By Greg Parent
With two successful seasons completed, the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) recently held two meetings in the end of October. The first meeting took place on Saturday October 23 at Joe Senser’s Sports Bar in Roseville. More than two dozen interested drivers and fans attended an informational meeting on what the UMSS has to offer in 2011 for 360 sprint car racing and micro sprint racing. UMSS President Ron Bernhagen presented a general overview of the UMSS along with a brief recap of the 2010 season. Greg Parent of GRP Motorsports explained how the UMSS Rookie of the Year Award is handled as well as the Sweet Sixteen Bonus award. John Morris discussed micro sprint racing and fielded numerous questions from prospective drivers and car owners. Ron Bernhagen wrapped up the discussion with a brief outline of what his plans are for a non-winged sprint car exhibition series in 2011. Following the meeting, interested drivers headed outside to view an actual winged 360 sprint car, a non-winged 360 sprint car, and a micro sprint. Many questions were asked by several interested individuals, as the meeting proved to be a great opportunity to learn more about the UMSS, 360 sprint car racing, and micro sprint racing in and around the Twin City metro area.
The second meeting took place the following Saturday October 30 at Joe Senser’s Sports Bar in Roseville. This meeting was a general meeting involving UMSS officials, current drivers, car owners, sponsors, and some media members. A crowd in excess of 50 interested individuals were on hand. UMSS President Ron Bernhagen reviewed the 2010 season and a gave a general preview of the 2011 season. Ron indicated the 2011 schedule is still a work in progress, but several tracks were discussed as potential race night options. A slight increase in the over all purse was discussed. Several rules and procedures were also discussed. Current drivers and car owners were given the opportunity to have direct input as to how they wanted the UMSS rules to evolve. Very few changes were made at this meeting. The drivers did vote in a new procedure for the initial start of a race. Ron Bernhagen commented that he was looking at all options for tires in 2011. Ron will present his findings to the drivers at the annual banquet and let them decide which brand of tire would be best for the UMSS. Many positive comments and suggestions were discussed at the meeting. Ron talked about the non-winged sprint car series planned as an exhibition series only for 2011 at this time. Several engine rules were discussed. If enough interest is generated and more teams come on board, the non-winged series has the potential to grow into another division within the UMSS. A steering committee comprised of drivers, officials and race fans will also be formed to help formulate ideas for upcoming events and the UMSS. Ron also announced that the UMSS banquet was tentatively set for Saturday January 30, 2011. A few more details needed to be firmed up, so an official announcement will be forthcoming near the middle of November with more information regarding the banquet.
As the Upper Midwest Sprint Car Series continues to evolve and grow, the UMSS is looking forward to seeing several new drivers try their hand at 360 sprint car racing in 2011 while a few drivers will once again return to the sport. Sprint car and micro sprint racing is gaining in popularity in the Twin City metro area and at several nearby tracks thanks to those who are involved with the UMSS. The two October meetings helped keep interested parties focused on building and growing the sport into 2011 and beyond.
The UMSS is a value-based sprint car organization bringing open wheel racing back to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota by establishing reasonable rules for the participant, an economical purse structure for the race tracks, and an affordable race ticket and fan-friendly program for the race fan. For further information on the UMSS, please visit our website at www.umsprints.com or check out UMSS on Facebook. For those who would like to visit with UMSS President Ron Bernhagen, he can be reached by phone at 612-363-5302.