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North Central Speedway: Graf wins Sprint feature at NCS


Sports Writer

BARROWS — Patience was the key for fan and driver Saturday night at North Central Speedway.

Those who waited were rewarded as Chris Graf took home the first-place trophy in a high powered and intense UMSS sprint car 20-lap feature event.

Hot and dry conditions made for a dry track that needed attention throughout the day. Track officials put an estimated 20 loads of water on the track during the day. There were a number of delays in between heats and feature events to get the surface into driving condition.

Graf was surprised that things were able to turn around in the time between the heat race and feature.

“After the heat race, I would have told you, let’s just load up and go home,” Graf said. “This track was extremely slick with no passing. But come feature time it was a completely different track. We were able to go low and we were able to go up high. That’s the fastest we have ever went at Brainerd and we had a lot of fun.”

Graf finished third in the heat race and finished first in the challenge race to earn his spot in the 20-lap feature. In the feature event, Graf moved out quickly and was able to build a cushion over his closest challengers — Scott Broty and Andy Jones.

A late caution flag with one lap left resulted in a green-white-checker restart. Graf was not rattled as he got back out to his lead and won by a comfortable margin. Broty finished second followed by Jones.

Cliff Sasker and the NCS crew received praise from Graf for the track conditions.

“I prefer when it is a little cooler, and I know it makes it uncomfortable for the fans and the driver when it’s so hot,” Graf said. “But if they hadn’t have reworked the track, there wouldn’t have been much for the fans to watch. I am really glad that they reworked it.”

Graf will be returning to North Central in September for the Mighty Axe Nationals, a favorites of Graf.

“I am looking forward to that weekend,” he said. “We’ve won the Mighty Axe here before and I have always liked this track because I have some family that lives up here in Pine River. It makes it fun when you can race closer to home and family.”

The Hornet racing got the program started with two feature events. Abby Garin came away victorious in the Hornet feature and Brandon Mehrwerth won in the Outlaw Hornet car.

Mike Nelson won for the first time this season at the speedway as he started out from the front row and held off Billy Devries and Josh Tomberlin to get the win.

Dave Read had a strong Street Stock car as he won the 15-lap event from a fourth-row start. Read executed a pass on turn two of lap nine to take away the top spot from John Kropuenske, who ended up second.

Troy Kuehl won the Mod 4’s feature and Danny Vang became a multiple race winner in the Midwest Modified class.

Tim Johnson took home the checkered flag in both the Super Stock feature and in the A-Modified feature event to finish off the program.


Feature: 1-Abby Garin, 2-Hannah Jones, 3-Jake Hagemann


Feature: 1-Brandon Mehrwerth, 2-Cole Shake, 3-Matt Everts


Feature: 1-Mike Nelson, 2-Billy Devries, 3-Josh Tomberlin

Heat 1: 1-Robert Mueller, 2-Aaron Johnson, 3-Rodney Larson

Heat 2: 1-Billy Devries, 2-Tim Bergerson, 3-Gary Sack

Heat 3: 1-Bill Nelson, 2-Josh Tomberlin, 3-Craig Paul

Heat 4: 1-Gary Ohnstad Jr., 2-Mike Nelson, 3-David Eich


Feature: 1-Dave Read, 2-John Kropuenske, 3-Jack Peterson

Heat 1: 1-John Kropuenske, 2-Dave Read, 3-Allen Brehmer

Heat 2: 1-Jack Peterson, 2-Robert Young Jr., 3-Dan Bartick


Feature: 1-Danny Vang, 2-Shane Sabraski, 3-Dennis Czech

Heat 1: 1-Danny Vang, 2-Ashley Mehrwerth, 3-Tom Gill

Heat 2: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Rob Vanmil, 3-Dustin Joel

Heat 3: 1-Dennis Czech, 2-George Sniezek, 3-Larry Menk


Feature: 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Shane Sabraski, 3-Seth Kramer

Heat 1: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Tim Johnson, 3-Seth Kramer

Heat 2: 1-Dave Read, 2-Max Dondelinger, 3-Dexton Koch


Feature: 1-Troy Kuehl, 2-Rob Vanmil, 3-Josh Abrahamson

Heat 1: 1-Josh Abrahamson, 2-Troy Kuehl, 3-Tommy Sabraski

Heat 2: 1-Rob Vanmil, 2-Ryan Buer, 3-Landon Atkinson


Feature: 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Don Eischens, 3-Shane Sabraski

Heat 1: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Shawn Fletcher, 3-Matt Weisman

Heat 2: 1-Justin Jones, 2-Don Eischens, 3-Tim Johnson

UMSS Sprints

Feature: 1-Chris Graf, 2-Scott Broty, 3-Andy Jones

Heat 1: 1-Jerry Richert Jr., 2-Andy Jones, 3-Chad Patterson

Heat 2: 1-Jason Jostenson, 2-Scott Broty, 3-Chris Graf

Challenge Race 1: 1-Scott Broty, 2-Jared Goerges, 3-Rob Caho Jr.

Challenge Race 2: 1-Chris Graf, 2-Tony Kavs, 3-Jason Jostenson

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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