By Greg Parent
A season high 22 UMSS winged sprint cars signed into the pits on a fantastic summer evening for the second night of the popular World of Outlaws weekend on Saturday evening July 8 at the Cedar Lake Speedway. In front of a very large crowd, Derrik Lusk of Jackson topped an incredible battle amongst the top three cars and drove to his first Cedar Lake Speedway feature win and his second UMSS career victory. It was also the second race in the Midwest Power Equipment/GRP Motorsports nine race series, as the strongest field of UMSS winged sprint cars so far this season provided a very entertaining evening as the support division. Pumped with energy after winning the exciting 25 lap feature race, Lusk exited his sprint car, climbed up on the back behind the top wing and raised his hands high in the air to celebrate in Rock Auto Victory Lane. Moments later during his post-race interview with announcer Marty Gallagher, Lusk had some great comments for the fans indicating that you won’t find a better sprint car race in this area than the one he just won. Lusk earned $1,500 for the thrilling victory.
Using their traditional race format, the UMSS sprints ran three heats, two Challenge races and their feature. Heat races were won by April CLS winner Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks, two-time Midwest Power Series champion Chris Graf of Glencoe, and Eric Lutz of Sioux Falls. Several interesting twists and turns of fate took place during the first Challenge race. Both Mark Toews and Dean Brown had issues with their cars stalling after being pushed off and were unable to start. Both drivers got their cars running for the feature race later in the evening, but they would find themselves starting deep in the field. High point driver after the heats, Lutz, was moving forward when suddenly his car rolled to a stop in turn four on the second lap. Lutz was done for the night with an engine failure, loaded up early, and began the long drive back home.
That brings us to another interesting story for the evening. Prior to the start of the races, Jeff Pellersels was planning on racing his #22 winged sprint car which has a CT525 Pace Performance engine in it. Racedoc, as he is known to fans and fellow competitors, had run the same car without a wing the night before. Feeling a bit exhausted and not well enough to safely race, Racedoc found Traditional sprint car racer Mike Mueller walking around in the east side stands during WoO hot laps, asked him if he would like to drive his car for night, and they both quickly headed to the pits to see if Mike could fit into Racedoc’s drivers suit, helmet and seat. Mission accomplished. Just moments before, Mueller had planned on being a spectator for the evening and suddenly at the last minute, he would be driving a winged sprint car for the night. Mueller had driven the car a couple of times for Racedoc back on Memorial Day weekend at Rice Lake and Eagle Valley.
Mueller finished fifth in his heat race and started on the pole for the first Challenge race. After the drama mentioned above played out, Mike added to it by winning it, topping Nygaard, Jamey Ogston, Tori Knutson and several others in the process. The second Challenge race saw young Chase Viebrock lead the first eight laps before 2015-2016 UMSS champion Ryan Bowers got past for the final three laps. All this took place before what would turn out to be a tremendous feature event.
Following the double round of qualifiers, Nygaard, Bowers, Lusk and Graf were the top four cars in passing and finishing points. The redraw would see Nygaard and Bowers on the front row for the feature with Graf and Lusk sitting behind them in row two. Earning solid points with their performances in the heats and challenge races, the third row would be comprised of Friday night Traditional sprint car winner Anna Hippe in her 360 winged sprint car and Mueller.
With Eric Lutz the only car not able to make the feature race, 21 UMSS winged sprints roared to life at the drop of flagman Jeff Stacken’s green. Bowers blasted into the lead with Nygaard and Lusk close behind. Six laps into the race, Bowers had caught the back of the field and began lapping. Nygaard and Lusk closed in. Lusk took second on lap ten and began to challenge Bowers. The first caution waved with 11 laps scored when Jamey Ogston got sideways exciting turn two. Although Ogston managed to keep his car under power, the yellow light blinked on for safety reasons. Ogston restarted at the tail end of the lead lap cars. When the race went back to green, things really started to get interesting up front as Lusk stayed close to Bowers.
Bob McVitty spun in turn four with 15 laps in the books to bring out the second yellow. The next 5-6 laps provided spectacular racing amongst the three leaders. Bowers would lead for two more laps before Nygaard came from third to first to lead laps 18 & 19. Lusk then got by both cars and led lap 20, as the lead was literally changing hands amongst those three cars on several occasions. On lap 21, Jake Kouba blew up big time in turn four with the leaders approaching and dumped a ton of oil on the track. That brought out the third caution and interrupted what had been a fan-pleasing battle. Scoring reverted back one lap with Lusk in the lead on lap 20. Roger McVitty spun backwards on the front stretch on the restart for the final caution. Lusk was able to hold off Nygaard in the quick five lap dash to the checkers. Bowers, Graf and Viebrock completed the top five. Rounding out the top ten finishers was Mueller, 17th starter Toews, Ogston, Knutson and Ty Sampair in his Traditional sprint car with a wing on top and a four-barrel carb bolted on the engine. Sixteen cars finished the race. Toews earned the $100 GRP Motorsports Hard Charger Award with his +10 performance.
