AMSOIL Sprints
Friday, 21 June 2019


A.J. Hopkins finished 2nd and 3rd in two USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car appearances at Lincoln Park Speedway in 2018. A.J. Hopkins finished 2nd and 3rd in two USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car appearances at Lincoln Park Speedway in 2018. Rich Forman Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Putnamville, Indiana (June 21, 2019)………One of the most entertaining aspects in short track racing is when the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship gets to visit a track that runs a weekly sprint car program, such as Lincoln Park Speedway, where the series visits this Saturday, June 22.

There’s a solid core of racers at the weekly shows who don’t necessarily travel as much as the USAC regulars but have the talent, experience and the laps to become a prime contender when the USAC full-timers compete against them.

Looking back through the history of USAC National Sprint Car racing at Lincoln Park, the non-USAC regulars have shown very well in the previous 34 appearances by USAC, protecting the home turf at the 5/16-mile dirt oval in Putnamville, Ind.  All you have to do is go back to last year to see A.J. Hopkins, a strong weekly runner at LPS, finish 2nd and 3rd in each of his two USAC LPS appearances.  Jordan Kinser, meanwhile, took 5th in the first of the two races.

By contrast, in the 16 other USAC National Sprint Car races held at seven different Indiana tracks in 2018, nine races had a top-five fully consisting of USAC full-timers.  In the other seven instances, the non-full-time teams were regulars, but didn't compete in all the races on the schedule, namely Chase Briscoe Racing with drivers Logan Seavey, Thomas Meseraull and Carson Short, plus Daigh/Phillips Motorsports with drivers Shane Cottle and Jason McDougal.

Yet, at LPS, the story was different a year ago.  In the early July tilt, Hopkins took 2nd for 4J Motorsports, while McDougal charged from 22nd to 3rd for Krockenberger Racing in what was his very first career Sprint Car start, while Kinser rounded out the top-five for Hurst Bros. Motorsports.  Just less than three weeks later, Hopkins did it again with a 3rd place run.

While USAC regulars seem to have occupied much of the top-five at LPS over the years, the track boasts one of the most successful track champion lists in terms of USAC success, in particular.

Brad Fox was star on the local Indiana Sprint Car scene in the 1990s, winning the LPS track championship in 1997.  The following year, he was triumphant in the “Non-Wing Nationals” in August of 1998, leading all 30 laps in the process.  The Fox No. 53 enters a new era beginning with this Saturday’s event as Brad’s son, Brayden, makes his USAC debut at the same track his father won his last USAC race at.

Bob Kinser won everywhere, including seven track championships at LPS, and that’s just what he accomplished there after turning 50 years old!  The legend became a USAC winner for the first and only time at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway in 1985.

Dave Darland is one who’s accomplished nearly everything in the realm of USAC racing.  Prior to becoming a USAC Triple Crown champion and the winningest driver in USAC National Sprint Car history, he won back-to-back LPS Sprint Car titles in 1990-91, showing his prowess at the track in his famed yellow No. 36D.  Due to the absence of USAC from LPS for a decade between the mid-1980s and 90s, Darland didn’t have the opportunity to showcase his LPS skills with USAC until 1997, finishing 9th during the Indiana Sprint Week round, then winning a month later, the first of his record six USAC Sprint victories at LPS.

Along with Darland, Kevin Thomas was part of the big three in Indiana Sprint Car racing in the early 1990s, in addition to Tony Elliott.  Thomas, originally from Mobile, Ala., won the LPS title in 1993.  He went on to win seven USAC Sprint Car races, five of which came on Indiana soil at Lawrenceburg, Paragon, Terre Haute, Bloomington and Kokomo.  Yet, LPS somehow eluded him, with a 3rd during ISW in 1998 serving as his best.

Brad Marvel was the 1994 LPS champ and a strong pilot on the Indiana bullrings where he finally broke through in 1996 at Kokomo.  Brian Hayden was, arguably, the best sprint car driver of his generation not to win a USAC race, accumulating 126 career starts without a victory, taking a 3rd at LPS with USAC in 2001 as his best during a career that saw him win LPS titles in 1995 and 2013.

Robbie Rice found a great deal of success in 1998, winning the track title and scoring two top-five results with USAC at LPS before hitting the full USAC trail the following season.  Chris Lafollette locked up the LPS title in 1999, the same year in which he scored a career-best 2nd place finish at Bloomington during ISW.  Eric Shively, in 2002, finished 2nd at LPS behind Cory Kruseman during the ISW round just one year after securing the track title.

Like father, like son.  Justin Marvel followed in the footsteps of his father, Brad, to become a one-time LPS track champion at LPS in 2003.  In 2006, the steps went even further as Justin himself became a one-time USAC winner like his dad, at Canandaigua Speedway in New York.

Long after his years as a full-time competitor on the USAC tour in the mid to late 1990s, where he won as a 16-year-old in 1996 at Red Hill Raceway in Sumer, Ill., Billy Puterbaugh, Jr. dominated LPS with three consecutive championships between 2007-09.  Brent Beauchamp earned his lone USAC victory during ISW at Bloomington in 2016, sandwiched between a pair of LPS titles in 2012 and 2017. 

USAC Silver Crown victors Shane Hollingsworth and Shane Cockrum have had their share of success at LPS in a sprint car as well.  Hollingsworth, the 2010 LPS titlist, captured the “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 2009 while Cockrum, the 2016 and 2018 LPS champ, won the “Ted Horn 100” on two consecutive occasions in 2014-15 as well as the “Sumar Classic” at Terre Haute in 2015.

Hopkins, Kinser and all those mentioned above are highly talented individuals with much experience on a variety of racetracks.  Yet when it comes to LPS, the competition among USAC regulars and non-regulars evens out, showing that a driver who stands on the gas and has a car with a good setup, they can get around just fine at Lincoln Park Speedway.  The results have shown it time and time again there more than any other place.  If you’re going to see a driver rise to the occasion anywhere on the USAC schedule, it very well could be this Saturday at LPS.

Saturday at Lincoln Park, pits open at 3pm (Eastern), front gates open at 4:30pm, drivers meeting at 5:15pm and cars on track at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following.  Modifieds, Super Stocks and Bombers are also in action.  Adult general admission tickets are $25 and kids 10 and under are free.  Pit passes are $30 apiece.

Watch the Lincoln Park race live and on-demand at  Listen live on the USAC app.  Follow along with live updates on and, plus live timing and scoring on the Race Monitor app.