By Greg Parent, UMSS Media Director,Tack Rat photo
Just as the racing program was scheduled to get underway on Saturday night August 20 at the Hibbing Raceway, a brief but heavy rain storm rumbled through and drenched the track. This caused a three hour delay to the start of the 1st Annual Rumble on the Range featuring the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) winged warriors. For Prior Lake, Minnesota racer Scott Broty it proved to be the “Perfect Storm.” A lightning fast and tacky racing surface, which is usually not typical for the 1/3 mile Hibbing oval, was the result and Broty’s black sprinter was very well suited to take full advantage of the circumstances that Mother Nature dealt the UMSS sprint car drivers in what for most was their first-ever appearance at the track. Commenting after his win, Broty indicated “it was important to get a good starting spot tonight with the heavy and fast track. My car was the best it has been all season long. I was out of tear-offs with a few laps to go, so I was wiping mud as best I could off my faceshield. I’m really pumped up to win my first UMSS race. I’m still in the points battle, and this win will give us more confidence and momentum as we continue to get dialed in. Thanks to my crew, the sponsors and to the UMSS for allowing area sprint car racers the chance to compete at a variety of tracks. It’s great to win the first Rumble on the Range at Hibbing.”
With the Ultimate Sprint Heats in the books and the chance of some light rain approaching the race track once again, series officials decided to scrap the Challenge Races. Hibbing Raceway moved the sprint car feature race up in the order of events, so it was the first feature of the evening. The main event was lined up based on the points earned in heat race action. Each of the three heat race winners had the same score, as Scott Broty, Tony Kaus and Jerry Richert, Jr. won their super fast races from the outside front row starting position. Since Scott Broty was the first of the three high-point drivers to attain the score, Broty was given the opportunity to draw either a zero for a straight-up start from the heat race points or a four. As Broty pulled the zero pill, the veteran racer smiled, pumped his fist, and then breathed a sigh of relief. Broty’s car was hooked up and hauling, and this would give him a great chance to race to his first-ever UMSS victory after returning to the driver’s seat following a four year hiatus.
At the drop of the green, Broty immediately blasted to the cushion and planted his throttle foot to grab the lead over fellow front row starter Tony Kaus. Broty quickly began to open up a lead on the rest of the field, as third starter Richert and Kaus battled for the runner-up spot. Richert ducked under Kaus on lap four and one lap later Broty encountered lapped traffic. At the same time, Cody Hahn moved past Kaus for third followed by Andy Jones one lap later. Broty skillfully handled the lapped cars and soon had opened up a comfortable lead over Richert at the halfway mark of the 20 lap feature race.
Laps continued to roll by in a quick manner under the green, as the leaders worked lapped traffic on a constant basis. In command up front, Broty was hammer-down on the cushion when not working past lapped cars. With the double checkers waving, Scott Broty crossed the finish line with his first UMSS feature win in the caution-free race. Finishing a distant second was current UMSS point leader Jerry Richert, Jr. Defending UMSS champion Cody Hahn rode home in third just a short distance ahead of three-time 2011 winner Andy Jones. Joseph Kouba turned in a solid run to place fifth. Finishing sixth was Sydney, Australia driver David Craft making his first appearance with the UMSS after having just recently arrived in the States. Seventh was the 2009 UMSS champion Leigh Thomas who was also racing with the UMSS for the first time this season following an extended stay in Missouri building houses. Ronnie Erickson was eighth, Tony Kaus held on to the ninth spot, and Sye Anderson returned to action with a tenth place finish.
The UMSS wishes to thank Lonnie Olson of Beltline Body Shop in Hibbing and Dan Motter of Motter Equipment out of Penguilly for their strong sponsorship and support in helping bring sprint car racing back to Hibbing following a nine year absence. Track workers and officials at the Hibbing Raceway should also be commended for their efforts in working to get the racing program in following the rain. Helping boost the back-end pay for this event was GRP Motorsports, Mastell Brothers Trailer Service, and UMSS CDO Ron Bernhagen. Cody Hahn captured a $100 GRP Past Champion bonus for his third place finish and also was the recipient of the Mike Mackie/Dominos Pizza $100 Hard Charger Award. The hard charger award actually saw a three-way tie between Hahn, Andy Jones and Leigh Thomas. By virtue of his higher finishing position (tie-breaker), Hahn was able to add to his winnings.
Subbing for his daughter Anna Kouba, Joe Kouba strapped himself back into a sprint car after turning the wrenches for several seasons. Kouba easily led the field in seniority in taking top finishing status in the “58 or older club.” Anna Kouba continues to lead the GRP Motorsports/BP Trading Company Rookie of the Year standings after the first eleven shows. Anna is scheduled to be back in action next weekend for a UMSS double-header. Anna Kouba and Cody Hahn were also awarded right rear tire certificates from Hoosier Racing Tire. In addition to his $1,000 first place pay day, Scott Broty also won a $200 right rear Hoosier Racing Tire.
During the time the track was being worked back in to shape following the rain storm, the hugely popular UMSS driver autograph session took place on the front stage in front of the grandstand. Many young and some older race fans took advantage, as all sixteen UMSS drivers on hand came over from the pits to participate. Plans are already underway to return to the Hibbing Raceway in 2012 for the 2nd Annual Rumble on the Range. With the potential to book a race at another area track, it could turn out to be a double-header weekend in the Northland next year. Speaking of double-header racing action, the UMSS returns next Friday and Saturday for two full racing programs. The “Thunder in the Valley” at the St. Croix Valley Raceway will feature the winged sprints along with their TSCS nonwinged counterparts on Friday night August 26. The following night, the UMSS winged sprints will make their second appearance of the season at the Rice Lake Speedway. A strong field of cars is expected to be on hand each night, as the two tracks are located only about a one hour drive apart from each other. Make plans to be hand for more exciting sprint car racing action UMSS style! Fans can follow the UMSS on their website at www.umsprints.com or check out the UMSS Facebook page.
UMSS Race Results – Hibbing Raceway “Rumble on the Range” August 20, 2011 (Race #11):
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Heat #1 (6 laps): Scott Broty, Joseph Kouba, Rob Caho, Jr, Joe Kouba, Kevin Bradwell DNF, Jared Goerges DNS.
Meeks Video & Driver Websites Ultimate Sprint Heat #2 (6 laps): Tony Kaus, Johnny Parsons III, David Craft, Ronnie Erickson, Chad Patterson.
GRP Motorsports & Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Ultimate Sprint Heat #3 (6 laps): Jerry Richert, Jr, Cody Hahn, Andy Jones, Leigh Thomas, Sye Anderson DNF.
Beltline Body Shop & Motter Equipment A Main (20 laps): Broty, Richert, Hahn, Jones, Joseph Kouba, Craft, Thomas, Erickson, Kaus, Anderson, Caho, Parsons DNF, Joe Kouba DNF, Patterson DNF, Bradwell DNS, Goerges DNS.
Lap Leaders: Broty 1-20