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AUG/SEPT 2012

Vol. 3 Issue 8

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OWNER
PRESIDENT – Scott Robinson scott@wheelsofthunder.net 612-730-3719

OFFICE STAFF
AR/AP – Stacy Robinson 763-421-4400 OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR/AR – Vince Griffith vince@wheelsofthunder.net 651-280-8658

EDITORIAL STAFF
EDITOR/CREATIVE DIRECTOR Betty Schurmann editor@wheelsofthunder.net 763-421-4400

Special Features

Photographers/Writers
BILLY BOYLE CEAJA PHILP JOHN JEPPESON JOSH MOEN STEVE JOHNSON MIKE BENOY ERIK TORMOEN JENNA OSTERLUND MYLIE LAVOLD DAN JACOBSON

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ADVERTISING STAFF
SALES – Scott Robinson scott@wheelsofthunder.net 612-730-3719 Ceaja (CJ) Philp ceaja@wheelsofthunder.net 763-458-5019 WISCONSIN - Brad Coplan bradc@wheelsofthunder.net 715-497-8090 IOWA - John Lentzkow John.lentzkow@mchsi.com 319-239-1375

Santo Rapisarda Racing ................................4 BIR .............................................................14 The Next Level - Ricekiller ............................24 BRRP ..........................................................28 Terracross Season Opener ..........................32 Rebuilding a Winning Career.......................42 IWA Championship - Chad Maki ..................52 Tri State Raceway .......................................62 NHRA - Matthew Korol................................64 St. Croix Valley Raceway ............................70 One Lap of America....................................76

Tech Reviews

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Ann Arbor Welding Supply .........................20 Heinen’s.....................................................38 Tire Proz ....................................................68 Tracks USA .................................................74 JP Cycles ....................................................80

Rally’s & Shows Departments

Back to the 50’s Car Show ..........................18 Pan-O-Prog .................................................70 Garage Built ...............................................10 Boiling Point................................................12 Next Generation - Kid KJ.............................34 W.O.W. .....................................................46 Off The Beaten Path – Freedom Rally...........56 ABATE of MN.............................................83 Dining & Entertainment - Wild Hogs Saloon ..88

SUBSCRIPTIONS
All content published herein is owned exclusively by Midwest Wheels of Thunder Magazine. Reproduction or further dissemination of the content herein is strictly prohibited without the express written authorization of Midwest Wheels of Thunder Magazine.

$34.99 - PHONE: 763-421-4400 www.wheelsofthunder.net

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Written by Ceaja Philp Photos provided by Vince Peterson

any of us grow up having a dream. Louie Rapisarda, of Australia was no different. Before he was a teenager he was assembling the top half of his Father, Santo Rapisarda's dragster engines. He wasn't going to not only follow in his Father's footsteps, but had planned to run a Top Fuel car and also race the United States circuit one day. In 1989 Santo purchased a Top Fuel Dragster and Louie would take another step in the
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M

Santo always held his son's dream close to his heart, so when his younger boys Santino and Santo Jr showed their interest in the sport of Nitro, Santo listened to them when they said they wanted to live out Louie's complete dream by coming to the U.S. to compete. They have not abandon their team in Australia, quite the contrary. They dedicate a lot of time travelling back and forth to make sure both teams are doing well. You can find tribute decals in memory of Louie on all cars and rigs owned by the Rapisarda Racing Team, with a commissioned poem that reads, "If tears could build a dragster and memories form a lane, we would race our way to Heaven and bring you home again." With the small amount of time I spent with the team last season while they were at Brainerd International Raceway, I could see

the sincerity in Santo when it came to his family and his passion about racing, something he has instilled in all of his children. It doesn't matter what they chose to do, as long as they continue to live out their dreams, he is happy and willing to help them however he can. His young son's Santo Jr and Santino are not the only of his children to be involved. Daughter, Gianna hopes to become a Top Fuel team manager, and hopefully have an all female team at some point. The youngest of his children, Corado, is usually found at his Father's side or close to Mom, Christie, Team Manager/Organizer. Rapisarda Racing did some testing and races during the 2010 season, the 20th anniversary of the passing of Louie. Santo chose to take on new goals with the team

right direction. In his first meeting in Top Fuel he took runner-up. In 1990 he became the youngest member of the Goodyear 5 Second Club, running a 5.73 second pass. Sadly, the year at only 23 years old, a fatal crash during testing ended that dream for him...so he thought.
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and driver Cory McClenathan for the 2012 season. He's not 100-percent certain who his driver in the NHRA's Full Throttle Series will be next season, although he's hoping Top Fuel veteran Cory McClenathan will stay in the seat. Rapisarda has been able to mix and match a few drivers between the US and Australia so no matter the decision, he is confident their presence in both countries will continue. He has given Cory McClenathan, Mike Mariani, Damien Harris, and Terry Sainty all dosages of Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) and National Hot Rod Association(NHRA).

together' and have stayed position despite some technical issues still being worked out between car, crew, and driver. For the Rapisarda family, drag racing is a melting pot of emotions. It's sadness, happiness, pride, fun, satisfaction, and more, but it is a lot about determination to keep doing it in memory of Louie! Keep checking on them on Facebook at Rapisarda Racing

The successful crane business owner is enjoying the U.S. and plans to possibly set roots in the Southwestern area of the U.S. so they can have a 'home away from home', another of Louie's dreams will become a reality. As for this year, Santo's young sons, who head up building the engines and superchargers for McClenathan's car are working hard with the entire crew to make a mark on NHRA. Keith Stewart was a new addition to the team taking on Crew Chief and tuning the Cory McClenathan-driven Santo's Cranes Top Fuel dragster. He has experience in the industry and has had tuning positions for drivers David Baca and Doug Herbert, and also assisted crew chiefs Jim Dupay and Rob Flynn. The team is working through being 'new
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Brutal ‘29 Tudor

Owner/Enthusiast: Eric Woelfle Princeton, MN

I’ve been into cars for as long as I can remember. I was 7 years old when my Dad first took me to the “Back to the Fifties” car show in 1978. For those who don’t know; the Back to the Fifties car show is a MN. based, 3 day event that has anywhere from 11,000-15,000 pre 1964 show vehicles registered. I have only missed a handful of the Back to the Fifties shows in the last 34 years. I remember being at that first show and thinking how much I wanted to be a part of it, how I wanted to show a car, and how I wanted to be around people with the same passion for old cars. My very first car was a vintage one; a 1969 Cougar XR7. Dad and I dragged it home from a junkyard and got it running and driving, I was in Heaven. My High School car was a 28 year old (1960) Cadillac Coupe De Ville and it is still my favorite classic. For the next 17 years I had at least 1 classic car in my name; ranging from Cadillacs to Chevelles to old Chevy trucks and even a 1923 Ford T-Bucket Street Rod. In 2002 I sold my 1966 Cadillac to fund a project that would be my biggest venture!

Stock Original Stock Original
This is where it all started! This is where it all started!

Sound Familiar?
Do you have a story of your custom ride? E-mail editor@wheelsofthunder.net and you could be featured with your ride in the next issue!
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I set out to build a Street Rod that would “stand out” in a crowd of cars and earn my spot as a participant in the Back to the Fifties car show. My first step was to make a sketch of the car that was my vision and hang it on the garage wall to help keep motivation and focus. I ended up finding the car through a friend that knew I was looking for a project. He came to find out that his boss had acreage of land, and sitting on that land was a carcass (body) of a 1929 Ford Model A Sedan; it was exactly what I was looking for. It was real rough and it had a tree grown alongside it that grew in through a window opening and out of the roof (which was completely open due to the wood bows and canvas long rotted away). I purchased the body and some misc. parts and transported it all home on a snowmobile trailer. From there, the hunt was on to acquire parts and start researching Model A Fords. With the help of friends (Ben, Russ, Troy, Dennis, John and Bill); and 4 years of work, my BRUTAL29TUDOR (as I call it) rolled out of the garage and tore down the street. All chassis work, bodywork, fabrication and wiring were done at home. Only the engine and transmission build were

done elsewhere by other people. The car has a 5” top chop, suicide doors and a 1964 Impala station wagon roof section fills in what was the open roof. The grille is a steel 1932 Ford and the taillights are 1939 Ford. The Gas filler cap is from a 1965 Rambler. The paint is a black base coat / clear coat. The flames are known as “true flames” or “real fire”. The entire paint job was done in my garage. The engine is a 396 ci Chevrolet built up and producing 480 horse power. The transmission is a GM turbo 350 built to support up to 600 horse power. The rear axle is a Ford 9” with 3.50 gears, which help this car cruise down the highway. The Tires are Mickey Thompson Street Radials and the rear tires are 22.5” wide. I attend an average of 20 car shows a summer and have been doing so for 5 years now. I have attended Back to the Fifties weekend for the last 3 consecutive years with this car and I intend on continuing my attendance for many years to come. Next year my wife will attend while driving the Model A and I will be attending while driving my current project; a 1957 Nash Metropolitan…

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Written by Billy Boyle

“THE SITES, SMELLS, AND COST OF A SUMMER EVENT”
You know it is summer in Minnesota when the bikes are revving up the road, the boats are filling the lakes, and the classic cars are hitting every small town festival from border to border. Yes, my friend that’s what the beauty of living in the Midwest can do for your social calendar. The problem is how do you pick and chose which event gets your hard earned dollars? You know those events that have a variety of entertainment for the whole family, the events that have the nerve to charge you $10.00 for a hot dog and a cheap beverage. Whatever happened to the American way? Do these venders at the events know that most Americans are having a tough time making ends meet? And then they charge you 600% for a frigging hot dog. Don’t get me wrong I am all for the little guy making a buck, but come on man, gouging should be a crime! Now most of these summer events are town or county sponsored and you easily entertain your family for next to nothing, but here come the carpetbaggers, the gypsy’s, the Carney’s and what they do they jack up the price of everything under the sun. They actually put a sour taste in your mouth from the gouging experience. Gouging has been around for decades, if the event is popular jack up the price. It doesn’t matter what type of event or where it is.

For example I can remember going to Sturgis a few years ago the price of hotel was five times the rate than either side of the rally, but it’s one of those events you expect to sucker punched by the almighty Capitalist. Another year we rented a rather run down, single family home and the price we paid for the week actually paid the home owners mortgage for the year. How about that for a profit? Now, I’m not one to complain but for God’s sake just give us a decent deal. When things are going ok financially for the consumer no one complains, but when people are living paycheck to paycheck they either speak up or don’t participate. What is the alternative? Take a step back and look at some the race tracks in Minnesota – pretty much all of them have some kind of family deal. You see the track owners know that they need to sell tickets and bring the masses to their weekly events. How do they put on these quality shows without putting a gun to the race goers back? The answer is easy, they are NOT into the gouging game. Maybe the summer event venders should take a lesson

from the business minded track owners. Have any of you had the chance to go to some of the tent parties where they have some of the more popular local and national bands? Just a heads up, take plenty of green backs with you. One recent event I attended was a $15.00 cover and a nice semi cold beer was $8.00, yup! Now that was a beer that was hard to swallow. Having owned a business at one time I am sensitive to the hit the business owners have taken over the last few years, but don’t try and make those losses up in the 12 weeks of summer. The word on the street is that one local business makes enough in the 10 day stretch to pay the bills for the entire year. I found a rather large group of locals boycotting a popular tent party due to the blatant price gouging by the local business. Having said that, some of the worst price gouging I have seen is at pretty much any Minnesota professional sporting event. Try taking your family to the Twins, Vikings, Wild, or Timber Wolves game. You might want to visit the bank and hit up the loan officer for the days family activities.
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Do any of you remember going to one of these events in the good ol’ days? I am old enough to remember going to Fenway Park and buying a bleacher ticket for $1.00, yup a buck. I would go to 30 Red sox games a year, and that’s when I was a kid on my allowance! Even good old Fenway has raised the ticket prices to the point where it’s a one time family visit for the summer. What the heck happened to the economy over the years? Many of these professional sporting events, stadiums, or team owners, have a nerve charging the dedicated fan the ridiculous price of the ticket, the food and beverage. The downside for most of the dedicated fans is they have to watch the games on the TV. Switching channels or should I say gears, have you gone to one of those 18 Plex movie theaters lately? I took my kids recently paid out $50.00 for popcorn, candy, and a drink. Really? Ok this is a movie theater not a local restaurant. Look I’m not trying to be Mr. Cheapskate, the “Boiling Point” I am trying to make is, we (Americans) are in the worst shape financially than we ever have been in this or the last century. The price of everything we touch continues to climb, our paychecks are shrinking, we lose jobs, and some peo-

ple are near homeless, but we continue to put the blinders on and ignore the situation. Believe me there is nothing more relaxing or entertaining than some of the Midwest summer events, but I am also a realist. The reality is some people haven’t a clue about the economic situation, while others are living below poverty levels. The ones that are suffering from the pains of lack of income are not able to enjoy the wonderful sites and smells of summer. Why do we allow these carnival type venders to keep doubling or tripling a flipping hot dog, a beer, or an entry fee? It is a damn shame that the most powerful coun-

try in the world has fellow Americans or want to be Americans holding us hostage at these Apple Pie American festivals. So what do you do? Do you not go and boycott like the locals in one south of the River suburbs? All is I know is this, I love summer, I love music, and I do look forward to seeing old friends at the local events, but enough is enough. I will find a way to entertain my family, but it may be at the local park. And if you see me there, for God’s sake pass me a burger!
The views expressed in The Boiling Point are solely the opinions and research of Billy Boyle and are not necessarily the view point of the magazine or its’ creators.

