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APRIL 2013

Vol. 4 Issue 4

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Front Cover Photo by Doug James / Shutterstock.com

Page 24 Page 34

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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 JUNIOR BOSS – Zack Robinson 763-421-4400

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

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Special Features

Corry Weller - Shattering Stereotypes ............4 Family Driver - Bauerly Race Team ...............16 Cole Hoppe - Next Generation ...................24 REALLY Fast Food!.......................................44

Photographers/Writers
CEAJA PHILP TOM EDWARDS JESSICA KANKE JENNA OSTERLUND MATT PETERSON MYLIE LAVOLD KIM NILES JOHN LENTZKOW JOHN KRUEGER STEVE CASPER

Reviews

MHi - Moving Forward ................................36

ADVERTISING STAFF
NORTHERN SALES – Scott Robinson scott@wheelsofthunder.net 612-730-3719 SOUTHERN SALES - John Lentzkow John.lentzkow@mchsi.com 319-239-1375

Rally’s & Shows

BIR.............................................................22 Minneapolis Auto Show ..............................34

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Donnie Smith Bike Show ..............................48

ISOC Regional - ERX ...................................50

Departments

SUBSCRIPTIONS
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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.

Garage Built.................................................8 The DZL Dose .............................................12 Calendar....................................................32 ABATE of MN.............................................42 Game On!..................................................52

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Written by Ceaja Philp Photography by Peter Vanderstoep t first glance in the race world many may place Corry Weller as a spokes model, girly girl, or just another pretty face...quite the contrary! This beauty is not to be taken lightly as she throws dirt and catches air better than many of the men in her field

A

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CORRY WELLER
Shattering Stereotypes

Corry was born and raised in Arizona and from early on was supported by her Dad, teaching her that just because she was a girl didn't limit her to doing what she wanted. If she wanted to be in the garage in her pink Barbie nightgown helping wrench engines, transmissions, tires, or

more, so be it! It was also another thing that didn't fit the stereotypically private church elementary through private/religious college girls would seem to be interested in. As a college student she took Business Administration with a minor in Pre-Law. She admits not really knowing what she wanted to be at that point in her life, so just took what she thought would be a good all-around major. Corry had never really ridden anything (except horses when she was younger) before she bought her first quad. She first set out to buy a dirt bike, but saw the quads and asked the salesman if they raced quads in motocross too. They said you could, so she went that route instead. Having purchased the quad set her in motion searching for tracks in Arizona. She found one that allowed them, and her weekends then became about heading to the track to ride! The hills, dirt, bangs, bruises, sweat and tears became her teacher.

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have won a championship in a professional short-course series, and in return gave her the chance to race in the 2012 Pro 4 class. That opened up even more doors for her, and she was there to prove herself and how hard she had worked to get there! She sealed that year winning 'Rookie of the Year in Pro 4', and now this year they own their own Pro 4 truck. Corry is anxiously waiting for the season to start, working daily to make sure everything is in place, and making sure her 800HP Pro 4 short-course truck is ready to fight its way to the top again! You will see plenty of this high flying, all-in, Pro race diva in the years to come! Corry met Jason (her now husband) at her second race ever, which was also his second race. They actually raced against each other in the beginner class, and just started hanging out at the races together along with other fellow racers. About a year later the two would start dating. They continued to race quads together for about 5 years. He went Pro and Corry was racing in the Interm/A classes. The two knew they had found a common interest and deep passion and decided to start Weller Racing in 2006, and built their first race Rhino. They put a street bike engine in it and planned on racing it in the desert. In 2007, they went to their first shortcourse race in Chula Vista, and saw the UTV class and the trucks. There was no doubt they were completely hooked! Corry was so mesmerized by the sights and sounds of 800HP trucks sliding and jumping, and how enthralled the fans who crammed the stands and lined the fences reacted to watching them. They sold the desert race Rhino, and built a stock short-course Rhino to race. Corry ran that for a season, bone stock, and then they built it up into their first Pro race Rhino. At that time, Jason was sponsoring about 4 other drivers with motors, which had him too busy to race himself, making Corry their racer. In 2010, they started the SR1 Class (R1 motors in Rhinos) and Corry almost won the championship that year. In 2011 she would get her day! She won, becoming the only female racer to

She is grateful she has now been able to make racing and running her race program her full-time job. "I am one of the lucky ones who get paid to be a driver. I just never really knew what I wanted to do with my life until I discovered racing off-road. Now I can’t imagine ever doing anything else." She also has an 18 year old daughter and 16 year old son who give full support to living the lifestyle. Corry would like to give a special thanks to the Tilted Kilt, who had sponsored her since 2009 and stepped up her sponsorship dollars to get her into the Pro 4 class in 2012. She is also happy to have Optima Batteries on board. Follow her on Facebook at Corry Weller-Off Road Racer

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Owner/Enthusiast:

Tom Schwartz

“I restored this bike in 2009. It was a one owner bike that showed its age and was pretty run down when I got it. It came from a very nice retired teacher in Coral Springs, FL who bought the bike new in 1971 while living in New Jersey. The only reason he was selling it was that he was getting older, and was having trouble with kick starting it, as these early XS650s are kick start only. He was totally jazzed that I was going to restore his baby! We became friends and we still keep in touch.”

