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Vol. 4 Issue 5

MAY 2013

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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

Josh Headlee - Apart from Chrome ................4 Rocketman - Ky Michaelson .........................16 Indy 500 Preview .......................................32 Buddy Perkinson Returns to NHRA ...............60 Meeting the Swarm.....................................68

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

Reviews Page 38

Rally’s & Shows

ADVERTISING STAFF

BIR – NASCAR Returns ...............................22 GSTA 2013 ................................................38 Bikes with a Past .........................................44 Supercross..................................................52 BRRP ..........................................................56

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

Departments

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

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Heinen’s – Making Waves...........................26 Arnold’s Park – Destination for FUN! ...........62

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Garage Built.................................................8 DZL Dose....................................................12 Next Generation - Gino Fontecchio ..............42 Kimmy Cat’s Corner ....................................46 ABATE of MN .............................................51 Game On!..................................................66

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Written by Ceaja Philp

his 2004 Yamaha R6 speaks loud and proud from every chrome metal part and every custom painted inch! Owner and motorhead Josh Headlee of Minnesota spent most of his early bike years atop dirt bikes, but his curiosity, creativity and race mentality moved him to a street bike in time. He admits it was a spur of the moment decision to bring home his Yamaha. He went into a local dealer, always liking the Yamaha blue and thought maybe it wouldn’t hurt to look. So much for ‘just looking’….

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JOSH HEADLEE Apart From Chrome…

attention. Little did he know this first changed part would be the start of an entire transformation! He also had a gentle shove after taking his R6 to a local bike show and winning 1st place in the sport bike class. The sight of fresh chrome and the taste of winning hardware set his online search for more parts, research, and ideas full speed ahead. One metal piece at a time was replaced by chrome and all the plastics were painted blue. Even though Josh was happy with how the progression was going, there was just something missing. After more research and what most would never attempt on their own, his wife Korine walked into the garage one day and found their fairly new bike had been completely taken apart down to the frame. Josh had decided and found a company in Texas that he wanted to chrome the frame. The anxiety built daily has he waited for it to return.

He laughed a little when he said he must have looked like a monkey riding a tricycle with his towering 6’8” height. Josh spent some time at track days gaining more experience on how to get the most out of his street machine. The moment things changed again happened when he spilled some brake fluid on the rear swing arm. Admittedly being a bit of a perfectionist, he couldn’t handle seeing the distorted paint. This sent him searching online until he found a chrome swing arm on EBay. Having had worked in a chroming shop after high school, the polished purity always caught his May 2013

Being somewhat of a ‘techie’ he tackled the electronics next. Once again Josh felt he had found his place of contentment with his Yamaha. Getting things put together in time for the Donnie Smith show in 2011 meant a great deal to him and the hard work paid off! He won in the sport bike class, in a dominantly custom chopper/bike show. This was the lead into his next contest in 2012, which was by Yamaha hosting an initial online contest. Out of numerous thousands of entries, Josh was chosen in the top 10 to make a trip to Laguna Seca Raceway in California to compete in a ‘People’s Choice’ contest.

Sleep was an afterthought the day it came back. The closer it came to completion the faster Josh’s heart raced. Finally….ready to go….or not! His heart fell as he went to start it and got dead silence. Back to the internet, and thankfully found just a safety switch was on upside down, great to know the feature works if the bike isn’t upright!

Josh was excited to explain that the opportunity became one of the most wonderful road trips with his Dad, but in the end came home empty handed. This was a little tough to take and only set his creative mind in fast forward. He wanted that win again and with the advice of his friend Rick from Autoremodel.com, he connected with Deadline Customs of Forest Lake, MN. After some ideas thrown around and the deadline to make the Minneapolis 2013 International Motorcycle Show, Jeff (of DLC) put his airbrush to work. The guys not only made the deadline but also took home a $1,000 first place win.

Once he got that minor issue taken care of and heard the sound and saw his ideas all assembled, he had a change of heart for this project. He remembered how he felt winning that trophy and was so proud of how the Yamaha looked he decided it would become his ‘show bike’. He also figured it might be a good time to address his size with the current size of the bike. He wanted to rid himself of the ‘monkey/tricycle’ look. Josh found an extended swing arm with a Nitrous setup already in place.

Next on the list would be the 2013 Donnie Smith show, again taking first in the sport bike class. With so much work, years past, time and money, Josh has decided to ‘retire’ his ’04 R6 from street riding. You may see it at shows or events, but with Korine buying him a Bike Bubble they can rest assured this first of many masterpieces for their home will be forever a showpiece. The next on their list is a 2011 Harley Street Glide. Keep an eye on the next project by visiting www.joshheadlee.com www.WheelsofThunder.net

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Owner/Enthusiast:

Timothy E. Collett

Photography by Chris Peterson “I built this car for my father when he could not complete his purchase due his death on 10-102010. I have been around race cars since I was a little kid with my father, we built all kinds of stock cars and sprint cars always running small block Chevy motors. All the race cars we built were Chevrolet and my father was a 4 time Hawaii State Champion. It has been my goal to get the word out about my father’s passion for Chevrolet & Camaro.”

2010 Camaro Supercharged Victory Red, RS Package L99 Automatic, LS3 Conversion

In Loving Memory Of Charles “Chuck Da’Wild Man” Collett"

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! Page 8

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My passion for Chevy started pretty much when I was big enough to go out to the shop and help my father with his race cars one of which was a 68 Camaro. My father raced 1/4 mile dirt track and eventually started racing U.S.A.C. Sprint Cars and won several championships in the late 60's to late 70's. My passion for Chevrolet & Camaro started when i was a kid and i still have that passion to this day. I have never owned anything but General Motors my whole life.

me everything about Chevrolet & Camaro's! I know my pops is smiling down on this build knowing everything he taught me was well done!

EXTERIOR MODS: • Window Tint, 20% - Island Tint • 22x9.5 & 22x11 Cordon CR-22's Brushed Centers With Chrome Lips Staggered, Front 3.5"/Rear 4.75" • 265/30/22 & 315/25/22 Pirelli PZero Nero Tires Back last year in September of 2010 my fa- • BREMBO Powder Coated Red Calipers - Courtesy Of Mike The Powder ther got real sick from liver failure and a week later he was diagnosed with Cancer of the Liver. My father being the tough guy PERFORMANCE MODS: let us all know his time was limited and his • Pfadt Stage 3 Suspension chances of a transplant were minimal. He • R1 Concepts Cross Drilled Rotors just stated he wouldn't stop being himself • Forged Bottom End W/Callies Crank and we joked over the phone about me liv• Manley Stainless Steel Valves ing in North Pole Alaska for over 20 years. • Manley Connecting Rods He told me in the many conversations we had together in his last month alive, that • Kooks 1 7/8 Headers With 3" X Pipe No Cats the 5th Generation Camaro could not get there quick enough and he laughed be- • Flowmaster American Thunder Catback cause we all knew what he meant as the Stainless doctor told him it could be weeks! Well my • QTP Electric Exhaust Cut Outs W/Refather passed away on October 10, 2010 mote and he never got a chance to fulfill that • Magnuson TVS-2300 Supercharger -8 dream of his. He was just too sick to do pounds of Boost anything in his last month. • 3.6 Pulley So I decided when I retire this year I am • LS3 Conversion going to get us both that 2010 Chevrolet • Cold Air Inductions Intake - Victory Red Camaro SS in tribute to my father and vic- • Custom Billet Pulleys ariously live his dream for him! • Livernois C2 Cam When I moved I thought of no better place • LS7 Lifters than to place my father’s ashes and a T- • Pac Springs Shirt I had Air Brushed in his memory in my • Polished & Ported Heads garage with the Camaro, I also plan on get• DSS 1400hp Axles ting a few Air Brushed items in his honor inside the Camaro when i get close to being • Yank Stall Converter done with my mods [Recently painted my • ID 850 Fuel Injectors (On Order) fathers ashes into the front bumper black • ZL1 Fuel Pump out's]. My father was and is my hero who • Tom Wong Tuned Vancouver Washington taught me the values I live with to this day, he is a Veteran of Vietnam, 2 time recipiI have many photos of my car before in ent of the Purple Heart,30 year career a thread with over 4000 posts on Navy Man and a very proud father! Camaro5.com @ http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth So in essence you can say i built this car read.php?t=182932 with guidance from my father who taught

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Written by Rev Dzl As one goes through life you can choose one of two paths: 1. Mosey along existing day to day in hopes that no one is offended by your actions and behaviors or 2. Pursue a passionate lifestyle chasing your dreams, making those around you better, and smiling a lot. Gearheads, iron benders and motorsports freaks know what I am talking about…nothing will ever replace the rush of going fast in your hand built ride of choice or even the sound of the first v-twin rumbling by on an early spring day. As Hot Rodders we have been blessed with a passion that consumes us, our thoughts, dreams and our every waking hour not spent working with our hobbies are spent thinking about them.

There also the rallies all over the Midwest from the constantly popping up local and regional bike nights in the small towns to H-D’s 110th anniversary in Milwaukee, WI to Sturgis in SD. Being around hundreds

of thousands of people that share your passion can be inebriating to say the least. The sights, sounds and smell of the motorcycle world are unparalleled in motorsports. No matter if your bike is a $50,000 trailer queen or a $600 Craigslister, everyone can enjoy these events and imagine their next project or add on to their own ride.

Motorheads are now headed into the season of dirt and dry pavement…smiling ear to ear as that dusty project car or bike from last year or the winter project screams to life to fulfill that need for speed. Be it on the track, strip or open road the winter of our discontent has come to an end. We are finally ready to begin the season of weekly show & shines, cruise nights, bike shows, runs and rallies. Whether you added a short block, long block, blower, some new chrome or pipes to your ride it is about to come to life again. I, for one, have found the new season of NHRA to be off the chain with thrills and chills from 4 second passes, wins by the thousandths of a second and racers safely burning up millions in hardware…and unlike days gone by no 30 minute clean ups…thinking Brainerd may need a visit this year again for the first time since ’04.