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On The Fast Track!

Written by Geoff Gorvin

F
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or three decades, Brainerd International Raceway has been hosting the NHRA Nationals and tens of thousands of fans who come to witness some of the most incredible drag racing on the planet. Each year, the cars get faster, the drivers get better, the event gets larger and The Zoo campground finds new ways to celebrate Race Week. Along the way, BIR has improved the facilities to better serve the 100,000-plus fans that come through the gates each year, but one of the biggest hurdles the track has faced each year is getting fans through the front gate faster and more efficiently. More specifically, BIR has tried to overcome the long lines of cars that stack up at the front gate and then spill out onto the shoulder of Highway 371. It’s been an ongoing problem – and not a safe one
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But this year, BIR has cracked that nut. The new Fast Track Access system basically moves the front gate inside the track to allow people to park their car and get into the track quicker, safer and easier. It will reduce or eliminate the long lines of cars at the front gate. Basically, the new “front gate” is at the entrance to the campground. So those who are coming for the day, drive through the front gate and right to Day Parking. From there, they are shuttled to the Fast Track Access area where they can either buy their

tickets or have their tickets scanned. From there, it’s a short walk to the grandstands, pit area and Nitro Alley. Those who are camping or parking in Premium Parking will drive through the front gate and over the bridge to the Fast Track Access area, where they buy their tickets and passes, or have their tickets scanned, and then are directed to either camping or Premium Parking. “We think this is really going to speed up the process of getting people into the track and into their seats without making them sit in their cars waiting just to get to the front gate,” BIR owner Jed Copham said. With this being the first year, we may have a few glitches here and there but we fully expect people to be pleasantly surprised with how efficiently we’ll move them through this year.” Once inside the track, fans will be in for another incredible show this year, as the best drag racers in the world come to compete for a world championship. Scheduled for Aug. 16-19, the NHRA Nationals features names like John Force, Tony Schumacher, Ron Capps, Antron Brown, Cruz and Tony Pedregon, and Minnesotans Greg Anderson and Jason Line who push themselves and their cars to the limits as they compete in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars get down the quarter-mile track in less than 4 seconds at speeds over 300 mph. They crank out about 8,000 horsepower along the way. Blink at the wrong time and
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they’re long gone. There’s just as much to see off the track. Every ticket comes with a pit pass, so fans can watch teams tear down their race cars and rebuild them between races. You can stand within feet of the crews as they crank up the car, sending the smell and burn of nitro fuel into the crowd. You can't get that anywhere else. Bring a pen and paper because drivers are readily available for autographs.

To really get the full experience of the NHRA Nationals, fans should camp on site to watch the parade of Partywagons, enjoy the lineup of live music and take in everything that makes the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals unique. Muscle Car Series heads into grand finale; Trans-Am Series returns With two of the three series races in the books, the Muscle Car Series heads into the grand finale Labor Day weekend during the 24th Annual Muscle Car Shootout, a perennial favorite among BIR’s drag racing fans because it features some of the best headsup drag racing of the season as well as excellent road racing by the Trans-Am Series. This year should be no different as fans enjoy a blacktop beat-down by drivers competing for a championship in the threerace series. Fans can expect to see more than 350 cars competing in 21 classes, including the “fast five” classes – Pro Outlaw, Outlaw, King Street, Real Street and True Street. It’s an incredible display of speed and power, where speeds can top 210 mph with times dipping to 6 seconds. Friday and Saturday are time trials and qualifying, while Sunday is for eliminations.
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On BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, the Sports Car Club of America Pro Racing will be back for the fourth year in a row with the Trans-Am Series. The weekend features practice, qualifying and racing Saturday and Sunday, so action on the road course will be intense both days as drivers compete for series points. Tony Ave has been dominating the races at BIR, including a sweep of the two-race weekend last year on his way to another series championship. The format this year will be similar to last year where the Trans-Am cars were on the track with the Trans-Am 2 racers, so car

counts were over 30 for both races as both classes competed at the same time. When the Trans-Am Series isn’t on the road course, the SCCA’s Jack Pine Sprints will be competing, with regional road racers battling in a number of different classes. On Saturday, the show continues with a classic car show on the infield, with 28 classes judged. Common Ground will provide live music Saturday night at the Wheelie Bar & Grille. It’ll be a full weekend at BIR that weekend.

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Written by John Lentzkow

A PASSION FOR SPEED and DESIRE TO WIN!

T
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om Hoffman raced Yamahas back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and like so many of us who are bitten by the performance bug, the passion for speed runs deep through his veins also. So now the journey begins again for this 47 year old welder, to seek the need for speed and relive his past. And if you fall into this category with Tom and try to explain it to someone, they just wouldn’t understand anyway.

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plan A shifted to plan B. Now with Phil's help, Tom feels he can compete against his competition and have a good chance to win. He looks forward to this coming winter, and will attend 5 to 10 races including Waconia Minnesota for the Fastest SRX Shoot Out. If you want to go fast, it sure does help if you know the right people, and Tom has done his homework. Working with Dave Delaughter on pipes and crank, and Doug Flannery on cylinders and heads, he has the potential for some big horsepower. Tom says "It is nice to get the help from these guys and when I call Doug, Dave, or Phil, they are more than willing to give me the info I need to keep moving forward

GO FAST PARTS Flannery Motor sports cylinders and heads. Delaughter Pipes and crank Micro Belmont Jack shaft Custom made skis MSD ignition Custom fuel tank Aluminum brake rotor Wahl brothers drag suspension Wahl brothers anti ratchet drivers Woody’s chisels Custom seat Drag bars EGT tach. Custom clutch cover Custom coolant can Polaris secondary Comet 102c

This is what one of Tom’s 35 year old project sled looked like before restoration. Tom and his wife and 2 daughters live in Ida, Michigan and works for Ann Arbor Welding Supply. His past experience as a Metal Model Maker for years and welding talents, presented him with a unique opportunity to take on several vintage sled projects and restore them to showroom condition and race them.

Finished product and race ready with this adventure. In progress and down to bare frame. Tom purchased 6 SRX Yamaha’s over the years, and currently is working on three of them. He has devoted almost 2 years restoring a 1979 SRX for ice drag racing, and plans were to keep it stock until he hooked up with Phil Barr. That is when Tom not only has the ability to build sleds, but he has presented himself in a business like matter enough to secure major sponsors such as Ventower, Ann Arbor Welding Supply, Crown Alloy's, Lincoln Electric, Hypertherm.

One of the open modified sleds Toms is working on.

This looks good enough to set on the dining room table for a centerpiece.

Most of the custom aluminum parts were fabricated by Tom including this cart used for cool down.
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(If this sled runs as good as it looks Tom may need to add wings 44mm carbs Delran motor mount Most of the custom aluminum parts were fabricated by Tom including this cart used for cool down. Tom says “There is an old country song called Middle Aged Crazy, and my wife thinks I went over the edge with these projects". In my opinion, Tom Hoffman's attention to detail and craftsmanship on his sleds should make his sponsors proud, and something other racers should take note of. Wheels of Thunder Magazine wishes you success this winter, and I personally look forward to racing with you.

ATTENTION RIDERS!
Do you have a hidden gem? That path you have found where you ride and get away from it all?
We want to hear your story and see your photos! Share with us your favorite stops along the way and brag about that great little place with those good burgers! We are looking to share with our readers, new places to explore and what better way than by a referral from you! If you have an idea please submit your story and photos to editor@wheelsofthunder.net

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A new ride will be published every month, so keep an eye out for next months issue!
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Photography and Article by John Krueger
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means the gauge cluster, wiring harness, computer modules, and shifter are all SRT8 components. The swap took the two 5 days to complete from start to finish which is quite impressive considering they had to get everything to work like the factory intended it to. The rest of the car is just as impressive as what's under the hood. In fact, the motor and drive-train came after the extensive body and suspension mods. I know I've alluded to the term “complete car” and this is another prime example of covering every possible area of a vehicle. It helps that Nate is the marketing director for Automotive Concepts in New Hope, MN. They have a pension for turning out some topnotch work, and it shows with Nate's 300C. The two-tone gloss black and flat black paint is a nice, subtle contrast with added impact from the purple pin-stripe that separates the two along the body line (remember that attention to detail?). The custom Xenon bumper, custom-welded eyelids, and M37 grille toughen up the front end. Out back features a de-badged and shaved trunk, painted tail lights, and even a back-up camera. Other neat little touches include rolled fenders, obligatory tinted windows, and custom “Next Level” badges done by Nate at ReBadge. The other big exterior modification is the CDC GlassBack panoramic roof. Now this is one trick mod that sections out a large chunk of the roof and replaces it with glass making it essentially one, giant, sunroof. Big props to Automotive Concepts for the stellar work. The suspension and brake setup is as

In today's automotive scene being unique is something that is becoming harder and harder to do. The ever competitive show circuit is the forum where this is becoming more and more apparent. That's not to say that builders aren't as creative as before, but that it is taking a bit more effort to stand apart from the crowd. Nate Stanley from Hokins, MN, certainly knows this as he is the brains behind this stunning 300C you see here. Now, I have always had a bit of a soft-spot for Chrysler's sedan. While most seem to succumb to the “DUB” style of tuning (think 24-inch wheels or larger, wild paint, and more audio equipment than a Best Buy), Nate's 300 leaves most people's jaws hanging as low as his ride height with a style that is completely his own. Nate's 300C is unique in many ways, but we'll start at the heart of it all which is probably one of the most unique parts of the build and that is the motor. You see, this car started out as a regular 2005 3.5L V6 300C. Now the car is equipped with the 6.1L Hemi V8 out of the SRT-8 and is one of the first, if not the first, full SRT-8 swapped 300C in the US. Nate wanted everything to run as it should so EVERYTHING out of the SRT-8 was used including all of the electronics, the NAG1 transmission, and SRT-8 differential with lower 3.06 gears. Of course while everything was out, Nate and his friend Bryce Bjerke who helped with the swap, decided to upgrade a few things. The stock camshaft was replaced with a customground unit from HHP and the stock heads , were tossed aside and a pair of ported and polished heads from HHP fitted with Man-

ley 5/16” push-rods were put on. To take advantage of the upgraded heads, a LMI carbon fiber intake was bolted on, and to assist with the exhaust Magnaflow highflow mid-pipes and high-flow mufflers

make sure the exhaust is routed out the back as efficiently as possible while providing a nice growl. As mentioned earlier, everything from the SRT-8 was used in the swap to ensure factory-like reliability. That

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cover, purple LED lighting throughout, and a custom fiberglass overhead console for the Auto-Pilot controller as well as a custom fiberglass radio bezel. The interior is finished off with a healthy smattering of audio. The system is centered around a Pioneer AVIC-D3 DVD/Nav head-unit and a Kicker KX1200 amplifier. The trunk houses a custom, fiberglass enclosure that holds two, 12” Kicker L7 subs and a Pacific Audio Can-Bus interface. The result is a car that dominates not only the show field, but also in any performance aspect. Just this past weekend, I saw Nate out at the road-course up at Brainerd International Raceway ripping about. In fact, it was upclose-and-personal as I managed to catch him in my stock-motor Miata...guess that

equally impressive as the rest of the car. Nate's 300 is bagged on Air-Lift Air Suspensions finest allowing him to drop the car on the ground or raise it back up at the touch of a button. The kit includes all four air-struts at each corner, air-tank, com-

The wheels were re-drilled from 5x120 to the Chrysler's 5x115 bolt-pattern, and also have a set of custom 8mm, hub-centric spacers to achieve the perfect fitment. The Giovannas are wrapped in Nitto Invos, a very popular tire of late, in 265/30/22 and 285/30/22 varieties. Of course with a full SRT-8 motor and drive-train, you would be correct if you guessed that the car has the Brembo SRT-8 brakes all around. The massive Brembo calipers were color-matched to the pin-stripe in House of Kolors passion purple, and are complimented with R1 Concepts drilled and slotted brake rotors and EBC Red brake pads. To round out the SRT-8 theme, and the rest of the car, the interior features pretty much everything from a SRT-8. Seats, gauge cluster, and shifter are all from the donor while a host of custom touches round out the interior. There's a 22Elite leather console

