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Vol. 4 Issue 9

SEPTEMBER 2013

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

OFFICE STAFF AR/AP – Stacy Robinson 763-421-4400 SALES SUPPORT – 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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Grave Digger - WoT Special Appearance .......4 BIR .............................................................12

History Cruzers ...........................................18

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

District 23 Moto X.......................................22

Princeton Speedway ...................................45 Conneticut to California...............................54

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NORTHERN SALES – Scott Robinson scott@wheelsofthunder.net 612-730-3719 SALES – Phil Parramore phil@wheelsofthunder.net 651-230-9013

Rally’s & Shows

Terracross Championship/ERX ....................28

Anoka Fair .................................................36

Outlaw Grass Drags ...................................46

SOUTHERN SALES - John Lentzkow John.lentzkow@mchsi.com 319-239-1375

Departments

Garage Built.................................................8

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Calendar ....................................................34

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

September 2013

Reviews

Country Auto, Inc .......................................50

ADVERTISING STAFF

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.

Special Features

ABATE of MN.............................................45

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Game On!..................................................58

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G

rave Digger® was developed in the mid-‘80s originally as a mud bog truck in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Often referred to by the fans as simply Digger®, it has since transformed into the most recognizable monster truck in the world. Made iconic in part by its creator Dennis Anderson, Grave Digger has four Monster Jam World FinalsSM championships under its belt as of 2010. Contributing to this four-time World Champion’s mystique is the famous paint scheme on the side of the truck, which includes eerie ghosts, green flames, a haunted house and even “tombstones” of competitors it has defeated. Dennis and Grave Digger will be in Minneapolis, MN with racing hero’s from every genre at the Wheels of Thunder All Motor Sports show October 18 – 20 at the Convention Center. Page 4

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The Final Metrodome MONSTER JAM Announced Saturday, Dec. 7th is fans Last and Final Date with Destruction at the Dome! For over two decades Monster Jam® has amazed over 1 million fans at the Dome; December 7th will mark an end to an era as they roar into Minneapolis with their last ever event at the Metrodome! It’s been years of history in the making and fans will have a chance to be a part of history at what is sure to be the the biggest event at the Dome. The event will feature an elite line up of trucks and drivers, including fan favorite Dennis Anderson in Grave Digger, along with both his son’s Adam in Grave Digger The Legend and Ryan in Son-uva Digger. Fans can visit www.MonsterJam.com for complete event information. The first monster trucks emerged as sideshow attractions at tractor pulling events in the United States. In the beginning, they merely drove over old – cars nothing like the high flying, high speed action of today’s Monster Jam. Nonetheless at the time, this stunt was outrageous and bold, and the fans were amazed. Over the next few years, technologies and skills improved. The development of monster truck motors and suspensions mirrored the improving abilities of their pilots. Rules were created, safety procedures were enhanced and soon the focus of the event organizers turned to monster truck performances began to distinguish themselves from their tractor pulling origins. The demand grew for more monster truck racing and the first “Monster Jam®” event was born. The

amazing monster trucks were finally the star attraction. The fans loved it, and as the crowds grew, so did the sport. Monster Jam soon became the hottest family entertainment tour in the country. As more fans crowded into the biggest stadiums in the U.S, to see Monster Jam every year, the event continued to evolve, as did the racing machines themselves. Steel bodies were replaced by fiberglass, and the old 16,500 lb trucks slimmed down to 10,000 lb. High-octane alcohol fuel now powered the massive engines, but the most important technological advancement was the introduction of oversized, nitrogenfilled shock absorbers in the suspension systems. This revolutionary new suspension technology allowed the monster trucks to jump high over the obstacles and at higher speeds. Freeing the monster trucks from the effects of gravity, these new shock absorbers helped launch what has become the signature of Monster Jam – the high-horsepower acrobatic chaos known as Monster Jam Freestyle competition. Cars, busses, caravans, boats, large trucks and even airplanes may show up on the track as obstacles for the drivers to tackle. Using these unfortunate metal victims, the Monster Jam monster trucks crash, jump, fly and weave their way around the track, often on only one or two wheels, all while under the careful control of the pilot, who pushes the truck to its limits with its twin steering systems, 1,500 horsepower racing motors and high impact suspensions. TICKETS – Tickets go on sale to the general public, Monday, September 16th. Tickets start at $20 for adults and $10 for children age 12 and under. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-745-3000. Tickets will be available to purchase at the Metrodome Box Office (cash only) / Gate B starting Monday, November 25th. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early as we are expecting a capacity crowd for this farewell event!