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Finally, for the everyday working stiff like most of us, the coup de gras of the summer is those times when you take some much needed respite and just roll with no timelines, deadlines or cell phones to slow your roll. The stuff movies are made of is out there and it’s just waiting for you to find it. Some of my best trips

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per) of the Upper Midwest this summer. Be safe while tearing it up but be sure to grab a chunk of the petro fueled life style by the huevos and burn it up ‘cause before you know it we will be buried again under a ton of the unforgiving white stuff. Peace and Axle Grease til We Meet Again, Partners…Dzl

have had but a destination with no itinerary. Just get lost and find your own adventure in your personal lil wild west. Stopping in small towns throughout the Midwest is always a treat enjoying the tiny café’s and pubs, playing modern day cowboys on the wide open road. However you get your kicks (unless you’re a sled jockey, you had your share of the year) get out and enjoy the sights, sounds and scents (nothing beats lilacs at 80 on the back of your chop-

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Ky Michaelson: Living life at full thrust Written by Steve Casper

hen I first started hearing about all the exploits of Bloomington, Minnesota's Ky Michaelson I thought to myself ‘someone should write a book about this guy’. As I delved further into the history of “The Rocketman” I found that in fact a book had been writtenMotorbooks published Ky's autobiography in 2007 entitled Rocketman: My Rocket-Propelled Life and High Octane Creations. And now there's talk of a documentary in the making. In other words, I'm going to have a tough time fitting all the great Ky Michaelson stories into one magazine article.

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What we can do is feature the highlights of his life as an innovator and builder of rocket-powered machinery, a holder of many world speed records, and as a groundbreaking Hollywood stuntman. Luckily for us there is a boatload of incredible photos from Michaelson's vast collection that can help tell this fascinating story. And of course room for a couple of funny Ky stories. Even though I hadn't heard of Michaelson when I was assigned this story, I found that I remembered many of his crazy machines and various friends and colleagues from the '70s and '80s since my nose was buried in all the hot rod magazines at the time. I could recall reading stories about the hydrogen peroxide rocket dragster called Pollution Packer and the record-setting runs of drag racer Kitty O'Neil. Since I'm from from the upper midwest, the photos of Ky's various snowmobile dragsters always caught my eye. Motorcycle jumper Super Joe Einhorn, who Ky had built a radical "gyro-bike" for a leap over Niagara Falls, also jogged my memory. And then there was Doug Rose, the driver of the Green Mamba jet dragster, who I recall seeing burn down a junker in spectacular fashion at Cordova, IL around 1975. Doug is still burning down cars and is a big pal of Ky's to this day. Page 16

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Ky's fascination with all things mechanical (and fast!) dates back to his childhood. When Michaelson was 12 his parents gave him a Gilbert chemistry set for Christmas. Ky figured out how to make

In the first decade of the last century, the Michaelson family racing team showcased their line of motorcycles at many big midwestern events. Ky's grandfather and his great uncles John, Walter and Joe were all part of the team.

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size runner snow sled, and a bicycle. He’s built a rocket pack to fly like Buck Rogers, and an earthbound jetpack that propelled his son Curt down drag strips at over fifty miles per hour—on roller-skates! He even put a rocket on a port-a-potty for a TV show, and the darn thing flew.

In 1905 Ky's great uncle Joe Michaelson jumped his bicycle over a record 65-foot gap on the streets of Zumbrota, MN. Decades later, Ky would discover that the unique drop-down takeoff ramp used by his uncle was the inspiration for the ramp Evel Knievel used for his famous jump at the L.A. Coliseum.

black powder which he then used to make his first rocket engine. Another discovery important to his future came once he got his first car, a 1933 Ford 3-window coupe that he bought for $15! He took it racing and learned, as his great-grandfather had, that going fast was a sensation he couldn’t do without. So a guy who loves rockets learns he has a need for speed- it doesn't take much of an imagination to figure where that might lead! Speed, flight, stunts and the inventing of their related machinery are actually in his family’s blood. One of his earliest family photos shows his great uncle riding a bicycle off a ramp for a crowd of people in downtown Zumbrota just after the turn of the century. He was known as "The Great Micheals" and was one of the earliest professional stunt riders on record. Pedaling a bike on flatter surfaces wasn’t much of a thrill, so Ky's ancestors added an engine and launched the Michaelson motorcycle company in 1908, promoting their bikes with a family-run flattrack race team. Even then the Michaelsons had a penchant for asking, 'can’t this thing go any faster?' A few generations later, Ky would be fitting rockets to bicycles and motorcycles, answering the question with a resounding 'yes'. Ky built a motorcycle powered by two Turbonique T-16A rocket motors in 1964. He took this creation to a local racetrack where the announcer said, 'Here comes the Rocketman!' The nickname stuck. May 2013

Michaelson formed Rocketman Enterprises, Inc. in 1969 and built a rocket-powered snowmobile (remember, this is Minnesota) that got into the Guinness Book of World Records. The rush he felt in setting a record prompted what many would consider a rash decision: he decided

One of Ky's first forays into racing were traditional dragsters in the early 60s. This was during the days when innovation in the design of race vehicles and engines was not only encouraged, but greatly rewarded, when someone hit upon a better idea. Ky eventually turned the drag racing on its head with his hydrogen peroxide rocketpowered vehicles that set unbelievable speed records in the late '70s. With headline-grabbing female racer Kitty O'Neal at the helm, the Space Age Racing Racing team headed by Ky set an all-new drag racing elapsed time record of 3.22 seconds at 412 mph in the quarter-mile. And this was in 1977! To give you an idea of the enormity of Kitty's run, the NHRA Top Fuel record in 1977 was a mere 5.6 seconds and 255 mph. That incredible time and speed still stands today as the fastest anyone has ever blasted down the quarter-mile. Ky also produced the first Funny Car (rocket-powered) to run in the three second range at over 300 mph. Ky loves to tell a funny story about the days when his rocket dragster was driven by Kitty. "I ran into 'Broadway' Bob Metzler (owner of the Great Lakes Dragway in Wisconsin) down at Don Garlits drag racing museum in Florida in 2006," says Ky. "Bob was with a couple of his friends and he

It's hard to believe this creation actually worked, but the "Human Fly" launched this Ky-built rocket motorcycle over 27 buses in 1977, breaking Evel Knievel's record. The landing was both spectacular and painful, but the Fly survived.

to go after every acceleration record in the world! Over the next 12 years, vehicles driven by Michaelson rockets set 72 state, national and international speed records. It’s hard to name a vehicle he hasn’t put a rocket on—cars, motorcycles, go-karts, snowmobiles, boats, a wheelchair, an over-

Ky Michaelson (right) confers with "Big Daddy" Don Garlits while Kitty O'Neal gives the thumbs up from the cockpit of her hydrogen peroxide-powered rocket car in the late '70s.

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Ed Ballenger was the primary pilot of Ky Michaelson's rocket dragster in the late '70s and early '80s.

started telling some stories about me. One of them was how Kitty O’Neil drove my rocket car at over 325 mph at his track and she was blind. I said, 'wait a minute Bob, Kitty wasn't blind, she was deaf!' Everybody started laughing. All Bob could say was, 'I have been telling everyone for years she was blind. No wonder nobody believed me!' I still get a good laugh out of that." Michaelson also spent a good part of his life working in the Hollywood stunt business. In his book there are over 30 pages dedicated to his good friend Dar Robinson. The chapter gives a behind-the-scenes look at movie making and insight into the heart and soul of one of the world's greatest stuntmen. This was back in the days when stuntmen actually performed real stunts for the cameras, stunts that were both dangerous and very technical. That special craft has all but disappeared these days with the advent of computer generated imagery (CGI).

like a who's who of Hollywood and the world of sports; Evel Knievel, Burt Reynolds, Buzz Aldrin, Roy Rogers, Muhammad Ali, Parnelli Jones, Red Skelton, Mickey Rooney, Craig Breedlove, and Mario Andretti just to name a few. Michealson was also inducted into the Stuntman Hall of Fame. Ky's son Curt spent several years as Captain Rollerball, speeding down racetracks on rollerskates with a rocket attached to his back. Ky likes to relay a funny story regarding the stunt. "We received an invitation to appear on the Mike Douglas Show," explains Ky. "We were thrilled to learn we’d be appearing with Mike Connors and comedian David Brenner. Mike suggested that after Curt does his stunt, we could also have David Brenner try out the rocket roller skates live

on the show. Man, for some reason to me that just sounded like an accident waiting to happen, so I asked David if he would like to take a practice shot at it first. He said he was a darn good skater and he really didn’t need to practice. He just looked at that small rocket backpack and laughed in confidence. He looked to be having too much fun entertaining a couple of girls he had just met, which is why I think he declined. So, as the segment was about to go live, I gave him a little advice. I told him, 'David, whatever you do, do not fire the rocket wide open until you start skating first.' He assured me he wouldn’t. While I had been talking to David, Curt was ready for his exhibition. He put the rocket on, skated down the alley in back of the studio, and fired it. They had a couple of guys holding a big mattress at the end of the block to stop him from flying through the intersection. He looked great, the stunt appeared easy, and everyone was impressed with his performance. That was Curt, now it was David’s turn." Ky continues, "We got David all strapped in and right off the bat he started joking around with Mike by asking, 'How far is it to the Manhattan toll bridge?' Next, David began jumping up and down on the skates and started to pull the lever that let the rocket fuel flow into the engine. He let just enough fuel in to make the engine go 'pop, pop, pop,' and then started to dance up and down jokingly like the rocket didn’t have enough power to push him. From there, he did exactly what I told him not to do. He powered the rocket wide open without

Ky formed Hollywood Stunt Masters in 1969 and has over 30 plus years experience as a stuntman, stunt coordinator and special effects expert. His most memorable stunt took place at the world's tallest freestanding structure, the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. Dar Robinson was being featured in the ABC primetime special World's Most Spectacular Stuntmen. Ky was responsible for designing the stunt. After countless tests, weather interferences and sleepless nights, Ky sent his best friend plummeting 1,200 feet off the top of the tower with only a 1/8" cable to save him from non-existence. The stunt was a huge success and a world record. The people Ky has met over the years reads Page 18

Ky's son Curt toured the racing circuits in the late '70s as Captain Rollerball, speeding down tracks on rollerskates, powered by a rocketpack designed by Ky.

