By Greg Parent, Track Rat photos
Looking to become the first repeat winner of the Billy Anderson Memorial, Jerry Richert, Jr. of Forest Lake drove his familiar orange #63 sprinter to a popular win at the Princeton Speedway on Friday night June 3 in the 10th annual edition of this event. Richert started third and moved under leader Brad Barickman on lap seven, then worked through lapped traffic on the 1/4 mile oval to post his first win of the season and ninth over all Upper Midwest SprintCar Series (UMSS) career victory on a warm and muggy evening.
Commenting after the race, a smiling Richert stated, “To win one of these is great. To become the first driver to win two Billy Anderson Memorial races is special. Joe Kouba set the car up perfectly for the track conditions. I figured when we were in heavy lapped traffic that my lead would shrink quickly. I was glad to get through the lapped cars in pretty good shape.”
The feature race had a couple of red flags after one lap had been completed and then ran nineteen laps nonstop to the finish with lapped traffic certainly a challenge for the leaders on the tight high-banked oval. Brad Barickman quickly blasted into the lead at the drop of the green, but the race was under the first of two red flags one lap later when Tony Norem spun in turn two and collected Brandon Allen. Allen’s sprinter flipped over. Brandon was okay, but his car was done for the night. Norem returned to tag the tail minus a front nose wing.
On the restart, Jared Goerges had his throttle stick entering turn one, rode up the inside berm and flipped over in the infield area. That ended a frustrating evening for the young Brainerd driver, as he had earlier exited turn one in his heat race and suffered some damage in the mishap. The race then ran nonstop to the checkers.
Barickman continued to lead with Richert a close second and Chris Graf in third. Richert slowly closed in on Barickman and ducked underneath him in turn three for the lead on lap seven. Richert steadily pulled away, as the leaders were soon in lapped traffic. A very good battle for the second through fourth positions developed between Barickman, Graf and young Princeton driver Andy Jones. Jones’ evening had already been eventful, as he got upside down on the opening lap of his heat race. His crew repaired his sprinter in time for his Challenge race and the feature event. Jones started tenth in the feature and quickly bolted to fourth. Graf grabbed second on lap nine while the three cars ran close together in traffic.
With Richert in heavy lapped traffic past the halfway mark, Graf and company closed in. With veteran experience and patience, Richert handled the lapped cars skillfully and was able to maintain his lead to the checkers. Graf held off Barickman for second. At the white flag, 2010 UMSS Champion Cody Hahn slipped by Andy Jones to ride home in fourth one lap later. Completing the top ten finishers were Sye Anderson, Joseph Kouba, Scott Broty, Norem, and Mike Stien. Anderson was the high-point driver after the double round of qualifying utilized by the UMSS, and Sye pulled the six pill for the feature race invert.
In the continuing battle for the 2011 GRP Motorsports/BP Trading Company Rookie of the Year Award, Chad Patterson topped Anna Kouba. Kouba still maintains a small lead over Patterson in the standings after Princeton with Charly Cropp in third. Richert, Graf and Barickman earned some additional bonus money from GRP Motorsports for their top three finish in the feature. Andy Jones won the GRP Hard Charger Award for the race, coming from tenth to finish fifth. By virtue of a top five finish, Cody Hahn also received some GRP Past Champions bonus money.
In qualifying action, Cody Hahn topped the Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1. Richert ruled the Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2. Sye Anderson bested Graf in the Driverwebsites.com third Ultimate Sprint Race. Tony Norem topped Anderson in the GRP Motorsports Challenge Race #1 while Brad Barickman held off Graf and Richert in the second Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race.
The UMSS returns to the Ogilvie Raceway for their second appearance of the season following the Princeton show on Saturday June 4. Sprint car fans can follow the UMSS on their website at www.umsprints.com, become a friend of the UMSS on their Facebook page, pick up a copy of the free UMSS Report newsletter available at each event, or check out the UMSS on various other media outlets including race results and point standings on Speednet.
UMSS Race Results – Princeton Speedway June 3, 2011 10th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial (Race #4):
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1 (6 laps): Cody Hahn, Brandon Allen, Mike Stien, Anna Kouba, Jared Goerges DNF.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2 (6 laps): Jerry Richert Jr, Scott Broty, Brad Barickman, Joseph Kouba, Chad Patterson.
Driverwebsites.com Ultimate Sprint Race #3 (6 laps): Sye Anderson, Chris Graf, Tony Norem, Kevin Bradwell, Andy Jones DNF.
GRP Motorsports Challenge Race #1 (8 laps): Norem, Anderson, Hahn, J Kouba, Stien, Broty DNF, Patterson DNF, Goerges DNS.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #2 (8 laps): Barickman, Graf, Richert, Jones, Allen, Bradwell, Anna Kouba.
RPM Graphics Billy Anderson Memorial A Main (20 laps): Richert, Graf, Barickman, Hahn, Jones, Anderson, J Kouba, Broty, Norem, Stien, Patterson, A Kouba, Bradwell, Goerges DNF, Allen DNF.
Lap Leaders: Barickman 1-6, Richert 7-20