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SUBWAY PARTY IN THE PITS - A SUBWAY® Party in the Pits will be held from 12:30 p.m. 5 p.m., prior to the 7 p.m. show on the Metrodome floor. The pre-show pit party gives fans (with a pit pass and event ticket) the chance to see the monster trucks up close, meet drivers, take pictures and get autographs. Pit passes will be available for free at all participating SUBWAY® restaurants beginning November 25th. while supplies last. www.WheelsofThunder.net Page 5


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Owner/Enthusiast:

William Wolf

1929 Ford Coupe This story starts maybe 30 years ago. I always have had a passion for classic cars. Like most I have owned a number of cars that I wish I either still had or someday vow to own again. Throughout high school I spent most of my time at a buddy’s house working on various old cars. His dad was a huge influence and really introduced me to pre-49 cars and more importantly Fords and Flatheads.

Stock Original This is where it all started!

Sound Familiar? Do you have a story of your custom ride? E-mail editor@wheelsofthunder.net and you could be featured with your ride in the next issue! Page 8

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Years went by, got married and couple kids later Cars were something to haul the kids to practices and take family trips. With kids being older and heading to college it was time to reignite the classic car passion. I started a search for an appropriate car to be the basis for my street rod project. There was never a question about the Power plant. It would be a late model Flathead. The search for the Flattie would be first on the List. I located several motors as well as a few shops that could deliver anything from a block to a complete engine. I ended up finding a 53 Merc flathead in good shape to start the build. I found a small builder in Denver to deliver the basic engine and we then dressed it up with some addons. When we finished the only real paint was the block itself everything else is chromed and polished. After all engine work completed we ended up at 304 ci and just over 200hp. While the engine work was underway I began looking for a project car. Initially I was looking for a pickup for this project, but while searching for the right one stumbled across an ad on craigslist for a 29 model a Coupe. It was in Wisconsin and the fellow wanted to sell the body but keep the engine and running gear. This was perfect for me as I wanted to build a complete roller to but under the car anyway. Turns out this was an unfinished project that he had started years back and sitting in the corner since. The car had actually had a bunch of work done to it. The roof was chopped 3.5 inches, firewall replaced and was in finish paint. We picked up the car in December of 2010 and put into storage for the next spring. Since the Engine and car was now in place I went to work to build the chassis. The frame was ordered from LRS in Missouri. This was a complete roller with 9 inch ford rear-end, chrome dropped axle front, Wilwood disk brakes and brake lines installed. We drove from Minneapolis to southern Missouri to pick

September 2013

up the frame first thing spring of 2011. With the arrival of the crate holding the motor in April of 2011 I was ready to start what I had envisioned as a simple assembly process. If you have been though this process you’re probably laughing right now. Oh how wrong I was! With the frame already home we retrieved the body from storage, placed it on the frame for fit and put the car up on the hoist. I finally got my first look at the underside of the body, what a mess! It was a hodgepodge of odd patches and held together with those self tapping screws, with rubber washers, used on pole barns. Besides that the bottom was solid rust. Sadly this would be a complete do over, so much for the painted portion and my simple assembly project. Although I was just gearing up to start a fulfillment of my 30 dream build, I was also dealing with a back injury that would result in major surgery. I ended up in the operating room over Memorial Day weekend that spring and it looked as though the car project would once again be on hold. Prior to going under the knifea couple friends and I had spent some time researching shops in the are to work with for portions of this build as well a final paint. I found Straight Line Customs in Savage, Mn and owner Danny Pearson .(dan.pearson@straightlinecustomcars.com) began discussions about many aspects of this build. The surgery put me on my back for the better potion of 6 weeks. About two weeks into the recovery, those same friends decided that the car project had to be started and called Danny to have him come get the car and get it going. Since we knew we had rust issues we decided to blow off the paint and body work and start the project over. It was a number of weeks later that I made it to Danny’s shop. The car was now on a rotisserie, rust being repaired and project in full swing. With it being a do-over all plans for a simple build went out

