Grant claims ‘Sprintacular’ victory on night two at LPS; Newgent wins in Super Stock
PUTNAMVILLE – Round two of the Bill Gardner “Sprintacular” at Lincoln Park Speedway didn’t disappoint in either talent in the pits or sheer volume of competitors on hand Saturday night.
There were 112 total cars on hand with a whopping 42 sprint cars unloading to contest the Midwest Sprint Car Series sanctioned event that paid out $2,500 to Justin Grant at the end of the evening.
The Ione, Calif., native and USAC National Sprint Car Series regular was dominant Saturday evening winning by more than a full straightaway over Kevin Thomas Jr., who edged out Carson Short at the finish line.
James Walters piloted his No. 34w UMP Modified back to victory lane over Richie Lex. The win was a bit of a reversal of fortune as Walters ran third to Lex on Friday night at LPS. In the UMP Super Stock feature it was Greencastle’s Jonny Newgent powering past the field to win his third feature of the season. Paragon’s Josh Litton continued a stellar 2018 campaign with his sixth bomber feature win of the year.
Two-time Lincoln Park Speedway winner, Carson Short, sat on the inside of the front row along with Robert Ballou with Grant and Shane Cockrum in row two as the field took the green flag for the 30-lap A-main.
Ballou and Short sliced and diced with a tall cushion in turn two over the early laps of the feature. The two nearly ran side by side for the first 10 laps before a caution slowed the field and allowed Grant to close what had been a sizable gap behind the leaders.
On the restart, Short claimed the outright lead ahead of Ballou, Grant, Cockrum and Kevin Thomas Jr. By lap 12, Short had opened up some breathing room ahead of Grant and Ballou — who were in a dogfight for the second spot ahead of Cockrum. A three-way skirmish was brewing behind him with Thomas, Brandon Mattox and Isaac Chapple running wheel to wheel in some breathless action through the corners.
While the three-way battle for fifth held the fans’ attention for several laps, it was Ballou, who brought out a red flag when the turn four cushion reared its ugly head and bit the Rocklin, Calif., native. Ballou got upside down coming out of the corner to end his night. Ballou’s misfortune handed the lead over to Grant, who didn’t let up on the rest of the field.
Grant took over the point and the TOPP Motorsports No. 4 machine was a rocket ship the rest of the way. Grant built on his lead over the second half of the race to win by a massive margin. Behind him, however, was a wild finish as Thomas ticked off the laps in pursuit of the runnerup spot. The Alabama native led the first 22 laps of Friday’s USAC A-main before flipping in turn two. A night later, he was able to track down Short out of the final corner on the last lap and beat him by a nose to the finish line for second-place. Brent Beauchamp placed fourth ahead of Thomas Meseraull.
In the UMP Modified feature, Dan Lewellen took the green flag after winning his heat race. However, it was Lex who took over the lead soon after in pursuit of his third straight victory. The Morgantown driver held a strong lead into lap 10 as he caught lapped traffic. Behind him, Walters began to reel in his car builder as lapped cars and slowed Lex’ momentum. Walters closed within a couple car lengths by lap 13, as Lewellen ran third by a few lengths over Jay Humphrey Jr., Josh Boller and Cole Parker.
A caution bunched the field with five laps remaining and provided Walters a last shot at Lex, as lapped traffic was cleared for the restart. Walters did not waste the chance as he and Lex ran beside each other through turn two and three. Walters, running the cushion on the top, got a big run out of turn four to take the top spot. From there he was able to motor away from Lex to win by several car lengths, as Lewellen ran third ahead of Humphrey and Parker.
Newgent overcame the misfortune of Friday night’s mechanical woes to win by a straightaway over the field Saturday. An evening after his car would not fire for the A-main, Newgent started outside of Kris Starks for the 20-lap feature.
Newgent quickly built a strong lead as Starks, Paul Wright and Bryce Shidler contended for the second spot. Wright and Shidler would run wheel to wheel for several laps past the midway point.
Shidler eventually edged into the second spot at the checkered flag as Wright took third ahead of Larry Raines and Starks.
In the bomber feature, Litton left little doubt about the outcome of the 15-lap main event. He assumed the lead early over Joseph Raber and set sail out front. Litton cleared the competition and built on his advantage lap after lap on the way to the victory. Behind Litton there was action everywhere, as Ethan Litton battled with Raber five laps into the race with Cody Wright and Jordan Almanza testing each other in pursuit of fourth ahead of Tom Cox.
By lap 10, Litton had a full straightaway advantage and Ethan Litton ran second. However, Almanza came out of a three-way struggle with Wright and Cox to take over third. He was able to track down Ethan Litton at the finish to take second as Cox placed fourth ahead of Wright.
“Bill Gardner Sprintacular” – Night two
Midwest Sprint Car Series feature
1. Justin Grant, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Carson Short, 4. Brent Beauchamp, 5. Thomas Meseraull, 6. Chad Boespflug, 7. Isaac Chapple, 8. Brandon Mattox, 9. Shane Cockrum, 10. AJ Hopkins, 11. Colten Cottle, 12. Shane Cottle, 13. Jeff Bland Jr., 14. Stephen Schnapf, 15. Donny Brackett, 16. Joe Stornetta Jr., 17. Kody Swanson, 18. Kent Schmidt, 19. Kyle Cummins, 20. Robert Ballou, 21. Jason McDougal
B-main winner: Colten Cottle
C-main winner: Josh Hodges
Heat winners: Short, Ballou, Grant, Cockrum, Thomas Jr.
UMP Modified feature
1. James Walters, 2. Richie Lex, 3. Dan Lewellen, 4. Jay Humphrey Jr., 5. Cole Parker, 6. Josh Boller, 7. Will Prater, 8. Rob Brickert, 9. Sydney Landes, 10. Jake Leitzman, 11. Brent Hudson, 12. Roger Mills, 13. Carlos Bumgardner Sr., 14. Michael Wesselman, 15. Schepper, 16. Jimmy Hayden, 17. Aaron Zellers, 18. Tyler Loughmiller, 19. Travis Shoulders, 20. James Grider
Heat winners: Lewellen, Lex, Humphrey Jr.
UMP Super Stock feature
1. Jonny Newgent, 2. Bryce Shidler, 3. Paul Wright, 4. Larry Raines, 5. Kris Starks, 6. Dale Hayes, 7. Austin Phelps, 8. Matt Jordan, 9. Chris Harcourt, 10. Wes McClara, 11. Scott Ricketts, 12. Jack Campbell, 13. Ken Kelley, 14. Edward Freeman, 15. Kenny Fields, 16. Doug McCullough, 17. Shane Kelley, 18. Hayden Rogers, 19. Michael O’Conner, 20. Michael Clark
Heat winners: Shidler, Hayes, Newgent
1. Josh Litton, 2. Jordan Almanza, 3. Ethan Litton, 4. Tom Cox, 5. Cody Wright, 6. Joseph Raber, 7. Glen Ogden, 8. Corey Anstead, 9. David Bumgardner, 10. Keivan Clodfelter, 11. Megan Cavaness, 12. Justin Bumgardner, 13. David Kikendall, 14. Matt Raber, 15. Devin Wallen, 16. Travis Heramb, 17. Bob Farris, 18. Jim Litton Jr., 19. Barry Hicks, 20. Gary Hayden
B-main winner: Kikendall
Heat winners: Ogden, Almanza, Cox, Wright