What we are going to do is for those who send in their pre-registration along with fees by April 1st and register for TOP GUN, Pro Open Stock, and one Trail Class, we’re going to GIVE YOU an additional Trail Stock Class entry fee for FREE! Those who register at the Mont du Lac lodge at the bottom of the hill on Friday night, April 5th, if you register for Pro Open Stock, TOP GUN, and one Trail Stock class, you will get another Trail Stock class for half the entry fee.

Since Mont du Lac is a ski hill and has additional insurance requirements, we had no choice but to have a separate Terra-X registration.  We really appreciate all the work that Mont du Lac will be doing in setting up the Terra-X course on Friday, along with providing us with their digital timing system and PA system. The staff at Mont du Lac is GREAT for the MASTERS to work with and they really treat all of us great.

Not to forget how they brought our MASTERS flagman back to life after his heart stopped from his heart attack last year.

Registration will be Friday night, April 5th from 6 to 8 p.m. Central time at the lodge at the bottom of the hill.

Test N Tune will run from 9 to 10:00 a.m. CT. Mandatory Drivers Meeting will be from 10:15 a.m. CT to 10:30 a.m. CT, with racing to start 5 minutes after the completion of the Drivers Meeting. As of right now, we’re planning on running the Juniors, Trail Stock classes first, then go to the 120’s, then come back with the 1st round of Trail Mod, and finish the first round with Pro Open Stock and TOP GUN. This is going to be dependent on snow conditions, so it may change. I will keep everyone updated as to the order of the racing.

We’re going to be running on the ski runway to the right when looking up the hill. This is where we ran the Uphill Drags last year.

We’ll have the awards ceremony in the lodge at the bottom of the hill approximately an hour to 90 minutes after the races have concluded. Make plans on competing in the final MASTERS Race of the year, the Terra-X finals at Mont du Lac, April 6th!

Thanks again everyone!

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Fans and racers came out to see Terra-X racing at Adventure Mountain in Greenland on Saturday. They were treated by a lot of sunshine and snow to see snowmobilers go through a winding course up and down the former ski hill.

It was in the Pat’s Motorsports Pro Open Stock that Jordan Wolfe of Montreal, Wisconsin, thrilled the fans with an amazing move to go on to win the class.

“I got beat on the hole shot, so I held back to cut on the inside of Travis (Kaurala) on the first turn,” Wolfe stated.

The move worked out so well that other racers in the 2-sled class championship shoot-out would try if they also did not get the lead when the flagged dropped. However, Wolfe was the only one who would get into the lead with that move.

Kaurala would come back to win the TOP GUN feature over Wolfe.

While TOP GUN and Pro Open Stock are the “featured” classes, the excitement started in the qualifying time trials. The top 3 racers in the children’s 120 classes would advance to the finals. It is the top 2 racers in the Trail Stock and Junior classes that advanced.

In the 120 Stock class, 6 children tried to advance to the finals. One one-hundredth of a second prevented a first-time Terra-X child from Wisconsin from advancing to the finals. 

Ontonagon’s Klayton Kin edged out Wisconsin’s Camden Carothers with a 56.60-second run. Carothers ran a 56.61-second run.

“The officials and timers kept going over the time to see if it really happened. One one-hundredth of a second is amazing, then to think Camden (Carothers) never did Terra-X before, while Klayton has been a previous Terra-X winner,” explained Jeremy Schmidt, MASTERS Official.

It was then in the Merritt’s Travel Center 120 Stock Final that Kin led throughout the race until the final turn to the finish line. It was in that final turn that Braden Rose of Harvey got by Kin to win the Class Championship Shoot-out.

Bessemer’s Nolan Boggetto and the 120 Mod racers and families decided after the practice runs to have the children run the entire hill. The 120 Stock racers ran half the hill. Boggetto turned in a time of 1 minute and 1 second in qualifying.

“Think of that time! My gosh, the Trail Stock’s fastest time was 46 seconds! Nolan’s time on a 120 was only 15 seconds slower. That is amazing,” explained Wayne Soderbeck, MASTERS flag man.

Boggetto would go on to win in the finals.

The fastest time of the day was set by Wolfe. Wolfe ran a 45.35-second run in the first round qualifying of the Pro Open Stock class. 

Wolfe and Greenland’s Wyatt McIntyre were the only double winners. Wolfe won Pro Open Stock and Trail Stock 600. McIntyre took the Pit Stop Trail Stock 850 and the SONCO Ambulance Trail Mod 600 class.

Trimountain’s Roger Strack, who will be representing the MASTERS and the Midwestern States at this coming weekend’s World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming, won the Pit Stop Trail Mod 850 class. Strack defeated Toivola’s Josh Bramble.

Bramble advanced to 3 class championship shoot-outs.

