By Greg Parent
Entering the third season of winged sprint car racing, the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) is pleased to announce that GRP Motorsports and BP Trading Company are back on board as sponsors of the 2011 UMSS Rookie of the Year Award. Greg Parent of GRP Motorsports will once again provide a $700 first place bonus award to the leading UMSS rookie while Brian Madsen’s BP Trading Company will be kicking in an additional $300 for the second highest finishing rookie. GRP will round out the top three with a $100 bonus. Last year, Jared Goerges topped Ronnie Erickson and Andy Jones in the race for the UMSS rookie title. Last year’s UMSS Champion, Cody Hahn, was the 2009 Rookie of the Year.
The award will once again be known as the GRP Motorsports/BP Trading Company Rookie of the Year Award. The first, second and third place bonus awards will be based on the top rookie drivers’ best 12 point shows during the UMSS 2011 season. Both Greg Parent and Brian Madsen have been involved with the sport of auto racing for many years. Stated Madsen, “I’ve been around the sprint car racing deal in promoting, owning, driving, and head of sanctioning for a long time. The UMSS has generated interest amongst a younger generation, and that is something this sport so desperately needs.” Continued GRP, “Brian and I both feel strongly about the new drivers that are getting involved. The UMSS is the engine driving the renewed interest in sprint car racing here in our area.”
BP Trading Company is a family-owned business based in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota specializing in pawning merchandise, buying and selling guns, or if you would prefer, they can also sell your merchandise on the Internet for you at a very reasonable fee. In today’s tough economic times, BP Trading Company is here to help. Please visit their website at www.bptradingcompany.net or talk with Brian Madsen in the pit area at a UMSS race. Brian is planning to return as a car owner in 2011 with John Franzen driving his #85 winged sprint car.
Several rookie drivers have indicated they will be racing with the UMSS in 2011. Some of them will compete on a limited basis while others will run a good number of shows. Leading the group of drivers planning on racing in more than the minimum number of 12 shows is 19 year old driver Anna Kouba from Lino Lakes. Anna has only run a very limited number of shows the past two seasons, as this kart racer and renowned soccer player plans to make a serious bid to bring home a 2011 rookie title to the famous Kouba racing family household. Charly Cropp from Menomonie, WI made his sprint car racing debut late last season, appearing in just two shows. Charly is planning on racing a more extensive schedule this season in pursuit of the 2011 rookie honors. Another driver planning on running about 18 shows is young Burnsville driver Chad Patterson. Chad’s racing experience comes from the midwest modified division where he raced several seasons. Chad sat out last year, as he accumulated the necessary equipment to fulfill his life-long dream of racing a sprint car. Chad’s wife, Sheridan, will be the crew chief on this family operation. Brodie McKeon from Heron Lake also has roots in the b-mods, as this young driver will be moving up to the sprint car ranks in 2011. Being that Brodie’s home base in a longer distance from many UMSS shows, he may not be able to run as extensive of a schedule as some of the other rookies. The final rookie candidate is young 16 year old female racer Tori Knutson from Otsego. Tori has karting and micro sprint racing experience, as she will embark on her sprint car racing career in 2011. Tori is only planning on running a very limited schedule with the UMSS in 2011 at this time, electing to concentrate on running an area weekly track to gain further experience.
The UMSS continues to be a value-based sprint car organization bringing open wheel racing back to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota by establishing reasonable rules for the participant, an economical purse structure for the race tracks, and an affordable race ticket and fan-friendly program for the race fan. For more information on the UMSS, please visit our website at www.umsprints.com or check out the UMSS on Facebook.