the window and we decided on a full custom build. Still walking with a cane, my job duties became that of designer and parts locator. I knew I wanted a number of items to be close to stock, but also wanted to make sure that we had as many unique items as we could. Searching for just the right part or accent piece took hundreds of hours on the internet. Some of the more interesting items are the wheels from Billet Specialities, Buick fender portholes in the hood, Packard headlights, Kaiser gauge cluster, custom hood shelves, Chevy turn signals, Pontiac clock, and repurposed rear bumper made into custom front bumper. One might say the project sort of got away from us and took on a life of it’s own. We selected a number of additional items to be chromed like the windshield and all interior window garnish. In fact every single nut and bolt in this car is chrome. The paint was another story. I basically found two colors I could not decide between. We enlisted the help of Cliff Anderson, a fairly well know pinstriper in the Minneapolis area, to put together a couple renderings. We decided that a two-tone scheme would be the best looking and asked cliff for ideas for contrasting paints for the two selected. It was Cliff that first put the green and copper/orange together. Cliff added lots of old school pinstripping and gold leaf on the door. That first rendering, with a couple minor tweaks, is really what became the final paint scheme on the car today. It took a combination of good friends, industry experts, a little luck and thirty years of planning to make this dream happen, but I finally have my Ford Street Rod with Flathead motor. You can come see this car as it will be at the Wheels of Thunder All Motorsports show in October. It will be at the Straight Line Customs booth #1321 on the main floor.

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Written by Geoff Gorvin

T

he drag racing stars of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals have left Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) and series championships were decided for the 2013 Muscle Car Series, but there’s still some crazy-fun racing in September.

A new addition to the schedule this year is a second weekend for the Modern Automotive Performance Proving Grounds. A turbo-charged event that highlights imports, sport compacts and bikes, the Proving Grounds has been on BIR’s schedule for more than five years and continues to grow in popularity, mainly because it’s a chance for the turbo-crowd to take over the track and show off their stuff. Page 12

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The Proving Grounds have been growing so much – attendance has been over 5,000 – that another weekend was added to the schedule this year, giving both novice and expert drivers a second chance at bragging rights. The second Proving Grounds is Sept. 6-8. Drivers can register to compete in any number of events, including drag racing,

drifting, autocross and Time Attack, which is a timed event on the road course. The drifting competition, where cars are in controlled skids around a course marked by cones, is a fan favorite and a great way to check out drivers’ skills. The following weekend, Sept. 13-15, fans will be treated to the Wet & Wild Weekend Part II. Again, it’s the second time around for this crazy event, which features a combination of snowmobile racing on open water and high-flying, high-intensity Superbike racing. The International Watercross Association is bringing its massively entertaining brand of racing to BIR Saturday and Sunday. If you’re unfamiliar with watercross racing, you’ll want to check this out. Snowmobile riders seem to defy gravity by racing across open water during drag racing and on an oval course. They start a few yards from the lake and then hit the water at full throttle, either racing to the other shore during drag racing or in heats of three to five sleds while doing several laps around floating markers before returning to the same shoreline that they started on. Do they sink? You bet they do. But then a pontoon winches them out of the water and takes the sled and driver back to shore, where they get ready for their next heat. Few modifications are required to the sleds other than adding a special gas tank to keep gas from leaking into the lake if the sled sinks. While the snowmobiles are on Brainerd’s

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A significant change in the Bracket Drag Racing Series program this year is that each weekend includes two races instead of one. In the past, time trials and qualifying were Saturday, with eliminations reserved for Sunday. Now, time trials, qualifying and eliminations are both Saturday and Sunday, giving drivers twice as many chances to earn series points and win prize money for winning their class. In addition to showcasing a great variety of racing action this month, BIR also has four school dates left for the BIR Performance Driving School. These are single-day school sessions where drivers learn the finer points of driving in a high-performance situation – namely, on a race track. campground lake, the Central Roadracing Association will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for its insane brand of Superbike racing, which comes to BIR five weekends each year. These are some of the most skilled amateur motorcycle racers in the Upper Midwest as they test the limits of themselves and their bikes by flying around the track on two wheels and a knee. Friday and Saturday’s schedules include

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practice sessions and some six-lap races for a variety of classes. On Sunday, the featured event is a five-hour endurance race. The last weekend on the 2013 schedule, Sept. 28-29, is reserved for the Bracket Drag Racing Series. This is the sixth and final weekend for the series, where 250-plus dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters compete for series championships in 10 different classes.