The MASTERS will conclude the Ojibwa Casino Snowmobile Race Series with a Terra-X race at Mont du Lac, outside of Duluth/Superior on April 6th.

MASTERS Mountain Lions Adventure Mountain Results

Pat’s Motorsports TOP GUN:  1) Travis Kaurala, Nissula, Ski-doo;  2) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris.

Pat’s Motorsports Pro Open Stock:  1) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris;  2) Travis Kaurala, Nisula, Ski-doo.

Merritt’s Travel Center 120 Mod:  1) Nolan Boggetto, Bessemer, Polaris;  2) Braden Rose, Harvey, Polaris;  3) Lucas Solberg, Ontonagon, Polaris.

Merritt’s Travel Center 120 Stock:  1) Braden Rose, Harvey, Ski-doo;  2) Klayton Kin, Greenland, Arctic Cat;  3) Lucas Solberg, Ontonagon, Polaris.

Ojibwa Casino Junior:  1) Kaeden Kaurala, Nisula, Ski-doo;  2) Jordan Leonards, Gladstone, Arctic Cat.

SONCO Ambulance Trail Stock 600:  1) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris;  2) Josh Bramble, Toivola, Ski-doo.

Pit Stop Bar and Grill Trail Stock 850:  1) Wyatt McIntyre, Greenland, Polaris;  2) Josh Bramble, Toivola, Ski-doo.

SONCO Ambulance Trail Mod 600:  1) Wyatt McIntyre, Greenland, Polaris;  2) Kaeden Kaurala, Nisula, Ski-doo.

Pit Stop Bar and Grill Trail Mod 850:  1) Roger Strack, Trimountain, Arctic Cat;  2) Josh Bramble, Toivola, Ski-doo.

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Snowmobilers from four states braved the snow falling and snow on Whealkate Bluff to compete at this past Saturday’s Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb.  

Afton, Wyoming’s Tyler Robinson swept all four of the Pro Mod Classes to win the Vollwerth’s Meats Pro Mod King of the Hill. With no other hillclimbers winning a Pro Mod Class, Robinson didn’t even need to compete in a “shoot-out.”

Pro Mod King of the Hill Tyler Robinson

That wasn’t the case in the Houghton Powersports Pro Stock King of the Hill. Hubbell’s Jimmy Marietta had two shots in the shoot-out by winning the M & M Powersports Pro Open Stock and the Great Lakes Mineral Pro Stock 850 Class.  

Also qualifying for the Pro Stock King of the Hill Shoot-out was Brillion, Wisconsin’s Bob Berghuis and Trimountain’s Roger Strack. Berghuis won the Diamond House International Pro Stock 700 class on a Polaris, while Strack won the Mosquito Inn Pro Stock 600 Class on a Polaris.

The racer “draw” for that shoot-out was the second course. Marietta drew to run first, where he made the 200-yard steep bluff in 20.057 seconds. Strack went second and made the hill in 26.420 seconds. By this time the snow conditions on the hill made it difficult to make it through the timing chute. Marietta’s second run was 35.620 seconds. Berghuis failed to make the hill on the final run.  

This gave Marietta his second Pro Stock King of the Hill. He also won the Triest Forest Products-Vollwerth’s Meats Mid America Championship Hillclimb (MACH) on February 2nd.

Todd Royce (left) with Pro Stock King of the Hill Jimmy Marietta (right)

Unlike the MACH, the Toucan’s Auto Repair Sno-Bike King of the Hill had the tracked motorcycles run around the six gates on the hill. Albany, Minnesota’s Adam Vowles set the bar early with a 22.647 run on the first round. The motorcyclist that did so well at last summer’s Ojibwa Casino Motorcycle Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff, Mike Chopp, had a 24.099-second run in that first round.

Only one other rider of the nine competing made the hill in the first round. That was Afton, Wyoming’s Justin Visser.

It was in the second round that Chassell’s Kyle Wadaga turned in an amazing 21.981-second run—a run that would give him the Sno-Bike King of the Hill. His run matched many of the winning times set by the professional snowmobile hillclimbers.

The children between the ages of 12 and 17 competed in the Krupp’s Mini-Mart Junior Division King of the Hill. With Greenland’s Wyatt McIntyre winning the Junior Division at the MACH and qualifying for the World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming, he decided not to compete in the WINTERNATIONALS Junior Division.

None of the three Junior Division racers made it up the hill in their first attempt.  “These brave young racers did not have to go around the gates, but with the ruts in the deep hill from the Sno-Bikes, and the deep snow, they still had a stiff challenge,” explained MASTERS Official Wayne Soderbeck. The event is sanctioned by the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers, commonly known as the MASTERS.

In the second attempt, Bessemer’s Keegan Boggetto went right to the base of the “wall” at the top of the hill where the timing chute begins. Boggetto didn’t make it over the top.

