By CAREY FOX
PUTNAMVILLE, IN — Memorial Day weekend racing got rolling Saturday night at Lincoln Park Speedway as the Midwest Sprint Car Series came calling.
Nearly 40 sprint cars were on hand, but it was Kevin Thomas Jr. that topped the rest of the field to pick up the $2,500 pay day. In other action, it was Derek Groomer returning to victory lane in the UMP Modified main event. Josh Boller was the UMP Super Stock feature winner and Jordan Almanza won the bomber feature.
In the sprint car 25-lap feature, Robert Ballou headed the field for the first half of the A-main before Thomas joined the fray and snagged the top spot on the 10th circuit just before a red flag came out. Once the field re-took the green flag, the top-two opened up a gap as the laps ticked off as Dave Darland moved into the third spot and tried to reel in the leaders.
With three laps remaining, a spinning car in turn one left little room for Ballou and he made contact with his right rear tire. The evening would come to a disappointing close for the No. 12 team as the tire was damaged in the crash and Ballou was forced to the pits.
From there, Thomas lead the remainder of the way as Darland managed to hold off a late charge from Bill Rose with Carson Short taking fourth ahead of Shane Cockrum.
In the UMP Modified feature, Groomer battled his way past Tim Prince to take a lead on lap six that he never relinquished. Groomer pulled away in traffic to take another victory at the Putnamville oval as Jordan Wever edged out Prince at the finish for second with Tyler Loughmiller and RJ Pruitt in the top-five.
Boller and Larry Raines went at it for the lead during the first five laps of the UMP Super Stock feature. Boller made a pass stick just before the halfway mark and remained out front the final 10 circuits to take the lead. A hard charging Jonny Newgent was able to take second by a mere foot or two at the finish line over Raines as Bryce Shidler took fourth ahead of Matt Jordan.
In the final feature of the evening, Almanza got out front early and never looked back in the bomber A-main.
Almanza started on the front row and picked up the win as Josh Litton ran second ahead of David Bumgardner, Justin Litton and David Wallen.
Midwest Sprint Car Series feature (Top-10 only)
1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Dave Darland, 3. Bill Rose, 4. Carson Short, 5. Shane Cockrum, 6. Mario Clouser, 7. Joe Stornetta Jr., 8. Brady Short, 9. Kyle Cummins, 10. Chase Stockon
UMP Modified feature
1. Derek Groomer, 2. Jordan Wever, 3. Tim Prince, 4. Tyler Loughmiller, 5. RJ Pruitt, 6. Michael Fish, 7. Jerry Bland, 8. RT Gamble, 9. Cody Wright, 10. Nathan Krenge, 11. Scott Crouch, 12. Donnie Smiley, 13. Michael Kettnich, 14. Alex Reid, 15. Sydney Landes, 16. Rob Brickert, 17. Wil Prather
Super Stock feature
1. Josh Boller, 2. Jonny Newgent, 3. Larry Raines, 4. Bryce Shidler, 5. Matt Jordan, 6. Josh Litton, 7. Paul Wright, 8. Wes McClara, 9. Daniel Norman, 10. Travis Heramb, 11. Austin Phelps, 12. Scott Ricketts, 13. Jeff Starks, 14. Ralph Groomer, 15. Justin Cundiff, 16. Kenny Weaver, 17. Kyle Johnson, 18. Hayden Rogers, 19. Justin Massie
1. Jordan Almanza, 2. Josh Litton, 3. David Bumgardner, 4. Justin Litton, 5. David Wallen, 6. Tom Cox, 7. Barry Hicks, 8. Coby Wright, 9. Adam Perkins, 10. Devin Wallen, 11. Joseph Raber, 12. Jacob Steinway, 13. Mark Dickerson, 14. Jerry Hutto, 15. Chris Campbell, 16. DJ Smiley, 17. Jeff Allen, 18. Megan Cavaness, 19. Tyler Rodgers, 20. Nik Davis, 21. Albert Orr, 22. Andrew Pollack