by Skip Schulz on February 2, 2014
The MASTERS Racing Circuit, one of the oldest in the Midwest!
It was in 1991 that the ‘seed’ was planted for the start of a Snowmobile Hillclimb Racing Circuit. It was in 1991 that Skip Schulz worked with the Range Snowmobile Club of Houghton, MI to put on the Whealkate Bluff “Winternationals” Snowmobile Hillclimb. It was in 1992 that Skip worked with the North Country Snowmobile Club to hold a Snowmobile Drag Race.
This hillclimb ran for a couple years, when Skip and Sandy Schulz then started contacting an attorney, handling the defunct Copper Peak Ski Flying property. Then in 1995, Bruce Noreen and a partner got a lease to bring Copper Peak ‘back to life.’
With that lease, came the opportunity for Copper Peak to host its first event in over a decade. That event, the Copper Peak Snowmobile Hillclimb, led to the conception of the Mid America Snowmobile Tournament of Expert Riders…to be called the MASTERS Racing Circuit.
From that first MASTERS Snowmobile Hillclimb at Copper Peak, the MASTERS went on to host Snowmobile Hillclimbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. However it would not just be Snowmobile Hillclimbs that the MASTERS would sanction.
The MASTERS Racing Circuit has been kicking up snow every year since 1995. From professionally sanctioned EXTREME hillclimbs to snow drags on the flats to uphill drags! Photo courtesy of Horejsi Graphics, LLC
The Circuit expanded to include more Snowmobile Drag Races, even hosted the Superior Challenge Sno Cross in 1998, Marquette Mountain Hillcross events in 2000, and later on even started running ATV/Truck XTreme Challenges.
Yet, when the snow ‘dust’ settled after the turn of the century, the MASTERS focused on Snowmobile Hillclimbs and Snowmobile Drag Races. The circuit would eventually go from Ice Drags to Snow Drags, and expand to events throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
With the idea of expanding into Motorcycle Hillclimbs and summer events, the MASTERS changed to the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers Circuit.
The MASTERS also brought back Hillcross for the winter of 2014, and with the support of the Ojibwa Casino’s of Baraga and Marquette, now has 3 Winter Snowmobile Competition “Series.” This is Hillclimbs, Snow Drags, and Hillcross.
If you've got the GUTS, we have the hills! Photo courtesy of Horejsi Graphics, LLC
It is the MASTERS that ‘crowns’ ALL of our 120 cc racers as Champions. It is the MASTERS that has a Junior Division in all 3 Ojibwa Casino Racing Series. The MASTERS has also brought back 3 classes in the Vintage Division. In the Snow Drags and Hillcross the MASTERS has both Trail Stock and Race Stock Classes. In all of the forms of competition the MASTERS has Pro Stock and Pro Mod.
It is the MASTERS that started the premier Snow Drag Class, TOP GUN, and the premier Hillcross Class, TOP DOG. In those classes the MASTERS has some of the best cash purse payouts of any Circuit. Since that first Snowmobile Hillclimb, it is the MASTERS that has the $500 ‘winner take all’ Pro Stock and Pro Mod King of the Hill. It is the MASTERS Racing Circuit that IS the Snowmobile Hillclimb qualifying circuit for drivers from the entire Midwest to compete at the World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming.
A MASTERS Racing Circuit is ONLY for those that have the skills to compete and the courage to compete against the BEST in the MIDWEST! Photo courtesy of Horejsi Graphics, LLC
While the MASTERS Racing Circuit continues to expand throughout the Midwest, offering racers and fans the opportunity to compete in different forms of snowmobile competition, many other Snowmobile Race Circuits are no longer in existence.
What is so amazing about the longevity of the MASTERS Racing Circuit is that this Circuit has done all this with little to no sponsorship or snowmobile manufacturer support. The MASTERS continues to provide the events for avid and talented snowmobilers to compete at, and for fans to watch EXTREME competition. The main reason why the MASTERS Racing Circuit has been around so long is simply because the MASTERS treats the racers and fans like ‘family.’
If you are interested in competing at one of the MASTERS Events, watching a MASTERS event, or bringing the MASTERS Circuit into run your event, please contact us.