Then Allouez’s Kolten Laurie made it over the top with an impressive 19.331-second run. This brought out a roar of excitement from the hundreds of fans attending the hillclimb.

With the final run in the Junior King of the Hill, Nisula’s Kaiden Kaurala showed the digital timer to have a 19.292 second run to win the King of the Hill.

The Daily Mining Gazette 120 class had excitement all their own. The children between the ages of 5 and 12 raced both Stock and Modified children’s snowmobiles to see who could go farthest up the hill.

Nolan Bolgetto, Lucas Solbers, Braden Rose

Nolan Boggetto, Keegan’s younger brother, went the farthest—80 yards—for the win. Harvey’s Braden Rose took a second by going 74 yards, and Ontonagon’s Lucas Solbers took a third by going 61 yards.

“It was in the Stock 120 class where all four of the entries were going to pretty much the same spot,” commented Soderbeck. “It was three of the kids that went the exact same spot in both runs; thus we had to put them side by side to race at the same time to determine the winner.”

“Solbers on his Stock 120 went the farthest, by inches,” Soderbeck explained. Rose took a second, and the MACH King of the Hill winner, Klayton Kin of Ontonagon, took a third.

Klayton Kin, Braden Rose, Lucas Solbers, Sunshine Oelfke

The young girl who drew national media attention by giving up her piggy bank money to buy some of her classmates milk money at school, Sunshine Oelfke of Ishpeming, failed to advance to the final by less than 5 yards.

For the first time the MASTERS held a Vintage King of the Hill for snowmobiles 1993 and older. These short-track snowmobiles had a difficult time going through the deep snow. Winning the first Triest Forest Products Vintage King of the Hill was Gross Isle, Michigan’s Brian Parvin, who got his old Yamaha to go 71 yards.

It was in the Pro Stock 850 class that Marietta set the fastest time of the day with an 18.295-second run on the second course. The best time on the first course was set by Robinson with a 19.600 run in Pro Mod 700.

Of the 136 runs in the Pro Division, only 45 made it through the timing chute. 

“Only 11 racers can say they made it over the top. However, we (MASTERS) commend all the racers for having the courage to tackle this steep hill, especially when it has over 8 feet of snow on some sections,” concluded MASTERS Official Jeremy Schmidt.

This was the final snowmobile hillclimb of the season for the MASTERS. They will have the Ojibwa Casino Motorcycle Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff on July 6. The Ojibwa Casino Winter series will conclude with Terra-X race at Adventure Mountain in Greenland on March 16, then the Terra-X Championship at Mont du Lac, outside of Duluth, Minnesota, on April 6.

Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS

February 23, 2019, Results

Vollwerth’s Meat Pro Mod King of the Hill:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha (Robinson clinched the King of the Hill by winning ALL 4 Pro Mod classes).

Houghton Powersports Pro Stock King of the Hill:  1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 20.57 (1st Run); 2) Roger Strack, Trimountain, MI, Polaris, 26.420; 3) Marietta, 35.620 (2nd Run); 4) Bob Berghuis, Brillion, WI, 155 yards.

Christian Motorcycle Association Spirit King of the Hill:  Tom Hodges, Lake Linden, MI, Arctic Cat, 27.543; 2) Teddy Laurie, Allouez, MI, Arctic Cat, 193 yards; 3) Brad Barrette, Sr., Hubbell, MI, Ski-doo, 183 yards.

Toucan’s Auto Repair Sno-Bike King of the Hill:  1) Kyle Wadaga, Chassell, MI, Yamaha Timbersled, 21.981; 2) Adam Vowles, Albany, MN, Yamaha Timbersled, 22.647; 3) Mike Chopp, Atlantic Mine, KTM, 24.099.

Triest Forest Products Vintage King of the Hill:  1) Brian Parvin, Gross Isle, MI, Yamaha, 71 yards; 2) Jake Pearsall, Minocqua, WI, Ski-doo, 69 yards; 3) Snuffy Trudgeon, South Range, MI, Arctic Cat, 62 yards.

Krupp’s Mini Mart Junior King of the Hill:  1) Kaiden Kaurala, Nisula, MI., Ski-doo, 19.292; 2) Kolten Laurie, Allouez, MI, 19.331; 3) Keegan Boggetto, Bessemer, MI, Ski-doo, 191 yards.

Daily Mining Gazette 120 Mod King of the Hill:  1) Nolan Boggetto, Bessemer, MI, Polaris, 80 yards; 2) Braden Rose, Harvey, MI, Polaris, 74 yards; 3) Lucas Solbers, Ontonagon, MI, Polaris, 61 yards.

