CASPIAN - The Masters Racing Circuit will be sanctioning the Mid America Championship Hillclimb at the former Caspian Ski Jump on Saturday, Feb. 4, officials announced.
According to Skip Schulz, Masters Racing Circuit president, this event will be the qualifying snowmobile hillclimb for the World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyo., on March 22-25.
"We will pull 20 of the 26 entries that the Masters gets for the World Championships from the Mid America Championship Hillclimb at Caspian," Schulz said. "The other six entries will come from our Masters Drag Racing points series, and possibly another Snowmobile Hillclimb that we're working on for March 3."
Caspian City Council has approved the use of the city-owned property next to the Caspian Ski Hill.
With Caspian hosting the Mid America Championship Hillclimb, this will bring the top professional snowmobile hillclimbers from throughout the Midwest to the area.
The No. 1 professional snowmobile hillclimber in the Midwest is Wyler Miller of Pelkie.
Miller has won more "King of the Hills" over the past four years at Masters Sanctioned events then any other driver, Schulz said.
"I don't have any confirmation as to which drivers will be competing," Schulz said. "However I am confident that 'Wild Man' Wyler (Miller), along with 'Tinger' Matt Tingstad of Ironwood, Matt Prusak and Nick Gustafson from Minnesota, Matt Cook from Wisconsin, and the father-son duo of Layne and Jordan Stank, will make the Mid America Championship Hillclimb."
The Mid America Championship Hillclimb at Caspian will also run a Women's Class, along with a 120cc class for the children. However the women's class and the 120 cc class will not have to run the 'gated' course that the professionals will run according to the Masters Racing Circuit.
Schulz said that the Mid America Championship Hillclimb is now in the process of getting sponsors to cover the Pro Stock King of the Hill, Pro Mod King of the Hill, and the other expenses to run the event.
"Within one day, we have already lined up Northland Service/Nicolet Signs and Goldbach Construction to help us out with sponsorship. We're going to work on the necessary sponsorship after this weekend's Masters Drag Racing Series season opener in Merrill, Wis.," Schulz said.
"We will have at least a $500 purse for winning the Pro Stock and Pro Mod King of the Hill," he said. "I am going to try to get more money for the King of the Hill winners."
The Masters Racing Circuit has been sanctioning Snowmobile Hillclimbs and Drag Races since 1995.
They used to have Uphill Drag Races at Ski-Brule. This year the circuit is also looking at hosting its first Snowmobile Drag Race in Iron County.
This is planned for the Iron County Airport on Feb. 25. The Chippewa Sno Kats have agreed to work with the Masters for those drag races, he said.
"The Masters is working with the Iron County Chamber of Commerce to do everything we can to bring people and business to the county. Events like these have a very positive economic impact when you look at the drivers, driver crews, families, and of course the fans that attend the hillclimbs and drag races," Schulz said.
The Masters has events planned all the way to April 15-16, when they will hold Uphill Drags and a Hillclimb at Powderhorn Mountain near Ironwood.
The circuit also sanction's the popular Uphill Drags at Marquette Mountain on April 7.
"With the Mid America Championship Hillclimb at Caspian being this year's World Championship Qualifier, this event will be one of our biggest events. Depending upon local support and sponsorship, this could run in the ranks with our biggest Snow Drags that run in Sidnaw on Feb. 18," said Schulz.
The Masters is hoping that with the approval of the city of Caspian and support from the community, that improvements and expansion of the former Ski Jump area can be made this coming summer.
What the race circuit is looking to do is to expand the hillclimb to make the course more challenging for the drivers.
"Even though this hill is smaller then others we have competed at, I can assure the fans that they are going to see a good number of drivers that will have a very difficult time making it around all the gates and through the timing shoot at the top of the hill," said Schulz.