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keep the traditions alive. Ky's 13-year old son Buddy has already lifted off from terra firma with a jetpack and has helped his dad build various rocket-powered kid-type vehicles such as a scooter and a really trick custom tricycle. To learn more about Ky's fascinating life and some of his most recent projects, check out his very informative website at www.the-rocketman.com where you can also purchase a copy of his autobiography.

Ky's youngest son Buddy became the youngest person to ever lift off with a jetpack. A tether was utilized as a safety device for the first launches.

skating first. The rocket literally catapulted David straight up into the air, arms flailing everywhere, and he came down hard, flat on his face. It was a miracle he wasn’t seriously hurt. We all gathered around to provide medical attention when David rolled over and said, 'Am I there yet?' Of course everyone burst out laughing and when it was all over the producer said it was definitely a very entertaining segment. I know I’ll certainly never forget it, and neither will Curt, who continued to appear at racetracks for the next couple of years thrilling crowds with his high-speed antics. Curt was never injured while performing that stunt, never fell, and will go down in history as the first rocket-powered roller skater, setting the speed record at 52 mph in 1976." In more recent years Ky has been heavily involved in the world of amateur unmanned rocketry. In 1995 he set out to be the first to blast an amateur rocket into space, which is officially defined as 62 miles above the earth. His first two attempts in 2000 and 2002 failed, but the third time was a charm. On May 17, 2004, the Go Fast Rocket, built by Michaelson and an all-volunteer collaboration of about 25 teachers, students and rocket scientists called the Civilian Space eXploration Team, soared 77 miles above the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. This become the first privately-funded rocket to reach space. During it's flight, the rocket reached an incredible speed of 3420 mph, the fastest speed ever achieved by a civilian rocketeer. May 2013

"If you can dream it you can achieve it," says Ky. "That is my philosophy for life. When I was 8 years old my father showed me a book that was published in 1920. It had a picture of a man with a leather helmet sitting in a chair with a rocket mounted on it. In the next photo it showed him lying on the ground smoldering. The caption said, 'And he lived to tell about it'. It turns out that those photographs ended up playing a big part in my life. They gave me the spirit of adventure and the dream of actually launching a rocket into outer space. Fifty years later, that's just what I did." An even younger member of the Michaelson family is currently being primed to

Ky (standing) drove the Sonic Challenger rocket snowmobile to a new record of 114 mph in 1970. Bad conditions at the time kept the machine from reaching its full potential.

Every 14-year old boys dream- a rocket powered gokart! Many of Ky's creations were on display for a time at the Bloomington (MN) Art Center.

Meticulous restorations are also part of Ky's repertoire. This is a spectacular rendition of the Michaelson motorcycle which was first produced in 1908.

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The NASCAR K&N Pro Series is returning to Brainerd International Raceway in 2013 for the second consecutive season, highlighting another jam-packed schedule for race fans.

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he schedule includes long-standing events like the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip, the 12-race Bracket Drag Racing Series, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) road racing and Superbike racing. It also includes relatively new events that are quickly gaining popularity, like the Trans Am Series, IWA Watercross, Powercruise and the Modern Automotive Performance Proving Grounds, which added a second weekend this year. Page 22

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Written by Geoff Gorvin

The pinnacle of the season, again, is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, which is Aug. 15-18 and brings the world’s best drag racers to BIR for a weekend of ground-pounding action. The most notable change at BIR this season involves kids. For every event this season, admission for kids 12 and under is FREE! That includes the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, but kids must still buy a reserved seat to sit in the grandstand. There’s only one ticket price per event for everyone 13 and older. The first major event of the season is Memorial Day weekend. The 5th Annual Street Car Showdown features the

NASCAR K&N Pro Series. After making its BIR debut last year, NASCAR K&N returns with a 50-lap, 125-mile race on Saturday. Last year’s race included 20 cars, with a thrilling finish that saw 21-year-old Michael Self patiently waiting until the last 10 laps to pass the two leaders to take the checkered flag. This year’s race is expected to be every bit as exciting as NASCAR’s upand-coming stars hone their skills on their way to competing in the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup. “We had a lot of interest last year in the NASCAR K&N race but the rainy weather kept a lot fans away,” said BIR owner Jed Copham. “We still got the race in and the fans that came saw a great race and some really impressive driving. We’re expecting the same this year and even bigger crowds.” The Street Car Showdown will also feature the SCCA Harvey West Classic, where national and regional road racers will compete Saturday when NASCAR isn’t on the track and on Sunday. On the drag strip, the three-race Muscle Car Series kicks off with three days of big horsepower and mindblowing speeds by the seven Heads Up classes. The Muscle Car Series continues July 5-7 during the 27th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go, which is a Fourth of July tradition at BIR that features the second leg of the Muscle Car Series on the drag strip and Central Roadracing Association Superbike Racing on the Competition Road Course. www.WheelsofThunder.net

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front gate, we think we’ll be able to move fans inside about as efficiently as is possible,” Copham said. “It worked really well last year. Our main goal was to get cars off Highway 371 and get people into the track as quickly as possible. We did that. Now, we’ll get them into their seats even faster this year.” If imports and sport compacts are your thing, BIR has just the event. The MAP Proving Grounds is a turbo-charged weekend with front-, all- and rear-wheel drive cars and trucks that compete in drag racing, drifting, autocross and open lapping on the road course. There’s a car show, stage show and a whole lot more. This year, a second weekend was added to the schedule: June 21-23 and Sept. 6-8. A classic car show, fireworks display, live music and kids activities round out the action-packed weekend. Two weeks after race fans clear out after NHRA Nationals, thousands will return for the 25th Annual Muscle Car Shootout Labor Day weekend. It’s the grand finale of the Muscle Car Series on the drag strip, where series championships will be decided in 21 different classes. While racers are slugging it out on the drag strip for three days, the Competition Road Course will be busy with the Trans Am Series on Sunday and the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints Saturday and Sunday. The Trans Am Series is pro racing at its finest, with Trans Am, Trans Am2 and GT classes all on the course at the same time. This year, there will be a single 40-lap, 100mile race on Sunday. On Saturday, and when the Trans Am cars aren’t on the track Sunday, the Jack Pine Sprints will be on display with open-wheel cars, GTs, muscle cars and a wide range of other race cars piloted by some of the top amateur racers in the Midwest.

races, bonfires, a constant parade of Partywagons, and a lot more. Last year for Nationals, BIR implemented the Fast Track Access to get fans into the track quicker and reduce the long lines at the front gate. This year, a few more improvements were made to Fast Track Access to streamline the process even more. Ticket scanners, for example, won’t be used this year and the ticket booths for campers will be located outside the front gate, eliminating the long line at the campground entrance. Fans will get into the track and to their seats more efficiently this year. “By eliminating ticket scanning and moving the camper ticket booths outside the

Another event that was added to the schedule last year and became an instant sensation was International Watercross Association (IWA) Watercross Racing on the small lake behind the main grandstand. These are snowmobiles that drag race and oval race on open water. The IWA will be at BIR two weekends this year and will share BIR with CRA Superbike Racing on the Competition Road Course. Don’t forget, race fans, that BIR has camping and lodging opportunities on site, including 164 full-service RV sites, 12 deluxe two-bedroom condos and unlimited rustic camping with a number of shower houses and shower trailers conveniently located. See you at the track!

The highlight of BIR’s season, though, is Aug. 15-18 when the best drag racers on the planet will be at BIR for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals and the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. It’s the largest motorsports race in the Upper Midwest and is attended by a legion of crazy fans that celebrate NHRA racing like nobody else can. BIR’s infamous campground, called The Zoo, takes on a life of its own the week of Nationals with live music nightly, rickshaw Page 24

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Paul Heinen is selling Tigé wakesurf boats for his third year, and he's grinning!

F

ive years ago, Paul Heinen bought what he thought would be a pretty cool boat. Now he sells them, a lot of them, and he swears by the brand: Tigé. “It is the only type of boat we will ever carry,” said Paul, who owns Heinen’s Motorsports in Osseo, Minn. The man sticks by his reasons, too. He passed on several other ski boat brands, and he’s more than happy he did. Page 26

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Written by Matt Peterson

“We’re on the boat every weekend through the summer,” Heinen said, who owns a Tigé Z3 with capacity for 16 people or 5,000 pounds. The state-of-the-art Tigé hulls and interiors have more goodies than one would ever need, and together they mold the badass boats of the future for wakeboarders, surfers and adventurous families. Creator Charlie Pigeon’s patented Tige hulls can do some crazy things, which include adjustable wakes and even surf. In in-hull ballast system allows the user to float the boat at a desired depth for optimum wake,

too. The surfer doesn’t need a towrope. He or she simply surfs with a wakeboard. “Tigé is the only manufacturer to have that style hull; no other boat can do it,” Paul said about creating surf. “No other boat has that style hull.”