Daily Mining Gazette 120 Stock King of the Hill:  1) Lucas Solbers, Ontonagon, MI, Polaris, 59 yards; 2) Braden Rose, Harvey, MI, Ski-doo, 59 yards; 3) Klayton Kin, Ontonagon, MI, Arctic Cat, 59 yards. Tie-breaker determined by side-by-Side race up hill.

Matt’s Auto Glass & Repair Pro Open Mod:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha, 21.969 (2nd Rd); 2) Robinson, 24.460 (1st Rd); 3)  Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 24.952.

Wildlife Refuge Cabins Pro Mod 850:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha, 20.868 (1st Rd); 2) Robinson, 22.251 (2nd Rd); 3) Travis Kaurala, Nisula, MI, Ski-doo, 25.516.

4 Seasons Convenience Pro Mod 700:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha, 19.600; 2) Nick Trezana, Hubbell, MI, Polaris, 28.105; 3) Roger Strack, Trimountain, MI, Polaris, 187 yards.

Tina Katalina Pro Mod 600:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha, 20.100 (2nd Rd); 2) Robinson, 21.225 (1st Rd); 3) Travis Kaurala, Nisula, MI, Ski-doo, 22.459.

M & M Powersports Pro Open Stock:  1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 19.491 (2nd Rd); 2) Marietta, 22.540 (1st Rd); 3) Roger Strack, Trimountain, MI, Arctic Cat, 23.041.

Great Lakes Mineral-Valley View Quarry Pro Stock 850:  1) Jimmy Marietta Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 18.295 (2nd Rd); 2) Marietta, 20.152 (1st Rd); 3) Travis Kaurala, Nisula, MI, Ski-doo, 23.386.

Diamond House International Pro Stock 700:  1) Bob Berghuis, Brillion, WI, Polaris, 27.984 (1st Rd); 2) Berghuis, 27.988 (2nd Rd); 3) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris, 188 yards.

Mosquito Inn-D’s Base Camp Pro Stock 600:  1) Roger Strack, Trimountain, MI, Polaris, 21.863; 2) Travis Kaurala, Nisula, MI, Ski-doo, 22.690 (2nd Rd); 3) Kaurala, 25.421 (1st Rd).

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Final registration will be this Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. Eastern time at the former Big Bucks Bingo Hall, located next to the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga, MI. No registration after 8 p.m. At 8 p.m. we will have the drivers meeting, followed by the draw for class racer order of competition.

If you cannot make it by 8 p.m. on Friday night, you can send in your registration and fees. We need them by this Thursday as we will not be at the offices after 1:00 p.m. this Thursday. Thus we will not be able to get the mail. This way you only need to make it by 8 p.m. for the drivers meeting. Send your registration to: MASTERS, c/o Winternationals, 610 Greenland Road, Ontonagon, MI 49953. It will be on Friday night that those who sign the waiver will get a gate admission and Pit Parking/Gate button. The Christian Motorcycle Association will be manning the gate.

Every driver and one pit person is given a free admission button. Additional Pit Passes, with waiver signature can be purchased for $10.00. Pit Passes on Saturday morning will be $15.00.

We will have the racer entrance on the Fan Exit Road. We will have signs up to give you directions for the Racer Entrance. The water problems for the last hillclimb were due to a water line break in the Village’s water system. This has been repaired and the Racer Entrance Road will be used. The gate for that will open at 8:00 a.m. ET, and close at 9:00 a.m. ET.  After 9:00 a.m., the racers will have to enter through the Fan gate.

All racers will have to go through Safety Tech. Those who pass the Safety Tech will be required to put the MASTERS Ojibwa Casino sticker at a visible location on the snowmobile. Safety Tech will run from 8:00 a.m. ET to 9:15 a.m. ET. We will have the mandatory drivers meeting on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET.  Ten minutes after the prayer from the Christian Motorcycle Association and the conclusion of the drivers meeting, the Snow Bikes will run the hill. It will be up to the Snow Bike Racers if they want to run straight up the hill or around the gates. The Snow Bikes will run BOTH rounds immediately.

After the Snow Bikes we will open the Pro Mod Division. The order of the classes will be: Pro Open Mod, Pro Mod 850, Pro Mod 700, Pro Mod 600, Pro Open Stock, Pro Stock 850, Pro Stock 700, Pro Stock 600, Spirit, Vintage, Junior, (possibly Women), then the 2nd Round. Second Round order will be Vintage, Junior, (possibly Women), Pro Stock 600, Pro Stock 700, Pro Stock 850, Pro Open Stock, Spirit, Pro Mod 600, Pro Mod 700, Pro Mod 850, Pro Open Mod.

Then after the draw for which course and the order for the King of the Hill, we will run the Pro Stock King of the Hill, then end the day with Pro Mod King of the Hill. The $500 and King of the Hill Trophies will be done at the Ojibwa Casino Winners Circle, right behind the MASTERS PA Trailer, along with the 120cc trophy presentation. ALL other awards will be handed out at the awards party.

