SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. – Chris Graf left little doubt as to who would be the car to beat in the first-ever appearance by the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) at Granite City Speedway Sunday night.
After a dominating run in his Challenge Race, Graf found himself starting on the pole position for the 20-lap main when top point driver Jason Tostenson redrew the four pill for the feature race invert.
With Graf and Rick Kobs on the front row for the feature and Tony Norem and Tostenson in row two, flagman Shaun Cimfl waved the green for the 20 lap feature. Graf bolted to the cushion in turn one and began to slowly pull away.
The lone caution with six laps scored came for third place runner Kobs, who coasted to a stop exiting turn two with a flat tire and apparently some other damage to the right-rear of his car.
On the restart, Graf was gone. With a full straightaway lead, Graf began working lapped traffic at the halfway point while fifth starter Cody Hahn took second from Tony Norem.
As Graf continued to work lapped traffic, his lead shrunk a little bit but he still maintained a comfortable margin with Hahn a distant second.
The final 14 laps of the race ran nonstop. On the final lap exiting turn four, Graf slapped the turn four concrete wall a bit but it only slowed his pace slightly.
Hahn rode home to the checkers in second followed by eighth starter Jerry Richert, Jr. Tony Norem finished fourth with Leigh Thomas rounding out the top five.