The BIG Hillclimb is BACK!

by Laura Burke on February 9, 2018

After an absence of seven years, the biggest and most challenging snowmobile hillclimb is back! It’’s the Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff. This major snowmobile attraction will take place on Saturday, March 3. The steep hill is located in South Range.

The WINTERNATIONALS actually started in the early ’90’s, sponsored by the Range Snowmobile Club. Due to landowner changes, the event than went into hibernation until 2010, when the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) brought it back to life. After two years and more land-owner changes, the event went back into hibernation.

With the hill and the land surrounding Whealkate Bluff now being owned by Triest Forest Products, the MASTERS was able to get permission to hold a snowmobile event. However, the fan and pit parking area was in dire need of heavy construction equipment to not only clear the land of snow but also work on the entrance and exit roads.

It was the Ojibwa Casino that provided the funds to bring in Siler Construction to do the needed work. Then it was Vollwerth’s Meats, along with the Range Lounge VFW, that picked up the sponsorship for the $500 Pro Mod King of the Hill and the $500 Pro Stock King of the Hill. Dave’’s Service of Laurium, Pat’’s Motorsports of Greenland, and Toucan’’s Auto Repair of South Range all came on board to sponsor select classes. The Daily Mining Gazette along with Eagle Radio are two of the media partners in promoting this event.

Organizers of this event are currently looking for other class sponsors. If you’r business is interested in getting great promotional exposure, you’r asked to call the MASTERS at 906-884-9101.

The MASTERS will run two Professional Divisions: Pro Stock and Pro Mod. Each class will have a 600, 700, 850, and Open class. For those between the ages of 13 and 18, a Junior Division will also run, along with the children between the ages of 5 and 12 running Stock and Modified 120 cc snowmobiles.

It’’s not just how steep Whealkate Bluff is that makes this event so popular amongst both racers and fans, but the fact that in the Pro Divisions, the snowmobilers have to go around a series of gates. To top it off, they then must go through a narrow ‘timing chute’ at the top of the bluff.

In past hillclimbs at Whealkate Bluff, only a few of the racers were able to make it around all the gates and through the timing shute. The winner in each class is either based on the best time or making it up the hill the farthest, which is called a ‘high-mark.’ Winners in each Pro Class gets both cash and first-place trophy.

While the cash helps and the trophy looks good on the fireplace mantel, it is the winner in each Pro Stock Class that then qualifies to run in the Range Lounge-VFW King of the Hill, where the winner in that shoot-out gets an additional $500. Same for all the class winners in the Pro Mod Division, where the Pro Mod King of the Hill will win $500 from the ‘King of Meats,’ Vollwerth’s.

Fans will see the return of the #1 Professional Snowmobile Hillclimbers in the Midwest. This includes Greenland’’s Al Turin, Alston’’s Travis Kaurala, Bessemer’s Matt Tingstad, and the King of the Hill winner from this year’s Mid America Championship Hillclimb at Keyes Peak in Florence, Wisconsin: Cory Burrows. Burrows will make the long trip from southwest Michigan’’s South Haven.

The event will begin at 9:00 am ET. To get some of the best viewing of the event from their hill, the MASTERS recommends people come early.

Gate admission will be $10.00, children 12 and under free with a paid adult. Those wanting to park with a good view of the event will be charged $5.00 per vehicle.

The MASTERS has received help from the Range Snowmobile Club, Patriot Towing and Snowmobile Recovery, and Josh Bramble in putting up fencing on the hill to prevent snowmobilers from running the hill before the event. The fencing also assists in creating snow drifts on the hill.

The event is looking for someone to handle the concessions. Call the MASTERS if you’’re interested in having a concession stand.

“This hillclimb has drawn thousands of fans over the years. It is GREAT for South Range and the Copper Country. We’’re looking at holding this event every year and possibly bringing back a Motorcycle Hillclimb,” commented Jason Kleinschmidt, MASTERS Director of Race Operations.  This would not happen without the generous support of the Ojibwa Casino of Baraga.”

Final racer registration and the mandatory Friday night drivers meeting will take place on March 2 from 6 to 8:30 pm in the conference room of the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga.