As of right now, it looks like we will have the awards party at the Range Snowmobile Club, 60 to 90 minutes after the grounds have been cleared. As we have done for the past 25+ years, we do NOT send out checks or trophies. If you cannot make the awards party you will need to have someone else pick up your trophies, Class Champion Shirts, and/or check.

MASTERS Class Champion Shirts, embroidered by one of our class sponsors, Diamond House International of Houghton, is ONLY for the Pro Stock and Pro Mod Class Champions. They are not for the trophies classes, i.e., 120cc, Junior, Vintage, Spirit, and (possibly) Women.

The King of the Hill winners will receive a trophy and the $500 cash. The top 3 finishes in both the Pro Stock and Pro Mod King of the Hill will receive a qualifying entry for the World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, WY. We will have a total of 6 entries to the World Championship from the Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS. We had 6 entries already handed out from the Triest Forest Products-Vollwerth’s Meats Mid America Championship Hillclimb on February 2nd. The MASTERS is given a total of 12 entries to the World Championship.

Those who qualify for the World Championship MUST let the MASTERS know by the following Monday, February 25th, 2019, if you are going. If you qualify and you know you are not going, we would really APPRECIATE you letting us know right away, so we can go to the next highest qualifier.

As always, the 1st through 3rd cash payout is listed on the charts. Other then Women’s (if we have any women who try), all trophies classes are for 1st through 3rd.

Early interest shows that we will have the minimum of 3 entries to have a Vintage Class. Vintage Class racers will go straight up the hill; they will not go around the gates. This is a trophy only class. It will run in between the 1st and 2nd round. Vintage is for sleds 1993 and older.

The Junior class will also run straight up the hill and will not go around the gates. This is also a trophy class;  they also will run in between the 1st and 2nd round. The Junior Class winner will qualify for the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming on March 21st-24th.

We would like to have a Women’s class. The women would also run straight up the hill. Trophy only for the Women’s King of the Hill. It is NOT on the registration, so if we have an interest, sign up on Friday night. For this hillclimb and to try to build this class, registration will only be $15.00 and $15.00 for insurance.

List up to 3 sponsors on the back of the registration form.

Once again the brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma will be the hill jockeys. They did an EXCELLENT job at the MACH on February 2nd. Please show your appreciation to them! The Christian Motorcycle Association will be handling grounds security and parking. Fans can watch the hillclimb from their vehicle by purchasing the $20 Reserved Parking, or bring a lawn chair and get general parking for $5.00. Gate admission is $10.00/person, under 12 with a paid adult is free. Tom Katalin will have a concession stand on the grounds. Just Snowmobiles will be doing the video and photography, along with Archy from the Daily Mining Gazette.  The Daily Mining Gazette will also have a special 12-page newspaper to go out this Tuesday. The Rockin’ Eagle and Eagle Country will be promoting the hillclimb.

MASTERS – Mountain Lions Terra-X at Adventure Mountain in Greenland, MI, Saturday, March 16th

We will have a fun course built on the former Adventure Mountain Ski Hill. The course will go up and down the hill, through a slalom course, sweeping turns, and A LOT OF SNOW. This is going to be A LOT OF FUN for everyone to compete. It will be a combination of a Hillclimb and Cross Country race. Every racer will have 2 runs in each class and run against the clock. Then the 2 fastest times in each class will qualify for the Class Championship Shoot-out. The Trophy classes include Stock 600, Stock 850, Mod 600, and Mod 850. The 100% class entry fee cash payout will be in Pro Open Stock and TOP GUN. TOP GUN is a points class, where we will crown the 2019 TOP GUN Champion after the April 6th Mont du Lac Terra-X, outside of Duluth, MN.

Trophies in the Trophy class go to the 2 finalists, and the cash payback in the Pro Classes also go to the Pro Open Stock and TOP GUN. We will have the 120cc and Junior Classes at both the Adventure Mountain and Mont du Lac Terra-X.

MASTERS – Mont du Lac Terra-X Finals, Saturday, April 6th, Duluth, MN

The MASTERS met with Mont du Lac this past Friday. The staff at Mont du Lac is EXCELLENT to work with and excited to build a fun and challenging Terra-X course. The course will be on the hill that we ran the drag races last year. At Mont du Lac we will have a jump going up the hill and coming down. We’ll have slalom sections along with right and left sweeping turns.

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Marietta takes King of Hill

February 5, 2019

Snowmobile hillclimbers came from all over the Midwest, with one coming from Afton, Wyoming. They took part in this past Saturday’s Triest Forest Products-Vollwerth’s Mid America Championship Hillclimb (MACH). The MACH took place at Whealkate Bluff in South Range and was a part of the MASTERS Ojibwa Casino Racing series.