For the serious wakeboarder or surfer, Tigé boats even remember their athletes. Users can program their customized wake and boat pitch and return to it with the touch of a button. Paul’s family and friends have inevitably caught on with the new surf craze, too. “The surfing: It’s the new, hot, fun thing to do,” said Paul, a streetbike and snowmobile racer with an appetite for extreme sports. Surfers, from young to old, can catch a wave behind the boat at an easy 11 mph and glide for as long as they want, or can stay on their boards, that is. Yet Paul said the wakesurfing isn’t just a fad. It’s growing in popularity. “It’s something that’s not going to go away,” Paul said. May 2013

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models, put any color nearly anywhere they want and add whatever extras they want. “You can do so many customizable things,” Paul said. Of course, Paul and his family have long sold motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATVs. But in 2011 Paul started carrying this unique brand of boat, which has been available since 1991. Sure, that may seem a little late to the game, but he’s the only dealer of such boats in Minnesota. In the northland thicket of bass and walleye boats, Paul sells Tigé wakesurf and wakeboard boats, and a steady pace. “We sold out completely in 2012,” Paul said, who received an award as a top-10 Furthermore, when it’s dark out, and wakeboarding isn’t legal, wakesurfing is because there’s no towrope. Underwater lights illuminate the surf. To add to the fun, Tigé offers a laundry list of accessories for its boats, which can range from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on what the buyer wants. Onboard and underwater light displays, thousands of artfully designed hull options, powerful engines, various floor plans, sizes and stereo systems are a few of the cool options for starters. “The stereo systems [by Wet Sounds] are unbelievable,” Paul said. For the curious, prospective buyers, Tigé offers a “build your Tigé” feature on its website. Users can pick from eight boat

Tige dealer that year. He says 2013 is looking even better, way better. “Currently, our orders are double than what we sold for the entire year last year,” he said. The fun doesn’t end there, either. Tigé’s website, tige.com, offers videos, its history, apparel, daily blog updates, news, event information, interviews, pro athlete biographies and more. It’s pretty obvious what Paul thinks. That adventure man is setting his sights on a brand-new Z3 model this year, too. “Tigé pretty well does it the best,” he said. For more about Heinen’s Motorsports, go to www.heinenmotorsports.com.

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INDY 500 PREVIEW What to look for this Memorial Day weekend!

I

t’s called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and for good reason. For starters it has more history than any other race, dating all the way back to 1911. The Indy 500 is also the world's largest single day sporting event with an estimated attendance of 300,000 to 400,000 fans. Millions more watch worldwide on TV and listen on the radio. The 500 pays out a ton of dough and has arguably been the single most coveted race to win in all of motorsports for over 100 years. On top of all that, the Indy 500 is just plain cool! Page 32

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Over the past two decades IndyCar racing has suffered from political strife and some loss of fan interest, but in recent years the IZOD IndyCar series has been on an upswing with an all-new car in 2012 and two engine manufacturers (Honda and Chevy) to battle it out for the championship. What the series isn't lacking is competition as last season saw nine different winners and the Indy 500 featured a record number of lead changes. Hollywood couldn't have asked for a better ending at the 500 when Japanese driver Takuma Sato attempted a lastditch effort on leader Dario Franchitti on the final lap but wound up spinning into the first turn wall, nearly taking Franchitti with him. For the third time, Franchitti put his face on the famous Borg-Warner trophy.

Written by Steve Casper All photos courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

In fact, one of the things the Indy 500 has been known for in recent years is unpredictable finishes. The end of the Centennial race in 2011 stunned the crowd when rookie J.R Hildebrand got in the loose stuff coming out of turn 4 on the last lap and slammed the front stretch wall. He kept the badly damaged vehicle moving in a straight

line but popular driver Dan Wheldon beat him to the checkers for his second 500 victory. During an unbelievable final 10 laps in '06, Michael Andretti, snake-bitten at the 500 his entire career, was leading with his son, rookie Marco, in a surprising run close behind in second. A victory by either Andretti would have been a huge story, but Sam Hornish in the Penske car had other ideas. While the crowd was focused on the incredible father/son battle at the front, Hornish was going full-bore in third and caught up to the duo. With one to go, Marco was leading with Sam right on his tail. At the checkers Hornish zigged, Marco zagged, and Hornish stole the win in one of the most thrilling finishes in 500 history. What sets the IZOD IndyCar series apart from other major motorsports is the wide variety of courses they run on throughout the year. The schedule typically has a mix of superspeedways, short ovals, natural road courses, and street courses. And of course IndyCars are the kings of speed in the U.S., hitting average laps over 226 mph at IMS with their turbocharged 2.2 liter V6 Hondas and Chevys. Unlike NASCAR, there's absolutely no tandem racing or bump drafting with open wheelers, although the draft certainly comes into play on the speedways. Qualifying at Indianapolis is also unique as the crews lay the wings back on the cars to decrease downforce in an attempt to gain higher speeds on the straights. Of course this makes the cars less stable in the corners so qualifying quickly becomes a game of out-braving the other drivers on the treacherous four corners of the rectangular-shaped track. The 2 1/2-mile track's di-

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mensions incredibly haven't changed since it's christening in 1909, although many safety innovations have been added throughout the years. INDY 500 FUN FACTS • Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Coliseum and Vatican City all can fit inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, which covers 253 acres. • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats. If the seat boards from the grandstands at IMS were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 99.5 miles. • Worldwide television distribution of the Indianapolis 500 broadcast: 213 countries, with an audience reach of over 292 million households. • The track was once paved with 3.2 million bricks giving it the name the “Brickyard.” The original bricks still lay at the Start / Finish line. • Indy cars accelerate from 0 mph to 100 mph in 4 seconds. • Indianapolis celebrates the Indianapolis 500 through a month-long celebration in May hosted by the 500 Festival committee and its numerous volunteers. • If the speedway itself were a city, on race day, its population would rank as the 45th largest city nationwide. Over 400,000 individuals are estimated to attend the Indianapolis 500 race on race day. • A tradition starting in 1936, the Indianapolis 500 winner drinks milk in Vic-

tory Lane. • Jim Nabors has been singing "Back and Home Again in Indiana" since 1972, missing only a few years along the way. TEAMS AND DRIVERS TO WATCH ON SUNDAY TEAM PENSKE: With 15 Indianapolis 500 victories, Roger Penske is by far the winningest car owner in the history of the race. His drivers this year include road racing ace Will Power, who has had nothing but back luck at IMS in the past, Brazilian Helio Castroneves who could become a 4-time winner this May, and recent NASCAR-convert A.J. Allmindinger who is already off to fast start in 2012. TARGET CHIP GANASSI: A powerhouse team over the last decade at Indy, Chip's primary drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon have four 500 victories between them. They are joined by Charlie Kimball in the second Ganassi team and last year's pole winner Ryan Briscoe in a one-off for Indy. ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: Headed by Michael Andretti, one of the winningest open wheel racers in history, the team is bouncing off an incredible 2012 season which saw their driver American Ryan Hunter-Reay win the championship in spectacular fashion during the final laps of the last race of the year in Fontana. HunterReay is joined by James Hinchcliffe who won this year's opener and Marco Andretti. A.J. FOYT RACING: This legendary car owner and 4-time winner of the Indy 500 has an entirely new lineup this year with Japan's Takuma Sato and rookie hotshot Connor Daly, either one of whom could be-

come spoilers in the end. A.J.'s son and former 500 driver Larry has been taking over the primary tasks in the team over the past few years. ED CARPENTER RACING: Oval specialist and former midget and sprint ace Ed Carpenter has enjoyed several great runs at Indy but has yet to put it all together for a win. Taking top honors in the final race at Fontana last year is certain to be a boost. There's still a chance Ed may add a second driver to the team for the 500. KV RACING: Undoubtedly one of the fan favorites at Indy over the past decade is Tony Kanaan who has yet to get his mug on the Borg-Warner. He charges as hard as anyone at IMS and a win this year would make the place erupt. Indy will be without Danica again this year, but the new girl in town is Kanaan's teammate, Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro who has shown incredible grit and talent in IndyCars. The place would erupt even more if she was battling for the checkers at the end. RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING: This team nearly grabbed the win last year with Takuma Sato. 2013 finds Bobby Rahal's son Graham Rahal running fulltime along with sophomore driver James Jakes. SCHMIDT PETERSON MOTORSPORTS: Headed by former driver Sam Schmidt, the team features a pair of incredibly fast Frenchman, Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier. The Schmidt team put together the winning combo in 2011 with Dan Wheldon. SARAH FISHER HARTMAN RACING: IndyCar's former most popular driver is now one of the most popular car owners. Sarah is running Tennessee's Josef Newgarden in his second full season and will probably pick up a one-off driver for Indy to complete a two-car team for their biggest race of the year. WHEN TO WATCH AND TICKET INFO Qualifying Weekend –May 18-19, NBCSN Carb Day and Freedom 100 – May 24, NBCSN Indianapolis 500 – May 26, ABC -11:00 am ET For ticket info, go to indianapolismotorspeedway.com

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SAFETY INNOVATIONS AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY Throughout much of it's history, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a leader in safety innovations for major league motorsports. 1911: Inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun employs what is believed to have been the first rear-view mirror on his No. 32 Marmon “Wasp.” 1911: Historians believe the 1911 Indianapolis 500 is the first time a pace car is used to bring the field to the green flag at a controlled speed, leading the pack for the first mass rolling start of a race. 1921: The Duesenberg Motor Company team, operated by Fred and Augie Duesenberg, introduces the use of four-wheel hydraulic brakes. 1925: Front-wheel drive is used at the Speedway for the first time on a privatelyowned Miller entry, driven by Dave Lewis and Bennett Hill, that finishes second. Early 1930s: Magnetic particle inspection (Magnaflux) of key safety-related components, such as steering shafts, is implemented. 1935: The first installation of colored warning lights (green and yellow) completed at the Speedway in time for the 1935 Indianapolis 500. 1935: Helmets are made mandatory, a first for motor racing. They were not required in European grand prix racing until 1952. 1936: First mandatory driver’s test is instituted, requiring that all new drivers show their skills at various speeds before they are allowed to practice for the “500.” The Rookie Orientation Program continues in the same spirit today. 1938: Pit wall constructed to separate crews’ work area from pit area, thus providing a safer working environment for crews during track activity. 1948: New emergency medical center constructed, expanded in 1972, and still in use today as the Clarian Emergency Medical Center with state-of-the-art trauma center equipment. 1959: All drivers required to wear fire-retardant uniforms, and roll bars are required on cars. May 2013

1965: Only methanol fuel – which is much less volatile than gasoline – is permitted in the Indianapolis 500. All cars are required to be equipped with a rupture-resistant fuel cell, and on-board fuel capacity is limited to 75 gallons. 1974: Onboard fuel capacity is reduced to a maximum of 40 gallons. 1979: “Packup” procedure established, whereby the Pace Car enters the track during cautions to regulate the speed of the field.