The MASTERS will also have the Minnesota State Championship Hillclimb at Mont du Lac, outside of Duluth, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 17, then the Grand Nationals Snow Drags at this popular ski hill on Sunday, March 18.

{ 0 comments }

Krans Sweeps, Burrows King

Aurora’’s Tony Krans swept every class at Saturday’’s Wisconsin State Championship Hillcross, and South Haven, Michigan’’s Cory Burrows edged out Menominee, Michigan’s Layne Stank to win the Mid America Championship Hillclimb. Both events took place at Keyes Peak in Florence, Wisconsin.

Krans won his second straight TOP DOG at the Wisconsin State Championship Hillcross, sanctioned by the Mid America Snow & Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS). Krans held off Hastings, Minnesota’s Luke Maher in Hillcross’s Featured Class.

Burrows qualified for the King of the Hill Shoot-out by winning both the Pro Mod 600 and Pro Open Stock class. Stank won three classes: Pro Open Mod, Pro Stock 850, and Pro Stock 600. Stank earned three runs in the King of the Hill and Burrows had two shots at the steep Keyes Peak ‘cliff.

Stank drew the 1st, 4th and 5th runs in the shoot-out. Burrows drew the 2nd and 6th runs. Stank started off with an amazing 43.35-second run. Burrows then notched the fastest time of the entire day with a 40.60-second run. Stank had a 43.84-second run and ended his chance at the $500 ‘winner take all,’ with a 43.61-second run. That gave the southeast Michigan professional snowmobile hillclimber the title of King of the Hill.

“”There were a couple spots on the hill, including coming out of the first gate where I felt I could have made some time up on Cory (Burrows),”” remarked Stank. “I’’ve won a lot of MASTERS Hillclimb classes over the years, but only taken a couple King titles. I wanted it, but I also admire and respect the talent and sportsmanship of Cory.

“”I watched Layne (Stank) and saw where he had a good line. I thought if I could run that line, I could post a good time,” “stated Burrows.

Stank is one of only two snowmobile hillclimbers to be in the MASTERS Hall of Fame. Stank has qualified to represent the MASTERS and the Midwest at this year’’s World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming. Burrows joins Luke Maher and Tony Krans in also qualifying for this year’’s World Championship.

In addition to a clean sweep in Hillcross, Krans had a ‘high-mark’ to win the Junior Class during the Hillclimb.

Earlier in the day, Krans started off with a win in the Junior class, then took the Trail Stock Feature and the Race Stock Feature. The high-flying Krans topped it off with the win in the TOP DOG Final.

Florence’’s Blake Drewa swept the 120 Stock Final in Hillcross and the Kids 120 Stock King in Hillclimb. Harvey, Michigan’s Braden Rose followed suit by winning the 120 Mod Final in Hillcross and the Kids 120 Mod King in Hillclimb.

The MASTERS’ next event will be the Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff on Saturday, March 3. Whealkate Bluff is located in South Range, Michigan, and is considered one of the steepest and most challenging hillclimbs throughout the entire Midwest.

The last time a hillclimb was held at Whealkate Bluff was 2011.

Wisconsin State Championship Hillcross at Keyes Peak

TOP DOG:   1) Tony Krans, Aurora, Polaris;  2) Luke Maher, Hastings, MN., Polaris

Race Stock 600:  1) Krans; Aurora, Polaris; 2) Andrew Anderson, Aurora, Polaris

Trail Stock:   1) Krans, Aurora, Polaris;  2)  Maher, Hastings, MN, Polaris;  3) Andrew Anderson, Aurora, Polaris

Junior:  1) Krans, Aurora, Polaris;  2) Andrew Anderson, Aurora, Polaris;  3) Dominic Demuri, Florence, Arctic Cat

120 Stock:   1) Blake Drewa, Florence, Yamaha;  2) Rylan Rose, Harvey, MI, Polaris

120 Mod:  1) Braden Rose, Harvey, MI, Polaris;  2) Lincoln Drewa, Florence, Yamaha

Mid America Championship Hillclimb at Keyes Peak

Keyes Peak KING OF THE HILL:  1) Cory Burrows, South Haven, MI, Polaris, 40.60 (2nd run);  2)  Layne Stank, Menomonee, MI, Polaris, 43.61 (5thrun);  3) Stank, 43.84 (4th Run)

