Article From the UMSS Focebook Page!!
Elko Canceled for May 3-4:
Mother Nature claims two more...with the forecast for the remainder of the week predicted to be cold and wet, Elko Speedway decided to pull the plug early and cancel the Spring Dirt Nationals. Unable to properly prepare the racing surface with cold, wet conditions and with little chance to draw much of a crowd, it's really the only decision track promoters can make given the adverse weather we've encountered so far this spring
Past Weekend Update:
With the originally scheduled April 26-27 opening weekend for the UMSS scrapped due to the weather, the UMSS winged sprint division will kick off their season on Friday night May 3 and Saturday night May 4 at the Elko Speedway with the 2nd Annual Spring Dirt Nationals. Bernhagen, who was in contact with Elko Speedway owner Tom Ryan this past week, indicated that Elko only needs a few days of decent weather leading up to their May 3-4 weekend in order to get their track into racing condition. The temporary dirt surface in addtion to the concrete and blacktop pit area and infield gives Elko a big advantage over the regular dirt tracks here in our area this spring.
The May 3 Elko feature pays $1,000 to win while the May 4 feature pays $1,500 to win. There is a $500 Clean Sweep Bonus in effect from GRP Motorsports if one driver is able to win both UMSS features on opening weekend at Elko. The Saturday night Elko race is a Minnesota Mafia Point Fund event and will also kick off the eleven race MN Mafia Point Fund season schedule. With the first two planned UMSS races at SCVR and CLS falling victim to the weather, the Minnesota Mafia announced that the Open Wheel Nationals scheduled for June 28-29 at the St. Croix Valley Raceway will now be Minnesota Mafia Point Fund races. Further details on the 2nd Annual Open Wheel Nationals will be released soon.
In addition to the Clean Sweep Bonus on opening weekend at Elko, GRP Motorsports will also pay a $100 UMSS Past Point Champion bonus each night to the highest finisher in the feature event amongst previous UMSS point champions. Drivers who are eligible for this bonus are Leigh Thomas (2009), Cody Hahn (2010) and Jerry Richert, Jr. (2001 & 2012). GRP Motorsports will also pay out a $100 UMSS Hard Charger Award each night to the driver who advances the most positions in the A Feature. UMSS drivers who finished in the top 25 in the final 2012 season point standings are eligible for this bonus. The season opening weekend at Elko should be a great way to kick off the UMSS season, as many fans and drivers are anxious to go racing given the extremely poor weather in April.
The UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series (TSCS) will attempt to get their 2013 season underway at the St. Croix Valley Raceway on Friday night May 3 along with the UMSS Micro sprints. SCVR will try and lift the lid on their season one week later than planned with all of their regular Friday night divisions on the program. The TSCS non-winged sprints will then head south on Friday May 10 for a show at the Elko Speedway, as they have the opportunity to be the support division for the much-anticipated first-ever appearance by the World of Outlaws 410 winged sprints at Elko. The following night May 11 will see the TSCS sprints and UMSS micros on the program at SCVR for the first of two Bullring Blast programs featuring the WISSOTA late models and open wheel modifieds. The month of May certainly has several big events in the first two weeks to provide race fans with some exciting sprint car racing action.
With many race teams and fans waiting for the season to get underway, area race tracks and racing series are hoping that the month of May and the remainder of the season will see greatly improved conditions for racing. Check out the UMSS website at www.umsprints.com or their Facebook page to see where the popular sprint car series has events scheduled during the 2013 racing season or to keep tabs on how your favorite UMSS driver is doing. You can also contact series President/CDO Ron Bernhagen at 612-363-5302 for questions regarding any of the three UMSS racing divisions.
The Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) has set the date for their annual awards banquet to celebrate and honor the top drivers from the 2012 winged and traditional sprint car series season in addition to the inaugural micro sprint champion. The 2012 UMSS awards banquet will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at the Hampton Inn & Green Mill restaurant and bar located at 1000 Gramsie Road in Shoreview, Minnesota at the intersection of I-694 and Lexington Avenue North. Activities will begin with a social hour from 5:00-6:00pm. A cash bar will be available all evening. A buffet dinner will be served from 6:00-7:30pm. The awards ceremony will take place from 7:30-9:00pm. The banquet room has three large screens where videos and photo highlights from the 2012 season will cycle through during the course of the evening.