SRT-8 engine didn't help with driver skill...only kidding! But seriously, the car goes as good as it looks, and much props to Nate for tracking such an incredible car. It's great to see owners and builders enjoying what they build out on the track. Once again Nate has certainly upped the level of the caliber of custom cars, and stands out on his own whether it's on the show floor or the race-track. I can't wait to see what comes next when he takes Next Level up another level

August 2012

pressors, and valve-block. The kit is coupled with the digital Auto-Pilot management system which makes everything completely electronic. I run the same system in my personal Lexus LS, and it is one trick piece with digital read-outs, individual control of each corner, and the ability to program 3-preset heights; all down, all up, and a drive-height. When the car is aired out it sits perfectly over a set of custom Giovanna Dalar-5 Limited wheels sized 22x9 up front and 22x10.5 out back.
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Fan Favorites Still to Come at BRRP:

NLRA LATE MODEL SPECIALS AND CORN COB NATIONALS

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ith only 7 race dates left in the season, BRRP has 2 of its biggest events still to come. On August 12th, they host the Northern Late Model Racing Association’s (NLRA) Late Model Specials and on September 8th and 9th the Corn Cob Nationals.
August 2012

Written by Mylie Lavold Photography by Todd Torfin

It’s been about 8 years since BRRP had late models on the track so this will be a real treat for regulars at the race park as well as those who follow the NLRA touring series. The NLRA was founded by Late Model drivers in Northwest Minnesota, Northeast North Dakota, and Southern Manitoba. The series draws racers from all over the Midwest, including Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Street Stocks will also run that day, making for a great mix of racing classes. Be sure you don’t miss your last chance to sign up for a chance to win a customized golf cart from All Season Motor Sports. The winner

will be drawn before the last checkered flag waves. As the leaves start to turn colors, racers will be turning laps at BRRP’s Corn Cob Nationals. The event features two days of racing and enough corn to make your stomach ache! Each night is its own show with heats and features both nights. Pits open at 2:00, spectator gate at 3:00 and racing commences at 5:00. Tickets are available now ($15 for adults and $5 for kids). Staff estimates about 200 cars, A-Mods, BMods, Mod 4’s, Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Hornets, Pure Stocks and Legends will run in the last races of the 2012 BRRP speedway season. We have to face the fact that our summer will soon come to an end and race tracks will close their doors for another winter in the upper Midwest…but not at BRRP . After the boys (and girls) of summer have gone, BRRP staff begins transforming the smooth speedway track into one of the best snocross tracks around. Along with the top notch track, the heated indoor facilities and Racer Mall make it a favorite for both racers and fans. For those of you who attended last year’s ISOC Nationals at BRRP , you know exactly how awesome SNOX at BRRP is (BRRP won ISOC’s Event of the Year award for 2012). For those who missed last year’s events, you might want to mark your calendars this year; especially if you want indoor seats at the 2013 ISOC Nationals (March 1-3) or season VIP suites.

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No matter what the season, BRRP continues to live up to its name as a true race park, delivering all types of racing, from the speedway, to motocross, to snocross. For track times and dates visit www.buffaloriverracing.com For advertising, suite or Racer Mall (vendor) information, contact Director of Sales and Marketing: Brad Rivers, brrp@cabelone.net / 701-306-1509 For racer entry details contact Speedway Race Director: Duane Peterson, goracingbrrp@gmail.com

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Written by Dijon Davis Photography by Jim Urquhart

he Mystik Lubricant Terracross Championship kicked off its 2012 race season with a massive event held just north of Minneapolis at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minn. The two-day, double-header event marked the return of Terracross racing to the ATV and UTV racing world and featured top action sports names such as Rath, Gust, Beckman, Burandt and Thacker competing on a brutal course built within the confines of the dedicated motorsports park. Jumps, mud, rocks as well as log and tire obstacles made for intense competition over the course of the two-day race weekend and proved highly-challenging for the field of experienced drivers.
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Extreme sports athlete Jimmy Blaze capped off the weekend when he attempted to flip his Polaris RZR. Blaze uses a stock RZR with only a reinforced cage and containment seat for added safety and Fox Racing Shox specially-valved to help the vehicle rotate off a ramp designed by Blaze. The flip was the first-ever in front of television cameras. Blaze came in too fast and overrotated the flip, landing the vehicle on its rear bumper. “Terra In The Pits was an amazing event,” said Terracross’ Joe Duncan. “There were a lot of people who worked long and hard behind the scenes to make it all come together and I want to thank them for committing to bringing back Terracross. Also, a big thanks goes to the athletes who believe in the sport and make the show happen – guys like Doug Gust, Darryl Rath, Chris Burandt and Paul Thacker just to name a few – all the riders are great people and they are the reason the fans watch us.” “We couldn’t do an event of this scale without our incredible sponsors including, Polaris, Rath Racing, Nielsen Enterprises, VP

Racing Fuels, Titan Machinery, Waldoch, Sportech and Bristows Motorsports, Plaisted Landscape Supply, FLOE Trailers, Waconia Powersports and ERX Motor Park.” The second event is set to take place September 8-9, 2012 at the Sno Barons Haydays Snowmobile Grass Drags extravaganza in Sunrise Township, Minn., also located just north of Minneapolis. Terracross Championship action will be aired CBS Sports Network as part of five onehour programs. For more information on the Mystik Lubricant Terracross Championship visit www.terracrossracing.com. Follow the Terracross Championship on Facebook and Twitter @ terracrossrace. CBS Sports Network is available in 99-million homes Nationwide. To find out how to get CBS Sports Network (or if you already have it) go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com and click on “Channel Finder” in the menu bar.

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he stands are packed when it comes to Monster Truck events! The roar of the 1400+HP engines, car crushing, hill climbing, doughnuts, wheelies, and these big beasts flying through the air attracts fans of all ages. The shows are a huge hit with young enthusiasts of today. Good luck finding a youngster sitting still in their seat, or not fully geared up with their favorite drivers swag!

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August 2012

Kid K.J.
1/2 Scale, Full of Entertainment
Written by Ceaja Philp

Hard to imagine unless you are now, 9 year old, Kid K.J. (Kaid Jaret Olson-Weston), of Fort Lauderdale, Florida in his very own 'Monster Bear', sized to fit him. Don't let the cut-down-size fool you, because there is no shortage in the performance or show! The trucks owned by the Olson-Weston family are 3,000 pounds, 8 feet tall with tires, 93 inches wide, and 11 feet long. They range from 200 to 300HP with two new trucks ranging in the 350 to 500 horsepower range. They have 4 cylinder Ford Focus Motors, and a Grand National Supercharged V-6. Tod Olson-Weston, K.J.'s dad recalls how his little guy had a love and knack for motorsports since he took his first steps. Some of his favorites were Power Wheels, and Tod said it didn't take long before K.J. had mastered motorized skateboards and go-karts. When it came time for 'Monster Bear' to be designed, K.J. was quite young age and loved teddy bears, so it first started out as 'Lil Bear', but K.J. didn't feel that was a tough even

name, therefore changing his idea to 'Monster Bear'. K.J. drove the truck for the first time at the Weston's Ocala, Florida ranch at only 5 1/2 years old. "He fell in love with it and wished he had more time to drive. He could not wait to do it again… and again… and again, " said Tod. K.J. is a polished young athlete, understanding the business, from interacting with fans, signing autographs and taking pictures before and after performances, to putting on a show full of wheelies, jumps, car crushing, just like the full sized trucks, in addition to his signature bus crash (a painted Styrofoam board that looks like a

So many of them dream of just getting close enough to touch these big machines and to meet the drivers, and even dream of someday driving one themselves. Who could imagine a 5 1/2 year old taking control of one of these machines, and putting on a show for you at age 6.
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think twice. K.J. says, "Driving the truck is like the most fun roller coaster I've ever been on!" With all the fun the boys are having, don't forget about Mom and Dad! You can find Tod Olson- Weston, a motorsports enthusiast, owner of the World's Fastest Rolls Royce, President of Silver Screen Promotions specializing in Bike Week events, and now owner of the newest motorsports entertainment company, Uncle Tod Motorsports helping promote the world of motorsports, while Nancy takes her place behind the wheel of her own monster truck, 'Fancy Nancy'.

bus). He jumps a car and crushes the bus, which gets the fans on their feet!. Each venue can be a little different, and at times he does a go-round 6 to 8 lap race against the other Pro-Mini Monster Trucks, regular drag racing, or 'Chicago style' racing. He understands the work, travel, and time it takes to be an athlete. As busy as his event schedule can be, K.J. finds time to enjoy his other interests, such as playing both piano and guitar, baseball and basketball. He is very active and has a natural talent for almost anything he tries. Things such as kayaking, wakeboarding, snow skiing, camping, fishing, snowboarding, snow machines and sledding are also on his list. You can also find him playing with his two dogs, two cats and two turtles. K.J. loves being a role model for kids and adults alike, and hopes to drive the fullsized trucks someday. For now, he says he will just enjoy putting on a show for the fans while having a good time. With the attention for pictures and autographs, his parents are proud to say, "He knows that he has a responsibility as a performer to uphold his professionalism, and be a role model to his peers, yet he is still a kid. K.J. is kind, modest, humble and understands that his fans appreciate him, but it’s never gotten to his head." K.J. also enjoys sharing the limelight with younger brother, Jake. This 7 year old also started driving at only 5 1/2, and performing at age 6, just like his big brother. His truck took on the name 'Sir Crush A Lot', and he has been giving the stage name, 'Jake the Snake'.
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When asked if K.J. has he ever done anything that has scared him or made him question what he does, they didn't hesitate to say, "Not at all. Not only does he feel safe, but we provide him a very secure and protected vehicle with safety features beyond what would be necessary, " says Tod. K.J. has rolled, flipped over, and flipped backwards, but it hasn't even made him

This is a true Monster Truck family who offers entertainment at fairs, company events, racing events, concerts, and even offer people the chance to ride in a monster truck. For more information about Kid K.J. and Uncle Tod Motorsports, visit www.kidkj.com, Facebook, Kid KJ and Monster Bear, www.uncletodmotorsports.com or on Facebook, Uncle Tod Motorsports, Inc.

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HEINEN MOTORSPORTS

“It’s nice to be number 1!”

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re you looking to purchase, need service, or looking to find those hard to get parts? Why spin your wheels looking around the cities when you have the number one Motorsports volume dealership in the Twin Cities. The place you need to visit is Heinen Motorsports!! They stock new and used motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, snowmobiles, Tige' boats and Wave runners. Heinen’s is Located in Osseo, Minnesota just northwest of the Twin Cities/St. Paul Metro.
August 2012

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Heinen’s currently stocks the full line of YAMAHA, ARCTIC CAT, SUZUKI, MV AGUSTA, HUSQVARNA, KYMCO and TIGE' Boats. If it is service you are looking for they are fully staffed with expert technicians that will get you back up and running as fast as possible. Heinen’s will service all brands, now how’s that for customer service! What about parts and accessories? They stock a large selection of riding gear and apparel from top names such as CASTLE, KLIM, FOX, BELL, DRAGON, FXR, HMK and more! How about those always needing oil changes? Heinen’s wants to you to enjoy your machine on the lakes or roads, so it is oil changes while you wait. While you are waiting, why not visit Heinen’s showroom? The showroom is like walking through your favorite toy store when you were a kid. You will just drool with excitement when you see some of the hottest and latest models on the showroom floor, like Yamaha, Arctic Cat, Suzuki, MV Augusta and Husqvarna! Are you are ready to hit the trails on an ATV or the roads on a new motorcycle; Heinen’s has the brands you are looking for! Trust me you won’t have to shop around, Heinen’s has it all. Maybe you are looking to take a break from your passion of riding and enjoyment of your special machine, Heinen’s will buy your ATV, Snowmobile, Dirt Bike, Boat, Motorcycle or whatever for CASH IMMEDIATELY! Now there is a pay day that you didn’t expect. So how does Heinen’s maintain that number one status for volume and service? Over the last several years Heinen’s has won some of the prestigious awards that recognize the best in the Motorsports industry. For example take a look at the following hardware that Heinen’s proudly displays. HEINEN MOTORSPORTS AWARDS: • 2003 Presidential Award - Top Financing Dealer in the Nation • 2004 Arctic Cat "Top Cat" Gold Level US Dealer of the Year • 2004 Arctic Cat "Top Cat" Platinum Level US Dealer of the Year • 2005 Arctic Cat "Top Cat" Gold Level US Dealer of the Year • 2006 Arctic Cat US Dealer • 2006 Top District Sales Performer • 2006 Arctic Cat US Platinum ATV Dealer

Written by Billy Boyle

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• 2007 Arctic Cat Platinum Snowmobile Dealer of the Year • 2007 Suzuki TOP district sales • 2008 Arctic Cat US Platinum ATV Dealer • 2009 Yamaha District #1 Volume Sales Leader • 2010 Yamaha District #1 Volume Sales Leader • 2011 Top Suzuki Service award winner • 2012 Top Suzuki Service award winner It is quite an accomplishment when a company like Heinen’s is recognized over and over again by the Motorsports industry, manufacturers, and customers, and why not? Heinen’s was established way back in 1899 so from a successful business perspective they have been doing the right thing for a long time and that my friends is complete customer satisfaction. Isn’t that what keeps American businesses growing and staying successful? Heinen’s is a truly owned family business, the staff is top notch, this is the company that will make you feel like you are the most important person that walked through that door. In the true sense of cus-

tomer commitment every staff member knows that. They know that you the customer have a choice to pick and choose where you purchase your machine, supplies, parts, and service. That’s why the success of Heinen’s is repeat business from generation to generation. You can’t go wrong with a visit to Heinen’s, if you really want to make that connection to the top dealer in the area Heinen’s is the one. Total customer commitment from start to finish, top of the line machines,

quality products and accessories, and the best service that you can find in Minnesota. So why spend time researching, driving around and kicking tires. Wheels of Thunder did it for you; Heinen’s is the reason to find your vehicle for your season. To find Heinen’s visit the website at www.heinensmotorsports.com or visit Heinen’s directly and check out the showroom at 21 1st St. NW, Osseo, MN 55369 or give them a call at 763-425-2178

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HOW TO REBUILD A WINNING CAREER

“One friend at a time!”