120 Stock KIDS KING:  1) Blake Drewa, Florence, Yamaha, 35.02 (2nd Run);  2) Drewa, 40.48 (1st Run)  3)  Rylan Rose, Harvey, MI, Polaris

120 Mod KIDS KING:  1) Braden Rose, Harvey, MI, Polaris, 25.86 (2nd Run);  2) Rose, 28.88 (1st Run);  3) Lincoln Drewa, Florence, Yamaha, 44.69 (2nd Run)

Pro Stock 600:   1) Stank, Menomonee, MI, Polaris, 48.83 (2nd Run);  2) Burrows, South Haven, MI, 50.49 (2nd Run)

Pro Stock 850:   1) Stank, Menomonee, MI, Polaris, 49.93 (1st Run);   2) Stank, 50.34 (2nd Run)

Pro Open Stock:  1) Burrows, South Haven, MI, Polaris, 44.53 (2nd Run);  2) Stank, 44.71 (2nd Run)

Pro Mod 600:  1) Burrows, South Haven, MI, Polaris, 43.62 (2nd Run);  2) Stank, 45.14 (2nd Run)

Pro Open Mod:  1) Layne Stank, Menomonee, MI, Polaris, 44.14 (2nd Run); 2) Burrows, 45.86 (2nd Run)

{ 0 comments }

UP Championship Snow Drags Results Jan 27, 2018

by Laura Burke on February 8, 2018

Turin and Buschell dominate at Snow Drags

With racers coming from both Michigan Peninsulas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, it was Copper Country Snowmobile Drag Racers that walked away with wins in the MASTERS Sanctioned “featured” classes in the annual Upper Peninsula Championship Snow Drags in Ontonagon.

Greenland’s Al Turin never missed a beat after becoming the first snowmobile drag racer to win back-to-back TOP GUN championships in 2016 and 2017 in the MASTERS 20+ years of sanctioning snowmobile races. Turin and his Yamaha held off Polaris’s Nick Gustafson in the TOP GUN final.

Right before the TOP GUN final, Lake Linden’s Jerry Buschell narrowly edged out Gustafson in the MAGIC Class final.

“It was amazing that Nick (Gustafson) advanced to both finals, after driving many hours from Roseau (MN) just to make it to the races,” commented MASTERS Director of Race Operations, Jason Kleinschmidt. “Both finals were close, but not many people over the last decade have been able to beat Turin and Buschell, but Nick gave them a great run!”

Buschell took a 1st in 3 classes. He piloted his Ski-Doo to wins in Pro Mod 700, Pro Mod 850, and in MAGIC. Turin took different Yamaha sleds to wins in Race Stock 600, Pro Mod 600, and Top Gun. Both drivers are members of the elite MASTERS Hall of Fame.

The other circuit Hall of Fame member, Matt LaCosse of Champion, made it a father-son sweep. Matt won the Vintage class, while his youngest son, Carter, won the 120 Stock. Matt and Deanna’s other son, Nathan, lost by less than a foot to Lower Michigan’s Tyler Fisher in the Trail Stock class.

“We don’t just ‘say’ the MASTERS is a ‘family,’ this past Saturday proved it, when Tyler Wood of Calumet eliminated his father, Dave, from 2 different classes,” Kleinschmidt remarked. Tyler Wood went on to win the competitive Pro Mod 850 class.

Braden Rose of Harvey won the 120 Mod class, and his 5-year-old sister took a 2nd in the 120 Stock final.

———————————————————————

Three-sled final for the 120 cc Stock and 120 cc Mod; all other finals were two-sled finals. Results of the finals only.