1971 Yamaha XS1B

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

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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After I purchased the bike online (Ebay), I was ecstatic! I had wanted an XS1B for a long time, and now I had one!! After my euphoria faded I started to get concerned about getting another motorcycle past the CFO of our household.... namely my wife Melissa! With about seven bikes in the barn already, I knew she would not find the same joy in my new acquisition that had found. I soon hatched a plan... The idea was to take my wife on a weeklong getaway to Key West (her favorite place), on the way back we stop in Coral Springs, pick up the bike, and we're on our way. How could she be mad at me after 4 or 5 days in the sun? After all, it was mid January and winter was in full swing....it was perfect. So, the plan was set in motion, and about a month later we were on the road in my pick up on our way to the southern most point in the continental US! My wife knew I was up to something after a few phone calls I made to the owner of the bike on the way down, but she didn't know what. I told her we might stop to visit a friend on the way back to pick up some parts. I'm always wheelin' n dealin so she just rolled her eyes ever so slightly and didn't say much about it.

my new toy out for a ride so the first warm weekend we had, I took my wife out for a ride and the bike broke down about 30 miles from home..... lesson learned there! I take my restores down to each bolt every time, so I'll save you the in-depth details. Suffice it to say that I stripped the bike down completely and rebuilt it replacing, repairing, or rebuilding anything that was in need, along with a few modern upgrades as well, here is the list. new NOS wiring harness new flat style main fuse new modern halogen headlight new GEL battery new Pamco electronic ignition new coils and wires new iridium NGK spark plugs (you should try them, they are awesome! made a BIG difference and provides a great reliable spark) new modern solid state rectifier and regulator (great improvement on these older bikes as the stock units were marginal at best even when new). new tapered steering head bearings new bronze swing arm bushings new modern shocks new O-ring chain new tires and tubes new fork seals and fresh 20 weight fork oil Not to mention a ton of smaller parts and hardware, and a lot of cosmetics.

We enjoyed 2 days in Naples and 4 days in Key West, it was great! Then on the way back when we pulled up to the house, she saw the bike sitting in the guys driveway and she looked puzzled. When she realized what was happening she said, "I thought we were just picking up parts?" I just smiled and told her that it was parts, a whole bikes worth of parts....Lol! In the end she wasn't mad at all, bless her heart, she is a great girl! Now she loves the bike as much as I do, and we ride it together often. I originally paid $1600 for the bike, and I'm sure I've put a little over $2000 into it, not counting my labor. The bike Anyway, the bike was in running condition but was never runs flawlessly and turns heads EVERYWHERE! It's super maintained the way it should have been, but it was all reliable now, and like I said before I'm not really doing this there, just the way I like em. I was very anxious to take for profit....I love these old girls.

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Written by Rev Dzl

Recently I was hanging out with my favorite WOT staffer and was engaged in a deep discussion regarding my feeling of the state of the Midwest motorsports scene. Having a lifelong passion for the scene, enough opinions to fill a book (or at least a trifold) and the requisite liquid lubrication to say what I thought I was asked if I wanted to fill some vacant space in WOT. In this 1st edition of the Dzl Dose I will introduce myself and briefly describe the mission I hope to fulfill for the magazine. I was born in New Ulm, MN (home to world famous Schell’s Brewery) and raised on a farm in So. MN. At a very young age I was exposed to my dad’s street racing background, ability to turn a wrench, lay a bead with a welder and his love of snowmobiling and motorcycles. By age 5 we were routinely attending motorsports of all kinds including the Drag Race scene at BIR, NTPA tractor pulling, mud racing, early motorsports spectaculars with trucks, tractors and the early Monster Truck scene (aka Bigfoot vs Bearfoot and the “Grounds Already Shakin!” commercials), motocross/ATV racing, dirt track racing and snocross. Naturally growing up on the farm I had a three wheeler by my 6th birthday, a knobby tired go-cart a year later as well as a Scorpion snowmobile which lead to a Honda CR80R, a 125R and 200X ATC and quickly found that they needed to be modified to satisfy my growing appetite for speed and performance. Modifications and upgrades were made much easier by having a full farm shop available with enough tools and hardware to do 90% of the work myself. By age 12 the allure of my subscriptions to Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, 4 Wheeler and Hot

Rod outweighed my interest in Dirt Wheels, Motocross and Sno Goer and motivated me to buy my first and second cars. A 1976 Buick Skylark (same body as the Nova) and a Pontiac Catalina with 400c.i engine were to be my Frankenstein’s Monster. After 3 years, a whole lot of UPS packages from Performance Automotive Wholesalers in Chatsworth, CA and countless hours spent bothering my local experts in the crafts of engine building and body work I had completed my first ride, a Skylark with 400+ HP and an insane top end of around 150ish…big time for a 15 year old right? Honestly the process of building then interested me as much or more than turning heads with a loud and fast car. My dad’s ’76 F250 with the 390 and 4” lift was the next victim followed by the numerous choppers, bobbers and rat rods since some featured in national magazines, a ’47 HD Knucklehead in a private collection in Japan and most just for my own enjoyment and love of the sport. In upcoming issues my goal will be to entertain, inform and motivate your passion for everything fast, cool and performance related through rants and tales of the lifestyle of a Midwest motorhead, greaser, nitro/alcohol fueled enthusiast and rockabilly redneck from So MN from my POV. I have been afforded a unique forum in which I am allowed the creative liberty to say what I think good or bad about a topic and get away with it. Keep in mind these are just my opinions and I’m open to ideas, topics and feedback via the magazine. Got diesel to burn…more later! - Dzl

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Written by Steve Casper

f you look up “grassroots racing” in the dictionary, there’s a good chance you may see a picture of the Bauerly brothers right next to the definition. Hailing out of Sauk Rapids, MN, the three brothers have been running their own snowmobile racing team for over 12 years, with no end in sight. And theirs is certainly not a small operation. At many events they hit the sign-up gate with up to eight riders, running in a variety of classes all the way from Pro to Junior. Even though the team has some loyal on-the-road mechanics and pit crewmen, most of the riders are responsible for the majority of building, modifying and maintaining their own machines back at their shops.
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I

