By Greg Parent UMSS Media Director,Stan Meissner photo
St. Croix Falls, WI
A fantastic late August evening coupled with both the winged and nonwinged sprint cars for the second “Thunder in the Valley” Kids Night program saw Brooke Tatnell hop in his friend and fellow Aussie racer David Craft’s #86 sprint car for a bid at the $1,000 top prize in the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) show on Friday night August 26 at the St. Croix Valley Raceway. When the checkered flag flew at the conclusion of the feature race, Tatnell found himself sitting in Victory Lane at the 1/4 mile dirt oval located near St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Tatnell took the lead when Brad Barickman got sideways exiting turn two at the halfway mark and went on to record his sixth career UMSS feature triumph. “This is a fun little track and a great group of drivers to race with,” commented Tatnell. “Thanks to David Craft for allowing me to jump in his sprint car tonight and have some fun. I’m planning to run the Nelson Motorsports car at Brainerd and Cedar Lake during the next couple of weekends,” continued Tatnell. Indeed, the UMSS regular drivers will have to be on top of their game to defeat the “Awesome Aussie” with his new “Scruffy” Bobby Allen look.
Following the usual double round of qualifying races utilized by the UMSS, Brad Barickman and Cody Hahn sat on the front row for the 20 lap feature race. Both drivers were searching for their first 2011 wins. Barickman and Hahn swapped the top spot on the opening lap with Barickman gaining the upper hand exiting turn four. It only took a few laps for fifth starter Tatnell to move to second and set his sights on Barickman. On lap seven, the leaders encountered lapped traffic on the little bullring, as Tatnell closed in on Barickman. Barickman got sideways exiting turn two near the halfway mark to bring out the first caution. Barickman gave up his lead with nine laps scored and restarted at the tail of the field. On the restart, Cody Hahn slowed up some in turn two causing Chris Graf to loop his car. Graf joined Barickman at the rear for the restart.
At the halfway mark, it was Tatnell leading Andy Jones, Cody Hahn and Jerry Richert, Jr. In lapped traffic once again, Jones began to close in on Tatnell. On lap 15, Jones’ potent #73 sprinter suffered an engine failure entering turn one and slapped the wall in turn two. Jones saw his night end with a hole in the oil pan. The Mastell Racing Team was quickly searching and calling to see if they could locate a ride for the following night at Rice Lake in order to keep Andy in the points battle.
Tatnell went on to lead the remaining circuits for his third win with the UMSS in 2011. Barickman and Graf quickly moved back up through the field and into the top five. On the final lap, Richert edged past Hahn to claim the runner-up spot, as Barickman also got around Graf on the final lap for fourth. Completing the top ten finishers were Joseph Kouba, Ronnie Erickson, Leigh Thomas, Chad Patterson and Anna Kouba.
Earlier in the evening, Richert defeated his nephew Ronnie Erickson in the Alpha Apparel & Promotions first Ultimate Sprint Race while 2010 UMSS Champion Cody Hahn topped 2009 UMSS Champion Leigh Thomas in the Meeks Video Second Ultimate Sprint Heat. Barickman bested Graf in the Driverwebsites.com first Challenge Race. At the conclusion of that race, Hibbing winner Scott Broty had something break in the front end of his sprinter just after taking the checkered flag in third. Broty’s car hit the concrete wall and flipped over. Broty was done for the night. Andy Jones won for his sponsor and car owner in the second Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race over Tatnell. Tony Norem was an early scratch for the night, as his #45 sprinter suffered engine woes prior to hot laps and was unable to compete during the evening.
Anna Kouba maintained her lead in the GRP Motorsport/BP Trading Company rookie standings with her top ten finish, but Chad Patterson and Kevin Bradwell remain on her heels in pursuit of the title. The top twelve shows during the season will be used to determine the rookie award winner. Cody Hahn earned a $100 GRP Past Champion bonus for his third place finish. Ronnie Erickson won a right rear Hoosier Racing tire in the nightly draw.
The UMSS will make their second appearance of the season at the Rice Lake Speedway on Saturday night August 27 with $1,000 going to the feature winner along with a right rear Hoosier Racing tire. Check out the exciting UMSS action on their website at www.umsprints.com or visit them on Facebook.
UMSS Race Results – St. Croix Valley Raceway August 27, 2011 (Race #12):
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1 (7 laps): Jerry Richert Jr, Ronnie Erickson, Scott Broty, Brooke Tatnell, Chris Graf, Joseph Kouba, Chad Patterson.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2 (7 laps): Cody Hahn, Leigh Thomas, Andy Jones, Brad Barickman, Kevin Bradwell DNF, Anna Kouba DNF, Tony Norem DNS.
Driverwebsites.com Challenge Race #1 (8 laps): Barickman, Graf, Broty, Richert, Thomas, Patterson, Bradwell DNS.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #2 (8 laps): Jones, Tatnell, Hahn, J Kouba, Erickson, A Kouba, Norem DNS.
GRP Motorsports A Main (20 laps): Tatnell, Richert, Hahn, Barickman, Graf, J Kouba, Erickson, Thomas, Patterson, A Kouba, Jones DNF, Bradwell DNF, Broty DNS, Norem DNS.
Lap Leaders: Barickman 1-9, Tatnell 10-20.