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or most of us if we purchased a fully loaded 2000 Mustang in impeccable condition we would be completely content with our used, but awesome machine. That’s most of us, but not for the person that has a vision to what could be. Meet Eric Torrey, a racing enthusiast since he was a kid and now a driving force to be reckoned with.
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The original fully loaded 2000 Mustang
Eric did find this beauty, however he had other intentions of what the Mustang could be from day one. This project was not one of those garage builds like you see on one of the reality shows where they rip it apart in a week and bam you have your rocket ship on 4 wheels. Eric couldn’t have done the transformation without the support of a host of friends, family, and some major patience by his wife Angie. Eric has deemed Angie as his #1 supporter. Their children, Dakota and Carson, are helping out in the garage doing whatever is asked of them and help load the trailer when they go racing. The project kicked off with a complete tear down of all the components many of us would cherish, but this was a starting point. The pile of seats, stereo, V6 motor and drive train was a real good indication that Eric was a serious player!

Written by Billy Boyle

Now was the time for the sweat and equity phase, Eric’s plan was to build a state of the art cage and rebuild the rear end. Another expert in the welding community, Rob Erickson who started his own business ReAction Fab, rolled up his sleeves and jumped right in with Eric. They worked on the Mustang any chance they could get, after a normal day at work, weekends, into the night; they even worked endlessly through Christmas week, only taking a break on Christmas Day. They actually strung a 27 hour stretch of welding the cage without a break. Now that’s passion and commitment. The cage was the foundation; the wheel tubs, hubs, rear end, and transmission all fell into place.
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Vince Wolrab, a well known name in the racing community, rolled up his sleeves and jumped right in with Eric. Using some old parts, re-used the rods, a Dart block,

Eric’s other key player was Joey Keyman, owner of Excessive Autosports (excessiveautosports.com), a company that focuses on engine management tuning. Joey’s niche is his Pro EFI computer, high-end technology that’s the difference in today’s racing scene. As Erik stated, “If you want to be able to be compete with the big boys, you need all the bells and whistles.” The Mustang was now in the running stage, but it took a lot of tweaking, checks and balances and adjustments. The sad story here…the internet purchased engine couldn’t handle it and blew up. The newly purchased engine was junk, to the point Eric and company got a little angry over being duped. They pulled the engine and started from scratch. Eric’s close friend Eric searched for the right engine and purchased one off the internet that looked like it would be the power he needed. The engine turned out being a set back as it did not perform as the original owner stated. Eric’s message to all you internet buyers, BEWARE!

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August 2012

and over the winter rebuilt a solid engine. Initially they focused on using a single turbo which they ran for two years, but swapped it out with a twin turbo that they are currently running today. The final stage was the paint, and the talented Tim Torrey and team took that Mustang and gave it the awesome touch of blue, the kind that tends to leave a streak with the naked eye as it blasts down the straight away. Another of the talented technicians that had a hand in getting those Turbo’s to growl was Brian Carpenter. Brian expertise in precision tuning was just what Eric and team needed. The final addition was the Cracker Jack crew chief Jason Burroughs, aka Buck. The big test came at Brainerd International Raceway and Eric ran the Mustang in the King Street Class. The crew knew, Eric knew, and the crowd knew this was going to be some machine. The team is tearing up in the Midwest and was a number of wins under the belt. As Eric puts it we have a lot of sweat and dollars wrapped up in this classic machine to the tune of 100K plus. The real story here is a bunch of friends that stepped up to the plate when needed

for without them this would still be a 2000 stock Mustang sitting in someone’s driveway. Eric’s wins are numerous, including: • Midway Shootout • H&W 10.5 – Numerous wins in prior years, along with this year’s First Place Rank

• Quick Performance 10.5 – Numerous wins prior years • Finished 2nd in points last year. To find a racetrack where Eric Torrey and team will be racing the Mustang keep an eye on Wheels of Thunder racing schedule. You will be glad you did.

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NHRA The Field Is Set!
Written by Ceaja Philp

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ith Erica Enders winning her first Pro Stock race at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL, the field has finally been set! The women of NHRA have now taken a win in each Pro category
but she was quickly drawn to the high powered cars of drag racing. With it being an obvious male dominated world, Shirley had a lot to prove and wasn't going to let anything stop her. She wasted no time winning in a variety of sportsman classes through 1964. In 1965 the sport would change forever. With another challenge on her hands, Shirley fought to even get the chance to attempt to gain her license in order to compete in NHRA's supercharged gasoline dragster category. The upper classes were the professional categories, and until then no other woman had ever been permitted this qualification. Once again, she did not get discouraged, and was successful at completing the requirements and attaining the license. In 1971, if Shirley wanted to keep up with the changes NHRA was making, she would have to step up into the new 'Funny Car' category. Even then the horsepower produced from these machines was very difficult to handle. Unbelievably, Muldowney recorded a round win on her first time out at a match race.

The first to do so broke huge barriers for those who would follow her. Shirley Muldowney set the industry on fire when she proved her desire to compete and win, made believers out of doubters. She will forever be an icon for the Motorsports industry and for women in any field. Shirley started out as somewhat of a notorious local street racer in her earlier days,

There is no doubt the Funny Cars were very dangerous in those days, with fire being the car and driver's worst enemy. They lacked much of the safety equipment of today's Funny Cars. During the 1973 NHRA US Nationals, Shirley suffered a terrible fire that destroyed her race car and required her to go through some serious burn recovery. She had had enough of the Funny Cars at that point, but during that time only men drove the 'king of the sport', Top Fuel cars. However, having the correct competition license, she pressed on and became the first woman to drive in that category as well. Shirley Muldowney returned time and time to the track and broke speed records, elapsed time records, including the first woman to break the 5 second barrier, and broke the many doubters and stereotypes that tried to keep her from succeeding.

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In June 1976, Shirley became the first woman to win a NHRA Professional event, beating out the late Bob Evans in the final round. After devoting over 25 years to drag racing, Shirley had accomplished almost everything she could in the sport; including being the first driver ever to win three consecutive NHRA National event titles, and to have a lot of her earlier years told in the movie, 'Heart Like a Wheel'. During the summer of 1984 was almost the tragic end for Shirley. While qualifying at a NHRA event in Montreal, Canada, she had front tire failure on her nitro-fueled dragster, causing a high speed crash at over 250 mph. Among the many injuries, her legs were so badly broken they required extensive and repeated surgeries simply to enable her to walk again. It took many months of physical therapy and recovery, but with so much support from her family, friends, and fans, Muldowney was strapping herself back into the driver's seat of her race car again. By 1989 she was back to full battle in the Top Fuel category with the sponsors who still believed she could win, and with John Muldowney as her tuner.

Angelle Sampey debuted in 1996, and during her career, won the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship three times (2000-2002). As of today, she has earned the most wins for any female professional motorsports athlete, including NHRA and motorsports as a whole, with 41 event victories. During the 2007 season while at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, she set the national Pro Stock Motorcycle elapsed time record with an incredible 6.871 second run!

race during the 2009 season, and in March of 2010, she announced her retirement as a professional drag racer. Along with Shirley Muldowney, Angelle is the only other woman in professional drag racing to win more than one championship in their respective categories. Many say Ashley Force Hood was born to race, but daughter of 15- time Funny Car Champion John Force wasn't going to have

With many more success stories through the years, and after forty years of racing, due to lack of funding Shirley made the difficult decision to retire from professional drag racing in 2003 with the 'Last Pass Tour' that ended at the World Finals in Pomona, California.
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Sampey raced a Suzuki from 1996 through 2007, sponsored by R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand in her earlier years, and the latter part of her race career was for the U.S. Army. She also holds the record of 182 consecutive races without a DNQ ( Did Not Qualify). Due to lack of sponsorship, Sampey did not
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proudly say she won against the best. To put the icing on the cake, boyfriend and former NHRA Pro Stock racer Richie Stevens Jr. proposed to Enders after her win. During some of her battles to victory lane, Enders lost funding and didn't have a ride after the 2007 season. She struggled in 2009 and 2010 while running a limited schedule, and having sponsor and crew member changes didn't help.

a full-time race career until her Mom, Laurie saw her complete her education. Although she began racing sportsman cars out of high school, moved briefly to Super Comp, and quickly to Top Alcohol Dragster, which she won five times, Ashley was well aware of how important attending college was going to be. It's a good thing since last year she opted out of the cockpit of her 8,000 horsepower Castrol GTX Mustang while awaiting the birth of her and husband, Dan's son, Jacob John Hood. Ashley put her education to use and became President of JF Entertainment, and is looking to help expand the JFR brand beyond the drag racing world. She is also overseeing the completion of her Dad’s authorized biography, a 'Day at the Races' children's book she has authored, and talk of a possible John Force Racing animated TV series. She may not be in the race car, but she is still close to the sport in many ways. With her short time in Funny Car, she was able to gain 16 final round appearances, 15 number one starts, and back-to-back top 3 finishes. In 2008, Ashley was the first woman to win a NHRA Funny Car event. She was definitely at the top of her game, and there is no guarantee she won't be back in the cockpit someday to continue her success. After all...it is in her genes. In addition to John, Laurie is licensed to drive a Super Comp dragster, rumor has been around that her sister Brittany has been thinking of a possible Top Fuel career, and the youngest Force sister, Courtney has been doing well her first season in her TRAXXAS sponsored Ford Mustang Funny Car.
August 2012

As of July 1st, 2012 Erica Enders has completed the field for the women of Professional NHRA Drag Racing, winning her first national event in Pro Stock, beating four-time champion Greg Anderson in the final round. It will be a moment the record

Last season things started to turn around for the better. Erica went back to drive for team owner, Victor Cagnazzi, and quickly started to see results. It was also in large part to having Pro Stock driver, Dave Connolly as her crew chief. From the little girl who started winning titles in her Junior Dragster at age 8, at age 16 becoming the youngest NHRA National Event finalist, having her life story turned into a Disney Original Movie ('Right On Track'), breaking the MPH in Pro Stock in 2011 (213.57) in Gainesville, Florida, to winning her first Professional NHRA event...you can bet she isn't done yet! All of these women have made history, and we would like to thank them for all they have done for the sport and for women in any industry.

books will never let us forget, or Anderson for that matter. Greg, along with many others knew she had been fighting for this win for many years, and for Erica, she can

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he World Championship Watercross held in Grantsburg, WI every July is truly a spectacle of snowmobile racing. As tens of thousands of people pour into the quaint little town in northwest Wisconsin and line the banks of Memory Lake, racers from all over the upper Midwest and Canada do battle, each hoping to be crowned a World Champion.