“We take pride in how we’ve been able to do all this,” explains team founder and elder brother Chad. “I was the first to get the racing bug soon after high school when my buddies and I started hitting local SnoCross and hillcross races. In ’97 I got a hold of the first Ski-Doo made specifically for SnoCross and incredibly I’ve been with that brand ever since. My two younger brothers (Kurt and Paul) soon got into the sport and by 2002 we incorporated into a 4-man team after we added our cousin Ross.” Paul adds, "Growing up watching Kurt and Chad race, I always wanted to be able to grow to the level of racing they were at. I strived to one day be able to compete against them and learn from them to get to an even higher level of competition" From those humble beginnings the team has grown into an operation that includes a full-service shop, semi –hauler, and a generous amount of sponsors, many of which have been with the team for over 10

years. “None of us are in this as a full-time profession,” Chad reminds us. “We all have real jobs we’re responsible for the rest of the year. We all have college level business degrees so we know how to work with our sponsor partners to make it worth their while to support us. In fact we make sponsors a high priority in just about everything we do and in the end it shows when you see how loyal some have been to us.” Another unique aspect of Team Bauerly Racing is the wide range of riders they have flying under their banner. On any given weekend they can have up to five riders competing in the various National Pro divisions with the rest going for titles in the Sport, Regional, or Junior classes. “We’re always looking to where we’ll be in the future, so we’ve got Marcus Lang running the Junior 10-13 Class, and Kyle Rau running the National Sport classes” says Kurt. “Marcus is a kid who grew up around the team and we decided to help him along, and Kyle happens to be my roommate during the winter so they fit well.” While the majority of riders on the team hail from the upper midwest, one hometown listed on the rider roster stands apart from the rest. ISOC National Pro Lites racer John Stenberg calls Stradalen, Sweden home for most of the year, but makes the trek to the Midwest each season to race with Team Bauerly. “This has been our third year with John,” explained Chad. “They have their own family team in Sweden and over there once you feel that you have accomplished all you can, many riders look to the U.S. as the next level of competition. When he made that decision, we all agreed that he would be a good fit on our team and I feel it’s been a great experience for all of us. “ Not only does John make the trek across the pond, but most members of Team Bauerly have been to Sweden to compete as well.

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them know what its like out there and what it takes to win no matter the situation.” The extensive trophy room at the shop contains a “Team of the Year” and “Team Sportsman Award” plaques from the WPSA National Circuit days. So what does a snowmobile team do for training in the summer? “We’ve got an ATV track out in the back of the shop where guys can burn some laps during the off-season,” says Chad. “A lot of the same muscles and techniques that we use in SnoCross also apply to going fast on an ATV.” Most of the guys also spend a lot of time Mountain Biking, something we all enjoy, even the mechanics and crew. In the winter the boys do most of their practicing at Quadna Mountain Park (QMP) in Hill City, MN which is arguably one of the best SnoCross tracks in the country, and also happens to be a partnership between the Bauerly and Warnert racing families.

When asked how the 2012-13 season has gone so far, Chad says he’s glad to report that at nearly every race the entire team has made the finals, and as the season winds down several of their riders are in some good points battles in the final standings. We also saw Paul qualify for the finals at the ESPN Winter X-Games this year, something he has now accomplished several times. Paul says, "Racing at the pro level and being involved in the X-Games has been a dream of mine since I was introduced to the sport. It has been truly amazing to live those dreams out season by season." Chad adds, “What I’m really happy about at this point in the season is that we’ve been

able to keep all riders on the track so far. As we all know this sport can be pretty rough as far as injuries go, but none of our guys has had any downtime this season. “When people ask me what the keys are to running a successful racing team I say it’s mainly about organization and tying everyone and all the chores together,” Chad explains. “With our guys everyone is responsible for making sure their own equipment is ready to race. Nearly all of our guys are pretty hands-on so there aren’t many disconnects where things can go wrong. The fact that even all of our crew members have raced in some sort of snowmobile competition over the years really helps this group gel, each and every one of

One of Team Bauerly's biggest claims to fame over the past decade has been their exceptional results in Hillcross competitions, including appearances by all four Bauerlys at one time or another at the Winter X-Games. “Hillcross is pretty similar to SnoCross except the track goes straight up a hill and finishes at the top,” explains Kurt. “We really enjoyed those head to head competitions and captured several championships. Since 2010 the sport has kinda faded away since a lot of guys started to use different sleds and engines from what we were using for SnoCross, so it soon became a cost deal. If the economy
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picks up perhaps we’ll see Hillcross come back to life as it was very popular for a while. Another thing we really liked about it was it extended the regular racing season since they were typically held on ski hills that still had plenty of snow even as spring was arriving.” Though the primary focus of the team is SnoCross, some of the crew over the years has participated in grass drags, ice drags, cross country and some snowmobile hillclimbs (those big steep ones where it’s just you and the hill). “About the only two we’ve never done is oval racing or watercross,” says Chad. To find out more about Team Bauerly Racing, check out their cool website at www.bauerlyracing .com or visit them on Facebook at Team Bauerly Racing.

Photo provided by Wayne Davis Photography

2012-13 Team Bauerly Racing Riders
#24 #675 #259 #318 #821 #368 #315 #325 Paul Bauerly Chase Rosemeyer John Stenberg Kurt Bauerly Ross Bauerly Chad Bauerly Marcus Lang Kyle Rau Milaca, MN Chippewa Falls, WI Stradalen, Sweden Otsego, MN Minneapolis, MN Sauk Rapids, MN Sleepy Eye, MN Lawton, MI ISOC National Pro Open ISOC National Pro Lites ISOC National Pro Lites ISOC National Pro Plus 30/Pro Lites ISOC National/Regional Pro Plus 30 ISOC National Pro Plus 30 ISOC Junior 10-13 Class ISOC National Sport / Regional Pro Lite
Fly Racing, AMSOIL, Ski-Doo, Stud Boy, Digital Ink, 50 BELOW, EVS Sports, HMK, ROX SpeedFX, C&A Pro Skis, Liquid Ice Energy Drink, LEATT, Murphy Chevrolet, Scott Sports, St. Cloud Orthopedic Sports Center, Ace Hardware, Mobile Radio, Parker, Kandiyohi Premium Water, Tiremaxx, Lehigh, Direct Service, DP Brakes, Team Industries, Sledbrite, and BE.
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2012-13 Staff