Citizens State Bank 120 cc STOCK:  1) Carter LaCosse, Champion, MI, Polaris;  2) Rylan Rose, Harvey, MI., Polaris;  3)  Mazie McPherson, Allouez, MI, Polaris

SONCO 120 cc MOD:  1)  Braden Rose, Harvey, MI, Polaris;  2)  Nolan Bogetto, Bessemer, MI., Polaris;  3) Carter LaCosse, Champion, MI, Polaris

JJ’’s Tackle Shop Vintage:  1) Matt LaCosse, Champion, MI, Ski-Doo;  2) Jim Johnson, Skanee, MI, Polaris

Pat’’s Foods/U-Save Trail Stock:  1) Tyler Fisher, Benton Harbor, MI, Arctic Cat;  2) Nathan LaCosse, Champion, MI, Polaris

Dr. Kirk Schott Race Stock 600:  1)  Al Turin, Greenland, MI, Yamaha;  2) Trevor Wood, Calumet, MI, Arctic Cat

G & J Concrete Race Stock 850:  1) Tyler Wood, Calumet, MI, Ski-Doo;  2) Matt LaCosse, Champion, MI, Ski-Doo

North Country Snowmobile Club Pro Mod 600:  1) Al Turin, Greenland, MI, Yamaha;  2) Jim Johnson, Skanee, MI, Polaris

Domitrovich Insurance Pro Mod 700:  1) Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI, Ski-Doo;  2) Tom Hodges, Alouez, MI, Arctic Cat

Pat’’s Motorsports Pro Mod 850:  1)  Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI, Ski-Doo;  2) Matt LaCosse, Champion, MI, Ski-Doo

General Concrete Construction MAGIC:  1)  Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI, Ski-Doo;  2) Nick Gustafson, Roseau, MN, Polaris

North Country Snowmobile Club TOP GUN:  1) Al Turin, Greenland, MI, Yamaha;  2)  Nick Gustafson, Roseau, MN, Polaris

 

{ 0 comments }

Turin Dominates at UP Championships

by Jennifer Jackman on January 23, 2017

2017 MASTERS UP Championships TOP GUN 2017
Greenland’s Al Turin won the TOP GUN class at Saturday’s UP Championship Snow Drags in Ontonagon.
(L to R) Turin, Jerry Buschell, Matt Lacosse

The Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) reigning champion from last winter, Al Turin opened the 2017 Snowmobile drag racing season by winning 4 different classes Turin, who won the prestigious TOP GUN Championship last winter, defeated the TOP GUN Champion from 2015, Jerry Buschell and long –time racer, Matt Lacosse of Champion, MI., in the TOP GUN Feature at this Saturday’s UP Championship Snow Drags.

“Last year we had to haul in snow.  Then the grounds in both the Pit area and the fan parking was so warm we had a problem with vehicles getting stuck.  This year we had so much snow that we had been plowing non-stop for a week,” commented MASTERS VP of Operations, Jason Kleinschmidt. “We’re fortunate that we had Jason Pragacz of the North Country Snowmobile Club doing an excellent job grooming the track before and during the race.”

The lake effect snow storm and cold temperatures in Ontonagon didn’t stop Florence, Wisconsin’s, Nathan Wicklund from taking both the Trail Stock 600 and the Junior Finals on an Arctic Cat. The Pat’s Motorsports team didn’t only get the 4 class wins from Turin and his Yamaha’s, but also got a win via Wyatt McIntyre on a Polaris in Trail Stock open.

Minnesota registered a winner as Brainerd’s Jon Blake swept through the Race Stock 800 class undefeated on his Ski-Doo. The ‘Copper Country’ of Michigan’s Western UP took a feature when Calumet’s Tom Hodges defeated Turin in the Pro Mod 700 class. Leading the way for Marquette County was the children racing their 120’s as Harvey’s Braden Rose won the Super 120’s and Carter Lacosse winning the Stock 120’s.

“Once again the fans loved watching the kid’s race. Not just the ‘big’ kids, but the little ones on the 120’s,” remarked MASTERS Treasurer, Sandy Schulz.

It will be at Marquette Mountain that the World Championship Kids Climb will take place on April 8th and 9th. This is the first time that the 4-12 year olds will compete for a World Championship on the 120 cc sleds.

