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STOCK CAR RACING: Aussie native wins Kouba Memorial race

BARROWS — Brooke Tatnell finished off the first night of the Mighty Axe Nationals with a victory in the 25-lap feature event for the Upper Midwest Sprint Series and annual Kouba Memorial on Saturday night at North Central Speedway.  

Tatnell, a native of San Souci, Australia, led for all 25 laps of the feature and finished in front of Lee Grosz of Lino Lakes and Cody Hahn of Oak Grove. Hahn moved by Brad Barickman and into the third spot with eight laps left in the feature.

Shane Sabraski also added three more Axe’s to his collection with wins in the Midwest Modified, Super Stock and A-Modified class. Tim Johnson won the Street Stock feature and Craig Paul was awarded with the trophy in the Pure Stock class. 

Jared Lane and Tim Lave were the winners in the Hornet class races, and Josh Abrahamson won in the Mod 4 feature after starting from the back row.

Tatnell is one of the few drivers on the UMSS series that runs sprints for a living. Tatnell explained that Saturday night’s victory was a special one for him. 

“There are races that you win for money and there are races that you win for honor,” Tatnell said. “The Kouba’s have done a lot for the sport and these races are more about your heart. There is no greater excitement then sprint car racing. The tracks don’t always show it, and tonight we didn’t get the chance to totally show what sprint car racing is about. The way the weather has been, you can’t hold anyone accountable for it. That’s just the way it’s been.”

He feels that it is a great time for racing, as evidenced by the large crowd that showed up on Saturday night for a long night of racing that started at 4:30 p.m. and didn’t end until 11:30 p.m. 

“I think we have a booming sport right now with the amount of cars and the talent,” Tatnell said.  

“There is a lot of talent out here right now. Having all the classes is great but it does draw it out for a very long night. I have been around this business a long time and it is my passion. I like it when there are three classes a night. Mom and dad can bring the kids out and know they will be out by 10:30 (p.m.)”

There also was quite a change in the weather throughout the day as a sunny and warm day turned into a cool and breezy one in the evening hours. Tatnell said he didn’t feel the weather played a huge part in the success of his car. 

“I do this for a living so for me it really doesn’t matter. When you start to feel the cool change you know the season is coming to an end, so it is time to get the elbows up and drive because there are not a lot of races left to pay the bills for the year.”

After this weekend, just five races remain on the schedule for the series, with the season coming to a close at Elko Speedway on the 14th and 15th of October. Coming into this weekend’s races, Jerry Richter led Andy Jones by less then 100 points.

The Hornet classes started out the features with Axe’s being awarded to Jared Lane in the Hornet class, and Tim Lave in the Outlaw Hornet class. 

Tom Anderson won the Pure Stock feature event, but ran into problems with his car going through post race inspection and saw the Axe instead awarded to Craig Paul.

As has been the case for most of the season, Mark Johnson ran out front for the early part of the Street Stock feature before Tim Johnson was able to overtake him halfway through the race.

One of the best stories of the evening was Josh Abrahamson in the Mod 4 class. Abrahamson started in the 15th spot and moved into the top three with six laps remaining. He took over the number one spot with two laps left and held on for the win.

The other big story was the domination of Shane Sabraski. In the three feature events that he took part in, Sabraski ran in the front position for 43 of the 55 laps.   


Feature: 1-Jared Lane, 2-Brandon Mehrwerth, 3-Derek Daudt


Outlaw feature: 1-Tim Lave, 2-Ashley Mehrwerth, 3-Matt Everts


Feature: 1-Caig Paul, 2-Brandon Smith, 3-David Eich

Heat 1: 1-Robert Mueller, 2-Tom Anderson, 3-Devin Larson

Heat 2: 1-Craig Paul, 2-Gary Ohnsad Jr., 3-David Eich

Heat 3: 1-Pat Zerfas, 2-Ryan Larson, 3-Brandon Smith


Feature: 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Mark Johnson, 3-Tony Yezek

Heat 1: 1-Scott Baron, 2-Dexton Koch, 3-Robert Young

Heat 2: 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Tony Yezek, 3-John Yilek


Feature: 1-Josh Abrahamson, 2-Dustin Zieski, 3-Jamie Winterquist

Heat 1: 1-Conrad Schwinn, 2-Cody fox, 3-Dwight Gilyard

Heat 2: 1-Dustin Zieski, 2-Brandon Kellen, 3-Tommy Sabraski


Feature: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Jason Vandekamp, 3-Danny Vang

B feature: 1-Jason Hall, 2-Todd Rizer, 3-Ryan Studanski

Heat 1: 1-Scott Blood, 2-George Sniezek, 3-Danny Vang

Heat 2: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Jason Vandekamp, 3-Craig Larson

Heat 3: 1-Allen Gessell Jr., 2-Dan Severson, 3-Dennis Czech

Heat 4: 1-Brian Youderin, 2-Matt Weisman, 3-Corey Koenig


Feature: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Dan Gullickson, 3-Tim Johnson

Heat 1: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Dan Gullickson, 3-Steve Weber

Heat 2: 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Tim Obrien, 3-Jake Goetze

Heat 3: 1-Don Eischens, 2-Dave Read, 3-Joel Collins


Feature: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Don Eischens, 3-Justin Jones

Heat 1: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Mike Lien, 3-Don Shaw

Heat 2: 1-Justin Jones, 2-Gavin Paull, 3-Clayton Wagamon