From Greg Parent
STILLWATER, Mn. (January 14, 2018) — The Upper Midwest Sprint Car Series (UMSS) has seen continued growth each year since the inception of the very popular Traditional Sprint Car Series back in 2011. For 2018 that growth has exploded with a total of 33 events on the schedule with 27 of the races as point shows. “There is no doubt that the 8th Anniversary season for the Traditional non-winged sprints will see their biggest and best schedule yet along with more cars available than in any previous year,” stated UMSS President Ron Bernhagen. Plenty of variety will give UMSS Traditional sprint car teams lots of opportunities in 2018.
No surprise compared with the previous two seasons, the Cedar Lake Speedway will once again provide the most race nights for the UMSS Traditional sprint cars leading the way with 15 shows (14 point races) for what many consider as the series “home track” at the legendary western Wisconsin speedway. The Traditional sprints will race at numerous other tracks in 2018 with two events each at the Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, Ogilvie Raceway, and Jackson Motorplex (non-point shows). Single events dot the schedule with a return to the Princeton Speedway, another appearance at the Eagle Valley Speedway after a successful showing last season, a new event at the Spring Lake Speedway in Unity, Wisconsin, the “traditional” non-point shows on Labor Day Weekend at Wilmot Raceway and Angell Park Speedway, a non-point event at the Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa and a full-point show at the Deer Creek Speedway. Still to be confirmed, the series is planning on returning in early May to the Red Cedar Speedway and to the Rice Lake Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend. The popular Northern Tour returns in 2018 in conjunction with the upstart Northern Renegade Sprints. A Thursday night June 21 date is confirmed at the Grand Rapids Speedway, a Friday night show is in the works but no official announcement can be made just yet, and although not 100% confirmed it looks likely that the ABC Raceway in Ashland will fill in the June 23 date to complete what will be known as the North-South Challenge Round 1.
There are several special events throughout the 2018 schedule. Seventeen nights will see the Traditional sprints pared up with the UMSS 360 winged sprints, but the opening weekend in early April belongs entirely to the non-winged division. Part of what will be called “The Legendary Opener” at the Cedar Lake Speedway, the UMSS Traditional sprints will race all three nights April 5-7 weather permitting. The Wisconsin wingLESS Sprint cars will also be part of this big season-opening event. Continuing on through the schedule the Traditional sprints return to the always-exciting Princeton Speedway 1/4 mile bullring for the 16th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial program on May 18. The aforementioned North-South Challenge Round 1 takes place June 21-23 while the North-South Challenge Round 2 is the following week at Granite City Speedway and Cedar Lake Speedway on June 29-30. The June 30 show at CLS is the hugely popular Fireworks Spectacular night. Once again part of the popular WoO weekend at CLS, the Traditional sprints get the Friday night July 6 show while the following Friday they will partner up again with the Wisconsin wingLESS Sprints for the first-time ever at the Spring Lake Speedway in Unity. The 7th Annual Davey Tabor Memorial will see the Traditional sprints race for increased purse money at the Ogilvie Raceway on August 18. Then comes what likely will be the biggest event on the 2018 schedule, the two-day Traditional Sprint Car Challenge at the Cedar Lake Speedway featuring non-winged sprints from five different sanctioning bodies in a two-day show that will see TWO complete feature races run each night. In addition to the UMSS Traditional Sprints, the Wisconsin wingLESS Sprints, the National Sprint League Non Winged Sprint Cars (formerly Heartland Racing Association), the Northern Renegades and the Black Hills Non Winged Sprints will all participate in this event which very likely will see 40-50+ non-winged sprint cars on hand at CLS for two big nights of topless sprint car racing action around the 3/8th mile high-banked track.
After a couple of non-point events in southern Wisconsin to kick off September, the 18th Annual Richert Memorial is another one of those must-see sprint car racing weekends with three different divisions on hand at CLS on September 8. A couple of non-point shows at Cedar Lake for the Legendary 100 and Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa will see the point battle culminate at the Deer Creek Speedway on September 15. Two more non-point shows remain on the schedule for the following weekend at the Jackson Motorplex for the inaugural NSL Non Wing Sprint Car Challenge at the premier sprint car racing track in Minnesota.