1991: Revolutionary energy-absorbing attenuator is added at pit entrance. 1993: Crash data recorders, developed by Delphi Automotive Systems, are placed in cars competing in the Indianapolis 500. This is the first application of this groundbreaking technology in motorsports. 2002: Revolutionary SAFER Barrier energy-absorbing system installed in oval’s four turns, the first such installation in the world. The catch fence overhang is extended to approximately 5 ½ feet – the longest of any racetrack in the world. www.WheelsofThunder.net

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2013 GSTA Rod and Custom Photographed by Kelly Andersen

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Spectacular – Minneapolis, MN

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July 2013


Written by Matt Peterson

Gino Fontecchio #41 “The Flyin’ Italian” he Flyin’ Italian: It would be a good nickname for a gritty, undersized boxer, or perhaps a daredevil stunt pilot. In Elk River, Minn., though, it’s 17 yearold Gino Fontecchio, the B-Mod oval dirt track racer who runs a clean race and is itching for his first win. Leave it to youngsters to have the loftiest goals; that sort of thing happens all the time. Sometimes, though, it’s not too far off base. That’s what signs indicate for Gino. “I can’t wait for that first win, and I know he can’t because it’s an awesome feeling,” said Gino’s dad, Paul Fontecchio. “It’s an awesome experience, and it’s coming.”

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Paul, for the most part, has ended his racing career and climbed out of the driver’s seat. Instantly, Gino climbed in.

“He’s been out there running in the feature and had a great race with another driver that was probably 20 years older than him, and that driver came over and shook his hand,” Paul said. “What a great race.”

He couldn’t even legally drive on public roads, but with three hours of practice under his belt and some grit of his own, the Flyin’ Italian swung around the track after he just turned 15 and tried to hold his own. “He wasn’t in the top 10, but he stayed with people,” Paul said. Every racer knows the feeling: the anxiety, the sweaty hands, the sense of uncertainty before that first-ever race. “I felt like I was going to get sick,” Gino said. “I needed some fresh air. I put the visor down, and the green flag dropped. My foot went down and I swung her around the track as good as I could.” Though Gino spun in his first race, he made it through fairly clean and had the sensation that follows other first-time racers. “Relief,” he said. “Then I wondered if I really just did it.”

“I figured that if my dad’s going to let me race, I’m going to put forth some effort to help with the car,” Gino said. “And after that, I just liked working on the car. He stopped working on it, and I took over.” Paul said Gino wasn’t shy about ripping into the car, either. After watching Paul work on it, he dove right in. “He tore it completely apart, every bit of the car and painted the whole frame, and put it back together,” Paul said. “He works on the car all the time. I do very little bit of work on the car anymore.” The well-rounded driver/mechanic has earned the respect from his peers – and not-so peers. “He’s driving with 20-year drivers,” Paul said. Nobody wants to be “that guy” who blows the race for the longtime veteran or does something stupid on the track. So Gino doesn’t. He keeps himself clean and out of trouble.

Now Gino has a different sensation: hunger. He wants to win. “I do want to win the track championship this year at Princeton,” he said. Ask Gino, and he’ll say that’s feasible. He’s working toward it. In his first year, Gino finished tenth in points at Princeton Speedway in Wissota’s B Modified. Last year, he finished fifth. Gino’s trying to make simple math out of it, hoping to move to no. 1.

From the spectator’s point of view, it’s all great fun; and clearly, there are already memories. The family wholeheartedly agrees. “It’s gotten to be a real family thing, which is great,” Paul said. “It’s really fun. I’ve got grandkids that come and scrape mud off the tire.” He added, “I get much more enjoyment, if not more, watching him.”

“They all made me feel comfortable, and they were all very nice to me about how I kept my space and how I raced clean,” Gino said about the beginning of his career. He recalls one crash where he sprained his ankle, but that was the worst. He respects the vets, and they return the favor.

The family looks for the memories to continue while Gino works at crossing the finish line in first. Entering just his third year and at only 17, Gino has already come a long way from his first race. He’s certainly not slowing down anytime soon. “I was nervous when I first got into the car, but after that, I was hooked,” Gino said. Fans look for the #41 to make plenty of passes this year at Princeton and Ogilvie, especially Paul. He’d like to watch Gino move up the ranks and someday move to A Mods. Gino would undoubtedly like that, too, but he’s got to hone his focus. Sure, the kid has lofty goals, but he’s taking it one practice, race and turn of the wrench at time. After all, he has plenty of time.

“He just started progressing,” Paul said after that first race. “… It’s all seat time.” And Gino gets plenty of that. He and Paul try to attend every practice session and race weekend at Princeton and Ogilvie Speedway. At their shop in Elk River, Gino can do test runs around the parking lot. It’s also where he gets to know the car even more closely. May 2013

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BIKES WITH A PAST A perfect example of vintage customs are the "Civilianized" rides made by returning GIs after WWII. When war broke out, the US government contracted both Harley and Indian to produce motorcycles for our military. The most plentiful was Harley-Davidson's sidevalved, Flat-Head WLA - also known as the "45" because of its displacement. Over 90,000 WLAs were made with enough parts to put together around 30,000 more. Although Harley had been making the overhead-valved Knuckleheads since 1936, the military opted for the stone cold reliability of the low compression (5:1) sidevalve. Anyone with first-hand experience with these machines has amazing stories of the incredible punishment these bikes could take: riding miles with stuck valves, cracked heads, on one piston with a busted frame. It didn't matter - the WLA could take it. So it was natural that the WLA proved popular with returning Vets and non-servicemen alike who were looking for a dependable and easy to maintain machine. And did I say cheap? With tons of surplus spare parts, it was easy to find anything you needed to build and run a WLA. For years after the war, you could order a WLA in a crate from the back pages of a Popular Mechanics magazine! Of course, hardly anyone kept their WLA military stock. Paul St. John's WLA on display at the Donnie Smith show was a perfect example of the types of customizing that was popular in the post-war period. The OD green paint made perfect primer, so Paul's '42 WLA has sky blue paint layered right on top. And just like guys have done for as long as they've owned motorcycles, his bike sports plenty of chrome: the springer fork, tool box, muffler tips, luggage rack and rims. Even today, Paul's WLA lives up to its rugged roots. Paul puts thousands of miles on his bike, riding it to work nearly year round and has ridden it to Sturgis many times! Sitting next to Paul's bike at the Donnie Smith show was the Indian answer to the WLA, the 741. Tom McLaughlin's "Civilianized" machine demonstrates the alterPage 44

From WWII to the Golden Age of Daredevils

native route tried by Springfield as they vied with Milwaukee for military contracts. Instead of going big, Indian went light and nimble with their 741 by taking the amazingly agile Scout (the bike preferred for decades by "Wall of Death" riders looking for a perfectly balanced machine) and powered it by an lighter, 500cc engine - down from the typical 745cc used previously in Scouts. Unfortunately for Indian, going light didn't work out so well with the US Military and many of the 42,000 741s produced by Indian were sold overseas to our allies. Still, there were plenty of surplus machines after the war to feed the needs of both returning GIs and civilians who couldn't purchase a motorcycle during the war when only "Essential Use" purchases were permitted. Checking out Tom's 741 Indian at the Donnie Smith show, you could easily see that the machine was stripped down compared to the ornate beauties Indian was famous for before the war. Its fenders and chainguard were minimal - nearly "bobbed", and its lights and speedo kept small. Although from a distance, with its OD paint replaced by a more typical Indian Red and a hand painted Indian logo on the tank, Tom's bike looks almost stock - a major departure from a machine made for war. The "Civilianized" motorcycles on display in the Viking AMCA booth were a big hit with the crowd, but nothing compared to the attention drawn by the twin-rocket powered motorcycle built by Ky Michaelson. Yep, that's right. Two 1,500 pound thrust rocket motors, mounted inside a 1977 Harley-Davidson Sportster. Ky Michaelson is famous around the world for his long career as a drag racer, Hollywood stuntman and builder of some of the fastest machines ever to hit a drag strip or the salt flats. The highlight of his rocket powered career was his role leading the team that won the original "X-Prize" in 2004 as the very first civilian rocket launched into outer space. But back in '77, Ky was building drag cars and bike, breaking records and pulling off crazy stunts. '77 was the year that his rocket powered drag car, piloted by the legendary racer Kitty O'Neil, shattered the record for the quarter mile running it in 3.22 seconds at 412 mph!