Jimmy Marietta (middle)

It is those who win a class who advance to the two King of the Hill “shoot-outs.” All the winners in the Pro Stock Division advanced to the Houghton Powersports Pro Stock King of the Hill, and all the winners in the Pro Modified Division advance to the Vollwerth’s Meats Pro Mod King of the Hill.

Afton, Wyoming’s Tyler Robinson won 3 of the 4 Pro Mod classes he was allowed to enter. The only class he was defeated in was in the Wildlife Refuge and Cabins Pro Mod 850. It was in that class that Hubbell’s James Marietta went around all 5 gates and through the timing chute in an amazing 18.74 seconds. The M & M Powersports Arctic Cat did that on the second course. Robinson turned in a time of 20.45 seconds on the first course. Winners in each class is determined by the best time, no matter which course it was done on.

Robinson, racing Pat’s Motorsports Yamahas in all the classes, turned in the best time of the day when he ran his Yamaha Turbo in only 18.52 seconds. Robinson did this on the second course in the Matt’s Auto Class and Body Pro Open Mod. That is the class that opened the snowmobile portion of the hillclimb.

“Usually you don’t want to draw an ‘Ace’ at the Friday Night drivers’ meeting, which means you have to break trail, but I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be that bad to open the competition,” commented MASTERS Race Director, Jason Kleinschmidt. “While some of the drivers agreed that going early wouldn’t be that bad, I know many didn’t want to run early…simply because the hill had spots where the snow was over 8 feet deep.”

Kleinschmidt’s assertion was proved correct when Trimountain’s Roger Strack on an Arctic Cat went first and made it over the top in 31.33 seconds. The best the next 9 riders could muster up was Marietta going up 138 yards before he was stuck in the deep snow. Then Green Bay’s Matt Cook made it over the top with a 20.91 second run. Robinson went next and turned in a 25.34 second run.

Only 5 of the 14 drivers in the Pro Mod 850 class recorded a time in the first round. Robinson turned in a 20.45-second run, which was the fastest time of the day at the part of the hillclimb. It was in the second round that someone finally beat Robinson. That was Marietta with an 18.74 second run, the second fastest time of the day.

As the day progressed, the hundreds of fans and racers could see a friendly rivalry brewing, knowing the two would meet in the Pro Mod King of the Hill Shoot-out. The question would come down to a simple “draw of 4 cards” as to the order of when the class winners would run.

“Tyler (Robinson) motioned to Jimmy (Marietta) to draw first, knowing he only had won a single class and would only get one run,” explained Kleinschmidt. Marietta drew a 4. With Robinson winning the other 3 Pro Mod Classes, Robinson would run 3 different Yamaha sleds before Jimmy would run his Arctic Cat.

Robinson’s best run was his second of 3 runs, when he turned in one fast 19.06-second run on a course that was really getting rough. The course that was drawn to be competed on in both King of the Hill shoot-outs was the first course.

Marietta knew he would have to either come close or break the 18-second mark. 

“I knew I had a good run, I just didn’t know if it was good enough to beat Tyler (Robinson),” Marietta stated. Marietta ran an 18.89-second run to win the $500.00 from Vollwerth’s Meats.

In the Pro Stock King of the Hill, Marietta qualified by winning both the Ojibwa Casino Open Stock and Great Lakes Mineral Pro Stock 850. Wyler Miller of Pelkie, who was inducted into the MASTERS Hall of Fame earlier in the day, won the Diamond House International Pro Stock 700, and MTU Mechanical Engineering Student, Jordan Wolfe of Montreal, Wisconsin, won the Pro Stock 600 class.

Wolfe on a Cloverland Motors Polaris went first and turned in a 23.89-second run. Then Marietta ran a 19.65-second run. Miller got caught in a deep hole 99 yards up the hill. This gave Marietta the $500 from Houghton Powersports without even needing to run his final run.

“Jimmy decided to run it anyway, knowing that it was a gamble if something happened and he damaged his sled before the (Pro) Mod (King of the Hill) shoot-out. Yet another run gave him a ‘practice’ run for the Mod Shoot-out,” Kleinschmidt stated.

In his second run, Marietta went faster than the run that won him the Pro Stock King crown. He turned in a 19.56-second run.

Marietta now qualified to represent the MASTERS and M & M Powersports at the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming, from March 21st to the 24th.

“I’m looking forward to going. We’re going to go out west early to practice and get the right set-up,” concluded Marietta.

Also qualifying for the World Championship is Greenland’s Wyatt McIntyre who won the Junior Division King of the Hill. Nisula’s Kaeden Kaurala will also represent the MASTERS in the Junior Division at the World Championship.

It was McIntyre’s father, Kip McIntyre, who was inducted with Miller into the MASTERS Hall of Fame. Miller goes in as a hillclimber, while McIntyre goes in as a drag racer and individual that helped start and keep the 25+ year circuit going.

