Randy Lines Claims Firecracker 50

Randy Lines en route to victory at Shadyhill Speedway. (Gary Gasper photo)

MEDARYVILLE, Ind. — Sticking to the bottom groove all night, Randy Lines came home the winner of the 17th annual Firecracker 50 for UMP DIRTcar modified stock cars at Shadyhill Speedway Tuesday night.

The 50-year-old speedster from Marion, Ind., picked up $3,000 for his winning effort as Lines led most of the 50 circuits around the quarter-mile dirt track after starting on the inside front row of the 20-car field.  Lines battled fellow front row starter Dan Hamstra for the top spot during the opening laps of the race with Lines working the bottom groove and securing the lead by lap five.

With Lines holding the point, a total of six yellow flag caution periods slowed the action with double-file restarts giving a number of drivers a chance to take a shot at Lines for the number one position.  Bobby Stremme tried the outside groove repeatedly on several restarts only to find Lines staying on the bottom and keeping the lead.

At the halfway mark, it was Lines, followed by Stremme, Hamstra, Jamie Lomax and Kurt Allison.  With nine laps to go, Lomax slipped by Stremme on a restart for second place.  With the final yellow flag flying with six laps left, Lomax worked his way by Lines for a bit when green flag racing resumed as the leading duo made contact only to see Lines take back the lead for the eventual victory.

At the checkered flag, it was Lines over Lomax with John DeMoss, coming from his 14th starting spot to grab third place.  Hamstra, Stremme and Bub Patrick rounded out the top six.  Allison, Jesse Bitterling, Dylan Woodling and Bradley Jameson made up the rest of the top 10.

“It is always on the bottom (groove) here,” said Lines.  “The trick here is to get your car to hold the bottom and not let anyone get underneath you.  50 laps is a long time to keep your composure especially when you have someone like Jamie Lomax rolling on the outside.

“Those double-file restarts are tough.  They take away the advantage of being the leader.  You have to change it up a bit (on the restarts).  You can’t let them get use to how you start.  If you do, they are going to get the jump on you.”

Forty-two entries competed in six heat races.

Jason Berry captured the 20-lap I-Mod division feature race and Sheldon Oberle claimed top honors in the Pure Street class 15-lap headliner.

The finish:

Randy Lines, Jamie Lomax, John DeMoss, Dan Hamstra, Bobby Stremme, Bub Patrick, Kurt Allison, Jesse Bitterling, Dylan Woodling, Bradley Jameson, Frank Marshall, Darren Wireman, Ernie Gingerich, Rich Dawson, Toby Howard, Tim Walter, Jordan Danford, Kevin DeYoung, Tom Bell, Joey Iliff.