Kurt Bauerly, Team Athlete Manager Nathan Bauerly, Chief Mechanic/Driver Chase Marudas, Team Event Mechanic Jay Rosemeyer, Team Event Mechanic Vic Macho, Race Shop Mechanic Paul Greenwaldt, Race Shop Mechanic/Graphics/Special projects Todd Lachinski, Pit Crew/Mechanic Tom Rambow, Pit Crew/Mechanic Scott Haala, Pit Crew/Sponsor Relations/Special Projects Brian Bauerly, Team Representative/Promotions/Hospitality

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2012-13 Sponsors

Chad Bauerly, Team Operations Manager

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F
Cole holds his first-place plaque at the ISOC year-end banquet.
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or a racer in any sport, there was a time and a place where it all started. For Cole Hoppe, it started in the backyard when he was 4, with dad. Now the 8-year-old snocross speed demon shreds by those his age and older and stands on the podium nearly every weekend. Because of that effort, he finished as champion and runner-up in his two classes this year.

April 2013

Cole Hoppe #121
Written by Matt Peterson

“The Kid Can Ride!”

In his first heat on a 500, Cole Hoppe battles for positioning against Taylor Cole at Glyndon. Still, it wasn’t just nerve-racking for Cole at first. His parents, Kevin and Sherri, of Corcoran, Minn., had a bold decision to make. While most other neighborhood kids were perfecting skills on their big wheels at 4 years old, Cole was learning to ride his 120 cc snowmobile around the yard, and eventually the track. That’s not every mom’s dying wish, but Sherri soon embraced it. She’s happy she did, and so is Kevin. The kid can ride. “As soon as we bought the sled, we had him driving it around the yard,” Kevin said. “He really took a liking to it, and that’s why we took it to the next level.” After only a month, Cole was racing Thursday nights at ERX Motorpark in Elk River, Minn. Still, that was another challenge in itself. In his own backyard, every young boy is a champion. The first real race, though, that’s always a different story – often a frustrating one, too. “We had some frustrating times at first, just the other kids around him, passing him,” Kevin said. “Obviously, it’s not like it was in the yard.” Cole didn’t understand why he wasn’t the fastest, Kevin said. He was brand-new to the sport, but even 4-year-old boys know what winning means. “It was tough,” Kevin said, “tough competition out there.” Cole wasn’t the only one who felt the pressure. Kevin and Sherri felt it, especially Sherri. Like showing up to a formal event in casual attire, Sherri had that awkward feeling as if everybody was staring. She has since learned the racing community isn’t like that, but she felt out of place back in 2009, the year Cole started racing. She won’t forget that feeling, and summed it up in one word.
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Kevin and Brian Hoppe see continuous improvement in Cole's technique.
April 2013

“Scattered,” she simply said. “Getting his tech vest on, I was so intimidated out there. I just thought, ‘Oh my, these people are serious about this, and here we are, the newbies out of the back of a pickup.’” Finding a Comfort Zone The frustration didn’t last too long for Kevin, Sherri or Cole. “The second season he came out, he basically was a brand-new kid and ready to compete – not intimidated or shy or scared of the competition or any of that,” Kevin said. Youngsters soak up information almost too quickly, and Cole absorbed the feel of the snowmobile – how it accelerated, decelerated, handled in corners, and not long after, how it floated in the air. Year no. 2 dramatically changed for Cole. “Just more training and more seat time is basically what it comes down to,” Kevin said.

Cole rides behind his sister, Kaitlyn, as she learns the ropes. Cole receives some coaching, as well. “To get faster, you have to let your legs absorb the bumps,” Cole repeated after his father. Even Cole’s uncle, Brian Hoppe, has entered the formula for success. Perhaps Kevin and Brian are living a little vicariously through Cole, like other fathers, uncles and their youngsters. Like Kevin, Brian didn’t have much opportunity to race when he was younger, so it’s fulfilling to see an eager, speed-hungry kid get the chance – a young racer who continuously sponges up the tips Kevin and Brian throw at him. “It seems like he grasps that stuff and does use it when he’s out on the track,” Brian said. “It seems like he’s progressing from race to race. We seem to get a lot more feedback from him on what the sled’s doing and what we need to do.” Last year, Cole won the 120 Stock 6-7 class and finished second in the 120 Champ 612 class. Cole finished the ’12-’13 season first place in ISOC Racing’s 120 Improved Stock 6-7 and again took second in the 120 Champ 6-12 class. Many of the racers are older and in some cases have been racing longer. But Cole holds his own, and holds plenty of trophies, too. “He always felt like he can never compete with kids that age,” Kevin said. “I’m like, ‘You can do it.’” Toward the end of this season, Cole and Kevin considered the next possible move: a 500 Arctic Cat SnoPro. That’s a lengthy jump from a 120, and the elimination of a 300 transition class could make the situation a little dicey. Once again, against older competition, Cole did well when he finished second in his first heat race. Unfortunately, he later landed awkwardly and tweaked his back, so Kevin may decide to wait a little longer before forcing such a jump. Regardless, Cole will move up a class next year to 8-12 Improved Stock and continue to run 120 Champ. Kevin is confident in Cole’s abilities. So is Cole. Family has the rhythm The Hoppes keep stepping up their game, whether on the track, under the hood or in the pits. They’ve gone from the awkwardfeeling family in the pickup to working out of a nicer race trailer. They were at the races every weekend throughout the winter, dedicated, as they attended every re-