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Mark’s youngest son Chad began racing watercross in 2005 at the ripe old age of 13 and beginning with the very first event he attended, the victories began to pile up. Now at the age of 21, Chad Maki is as dominating a force on the IWA circuit as any driver I have seen in my 21 years of being involved with the organization. His flawless execution coupled with machines that are tuned to perfection have put him into a

league of his own so far during the 2012 IWA World Series of Watercross. Coming into the World Championship, Chad had won the Pro Stock class there 4 years in a row. His domination continued as he powered his Danner Sales, Ski-Doo Racing Summit XP to victory yet again. When the Pro Stock final was completed, Chad came in to get the checkered flag and make a quick victory lap. He landed back on shore where I had the opportunity to congratulate him and shake his hand. I know he was happy with the win, but I could see a look in his eyes that I hadn’t seen before and as he prepared to head back to the starting area for the Pro Open final, I knew that there was only one thing on his mind: Winning his 2nd Pro Open World Championship Title. When the Pro Open final began, it was Kyle Carpenter of Stacy, MN with the holeshot and the lead going into the second turn, but Maki quickly closed the gap and overtook Carpenter during the second lap. From there, Maki turned on the jets and simply blew the rest of the field out of the water, taking his second World Championship Title just a couple of weeks past his 21st birthday. Congrats to Chad and the whole Maki Racing family, you guys are true champions! In the Stock 600 Drag class, Mike Simmons of Superior, WI won every race he entered en route to victory in the class. He was folwww.WheelsofThunder.net Page 53

Written by Mike Benoy Photography by Sadie Simonsen
2012 marks the 36th year of this wonderful event that is put on by the Grantsburg Hockey Association and sanctioned by the International Watercross Association. Throughout those 36 years, the event, and the sport of snowmobile watercross, has been dominated by the Maki family. Originally from Grantsburg, Mark Maki (now of Inver Grove Heights, MN) won the first event in Grantsburg in 1977 as a 16 yearold. Along with his brother Scott and the rest of his family, they worked tirelessly to promote the event and the sport. Along the way, Mark won 13 World Championships and countless other races before he hung up the helmet for good in 1999. But the Maki story doesn’t end there…
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Chad Maki

only in his first full year of racing, yet has claimed the coveted Grantsburg victory! In Semi-Pro Open, it was Nick Gustafson from Roseau, MN dominating the field for the entire weekend. Nick continues a very impressive season, leading the points in the Semi-Pro Open class. Nick, a professional Hillclimb racer in the winter, is no stranger to victory though and says that he intends to break into the Pro ranks of IWA competition next season.

David Fischer
lowed by Krystle Kulenkamp of Mora, MN. Mike also went on to do very well in the Semi-Pro Stock oval class, finishing in 11th place overall. Both the Stock 800 and Mod Drags continue to be dominated by David Fischer of Eagan, MN. David was able to do something that nobody else has done in 4 years at Grantsburg, get past the lightning fast sled from Rinker Racing out of Canadensis, PA. This year, it was Ryan DesJardins from Port McNicoll, Ontario piloting the sled for Rinker racing, but Fischer’s Motorsports Plus Yamaha was too much to handle as he powered past the field, taking the victory by a full 2 sled lengths. Coming in 2nd was first time watercross racer Darby Fowler of Roseau, MN with DesJardins following in 3rd. In the Stock 800 final, it was a much closer contest. Fischer narrowly defeated Krista Maki-Zurn and her GLH Performance Ski-Doo by about a foot at the finish line. David nailed the holeshot and had a sled length advantage before the first markers. Maki-Zurn was reeling him in, but simply ran out of real estate. Charlie Fleck finished 3rd on the Straightline Performance, Bayside Marine Ski-Doo. In the Semi-Pro Stock Oval class, David Fischer was leading the race, trying for his 3rd win of the weekend when he encountered problems and pulled off the track. Travis Audorff of Chippewa Falls, WI took the lead and never looked back. Travis, riding the LAB Technologies Arctic Cat, is

Nick Gustafson
For more information including full results, please visit the IWA website, www.iwaracing.com

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Off the Beaten Path
Freedom Rally, Algona, Iowa
Written by Brad Coplan
Along with the summer riding season brings many bike runs and rallys. Around the 4th of July every year is the Freedom Rally which is held in Algona IA. This years rally ran from July 5th - 7th, with gates opening around 8am on the 5th. Originally held in Humbolt and then moved to Algona, the rally takes place on private property which is owned by Abate Of Iowa. The rally is open to adults only, you must be 18 years of age to get onto the property and 21 years of age to drink. There are no other age limits. You will see fellow bikers male and female 70 to 80 years of age and enjoying themselves, biking and partying. are allowed. Once you have paid to enter the rally the next mission is to find a spot to set up the tent. The festival grounds is equipped with several bathrooms, 16 shower stalls, eight each for men and women. This year they also brought in a trailer with a few more shower stalls, here they charged $5.00 a shower or they were free at the festival showers. They have a brand new very well equipped first aid building along with a helipad in case of a severe emergency. There were several water stations and they were handing out free drinking water on the grounds. Every day rally personal would drive around selling ice and beer. Also on the grounds was a very large stage for the week’s entertainment and a large building selling alcohol beverages and pop. In total over 30 vendors were present. Some were selling merchandise like leathers, sunglasses, bandanas and what ever else you may need. There is also a place where you can get a tattoo. It’s always a good idea to bring the plastic card or extra cash to the Freedom Rally, there is a lot of good shopping. The other vendors were the much needed and loved food stands. They had the traditional hamburgers and fries, the fantastic
August 2012

steak sandwiches, pizza, Mexican food and the simple corn on the cob. No matter what you were craving there was a vendor there who probably had it for you. There was plenty of entertainment also to be found. During the day there were bike contests and in the later afternoon and evening the bands were playing. This years music was performed by The Kentucky Headhunters, Phil Vassar, Crow, Jackyl, The Back Roads Band and many other bands. The music is always great and watching the crowd is very entertaining. Next for entertainment are the biker games. These include pushing the beer barrel with the front tire of your bike, and the first across the line wins. This is usually pretty exciting, especially when the barrel

From Baldwin, WI it’s about a 300 mile ride, and 5 hours on the bike. Everyone left Baldwin on the 4th of July, headed into Minnesota and took I-35 south into Iowa. On the 4th the temperature was around 98 degrees not the best day to ride a bike but as long as you drank cold water it was ok. While at the ralley the temperatures ranged from 95-100 on Thursday and Friday around 90 on Saturday. But those that attented last year will remember the bad storm, which had heavy rain, strong winds and a funnel cloud. Some bikers did recieve damage to tents and bikes. Arriving on the grounds you will find that Abate owns 350 acres of land here, 22 of those acres are set aside for cars, trucks, and large campers and trailers. Inside the rally gates only motorcycles, and motorcycles pulling trailers
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Q.
turns sideways and now you have to try to square it up again or just push it and hope for the best. Another competition was "honey I’m home". In this event you had to put your pants on, dive out the window, start your bike and drive to the finish line. I would imagine for some of the competitors or spectators this has actually occurred. Another competition is the hotdog or sausage hanging from the string and your passenger has to grab it with her mouth and take a bite of it as the bike is traveling, again a fun one to watch. And if the bands and bike competitions’ are not enough for you, then just sit back and watch the crowd. Oh, by the way if you’re not into adult activity then this is not the rally for you. Nudity is very present, both male and female and you don’t have to go out and look for it. You will see the naked body either walking past your campsite or riding by on a bike. You will see large groups parading around the area or something as simple as a girl sunbathing at her campsite. And if nudity is what you’re looking for then you have to go over to the "cool down" stage. Yes, you guessed it, anything from wet t-shirt to full nudity and it is usually judged by the audience even though they have judges on stage. But there are other crowd pleasing moments like the guy riding his motorcycle dressed up like a clown and was yelling, "I'm just clowning around" huh! Or the group of about ten men and women dressed up in colorful tutus, with colors ranging from orange and black to pink and red. I have to say those men were pretty brave or found some great whiskey. Well the 28th annual Abate of Iowa Freedom Rally was a success for this great organization. There is always plenty to do at the rally or you can go for a ride into Algona to get lunch and pick up any groceries you need back at camp. If you have not been to this rally then put it on your calendar for next year. Now I have to start planning my next rally which will be the HOG Rally in Wausau WI in August, so ride careful and hope to see you there.
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I was reading your article about snowmobile watercross racing in last month’s issue of Wheels of Thunder. This is just an amazing sport to me! But tell me, how does it not ruin the sleds when they sink? And how in the world do they allow this kind of racing? Doesn’t it pollute the lake when a sled sinks? Very Curious in Brainerd

Well Curious, those are both very good questions! Ironically enough, when I first began to race at IWA events back in 1990, I had to answer the first question when asked by my very upset and confused Father. It was late one evening in the garage at home and I was a young 17 year-old snowmobile junky. A friend of mine and I decided that we were going to get my sled ready to race at the Grantsburg Watercross, so we drug it into the garage and went to work. I had hung around watercross races for as long as I could remember as the sport was born right near where I grew up. By that time, I had many friends who had raced or at least given it a try and I was always right in there helping them out, so I had some experience and lots of tips. The one thing that is absolutely critical if you sink a sled is to shut the engine off! If the engine continues to run as water fills the cylinders, that’s when you can have a huge problem on your hands! The liquid simply won’t compress and something has to give. I’ve seen some terrible messes over the years, I can tell you that much!

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simply pull the spark plugs out, tip it on its side, and pull the engine over until it spits all of the water out. From there, you need to drain the fuel from both the tank and carburetors. Once there is new fuel in there, the sled will generally start right up again. It does take a little bit to get the remaining water dried out, but within seconds, the sled will be running at full song once again. It’s also a good idea to change the chaincase oil as it inevitably gets some water inside. As for the pollution question, a snowmobile sinking in a body of water has a remarkably low environmental impact. A Two-Stroke snowmobile motor had no kind of oil contained within the motor, so the only petroleum products on board are the oil in the chaincase and the fuel/oil mixture in the fuel tank. All IWA racers vent their fuel cell with the vent line on the top of the tank and direct the vent line downward. With the rest of the fuel cell sealed, and an effective low pressure area maintained within the fuel cell, it is generally a situation where it is water coming into the tank, not fuel trying to escape. I have actually built a demonstration unit to show this to people who are interested in hosting a watercross race. There can be some residual fuel that ends up in the water, but it is far less than what is emitted by your everyday, garden variety outboard motor operating on the same body of water. Due to the fact that the specific gravity of gasoline is lower than that of water, anything that does go into the water immediately comes to the surface and spreads out thin where it is almost instantly burned off by the natural radiation of the Sun. I hope that answers your questions! If you have a question about anything Motorsports related, please send it in and I will do my best to get you a good answer. Send your questions via e-mail to editor@wheelsofthunder.net or leave a message on facebook!

Now, I wouldn’t be so bold as to say that I think sinking a sled into cold water while the motor and pipe(s) are smokin’ hot is necessarily a good thing, but with some preventative maintenance and attention to detail, it really isn’t a huge problem as long as the engine is shut off before the machine sinks. Once the sled is retrieved from the lake, you need to drain the engine of water. Most people

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Written by the Pro Sportsman Association Photos provided by David Smith

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verybody wants to win, but for Alcohol Funny Car driver Lance Van Hauen, drag racing is more than a chance to compete – it’s an escape. Van Hauen, owner of a giant auto and truck repair center in tiny Reinbeck, Iowa, a town of 3,000 between Des Moines and Waterloo, Iowa, races to get away from it all. “I'm at work till 9 o'clock every night, six days a week,” he says, “and when I race, I just want to focus on running the car and driving – not on what's going on back at the shop.”

Van Hauen's brother, Wade, who was a part of the Van Hauen Brothers team from the beginning, finally had to step away from the sport two years ago. "He'd have two different work phones with him at the track, ringing all day long, and he was constantly getting interrupted," Van Hauen says. "After a while, it got to him, and he did what he had to do and took care of business." That's not going to happen to Lance. "I don't even take my cell phone to the track with me anymore," says Van Hauen, who's been racing Alcohol Funny Cars since the 1980s, first in UDRA, then in IHRA, and now in NHRA, where he's a three-time finalist on the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series tour. "UDRA was great, and if it was still around, I'd be running there, too," says Van Hauen, who won countless events on the Untied Drag Racers circuit and a pair of

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the semifinals. Some of the heavy-hitters would show up every once in a while, but they didn't have that much of an advantage over the rest of us because the track surface was kind of an equalizer. A few of the places we ran were a little questionable, and those guys would be trying to rotate the earth and couldn't get down the track. "Sometimes we'd run at good tracks like Norwalk or Martin," Van Hauen says, "and sometimes we'd run at places I'd never even think about running at now. Looking back, going to some of those tracks was the stupidest thing we ever did. There would be no guardrails, people standing right on the edge of the track, and a van down at the end of the track that said 'AMBULANCE' on it." That's no problem at today's state-of-theart NHRA facilities, of course, but the level of competition is that much higher, too. Van Hauen runner-upped to Roger Bateman in Topeka in 2009, to Chris Foster in Noble, Okla., in 2009 in a match that decided the Division 3 championship in Foster's favor, and to Kirk Williams in Great Bend, Kan., in 2010. Van Hauen and his longtime crew – wife Sheree, Mark Seamen, and Marsh Hunemiller – are assisted now by Rob Long, who used to work with former Division 5 Top Alcohol Dragster driver Richard Putz. "Rob

has a lot of knowledge about running a dragster, and he's been a big help to us since he came on board," says Van Hauen, who also cited the contributions of Kevin Cantrell, Mike Strasburg, and Randy Anderson. The 52-year-old veteran got his start in alcohol racing the 1980s, handling the clutch work for 1987 Alcohol Dragster world champ Denny Lucas, back when Lucas was battling Jay Payne, Tom Conway, and Bill Barney for the national title year after year. "I ran with him for a lot of years, learned a ton, and even bought my first car from him, which I ran as an A/Dragster in Comp," Van Hauen says. "We didn't know anything about blown-alcohol motors before that." Van Hauen bought his first Funny Car from Wisconsin veteran Larry Bakke, and ultimately began running a lot of NHRA events in the mid-2000s. His best finish in national competition came at the 2009 Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, where he reached the semifinals. Van Hauen will be a home state favorite this fall at the big Lucas Oil Series regional event at Tri-State Raceway in Earlville, Iowa., Sept.7-9. It's a week after the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious event in drag racing, and is expected to draw top cars from around the U.S. and Canada. "I still enjoy driving the car and still enjoy racing," says Van Hauen, whose career best speed is an even 250.00 mph. "There's just nothing like driving that car. It would be pretty hard for me to ever think about putting somebody else in there while I was paying all the bills. I don't know how long I'll keep going, but I'll do it as long as I can – at least for another 10 years. It's still fun, and I'd miss driving too much if I quit."

championships – one in the 1990s and one in the early 2000s. "UDRA is what got us through the no-money times in the early days. We'd roll in to a track on a Saturday night, everybody would make a run, and the fastest four cars would come back for

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MATTHEW KOROL
Talk About Good Timing!

hat do most of us motorheads do growing up? If you are like the majority, it's dream of being a pro racer or part of a pro team. Matthew Korol of Kindred, North Dakota was no different, except.....he is 'living his dream'.

