From Greg Parent
Stillwater, MN — (April 6, 2013) –With anticipation running high for the upcoming 2013 racing season in all three divisions, the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) held its annual Spring Meeting and Tech Session at Mastell Brothers Trailer Service in Columbus, MN on Saturday April 6. A good turnout of drivers and crews were on hand representing the UMSS winged series and the TSCS non-winged division.
UMSS President/CDO Ron Bernhagen conducted the meeting with frequent input from Technical Director Joe Kouba and Head Tech Official Terry Galle. Media Director Greg Parent also commented on several items as did Race Director Don Randall. Ron Bernhagen reviewed the upcoming racing season for the UMSS winged and non-winged Traditional sprint car divisions, updated everyone on the joint effort between the UMSS and the MN Mafia Series, and took a brief look forward to 2014. Although no rule changes are actually voted on at this meeting, Joe Kouba and Terry Galle clarified several issues and areas within the current rules and race procedures while discussing some possible future changes in 2014. A summary of some of the important items covered at the UMSS Spring Meeting are as follows.
The current schedules for the winged and non-winged divisions were reviewed. The winged schedule is final while the non-winged schedule may have one more date added. Complete schedules for all divisions can be found on the UMSS website at www.umsprints.com and also in PDF files located in the Rules/Forms section of the website. The point structure for all three divisions will be identical. Cars earn points in feature races only while cars not making the A Main earn 150 show points if they attempted to race. The point breakdown can be found in the General Rules and Procedures PDF file located on the website. In both the winged and TSCS non-winged divisions, competitors will be allowed to throw out their two lowest point scores in determining the season champion. These scores could be zero (0) points if a driver misses one or two nights. 2013 will be the third season this format has been used in the winged series while last year the TSCS sprints threw out five shows. Now both divisions will be uniform when it comes to season point structure as will the micro sprint division.
Ron Bernhagen discussed the eleven (11) race MN Mafia Series, detailing the point fund structure and the rules that will be in place for those races. For the six (6) races up here in UMSS country, full UMSS rules will be in effect. For the five (5) races down south, the Jackson/ASCS rules will be in effect while UMSS cars can still utilize their rules. The UMSS Hoosier tire rule will be in effect for UMSS cars while the Jackson/ASCS Hoosier tire rule will be in effect for their cars. The MN Mafia Series will allow the lowest two point races to be thrown out, and those scores could be zero (0) points if a driver misses one or two series races. The point fund will pay the top fifteen (15) positions. Greg Parent indicated that a $100 Highest Finishing UMSS Bonus from GRP Motorsports will be in effect each night for the four JSTS Speedweek races in July based on the current top 20 in UMSS point standings as of mid July. There will also be a $250 GRP Motorsports Highest Finishing UMSS Bonus in place for the April 19 Jackson Spring Sprint Special for any driver who was listed in the final 2012 UMSS point standings (61 drivers eligible).
There will be no UMSS points in effect for the first MN Mafia Series race at Jackson April 19. For the four JSTS Speedweek Mafia Series point races in July, there will be a ten (10) point bonus added on to a driver’s lowest point score as of mid July each night they qualify for the A Main or a five (5) point bonus added on to a driver’s lowest point score as of mid July each night if they do not make the A Main. Zero (0) point scores cannot be increased. This small back-end point bonus could end up being a benefit for drivers who elect to participate in one or more of the JSTS Speedweek races. The full impact may not be known until the final weekend of the season depending on which two races a driver may have to throw out as their lowest point scores. Stated UMSS Media Director and point fund contributor Greg Parent, “This is a small but potentially important incentive for those UMSS drivers who support the JSTS Speedweek and MN Mafia Series without penalizing other UMSS drivers who simply are not able to race those four shows should they have been full point shows. It’s not easy to strike some kind of balance, but it is important to show support for the cooperative effort between the UMSS and the Jackson Speedway Touring Series regarding the MN Mafia Point Series events.” The six (6) UMSS shows that are also MN Mafia Series events will pay full UMSS points.
Weather permitting, all three divisions will kick off their 2013 season at the St. Croix Valley Raceway on Friday night April 26. The UMSS winged sprints will take to the Cedar Lake Speedway the following night to complete their double-header opening weekend. Both shows will be MN Mafia Series point races, so a strong field of cars is expected to be on hand at SCVR and CLS. GRP Motorsports will make sure each race pays $1,000 to win. A $500 GRP Motorsports bonus will be in effect if one driver wins both opening weekend feature races. Racing action will continue the first weekend in May with a double-header at the Elko Speedway for the UMSS winged sprints and a regular Friday night show at St. Croix Valley Raceway for the non-winged sprints and micros. Participation and car counts are expected to be up in all three divisions over last season with the TSCS non-winged sprints likely seeing the biggest increases based on the number of cars being built. It’s an exciting time for sprint car racing fans and drivers here in our area, as the UMSS is set to deliver some great racing action throughout the course of the 2013 season at several tracks. Be sure and follow the UMSS on their website or via their Facebook page to keep updated on what is happening inside the UMSS. The 2013 season has the makings of being the biggest and best so far in the five year history of the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series.