight pass as the two were nerf bar to nerf bar until lap 11 when Hopkins took the lead to stay.
Once the Brownsburg, Ind. driver snagged the top spot he wouldn’t relinquish it while setting a blistering pace above the cushion. Hopkins was one of the few drivers that dared to run that particular line and he capitalized with another victory at LPS. Beauchamp came home second ahead of Jeff Bland, Cockrum and Matt McDonald.
Goodman and Wes McClara were fittingly the heat race winners as the pair set the pace up front in the super stock feature once again.
McClara gave Goodman a solid challenge throughout the feature, trying several lines, but was unable to make a pass for the lead. Goodman won from the pole ahead of McClara, Scotty Massie and Larry Raines.
Thirty-two bombers unloaded at LPS on Saturday night with Curt Leonard, CJ Bryan, Megan Cavaness and Chad Casassa winning heat races. Jordan Almanza captured the B-main as the field was set for both bomber features.
In the A-main Cavaness set the pace over the early stages of the feature as Bryan quickly moved into a challenge behind the Greencastle native. Bryan slowly closed the gap as Cavaness held fast to the bottom line. Bryan searched for an opening and found some daylight for the lead on lap nine. Once out front, Bryan led several laps despite a tire going flat. However, the caution flag was displayed on lap 12 and Bryan would pull to the pits.
With a three lap dash for the win, the field bunched behind Cavaness and it was Wright and Josh Litton that surrounded Cavaness shortly after the re-start. Wright slipped past on one side as Litton took over second moments later.
Wright held down the top spot the remainder of the way to score his second feature win of the year as Litton, Cavaness, tom Cox and Travis Heramb wrapped the top-five.
In the second bomber feature, Caldwell jumped to the lead several laps in and would remain there to pick up the win ahead of David Bumgardner and Sean Yakel.
On Saturday, the Mid-season sprint car championship will be decided with modifieds, super stocks and bombers also on the slate.
Lincoln Park Speedway
UMP Modified Mid-season championshp
1. Derek Groomer, 2. Dan Lewellen, 3. Richie Lex, 4. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 5. Jay Humphrey Jr., 6. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 7. RJ Pruitt, 8. Roy Bruce Jr., 9. John Grenier Jr., 10. Josh Boller, 11. Travis Shoulders, 12. Michael Fish, 13. Tyler Loughmiller, 14. Brook Cooper, 15. Rob Brickert, 16. Chad Combs, 17. Josh McDaniel, 18. Cole Parker, 19. Bradley Sterrett, 20. Jeff Deckard
B-main winner: Tyler Loughmiller
Heat race winner: Grenier Jr., Humphrey Jr., Lex, Groomer
Sprint car feature
1. AJ Hopkins, 2. Brent Beauchamp, 3. Jeff Bland, 4. Shane Cockrum, 5. Matthew McDonald, 6. Jamie Williams, 7. Travis Berryhill, 8. Koby Barksdale, 9. Joe Ligouri, 10. Tim Creech II, 11. Daylan Chambers, 12. John Nicoson, 13. Harley Burns, 14. Nate McMillin
Heat winners: Cockrum, Beauchamp
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Cullen Goodman, 2. Wes McClara, 3. Scotty Massie, 4. Larry Raines, 5. Jonny Newgent, 6. Aubrey Eagon, 7. Chris Harcourt, 8. James Campbell, 9. Kris Starks, 10. Paul Wright, 11. Kenny Fields, 12. Dale Hayes, 13. Michael Clark, 14. Matt Jordan, 15. Chucky Walden, 16. Dennis Morgan
Heat winners: Goodman, McClara
Bomber feature A-main
1. Cody Wright, 2. Josh Litton, 3. Megan Cavaness, 4. Tom Cox, 5. Travis Heramb, 6. Gary Hayden, 7. Curt Leonard, 8. Matt Raber, 9. Bobby Tarrh, 10. Michael Conner, 11. Devin Wallen, 12. Jordan Almanza, 13. Tom Plemons, 14. Glen Ogden, 15. Justin Bumgardner, 16. CJ Bryan, 17. Bob Farris, 18. Dustin Colvin, 19. Chad Casassa
B-main winner: Almanza
Heat winners: Leonard, Bryan, Casassa, Cavaness
Second bomber feature
1. Randall Caldwell, 2. David Bumgardner, 3. Sean Yakel, 4. DJ Smiley, 5. Tyler Rodgers