New Snowmobile Race Comes to Ontonagon

by Laura Burke on January 4, 2019

The Ontonagon-based Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) Racing Circuit will hold its first Terra-X Snowmobile Race next to the North Country Snowmobile Clubhouse. The new form of snowmobile racing will take place on Saturday, January 12th.

Terra-X is a form of racing that has the snowmobiler going through a slalom course, a jump (if they choose), and a closed trail course. It is considered to be a ‘cross’ between a Snow-Cross race and a Cross Country race.

It was close to 20 years ago that the snowmobile club held a race called the “Superior Snow Challenge.”

“We’re going full circle and back to our roots with this Terra-X race,” commented Jeremy Schmidt, MASTERS Official. “We’re bringing ‘fun’ back into snowmobile racing where anyone with any sled can compete.”

The racers will run against the clock. The two fastest times in each class will then compete in the “Class Shoot-out” Championship at the end of the day.  The classes are based on engine size and whether they are stock or modified. 

While the MASTERS has discontinued running snowmobile drag racing, the long-running snowmobile sanctioning circuit will continue to have classes for the children. This includes Stock 120’s, Mod 120’s, and a Junior Class for those between 12 and 17.

Terra-X will have two classes for the more experienced racers. This includes Stock Open and the featured class, Top Gun. Those two classes will have a cash purse.

Fans will be able to watch the races from inside the North Country Snowmobile Clubhouse or in a fenced in area right outside of the clubhouse. Food and refreshments will be served in the clubhouse. A gate fee donation of $5.00 is being asked.

Racing will begin at 11:00 am ET.

The MASTERS will then have two snowmobile hillclimbs at Whealkate Bluff in South Range. Those will be on Feb. 2nd and 23rd. The second Terra-X race will be at Adventure Mountain in Greenland on March 16th, with the final Terra-X being at Mont du Lac, outside of Duluth, Minnesota, on April 6th.

For more information about the MASTERS, you can check out the links above or their Facebook page, Masters Racing Circuit. Phone number is 906-884-9101.

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The MASTERS is starting something NEW: Terra-X!

by Laura Burke on November 26, 2018

After announcing, hosting, and/or sanctioning snowmobile races for over 30 years, 25+ as the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) Racing Circuit, we’re starting a new form of snowmobile racing for our circuit. It’s called Terra-X.

Terra-X is where a snowmobiler will race on a fun and challenging course. The racer will have to go through and around cones and choose to go over a jump or go around a jump. The racer will compete by him/herself against the clock. The two fastest times will then qualify for the Class Championship is a race with the two sleds competing.

EVERY snowmobile and snowmobiler will have fun in Terra-X. Short-track trail sleds can compete with long track, off-trail sleds. As long as the driver and the machine have the required safety equipment, they can have fun and compete! The course can be set up on the flat or even on a hill.

While the majority of the classes will be for trophy only, we will have one stock and one mod class where we will have a cash purse. The featured class will be TOP DOG. Trophies will go to the two who advance to the finals in 120 Stock, 120 Mod, Junior, Stock 600, and Stock 850, Mod 600, and Mod 850. Cash for the top two will go in Open Stock and TOP DOG.

Trophy Class entry fee will only be $25.00, with insurance being $30.00. Whether you compete in one class or multiple classes, the insurance is $30.00. Entry fee for Open Stock and TOP DOG is $50.00. Insurance is $30.00—again, insurance is $30.00, even if you enter the trophy and cash classes. Payback for both Open Stock and TOP DOG is 100% of entry fees, with the winner getting 75% and second place getting 25% of total class entry fees.

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The end of an era for the MASTERS!

by Laura Burke on November 26, 2018

What began in the early 1990s with races on the Ontonagon River and the Keweenaw Bay and progressed to MASTERS Point races in Sidnaw, Sagola, Crystal Falls, Caspian, Greenland, Ontonagon, Duluth, and Marquette will soon end. After over 25 years of sanctioning snowmobile drag races, the MASTERS will no longer host, sanction, and finance snowmobile drag races.

