By Greg Parent
Following a successful opening night at the Elko Speedway Spring Dirt Nationals on April 20, the recent adverse weather has wreaked havoc with the early season Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) winged sprint car division schedule. With the April 21 Elko Speedway show falling victim to rain and two straight Saturday night attempts at the Cedar Lake Speedway unable to run due to the wet weather, the UMSS was looking forward to kicking off the St. Croix Valley Raceway season on Friday May 11. That has changed, as once again the UMSS will be forced to adjust their schedule with yet another weather-related cancellation.
The next UMSS race will be for a third attempt this spring at the Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday May 19. The UMSS feature winner on May 19 will earn $1,000 with some sponsorship from GRP Motorsports. The UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series (TSCS) will also be in competition that night providing race fans with two styles of sprint car racing at the high-banked 3/8 mile western Wisconsin dirt oval.
With the poor weather during the past three weeks affecting most area race tracks, the planned opener for the St. Croix Valley Raceway on May 11 has also become a victim. Heavy rains during the past two weeks have set back the construction of the new safety catch fence while not allowing heavy equipment on the track. “We need to be fully race ready on our opening night instead of where we are at right now. In the past two weeks, we’ve received 8″ of rain at the track. This has put us behind schedule, so unfortunately we must postpone our season opener one week to May 18,” stated St. Croix Valley Raceway track co-owner and promoter Ron Bernhagen.
The UMSS winged sprints will not run at the May 18 St. Croix Valley Raceway opener, since they are scheduled to compete in the 1st Annual Davey Tabor Memorial the following Friday night May 25 at SCVR. The winner of the UMSS winged sprint car feature that night will receive $1,034 thanks to some sponsorship from GRP Motorsports along with an increased payout for all remaining feature race positions courtesy of the Tabor family. The Davey Tabor Memorial will kick off a two race Memorial Day Weekend tour for the UMSS, as the series races the following night May 26 at the Rice Lake Speedway less than a one hour drive from SCVR.
The UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series has also been shuffling their 2012 early season schedule around. The planned opener at the Dodge County Speedway fell victim to soggy weather on May 6 and was pushed back one week to May 13. The same will hold true for the St. Croix Valley Raceway opener with that event being pushed back one week to May 18. The weekend of May 18-20 could potentially be a very busy one for the non-winged TSCS drivers, as they are scheduled to race at St. Croix Valley Raceway on Friday night, then at the Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday night, and they round out the weekend with a show at the Dodge County Speedway on Sunday night. The month of May will conclude with a single race night on May 25 for the TSCS sprints at St. Croix Valley Raceway.
Let’s hope the remainder of the various UMSS schedules will fall into place rather nicely and not be greatly affected by the weather, as the popular sprint car series has certainly been in scramble-mode during the first month of the 2012 season. Additional information on the UMSS regarding the winged sprints, the TSCS non-winged sprints and the UMSS micro sprints can be found on our website at www.umsprints.com or drivers and fans can follow the UMSS on their Facebook page. You can also contact series President Ron Bernhagen at 612-363-5302 for questions regarding any of the three UMSS racing divisions.
By Greg Parent