By Greg Parent
when he drove the Protofab sprinter to a clean sweep during the fourth race in the Midwest Power Equipment/GRP Motorsports Series on what turned out to be a decent summer evening after some rain showers earlier in the day. Tatnell won the first heat, first Challenge race and the feature for his second UMSS win of the season, second at Granite City Speedway having won back in 2014, and his 33rd over all in UMSS competition. Tatnell is certainly no stranger to Rock Auto Victory Lane at UMSS events. Tatnell, who had just recently raced in the main event last Saturday night at the prestigious Knoxville Nationals, picked up $1,500 for his efforts. Tatnell is two for two in full point shows this season with the UMSS and had a third place finish at Knoxville back on July 1 in a non-point event.
Although the weather was a bit questionable during the day with some light sprinkles falling about a half hour before the start of racing action, the skies cleared and it turned out to be a comfortable evening. The field was held down just a bit with fourteen UMSS winged sprints signed into the pits. Two 7-lap heat races and two 8-lap Challenge races were run with drivers earning passing and finishing points in each round of qualifiers in order to set the starting lineup for the feature event. Heat race wins went to Tatnell and 2015-2016 UMSS Champion Ryan Bowers. Tatnell topped the first Challenge race while current Midwest Power/GRP Motorsports Series point leader Derrik Lusk won the second Challenge race with a last lap pass of Chase Viebrock. The top four drivers in points then redrew for starting spots in the first two rows of the feature. As luck would have it (or not if you were a fellow competitor) Tatnell drew the pole position with Lusk starting outside front row. Current UMSS season point leader Chris Graf and Bowers would start from the second row.
During the second heat race, Anna Hippe’s car made contact with the turn four concrete wall and required wrecker assistance to lift her battered sprinter to the pits. Anna’s night was done in the winged sprints, as the car sustained heavy front and rear end damage. Thirteen cars made the call for the 25 lap feature race. Tatnell wasted little time in gaining the advantage over Lusk and opened up a comfortable lead. As the laps clicked off quickly under the green flag, Tatnell began lapping cars on lap eight. Twenty five laps later without a caution to close up the field, Tatnell had lapped up through the fifth place car and defeated Lusk by a margin of 5.5 seconds (about a straightaway). Lusk settled for second on this night with 2013 UMSS Champion Graf in third. Defending and two-time UMSS Champion Bowers rode home in fourth after a good battle with Graf during the early to middle portions of the race. Jared Goerges completed the top five. Rounding out the top ten finishers was Jason Tostenson in his second appearance of the season with the UMSS, leading Rookie of the Year candidate Viebrock, Jamey Ogston, Mike Mueller in the Pellersels 22 car, and Tori Knutson. Reed Allex, Kevin Bradwell and Denny Stordahl also finished, as no cars dropped out of the race which took a little over six minutes to complete on a well-prepared racing surface.
Word came just prior to the start of the drivers meeting that flooding rains over the previous three days at Madison, MN forced track officials to cancel the scheduled race for Saturday August 19. The speedway was literally a lake, as pictures popped up on various smart phones throughout the evening showing the flooded conditions. With the Madison show flooded out, the Midwest Power Equipment/GRP Motorsports Series will now have eight races with the Granite City show marking the halfway point. With two wins and two second place finishes, Derrik Lusk of Jackson has 980 points with two-time and defending Midwest Power Series Champion Chris Graf of Glencoe sitting in second with 952 points. Ryan Bowers of Ham Lake is third with 924 points. Chase Viebrock and Kevin Bradwell have 907 and 832 points to round out the top five. Reed Allex is just nine points behind Bradwell, as those six drivers have run all four races. Four more shows remain with the inaugural appearance by the UMSS at the Northern Iowa Speedway in Decorah next Saturday August 26. After a break over the Labor Day weekend, the UMSS winged sprints return for the 17th Annual Jerry Richert, Sr. Memorial at the Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday September 9. The season concludes with a double header weekend on September 15-16 at Spencer, Iowa and the big season ending show at the Deer Creek Speedway. All four of the remaining UMSS winged shows will also have the Traditional sprint cars in action and the final three events will also feature the IRA Outlaw 410 sprints on the program. Race fans will certainly want to make plans to attend one or more of these final races, as the battle for the Midwest Power Equipment/GRP Motorsports Series title heats up plus it is a great opportunity to see some exciting sprint car racing action before another season is in the record books. 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 – Granite City Speedway August 18, 2017 (Race #12)
Race 4 of 8 in Midwest Power Equip/GRP Motorsports Series
Midwest Power Equip/GRP Motorsports A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 14-Brooke Tatnell, ; 2. 2-Derrik Lusk, ; 3. 20G-Chris Graf, ; 4. 64-Ryan Bowers, ; 5. 9-Jared Goerges, ; 6. 36-Jason Tostenson, ; 7. 50-Chase Viebrock, ; 8. 03-Jamey Ogston, ; 9. 22-Mike Mueller, ; 10. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson, ; 11. 91A-Reed Allex, ; 12. 77-Kevin Bradwell, ; 13. 34-Denny Stordahl, ; (DNS) 5-Anna Hippe,
Lap Leader: Tatnell 1-25. No cautions. Margin of victory 5.5 seconds.
Midwest Power Equip Challenge Race 1 (8 Laps): 1. 14-Brooke Tatnell, ; 2. 20G-Chris Graf, ; 3. 9-Jared Goerges, ; 4. 36-Jason Tostenson, ; 5. 34-Denny Stordahl, ; 6. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson, ; (DNS) 5-Anna Hippe,
Lap Leaders: Graf 1-6, Tatnell 7-8. No cautions.
GRP Motorsports Challenge Race 2 (8 Laps): 1. 2-Derrik Lusk, ; 2. 50-Chase Viebrock, ; 3. 64-Ryan Bowers, ; 4. 22-Mike Mueller, ; 5. 91A-Reed Allex, ; 6. 03-Jamey Ogston, ; 7. 77-Kevin Bradwell, 
Lap Leaders: Viebrock 1-7, Lusk 8. No cautions.
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat 1 (7 Laps): 1. 14-Brooke Tatnell, ; 2. 22-Mike Mueller, ; 3. 14K-Victoria (Tori) Knutson, ; 4. 91A-Reed Allex, ; 5. 34-Denny Stordahl, ; 6. (DNF) 36-Jason Tostenson, ; 7. (DNF) 77-Kevin Bradwell, 
Lap Leader: Tatnell 1-7. (1) caution for 36 & 77 contact turn 1 opening lap.
Rock Auto Heat 2 (7 Laps): 1. 64-Ryan Bowers, ; 2. 20G-Chris Graf, ; 3. 2-Derrik Lusk, ; 4. 9-Jared Goerges, ; 5. 50-Chase Viebrock, ; 6. 03-Jamey Ogston, ; 7. (DNF) 5-Anna Hippe, 
Lap Leader: Bowers 1-7. (2) cautions. Initial start 2 wheel stand clipped tire. Stopped on back stretch. Okay to tag tail. With 5 laps scored 5 hard into turn 4 concrete wall (on hook to pits, done for the night).