The cost of the banquet is $30 per adult, children 6-15 are $15, and under 6 are free. Tickets need be purchased by January 5, 2013 by contacting series head Ron Bernhagen at 612-363-5302. Driving directions and other information about the Hampton Inn can be found on their website at http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/minnesota/hampton-inn-minneapolis-st-paul-north-MSPSVHX/index.html or by calling them at 651-482-0402. The UMSS encourages race teams and fans to come out and make this an enjoyable family weekend. The Hampton Inn has an indoor swimming pool, fitness center and video arcade.
Rooms have been set aside at the Hampton Inn under the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series name. The rate for Saturday night for a room with two (2) queen-size beds is $89.00 or a single room with (1) king-size bed is $69.00 plus tax. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 651-482-0402 and mentioning the UMSS banquet room rate. The cut-off date for reserving a room under the UMSS banquet rate is December 19, 2012.
The Upper Midwest Sprint Car Series looks forward to seeing many sprint car drivers, teams and fans at their fourth annual banquet on Saturday, January 19, 2013. Sprint car race fans are especially encouraged to attend the banquet. The UMSS has completed four successful seasons of winged sprint car racing, two seasons with the popular traditional non-winged sprint cars, and the first season for the micro sprints. The UMSS continues to generate interest in sprint car and micro sprint racing, as they build and grow the sport near the Twin Cities and surrounding areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Please visit the UMSS website at www.umsprints.com or check out the UMSS Facebook page for information about this exciting series and the opportunities that are available for participants, sponsors and fans.
It's Graf All The Way In Granite City UMSS Go
Mighty Axe Win To Graf After Thiel Weighs In Light
A solid field of seventeen UMSS sprint cars were on hand for the opening night of the 11th Annual Mighty Axe Nationals at the North Central Speedway on Saturday September 1. Although he did not cross the finish line first, Chris Graf of Glencoe picked up his second UMSS win of the season and second career Mighty Axe victory when apparent winner Scotty Thiel weighed in eight pounds light at the scale following the 25 lap feature race. For Graf, it was his ninth career UMSS win and moved him into second place in the GRP Motorsports High Five Championship standings.
Due to the large car count in all divisions on hand and lengthy racing program, the usual double round of qualifying races that the UMSS utilizes to determine the feature race line-up was replaced by three heat races with passing and finishing points. Following the heats, high point driver Jason Tostenson redrew the #4 pill putting Graf and Tony Norem on the front row for the main event. Graf blasted into the early lead on the cushion and was gone. A quick caution slowed the pace two laps into the race and then a fourteen lap green flag run ensued with Graf in command. A red flag stopped the action with 16 laps scored when third place runner Brooke Tatnell crashed hard into the turn three wall. Tatnell was not injured, but his car was done for the night and weekend.
When the green replaced the red for a nine lap sprint to the checkers, 8th place starter Scotty Thiel quickly disposed of Tony Norem for second and set his sights on the leader. Graf's car was not as fast as it had been before the red flag, and Thiel ran him down over the course of the next four laps. Thiel bolted into the lead on lap 20 and went on to score an apparent victory. However, Thiel's car was not able to make the minimum weight at the track scales after the race and was disqualified thus handing the win to Graf.
Commenting after the race and when it was official that he had won, Graf stated "I would rather win the race on the track than at the scale afterward, but I'll take another Axe trophy and the first place money. My car was a rocket before the Tatnell crash, but after that my left rear tire sealed over. I was having trouble getting off the corners, especially turn four. Scotty was faster than me in the end, but it's not over until you make it out of tech." North Central Speedway gave the sprinters a fresh track to race on for their feature. It was fast in the first part of the race, began changing in the middle stages, and slicked off some during the end of the feature providing a good challenge for the drivers and crews to dial in their cars.
