Grosz Takes UMSS Sprint Car Opener
NEW RICHMOND, Wis. – Lee Grosz was perfect during the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series season opener at Cedar Lake Speedway Saturday night.
Grosz drove the potent Howells No. 4J sprinter to his third career UMSS victory on a cool and windy spring evening, completing a sweep of racing action after winning his heat and challenge race. Grosz passed race leader Chris Graf following a lap 12 restart and held the top spot during the final 13 circuits of nonstop racing in the feature. Grosz earned $1,000 for his win thanks to some sponsorship help from GRP Motorsports.
“I was paying attention to where Graf was running down low, so I knew I needed to go up top to get by him,” Grosz said. “The track was pretty good for early season. There were a couple of racing grooves to choose from.”
Grosz, who was the high point driver following the usual double-round of UMSS qualifiers, drew the eight pill which inverted the first four rows. Grosz wasted little time in beginning his quest for the top spot, as he moved into the top five just four laps into the 25 lap main event. One lap later following the first of three cautions, Grosz sped into third behind leaders Chris Graf and Rick Kobs.
After the second caution just past the halfway mark, Grosz got by Kobs for second. Grosz had actually taken the lead from Graf early on lap 13, but the final caution blinked on and scoring reverted back to the last fully completed lap. It didn’t take the Harwood, ND driver long to find his way to the front once the race went green again.
Rick Kobs also got by Graf on lap 13 and went on to equal his UMSS career-best second place finish when he ran second behind Grosz at Viking Speedway last August. Defending UMSS champion Graf held on to third. Scott Broty, making his return to sprint car racing after a hard crash at SCVR last June, looked like he never missed a beat coming from his 10th starting spot to finish fourth.
The motor in Scott Broty’s car was only installed just hours before race time, as he and his son James thrashed to get their cars ready for opening night action at CLS. Tony Norem completed the top five. Norem was strong early on, but his B1st sprinter dropped a valve part way through the feature race and was down a cylinder for several laps.