Ishpeming’s Havela’s Dominate!

July 28, 2023

The MASTERS Racing Circuit works with the Media of the hometown racers that win.  The following is what the MASTERS submitted to the Marquette Mining Journal, including the pictures and captions.

Chain Gang Racing out of Ishpeming made the trip west to the Copper Country with the intent to be stiff competition at the Pat’s Motorports-Wildlife Refuge Cabins Motorcycle Hillclimb.  They not only were stiff competition, they WERE the competition.

Brad Havela of Ishpeming won the Jesse Perry Memorial Class at the Motorcycle HIllclimb in South Range. Next to Havela is Marisa Corkin of Stampede Sport and Feed, who donated a Plaque in memory of Perry, who lost his life after last years Hillclimb in a non-motorcycle tragedy.

The ‘Father-Son’ duo of Brad and Gage Havela of Ishpeming took 4 Class 1sts and won the feature Class, the Stampede Sport and Feed Jesse Perry Memorial 450 cc class.  Perry lost his life, non-motorcycle, right after competing in last September’s Hillclimb.

In addition to dominating in all these classes, Gage Havela, set the fastest time of the day.  The Willey’s Tire Center/Bartanen’s Auto Body/Havela’s Finnish’ hillcimber ran an amazing 14.70 second run. He did this on the steep 600+ foot Whealkate Bluff.

Ishpeming’s Gage Havela captured 1st Place in 4 Classes at the recent MASTERS Motorcycle Hillclimb in South Range.

“A 14 second run up the steep hill is difficult, but very possible with the right bike set-up.  More important than all having good driver practice and finesse,” (Gage) Havela stated.  He had this run in the qualifying round.

For the vast majority of the racers the goal was to make it over the top of the Hill.  Next goal was to qualify for the Finals, with the biggest goal for the contingent of racers from Ishpeming was to be one of the 3 to qualify for the Jesse Perry Memorial Class.

Brad and Gage Havela made it into Final.  Gage went first and made it over the top in 16.92 seconds.  Brad went next and turned in a very fast 15.15 second run.  Dollar Bay’s Colin Kemppainen crashed at the 156 yard mark. 

It was a Father (Brad on right) and Son (Gage on left), the Havela’s of Ishpeming that won an amazing 5 classes at the historic Whealkate Bluff Motorcycle Hillclimb in South Range.

The Father, Brad, won the beautiful Jesse Perry Memorial Plaque.  Kemppainen won the Havela’s Finnish/Q107 ‘Crash of the Day.’

“I went there with positive thoughts and knew Jesse (Perry) was looking down on the whole Chain Gang crew, wishing us a safe and effective day of racing,” Gage explained.  “I was giving my Dad a run for his money for the Jesse Perry Memorial race.  He beat me this year.”

Before that feature, Gage had won in 4 classes.  This gave him 4 shots at the Moyle Construction Pro Mod King of the Hill.  “Towards the end of the day I was getting quite tired after racing up the hill so many times.  Overall I was very happy with the outcome we (Chain Gang Racing) all had at the hill.”

Mass City’s Mike Kirtland, who was inducted into the MASTERS Racing Circuit Hall of Fame earlier in the day, went on to win his 5th consecutive Pro Mod King of the Hill.

Brad’s daughter, Hanna, was unable to defend her 906 & Company Queen of the Hill.  She ended with a 3rd, as Lake Linden’s Jamie Moilanen won the Diamond House International Jacket.  Fellow Ishpeming gal, Kristy Junak took 2nd in the Queen of the Hill shoot-out.

Overall the Havela’s Finnish Chain Gang Racing team took home over $800.

“I want thank all my close friends for coming, even more important I want to thank my Dad for introducing me into the hillclimb lifestyle.  I also want to thank him for everything he does to help make sure our bikes are race ready,” concluded Gage (Havela).  “I look forward to climbing Whealkate Bluff next year.”

The Hillclimb was sanctioned by the Mid America Snow & Terrain Expert Racers.  Commonly known at the MASTERS.  The Motorcycle and Snowmobile Race Circuit has been around since 1991, and had run the popular Snowmobile Drag Races at Marquette Mountain for over 20 years.  The MASTERS has the Snow Bikes and Snowmobiles try to climb the South Range bluff the 1st and 4th weekend in February.

Pat’s Motorsports-Wildlife Refuge Cabins

Motorcycle Hillclimb, Whealkate Bluff, 7/22/2023 Results

Stampede Sport & Feed Jesse Perry Memorial Class Feature:  1) Brad Havela, Ishpeming, 15.15; 2) Gage Havela, Ishpeming, 16.92; 3) Colin Kemppanien, Dollar Bay, 156 yards.

Diamond House International/906 & Company Queen of the Hill Shoot-out:  1) Jamie Moilanen, Lake Linden, 107 yards; 2) Kristy Junak, Ishpeming, 83 yards; 3) Hanna Havela, Ishpeming, DNS.

Moyle Construction/Diamond House International Pro Mod King of the Hill Shoot-out:  1) Mike Kirtland, Mass City, 15.65; 2) Gage Havela, Ishpeming, 16.33; 3) Brian Pence, Rockland, High Mark.

M & M Power Sports/Diamond House International Pro Stock King of the Hill:  1) Brian Pence, Rockland, 178 yards.  Qualifying Run 18.49.

Premium Spray Foam & Coatings/Diamond House International Junior King of the Hill:  1) Gabe Kirtland, Mass City, 85 yards.

Keweenaw Motorsports 250-2/450-4 Stock:  1) Brian Pence, Rockland, 178 yards;  2) Austin Rivard, Gwinn, 153 yards;  3) Mike Kirtland, Mass City, 146 yards.

Bobcat of Greenland Stock Engine/Swing Arm:  1) Gage Havela, Ishpeming, 15.38;  2) Mike Kirtland, Mass City, 203 yards;  3) Brian Pence, Rockland, 133 yards.

Eagle Radio/Q-107 Open Stock:  1) Gage Havela, Ishpeming, 15.53; 2) Mike Kirtland, Mass City, 17.39; 3) Brad Havela, Ishpeming, 198 yards.

Willey’s Tire Center/Bartanen’s Auto Body 350-2/450-4 Mod Swing Arm:  1) Gage Havela, Ishpeming, 16.17;  2) Mike Kirtland, Mass City, 19.17;  3) Brian Pence, 155 yards.

Serv-Pro of Ishpeming/Daily Mining Gazette 500-2/650-4:  1) Mike Kirtland, Mass City, 18:03;  2) Brian Pence, Rockland, 106 yards;  3) Leif Forcia, Lake Linden, (Qualifying Round-204 yards) Scratch in Finals.

Timberline Sports of Bergland TOP GUN:  Mike Kirtland, Mass City, 196 yards

Havela’s Finnish’s/Eagle Radio/Q107 Crash of the Day; 1) Colin Kemppainen, Dollar Bay; 2) Jack Goldworthy, Ishpeming; 3) Larry Madgewick, Rockland.

Keweenaw Chevrolet/LF Enterprises FASTEST TIME OF THE DAY:  1) Gage Havela, Ishpeming, 14.70, Mod 350-2/450-4 Qualifying Round;  2) Brad Havela, Ishpeming, 15.15, Jesse Perry Memorial 450 Feature;  3) Gage Havela, Ishpeming, 15.38 Stock with Swing Final.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post: