Graf Overtakes Viebrock Late at Rice Lake for Thrilling Win

UMSS Upper Midwest Sprint Series Top Story
By Greg ParentUMSS Upper Midwest Sprint Series Top Story
Rice Lake, WI

For over eighteen laps it looked like young Chase Viebrock of New Richmond was poised to pick up his first winged sprint car win, but Chris Graf of Glencoe had other thoughts.  Coming out of turn four to complete nineteen laps and take the white flag, Graf ducked underneath Viebrock for the lead and held off a bid by “The New Richmond Nightmare” to regain the top spot on his way to his second win of the weekend and fifteenth career Upper Midwest Sprint Car Series trip to Rock Auto Victory Lane.  It was also Graf’s second victory at the Rice Lake Speedway, having won on May 28 back in 2011.  The win kept Graf’s bid intact to claim the $1,000 GRP Motorsports Clean Sweep Bonus in effect during the three-race Memorial Day Weekend series in western Wisconsin.  Graf will have the opportunity on Sunday evening at the Eagle Valley Speedway.  The 2013 UMSS champion earned $1,000 for his thrilling victory at Rice Lake.  Thanks to some sponsorship help from Midwest Power Equipment and GRP Motorsports, the top three finishers in the feature earned some extra bonus money.
Two heat races were run for a thinner than usual eleven car field.  Not surprisingly, Graf and Viebrock picked up the wins.  Once again, the UMSS held a King of the Hill challenge instead of the usual challenge races to determine how the first two rows would line up for the feature event.  Just like the previous night at Red Cedar, the third and fourth place drivers in passing and finishing points in the heats ran a two lap race against each other.  Jared Goerges defeated Kevin Bradwell to advance to the next round where he was scheduled to go up against Graf.  In his heat race, Graf broke a rear end in his sprint car, and he and his crew were busy working to replace the damaged one with a new one.  So Goerges matched up against Viebrock.  Viebrock defeated Goerges and would roll off from the pole position for the 20 lap main event with Goerges to his outside.  Bradwell and Graf would be in row two.  For Graf, it just added a little extra drama to the evening.  Later on that hard work to get his car ready would pay off.  For the second consecutive night, Tony Norem had misfortune in hot laps.  The previous night he broke a rear end at Red Cedar.  On Saturday at Rice Lake he blew his motor.  Out of equipment, Norem headed back home.
Viebrock blasted to the high lane right at the drop of the green flag for the 20 lap feature.  Graf quickly moved to second on lap two also running up top.  The laps clicked off in quick fashion until the lone caution of the race slowed the pace with eleven laps scored when Bradwell slid sideways in turn one and stopped.  Bradwell restarted behind the other lead lap cars and the race was under green again.  Commenting afterwards about his winning move coming to take the white flag, Graf indicated that “I needed to calm down and slow down just a bit, as I was coming into the corners a bit harder than I should.  Once I did that with several laps to go, I found my rhythym and got going.  I could see Chase was more patient and smoother than I was, and I started to think that maybe I was only a second place car tonight.  The change in strategy worked and gave me a chance at the extra GRP money.  I had incentive!”  The disappointment was apparent for Viebrock having come so close, but he continues to gain experience in a winged sprint car and it likely will not be too long before it will be his turn to park it in Rock Auto Victory Lane.  Rounding out the top five finishers was Goerges, Mike Mueller in a nice run in Jeff Pellersels car, and Reed Allex.
The UMSS winged sprints will conclude their three race Memorial Day Weekend tour when they are scheduled to visit the Eagle Valley Speedway for the first time ever on Sunday evening May 28.  Will Chris Graf complete the weekend sweep?  Will Chase Viebrock earn his first winged sprint feature win?  Will another driver nix Graf’s bid for the $1,000 GRP Motorsports Clean Sweep Bonus?  The final chapter for the weekend will be written on Sunday night at Eagle Valley!  Keep tabs on all of the UMSS winged sprint car action by visiting our website at and clicking on the red logo or by following us on Facebook.
UMSS Race Results – Rice Lake Speedway May 27, 2017 (Race #4)
Midwest Power Equip & GRP Motorsports A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 20G-Chris Graf[4]; 2. 50-Chase Viebrock[1]; 3. 9-Jared Goerges[2]; 4. 22-Mike Mueller[6]; 5. 91A-Reed Allex[8]; 6. 77-Kevin Bradwell[3]; 7. N1-Ty Sampair[5]; 8. 7M-Bob McVitty[7]; 9. 95-Trevor Redding[9]; 10. (DNF) 93-Denny Stordahl[10]; (DNS) 1-Tony Norem.
Lap Leaders: Viebrock 1-18, Graf 19-20. Cautions: (1) yellow with 11 laps scored for 77 spin turn 1.
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 20G-Chris Graf[3]; 2. 9-Jared Goerges[1]; 3. N1-Ty Sampair[2]; 4. 7M-Bob McVitty[4]; 5. 95-Trevor Redding[5]; (DNS) 1-Tony Norem
Lap Leader: Graf 1-6. No cautions. 1 Norem scratched for the night after losing an engine in hot laps.
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 50-Chase Viebrock[4]; 2. 77-Kevin Bradwell[1]; 3. 22-Mike Mueller[2]; 4. 91A-Reed Allex[3]; 5. (DNF) 93-Denny Stordahl[5]
Lap Leader: Viebrock 1-6. No cautions.
King of the Hill Challenge (2 Laps): 1. 50-Chase Viebrock[1]; 2. 9-Jared Goerges[3]; 3. 77-Kevin Bradwell[4]; 4. 20G-Chris Graf[2]
First 2 lap match race Goerges defeated Bradwell. Second 2 lap match race Viebrock defeated Goerges. Graf defaulted to fourth, as he and his crew were replacing a broken rear end in his sprinter after his heat and unable to run the King of the Hill.