RJ Pruitt claims first career modified victory
By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
PUTNAMVILLE – As the season winds down at Lincoln Park Speedway, the points races are beginning to tighten up, which makes every feature event that much more important to those chasing a championship.
On Saturday night, RJ Pruitt claimed his first UMP Modified feature victory to help him nudge closer to second-place in the points standings at the Putnamville oval. Brent Beauchamp was able to add to his lead by claiming his third sprint car victory and Greencastle’s Jonny Newgent crept a bit closer to first-place in the UMP Super Stock division with his second win of the season. The bomber points race got even closer as fourth-place Josh Litton won the A-main. Just 42 points separates the top-four in the season long points as Jordan Almanza holds the lead by 32 points.
Beauchamp was a dominant winner in the sprint car division as he started on the pole alongside A.J. Hopkins and eventually lapped up to seventh-place in the A-main.
Twenty-seven cars were on hand as Matt McDonald edged Beauchamp in heat race one as Jeff Bland Jr. and Hopkins claimed the final two heats.
When the main event went green, Hopkins dogged Beauchamp over the first 10 laps before the leaders hit lapped traffic. Beauchamp worked the traffic perfectly while Hopkins got caught behind a pair of cars and lost some ground. Meanwhile, Beauchamp began to build upon his advantage until the end as he cleared traffic on lap 19 and pulled away. Hopkins placed second ahead of Bland and McDonald with Tony DiMattia in fifth-place.
Pruitt’s victory held considerably more drama as he passed Kenny Carmichael Jr. on the final two corners of the last lap to pick up the UMP Modified win.
Several early cautions kept drivers from gaining any sort of rhythm, but by lap five, Carmichael and Pruitt had established a duel for the lead. The pair were door-to-door for several laps before Carmichael gained the point and opened a several car length advantage. Carmichael would hold that lead over Pruitt as Richie Lex was a distant third ahead of Kenny Carmichael Sr. and Jake Leitzman.
With five laps remaining, Carmichael Jr. had a solid lead, but Pruitt began to creep back into the picture. With two laps to go, the front runners were in a struggle for the lead once again. Pruitt pulled even with Carmichael heading into turn one and two as the white flag flew. Pruitt got a strong run on the bottom through the final two turns and edged Carmichael at the finish line for the win. Lex, Leitzman and Carmichael Sr. rounded out the top-five.
In the UMP Super Stock 20-lap feature, Newgent lead from the early laps after getting past Doug McCullough. The pair ran side-by-side for a couple of laps before Newgent took the lead off the high side of turn one. Wes McClara edged into second-place as McCullough would pull off the track with mechanical issues. Newgent pulled out to a sizable lead as McClara’s night ended after losing a tire with five laps to go. Newgent got a strong restart and pulled away for the win ahead of Bryce Shidler, Paul Wright, Chucky Walden and Brandon Morin.
In the bomber feature, Megan Cavaness held the top spot early in a caution-filled main event. However, the Greencastle native was tracked down as she suffered mechanical problems. Gary Hayden briefly led the way before also succumbing to mechanical woes.
Litton assumed the lead and went on to hold off challenges from David Bumgardner and Jordan Almanza as Tom Cox and David Wallen rounded out the top-five.
Lincoln Park Speedway
Sprint car feature
1. Brent Beauchamp, 2. AJ Hopkins, 3. Jeff Bland Jr., 4. Matt McDonald, 5. Tony DiMattia, 6. Carson Short, 7. Nick Bilbee, 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 9. Nate McMillin, 10. Dickie Gaines, 11. Tim Creech II, 12. JJ Hughes, 13. Travis Berryhill, 14. Garrett Abrams, 15. Koby Barksdale, 16. Lukas Smith, 17. Billy Cribbs, 18. Tony Main, 19. Ben Knight, 20. Braxton Cummings
B-main winner: Bilbee
Heat winners: McDonald, Bland Jr., Hopkins
UMP Modified feature
1. RJ Pruitt, 2. Kenny Carmichael Jr., 3. Richie Lex, 4. Jake Leitzman, 5. Kenny Carmichael Sr., 6. Roy Bruce Jr., 7. Tyler Loughmiller, 8. Rob Brickert, 9. Will Prater, 10. Dave Popielarz, 11. Dan Lewellen, 13. Michael Fish, 14. Boomer Houk, 15. Gary Ricketts, 16. Michael Beatty, 17. Michael Kettnich, 18. Brent Hudson, 19. Josh McDaniel, 20. Cole Parker
B-main winner: Bruce Jr.
Heat winners: Beatty, Bricket, Loughmiller
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Jonny Newgent, 2. Bryce Shidler, 3. Paul Wright, 4. Chucky Walden, 5. Brandon Morin, 6. Kenny Fields, 7. Terry Leitzman, 8. Wes McClara, 9. Ray Walters, 10. Doug McCullough
Heat winners: McClara, Newgent
1. Josh Litton, 2. David Bumgardner, 3. Jordan Almanza, 4. Tom Cox, 5. David Wallen, 6. Bob Farris, 7. Scott Tidwell, 8. Cody Wright, 9. Glen Ogden, 10. Mike Fisher Jr., 11. Devin Wallen, 12. Matt Raber, 13. Tyler Campfield, 14. Tyler Rodgers, 15. Adam Farr, 16. Sean Yakel, 17. Keivan Clodfelter, 18. Seth Powell, 19. Justin Bumgardner, 20. Jacob Steinway, 21. Gary Hayden, 22. Josh Foxworthy, 23. Megan Cavaness, 24. Travis Heramb, 25. Curt Leonard, 26. Alex Beach, 27. Bobby Tarrh
Heat winners: Almanza, Cox, Cavaness