Exciting Billy Anderson Memorial Win For Chris Graf at Princeton

Chris Graf Track Rat photo
By Greg Parent
Princeton, MN
It was worth the wait!  Rain back on June 3rd forced the 15th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial at the Princeton Speedway to be postponed until Friday night August 19.  Rain in the area nearly nixed the

Chris Graf Track Rat photo
Chris Graf
Track Rat photo

event again, but the weather cooperated and the UMSS winged sprints put on their best feature race of the season, one of the best in the eight year history of the series and likely one of the best in the running of the Billy Anderson Memorial as well.  Rain earlier in the day along with overcast, humid conditions with rain just south of the track made for a fast, tacky and heavy racing surface at the 1/4 mile high-banked bullring.  The UMSS sprints would find the conditions to their liking.  2013 UMSS Champion Chris Graf also found the racing conditions to his liking, as he came from his seventh starting spot to take the lead from Brooke Tatnell on lap 18 and go on to record his first win of the 2016 season to open up the scheduled six-race Midwest Power Series with a thrilling victory.  Graf earned $2,000 for his effort.  Track announcer Dean Reller interviewed Graf in Rock Auto Victory Lane following 25 laps of great feature racing action which saw four different leaders.

The UMSS winged sprints drew a good field of (17) cars despite less than desirable weather conditions.  Following the usual double round of qualifying races, they lined up for their 25 lap feature event.  Heat wins went to Derrik Lusk and Jamey Ogston while  2015 UMSS Champion Ryan Bowers and all-time career leading UMSS feature winner Brooke Tatnell topped the Challenge Races.  The top four cars in points earned redrew for the first two rows of the feature with Lusk and Tatnell on the front row followed by three-time UMSS Champion Jerry Richert, Jr. and Bowers in row two.
Lusk launched to an early lead over Tatnell and Richert.  Four laps into the race, the lone caution appeared when Leigh Thomas turned sideways in turn four.  This set the stage for 21 green flag laps of exciting racing up front.  Richert came from third to first on the restart exiting turn two and brought his brother-in-law Tatnell with him, as Lusk did not get a particularly good restart.  Richert managed to hold off Tatnell over the next nine laps with Lusk, Bowers and Graf racing a short distance behind the leaders.  After a couple of failed attempts to wrestle the lead away from Richert, Tatnell finally accomplished the task on lap 14.  Meanwhile Graf was making significant progress on the bottom and got by Richert a lap later.  Graf worked on Tatnell for three more laps and made what would be the winning pass on lap 18.  Tatnell wasn’t done, as he continued to challenge Graf for the top spot.  Suddenly Bowers was in the mix in the waning laps while the leaders worked lapped traffic.  Graf jumped the cushion a bit in turn four coming to the white flag which allowed Tatnell and Bowers to close in.  Bowers moved past Tatnell entering turn one on the final lap just a few car lengths behind Graf.  Graf made sure he didn’t give the race away on the final circuit, as he raced to an exciting victory that had the crowd cheering on numerous occasions throughout the green flag run to the checkers.