Finishing behind Graf in the feature was Tony Norem in second, current point leader and defending champion Jerry Richert, Jr. in third, Andy Jones in fourth and Sye Anderson in fifth. Rounding out the top ten finishers were Jared Goerges, Tony Kaus, Leigh Thomas, Jennifer Eriksen and Anna Kouba. Heat races were won by Jason Tostenson, Graf and Tatnell. Tostenson was the first caution two laps into the feature when he slowed with what turned out to be a broken throttle linkage. Although obviously disappointed and even a bit surprised following the DQ at the scales, Thiel vowed to return the next night and get an Axe trophy to take back to Sheboygan, Wisconsin with him. Check out the race report from the final night of the Mighty Axe Nationals to see if he accomplished that goal.
UMSS Race Results - North Central Speedway September 1, 2012 (Race #15)
11th Annual Mighty Axe Nationals
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Heat #1 (8 laps): Jason Tostenson 36, Jerry Richert, Jr. 63, Sye Anderson 37, Anna Kouba 5, Kevin Bradwell 95, Leigh Thomas 29.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Heat #2 (8 laps): Chris Graf 20G, Andy Jones 73, Scotty Thiel 64, James Broty 33, Brad Nelson 7N, Chad Patterson 15 DNS.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Heat #3 (8 laps): Brooke Tatnell 86AU, Tony Norem 45, Tony Kaus 3TK, Jared Goerges 9, Jennifer Eriksen 10x.
GRP Motorsports A Main (20 laps): Graf, Norem, Richert, Jones, Anderson, Goerges, Kaus, Thomas, Eriksen, Kouba, Patterson, Broty, Tatnell DNF, Nelson DNF, Bradwell DNF, Tostenson DNF, Thiel DQ.
Lap Leaders: Graf 1-19, Thiel 20-25 (but light at scales following the race).
Victory Photo courtesy of Vince Peterson at Track Rat Photos.
Tony Norem Tops Big "O" UMSS Show At Ogilvie Raceway
Riding the high side to victory at Ogilvie Raceway is becoming a Tony Norem trademark, as Norem drove to his first Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) feature race win of the season on Saturday night June 16. Norem, from Dassel, started the 20 lap main event on the 3/8 mile oval from the third position. He followed early leaders Jason Tostenson and Scotty Thiel until driving by Thiel on lap six for the lead. Norem would go on to lead the remaining fourteen laps to record a popular win in the Big "O" Sprint Showdown during the only UMSS appearance at the track in 2012 on what turned out to be a beautiful summer evening for racing.
Beaming in usual Norem fashion following the race, Tony commented, "I liked what they did to the track to make it fast where I like to run (right up top). The fun meter was pegged tonight for sure. Thanks to my crew, sponsors and fans for a great night. I like this place." Although Norem's luck last year wasn't favorable at Ogilvie, he has taken a liking to the fast track. Norem recorded his second career feature win at Ogilvie, having won the Big "O" Fall Showdown a couple of years ago. Tonight's win wasn't without some anxious moments, as his left rear tire was losing some air pressure under caution with five laps to go. While at speed, the tire gained pressure and held together enroute to Victory Lane.
The typical UMSS double round of qualifying races would see long-tow driver Scotty Thiel of Sheboygan, Wisconsin earn the top point tally. Thiel redrew the #4 pill for the feature race invert. This put Jason Tostenson and Brooke Tatnell on the front row. Many fans were wondering if anybody could top Tatnell in the feature race, but the original start was called back when Tatnell fired before the pole car and was penalized two rows. This elevated Thiel to the outside front row. The second start was good, as Tostenson got the best of Thiel to grab the early lead exiting turn two. Tostenson held the point for three laps before Thiel drove around him. Thiel was flying on the high side, but so was Tony Norem and Chris Graf. On lap six, Norem got by Thiel for the lead. One lap later, Thiel got into the marbles up near the wall in turn two and made contact with the concrete. Thiel's sprinter tipped over to bring out the lone red flag of the evening. Thiel was okay, but his car was out of the race.