Cole rips his 120 Briggs and Stratton at Glyndon. Perhaps Cole is a little ahead of his time, too. Kevin not only said the 8-year-old is big for his age, but he’s focusing on proper riding technique, such as when to be on the gas, where to be in the corners and how to lean. “He does have a unique riding style all of his own,” Kevin said, “a stand-up rider on pretty much a sit-down sled.” While some of that may be natural talent,
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Cole gathers with the Hoppe Motorsports team and family.
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gional snocross event and five national events in the Midwest. Even young Kaitlyn, Cole’s 5-year-old sister, recently learned how to ride a snowmobile. Perhaps she will race someday, too. “We have the rhythm,” Sherri said. “We really have the schedule and the routine.” Cole is fortunate to have an uncle and father who are both passionate about tools and engines, especially a father who is well suited to be a motorsports mechanic. Kevin went to school in Arizona to work on ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles and other machines, so he is by no means scratching his head between races. Furthermore, the Hoppes are true to the sport. Where Cole succeeds, others may not. Some struggle. Others are just beginning and feel like the Hoppes did when they started. But success in the sport is reciprocal. The Hoppes and others want to see all the kids do well. After all, the sport wouldn’t be great if it weren’t for competition and a loving community of racers and families. Those looking to break in to success, though – the ones who keep showing up

Cole claims first place at the national in Deadwood, S.D. every weekend, learning, building better machines and wondering when their time will come – they’ll get there, too. “The biggest thing is doing the time,” Kevin said. “You’ve got to do the time. You’ve got to endure the bad times to get to the good times.” Cole isn’t quite sure how long he’ll race, perhaps another two years, he said. Then he and Kevin will reevaluate their situation. Right now, however, all signs indicate the future has plenty in store.

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Minneapolis Auto Show 2013
Written & Photographed by John Krueger
Every year in March the automotive industry invades the halls of the Minneapolis Convention Center for the annual Minneapolis Auto Show. While I focus mainly on the aftermarket side of the industry, I still find myself taking the short jaunt downtown to see the newest offerings from my favorite manufactures, and see what everyone else is up to. As usual, there were a few cool surprises inside, and of course the chance to get up close and personal with the latest and greatest cars and trucks for 2013. The nice thing about the auto show is that it takes up the three main halls of the convention center so everything is well spaced out. It also makes for good exercise, haha! When I first walked into the spacious halls, I was greeted by BMW's booth which is always one to stop by. Most certainly the highlight car (for me anyways) in their booth is the new F60 M5. BMW's flagship sedan now boasts twin-turbo V8 power, great styling, and the refinement we've come to expect from BMW. Oh, and the sounds, the wonderful sound! I had the pleasure of getting to watch one of these being tuned at a shop in Chicago, IL, that handles one of my car builds, and the M5 put down some very healthy numbers. Another booth that was drawing a lot of attention was Lexus. Despite an impressive display of cars (and I'm not being biased because I have two of them!) the obvious center of attention was Lexus' super-car, the LFA. The F1-inspired super-car had show-goers stopping to check out the car in person, because with only 500 ever built, you're not guaranteed

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A Minnesota Automotive Tradition
to see one on the road, and despite costing either $375,000 (for the base-model), or $425,000 (for the Nurburgring Edition), Toyota still loses money on the car. The car is automotive engineering at its finest, and a must-see sight at this year's auto show. Mercedes also had a rather special car on display. The Concept Style Coupe was front-and-center in their booth showcasing the (hopeful) future of the German automaker. Staying in Germany, a trip over to Audi's booth is also recommended for an impressive line-up, including their new S7 sedan. The A7 gets a boost in power thanks to a twin-turbo'd V8 under the hood, and some more aggressive styling cues which made it the car I wanted to take home the most from the show. Mitsubishi had a cool display too, showcasing two cars from Minnesota road-racer Ryan Gates; the Gates311 Evo X, and his personal Evo X race car. On the American side of things, Chevrolet had a nice-sized display, the highlights being the ZR1 Corvette, ZL1 Camaro, and a Hot Wheels Camaro concept. Also in the GM camp, Cadillac had an impressive line-up including all three variants of the CTS-V. I've always loved the high-performance sedan, and have had first-hand experience with a couple of modified examples. They're a great combination of luxury and performance, rivaling offerings from BMW and Mercedes. Jeep had a really cool section too letting attendees testdrive Jeeps on a hill-climb setup in the convention hall. All in all, it was another impressive year for the auto show. It's worth the $10 entry and $8 parking to come and see what is undoubtedly another Minnesota tradition.

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Written by Mylie Lavold

L
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ike so many, do you have a dirt bike in the garage that won’t see the light of day until summer? How would you like to own a snowmobile, too? Matt Halseth is introducing one of the coolest products to hit the mid-west in years. It’s the Mountain Horse Snow Bike kit.

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“When I rode the MHI mountain horse snow bike I was amazed. The floatation of the bike was unbelievable, it easily made lines I wouldn’t even have imagined riding a snowmobile. The weight transfer is amazing, allowing for some good sidehilling and excellent handling in some tight trees. Definitely an A design that put my decision to buy a new sled on hold. The MHI will be my new ride. “ Derek B

In only a couple of hours, you could install a snow kit and turn your current bike into a snow bike, arguably something even better than a snowmobile. The snow bike, already quite popular in Idaho and Montana, has enthusiast Matt Halseth bringing this crossbreed machine to the Red River Valley. Based in Moorhead, Minnesota, Halseth’s company, MHi, is the exclusive Mountain Horse dealer in Minnesota. Halseth started MHi in 2010 to serve the “snow industry”, his company offering everything from snow removal to snowmobiles. In 2013, Halseth joined up with Timbersled of Idaho and began selling their Mountain Horse edition of snow bike kits. Timbersled, founded in 2001, specializes in building lightweight snowmobile products designed for mountain sleds. They thrive

on innovative designs and quality products. “Out west, Timbersled has kind of revolutionized the industry,” says Halseth. “When they introduced the Mountain Horse kit in 2010 it took things to another level. There are other kits out there, but nothing like this. Other kits utilize the rear bike frame instead of taking out the whole sub, limiting performance compared to the Mountain Horse. The kit fits on most any stock bike, including Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda, KTM, Husaberg and Husqvarna. It fits on bikes 250cc and larger, though 450cc is recommended, and most kits require a 13 tooth engine sprocket. On most bikes, you can expect to hit about 50 miles per hour. It comes completely assembled in the crate and can be installed by the buyer.” As for assembly, Halseth explained, “It took Nick Trapp (friend) and I just over 2½ hours to disassemble and reassemble the track and the ski. It was pretty simple. We took the tires and chain off, enabling the rear suspension to come off and the new kit to go on. You connect it using the existing bolts, attaching the rear skid in place. Then, you utilize the existing front fork to attach the spindle and ski.” If you aren’t the DIY kind of rider, Halseth offers installation service and advice. Halseth recalls the first ride he took after assembling his own snow bike. “It was something to be remembered. It was after dark, about 9:30pm. There’s no headlight, but we just couldn’t wait. We had about a foot of fresh powder on the lake, so we went for it. The way you could come into a

