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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