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Ky was contacted by a daredevil named Rick Rojatt to build him a bike to break Evil Kneivel's record of jumping 13 buses. Rick went by the name "The Human Fly" and took his persona seriously - never appearing outside of full costume and mask. The craziest thing about Rick's plan was that he wanted to do it indoors during the intermission of a rock concert at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Ky was horrified by the constraints that imposed on both how fast he could get the bike going on approach and how quickly he's have to stop on the other side of the jump before hitting the wall. Ky calculated that he'd need to be going at least 80mph when he left the ramp and accelerate further once in the air. When the bike was finished, Ky estimated that it punched out 6,000 hp - enough to run the 1/4 mile at 300mph! On the day of the jump, Ky arrived at the stadium to find that the construction crew had not followed his blueprints exactly. Instead they had built the launch ramp too steep and the receiving ramp higher than the tops of the buses! They did what they could but still were dismayed by the thought of Rick attempting the stunt without a single practice run. But luck shone down on The Human Fly that day as he successfully made the jump and broke Kneivel's record with only breaking one ankle! After that fateful day, the trail went dark on the bike and Ky lost track of it. 23 years later, he found a Rocket Bike listed for sale in the Florida "Trading Times". He couldn't believe his eyes so he called the owner and verified that it was indeed the Rocket Bike he had built for the Human Fly. The bike sits today in Ky Michaelson's living room and has made its first appearance at the Donnie Smith show this year! With Ky's Rocket Bike in the Viking Chapter AMCA display at the Donnie Smith show, there was constantly a crowd gathered around the old bikes. If you're into checking out the old bikes too, don't miss the largest display of vintage motorcycles in the Midwest hosted by the Viking AMCA at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds June 14th and 15th. Visit vikingmc.org for more info! May 2013


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ou might be a redneck if… you had a roll cage installed in your minivan. Or, you might be a redneck if you look forward to cheering that minivan on to the winners circle on a warm Thursday night in June. Everybody loves to see the minivan win! So much that there’s a new class exclusively designed for stock minivans at this year’s Beater-XSM races at ERX Motorpark in Elk River, Minnesota. Page 46

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Written by Kim “KimmyCat” Niles

The ERX Motorpark Beater-XSM Series is an entry level/grassroots form of auto racing consisting of compact cars and small trucks competing head to head on an all dirt race track. Adding to the excitement is a track layout that utilizes small rolling jumps, elevation changes, and tight corners to create an extreme form of auto racing the average guy can compete in. Cars are lined up on a tiered starting line and race to the checkered flag. Think of it as motocross with a car! ERX will be hosting its Beater-XSM Series as a Thursday night, under the lights 6 race series. Points will be awarded at each event leading up to an overall Beater-XSM Champion in each class.

Photos by Marcus Paulsen

This is the opportunity for all you NASCAR, dirt track fans to compete in an inexpensive form of auto racing. What does it take to get involved in Beater-X? Not much, all you need to get in the action

is a qualifying car or truck (or minivan!), and a helmet. Now is the time to start looking for your racing vehicle. Review the list below of the current class offerings as well as a handful of suggested types and models of vehicles. In order to help first time racers and car builders, ERX has lined up local welders who will outfit your vehicle with an approved roll cage system for approximately $200 per car or truck. Take a look at the Beater-XSM rules page on the ERX website for additional information regarding vehicle requirements. You don’t have to just be a racer to enjoy the Beater-XSM competition. Spectators are encouraged to attend and cheer on your favorite Beater-XSM driver. Outside bleacher seating is available and you can always get out of the weather in their new ERX Motor Park Chalet. VIP booth rental is also available. A wide variety of food and beverage concession will be available at the track during all six series races. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS • Round #1 – Thursday, June 6th • Round #2 – Thursday, June 27th • Round #3 – Thursday, July 11th (added) • Round #4 – Thursday, July 25th • Round #5 – Thursday, August 15th • Special Event: Demo Derby – Thursday, August 29th SPECTATOR INFO • Races begins at 6:00pm • Spectator Pricing: Adults $10, kids 6-12 years $5, 5 & under are free

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• Truck #1 – 4 & 6 cylinder light trucks, rear wheel drive only. 4WD trucks allowed, front drive axle must be disconnected. • Truck #2 – ½ ton pickup trucks, rear wheel drive (or 4 wheel drive must be disconnected from front wheels). V8’s acceptable. • UTV Stock – up to 800cc stock engine, stock suspension. Stock, commercially available UTV. • UTV Open – 1,000cc maximum, open suspension and engine mods. Must be two-seater UTV, commercially available.

• Concessions are available at the track • VIP booth rental is available, contact katie@erxmotorpark.com CLASS LIST Driver Pricing: Payout classes $40 if preregistered, $50 day of race. Non-payout classes $30 if pre-registered, $40 day of race. Payout: 1st place - $300, 2nd place - $200, 3rd place - $100

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2013 NON-PAYOUT CLASSES • NEW Minivan (payout) – 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder, front wheel or rear wheel drive. Must be OEM stock engine. • Compact #1 (payout) – 4 cylinder, front wheel drive, single overhead cam. No DOHC, no turbos, no superchargers. • Compact #2 – 4 & 6 cylinder stock, front wheel drive. OEM-equipped turbos, superchargers allowed. Must be OEM stock engine.

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ABATE UNIVERSITY A HUGE SUCCESS and our lunch speakers, Jeff “Twitch” Burns and Dave “DD” Devereaux, told the remarkable history of the decades old motorcycling discrimination practices in the state of Washington. Through dedication and teamwork, the bikers of Washington were able to change the anti-motorcycling culture in their state. This year we welcomed back our good friend Slider Gilmore for an always insightful presentation. For nearly 25 years A late April snowstorm didn’t stop hundreds of Minnesota bikers from attending our annual conference, ABATE University. Bikers filled every room of the Alexandria Holiday Inn for a weekend of two-wheeled rights and safety information and the usual camaraderie that happens whenever motorcyclists get together. Thanks to Ray Aafedt and the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center our guests were able to try the Smart Trainer, a motorcycle simulator. Its an impressive piece of equipment and people enjoyed the opportunity to improve their skills and have fun at the same time. The ABATE University Guest Speaker Luncheon is always a big hit. The food provided by Rudy's Redeye Grill was awesome

a twenty year tradition. Four lucky people will be riding new motorcycles this year, two Harleys and two Victorys!

he served as a volunteer EMT and CPR instructor. He combines these experiences with his lifelong love of motorcycles into a three hour program to help motorcyclists get the odds in their favor when on the road. Slider is a gifted teacher whose mix of humor, positivity and inspiration come shining through to every member of the audience. I have never had such an interesting time while learning important information!

ABATE University is open to everyone and the seminars are free. You only pay for your hotel room and the luncheon (and your raffle ticket of course!). ABATE University is a weekend event filled with education and friendship. Be sure to attend next year and be ready to learn how to protect your motorcycling lifestyle, meet new people and have fun all at the same time. Don’t miss it - See you there! Mack Backlund State Coordinator ABATE of MN 763-226-9195

The Saturday evening social started with a lively auction followed by the rockin’ good music of the Fat Fendered Boulevard Band. During the band intermission we selected the winners of our annual ABATE U raffle, May 2013

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Written by Jeffrey Barrett

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onster Energy Supercross returned to the Metrodome for the first time since 2008. Thousands of fans packed into the dome for what turned out to be an amazing night of racing. Hometown favorite Ryan Dungey and fellow rider Davi Millsaps were looking to close the point’s gap with Ryan Villopoto. Coming into to Minneapolis, Ryan Villopoto led the series with 277 points. Millsaps held second place with 256 points, and Dungey rounded out the top three with 252 points. In the lites east class, Will Hahn held and 8-point lead over Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin. Page 52

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Despite the cold and rainy weather, thousands of fans showed up hours early to celebrate the return of Supercross to Minnesota. Closing in on race time, fans filled the seats not expecting to leave four hours later speechless. In the 250 lites class, Marvin Musquin was riding excellent, carrying speed and rhythm all night. Musquin quickly distinguished himself as a top contender for the win. Taking first place in his heat race, the number 25 rider gained a spot in the main event. Blake Wharton riding for Rockstar Energy Suzuki showed he had the speed as well to

come away with a victory. Not only by winning his heat race, but also by averaging almost a second faster per lap than Musquin. Coming into the main event, Musquin was looking to gain some ground on Hahn by coming away with a victory. At the drop of the start gate, Musquin proved he was a contender for the championship. Opening up a 4.5 second lead by the second lap, Musquin quickly ran away with the lead. Leading all 15 laps, Musquin finished the race 9-seconds in front of Will Hahn. Blake Wharton finished the race in third place securing his position in the points standing. In the 450 class, results from the heat races showed the top spot on the podium was up for grabs. Oregon native Josh Hill came away with the victory in the first heat race over Chad Reed, and Ryan Villopoto. In the second heat race, it was no surprise when Davi Millsaps finished the race out front with Ryan Dungey right on his heels. At the start of the main event, 30,000 fans were already on their feet. With the crowd’s roar drowning out the bikes, the gate dropped and the 20 best riders in the world took off for the first corner. Mike Alessi came away with holeshot but was quickly passed by the number 1 rider Ryan Villopoto. Ryan Dungey never getting more than two seconds behind, challenged Villopoto at every corner. As the race hit the 15th lap, Dungey was in desperate need of a pass on Villopoto if he wanted to come away on top. After 16 laps of chasing Villopoto, on the 17th lap Dungey made the pass. “Honestly, I have never heard anything like it. At

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MEET THE RIDER: Andrew Short (#29) Q: What was your biggest inspiration to become a motocross rider? A: From the time I was a little kid when I was riding, just the feeling that everything escapes and you’re stuck in the moment. least not in the sport of Motocross” was all Dungey could say about the crowd after the race. During the whole race and especially after making the pass, the crowd was screaming for their hometown boy. For the last four laps of the race, Villopoto was hoping Dungey would slip just a little bit to allow for him to re-take the lead. Unfortunately for him, Dungey held him off coming across the finish-line less than a second in front.

be a top team in the series. Upon getting the win, Musquin moved within five points of Will Hahn for the number one spot in the championship. Ryan Dungey moved into second place in the points over Davi Millsaps, and is now only 18 points behind Ryan Villopoto for the number one spot.

Q: Coming from Honda, how are you liking the KTM team?