Building on the success of its six-race NASCAR Dash Series the past several seasons for their stock car divisions, the Cedar Lake Speedway has created the CLS Shootout in 2018 for the UMSS winged and Traditional sprints along with the limited late model division. The three divisions in the six-race CLS Shootout will be competing for point fund monies with the same point format as the NASCAR Dash. The CLS Shootout dates include April 21, May 19, June 2, June 30, July 14 and July 28. Also as part of both the CLS Shootout and NASCAR Dash Series in 2018, GRP Motorsports has come on board to help sponsor what will be known as the “GRP Motorsports CLS Loyalty Bonus” which will pay a $100 bonus to ALL drivers in both the CLS Shootout and NASCAR Dash Series who race ALL SIX events. Stated Greg Parent from GRP Motorsports, “I like the idea of paying a bit of bonus to those drivers who make the commitment to be at all six races in each series. Individually its a little extra “tow” money or whatever you want to think of it as, but collectively amongst all seven divisions its a fairly large sum of money that will be distributed to ALL drivers who compete in all six shows regardless of where they finish in the final point standings. That fits in perfectly with the thought process I have in helping reward those who show loyalty and help support a particular series, track or number of events.”
The 2018 season is definitely shaping up to the best yet for the UMSS Traditional sprint car division. “I think our 2018 schedule is likely the strongest one I have put together for the UMSS non-winged sprint cars for our 8th Anniversary season and should give drivers numerous opportunities to race and earn some extra money along the way. I can’t wait for the 2018 racing season to get underway in April,” stated UMSS President Ron Bernhagen. Racers and fans alike will want to make plans to attend as many UMSS events as their schedules permit in order to be part of the always-exciting and entertaining racing generated by the ultra-popular UMSS Traditional sprint cars in 2018!
2018 UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series Schedule (First Edition):
April 5-7 – Cedar Lake Speedway (The Legendary Opener w/Wisconsin wingLESS Sprints)
April 21 – *Cedar Lake Speedway (2nd Annual Gale Patterson Memorial)
May 5 – Cedar Lake Speedway
May 11 – TBD (Tentatively Red Cedar Speedway)
May 18 – +Princeton Speedway (16th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial-Midwest Power Series)
May 19 – *+Cedar Lake Speedway
May 26 – TBD (Tentatively Rice Lake Speedway)
May 27 – Eagle Valley Speedway
June 2 – *Cedar Lake Speedway
June 9 – +Ogilvie Raceway (Big O Showdown)
June 21 – +Grand Rapids Speedway (North-South Challenge Round 1)
June 22 – +TBD (North-South Challenge Round 1)
June 23 – +TBD (Tentatively ABC Raceway / North-South Challenge Round 1)
June 29 – +Granite City Speedway (North-South Challenge Round 2)
June 30 – *+Cedar Lake Speedway (North-South Challenge Round 2)
July 6 – Cedar Lake Speedway (WoO weekend)
July 13 – Spring Lake Speedway w/Wisconsin wingLESS Sprints)
July 14 – *Cedar Lake Speedway
July 28 – *Cedar Lake Speedway
August 17 – +Granite City Speedway
August 18 – +Ogilvie Raceway (7th Annual Davey Tabor Memorial)
August 24-25 – +Cedar Lake Speedway (The Traditional Sprint Car Challenge)
September 1 – Wilmot Raceway (non-point w/Wisconsin wingLESS Sprints)
September 2 – Angell Park Speedway (non-point w/Wisconsin wingLESS Sprints)
September 8 – Cedar Lake Speedway (18th Annual Jerry Richert Memorial)
September 13 – Cedar Lake Speedway (Legendary 100 non-point show)
September 14 – Clay County Fair Speedway (non-point show)
September 15 – Deer Creek Speedway
September 21-22 Jackson Motorplex (non-point event NSL Non Wing Sprint Car Challenge)
*CLS Shootout event
+ With Northern Renegades