Tatnell Tops Grosz In Close Billy Anderson Memorial At Princeton


By Greg Parent
On a heavy, tacky racing surface with a tremendous amount of grip, Brooke Tatnell from Forest Lake, Minnesota worked his way by Lee Grosz of Harwood, North Dakota near the midway point of the 25 lap 12th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial feature race and then held off Grosz in what turned out to be a fairly close finish in the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) event at the Princeton Speedway.  The high-banked 1/4 dirt oval saw many of the sprint cars doing “wheelies” on the initial starts while under acceleration.  Many cars hiked up their right front or left front tires exiting the corners due to the tacky track conditions.  In the end, Tatnell defeated Grosz by 3/4 of a second at the finish to earn his first Billy Anderson Memorial title.  In a very nice gesture in Victory Lane following the race, Tatnell presented his trophy to Billy Anderson, Jr. to keep as a prized souvenir from the event.
All 21 UMSS sprints on hand made the call to start the 25 lap feature race.  Lee Grosz grabbed the early lead from his outside front row starting position.  Joseph Kouba brought out the first caution with five laps in when he slipped over the berm in turn four and spun.  The caution turned into a red flag when the fuel line broke on Anna Kouba’s car and a fire ensued in the cockpit of her sprinter.  Anna had to exit her car on the front stretch. She suffered a small second degree burn on her leg but was otherwise okay.  Grosz continued to lead on the restart over Tatnell.
With eight laps in, Kevin Nickel went off turn 4 and stalled to bring out the yellow while James Broty looped his car in turn one.  A couple of laps later, just as Tatnell had gotten by Grosz for the lead, the red flag appeared for the second time when Tony Kaus blew a radiator hose and sprayed slippery antifreeze on his rear tires, causing him to spin in turn 2.  Kaus collected Leigh Thomas and Sye Anderson in the accident and ended up tipping on his side.  The running order reverted back to lap nine with Grosz in the lead.  When the green waved, Tatnell was all over Grosz for the top spot.
Just past the halfway point, Tatnell got by Grosz exiting turn two.  Grosz however had just regained the lead from Tatnell on lap 20 when the yellow blinked on for the stalled car of Rick Kobs in turn 4.  Once again the race reverted back to the last fully completed lap with Tatnell up front.  Grosz was able to stay close in the remaining laps, as one more caution slowed the pace on lap 21 when Sye Anderson stalled with a broken rear end in his car.  Behind Tatnell and Grosz in the top five was 2012 Billy Anderson Memorial winner Cody Hahn, current UMSS point leader Chris Graf, and all the way from the 19th starting spot the winner of the first-ever Billy Anderson Memorial, Tony Norem.  Rounding out the top ten finishers were Jason Tostenson just a few feet behind Norem, two-time winner of the Billy Anderson Memorial Jerry Richert Jr., Neal Matuska, 2012 UMSS Rookie of the Year James Broty, and 2013 rookie candidate Gunner Cummings.
Ultimate Sprint Heat race wins went to Hahn, Tatnell and Kobs.  Graf and Tostenson topped the Challenge Races.  In his first-ever appearance at Princeton, Tostenson was the high-point driver after the usual double round of UMSS qualifying races.  Jason drew the #8 pill for the feature race invert, putting Tony Kaus and Lee Grosz on the front row.  Kaus, who finished fifth in points last year, was making his 2013 UMSS debut after just getting his motor back.
Unknown to him at the time, Kevin Nickel carried the American flag around the track during the National Anthem and was in for a surprise.  Following the anthem, Kevin was instructed to stop on the front stretch where his son’s wife gave him a big hug from Kevin Jr. who is serving our country over in Afghanistan.  As Kevin described the turn of events, “This was very cool.  It was a special moment for me that I had no idea was going to happen.  Thanks to all those who made it possible.”  The UMSS also presented the extremely popular autograph session during intermission with many young race fans lining up to get signed picture cards from a number of sprint car drivers.
Sprint car fans can follow the UMSS on their website at www.umsprints.com or become a friend of the UMSS on their Facebook page.  Following the Princeton show, the UMSS was heading a short distance to the northeast to race at the “Big O Sprint Showdown” at the Ogilvie Raceway in their only appearance at the fast 3/8 mile oval in 2013.
UMSS Race Results – Princeton Speedway June 7, 2013 (Race #3)
12th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial:
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1 (7 laps): 23 Cody Hahn, 4J Lee Grosz, 20G Chris Graf, 3TK Tony Kaus, 7 Dave Becker, 9 Jared Goerges, 29 Leigh Thomas.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2 (7 laps): 25 Brooke Tatnell, 63 Jerry Richert Jr, 10x Jenni Eriksen, 10 Kevin Nickel DNF, 55 Joseph Kouba DNF, B1st Tony Norem DNF, 34TW Gunner Cummings DQ (light).
Driverwebsites.com Ultimate Sprint Race #3 (7 laps): 34 Rick Kobs, 36 Jason Tostenson, 37 Sye Anderson, 5 Anna Kouba, 48 Neal Matuska, 31 James Broty, 91A Reed Allex.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #1 (11 laps): Graf, Matuska, Hahn, Anderson, Richert, Thomas, Cummings, A Kouba, Nickel, Kobs DNF, Norem DNF.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #2 (10 laps): Tostenson, Kaus, Tatnell, Eriksen, Grosz, Broty, J Kouba, Allex, Becker DNF, Goerges DNF.
GRP Motorsports & RPM Graphics 12th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial Feature (25 laps): Tatnell, Grosz, Hahn, Graf, Norem, Tostenson, Richert, Matuska, Broty, Cummings, Goerges, Becker, Nickel, Allex, Anderson DNF, Kobs DNF, Eriksen DNF, Thomas DNF, Kaus DNF, A Kouba DNF, J Kouba DNF.

Lap Leaders: Grosz 1-12, Tatnell 13-25.
Cautions: (5)