The UMSS winged sprints take a weekend off before returning to action at the Ogilvie Raceway on Saturday night July 22 for the running of the 6th Annual Davey Tabor Memorial. It is also the third race in the Midwest Power Equipment/GRP Motorsports series and will feature a nice purse with added series money from Midwest Power and GRP along with a very strong purse addition from Margaret Tabor. Look for a press release in the upcoming days with the details. Keep tabs on all of the UMSS winged sprint car action by visiting our website at www.umsprints.com and clicking on the red logo or by following us on Facebook.
UMSS Race Results – Cedar Lake Speedway July 8, 2017 (Race #10)
Midwest Power Equip/GRP Motorsports A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 2-Derrik Lusk, ; 2. 9N-Wade Nygaard, ; 3. 64-Ryan Bowers, ; 4. 20G-Chris Graf, ; 5. 50-Chase Viebrock, ; 6. 22-Mike Mueller, ; 7. 5T-Mark Toews, ; 8. 03-Jamey Ogston, ; 9. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson, ; 10. N1-Ty Sampair, ; 11. 77-Kevin Bradwell, ; 12. 62-Ronnie Erickson, ; 13. 1-Dean Brown, ; 14. 34-Denny Stordahl, ; 15. 95-Trevor Redding, ; 16. 7M-Bob McVitty, ; 17. (DNF) 5-Anna Hippe, ; 18. (DNF) 74-Roger McVitty, ; 19. (DNF) 16-Jake Kouba, ; 20. (DNF) 91A-Reed Allex, ; 21. (DNF) 00-Kyle Finnegan, ; (DNS) 5L-Eric Lutz.
Lap Leaders: Bowers 1-17, Nygaard 18-19, Lusk 20-25. Cautions: (4) yellows. Great race!
K1 Race Gear Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 9N-Wade Nygaard, ; 2. 91A-Reed Allex, ; 3. 5T-Mark Toews, ; 4. 64-Ryan Bowers, ; 5. 22-Mike Mueller, ; 6. 16-Jake Kouba, ; 7. 34-Denny Stordahl, ; 8. 95-Trevor Redding, 
Lap Leader: Nygaard 1-8. No cautions.
Pace Performance Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 20G-Chris Graf, ; 2. 1-Dean Brown, ; 3. 2-Derrik Lusk, ; 4. 03-Jamey Ogston, ; 5. 50-Chase Viebrock, ; 6. 77-Kevin Bradwell, ; (DNS) 74-Roger McVitty,
Lap Leader: Graf 1-7. No cautions.
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 5L-Eric Lutz, ; 2. 5-Anna Hippe, ; 3. 62-Ronnie Erickson, ; 4. N1-Ty Sampair, ; 5. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson, ; 6. 7M-Bob McVitty, ; 7. 00-Kyle Finnegan, 
Lap Leaders: Hippe 1-4, Lutz 5-7. No cautions.
GRP Motorsports Challenge Race 1 (11 Laps): 1. 22-Mike Mueller, ; 2. 9N-Wade Nygaard, ; 3. 03-Jamey Ogston, ; 4. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson, ; 5. 62-Ronnie Erickson, ; 6. 7M-Bob McVitty, ; 7. 34-Denny Stordahl, ; 8. 00-Kyle Finnegan, ; 9. (DNF) 5L-Eric Lutz, ; (DNS) 5T-Mark Toews, ; (DNS) 1-Dean Brown,
Lap Leader: Mueller 1-11. Cautions: (1) yellow for 5L stalled turn 4 with 1 lap scored.
Midwest Power Equip Challenge Race 2 (11 Laps): 1. 64-Ryan Bowers, ; 2. 2-Derrik Lusk, ; 3. 50-Chase Viebrock, ; 4. 5-Anna Hippe, ; 5. 20G-Chris Graf, ; 6. 77-Kevin Bradwell, ; 7. 91A-Reed Allex, ; 8. N1-Ty Sampair, ; 9. 16-Jake Kouba, ; 10. 95-Trevor Redding, ; 11. 74-Roger McVitty, 
Lap Leaders: Viebrock 1-8, Bowers 9-11. No cautions.