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“I was skeptical at first of how well the bike would work, but being a lifelong motorcycle and snowmobile rider I knew I had to try it. The first five minutes on the bike were fairly easy to adjust to. After that I really began to like the way it rode and how well it worked, especially in deep snow. After the first few hours of riding I began to wonder why I would even want a "normal" snowmobile again. It's just fun being different!” Tom S The true abilities of the machine shine in deep powder. “In about 3-4’ of powder, the cornering and maneuverability is amazcorner and just lean your bike and dig in, you could almost touch your hip to the ground. It was really fun.” How do you handle a dirt bike in snow? Halseth explains “riding a Mountain Horse snow bike is a lot like snowmobiling but with its own unique characteristics. A bike and a sled can go similar places, but the leaner bike can take a completely different route. A snow bike can go places a sled simply cannot fit. Though a sled can angle straight up a hill better than a snow bike, because of the horsepower they have and being lower to the ground, they have to come straight back down due to their lack of maneuverability. On a snow bike you can zigzag up and get better lines. It makes for a more enjoyable ride. Sleds are much heavier and have a planted ski which makes them hard to ride on a side hill and tougher to turn. Snow bikes are about 200 pounds lighter and much easier to handle. Balance is not really an issue, once you get used to it. It’s kind of like riding a stand-up jet ski.” Halseth comes from a background of snowmobiling, mountain riding and motorcross, but he says you don’t have to necessarily have a lot of experience to get the hang of riding a snow bike. “Like riding a bike, as your balance progresses, you can quickly learn to take turns and corners with no problem,” Halseth says with a smile. Modifications can also be made to help riders feel more like they are driving a sled than a bike. Halseth took the foot brake off his own bike and converted the ing,” says Halseth. “If you are considering Yellowstone or any back country riding, this is the machine you want to have. You can literally stop and get off the bike when side-hilling. And it‘s far easier to get unstuck when you’re in a jam than tugging on a heavy snowmobile too.” MHi offers three models of the Mountain Horse kit – the Short Track (ST) $5,200, the Long Track (LT) $5,900 and the Snow Cross (SX) $6,100. Prices do not include fit kits which can range from $300-500. The track on the ST and LT versions is 12 ½ inches wide. For most riding, Halseth recommends the ST. “It performs great both in powder and on hard pack, making it very versatile. If you are primarily riding in deep powder I’d recommend the LT, but that one works best on a 500cc or larger bike.” If you want racing circuit performance Halseth recommends the Snow Cross (SX). It has a narrower track, about 10 ½ inches wide. It performs well in the powder and, with the narrower track, it has better racing capability. The Fargo-Moorhead area has yet to see snow bike racing, but if you are willing to travel, Halseth notes there are tracks to the west where you can see snow bikes race on snocross tracks. Halseth has had conversation with Kevin Nathe, owner of Buffalo River Race Park, so don’t be too surprised to see snow bikes racing in GlynPage 38 Find us on Facebook “Wheels of Thunder” April 2013

right-hand front brake to a rear brake. Halseth notes, “If other riders are interested in doing the same, we have a kit for that, too. Again, it’s an easy conversion, whatever makes you feel most comfortable! ”

bike brands, and makes moving your snow bike hassle free. The front wheel securely attaches to the ski and is tightened down with a ratchet strap. The back wheel sits down into the lugs of the track and selfaligns. The system can be installed in a few seconds allowing you to easily move your bike on any surface without tipping. You can also use this to move your snow bike up a ramp into a truck bed and to ride your snow bike in and out of the trailer or down gravel drives. 3.3 Gallon Tunnel Mount Gas Can ($135) The can mounts to a track system bolted to the tunnel in a factory predrilled hole located on the top of the tunnel. Once the track is mounted you can simply slide the unit on and off the track with no other straps needed to hold it in place. This item is highly recommended. don in the not so far off future. Once you decide which model is for you, MHi has a variety of Mountain Horse accessories to choose from. Examples include: T/S (Timbersled/Simmons) BackCountry Ski ($375) This ski comes standard on the Mountain tion in powder. • 3-1/2” of space between keels. This allows enough space to prevent freezing or plug up of snow. • Front outer edge of the ski has a 1/4” ridge leading from the front of the outer keels to the ski-loop. This makes the ski respond instantly in soft snow when steering into a side hill without slipping to the side. • Front leading edge of the 2 outer keels are farther forward of the leading edge of the center keel. This adds steering responsiveness and eliminates front end push in soft snow. • This ski is available as an upgrade to your existing Mountain Horse kit, or any snow bike, using a Polaris ski mount. All/Terrain Wheel Kit ($450) Horse kits. It is a custom designed and built tri-keel ski that is like no other ski in the snowmobile or snow bike industry. It is the only ski in history that is specifically designed for snow biking. The ski is built by Simmons, Inc. and has been designed by Timbersled. There are similarities to some of the other Simmons skis, but this has a totally different function specific to the handling needs of a snow bike • 10” wide with 3 keels allowing for precision handling and best possible floataApril 2013

Snow Bike Jack Stand ($300) The jack stand is a must for the Mountain Horse snow bike, because it is mandatory