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Matthew grew up like many in the Midwest who have a passion for cars; helping build and enjoy street rods, working a 'normal' job, and spending time with friends and family. About six years ago he had no idea his life would change and doors would open to a completely different world than he had known.
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Written by Ceaja Philp

For years he had enjoyed attending the NHRA events in Brainerd with his family, while his Dad, Jeff would work Safety Safari. During that 2006 season he happened to be in the right place at the right time. A member of the Kalitta Motorsports race team happened to ask if Matthew wanted to help set up the pit and wash parts. Matthew didn't hesitate to say Yes! During the time he was helping, he hit it off with the crew member working clutch and found himself helping with that by the end of the weekend. He was extremely grateful for the opportunity and figured he would chalk it up to a

great experience. Little did Matthew know that he would get a wake-up call during the 2007 season. He was working for Sam's Club at the time and was woken up by a phone call coming from a Michigan number. He answered to hear the voice of the marketing manager for Kalitta Motorsports. Although he remembers being a little in shock, he didn't think twice about accepting a two-race trial that could make him a permanent team member. He got up and went straight into work to let them know he was done. Then, his next step was to figure out how to get to Michigan. Most may have thought about that before quitting their current job, but the offer was to be there and he knew he needed to jump at the chance when it came about. Not being able to afford the airfare, Matthew booked his 24hour ride on the next Greyhound bus heading to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Once he finally made the long trip there, members of the team were waiting to take him to his first 'official' Motorsports job at the NHRA event in Atlanta. Needless to say, we both laughed at how travel for him now days is quite a bit more enjoyable than his first time out. As I heard myself ask how he felt during that first race, I hardly could finish without already trying to form how I figured he would answer. How would I or anyone who had dreamt of something like that their whole life feel?!? Matthew answered as I would expect. "I was nervous and couldn't help but think...Could I really do this? I've seen crews in action for years,
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tant/tires crew member for the Al-Anabi silver team with driver, Shawn Langdon, a three-time NHRA National champion. The Al-Anabi gold team has a new driver this year, too, as 2011 NHRA Pro Mod Champion Khalid alBalooshi moved up to Top Fuel from one of the Al-Anabi Pro Mod cars. After winning the 2010 and ’11 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel World Championships, the 2012 NHRA season represents a year of change for the AlAnabi Racing Team. The team has two new drivers, including a Top Fuel rookie in alBalooshi, and multiple crew members in new positions. Matthew will admit the changes have resulted in a bit of a tough start for the AlAnabi team this season, but with each pass they are getting closer to finding the right combination. He has no doubt working with team manager Alan Johnson, a 10time NHRA Top Fuel world champion and one of the best and most competitive teams in the industry, they will find their groove. Matthew will be the first to admit he couldn't have ever imagined he would be living out a childhood dream, not just working on cars, but also working for one of the best tuners in the sport, Alan Johnson. Through all of his experiences and with the extreme diverse style of living compared to small town life, he feels very blessed to stay so grounded through his faith in God. He may have come from a small town in North Dakota, but he is proof that if you can dream big, work hard, and keep positive, you can achieve it!

they are fast, focused, and look flawless. Can I be so far away from home, do my job, be good at it, and make a new career?" It wasn't like he was starting on an amateur team, he would be part of Kalitta Motorsports, a longtime NHRA team owned by one of the legends of the sport, Connie Kalitta! Matthew joked saying how he definitely didn't want to make that long bus ride back, so failure wasn't an option, but realty was...he knew he wanted it more than he could find the words for, so that would be his drive. Things worked out for Matthew and Kalitta Motorsports that weekend in Atlanta, and for the next couple of years he would stay the clutch assistant/tires crew member. Korol may have found a place on the team, but during the 2007-08 seasons, driver Doug Kalitta and the team struggled on the track, only winning a couple of races. With changes wanted and needed, struggles escalated when team owner, Connie Kalitta's son, Scott tragically died after his Funny Car burst into flames and crashed during a final qualifying session in Englishtown, NJ. With all of reality setting in, Matthew chose to go back to North Dakota after that season and reflect on whether or not the NHRA lifestyle was something he could continue doing. The breather would only last about four months, and during the 2009 summer Matthew was offered a chance to work on the Al-Anabi Funny Car driven by Del Worsham. He started that season at The U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, one of the most prestigious drag racing

events in the world, and from then through the 2010 season would be doing body and fuel for Worsham’s Al-Anabi Toyota Funny Car. In 2011, the Al-Anabi Racing Team decided to make the move to run two Top Fuel cars and put the Funny Car to rest. Matthew stayed a part of the team with Worsham behind the wheel, and he was fortunate to be part of an amazing ride. Matthew had a hard time finding the words to explain how he felt that season. He said, "All of my dreams about being part of a winning professional team were coming true, and then some!" They won eight races, the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel World Championship and set a national record elapsed time of 3.735 seconds, then the quickest pass in NHRA history, in Reading, PA. Matthew recalls the first couple of test runs in the beginning of the season were a little tough as Worsham had driven a Funny Car for his entire career. Switching from Funny Car to Top Fuel was no easy task, so to see everyone pull together and win a world championship was more than he could have ever imagined. Just as fast as the celebrations started, they would be done. Many people don't realize there really is no off-season in Motorsports. With pre-season testing, team changes, and preparation for the next season, the teams have a little time during the holidays to enjoy their families and 'relax', before it's back to their extended family at the track. The 2012 season's family has changed a bit for Matthew. He is now the clutch assis-

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Written by Brad Coplan

was in the Stillwater area the other day and came across a business by the name of Tire Pros. Started up in Stillwater in 2006 they have moved from their old location to this one. The original Tire Pros consisted of four employees and one working bay. This new building supports 8 working bays and an upstairs warehouse. The front houses the sales area with a large selection of tires and wheels and a fantastic waiting area. They have a working staff of 15 employees, and all of these employees stay extremely busy due to their incredible prices and worry free service. In fact, the day I was there, a customer came in looking for three tires and had already checked around for prices. They quoted him a price on these tires 50 to 70 dollars cheaper than the competitors prices and that included the tire mounting and balance.

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Tire Pros is a family owned business and operated by Jay Andrews and his sons Judd and Jay Jr. The family also owns a Tire Pros in Hudson, WI which is operated by Jay Jr. The Stillwater Tire Pros will be celebrating a Grand Opening in September of this year. So what makes this tire store different from all the rest? First of all its not just a tire store, at Tire Pros you can bring in your car or truck for any type of service. It doesn't matter if you driving a diesel or foreign vehicle, they work on everything! They are
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trained and experienced in all different types of vehicles. So whether your looking to have just a simple oil change done or major engine work, they can handle it. Their service department will work on brakes, belts, engine work, exhaust, if its not running right or broken they will fix it. A great feature of Tire Pros is their ability to show you how your vehicle will look with a particular tire or wheel before it is actually placed on your vehicle. They can show you on a big screen television how your ve-

hicle would look with the style of tires and wheels that your looking for, or if you were just wondering what style would make your vehicle look classy. I guarantee your choice will not be easy as they have a huge selection! They carry Micky Thompson, BF Goodrich, Michelin, Goodyear, Dunlop, Nitto and several other brands. For the wheels they sell Lexani, TSW, RBP, Gear Alloy, Dropstar, TIS (Twenty Inches Strong), KMC, and KMC XD Series as well as many other brands.

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So if your wondering about having to wait for tires and wheels, relax...they have in stock over 500 tires and 300 wheels. If it is not in stock, wheels take only a few short days to get and tires will be in that same day. Tire Pros is connected with 400 Tire Pros Stores nation wide so this gives this store the ability to get tires immediatley, and a better selection of tire sizes and brands. The benefit to you is it also allows them to get tires at a better price, which means more money in your pocket! Once you have picked out your tires and wheels your vehicle is brought back to a well trained tire and wheel technician and into a bay that has top of the line floor racks. They are brand new, up to date and floor surface mounted. This allows for better care of your vehicle and no chance of any damages anywhere. The tire mounts are also up to date and the best available, this allows the tire to be mounted without touching the wheel and causing a scratch or damage. After the tires are put on your new wheels and everything is all balanced using the Hunter Road Force Balancer, you should look at getting an alignment. (Actually anytime your vehicle pulls one way or the other while driving it is usually a sign that your vehicle needs an alignment.) Having an alignment gives you better wear and life on your tires. Tire Pros has one bay set aside just for alignments, this unit is

ground level and is filled with state of the art equipment. I asked the crew at Tire Pros other than the service of vehicles and wheels and tires, what is one specialty thing they do. I was told suspensions were their specialty, lowering and lift kits. I did see while I was there three trucks with lift kits that they were installing. These trucks looked awesome, and would put a huge smile on the face of any pick up truck owner. With the hot weather we are having, don’t forget about your air conditioning. If it’s not cold in your vehicle then get it into Tire Pros so they can fix it.

If you cant hear your radio because of a bad muffler or exhaust pipes, if your wanting to put something new and cool on your car or truck or sound performance, then Tire Pros are ready to help you out. I think you have figured out by now that Tire Pros is your one stop store for all your car and truck needs! Their people are highly trained and ASE Certified with yearly training. They also have what they call a ride and drive training program for their employees. They take different vehicles and set up different issues with the vehicles. Their staff then test drives the vehicles to give them knowledge in spotting the problems with that car or truck. They also put on the new parts and again drive the vehicles to see the difference in the ride, the handling, vehicle noise or whatever the issue may be. Their front sales and counter staff go through continuing education on the different brands, styles and new updates of vehicles and equipment. They have state of the art equipment in their hands and the knowledge to better serve you. So I want to thank Judd Andrews and Adam Welsh for the fantastic tour of their business. I also want to say if you are looking for vehicle service, or making your ride look even better then, Tire Pros is your place to go. Also, don’t forget about their Grand Opening in September, we will see you there!

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Tony Duran, Chris Lanz and Ty Sampair

St. Croix Valley Raceway continues to gain momentum!
e would like to thank all of the fans and drivers who helped make St. Croix Valley Raceway a Friday night race destination in 2012. We have a great year end schedule in store for all. The UMSS Outlaw 360’s will be here on August 10th and again on August 24th for the Ron Fleischer/ Ron Jones Sr Memorial race. Fan appreciation night is scheduled for August 31st with Late Models and Open Modifieds making an appearance again. Can the modifieds go 4 wide again, come out and see! SCVR will wrap up the season with the “1st Annual Badger State Championship” double header on September 21st and 22nd. Again we thank everyone for coming out to SCVR and helping us grow this track into something special.

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Photo by Russ Cramblit

Tony Schill and Josh Bazey

Photo courtesy of Vince Peterson

Anna Kouba pictured running the 2012 Elko Dirt Nationals race this past April, competed in the June 29th Kouba Memorial named after her grandparent Earle and Ethel Kouba. It was the 20th running of the event and first ever running at SCVR as part of the Jack Links inagural Open Wheel Nationals.

Photo courtesy of Stan Meissner Experienced and always ready to race cagey veteran Traditional Sprint Car Series regular, Jack Clarke from nearby Knapp, WI

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Jeff Pellersels and Kevin Bradwell

IRA Sprint Champion Bill Balog www.WheelsofThunder.net

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On the Right Track with Tracks USA
ho would have thought that some 27 plus years ago when Bruce Vruwink was hitting the road selling farm equipment he would have fallen into a niche of selling snowmobile tracks. But not just selling tracks! Bruce Vruwink and family are the premier company in the world that sells tracks, rail extensions, tunnel extensions and many other products for the snowmobile industry.

