Strong Turnout for Inaugural UMSS Chassis Seminar
By: Greg Parent UMSS Media Director (1-23-11)
A very strong turnout of racers and fans descended upon the Mastell Brothers Trailer Service heated garage in Columbus, MN to take part in the first Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) free chassis seminar on Saturday afternoon January 22. Series CDO Ron Bernhagen was pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest the free seminar generated with over 60 people in attendance. Thanks to Kevin Nickel and Johnny Parsons III along with Andy Jones, there were three sprint cars on hand for presenters to use and participants to get a good look at. A huge thanks is in order for series sponsor Rick Mastell and the Mastell Brothers Trailer Service. Rick Mastell provided a great place to hold the seminar along with coffee and rolls for those on hand. The location was close to Running Aces where the UMSS awards banquet would take place that evening.
The seminar was divided into three parts. The first session was presented by Joe Kouba and Johnny Parsons III regarding routine terminology, maintenance and basic suspension set-ups. Participants asked several very good questions, as several on hand had just recently purchased sprint cars for the new non-winged series or were planning on racing in the winged division. A few drivers who have raced sprint cars were there to help learn some additional things or gain some valued input from a well-placed question. In the second part of the seminar, Carter Gerlach presented a detailed discussion on shocks along with input from veteran racer Joe Kouba. During the final part of the seminar, the group broke out into winged and non-winged sprint cars with further details and input on the set-ups relating to each presented by Johnny Parsons III for the non-winged cars and Joe Kouba for the winged sprint cars. Participants were able to get up close and personal with a detailed look at the various suspension and chassis components. John Morris was also on hand to answer any micro sprint questions for those interested in getting into that exciting and affordable racing division.
Very positive comments were received following the seminar. With the success of the first chassis seminar, the UMSS may look at doing it again at some point in the future. As the new non-winged division begins its first season in 2011, additional assistance from some of the veteran racers and crew chiefs in the area will be very beneficial to those new to sprint car racing. The UMSS is fortunate to have dedicated individuals like Joe Kouba and Johnny Parsons III who are willing to give advice and help answer questions. A special thanks to Mark Daniels, the non-winged sprint car series director, for his efforts in helping arrange the seminar. As Joe Kouba stated to several of those in attendance who had not raced a sprint car before, "We will learn together and grow together as a group in our efforts to enjoy the sport of sprint car racing." Indeed, with valuable advice and assistance from those with long term experience in the sport, the group of newcomers to the sprint car racing world will have plenty of opportunities to learn. For more information on the UMSS or to contact series officials, please visit our website at www.umsprints.com or check out the UMSS on Facebook. The UMSS is looking forward to the 2011 season with the goal of continuing to increase the popularity and exposure of sprint car racing in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.
Photos courtesy of Stan Meissner.