The hillclimb opened up with the snow bikes, where Greenland’s Mike Kirtland on a Yamaha won the Snow Bike King of the Hill.

The third Ontonagon County snowmobiler to win a King of the Hill crown was Ontonagon’s Klayton Kin in the 120 cc class.

The MASTERS, an acronym for Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers, will return to the steep South Range hill for the Ojibwa Casino WINTERNATIONALS. This will take place on Feb. 23rd and will be the circuit’s major qualifier for the World Championship Hillclimb. 

Triest Forest Products-Vollwerth’s Meats Mid America Championship Hillclimb -Whealkate Bluff, South Range, Results

Houghton Powersports Pro Stock King of the Hill:  1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 19.56. (2nd run) 2) Marietta, 19.65 (1st Run).  3) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris, 23.89.  4) Wyler Miller; Pelkie, MI, Ski-doo, 90 yards.

Vollwerth’s King of Meats Pro Mod King of the Hill:  1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 18.89.  2) Tyler Robinson, Afton, Wyoming, Yamaha, 19.06 (2nd run).  3) Robinson: 19:45 (3rd run).  4) Robinson; 20:03 (1st run).

Triest Forest Products Spirit King of the Hill:  1) Layne Stank, Menominee, MI, Polaris, 24.06 (1st Rd).  2) Shay Thompson, Negaunee, MI., Polaris, 135 yards.  3) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden, MI, 134 yards (2nd Rd).

Krupp’s Mini Mart Junior King of the Hill:  1) Wyatt McIntyre, Greenland, MI, Polaris, 30.19 (1st Rd). 2) McIntyre, High Mark.  3) Kaeden Kaurala, Nisula, MI, Distance.

Toucan’s Auto Repair Snow Bike King of the Hill:  1) Mike Kirtland, Greenland, MI, Yamaha, 18:01 (2nd Rd).  2) Steve Denomie, Baraga, MI, Suzuki, 20.51 (2nd Rd).  3) Kirtland, 21.34 (1st Rd)

Eagle Radio 120 King of the Hill:  1) Klayton Kin, Ontonagon, MI, Arctic Cat, 66 yards (2nd Rd).  2) Kin, 65 yards (1st Rd).  3) Benjamin Cook, Green Bay, WI, Ski-doo. 64 yards (2nd Rd).

Matt’s Auto Glass and Body Pro Open Mod:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha, 18.52 (2nd Rd).  2) Matt Cook, Green Bay, WI, Arctic Cat, 20.91 (1st Rd).  3) Robinson, 25.34 (1st Rd).

Wildlife Refuge & Cabins Pro Mod 850: 1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat. 18.74 (2nd Rd).  2) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha, 20.45 (1st Rd).  3) Bob Berghuis, Brillion, WI, Polaris, 21.92 (2nd Rd).

4 Seasons Convenience Pro Mod 700:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY, Yamaha, 21.80 (2nd Rd).  2) Robinson, 22.30 (1st Rd).  3) Matt Cook, Green Bay, WI, Arctic Cat, 189 yards.

Tina’s Katalina Pro Mod 600:  1) Tyler Robinson, Afton, WY. Yamaha, 19.84 (1st Rd).  2) Robinson, 20.37 (2nd Rd).  3) Travis Kaurala, Nisula, MI, Ski-doo, 24.23 (2nd Rd).

Ojibwa Casino Pro Open Stock:  1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat, 19.54 (1st Rd).  2) Roger Strack, Trimountain, MI, Arctic Cat, 22.66 (2nd Rd).  3) Skyler Fountaine, Lake Linden MI, Arctic Cat, 29.51 (2nd Rd).

Great Lakes Mineral Valley View Quarry Pro Stock 850:  1) Jimmy Marietta, Hubbell, MI, Arctic Cat. 18.78 (2nd Rd).  2) Marietta, 21.46 (1st Rd).  3)  Travis Kaurala, Nisula, MI., Ski-doo, 24.07 (1st Rd).

Diamond House International Pro Stock 700:  1) Wyler Miller, Pelkie, MI, Ski-doo, 23.06 (1st Rd).  2) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris, 25.19 (1st Rd).  2) Layne Stank, Menominee, MI, 189 yards (2nd Rd).

Mosquito Inn D’s Base Camp Pro Stock 600:  1) Jordan Wolfe, Montreal, WI, Polaris, 23.54 (1st Rd).  2) Wyler Miller, Pelkie, MI, Ski-doo, 162 yards (1st Rd, Total yds. – 244).  3) Layne Stank, Menominee, MI, Polaris, 162 yards (2nd Rd, Total Yards – 234).  (Tie-breaker, total yards from both rounds.)

