A.J. Hopkins Sprints
A.J. Hopkins en route to victory at Lincoln Park Speedway. (Eli Kaikko photo)

A.J. Hopkins Sprints To Putnamville Victory

PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. – A.J. Hopkins took down his second non-winged sprint car victory in three nights on Thursday, during the third round of USAC’s Indiana Midget Week at Lincoln Park Speedway.

Hopkins, who won previously at Paragon Speedway Tuesday night, started fourth but found his way to the race lead on lap 14 of the 25-lap sprint car feature with a turn-three slider on Charles Davis Jr.

From there, Hopkins drove away from his nearest challengers and took the checkered flag 2.332 seconds in front of runner-up Kevin Thomas Jr., who took that spot from Davis on lap 17 and held it to the finish.

Davis completed the podium ahead of Colten Cottle and Dave Darland, with Matt Westfall, Max Adams, Brady Short, Brady Bacon and Jordan Kinser filling out the top 10 at the finish.

Hopkins’ victory was sweet, but perhaps could have been even more dominant, considering he went from fourth to the lead on one of two attempts at the initial start that was called back due to a yellow.

“First and most importantly, thanks to all the fans for coming out,” said Hopkins in victory lane. “I’m out of breath, but we’re happy. We were a bit tight running behind those guys, but the curb was huge and I didn’t want to take too much of a chance. I tried to bide my time, and once I got into clean track, I knew I could probably seal the deal as long as I didn’t get upside down or anything like that.

“There’s no better family in racing (to drive for) than the Burtons,” he added. “They’ve shown me 100 percent backing, let me do whatever I want, and they’re just awesome. I can’t thank them enough.”

The finish:

1. A.J. Hopkins, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Charles Davis Jr., 4. Colten Cottle, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Matt Westfall, 7. Max Adams, 8. Brady Short, 9. Brady Bacon, 10. Jordan Kinser, 11. Shane Cockrum, 12. Scotty Weir, 13. Matt Goodnight, 14. Max Guilford, 15. Matt McDonald, 16. Critter Malone, 17. C.J. Leary, 18. Brandon Mattox, 19. Hunter O’Neal, 20. Tim Creech, 21. Anton Hernandez.

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