Potentially being the last Supercross that will be held in the Metrodome, this year’s Supercross will go down as one of the greatest battles ever between riders. All of the riders as well as the fans were very satisfied with the outcome of race. Minneapolis Supercross 2013 will be an unforgettable moment for everyone who attended.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment as a motocross rider?

A: Wasn’t ideal to switch in the middle of the season, but I feel like I have really adapted to the new bike. I really the like the people at KTM and the passion they have for racing.

A: Riding the motocross de nations in Colorado, as well as winning the Seattle Supercross last year. Q: Day to day what drives you to keep pushing yourself? A: Hard work. It has got me to where I am today, it’s not like I have an exceptional talent.

Team Red Bull KTM went two for two in the main events. Securing both the 250 and 450 class wins, Red Bull KTM continues to Page 54

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S

ince 1955 Sunday nights in the Fargo-Moorhead area mean one thing; dirt track racing at Buffalo River Race Park! The Mother’s day season opener on May 12th is the start of a full summer schedule put together by owner Kevin Nathe.

In 2007, Nathe purchased what was then the Buffalo River Speedway and created the Buffalo River Race Park (BRRP). He immediately began remodeling. He updated the concessions area and beer gardens, build indoor bathrooms and a commons area. He also added new pit and parking lot lighting. In 2008, 8,000 yards of new dirt was hauled in to resurface and widen the car track. In 2009, new concrete was added to the front straightaway wall and the pit got new bleachers and a new registration building. Construction continued in 2010 with a new announcers booth, two additional VIP booths and an upstairs party deck. The commons area was enclosed and heat and a/c added. Page 56

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Written by Mylie Lavold

Construction of a 185’ by 30’ two story addition began in the fall of 2011. The addition is heated and cooled and houses vendor booths, a sponsor area and indoor seating for spectators. Two older VIP booths were remodeled and two new ones were added. Outside, new infield poles and track lighting were added. The completion of the new facilities came just in time for the 2011 snocross season. BRRP hosted its first ISOC Nationals race. The event earned BRRP an award for ISOC event of the year.

With great momentum under their belt, BRRP sped through the summer of 2012 with great speedway and motocross racing. In the blink of an eye it was once again time for snocross and BRRP did not disappoint. The 2012-13 season hosted some great regional snocross races and culminated with the RAM Truck Fargo National Snocross in March. More than 8,000 fans packed the race park for this event. Mother Nature delivered some windy and icy weather, but it did not detour the fans or the 258 racers. Looking out the window, it may not seem like we should be getting ready for speedway racing but things change quickly up here in the Red River Valley. Mother’s Day marks the season opener and the race park will be ready for the BRRP Series, A-Mods and Streets to hit the track (BRRP Series includes: Legends, Pure Stocks, Hornets, Wissota Midwest Mods and Mod 4’s). As the season gears up, race fans can plan for some special events as well as weekly Sunday night races. The first special event is a Northern Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA) race on May 25th. NOSA, organized in 1994, promotes Sprint Car Racing in the upper Midwest. NOSA members include the drivers and car owners, crew members, fans, sponsors and track promoters. Drivers come from many parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Canada.

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tors, surviving hills, climbing tire mountain, and lots and lots of mud. Regular Sunday racing starts at 6:00 pm. Special Event prices and times vary per race, check www.BuffaloRiverRacing.com for updates. For Motocross fans and riders, BRRP opens June 9th. The track will open on the south side of Hwy 10 and pit road off Hwy 9. Sunday is race day and practice days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Nathe plans to start building a new MX track on the speedway side this summer. He says they hope to be racing there for the Sept. 22nd race. For speedway racing information contact: Duane Peterson, 701-371-6229

The next special event, a Red River Valley Pullers Association modified truck and tractor pull is scheduled for June 22nd. The association promotes the motorsport of competitive pulling. Pullers come from North Dakota, Minnesota, and Canada.

Come out and get dirty on September 14th when BRRP hosts the MUDMAN adventure race series. This extreme 5K obstacle course is open to anyone who’s isn’t afraid of a little mud. The MUDMAN website promises “a day you won’t forget.” Which includes conquering fire, beating gladia-

For advertising or VIP packages contact: Brad Rivers, BRRP@cableone.net www.BuffaloRiverRacing.com FaceBook: Buffalo River Race Park

Race fans won’t want to miss the All Star Sprint Championship Tour on July 28th . The All Stars are one of the premier sprint car sanctioning bodies in the USA. Now in their 30th year of operation, the All Stars take pride in their reputation of providing highly competitive, fair, exciting racing for outlaw sprint cars. Approximately 400 drivers participate in more than 40 races each year.

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ro Stock driver Buddy Perkinson will be back behind the wheel at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte April 19th – 21st. Hoven Vision will be sponsoring the 21 year-old driver and his 2010 Jerry Haas built Ford Mustang for multiple races during the 2013 NHRA Mello-Yello Season. (April 15, 2013)

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Provided by Nicole Erickson Forward Sports Marketing

“I’m excited to be racing again,” said Perkinson. “I really appreciate everything Hoven Vision is doing for us. I really want to put on a good show for them in Charlotte.” Hoven Vision is a new sponsor to NHRA. Hoven is one of the top brands of sunglasses. The glasses are popular with surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders and now the company is expanding its brand to NHRA Drag Racing. You can go to HovenVision.com to see all their products and upcoming events.

went on to drive Comp eliminator in 2010, where he made two semifinal appearances. In 2011 he made the move to Pro-Stock driving for Cunningham Motorsports. He also raced for Larry Morgan and worked with legendary Pro Stock driver Bob Glidden to fine tune his skills. In 2012 he filled in for Mark Martino at the last minute for the 2012 Midwest Nationals and qualified in the #5 spot. “It’s been 10 months since I’ve competed and I’m itching to get back behind the wheel,” said Perkinson. “It’s been hard work putting the car back together and updating it since we haven’t run it for a year. We’ve been in the shop 60 to 70 hours a week to get it ready for the Charlotte race.”

BUDDY PERKINSON

“Hoven Vision is proud to sponsor Buddy Perkinson Racing,” says Hoven investor and friend of Perkinson, Brent Koch. “Hoven Vision Eyewear has always, and will continue to support, the great young athlete that has the vision and integrity to always reach and push for that upper edge in all they do. That is our friend Buddy.” Buddy Perkinson started his racing career in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League and

May 2013

DATE OF BIRTH: September 27, 1991 HOMETOWN: Prince George, Va. CAREER BEST E.T.: 6.567 CAREER BEST SPEED: 210.54 MARITAL STATUS: Single HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5'10", 148 lbs. • Attended the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School where he earned his Super Comp license and fine-tuned his Pro Stock driving skills by attending the Roy Hill Drag Racing School • Got his start in drag racing by competing in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League

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Written by John Lentzkow

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ooking for some place new to take a road trip with your motorcycle, classic car, or family vacation with the kids? Then I highly suggest you schedule time this summer to explore the Iowa Great Lakes Region. Located in Northwest Iowa, this noted tourism area has much to offer with five glaciers -carved lakes which support both summer and winter sports and activities. Following the main road winding its way through the lakes area, you will find several communities which focus on business offering unique resorts, lodging, shopping, and fine dining. Almost every weekend in the summer you can enjoy free outdoor concerts and special events. And regardless if you are an avid fisherman who wants to cast for that elusive trophy Musky or just take your kids pan fishing, these crystal clear lakes offer you many opportunities. Boating, skiing, or just hanging out around, on, or in the water, you will find this area a beautiful setting with tons of fun things to do

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Every Thursday evening there are 50’s and 60’s music concerts in the Roof Garden. It is always a packed house and lots of dancing!

The Arnolds Park Amusement Park has always been the focal point of where to be when visiting the Iowa Great Lakes Region. History of the park revels W. B. Arnold homesteaded the property in the 1860’s

were he started a boarding house for the occasional hunting and fishing parties that ventured here on the primitive roads. He then added the first “amusement to his property in 1889 when he built a waterslide where you could plunge down and out into the lake on a toboggan. In 1883 the trains arrived and opened the lakes to a flood of visitors and Mr. Arnold expanded his facility into the full-fledged Arnolds Park and adding hotels. Researched information states on a typical summer Sunday afternoon back then there were over 7,000 people at the park with thirteen trains, each with about a dozen cars, used for transportation. Add to that the various steamboats that brought visitors to the park, and it was where all the action was.

What brought the people to Arnolds Park were the waterslide, the swimming beach, the souvenir shops, the picnic area, the baseball games, and the popular shooting contests with live birds and clay pigeons. By 1912 two amusement parks had developed on the property. Mr. Arnold’s daughters each opened their own “Coney Island”, Okoboji style. One park was called Arnolds Park and the other was named Steven’s Park. At this time the first roller coaster, the “Thriller”, was constructed. A large pavilion, with a roomy stage and a thousand chairs was built for public gatherings of every kind. Sermons, lectures, concerts, theatricals and dancing parties were held in regular succession. Arnolds Park was the place to be. In 1923 the Roof Garden opened and through the years it hosted many of the finest orchestras, big bands, and rock and roll stars. In 1927 a new roller coaster was being constructed to compete with the deteriorating Thriller coaster. The pavilion became the treasured Fun House, a place to spend an afternoon sliding down the wooden slide, playing king of the mountain in the sugar bowl or trying to walk through the rotating barrel.