On the restart following the Thiel crash, Norem wasted little time in blasting into a comfortable lead. Chris Graf, last week's UMSS winner, was now in second and kept the leader in sight. With Graf slowly closing the gap in lapped traffic, the final caution blinked on when rookie driver James Broty clipped an infield tractor tire exiting turn four and needed wrecker assistance with some front end damage to his car. With all eyes on Norem's left rear tire, the race restarted and Norem left little doubt that his potent #45 sprinter was up to the task. Following Norem and Graf across the finish line in the top five was Tatnell, Tostenson and Scott Broty. As the leaders took the checkers, Jarod Goerges spun in turn two. Goerges had been running in sixth at the time. Rounding out the top ten were Sye Anderson, the last car on the lead lap, followed by Jerry Richert Jr, Anna Kouba, Chad Patterson, and Tony Kaus. A total of sixteen sprint cars were on hand with Andy Jones (engine) and Tori Knutson (driveshaft) unable to start the main event.
Ultimate Sprint Heat wins went to Scott Broty, Thiel and Tatnell. Earning Challenge Race victories were Graf and Thiel. For Norem, it was his fourth career UMSS win, and he became only the second UMSS driver to defeat Brooke Tatnell. Andy Jones defeated the talented Aussie last year. Many of the UMSS drivers took part in the extremely popular autograph session in front of the grandstand during intermission. The interaction between fans, mostly young ones, and the drivers really helps to put a face with the names and truly makes new fans for each of the competitors. UMSS sponsor, Alpha Apparel & Promotions, donated a couple of UMSS t-shirts which were handed out during the autograph session.
The UMSS heads south next Friday June 22 for their only 2012 appearance at the Chateau Raceway in Lansing. Last year, Andy Jones won his first-ever sprint car feature at Chateau. Then the following Friday night June 29 at the St. Croix Valley Raceway the UMSS sprints are part of the 1st Annual Open Wheel Nationals with their presentation of the 20th Annual Earl Kouba Memorial paying $2,000 to win and $270 to start. The UMSS website at www.umsprints.com and the UMSS Facebook page, along with other various media outlets, contain all of the information you will need to follow the fast-paced action of the UMSS in 2012 including the winged 360 sprints, the non-winged Traditional sprints, and the 600cc micro sprints.
UMSS Race Results - Ogilvie Raceway June 16, 2012 (Race #5):
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1 (6 laps): Scott Broty 34, Jason Tostenson 36, Jared Goerges 9, Tony Kaus 3TK, Kevin Bradwell 95, Jerry Richert Jr. 63 DNS.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2 (6 laps): Scotty Thiel 64, Tony Norem 45, , Anna Kouba 5, Sye Anderson 37, Chad Patterson 15.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Ultimate Sprint Race #3 (6 laps): Brooke Tatnell 14, James Broty 33, Chris Graf 20G, Andy Jones 73, Tori Knutson 14k.
North Country Builders Challenge Race #1 (8 laps): Graf, Norem, Tatnell, Goerges, Scott Broty, Anderson, Bradwell, Knutson DNF.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #2 (8 laps): Thiel, Tostenson, Richert, Kouba, James Broty, Patterson, Kaus, Jones DNF.
GRP Motorsports A Main (20 laps): Norem, Graf, Tatnell, Tostenson, Scott Broty, Anderson, Richert, Kouba, Patterson, Kaus, Bradwell, Goerges, James Broty DNF, Thiel DNF, Jones DNS, Knutson DNS.
Lap Leaders: Tostenson 1-3, Thiel 4-5, Norem 6-20.
Victory Lane Photo Courtesy of Jacy Norgaard.
