Quarter Mile, Aussie-Style


by Terry Lehnertz and Don Randall

Mother Nature continued her streak of smiling on Kopellah Speedway as the track was able to complete all six of the scheduled events for the month of July, after managing just a single weekend of racing in June. Along with the hot weather, lightning fast UMSS Sprints cars were in action again at the speedway, in addition to the regular NASCAR Whelen All-American Series classes. Australian native and current Forest Lake, Minnesota resident Brooke Tatnell scored his second career UMSS feature win at Kopellah, with a bevy of repeat winners in the NASCAR classes.

Sprint action was fast and furious all evening, starting with the www.driverwebsites.com Ultimate Sprint race number one in the unique UMSS dual qualifying system. Jerry Richert Jr. looked to have the opening qualifier in hand but rolled to a stop shortly after the white flag was displayed. Third starting Sye Anderson was running second at the time and inherited the top spot, where he stayed for the final two-lap dash to the checkers. The second Ultimate Sprint race sponsored by www.sprintsource.com went to series points leader Brad Barickman who worked under Greg Gunderson just prior to the halfway point.

In the second round of qualifying, Brook Tatnell would foreshadow things to come later in the evening. After starting last due to suffering a flat tire in the opening Ultimate Sprint race, Tatnell vaulted from seventh to third in the first quarter mile of the Bryant Heating and Cooling Systems Challenge Race. After sizing up Jack Zweber for a few circuits, Tatnell moved to second on lap four. A red flag for the flipped #23 of Cody Hahn stopped the action briefly, and Tatnell dispatched his brother-in-law and early race leader Jerry Richert Jr. once the race resumed. Tatnell scored the win with Richert and Gunderson chasing. Mastell Brothers Trailer Services Challenge Race number two saw GRP Motorsports/BP Trading Company Rookie-or-the-Year contender Jared Goerges shoot to the point from the outside of row one and out run Alan Gilbertson and Brad Barickman to the checkers.

The night was capped by the fast and furious, caution-free twenty lap UMSS Sprint car main event presented by Countryside Plumbing and Heating. Series points leader Brad Barickman tallied the most points in the qualifying rounds and Barickman pulled the #4 pill to determine the inversion. Challenge Race winner Jared Georges and Ultimate Sprint race winner Sye Anderson paced the field to green for the feature ahead of Alan Gilbertson and Barickman. Anderson held the point early, but Brooke Tatnell was quickly throttle-stomping his way forward. After starting fifth, Tatnell was already sizing up Anderson for the race lead by lap three. After tailing the Brainerd, Minnesota chauffeur during laps three through six, Tatnell made his move on lap seven and took over the lead. While Tatnell rocketed off into the night, Barickman was wheel-to-wheel for a lap with Anderson in the battle for second before finally wresting the spot away on lap eight. As the field stretched out, Tatnell masterfully worked traffic to extend his lead even further, using every available inch of the multiple racing grooves to pass high and low as needed. With Tatnell working traffic up front, further back Jerry Richert Jr. was busy working the field – slicing his way from his ninth place starting position to a fourth place finish without the aid of a caution flag to re-bunch the field. In a blur, the fire-breathing, fuel-injected winged warriors rattled off lightning quick lap after lightning quick lap – needing less than eight minutes to complete the entire twenty lap main event. In the final rundown, Tatnell collected a dominating win in front of Barickman, Anderson, Richert and Joseph Kouba.

The runner-up finish allowed Barickman to extend his points lead by another seventeen points, to 98 markers in front of Cody Hahn with ten events remaining on the 2010 UMSS calendar. With his impressive feature run, Richert leap-frogged over Brandon Allen and into the top three in the season long points chase. After heading the next night to Arlington, Minnesota, the UMSS is back in action on Saturday night, August 7, at Ogilvie Raceway before returning to Kopellah Speedway for their penultimate appearance of the year at the track on August 13. Additional news and updates regarding the UMSS can be found on the series website at www.umsprints.com

Race Summary:

Friday, July 30

UMSS Sprints

www.driverswebsites.com Ultimate Sprint race #1: Sye Anderson, Alan Gilberston, Cody Hahn, Jared Goerges, Jerry Richert Jr., Kevin Nickel, Brooke Tatnell

www.sprintsource.com Ultimate Sprint race #2: Brad Barickman, Greg Gunderson, Joseph Kouba, Jack Zweber, Jack Clark, Anna Kouba, Lance Anderson

Bryant Heating and Cooling Systems Challenge race #1: Brooke Tatnell, Jerry Richert Jr., Greg Gunderson, Sye Anderson, Anna Kouba, Cody Hahn, Jack Zweber

Mastell Brothers Trailer Services Challenge race #2: Jared Georges, Alan Gilbertson, Brad Barickman, Joseph Kouba, Kevin Nickel, Lance Anderson, Jack Clark

UMSS Main Event presented by Countryside Plumbing and Heating (20 laps): Brooke Tatnell, Brad Barickman, Sye Anderson, Jerry Richert Jr., Joseph Kouba, Alan Gilbertson, Cody Hahn, Jared Georges, Greg Gunderson, Anna Kouba, Kevin Nickel, Lance Anderson (DNF), Jack Clark (DNS), Jack Zweber (DNS)

Lap Leaders: 1 – 6 Anderson, 7 – 20 Tatnell, 0 cautions