Marietta Sweeps at Hillclimb!

March 6, 2021

Hubbell’s Jimmy Marietta swept both the Houghton Powersports Pro Stock King of the Hill and the Vollwerth’s Meats Pro Mod King of the Hill
Photo Courtesy of David Archambeau, Daily Mining Gazette

Hubbell’s Jimmy Marietta swept both the Houghton Powersports Pro Stock King of the Hill and the Vollwerth’s Meats Pro Mod King of the Hill at this year’s Vollwerth’s Meats WINTERNATIONALS Hillclimb.  Marietta has won more MASTERS Hillclimbs then any other driver in the 25+ year history of the Circuit.

The MASTERS, which is an acronym for Mid America Snow & Terrain Expert Racers, was a part of a Hillclimb at the steep South Range bluff in 1991.  This year’s hillclimb drew a record number of fans and racers.  Racers came from Colorado, Wyoming, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Marietta saved his best run for the end of the day in the Pro Mod King of the Hill (KOH) shoot-out.  On a Ski-Doo, Marietta turned in the fastest time of the day, a 35.59 second run.  By winning 2 classes in Pro Mod, he qualified for 2 Pro Mod KOH runs. 

In the draw for the order the KOH qualifiers run, Marietta drew to run 3rd and 4th.  It was on his 1st run, he already clinched the $700 cash purse, so he didn’t need his second run.

Last year’s defending champion, Tyler Robinson of Afton, Wyoming, ran first.  He turned in a 38.49 second run.  Nissula’s Travis Kaurala ran second with a 38.72 second run.

It was closer in the Pro Stock KOH Shoot-out.  4 different drivers won the 4 classes in Pro Stock.  One of the top Snow Cross Racers in the Midwest, Jordan Wolfe of Neenah, WI. ran first with a 43.60 second run.  Robinson hit a rough spot at the 3rd Gate and set a high mark of 107 yards.  Marietta went 3rd on an Arctic Cat and turned in a 36.13 second run.  The final qualifier was Trimountain’s Roger Strack.  Strack had a 38.72 second run, thus giving Marietta another $700 in the 2 KOH Shoot-outs.

After winning 3 classes, Marietta cashed in on over $2000.00 for the day!

Hubbell’s Jimmy Marietta won over $2000 on the day!
Photo Courtesy of David Archambeau, Daily Mining Gazette

It was Atlantic Mine’s Mike Chopp that showed why he continues to be one of the top Snow Bike racers in the Midwest.  Chopp and his KTM motorcycle-converted to a Snow Bike turned in the 2nd fastest time of the day.  That was an amazing 35.97 second run. 

What makes that run and time so impressive is Chopp drew an Ace to have to be the first to run up the 600 foot bluff.  Nick Lindstrom of L’Anse took 2nd with a 37.49 second run, and Mass City’s Colin Joliff made it over the ‘Wall’ at the top with a 38.12 second run.  Joliff just got the Yamaha Timbersled Snow Bike a few weeks before the WINTERNATIONALS.

Chopp won $200 from Premium Spray Foam and Coatings

This years Sigma Tau Gamma managed Restoretch-Shenuk Family Childrens Hillclimb had a Kitty Cat, raced by Evelyn Wisniewski of Houghton.
Photo Courtesy of David Archambeau, Daily Mining Gazette

It was another new racer that proved you don’t have to have a lot of experience in MASTERS Hillclimbs to win your class.  Stephanie Lynne of Mohawk took the Queen of the Hill Shoot-out by setting the high mark of 113 yards.  Tara Hollon of L’Anse took a second by going 96 yards.  Megan Woods of Frederic, WI took 3rd.  Woods missed the cut for the shoot-out by only 1 yard.  In qualifying she went 99 yards while Hollon went 100 yards.  7 women competed in the Women’s class, compared to 3 last year.

Lynne won $200 from Bramble Racing/Up North Custom Apparel.

It was Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin’s Preston Miller that won the Junior Class.  In the 2 person shoot-out, Miller narrowly defeated Nissula’s Kaiden Kaurala.  Both racers did what few accomplished throughout the day.  They made it over the top.

Miller turned in a 42.61 second run on a Ski-Doo, while Kaurala had a 44.59 second run.

Wolfe won the Vintage class by making it all the way to the bottom of the ‘Wall’ at the top of the hill.  Marietta took a second by going up 160 yards.  Lake Linden’s Trevor Colombe took 3rd by going up 109 yards.

Here Dad, Jimmy Marietta is giving instructions to his 2 year old Daughter, Jemma, as she competes in the Wildlife Refuge Cabins 120 Stock Class.
Photo Courtesy of David Archambeau, Daily Mining Gazette

The children up to 11 years old saw the Circuits all-time #1 120 Mod Racer take the Restoretech-Shenuk Family King of the Hill.  That is Braden Rose of Harvey.  Rose was the only racer to break trail and make it up the steep hill set up by the brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma.  He had a 14.85 second run.  2nd place went to TJ Shenuk of St. Charles, Illinois.  Ontonagon’s Lucas Solberg took 3rd in this class and the 120 Stock Class.  Solberg won the Wildlife Refuge Cabins 200 class.

Benajmin Cook of Wisconsin’s Fox Valley won the 120 Stock class with a 9.84 second run.  Ontonagon’s Nolan Preiss took second with an 11 second run.

Solberg and Preiss are the MASTERS top Terra-X racers.

Due to impending warm weather, the MASTERS has cancelled the 2 Terra-X races that were scheduled for March 13th and March 27th.  However the Range Snowmobile Club is still planning on having races on March 13th.

The MASTERS had 53 racers entered, with 160 entries.  This is the most entries the MASTERS has ever had for a Hillclimb.  The entire race was streamed around the world by the Professional Video team of End of the Earth Entertainment.

“We had people watching the hillclimb from all over the world.  We found this out over social media,” commented Sandy Schulz of the MASTERS.  “Our Colorado racer, Cory Burrows, had his parents watching in Florida.  They probably didn’t have to wear a snowmobile jacket to watch their son.”

Ontonagon’s Brandon Jilbert was not the only Vollwerth’s Meats WINTERNATIONALS Hillclimber to end up with his sled on it’s side

Photo Courtesy of David Archambeau, Daily Mining Gazette

“The hill was extremely challenging.  It was a rough one,” commented Robinson.  As usual less than 20% of the runs had the rider setting a time over the top, according to the MASTERS.

Winter Haven, Colorado’s Burrows and Brook Park, Minnesota’s Eugene Welch both had what the officials considered the End of the Earth Entertainment ‘Crash of the Day.’  Both made it half way up the ‘Wall’ at the top of the hill, before their sled ended up at the bottom of the hill.

With Marietta unable to represent the MASTERS Racing Circuit at the upcoming World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, WY. Robinson and the Pat’s Motorsports team will be representing the MASTERS.  In addition to Robinson, the winner of the Spirit Class, MASTERS Hall of Fame member, Al Turin will also be going to Jackson.

Miller qualified by winning the Junior Class Shoot-out.

Fans started arriving an hour before the gate opened.  “By 12:30 we ran out of parking.  Fans still walked in to see the excitement,” commented Chris Crosby, MASTERS Official.

Crosby will now lead the MASTERS Staff in the June 19th Motorcycle Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff.  “These Hillclimbs bring a lot of people from all over to the Copper Country.  It is good for the area’s tourism economy, even when we followed Covid-19 protocol,” Crosby concluded.

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