This unique wheel system is designed specifically for snow bikes, fits all snow

to lift and spin the track and drive system with the engine running to properly lube the chains and check adjustment of both chain and suspension tuning. It is designed to lift the back of the tunnel with one push on the handle. It has a lifting fork that fits the width of the tunnel and fits the aluminum bumper tube. It then has a lifting cam that lifts the back of the tunnel and cams over center to stay up. A safety pin locks it in the up position. 5 Foot Brake Line ($75) The 5’ brake line allows you to connect your stock hand brake lever and master cylinder to the snow bike brake caliper. Custom Paint Do you want to stand out from the pack? Mountain Horse kits come standard black, but you can choose from several in-stock
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colors or a customized color can be created to match the shade of your choosing. More items are available online. Visit the website for details on these products and more. www.MHi-SNO.com If you want to check out a snow bike for yourself, Halseth is more than happy to give you a test ride. He has done several test rides in the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota area where there is a variety of terrain and powder and also at his Moorhead location. Halseth is convinced that riding is believing. “It’s cost-effective, and it just makes sense to be able to use your toys yearround. This definitely turns some heads going down the trail! Once you ride one, it’s hard to go back to a sled.” “I was a little timid to ride the bike at first but after many offers from Matt I did. I was amazed how easy it was to ride, how you can go through the deep snow with ease. It’s a blast to ride.” Mark P If you are considering a purchase, Halseth recommends acting sooner rather than later. “If you wait until fall you may be out

of luck, as supplies are limited. Snow Check is the best way to insure you will get a kit for next winter by putting one on hold now. The process is pretty straightforward. Snow Check for snow bike kits works the same as for sleds. There is a $500 nonrefundable deposit. The Remaining balance is due when you pick up your kit in the fall. We are currently offering $200 toward accessories and custom color upgrades when

ordering off-season.” Halseth is taking Snow Check orders now. The entire concept seems logical in the area, and Halseth is confident that snow bikes will become as popular here as they have been across the west. “In my opinion, it’s the best thing to happen since snowmobiles, and my wife is happy to have one less toy in the garage. I expect to see this thing go to the next level."

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THE PRICE OF FREEDOM
So you can see why that headline led me to ask myself; what more do the haters of freedom want from us? Will they not be satisfied until we all comply with their one size fits all world? Until we sign a pledge to not pass on our motorcycling heritage to our offspring? Is there not a line that motorcyclists will draw and say "no more"? Then I wondered what is that line - when will we say no more? At what price will we stop contributing to our own future? $20, $30, $50? At what point will the time commitment become such a bother that we stop doing what we know works to protect our motorcycling way of life? Ladies and gentleman, think about those soldiers in the Vosges of 1944. Think about their commitment to freedom for all. Then think about how, only 69 years later, the local French government casually tosses aside that freedom, paid for with American blood, by proposing a ban on motorcycles. Then I ask you to please redouble your efforts and urge all of your riding friends and family to join and support A.B.A.T.E. of Minnesota and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. And FEMA if they live in Europe! Yours in freedom, Mack Backlund, State Coordinator ABATE of Minnesota

I belong to a number of motorcycling organizations that defend the rights of street riders and read their newsletters cover to cover. My favorite, of course, is the A.B.A.T.E. of Minnesota publication, Road Noise. Second favorite is the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s newsletter, MRF Reports. So there I was with the MRF Reports in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other when the headline "Possible Motorcycle Ban in the Vosges" not only caught my eye but jumped off the page and hit my brain like a hammer blow. This was part of a report from the Federation of European Motorcyclists Association (FEMA), the overseas equivalent of the MRF . A little background (and please note I am not a military historian, but know enough about the battle waged in these mountains
April 2013

to be offended by the thought of local authorities restricting freedom of any kind). The Vosges of eastern France in the fall and winter of 1944-45 was a very intense place for American infantrymen in World War II. The Nazi army threw everything they had left at defending the Vosges, a sure pathway for the Americans into the heart of Germany. Thick forests, rain, sleet, snow and heavy fog made the fighting very close. A snap of a twig would unleash a cross-fire of machine gun rounds. Men literally were going insane due to the constant pressure. “You saw men get killed right beside you every day. You soon realized your life was going to be very short” said George Courlas (The Liberator by Alex Kershaw). Casualty rates were incredible. The US Army paid a heavy price to secure the Vosges on their way to Germany. In the name of freedom.

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Written by Tom Edwards

ast food companies and fast race cars are a marketing match that is hard to beat. In McDonald’s case, having their quarter pounder crews provide sponsorship support for quarter mile drag racing teams was a great fit. McDonald’s Racing team owner Joe Gibbs won 3 Super Bowls as a head coach when he was with Washington, so whether it’s football or auto racing, he knows what it takes to field winning teams. In Pro Stock, he had Jim Yates at the wheel. That worked out well with Yates and his team earning NHRA Pro Stock World Championships in 1995 and the following season. The Funny Car pilot was second generation racer Cruz Pedegron. Rounding out the 3 car team was Cory McClenathan behind the wheel of the McDonald’s Top Fuel dragster. Ed “The Ace” McCullough, after a successful stint as a Funny Car driver that included 5 wins at the biggest drag race of the year, the U.S. Nationals at Indy, also went on to drive the McDonald’s top fuel car. The Ace was the Car Craft magazine Funny Car Driver of the Year for the 1973 and 1988 seasons. Larry Minor was also at the helm as team owner during McDonald’s years in the world’s fastest motor sport. After 6 years of NHRA racing, Coach Gibbs shifted his interest in motor sports from straight line racing to NASCAR’s circular approach. During his time in drag racing, Joe Gibbs earned 33 wins.
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F

In 1993, John Andretti, nephew of racing legend Mario Andretti, was at the wheel of the Taco Bell Express Top Fuel dragster. Once again, a member of the “stick and ball” world of sports, former baseball star Jack Clark, a 4 time Major League Baseball All Star, entered the world of drag racing as team owner after his playing career. Clark played in the 1985 and 1987 World Series so, like Joe Gibbs, he had winning in his background. During the 1994 NHRA season, Clark took a turn at driving the car with his debut at the Mile High Nationals near Denver. He was on a drivers list for the Taco Bell cars that included Andy Woods, Doug Foxworth and Ed McCullough.