Concerts by the lake. May 2013

Although neither the depression years nor World War II stalled the activities at Arnolds Park, eventually the aging rides, decaying wood and the newly developing theme parks would nearly finish it off. The little amusement park, next to beautiful www.WheelsofThunder.net

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carousel, a log flume, bumper cars and even a Racetrack. There are rides for the thrill or simply just the fun and enjoyment of a day that you will remember for years to come with your family and friends. Many people return with their grandchildren to relive the memories they had as a kid coming the Park. There are new games being added this summer to challenge your skill and compete with your friends. Of course you will find the favorite foods in the Park, like cotton candy, mini donuts, and funnel cakes, Dippin’ Dots, slush’s, hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks and much more. You don’t even have to leave the Park! But if you do, just within a few feet of the entrance you will find more delightful food to tempt Lake Okoboji, could not compete with the glitz of the new theme parks. In 1968 a tornado destroyed portions of the park and swept away the Roof Garden ballroom. Although repairs were made and a new metal Roof Garden constructed, the demise of Arnolds Park Amusement Park seemed certain. After the 1987 season the brightly colored lights that had shown out over the water for so many years were turned off for good, or so it was thought. In 1988 the Fun House was demolished, as were most of the other old buildings. The local fire departments burned down the Roof Garden for practice. However, all was not lost. A group of area residents and business people had purchased Arnolds Park and were not about to let it become just a memory. They set about constructing new facilities and, more importantly, preserved what was left of the old park.

They completely rebuilt the roller coaster and restored the Tipsy House and Majestic Pavilion. The new Arnolds Park “An Iowa Classic” amusement park reopened in 1989. But, in 1999, a deal was made to close the Park after the summer season, and dismantle it in order to build a housing and condominium site on the entire property. A public meeting was called to “Save the Park”. Committees were formed, the media spread the word and in less then six weeks, seven and a half million dollars were raised and Arnolds Park Amusement Park was saved from the bulldozers. Today Arnolds Park Amusement Park offers fun foe both the adults and kids. The Park has over twenty rides for all ages to enjoy. You will find a kiddie train, a big train, a kiddie coaster and of course the big kid “Legend” coaster, the old familiar

your taste buds along the Queen’s Court shopping area. There is a BonBon frozen yogurt shop, a pizza shop, fine dining restaurant, a bar on the lake and of course The Nutty Bar stand and taffy store that have been a favorite for generations. There are shops inside the Park and along the Queen’s Court to find that piece of Okoboji or Arnolds Park Amusement Park to take home. Di Lorenzen, Communications Manager states “The Legend Roller Coaster is our #1 attraction, so we know our visitors love it as much as we do. We are planning to continue with more updates as we move into the future so “The Legend” can thrill our guests”. As famous as the Park itself, the Queen II is an Okoboji favorite. If you want a relaxing

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cruise on the lake and learn a little history, get aboard the Queen II excursion boat. It starts excursions on West Lake Okoboji May 18th through weekends in October. (Visit ArnoldsPark.com for the full schedule.) The narrated ride is 75 minutes. You can sit below in the enclosed area or above on the open deck and see all around West Okoboji. This ride is one you will want to come back and do again. The Queen II has been in operation since 1986. She has seen many families since her first voyage on West Lake Okoboji. There are light snacks and beverages to enjoy during your excursion. You can also rent the Queen II out for private parties or company functions. With a capacity of up to 200 people, you can book ahead and enjoy weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties and company outings. Take a step back in time and enjoy the nostalgia of the Iowa Great Lakes with rare artifacts and exhibits dedicated to the history of Lake Okoboji in the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum and Gift Shop. I truly enjoyed the marine display of old fishing boats which brought back memories of my

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growing up and time shared with my father. The museum is open every day and during the week in the off season winter months. There is no admission and parking is free. No visit is complete to the park without a stop at the museum. Arnolds Park may never compete with the large theme parks in size but the charm that has been and will be cannot be

matched by sheer size. The area has events happening all summer long. For a list of events, visit VacationOkobojil.com. or you may direct your inquiries to: Di Lorenzen Marketing & Communications Manager Historic Arnolds Park Inc. PO Box 609, Arnolds Park, IA 51331 712-332-6557 office

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reetings again Wheels fans! Knowing many of you love the snow and wish it would stay every month of the year, I apologize but beg for it to leave for good so we might get into the outdoors! Dirt, bikes, many fast cars, Brainerd and big rigs…bring ‘em all on! GameON! hopes you are as excited for the arrival of spring as we are! This issue of Wheels of Thunder is textbook WoT, full of amazing pictures and Unforgettable stories and it loads you up on the sponsor information you might need. GameON! TV continues to grow & reach so many of you with our sports programming and you know by now that we broadcast in the Dakota's and western Minnesota via MidCo Sports Network. 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 our first APP (it's free to for Apple & Android phones) is available for your use! 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, in fact, we just we just welcomed X-Games Gold Medalist Levi LaVallee to a downtown Minneapolis taping.

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!! GameON! Host Rod Simons has added baseball to his work schedule, joining the new radio home for your Minnesota Twins @ KTWIN 96.3. Rod will host The KTWIN Final Call with longtime Minnesota radio personality Jason Nagel after each and every Twins game. So, please join us for all thatsports offers us here in our great neck of the woods, via Wheels of Thunder, GameON! and KTWIN radio! And get your Vikings fix with our partner in one of the largest Vikings fan websites 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 fast approaching! Hope to see you at an upcoming GameON! taping!! Keep your GameON!

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Written by Jessica Kanke

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he Minnesota's Swarm lacrosse team has positively affected the younger generation and been making a big impact on them. You can see the dedication and effort put into making the sport outstanding by not only focusing on the growth of each individual but on the team as a whole. But building the team is not just about the players and dedication. It is about our fans and future players coming together. To ensure that our fans have an ever stronger team to enjoy in the future, today’s team members of the Minnesota Swarm are getting involved with the younger generation in every way they can. The Swarm has made a big impact on kids throughout Minnesota, especially Andy Ashley from Anoka, MN. Like a lot of athletes, Andy is been a multisport player his whole life, but he didn't get into lacrosse until his junior year of high school. "If you were to ask me how many sports I play now, the answer is one." As Andy put it, “Lax for life!” Lacrosse has changed Andy’s life both as a lacrosse player and as a person. Being part of a team has keep him out of trouble and given Andy something to do on his own or with friends. Andy offers a slight twist to some well-known advice. "When there is a wall, there is a way." If there is a wall, you will always be able to practice catching techniques. As an added reminder, he cautions, “Just remember to have your stick with you.” Page 68

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"Lacrosse came into my life with some big changes; I never looked at other sports the same way. I do not mean to come down on other sports because I'm a sports fan in general and have played many of them," Andy explained as we talked about how fairly new and how fast the sport is growing. One of the benefits of lacrosse that has caught Andy’s attention is outstanding rate of growth it has shown as a newly introduced sport in mainstream America. That growth means there is room for individual players to grow as well. Andy is mindful to include the fans in his vision of growth for his beloved sport. Fans have taken extraordinary steps to share their love for lacrosse with everyone they know and to promote the sport in their communities. "I want lacrosse to impact others the way it has me, and I will do whatever I can to make that happen. Making teams, helping kids out, bringing out all the positives that lacrosse has to offer the youth so that everyone can watch it grow more every day." The Swarm has shown Andy that they have the same passion as he does; they push themselves to become better every day and continue to set new goals of excellence.

Lacrosse is starting to grow into an increasingly popular sport. The Swarm is the team Andy started to look up too as he began to play lacrosse. He began by learning to string sticks and continued to learn by watching how they play, especially their shooting techniques. His constant observation of this stellar team has helped him to become a better lacrosse player overall. "The Swarm has taught me that you don’t have to be the biggest or fastest; they taught me that the sport of lacrosse can be played how you want it to be played. All the players are unique in their own way and have their own style of play. That is what really caught my attention to the sport in general," said Andy. The uniqueness of the sport of lacrosse has offered Andy the opportunity to grow as his own player and build his own style. May 2013

Going into the locker room provided very good insight into the world of Swarm for Andy. He got to see the players on the field and off the field. He got to observe first-hand the diversity of personalities and the relationships among team members. “Lucky me! I got a great opportunity to see them after such a big winning game. The players were jacked up like 13-year-old kids who just won a championship game. It was very heartwarming getting to see that the guys could

take time out of their day to talk with me and give me the opportunity to take a step into their lives for a night.” Andy was more than excited to tell me about his experience with the Swarm players. Behind the scenes, Andy experienced the love for the sport through the eyes of the team players. He realized the Swarms are true athletes that appreciate all sports and admires the abilities of other athletes. He was shocked when he saw the Swarm players watching the college basketball game on the TV in the locker room. The enthusiasm for competitive sportsmanship showed as the guys were cheering about the basketball game. Seeing a team full of smiles not only because they won their game but because of another game on TV really exemplifies the type of team they are. Andy met some very interesting people that support the efforts of the Swarm. He was introduced to the owner, Andy, and his wife. He enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Ryan Benesch about lacrosse, his career and stringing sticks. Ryan has the magical ability to keep the fans on their feet the whole game. Andy also got to meet the big shot goalie, Carlson. “Whose that goalie? CARLSON!” is the shout you hear during the

games after the big saves we see from our favorite goalie. Many players took time to walk over and shake Andy’s hand and offered pictures. The team was more than happy to see that their fans share the same passion they do with lacrosse. “The locker room just came to show me that the Minnesota Swarm can stay classy and act like the rest of us, full of smiles. You could see the dedication they put in and the effort it takes to become a professional lacrosse player. It showed me that the Swarm wasn’t full of conceited guys who can’t take a second to talk to their fans and show the love and support to us like we give them. It was a great opportunity,” Andy shared enthusiastically and with a big thank you in his voice. Andy speaks for all the fans of the Minnesota Swarm, “Thank you. Thank you all.” www.WheelsofThunder.net

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SEND TO: WHEELS OF THUNDER, 13915 RADIUM ST. NW, SUITE D • RAMSEY, MN 55303 ___ YES! I want to subscribe to the Wheels of Thunder Magazine & receive 12 issues for $34.99! ___ OR, enter me into the drawing for a 2011 Polaris Sportsman ATV & receive 12 issues for $40! Charge my credit card: _____VISA

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Wheels Of Thunder May 2013 Issue  

Wheels Of Thunder May 2013 Issue

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