The next events for the MASTERS Racing Circuit will be the Mid America Championship Hillclimb (MACH) at Keyes Peak, Florence, WI. on February 11th and the Wisconsin State Championship Hillcross at Keyes Peak on February 12th.

The second stop of the 5-race MASTERS Snow Drag series will be on March 4th in Wausau, Wisconsin.

It was at the UP Championship Snow Drags that the 17 year-old MASTERS Racing Circuit inducted its 4th member into the circuit’s Hall of Fame (HOF). Joining Turin, Paul Voelker of Calumet, and Matt Lacosse as a MASTERS HOF member was Lake Linden’s Jerry Buschell.

{ 0 comments }

UP Championship Snow Drags Results

by Jennifer Jackman on January 23, 2017

(Feature results only, * denotes 2-sled finals)

North Country Snowmobile Club TOP GUN:  1) Al Turin, Greenland, MI., Yamaha;  2) Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI., Ski-Doo;  3) Matt Lacosse, Champion, MI., Polaris.

Citizen’s State Bank Open Mod:  1) Al Turin, Greenland, MI., Yamaha;  2) Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI., Ski-Doo;  3) Matt Lacosse, Champion, MI., Ski-Doo.

WUPM/WHRY Pro Mod 800:  1) Matt Lacosse, Champion, MI., Ski-Doo;  2) Tom Hodges, Calumet, MI., Arctic Cat;  3) Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI., Ski-Doo.

SONCO Pro Mod 700*:  1) Tom Hodges, Calumet, MI., Arctic Cat;  2) Al Turin, Greenland, MI., Yamaha

Scott’s Superior Inn Pro Mod 600:  1) Al Turin, Greenland, MI., Yamaha;  2) Tyler Wood., Laurium., Arctic Cat;  3) Matt Lacosse, Champion, MI., Ski-Doo: 

Rockin’ Eagle Race Stock 800:  1) Jon Blake, Brainerd, MN., Ski-Doo;  2) Matt Lacosse, Champion, MI., Ski-Doo;  3) Al Turin, Greenland, MI., Yamaha.

Eagle Country 105.7 Race Stock 600:  1) Al Turin., Greenland, MI., Yamaha;  2) Jon Blake, Brainerd, MN., Ski-Doo;  3) Nathan Wicklund, Florence, WI.

Big Studz Trail Stock Open*:  1) Wyatt McIntyre, Greenland, MI., Polaris;  2)  Dave Wood, Laurium, MI., Arctic Cat.

Village of Ontonagon Trail Stock 600:  1) Nathan Wicklund, Florence, WI., Arctic Cat;  2) Nathan Lacosse, Champion, MI., Polaris;  3) Wyatt McIntyre, Greenland, MI., Polaris.

Pat’s Motor Sports Junior*:  1) Nathan Wicklund, Florence, WI., Arctic Cat;  2) Nathan Lacosse, Champion, MI., Polaris.

UP Fuels and Lube Super 120*:  1) Braden Rose, Harvey, MI., Polaris;  2) Carter Lacosse, Champion, MI., Polaris.

Ontonagon Holiday Stationstore 120 Stock:  1) Carter Lacosse, Champion, MI., Polaris;  2) Brandon Rose., Harvey, MI., Ski-Doo;  3) Rylan Rose, Harvey, MI., Ski-Doo.

{ 0 comments }

MASTERS Has a BIG 2017 Winter Schedule!