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The company has been around for just over 35 years and has grown to the number one snowmobile track marketer in the country. That achievement didn’t happen over night. Bruce Vruwink, along with his wife Kathy, son Tony, and close friend Ben Dahline have built Tracks USA to be the main player in the tracks business. There isn’t a day in the year that they are not shipping tracks somewhere around the world. They are the “go to experts” in the track business. They have the answers for the questions when competitors falter. Tracks USA is not just exclusive to snowmobiles. They also market tracks and track kits for ATV’s, UTV’s, tractors, excavators and skid loaders. Currently, Tracks USA carries more inventory than any competitors in the country. They have over 300 different part numbers of Tracks, Rail Extensions, and Tunnel Extensions ON THE SHELVES just waiting for the customer that needs to have that part NOW. Same Day Shipping is the norm of operation at TRACKS USA. Customers are blown away that Tracks USA can sell name brand products for far less than the competition. Bruce and family are very wise business owners-- they are a no frills operation. They buy quantities
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right and practice good old fashioned business principles, passing the savings on to the customer. Now that’s customer service at its best. The Tracks USA team is extremely knowledgeable about the products they sell. Bruce grew up with the snowmobile industry, starting in the middle 1960’s. Tony was born into it, and Ben Dahline, who has been in the snowmobile business some 15 years, was added to the Tracks USA team

and has been another catalyst in continuing the growth of the successful Minnesota business. TRACKS USA is a firm believer in the power of the internet; however, they also recognize the need to speak directly with the customer. Customers need to have their questions answered, and a phone call may better serve that purpose. Bruce says, “It is also a great time to visit with the customer, learn about the customer’s unique

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Written byBilly Boyle

situation, what he needs, where he snowmobiles and what snowmobiling in that customer’s location is all about.” TRACKS USA also manufactures and markets the popular Tunnel and Rail Extensions used by the enthusiast that wants to sult. TRACKS USA will either sell and modify a track from inventory or alter a track supplied by the customer. Same day turn around will be the norm. A snapshot of the customer assistance provided by TRACKS USA can be found on their website. It sounds fairly simple. “When installing your TRACKS USA tunnel extensions, they will fit over your existing tunnel and overlap approximately 2"-3" on the top of the tunnel. Some models overlap quite a bit more on the sides. The only exceptions are the Arctic Cat ZR/ZL, Yamaha Nytro & Polaris GENII models which fit underneath your existing tunnel. There will be locating holes predrilled in the extension that will line up 365 days a year. Someone, somewhere is always working on a sled. According to Tony, word of mouth and seasonal events help energize and keep sales going all year. A satisfied customer is one of the best forms of advertising possible. From the slowest time in the summer, when it is not unusual to find a few tracks being shipped, to the busiest time in the winter, when dozens leave every day, Tracks USA is always satisfying customers’ needs. The number one provider for all of your tracks and rail/tunnel extension needs is right here in your backyard. Are you into Vintage snowmobiles? Tracks USA inventories many tracks to fit the older sleds. Does an ATV or UTV’s charge you up? Guess what? They carry track systems for those vehicles as well. TRACKS USA also markets replacement tracks for unique construction and farm equipment application. The bottom line folks, YOU have the best provider of tracks, extensions and track systems in the world right in your backyard. Why even consider looking elsewhere. Visit their website and check out the number of products that Tracks USA has for your every need. To find them on the web visit, www.tracksusa.com or give them a call and get a first hand audience with the experts, Tony, Ben, Bruce and Kathy. Tracks USA is located at 10341-67th Avenue SE, Lake Lillian, MN 56253 or give them a call at 320-382-6128 and get your personal touch from the best in the industry.
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alter the performance characteristics of his sled. All rail extensions are designed in house and are machined out of extruded bar stock, resulting in an extension known world-wide for quality and strength. Tunnel Extensions are also designed by TRACKS USA and are locally fabricated from high strength aluminum. All extensions come in natural aluminum color so the rider can coordinate it with his particular sled or leave it as it comes. TRACKS USA currently inventories more than 100 unique part numbers of Rail and Tunnel Extensions. With a selection of that magnitude, it is not surprising that Tracks USA is known as the “go to guy” for Rail and Tunnel Extensions, supplying retail users and OEM accounts both at home and abroad. How does one find the right part, fit, or modification for his sled? Answers can be found easily at www.tracksusa.com and/or by a phone call to 320-382-6128. Track Cutting is a newly offered service from TRACKS USA. TRACKS USA has developed equipment to enable them to alter a track to virtually any width. A precision cut, factory appearing track is the end re-

with holes already existing in your tunnel. This will help you to orientate the correct position. You will receive an assortment of rivets to attach both the extension as well as your snow flap. Use them all! There will also be several bolts to fill original bumper holes if you desire to use them.” Some may consider the snowmobile business to be seasonal, but Tracks USA is busy

August 2012

ONE LAP OF AMERICA
Team Winsor Corvette - Eric Winsor

can't imagine when I say 'Cannonball Run' (maybe 'Smokey and the Bandit') that anyone wouldn't think of the classic 1981 movie, starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, and many more well known actors and actresses. How many times have we wanted to get in our car and see how fast we could go from point A to point B? What you may not know is that Brock Yates, writer of the famous movie wrote it from experience, and had no idea that it would be a long lasting event for people from all over the world. He also did it knowing he could be tagged by law enforcement, especially once people caught wind of what he was doing.

I

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Test of Man and Machine
In the early 1970s, Yates, who was the senior editor of Car and Driver Magazine created the now infamous 'Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash'. It was a no-holds-barred race from New York City to Redondo Beach, California. He had set a time doing it once, and wondered how and if he could better it. Knowing his days were limited before the law would be trying to end his adventure, he figured he would write the screenplay for the movies so he could share his experiences and ideas. There were many who didn't want the event to stop and wanted to figure out how the style of competition could still happen. After all, it was man and his machine against the next. Hitting the road and doing what so many of us feel like doing was overwhelmingly intriguing to large numbers of enthusiasts. With so much response and interest, in 1984 the first 'Cannonball One Lap of America' was run with the start/finish in Darien, Connecticut. It was a controlled, safely ran event and Yates figured it would be a onetime thing, with the chances of a second year being slim-to-none. To his surprise the follow up and response was incredible, and that led to the 'One Lap of America', which ran from 1985 through 1991. It consisted of a series of Road Rallies while traveling around the United States. The competitors were scored on a few different components. They were to follow a set of precise instructions which defined both route and speed. By doing so there was a calculated 'perfect' time for each car to be at any given point throughout the different sections of the Rally. The competitor was penalized for being either early or late to a Rally check point. The winner would be the driver with the lowest score. As time passed, Brock decided to add a couple of autocrosses to the mix. The moderate speed events were run against the clock on courses that were set up in parking lots or on race courses with pylons, strategically placed to keep the speeds down.
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Written by Ceaja Philp

August 2012

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In 1992 the current format used today was created. It has the competitors driving almost twenty-four hours a day, including competition taking place as time trials on race tracks throughout the country. The event is very much about endurance for the driver and vehicle preparation. There are no support crews allowed. Tires are limited to one set per team, so the ones used on the street are the same ones that are raced with on the courses. Although the scoring happens at the race tracks, the vehicles and their drivers must survive thousands miles of driving. There are no cushy hotels and dining experiences, sightseeing or excursions. For the driver and co-driver relationship, it will be a test to the limit. It doesn't matter if you are an amateur or professional driver, there is still the stress from fatigue, weather, traffic, competition, finances, car breakdown, and the unknown.

ker motor, along with a few other modifications to enter his first Autocross. Eric took a shot at his first road course event, again at BIR, the spring after his 18th birthday. He was celebrating a few things at the event. One being his first road course, the previous fall having completed

for a 6-speed, added 3" exhaust and C5 Z06 front brakes. The event was a 3 day Corvette Club sponsored weekend, consisting of time trails Saturday and Sunday. It was his first event in his own car and he was able to bring home his first trophy from his class event on Sunday. From then on Eric took even more interest in racing and wanted to better his car and driving skills, and so did his Dad! A family friend, John Boos, of Boos Performance, specializing in Corvettes was an avid racer and often took wins at events he participated in. Eric recalls while in middle school John had done a race called 'One Lap of America' and placed 3rd overall the very first year he attended, also driving a 1986 Corvette. The next year competing John took a 2001 Corvette C5 Z06 and placed 2nd overall. Even back then Eric knew he someday wanted to compete in the 'One Lap of America' event.

While most of the bugs were being worked through for these first events and the movies were being made and released, young Eric Winsor of St. Paul, Minnesota wasn't even born. So how did this young Army Reservist become so involved in cars, racing, and 'One Lap of America'? As early as 5th grade, Eric remembers his Dad, Bob's 1986 Corvette. He was there when Bob was doing some timed and race events, and each spring remembers going to BIR (Brainerd International Raceway) for a 3-day Corvette Club weekend. Eric feels this is why he was naturally drawn to the Corvette, and the deal was sealed 3 days after he got his license at age 16. His Dad let him use the '86 with a 383ci StroPage 78

his Basic Training for the Army, and the other was having saved the money to purchased his own 1987 Corvette. During the winter before the event his Dad helped swap out the factory manual transmission

After his first autocross competition, Eric has been honing his skills at events and driving schools, preparing himself for such a demanding competition as 'One Lap of America'. He has attended driving schools and track days with Corvette, F-Body,

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August 2012

Porsche, Audi, BMW, and multiple other organizations. Most of his experience and 'learning' has been from seat time while traveling to tracks all over the Midwest, learning the track along with his car, and his and his car's abilities and limits. Although he races as a hobby, there is hope that in the future his results and experience will lead to bigger and greater opportunities. For 2012 he took on 'One Lap of America' along with co-driver/Dad. The guys were confident they were up for the challenge. Eric described it as, "A one of a kind race, and for us was filled with highs and lows." During the course he had some amazing finishes, such as finishing the three combined laps from a standing start only 3 seconds behind pro Rolex GT racer Leh Keen, a 2-time Rolex GT series overall champion, as well as a 2nd overall 24 hours of Nurburgring and 2nd in class 24 hours of LeMans racer. Keen was racing a fully built all wheel drive Nissan GTR that reportedly made more than 1000awhp. Keen went on to win this year's 'One Lap' for the 3rd time in a row. As for some of the lows...Eric and Bob took a spin through a swamp that cost some time and resulted in a grass filled grill, ending up with trying to limp an overheating racecar across the line for a recorded time. Like myself, there are those of you who may not understand some of rules that make this event so difficult. Eric helped with more detail, explaining there are no support assets allowed to follow you through the race. You must drive your racecar the entire 3400+ miles in 8 days. The guys hauled a trailer using the Corvette, that had the 2 allowed spare tires (1 for the front and one for the rear), 2 gas cans for holding 93 octane wherever it could be found, tools, clothes, a tent, a mountain bike (you can use a non-motorized vehicle or walk the racetrack before the first session in the morning),and the front splitter that they had to remove each time they drove on the street. For Eric, "It was a great experience with my Dad, who was the best co-driver I could have asked for! One Lap is an all out, anything goes, one of a kind race with cars of all types and modification levels, driven by drivers from all over the world. I am happy I was able to be a part of it and race side by
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side with some very impressive cars and drivers." Eric hopes to return to 'One Lap' next year or soon after. He placed 4th in class, 5th overall, and received Rookie of the Year...some would be content with that, but Eric is confident he can do even better having used the knowledge gained from this year! He also has NASA Nationals time trials and wheel-to-wheel racing on his list of 'to-dos'. We would like to thank Eric for perusing his passion in Motorsports, but also for serving his country. At his young age has

already been deployed to Iraq, thankfully came home safe, and has also re-enlisted for another 6 years of service. He is very busy, in addition to devoting time to his passion for racing, he also owns and drives his own semi-truck, and is going to school for law enforcement. Keep up on what is next for Eric and Team Winsor on Facebook, Winsor Corvette, see pictures of events, as well as specs on and changes with the car, plus hit the 'Like' button and say 'Wheels of Thunder Sent Me' for a chance to win a $20 gift card from Team Winsor and a WoT Shirt.

W
The food tent was always busy serving free lunch to J & P customers.
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orld Headquarters in Anamosa, Iowa...... The annual Open House Rally held JUNE 23 & 24, 2012 attended by over 25,000 riders, was another huge success. What started as a small customer appreciation event hosted by John & Jill Parham, has grown into a full-blown, 2-day event.
August 2012

Written by John Lentzkow

Bike shows were held throughout the weekend with some of the top customs on display.
Riders from all over the country enjoyed free food and drinks set up in and large tent serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the trimmings. Additional food stands were set up where bikers could purchase some good old Iowa Chops fresh off the grill and cold drinks. Free bottled water, so cold it made your teeth hurt, was available throughout the event grounds also. Just imagine the help and organizational skills required to serve this many people FREE! tor/trailer rigs loaded with products for guests to see. Additional tents were added this year for buyers to get hands-on demonstrations of the hottest new products on the market and speak to customer representatives. Installations were made available for those riders who wanted to trick out their bike on the spot for their return trip home.