Graf picked up a well-earned victory for his 12th career UMSS win and his first Billy Anderson Memorial title.  Graf became the 11th different winner of this event in the 15 year history which includes a couple of rain outs.  Only Richert and Tatnell have won the Billy Anderson Memorial twice.  Bowers settled for second at the finish ahead of Tatnell, Richert and Lusk.  Rounding out the top ten finishers was Troy Manteufel, Ogston, Tony Norem, Reed Allex and Jeff Pellersels.  Norem was driving a second Pellersels car with the Chevy crate CT525 engine in it.  Bowers also picked up an extra $500 for a special award sponsored by Mike Botzek.  Botzek formerly owned the B1st sprint car which Billy Anderson drove from him for a few seasons.  Botzek developed the Billy Anderson Memorial Passing Award which encompassed the most cars passed throughout the entire evening including the heats, challenge races and the feature.  The feature also had lapped cars figured into the mix.  In the end, Bowers topped Graf by one car for this special award.  Bowers earned $1,000 for second plus this bonus for a nice payday of $1,500.
The UMSS winged sprints were scheduled to conclude their double-header weekend with their second appearance of the season at the Ogilvie Raceway on Saturday night August 20, but rainy weather forced the cancellation of that event.  Racers and fans can keep track of all the UMSS action on our website at www.umsprints.com by clicking on the red logo or on the UMSS Facebook page.
UMSS Race Results – Princeton Speedway August 19, 2016 (Race #8)
15th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial
Midwest Power Equipment & GRP Motorsports 15th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial Feature (25 Laps): 1. 20G-Chris Graf[7]; 2. 199-Ryan Bowers[4]; 3. 14-Brooke Tatnell[2]; 4. 63-Jerry Richert Jr[3]; 5. 2L-Derrik Lusk[1]; 6. 5M-Troy Manteufel[6]; 7. 03-Jamey Ogston[5]; 8. 22-Tony Norem[12]; 9. 91A-Reed Allex[9]; 10. 1-Jeff Pellersels[10]; 11. 1D-Dean Brown[8]; 12. 29-Leigh Thomas[11]; 13. (DNF) 9-Jared Goerges[13]; 14. (DNF) 7M-Bob McVitty[14]; (DNS) 77-Kevin Bradwell; (DNS) 74-Roger McVitty; (DNS) 52-Jake Lempelius
Lap Leaders: Lusk 1-4, Richert 5-13, Tatnell 14-17, Graf 18-25. Cautions: (1) yellow with 4 laps in for 29 spin turn 4. Outstanding feature race, one of the best in the eight year history of the series! Ryan Bowers won the Mike Botzek sponsored $500 Billy Anderson Memorial Passing Award for the entire evening, edging Graf by one car.
Hoosier Racing Tire Challenge Race 1 (8 Laps): 1. 199-Ryan Bowers[4]; 2. 2L-Derrik Lusk[6]; 3. 77-Kevin Bradwell[2]; 4. 63-Jerry Richert Jr[5]; 5. 91A-Reed Allex[1]; 6. 1-Jeff Pellersels[3]; (DNS) 9-Jared Goerges; (DNS) 74-Roger McVitty; (DNS) 52-Jake Lempelius
Lap Leaders: Bradwell 1, Bowers 2-8. No cautions.
My Race Pass Challenge Race 2 (8 Laps): 1. 14-Brooke Tatnell[3]; 2. 5M-Troy Manteufel[1]; 3. 1D-Dean Brown[2]; 4. 03-Jamey Ogston[5]; 5. 20G-Chris Graf[4]; 6. 22-Tony Norem[6]; 7. 29-Leigh Thomas[7]; 8. (DNF) 7M-Bob McVitty[8]
Lap Leaders: Manteufel 1-5, Tatnell 6-8. No cautions.
Track Rat Photos Ultimate Sprint Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2L-Derrik Lusk[3]; 2. 63-Jerry Richert Jr[5]; 3. 20G-Chris Graf[6]; 4. 1-Jeff Pellersels[2]; 5. 1D-Dean Brown[7]; 6. 91A-Reed Allex[4]; 7. (DNF) 22-Tony Norem[1]; (DNS) 7M-Bob McVitty
Lap Leaders: Norem 1-3, Lusk 4-8. Cautions: (1) yellow for 22 slow on inside lap 5.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 03-Jamey Ogston[2]; 2. 199-Ryan Bowers[6]; 3. 14-Brooke Tatnell[5]; 4. 77-Kevin Bradwell[4]; 5. 5M-Troy Manteufel[8]; 6. (DNF) 29-Leigh Thomas[3]; 7. (DNF) 9-Jared Goerges[7]; 8. (DNF) 74-Roger McVitty[1]; (DNS) 52-Jake Lempelius
Lap Leader: Ogston 1-9. Cautions: (1) red for accident with 7 laps scored in turn one involving 9, 29 & 74. 9 tipped over and 29 managed to get up on big tractor tires outside turn one. Race went G-W-C to finish after that, thus the 9 laps. 9 & 29 returned to race later in program. 74 scratched for the remainder of the night. 52 broke a motor in hot laps and was scratched for the evening.