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The property that the MASTERS Racing Circuit Snowmobile Hillclimb takes place on has a history all its own. It’s not just the snowmobiles that go up and some come down, but the history of Whealkate Bluff also has its ups and downs.

The popular landmark outside of South Range started with motorcycle hillclimbs in the 1970’s. The motorcycle hillclimb ran into the 1980’s and then stopped. The hill during those motorcycle hillclimbs was owned by business people in South Range.

It was in 1991 that the eventual owners of the MASTERS Racing Circuit would work with the Range Snowmobile Club to put on a snowmobile hillclimb.  After 2 years, and a hillclimb that took place in -15 degree temps, the club decided not to co-host the hillclimb.

Then in the late 1990’s after the MASTERS was formed, the hillclimb made a brief return. Just like in the past, the event would only last a couple years when the landowner decided to not allow the hillclimb to take place.

“This became a broken record. We come up with the event, build it, and people out of our control pull the plug. This happened at Copper Peak and other snowmobile events,” commented Jason Kleinschmidt, MASTERS Vice President.

In 2017, the MASTERS began working with the new landowner, Triest Forest Products. Triest decided to give the MASTERS Racing Circuit the opportunity to run a hillclimb. However, no work would be done to the hill or the property, just in case the fan and racer support was simply not there.

It was in March of 2018 that fans and racers proved that Whealkate Bluff has potential, not just for snowmobiles, but to see the return of a motorcycle hillclimb. 

That’s when Triest Forest Products invested thousands of dollars in grading the hill, developing fan and pit parking areas, and to complete an “exit” road from the grounds. Ironically, it was the MASTERS that started to build an “exit” road before the previous landowner discontinued permission to hold a hillclimb.

“While the ‘exit’ road was not ready for use for the motorcycle hillclimb, that road will be used for the Feb 2nd Mid America Championship Hillclimb (MACH),” Kleinschmidt states. “With vastly expanded fan and pit parking, and the use of the ‘exit’ road, the MACH will see major improvements from last year’s snowmobile hillclimb.”

It was Kleinschmidt’s G & J Construction that originally built the exit road. It was Triest Forest Products that has made that road traversable.

It was the March “thaw” that prevented the use of the “exit” road at last winter’s snowmobile hillclimb. By plowing the snow two weeks before the MACH, in addition to the cooler temps, will make it easier for fans to come in on Whealkate Ave and leave on the “exit” road.

Triest Forest Products also plowed the grounds for the fan reserved and general parking, along with the pits, and the area right below the hill for the MASTERS PA/officials’ trailer. Due to all the snow, there will be a limited amount of reserved parking where the fans will be able to watch the hillclimb from the warmth of their vehicle. The general parking will require that the fans bring a lawn chair to watch the snowmobilers try to make it to the top of the hill.

It will be the Christian Motorcyclist Association volunteers who will be directing people to which parking lot they purchased parking for.

It’s at the top of the hill that a snowbank was made that will be the timing chute. That is for the few who have the skill, and the luck, to go around a series of gates and make it to the top.

Those who don’t make it to the top will be assisted by fraternity brothers of MTU’s Sigma Tau Gamma. The Sigma Tau Gamma “Hill Jockeys” will do their best to safely try to prevent the snowmobile from rolling to the bottom of the hill.

“We have a list of brothers who are signing up to be hill jockeys. They love this!” commented Jake Kessler of Sigma Tau Gamma.

It is also snowmobile racers and their teams that volunteered to set up fencing earlier this winter to try to keep snowmobiles off the hill. Josh Bramble, Ray Van Alstine, Jordan Wolfe and Wolfe racing will also help set up the gates for the course. They will do this the day before the hillclimb.

The decision as to where the gates will be put in the 2.5 feet of snow is up to MASTERS Officials. “This year for the first time we are going to have a jump right at the bottom of the hill,” remarked Kleinschmidt. “This will make it difficult for the snowmobiler to get any momentum on the bottom of the hill.” Plus it is jumps at the bottom of the hill that the Jackson Hole (WY) Snow Devils have for the World Championship Hillclimb.

It is the MASTERS Racing Circuit, which is an acronym for Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers, which sends the top professional hillclimbers from the MACH to Snow King Mountain in Jackson, WY. The World Championship Hillclimb is March 21 to 24t.

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Hillclimbers, a special “breed”

January 26, 2019

It takes a special “breed” of snowmobiler to compete at a MASTERS Racing Circuit Snowmobile Hillclimb. One who accepts the chance that if he doesn’t make it to the top of Whealkate, one of two things could happen. The best case scenario is that the hillclimber simply buries his sled in the deep snow and gets […]

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New Snowmobile Race Comes to Ontonagon

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 […]

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The MASTERS is starting something NEW: Terra-X!

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 […]

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The end of an era for the MASTERS!

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 […]

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