By Greg Parent
Rick Kobs is no stranger to running any line on a race track that provides the fastest way around, and the veteran racer from Deer Park, Wisconsin draws upon his 30+ years of racing experience to quickly adapt. Such was the case on Friday night April 29 at the Princeton Speedway. Kobs was one of the first drivers to venture up top on the high-banked 1/4 mile dirt oval in the early stages of the 25 lap UMSS Traditional sprint car feature and rode the rim to his third victory of the season. Kobs came from his ninth starting spot to the lead in just eight laps, as he passed race leader Mike Mueller and never looked back on his way to Rock Auto Victory Lane. The race was slowed three times under caution on laps 12, 16 & 18. Following Kobs to the checkers was three-time series champion Rob Caho, Jr. in second ahead of Chase Viebrock, Mueller and 2015 Rookie of the Year James Giossi. A total of (18) Traditional sprints were on hand on a clear spring evening that turned a bit cool once the sun went down.
All three Traditional sprint car heat races were won by the outside pole starter. Mueller, rookie Bryan Roach, and Caho each earned the same amount of passing and finishing points. Second place finisher in heat two, Jake Kouba, may have benefited from an inadvertent yellow which reverted back to a white flag lap finish. His good fortune meant that he was fourth in passing and finishing points in a tie-breaker with Giossi. Jake parlayed that into a pole starting spot in the feature with Mueller to his outside. Caho and Roach made up row two. Jake Kouba’s night wouldn’t go so well in the feature though, as the young driver from the popular racing family had a couple of off-track adventures in turn four.
Mueller grabbed the early lead when he beat Jake Kouba to the bottom lane coming out of turn two on the opening lap and held the top spot for the first seven circuits. The driver on the move though was Rick Kobs from his inside row five starting position! Kobs was up top early with the “kite string out” and flying around the high side. As Kobs passed car after car, he quickly gathered a following up on the cushion. On lap 8, Kobs blew around Mueller in turns 3-4 and was really never seriously challenged after that. The only feature race Kobs hasn’t won so far this season is the one he was not able to race in last week when a blown engine sidelined his car following the heat race. Kobs wasn’t the only driver to advance eight positions in the feature race at Princeton, as 15th starter Kevin Bradwell, the inaugural Traditional Sprint Car Series champion in 2011, had a nice run forward to finish seventh.
The UMSS Traditional sprints will complete their double header weekend with their fourth appearance of the season slated for the Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday night April 30. The Traditional sprints will take the Mothers Day Weekend off before returning to action at Cedar Lake on May 14. The May 14 program is the hugely popular School Bus Night at CLS which always draws one of the largest crowds during the racing season. GRP Motorsports will be adding some money to the purse for the May 14 show. There are still several Traditional sprint teams working towards making their season debuts in the upcoming weeks, as the popularity of this series has grown to around three dozen cars available on any given race night.
UMSS- Traditional Sprint Car Series
Friday April 29, 2016
GRP Motorsports A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 81-Rick Kobs; 2. 78-Rob Caho Jr; 3. 50-Chase Viebrock; 4. 87-Mike Mueller; 5. 11-James Giossi; 6. 2K-Jimmy Kouba; 7. 95-Kevin Bradwell; 8. 16-Anna Hippe; 9. 99-Bryan Roach; 10. 69S-Jon Lewerer; 11. 7B-Scott Brandt; 12. 24-Brian Vanmeveren; 13. 29-Hunter Custer; 14. 12W-Kyle Wehking; 15. N1-Ty Sampair; 16. 3K-Jeremy Kerzman; 17. 6-Jake Kouba; 18. (DNF) 90-Tony Klose
Lap Leaders: Mueller 1-7, Kobs 8-25
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 87-Mike Mueller; 2. 50-Chase Viebrock; 3. 24-Brian Vanmeveren; 4. 7B-Scott Brandt; 5. 69S-Jon Lewerer; 6. 29-Hunter Custer
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 99-Bryan Roach; 2. 6-Jake Kouba; 3. 2K-Jimmy Kouba; 4. N1-Ty Sampair; 5. 95-Kevin Bradwell; 6. 12W-Kyle Wehking
Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 78-Rob Caho Jr; 2. 11-James Giossi; 3. 81-Rick Kobs; 4. 3K-Jeremy Kerzman; 5. 16-Anna Hippe; 6. 90-Tony Klose