By Greg Parent UMSS Media Director
Chris Graf of Glencoe is taking a liking to the popular Kids Night promotion at the North Central Speedway, as he backed up last year’s exciting last lap win with a dominating performance in the 20 lap Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) feature race on Saturday night June 9. On a track surface for the feature race that was the best seen in the four years that the UMSS sprints have been at Brainerd, Graf immediately powered to the top side and set a torrid pace with Scott Broty and Andy Jones in tow. The leaders began working lapped traffic just six laps into the main event while the fast and furious pace of the race was not slowed until less than two laps to go for a spin. This set up a quick two lap dash to the finish, and Graf was up to the task while Broty and Jones battled for the runner-up position behind him.
Commenting after the race, a smiling Chris Graf stated, “That was fun. The track had grip in it and my crew really had the 20G set up well. I had to change lines a couple of times in traffic, but the car was working great. I was concerned about what kind of a restart I would have following that late yellow flag, but I didn’t see anybody underneath me on those final two laps. Thanks to my sponsors, crew and family for making this possible.” Graf had a bit of an adventure heading up to Brainerd when a tire on his trailer blew out, so he was the last sprint car to arrive in the pits shortly before hot laps. He may have been the last to arrive, but he was the first across the finish line when the final checkers waved on a warm summer evening to earn the top prize of $1,000.
Following the usual UMSS double round of qualifying races, the front row of the feature race had a couple of heavy hitters. Scott Broty of Prior Lake and Chris Graf brought the field to the green and hit the loud pedal. Defending UMSS Champion, Jerry Richert Jr. of Forest Lake, needed to make repairs following some front end damage during the second Challenge Race. Richert was actually the first car in line to push out for the feature but would find himself starting seventh. Graf grabbed the lead on the opening lap, a lead he would never relinquish. Scott Broty held off Andy Jones during the final two lap dash to the checkers to finish second. Just as the leaders were taking the checkered flag, another spin brought out the caution but the race was officially over. Fellow Glencoe racer Jason Tostenson, making his 2012 UMSS debut for a new team based out of St. Cloud, rode home with a solid fourth place effort. Local Brainerd racer Jared Goerges completed the top five. Richert finished sixth ahead of Sye Anderson, Chad Patterson, Anna Kouba, Rob Caho Jr, Tony Kaus, Brad Nelson, and rookie driver James Broty. Richert and Tostenson topped the Ultimate Sprint Heats while Scott Broty and Graf drove to Challenge Race wins. Scott Broty was the top point driver following the two rounds and drew a zero pill for a straight-up start to the feature.
The UMSS continues its march through June when the series makes its only appearance on Saturday June 16 at the Ogilvie Raceway. The following Friday night the UMSS turns its attention in a southerly direction for an evening of sprint car racing at the Chateau Raceway in Lansing. The month of June rounds out at the St. Croix Valley Raceway on Friday night June 29 for the 20th Annual Kouba Memorial as part of the first Open Wheel Nationals. Be sure and check out the UMSS website at www.umsprints.com for all the latest news or visit the UMSS Facebook page and become a friend.
UMSS Race Results – North Central Speedway June 9, 2012 (Race #4):
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1 (7 laps): Jerry Richert Jr, Andy Jones, Chad Patterson, Sye Anderson, Tony Kaus, James Broty, Brad Nelson.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2 (6 laps): Jason Tostenson, Scott Broty, Chris Graf, Jared Goerges, Rob Caho Jr, Anna Kouba.
GRP Motorsports Challenge Race #1 (8 laps): Scott Broty, Goerges, Caho, Jones, Kouba, Nelson, Anderson DNF.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #2 (8 laps): Graf, Kaus, Tostenson, Patterson, James Broty, Richert DNF.
GRP Motorsports A Main (20 laps): Graf, Scott Broty, Jones, Tostenson, Goerges, Richert, Anderson, Patterson, Kouba, Caho, Kaus, Nelson, James Broty DNF.
Lap Leader: Graf 1-20.