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The school combines classroom instruction with 25-minute driving sessions on the track. Students can use their own cars or use the school’s Spec Racer Fords, which are single-seat, five-speed race cars that top out around 130 mph. The final dates are Sept. 9, 23 and 30, and Oct. 7. Summer’s over but BIR still has a lot of racing left. Check us out.

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F

or the classic car owners in the Twin Cities that know about the North St Paul History Cruzers, their Friday’s starting in June to mid September, they know where they will be going. One of the best kept secrets of family friendly events is right up in North St Paul, Minnesota.

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This sleepy little city comes alive for 16 consecutive Friday nights with about 1,500 1975 and earlier cars and trucks along with thousands of spectators. The Friday Night History Cruzers have been putting this show on for 20 years and the best part of it is the cost “Free”. Families come down to view this rolling museum of Detroit and imported iron. We have everything from stock and unrestored cars and trucks to incredible Pro-Streets along with live ‘50’s and ‘60s bands and all the State Fair Foods you can eat. Seeing 3, 4 and 5 generations all walking through the show, all enjoying what they

see and hear rolling by is such a great feeling. A young family can put their young ones in wagons or strollers, grab the leash and the dog and stroll the show, from 6 PM – 10 PM and unless you by food from one of the many vendors or purchase something from a business or vendor, it will not cost the family anything. We love having young ones see the cars and trucks from the past and want them to take an interest in them so we have a new generation of Motor-Heads to carry on. Where else can you have a full night of entertainment and meet new friends all for no cost. It does your heart good to see a beautiful ’68 Camaro, ’70 GTO or any other car or truck here. Something many people don’t think about is that there will never be another ’55 Belair or ’62 Corvair built again. If we want to have the next generation see any of these cars, we need to spark interest in the youth of today. The History Cruzers are a non-profit group of volunteers, no one in the past 20 years have ever been paid for work performed. The board meets with the city, schedules all meetings and shows for the year, promotes the show, designs flyers, builds web sites all on their own time and money. The show is funded by the business owners, sponsors and the vendors on the street. The show is not a faction of the City, it is the non-profit that pays for the barricades, insurance, toilets, trash pickup and police protection. For this volunteer, there is nothing that sounds better than a Pro-Street rumbling by

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so you can feel each piston fire in your chest and the smell of 110 octane. But seeing a perfectly stock Edsel, Jeepster or Marlin gets my blood flowing. It is so much fun to see a blower taller than the roof of the Vega or a fully restored Willies or Nomad. If you want to let your mind wander back to a time when things were simple and really enjoy a Family Friendly event that you will not soon forget, go to www.historycruzer.com , like us on facebook, or better yet, grab your family, come to downtown North St Paul, Minnesota. We guarantee you will love it or double your entrance fee back, oh ya, it is free…

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T

Keegan Linsmeier bustin the double on his #411 Yamaha, flying to a second place on the day in Quad Youth Production 13-15. Page 22

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he string of great racing weather continued in MN for the weekend of August 17-18. Quite a blessing from the weather gods, after delay!s to the start of the season because of too much late winter snowfall. Since that time the weekends have been stellar for all the hardcore racers and spectators to come out to enjoy the MN weekends.

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“The Red Rocker” Kevin Rodel (Honda) searching for a way past the #754 Honda of Tyler Allen in Open-A racing. Allen would finish 1st and Rodel 3rd on the day.

Written and photographed by Keith McKenna

Sunday August 18th dawned clear and 60 degrees with high forecasted to reach the mid eighties...Perfect! With the Viking Clash happening at Spring Creek Motocross Park in Millville MN, the bike turnout was a little light, but that was offset by a good turnout of quad racers ready to churn up the sand at the south track, while the bikes mostly ran on the north track of the legendary Norsemen Motorcycle Club racing facility. Today’s race was being put on by the staff at MotoCity

KTM speedster #55 Alex Timmer railing through the Parabolica on his way to a 2nd place in moto-1 of the Schoolboy 12-16 class, en-route to a second place on the day. September 2013