While we will miss the many friends we have met and been proud to promote through drag racing, the MASTERS will focus on hillclimbs, hillcross, and the new form of racing for us: Terra-X.

The MASTERS staff will miss promoting and interviewing the 120cc racers. We have always believed the 120cc and junior racers is the FUTURE of snowmobile racing. We will always thank the parents and family members who got the kids into racing. We really hope our 120cc drag racers will enter Terra-X and hillclimb competition.

When one takes an objective look at the 25+ years of MASTERS snowmobile drag racing, we can be proud that the MASTERS had a longer run with snowmobile drag racing as a race circuit than many circuits in the entire U.S.

Thank you to all those who raced and supported the MASTERS in snowmobile drag racing over the years. Hopefully we will see you at a MASTERS hillclimb, hillcross, or Terra-X race this winter, or even at a motorcycle hillclimb in the summer/fall!

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Ojibwa Casino’s bring motorcycle hillclimb back!

by Laura Burke on May 30, 2018

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The Ojibwa Casinos of Baraga and Marquette have teamed up with the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) Racing Circuit to bring back the motorcycle hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff in South Range (MI). The hillclimb will run on Saturday, July 7.

The motorcycle hillclimb was one of the most popular area events at Whealkate during the 1970’s. The hillclimb drew thousands of fans and racers from all over the Midwest.  Due to numerous changes in the ownership of the property, the hillclimb was discontinued.

““The MASTERS has run snowmobile hillclimbs at the bluff and have been approached many times to bring the motorcycles back,”” stated Jason Kleinschmidt, MASTERS Race Director. “When we secured the permission from Treist Forest Products of Spalding to run the WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb this past March, we than approached them to see about hosting a motorcycle hillclimb.””

It was in early May that Jordan Treist and the MASTERS worked out a long range agreement to host both a snowmobile and a motorcycle hillclimb at Whealkate. Both organizations than worked on finding a date where there were not a lot of other motorcycle hillclimbs and other major events in the area.

“It’’s difficult to find any weekend in the summer that there is not another motorcycle hillclimb or even other events going on. Understanding that the past hillclimbs in South Range ran during the 4th of July weekend, we picked July 7,”” stated Jeremy Schmidt, MASTERS Chief Official.

With the title sponsorship secured from the Ojibwa Casino’s, the MASTERS now is working on obtaining local sponsorship. The sponsorship will go toward race insurance, trophies, racer purse, and other event expenses.

“Without the Ojibwa Casino’s title sponsorship, the hillclimbs would not happen. They not only are the title sponsor for the motorcycle hillclimb but have also agreed to be the title sponsor of the 2019 WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb,”” Kleinschmidt stated.

The Snowmobile Hillclimb will be on February 23, 2019.

Treist Forest Products will be investing thousands of dollars in construction at the hill. This includes re-grading the hill, expanding the reserved, and different level parking lots. The work on the grounds will be designed for both the motorcycle and snowmobile hillclimb.

““This event will draw people to South Range and the entire Copper Country. We’’re excited to bring the motorcycles back to the (Whealkate) bluff!”” Kleinschmidt commented.

Business’s that have already signed on as sponsors include: Treist Forest Products of Spalding; Katalina Restaurant, Toucan’s Auto Repair, and Wildlife Refuge Cabins of South Range; Vollwerth’s Meats, Pat’s Motorsports Yamaha-Polaris of Greenland; and Bald Eagle Harley Davidson and Zambon’s KTM-Kawasaki of Marquette.

Tom Katalin is the first food vendor to agree to have a food stand at the event.

“The Village of South Range has been great to work with,” Kleinschmidt concluded.

The motorcycle hillclimb competition will begin at 11:00 am ET. Admission will be $10.00/person. People will have different options as to where to park. There will be limited special reserved parking right at the bottom of the hill, then parking where the fans can watch from their vehicle, and general parking.