For those that prefer to add some zest to their tacos, the 1993 Darrell Gwynn Racing La Victoria Salsa dragster would have been just what you were looking for. Gwynn selected Mike Dunn to drive the car; always a good choice. During the ’91

season in a Funny Car, Dunn finished in third place. Mike was the first Funny Car driver to surpass the 280 MPH barrier, a feat he accomplished in 1987. The In ‘N Out Burger chain has been involved in drag racing for years. In 1999 their Top Alcohol dragster driven by Melanie Troxel finished in second place for team owners Darrian and Meadows, longtime NHRA racers. During the 2011 and 2012 seasons, In ‘N Out was the primary sponsor for Melanie Troxel’s Funny Car. In 2010 she drove their Pro Mod 1963 Corvette. An In ‘N Out Burger Pro Mod car was also driven by Leah Pruett. At the season opening 2013 Winternationals in Pomona, Leah was driving a Top Fuel dragster. If your tastes run to something other than hamburgers, tacos and salsa, Don Schumacher had just the cars for you. The Wonder bread sponsored Wonder Wagon

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Chevy Funny Cars were the toast of the track on several occasions. When it came to covering a drag strip in a hurry, there was no loafing around for the Wonder bread entries; frequently upper-crust race cars. The paint schemes matched the red, yellow and blue balloons on the bread wrappers. In the 1970’s Don could drive with the best of them. He was a 2007 inductee into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame. As the team owner of Don Schumacher Racing, two of his nitro powered cars, Antron Brown’s Top Fueler and “Fast Jack” Beckman’s Funny Car won NHRA championships for the 2012 season. Drag racing fans with a sweet tooth have had a number of cars to follow over the years. In 1991, Otter Pops frozen treats sponsored 2 of the biggest names in drag racing history. “The First Lady of Drag Racing” Shirley Muldowney drove their Top Fueler and Ed McCullough drove the color matching fuel coupe; both Larry Minor Racing cars. If you were looking for a candy sponsored nitro car, no problem. The Snickers Funny Car driven by Mike Dunn would have been a good fit. The Jolly Rancher cars would have also provided a

great choice. Lori Johns drove a Jolly Rancher Top Fuel car in the early 1990’s and in ’91 and ’92 they were an associate sponsor of the John Force Funny Car. Lori completed her second year in Top Fuel in 1990 and had a successful season qualify-

If these assorted dining pleasures have made you thirsty, straight line race cars have you covered. As the largest selling soft drink in the world, it isn’t just race fans that enjoy an ice cold Coca-Cola to quench their thirst. Their Funny Car was always a tough match-up for other drivers. Once again, the Atlanta based company, with its Mello Yello brand, is the series sponsor the professional categories of NHRA Championship Drag Racing this year. Any drag racer will tell you that after the pre-stage and stage lights are activated on the Christmas Tree, “Go on yello”! Long-time drag racer Roland Leong was well known for his “Hawaiian” Funny Cars. It made sense to me when Hawaiian Punch became the primary corporate sponsor of the race team owned by the man they call “The Hawaiian”, Roland Leong. What a great fit. For

ing for 18 of the 19 races, finishing in fourth place. Jolly Rancher was the title sponsor for the 1993 NHRA race in Seattle. That event featured a Jolly Rancher wheel standing van. They have also backed a wheel standing stage coach. You don’t see one of those every day.

adult fans that are so inclined, if a more “adult beverage” is what you enjoy, in moderation, of course, then Budweiser, Kenny Bernstein’s backer for 30 memorable seasons, was an option. Their “Beer Wagon” wars with the Larry Dixon driven Don Prudhomme Racing Miller Beer cars is the stuff of legend; frequently very close races. If any of these cars drove to their sponsors drive up windows in their race cars, I don’t believe it would take long for them to get through the line. They had a lot in common; they were all fast, some record setting and, based on the shirts and hats my wife Cathy and I saw in the stands, they had a lot of followers. As a fan of the sport for more than 45 years, it’s nice to see major corporations providing financial support for race teams. More than a few studies have shown it is a great return on their investment.

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26th Annual Dennis Kirk

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Donnie Smith Bike Show

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Photography by Keith McKenna 612-718-6910

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ISOC REGIONAL AT ERX MARCH, 2013

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reetings again Wheels fans! Spring has sprung and GameON! TV is excited to be back with you again! This issue of Wheels of Thunder continues to do what no other magazine does. It captures the excitement for race fans with its great pictures, interesting stories and inside information. You can only get here or at the track! At the same time, GameON! TV continues to grow & reach so many of you with our sports programming and we have expanded to the Dakota’s and western Minnesota via MidCo Sports Network. As you know, 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 more special events and moments ahead for GameON! Each and every week GameON! comes to you in crystal clear full High Definition and available via our new APP (it’s free 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 Vikings, the NBA Timberwolves, the NHL Wild, the Twins and we visit with the Lacrosse Swarm. There’s NASCAR and we’re all over your favorite drivers now that snow racing is in full swing. GameON! has featured your favorites including X-Games stud racer Levi LaVallee, up and coming Kody Kamm and recently, veteran racer now broadcaster Tony Schimmel.

G

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 Irish Pubs in the world, Kierans, The Liffey, The Local and Cooper! 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! Here’s to the spring sports season and the thaw that’s arriving! Hope to see you at an upcoming GameON! taping and you can also catch me on 96.3FM KTWIN radio for Twins post game reports during this 2013 American League season!!!Keep your GameON!

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BEST IN THEIR BUSINESS!
Opportunities for business who qualify for ‘The Best in their Business’ are now available!

Call Scott Robinson 612-730-3719

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