Kadlec. Moto city puts on races at several north central MN. On the north track a storm was brewing in the form of the Open-B bike class. At the drop of the gate for the first moto of the class the intensity was building to a crescendo as the #48 Suzuki of perennial favorite Blake Waller of Princton MN, intent on putting his stamp on the day powered into the high speed right hander with the throttle to the stop while Peter Nickel Jr was barking at Waller!s heels, on his #22 Honda. Third in line off the start was the mean green Kawasaki of Casey Hultgren. In this first moto of the class, Waller and Nickel were fighting hammer and tong in a race long battle that would see them charge to the checkered flag. The order at the finish was Waller, Nickel and Hultgren. At the end of the day the podium looked like this, Waller 1st going 1-1 in both moto!s, Nickel taking second going 2-3 and John Schulte from Lindstrom MN going 5-2 for third in class. The Vet-A class is always the highlight on race day, and today was no exception with a small but very potent class of racers at the gate just waiting to alter the earths rotation in their quest to dominate the race to the first turn. At the drop of the gate it was Mark “The Hard Charger” Arends serving www.WheelsofThunder.net

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in a close second on his Yamaha and Ryan Trout claiming the bronze for the day. The top two finishers in the Sr-A Class came to Cambridge from Hibbing and Rochester respectively with a North Branch resident in third. #155 KTM mounted Warren Hanninen from the north went 1-1 in both moto!s with the second place finished Chuck Thompsen from the south going 32 on his Honda for second in class and #180 Marty Melby finishing 2-3 for third in class in a race that was a real barn burner!

In quad open-B racing, Daryn Worden and Jordan Kraus would again finished 1 and 2 with Wade Reinke from Shakopee MN would pull down third place honors by keeping the throttle pinned over the sandy super-cross style racing circuit.

More info on race events by Moto City can be found at www.motocityraceway.com

notice that the only way to victory circle was through him.

In Quad 450 Production-B action the #212 Honda piloted by Daryn Worden from Lichfield, MN would hold the throttle open the most to earn a first place with 1-1 finishes on the day with Jordan Kraus coming

The speed that these racers can wring out of a 65cc 2-stroke is pretty astounding when coupled with the cutting edge engineering of today!s mini race bikes.

The day proved to be a fun, fast and safe day of friendly competition with the Moto City staff putting on a world class racing event.

Blake Lund from Lindstrom MN flying to a 3rd Place finish in 50cc Multispeed moto-1.

Consistently reeling off the fastest laps on his #158 Suzuki, would insure him first place gold, but not by much. The Kawasaki ridden by #180 Martin Melby was hot on Arends heels, to keep him honest with the Kawasaki of Tim Pospisil right behind at the line in both moto!s. Finishing order on the day was Arends 1-1, Melby second going 2-2 and Pospisil finishing 3-3 for third on the day.

bustin out the “big air” while being tailed by a hard charging Bodie Swanson and #127 Brandon Nelson roostin his way to third on the day.

Brandon Nelson(#127) sizing up KTM mounted #226 Jake McPherson in 65cc 711 racing action.

The 65-cc 7-11 gate was stacked stacked stacked, as KTM!s filled the podium with Forest Lake resident and class front runner Nick “Big Air” Paige continuing on his winning ways by setting blistering laps and

#33 Tony Ranallo blasting his way towards the checkered flag to a 6th place performance in Quad-450 Production action.

Remington Guthman #91 locked in a battle for points in the Quad 450 ProductionC Class on his Honda. Page 24

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GBC Tires Named Official Tire of Mystik Lubricants Terracross Championship Minneapolis, MN (August 27, 2013) The Mystik® LubricantsTerracross™ Championship has named GBC Tires as its official tire sponsor. It’s a good thing, because the circuit is already reaping the benefits of GBC’s vast knowledge of ATV and UTV tires and what those tires need to do to survive and compete in Terracross Championship competition. “To prevent having tire problems we teamed up with GBC tire and Walker Evans Wheels knowing they can handle the Rough, Tough and Muddy Courses of Mystik Terracross.” said Terracross’ Joe Duncan. GBC Motorsports was formed in 1995 with a focus on bringing performance tires to the ATV and Powersports market. But it’s parent company, Greenball Corporation, has been in the tire game since

1980, when it sent it’s first ATV tire to market. Today, GBC is a market leader in ATV And UTV tire design and innovation. Terracross athletes will rely on the GBC Kanati Mongrel at all Mystik Lubricants Terracross Championship events this season. With the first Mystik Lubricants Terracross Championship event already in the books, the Kanati Mongrel has proven to be up to the challenge of the rocks, logs, mud and other obstacles found on Terracross courses. Why? Because they were made for it. Multi-time Baja Champion, Wes Miller, also known for creating the "Huevos" movie series, will be piloting the GBC RZR XP1000 in the Terracross series. Miller stated, "I am really pumped to be a part of Terracross. The GBC Polaris RZR