The MASTERS-Ojibwa Casino Motorcycle Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff in South Range, MI, on July 7, presented by Triest Forest Products, will follow these rules:

Ethel, regular gasoline, and approved race gas are the only acceptable propellants. Absolutely NO fuel usage will be allowed! This includes systems such as nitrous oxide injection. Nitrous bottles must be removed from the motorcycle. Any motorcycle competing in a rubber tire class (other than the Exhibition Class) that has such system on the motorcycle will be disqualified.

Safety Equipment Required – Kill switch (dead-man type 18” cord maximum) and one brake. All safety equipment must be in good working order.

NO chains, studded tires, bolted tires, metal paddles, rubber paddles of any kind will be allowed – Rubber Knobby Tires Only.

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Michigan Snowmobilers dominate in Duluth!

by Laura Burke on March 27, 2018

When one looks at the results of the March 17th and 18th MASTERS-sanctioned snowmobile races outside of Duluth, they would have thought the races were held in the Western Upper Peninsula. Every class in the Minnesota State Championship Hillclimb was won by an Upper Peninsula U.P. racer. In the Grand Nationals Snow Drags, Michigan racers took 7 of 9 classes.

After sweeping both of the Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS Hillclimb in South Range, Hubbell’s Jimmy Marietta won both the Pro Stock and Pro Mod King of the Hill. If that isn’t impressive enough, Marietta went to Mont du Lac and won EVERY Pro Mod Class. This is the first time in the 20+ years of the MASTERS-sanctioning professional snowmobile hillclimbs that the circuit didn’t even have two racers to conduct a Pro Mod King of the Hill.

If it wasn’t for a Michigan Tech student, Jordan Wolfe, Marietta would have clinched the Pro Stock King of the Hill. Wolfe, from the Ironwood area, did force a Pro Stock “shoot-out.” Wolfe posted his best time of the day in the Pro Stock King of the Hill, only to have Marietta come back and narrowly edge Wolfe by less than a second.

Al Turin, Top Gun Champion

In the Grand Nationals Snow Drags, Greenland’s Al Turin basically clinched a third consecutive MASTERS/Ojibwa Casino TOP GUN Championship for the year. Turin defeated former Hurley resident and Polaris Industries employee Nick Gustafson in the TOP GUN Final. It was the same two that had the same results from the U.P. Championships, held in January in Ontonagon.

Turin now has a 6-point lead going into the final race of the year at Marquette Mountain at Marquette, Michigan. While the Yamaha racer has not mathematically clinched the season TOP GUN Championships, it would be difficult for Gustafson to win the title.

Chris Nordang, Magic Champ

While the season championship in TOP GUN may be over before the Marquette Mountain race, the debut of the MAGIC Class is going to go down to what happens on April 7. Iron River’s Chris Nordang on an Arctic Cat defeated the Chop City team’s Kyle Nash in the finals. Nash and his team travelled from Traverse City to Mont du Lac. It was Chris and Tracy Nordang’s son, and Tom and Lynda’s grandson, CJ Nordang, who won the Pro Mod 850 final.

Lake Linden’s Jerry Buschell on a Ski-doo continued his 4-year domination in the Pro Mod 700 class. His neighbor, Tom Hodges, and Arctic Cat is coming closer to being first in crossing the 500-foot finish line in this class.

It is not just at the races outside of Duluth that proves the fact that the MASTERS Racing Circuit has some of the top professional snowmobile racers throughout the nation, but the fact that when these MASTERS Racing Circuit racers go to non-sanctioned snowmobile races…THEY WIN!

The MASTERS Racing Circuit will end the season with the Marquette Mountain “Tri-Fecta” on April 7. In addition to the long running MASTERS/Ojibwa Casino Snow Drag Championships, the MASTERS will hold a hillcross race and the World Championship KIDS Climb. Hillcross is a combination of a Drag Race and Snow Cross. Two racers will race “side by side” up the hill. The straight-line race will include jumps that propel the snowmobiles high into the air. The World Championship KIDS Climb has children between the ages of 5 and 12 racing the small 120 cc sleds up a hillclimb course.

Nolan Warfield, King of the Hill

Minnesota State Championship Hillclimb

Mont du Lac, Duluth/Superior, March 17, 2018 Results:

Mont du Lac Pro Stock King of Hill: 1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 40.60; 2) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris, 41.50.