by Jennifer Jackman on December 9, 2016

One of the longest running Snowmobile Race sanctioning circuits, the MASTERS, has a full schedule of races for the 2017 Winter season. The circuit that started sanctioned snowmobile hillclimbs in the Midwest, resurrected Hillcross, runs a full Snow Drag series, is excited to have the first World Championship Kid’s Climb!
The 4-12 year olds that race the 120 cc snowmobiles will compete for the World Championship Kid’s Climb at Marquette Mountain, Marquette, MI., on Sunday, April 9th. The young snowmobile racers will be able to qualify by winning the Stock 120 or the Mod 120 King/Queen of the Hill at the Mid America Championship Hillclimb (MACH) at Keyes Peak in Florence, WI., on Saturday, Feb 11th, or at the Minnesota State Championship at Mont du Lac, outside of Duluth/Superior on April 2nd. This is also the schedule of the MASTERS Snowmobile Hillclimb series, with Marquette Mountain bringing back a MASTERS Snowmobile Hillclimb event.
It is the MASTERS that has had the longest relationship with the Jackson Hole Snow Devils of Jackson, WY., when it comes to sending the best Snowmobile Hillclimbers to the World Championship Hillclimb. The top hillclimbers at the MACH at Keyes Peak will qualify for this years World Championship. The top hillclimbers at the Minnesota State Championship Hillclimb and the Marquette Mtn Hillclimb will qualify for the 2018 World Championship Hillclimb. 
The MASTERS will open the season with the UP Championship Snow Drags in Ontonagon, MI., on Saturday, Jan 7th. It will be at the UP Championship Snow Drags that the circuit is going to induct only it’s 4th member into it’s Wall/Hall of Fame. The 2nd stop on the MASTERS Snow Drag Series will be in Wausau, WI., on Saturday, March 4th. This will be at the same location as the popular Trailmates Wausau Grass Drags. The 3rd race will be the Grand National Snow Drags at Mont du Lac, just outside of Duluth, MN. on Sunday, April 2nd. The MASTERS Snow Drag Series Championships will be at Marquette Mountain, Marquette, MI., on Saturday, April 8th. It will be at that race at Marquette Mountain that the MASTERS 2017 TOP GUN Champion will be crowned. The defending TOP GUN Champion, the circuits #1 driver, is Greenland, Michigan’s, Al Turin. Turin races for Pat’s Motorsports and Yamaha.
When HIllcross circuits in the Midwest folded years ago, it was the MASTERS that brought this exciting sport back to life. Once again this year the MASTERS will host the Wisconsin State Championship Hillcross at Keyes Peak, outside of Florence. This will be on Sunday, Feb 12th. Then the Hillcross series moves to Mont du Lac on Sunday, April 2nd, and finishes the season on Saturday, April 8th, at Marquette Mtn.
The series has 2 open dates. One is Saturday, Feb 4th, and the other is the weekend of March 11th-12th. The Circuit is working with different sights at possibly bringing the 17 year old circuit to their community.

{ 0 comments }

Turin Looks to Defend His 2016 TOP GUN Championship!

December 9, 2016

Greenland, Michigan’s, Al Turin will look to defend his 2016 TOP GUN Championship. The Pat’s Motorsports Yamaha racer won the TOP GUN Points Championship last year with an exciting finish at the MASTERS Snow Drag Championship’s at Marquette Mountain. While Turin won the TOP GUN Points Championship, it was Lower Michigan’s Scott Felver that opened […]

Read the full article →

Ojibwa Casino Marquette Mountain Tri-Fecta 2016 THIS WEEKEND, April 2nd and 3rd

March 29, 2016

Everything is looking good for the April 2nd and 3rd Ojibwa Casino Marquette Mountain Tri-Fecta. Pit Parking:  The pits will be opened at 5:00 on Friday Afternoon.  We will have a place cardoned off where you can pull your trailer to the snow and unload on both Saturday and Sunday.  We will only have a […]

Read the full article →

Wausau SNOW Drags, Wausau, WI, March 5

March 1, 2016

This is going to take place at the home of one of the biggest Snowmobile Grass Drags in the Midwest.  It is a FANTASTIC facility, and the MASTERS is really looking forward to a long relationship with the Trailmates Snowmobile Club.  It will be one of the best facilities for a Snow Drag ANYWHERE in […]

Read the full article →

Locatelli Wins Best in Show

March 1, 2016

Houghton’s (MI) Chris Locatelli’s 1971 Ski-Doo Elan won the inaugural Ojibwa Casino Vintage/Antique Show’s “Best in Show.”  Locatelli garnered the most votes of those attending this past Saturday’s Show.  Winning “Best in Show” got Locatelli $150.00 from the Ojibwa Casino. Lake Linden’s (MI) John Huuki thrilled the crowd when he brought his very rare Lynx […]

Read the full article →