Geoff A aron p on his T erformed rials bik e.

Over 100 major vendors who supply J & P Cycle’s products and are listed in their catalog set up and displayed their factory trac-

John Parham, founder of J & P Cycles talks to Gary Chipp, founder of Fat Baggers, Inc. about the new IP Fairing which allows you to install your Apple iPad as a plug and play to utilize the technology with your bike.
Riders out of state riders stayed in the area at local hotels and many took advantage of the back roads through scenic and twisting Iowa hills. Many restaurants and bars which are famous for catering to bikers offered a place to relax and socialize after a long day shopping at J&P Cycles Event. I personally have been attending this rally for years, and have seen it grow not only
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August 2012

V-Twin Stunt Shows provides by 1 Wheel Revolution entertained the crowd the entire weekend.

with people, but with vendors. As busy as it is, their friendly staff is ready to take care of you. Whether you are a high performance motor head like me, or just looking at tricking out your ride, this event gives you a chance to see products up close, not out of a catalog. The displays give your ideas and offer solutions to improve your ride. Almost everything J & P Cycles sells is likely in stock, and customer satisfaction is most important. This event should be included on your" Bucket List" of things to do.

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MINNESOTA LEGISLATION
The Minnesota state legislature adjourned May 10th. Copied below is a recap of motorcycle related legislation from the recently concluded session and an update on the federal highway bill as it relates to motorcycling. HF2008/SF1719 – Motorcycle Road Guard Certificate These bills were rolled into the Omnibus Transportation Bill, HF2685, and passed into law. This will allow trained citizens to legally stop and hold traffic during motorcycle runs. The DPS is currently involved in the "rulemaking" process with full implementation one year after the rules are written (to allow time for people to receive the training). I believe Minnesota is the first state to pass this type of bill for motorcyclists. HF68/SF201 – Gross Misdemeanor for Careless Driving Resulting in Death This bill unfortunately did not pass. However, it did make it much further in the process than it ever has. In fact, it was very close to passage when the legislature adjourned. This is a clear indication that senators and representatives are becoming aware that there is a huge gap in Minnesota law when bad driving decisions result in great bodily harm or death. There is no “middle ground” between a simple misdemeanor and a felony when drugs or alcohol are not involved. Not only would this legislation provide for more than a “slap on the wrist” to those who do not take driving seriously, but it would also give judges greater probationary flexibility.
August 2012

HF1586/SF2353 – Motorcycle Safety Education Program Fund Allocation Modified This bill did not pass. In fact the Senate author removed her bill from consideration after the ramifications of it were explained. There simply was nothing in the language to guarantee that these funds, which only motorcyclists contribute to, would reduce student tuition at the private motorcycle training schools. HF1505/SF1226 – Start Seeing Motorcycles License Plates This would create a motorcycle awareness plate for all vehicles up to a one ton truck and did not pass. There are a number of legislators who feel there are too many license plate designs already. But there are also a large number who support this language and it will be reintroduced again next year. HF1283/SF1041 – Motorcycle Dual Registration Establishment This bill was rolled into the Omnibus Natural Resources bill and did pass. Among other things, it allows an off-highway motorcycle to be registered as a motorcycle for use on public roads and highways as long as they meet federal safety and equipment regulations. In practice this will allow offroad riders to use public roads to connect from trail to trail or travel into a town for food and fuel. Many manufacturers sell kits to convert these bikes and they are very popular in the western United States.

HF2755/SF2381 – Modification of Helmet Law This poorly crafted bill would have singled out motorcycles and motorcyclists in ways that no other road users are subjected and was not heard in any committee. Of the nine house co-authors, two removed their names and two others are not running for reelection. Of the three Senate co-authors, one had his name removed and another will not be running for reelection. FEDERAL LEGISLATION The US Congress has passed the Highway Transportation Funding Bill. The bill continues the motorcycle safety grant program that was designed and implemented into law in 2005 by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. Over the years, the program has provided over $46 million dollars directly into motorcycle safety programs (well over $100,000 per year to the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Program). This money can only be spent on rider education and motorist awareness campaigns. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas. Respectfully submitted, Mack Backlund State Coordinator ABATE of Minnesota

763-226-9195
statecoordinator@abatemn.org
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reetings Race fans! GameON! TV is delighted to catch up with you as we continue to grow & reach so many of you with our sports programming. GameON! loves sports, from the variety of professional, college & high school sports to all the outdoor events that dot our regional landscape. GameON’s partnership with Wheels of Thunder is strong and just like you, we also enjoy the most comprehensive race magazine and website to be found! Wheels of Thunder magazine gets it and gets you the latest information, amazing pictures and all those terrific stories to the most passionate motorsports fans in the country! Looking ahead, there’s special moments ahead for GameON! Our show is broadcast in crystal clear full High Definition and we have just launched our first APP (for Apple & Android phones). GameON! TV is now offering a weekly PODCAST available @ our show website www.GameOnTvMN.com. It’s full of bits and pieces of sports from the region and what’s ahead on our weekly TV show. GameON! still serves as the lead-in to the award winning FOX NFL pre game show on FOX’s MY29 here in the Twin Cities during the NFL Season.

GameON! does what no other TV sports interview show (in the region) does. We offer a diverse and entertaining half hour of TV as we bring you the most visible and popular Minnesota sports figures. From the new look Vikings, to the WNBA Champion Lynx, we are 1 on 1 with Twins baseball players and we visit with the Lacrosse Swarm. There’s NASCAR, all the racing @ BIR as well as the NHL Wild and so much more. As summer launches full stream ahead, you know GameON! will be checking in on the outdoor sports. GameON! is excited to have Championship racers Shawn & Krista MakiZurn returning to the show in early July. And when the winter sports return (take your time, we’re still working on bronzing our “farmer tans”), GameON! will be all over the SnoCross racing season and Xtreme sports that touch all seasons! It’s about getting your GameON! And that is the passion we share with Wheels of Thunder. It's what we love to do. To bring all the sports together. I can't tell you how exciting at these tapings to see the pro's interact. From Vikings QB Christian Ponder, RB Toby Gerhart, TE Kyle

Rudolph, to LB Erin Henderson to Lynx star Rebekkah Brunson & Monica Wright, Pro Football Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel to racers Kody Kamm & Sydney Thompson, GameON! delivers! This show is interactive so we’d love to hear from you! Please visit our Facebook site (friend us @ GameON on facebook), our website @ www.gameontvmn.com and 24/7on twitter #gameontvmn. And we’re always planning bigger and better shows at the best location in the world, SEVEN Steakhouse/Sushi/UltraLounge/Skybar, in downtown Minneapolis. You are always welcome to visit our live tapings and each week we list guests and updates on the GameON! website as well as our Facebook site. Get upclose and personal with us!! We also partner with the one of the largest Vikings fan sites in the world, www.PurplePride.org. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again! Get off the couch and get your GameON! Be a part of the exciting effort we're putting on! Continue to enjoy 2012 and hope to see you at an upcoming GameON! taping!!

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Wild Hogs Saloon & Eatery

Proud owner Scott Crisman from Victor, Iowa and his beautiful 1977 trans-Am one Rocking Bar and Grill where Scott and I met owner Michelle Jordan. There is something about this woman we liked the minute we sat down with her. One thing I have learned from sales is you are presented with a variety of personalities, and this young lady was eager to learn about our magazine and how she could be a part of it. What a pleasure doing business with Michelle, and now I know firsthand why she is so successful. I agreed to return and cover her Bike / Car night and do a feature story about her business.

I had recently invited Wheels of Thunder President, Scott Robinson to spend a few days in Iowa with me to kick around some new ideas and explore our opportunities for the magazine. We both agreed this would provide a chance to get to know each other better since I recently joined his organization as Event Correspondence/ Sales for Iowa. We thought it would be a good idea to contact some business establishments in the area and set up a Bike / Car Night. I had several in mind, and The Wild Hog Saloon and Eatery would be our first stop. Located about 20 minutes just outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa is Owners Michelle and her husband Ron are avid bikers and know how to keep their customers coming back for more great food and fun at The Hog. If you are looking for an evening cruise on your Harley or in you Classic Car during the week, this is a place you need to check out. Starting on Wednesday Night the fun begins with Bike / Car night with cash drawing and prizes. I invited my wife to join me in a photo shoot at The Wild Hog, and looked forward to experiencing the dining we have heard so much about. Judging by the packed parking lot full of classic cars and bikes as we drove in indicated to me we would not be disappointed. Inside, we were greeted by Michelle and seated immediately. I asked her what she recommends without looking at the menu she replied “you have to try our signature sandwich, The Wild Hog”, this is large grilled tenderloin with ham and bacon smothFind us on Facebook “Wheels of Thunder”

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August 2012

Wild Hogs Saloon & Eatery

ered in cheese and special sauce with your choice of side order”. “OK, let’s do this Bad Boy“. My wife ordered the barbecued chicken wrap and we slammed a couple of cold ones while we waited. As I looked around, I had to ask myself, is this really only Wednesday night, for as many people present, it looked like a weekend night. Service was great and soon our order came. I’m thinking, we should have just shared, for the portions are huge. Trust me, this Iowa tenderloin you will not soon forget, and requires a cold beer to cool you taste buds with the tangy sauce. One word seems proper here, AWESOME! In addition they serve all your favorite salads, wraps, flame grilled burgers, pizza, broasted chicken, and much more. Breakfast is served every Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. If you are a social butterfly, you will find the friendly atmosphere most enjoyable, with family nights scheduled for Tuesday nights. Thursday through Sunday bands are scheduled for your dancing and listening pleasure. The new addition has a huge expansion with wood floor for dancing with a large stage, more tables, and additional parking. Any way you slice it, 5 bands, karaoke, drawings, great food, colorful home folk and people that love to serve; this business has it all going on!

expect to see or at least a few anyway. Nope, not here. No Porches, no high dollar show bikes, just plain good old rides for which these people take pride in. These are rides they worked on themselves and restored as projects or just plain use them as daily drivers. And I thought to myself, this is what our magazine is all about and included some photos for your en-

joyment. After all, we cover everything that has a motor, and we all share the same love and passion regardless at what level we take it.

This 1971 Plymouth Scamp is one you might want to think twice about at the stop light. Owner Kyle Perry installed a 440 Mopar with some major modifications including NOS and runs 10.4 seconds in the quarter mile and drives it on the street and to and from the track. After dining and enjoying conversations with some of the locals, I ventured outside to check out the bikes and cars. What were missing were the exotic cars and custom bikes one would You don’t see one of these rare beauties every day. This 1964 Mercury Comet driven by Dennis Hall has only 39,000 miles. www.WheelsofThunder.net

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Car/Bike Show AugUST 4th Wheels of Thunder car/Bike shows – Ask for details inside these bar establishment

Car/Bike Show AUG 9th & 23rd

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Mail check or money order or call 763-421-4400 for credit card orders. Page 96 Find us on Facebook “Wheels of Thunder”

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Cruise Night a Midwest Classic Event
Written by Billy Boyle Its summer time in Minnesota and that can only mean one thing shine up your rig, get on your best cruising attire, and top off the gas tank, its Cruise Night. Pick a town or city event and you can be assured that the classics, sports, unique, and specialty cars will be cruising your Main Street. The classic car event has been a long standing Minnesota tradition that gives the opportunity for the classic car enthusiast a moment to showcase their investment. The investments here is time, sweat and yes a bunch of money. I recently attended Cruise Night in Lakeville, Minnesota. The event is part of the town celebration know as Pan O’ Prog or once known as Panorama of Progress a 10 day event that has everything for everyone. The classic cars take their positions on a very hot Friday night where the temps were triple digits. Some of the very expensive projects opted for parking for the night to avoid the wear and time on some of these timeless machines. The divisions are easy to spot, relics of yesteryear and I’m talking the turn of the last century, for example a 1912 Ford Model T. Now do you think has spun the odometer a few times. My favorites were the Ford TBirds you can almost the doo bops as they slowly make their way down the Main drag. As much as the old caught your attention the Corvettes from the 1960’s to the current versions had quite an impact on the Cruise night fans. But then here come the eye popping paint jobs on the very colorful and unique designs of the classics of the 1940’s and 1950’s. A 1948 Ford Anglia an awesome orange metal flake paint job done by well known Kustom painter Jon Kosmoski. The crowd was in awe. Close behind was another 1940 Ford bursting with orange flames and a 1940 Lime Green Chevrolet known on the street as “the Spanish fly”. I don’t think there was a vehicle that the Cruise Night fans wouldn’t jump right in cruise the Lakeville streets. The event is what makes it all worth while to live in the Midwest and enjoy the sights and sounds of the summer time.

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