Graf Once Again Powers To Kids Night Victory At North Central Speedway
By: Greg Parent UMSS Media Director (6-9-12)
Chris Graf of Glencoe is taking a liking to the popular Kids Night promotion at the North Central Speedway, as he backed up last year's exciting last lap win with a dominating performance in the 20 lap Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) feature race on Saturday night June 9. On a track surface for the feature race that was the best seen in the four years that the UMSS sprints have been at Brainerd, Graf immediately powered to the top side and set a torrid pace with Scott Broty and Andy Jones in tow. The leaders began working lapped traffic just six laps into the main event while the fast and furious pace of the race was not slowed until less than two laps to go for a spin. This set up a quick two lap dash to the finish, and Graf was up to the task while Broty and Jones battled for the runner-up position behind him.
Commenting after the race, a smiling Chris Graf stated, "That was fun. The track had grip in it and my crew really had the 20G set up well. I had to change lines a couple of times in traffic, but the car was working great. I was concerned about what kind of a restart I would have following that late yellow flag, but I didn't see anybody underneath me on those final two laps. Thanks to my sponsors, crew and family for making this possible." Graf had a bit of an adventure heading up to Brainerd when a tire on his trailer blew out, so he was the last sprint car to arrive in the pits shortly before hot laps. He may have been the last to arrive, but he was the first across the finish line when the final checkers waved on a warm summer evening to earn the top prize of $1,000.
Following the usual UMSS double round of qualifying races, the front row of the feature race had a couple of heavy hitters. Scott Broty of Prior Lake and Chris Graf brought the field to the green and hit the loud pedal. Defending UMSS Champion, Jerry Richert Jr. of Forest Lake, needed to make repairs following some front end damage during the second Challenge Race. Richert was actually the first car in line to push out for the feature but would find himself starting seventh. Graf grabbed the lead on the opening lap, a lead he would never relinquish. Scott Broty held off Andy Jones during the final two lap dash to the checkers to finish second. Just as the leaders were taking the checkered flag, another spin brought out the caution but the race was officially over. Fellow Glencoe racer Jason Tostenson, making his 2012 UMSS debut for a new team based out of St. Cloud, rode home with a solid fourth place effort. Local Brainerd racer Jared Goerges completed the top five. Richert finished sixth ahead of Sye Anderson, Chad Patterson, Anna Kouba, Rob Caho Jr, Tony Kaus, Brad Nelson, and rookie driver James Broty. Richert and Tostenson topped the Ultimate Sprint Heats while Scott Broty and Graf drove to Challenge Race wins. Scott Broty was the top point driver following the two rounds and drew a zero pill for a straight-up start to the feature.
The UMSS continues its march through June when the series makes its only appearance on Saturday June 16 at the Ogilvie Raceway. The following Friday night the UMSS turns its attention in a southerly direction for an evening of sprint car racing at the Chateau Raceway in Lansing. The month of June rounds out at the St. Croix Valley Raceway on Friday night June 29 for the 20th Annual Kouba Memorial as part of the first Open Wheel Nationals. Be sure and check out the UMSS website at
www.umsprints.com for all the latest news or visit the UMSS Facebook page and become a friend.
UMSS Race Results - North Central Speedway June 9, 2012 (Race #4): Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1 (7 laps): Jerry Richert Jr, Andy Jones, Chad Patterson, Sye Anderson, Tony Kaus, James Broty, Brad Nelson.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2 (6 laps): Jason Tostenson, Scott Broty, Chris Graf, Jared Goerges, Rob Caho Jr, Anna Kouba.
GRP Motorsports Challenge Race #1 (8 laps): Scott Broty, Goerges, Caho, Jones, Kouba, Nelson, Anderson DNF.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #2 (8 laps): Graf, Kaus, Tostenson, Patterson, James Broty, Richert DNF.
GRP Motorsports A Main (20 laps): Graf, Scott Broty, Jones, Tostenson, Goerges, Richert, Anderson, Patterson, Kouba, Caho, Kaus, Nelson, James Broty DNF.
Lap Leader: Graf 1-20.
File Photo Courtesy of Vince Peterson at Track Rat Photos.
REWOOD SPEEDWAY WIN 5/20/12