Mont du Lac Pro Mod King of Hill: 1) Jimmy Marietta won all Pro Mod Division Classes.

MASTERS 120 King of the Hill: Nolan Warfield, Duluth, MN, Polaris.

Jam Service Pro Open Mod: 1) Marietta, 41.65 (1st Rd), Arctic Cat; 2) Marietta, 41.98 (2nd Rd), Arctic Cat; 3) Nathan Warfield, Duluth, MN, Polaris, 43.99 (2nd Rd)

Pat’s Motorsports Pro Mod 850: 1) Marietta, 39.65, (1st Rd), Arctic Cat; 2) Marietta, 40.16 (2nd Rd), Arctic Cat; 3) Luke Maher, Hastings, MN, 44.36 (1st Rd).

Diamond House International Pro Mod 700: 1) Marietta, 39.37 (1st Rd), Arctic Cat; 2) Marietta, 41.82 (2nd Rd), Arctic Cat; 3) Jordan Wolfe, 42.85 (2nd Rd), Polaris.

Ojibwa Casino Pro Mod 600: 1) Marietta, 39.49 (1st Rd), Arctic Cat; 2) Marietta, 40.92 (2nd Rd), Arctic Cat; 3) Wolfe, 42.76 (1st Rd), Polaris.

Daves Auto Repair of Laurium Pro Open Stock: 1) Marietta, 39.02 (1st Rd), Arctic Cat; 2) Marietta, 40.65 (2nd Rd), Arctic Cat; 3) Wolfe, 42.52 (1st Rd), Polaris.

Daily Mining Gazette Pro Stock 850: 1) Wolfe, 42.89 (1st Rd), Polaris; 2) Wolfe, 43.42 (2nd Rd), Polaris; 3) Warfield, 45.56 (1st Rd) Polaris.

JK Trophy’s of L’Anse Pro Stock 700: 1) Marietta, 40.90 (1st Rd), Arctic Cat; 2) Wolfe, 42.13 (1st Rd), Polaris; 3) Marietta, 42.44 (2nd Rd), Arctic Cat.

Ojibwa Casino Pro Stock 600: 1) Marietta, 39.99 (1st Rd), Arctic Cat; 2) Marietta, 42.28, (2nd Rd) Arctic Cat; 3) Luke Maher, 42.57 (1st Rd), Polaris.

GRAND NATIONALS SNOW DRAG RESULTS

March 18, 2018 at Mont du Lac, Duluth/Superior:

Ojibwa Casino TOP GUN: 1) Al Turin, Greenland, MI, Yamaha; 2) Nick Gustafson, Roseau, MN, Polaris; 3) Kip McIntyre, Greenland, MI, Yamaha.

Pat’s Motorsports MAGIC: 1) Chris Nordang, Iron River, MI, Arctic Cat; 2) Kyle Nash, Traverse City, MI, Arctic Cat; 3) Nick Gustafson, Roseau, MN, Polaris.

Mont du Lac Pro Mod 850: 1) CJ Nordang, Iron River, MI, Ski-doo; 2) Kyle Nash, Traverse City, MI, Arctic Cat; 3) Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI, Ski-doo.

Dave’s Auto Repair of Laurium Pro Mod 700: 1) Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI, Ski-doo; 2) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden, MI, Arctic Cat; 3) Wyatt McIntyre, Greenland, MI, Yamaha.

Patriot Towing Pro Mod 600: 1) Kyle Nash, Traverse City, MI, Polaris; 2) Al Turin, Greenland, MI, Yamaha; 3) Jim Johnson, Skanee, MI, Polaris

Daily Mining Gazette Race Stock 800: 1) Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI, Ski-doo; 2) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden, MI, Arctic Cat; 3) Derek Lundry, Iron River, MI, Ski-doo.

Eagle Radio Race Stock 600: 1) Kyle Nash, Traverse City, MI, Polaris; 2) Kip McIntyre, Greenland, MI, Yamaha; 32) Al Turin, Greenland, MI, Yamaha.

Soderbeck Systems Trail Stock Open: 1) Randy Bernstein, Madison, WI, Arctic Cat; 2) Tyler Fisher, Brighton, MI, Arctic Cat; 3) Wyatt McIntrye, Greenland, MI, Polaris.

Trail Stock 600: 1) Jim Butler, Babbit, MN, Arctic Cat; 2) Mike Breusewitz, Menasha, WI, Arctic Cat; 3) Wyatt McIntyre, Greenland, MI, Polaris.

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After a very successful Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff in South Range, MI, the MASTERS now moves on to the Duluth/Superior market. It will be at Mont du Lac that the Minnesota State Championship Hillclimb will take place on Saturday, March 17.  Then on Sunday, March 18, this excellent ski resort will be home to the GRAND NATIONALS Snow Drags.

Mont du Lac had a MASTERS Racing Circuit Hillclimb two years ago. Last year the hillclimb was cancelled due to lack of snow. That prompted Mont du Lac and the MASTERS to move the hillclimb and the uphill snowmobile drag races to March 17 and 18.

The hillclimb course at Mont du Lac is unique. The riders will traverse a challenging course on the side of a hill, than come down the hill and go through a series of cones, than have to go up the hill. On the hill will be a series of gates that the snowmobiler has to go around.

“This course is a combination of a cross country race and a hillclimb. It gives Snow Crossers, Hillcrossers, and Hillclimbers a chance to have a lot of fun,” commented Jason Kleinschmidt, MASTERS Director of Race Operations. “The year we had the hillclimb, we had a lot of racers from different race venues compete.”

The racers that win the Pro Stock classes will then compete for the Pro Stock King of the Hill and $500.00. Same for those who win in the Pro Mod Classes. They will also be competing for $500 to win the Pro Mod King of the Hill.

Those who want to compete in the Minnesota State Championship Hillclimb will need to either pre-register or register on Friday Night at Mont du Lac. The MASTERS has never allowed registration on the day of the race.

Last year was the first GRAND NATIONALS Snow Drags. This event will take place on Sunday, March 18, on a different hill at Mont du Lac. Unlike the hillclimb where it is one racer going against the clock, at the Grand Nationals, two snowmobiles race side by side on a smooth, groomed, track. They race 500 feet up the hill.

The MASTERS has two classes for Trail Stock, two classes in Race Stock, and five classes for modified sleds. The MASTERS “feature” classes are the full mod, naturally aspirated 2 and 4 strokes in the “Magic” class. The Turbo machines run in TOP GUN. The GRAND NATIONALS is the second “leg” of the Ojibwa Casino Drag Racing Series, where the racers are going for the 2018 “Magic” and “TOP GUN” champion.

Greenland, Michigan’s Al Turin on a Yamaha won TOP GUN at the first leg in Ontonagon, Michigan. Lake Linden, Michigan’s Jerry Buschell edged out Roseau, Minnesota’s Nick Gustafson In the “Magic” class in Ontonagon.

The final stop of the Ojibwa Casino MASTERS Racing Circuit will be at Marquette Mountain, Marquette, Michigan, on April 7. At Marquette the MASTERS will also run a Hillcross and the World Championship KIDS’ climb.

For more information on any of the upcoming events, you can go to the Masters Racing Circuit Facebook page. You can also contact them via e-mail, sschulz [at] jamadots [dot] com or call them at 906-884-9101.

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Marietta Sweeps at Whealkate!

March 5, 2018

Snowmobile hillclimbers brought life back to Whealkate Bluff in South Range on Saturday. After an absence of a professional hillclimb for 7 years, the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) Racing Circuit hosted the Ojibwa Casino Winternationals Snowmobile Hillclimb. With a total of 141 runs at this steep hill, only 45 of them […]

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The BIG Hillclimb is BACK!

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 […]

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Wisconsin State Championship Hillcross and Mid America Championship Hillclimb at Keyes Peak Results

February 8, 2018

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 […]

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UP Championship Snow Drags Results Jan 27, 2018

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 […]

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