XP1000 works awesome. I can't believe how good it is virtually stock. The series is stacked with great drivers, so the competition is going to be fierce. I can't wait to get on the track!" “The Kanati Mongrel uses the same diamond-shaped tread design as our light truck tire, the Kanati Mud Hog,” said GBC’s Kory Ellis. “The great thing about these tires is they can take everything Terracross can dish out yet they are DOT-approved, N-rated to 85MPH and have a 600-lb load rating so they can do pretty much anything anyone would want their UTV to do. Probably more!” NEXT UP: SnoBarons Haydays WHEN: September 7-8, 2013 WHERE: SnoBarons Haydays, Sunrise, MN (40-minutes North of Minneapolis) INFO: www.terracrossracing.com The Mystik Lubricants Terracross Championship features the best off-road and action sports athletes competing on Quads and Side-X-Sides on a rough, muddy course complete with obstacles such as rocks, logs, jumps and tight turns. Races are aired on CBS Sports Network. For more information on the Terracross Championship visit www.terracrossracing.com. FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/Terracrosschampionship TWITTER: twitter.com/Terracrossrace YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/TerracrossRacing CONTACT: Joe Duncan, joeduncan357@gmail.com


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MOTO CROSS

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TRACTOR PULL

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MONSTER TRUCK

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DEMO DERBY

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nother month has passed, and this month was again jam packed with racing fun at the Princeton Speedway. July was nothing short of amazing for some of our weekly racers. Bud Martini and Kyle Thell both had exceptional months along with James Trantina.

A

James Trantina is the driver of the #19x WISSOTA Super Stock and is in his second year of racing. Week after week Trantina comes to the track and races with the best Super Stock drivers around, and on July 19 his goal of being a winner came true. Page 40

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Written by Tami Jo Kuehn Photography by Jacy Norgaard and Bailey Sens

The WISSOTA Super Stocks awed the crowd with a caution free feature. James Trantina and Mike Loomis took the green and Loomis sped into the lead. Trantina locked in second while Shane Sabraski moved through the traffic and closed in on Trantina. Trantina however had his eyes set on Loomis as he slid next to him.

Bud Martini is well known for wheeling his #42 WISSOTA Midwest Modified around the local tracks. Martini was on a roll the past month and won five features over the span of four weeks. One week had double features and Martini took both wins that night along with other weeks.

Loomis and Trantina ran door to door a couple laps until Trantina pulled away. Trantina became the leader and Sabraski moved to his side. They ran panel to panel the remaining laps and Trantina crossed the line first taking his first feature win ever.

Kyle Thell had the same results as Martini in his Wollak Construction #00 WISSOTA Mod Four. Thell won a total of five features over four weeks, including double features on July 5. July 19 was one of the most exciting nights at the track for the young fans. The track hosted their annual Meet The Drivers kids night with drivers lining the track with their cars and treats, pictures and fun items for the fans. All kids were also able to register to be Jr. Announcers, Jr. Fans and Jr. Flag people, as well as they chance to win bikes. The night was full of fun and one of the best nights of the year. August 2,The Princeton Speedway did couples interviews on the track featuring a racer and there significant other. Fans enjoyed seeing the other halves to the drivers September 2013

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The Princeton Speedway has plenty of space for racers, fans and camping. There is onsite room for people to camp at the track, so there’s no need to leave and no excuse not to attend both nights. Races will start at 7 pm each night with a full practice session on Thursday night from 5:00-9:30. For more information, check out the website at www.princetonspeedway.com or on facebook by searching Princeton Speedway

and listened to the fun stories. The night was also the first antique car show. Six owners brought their antique cars to the track for a chance to win one of three awards. The awards were Fan’s Choice, Speedway Choice, and Racecar Driver’s choice. People voted and awards were given during the night. Even though the regular season will be wrapped up, the Princeton Speedway isn’t done and will host its first ever WISSOTA Racing two day show.

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September 20 and 21 will be the inaugural P-Town Showdown. Friday and Saturday nights will feature two complete shows of racing action with WISSOTA Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mod Fours and Hornets on the agenda. Both nights will have increased payout for all racing classes and there will be a winner’s bonus. If you race and win both nights of the Showdown you will get the bonus.

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With the racing season slowing coming to a close, there is still a lot going on at the Princeton Speedway, so head on out to the Bullring for some high flying dirt track race action.

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American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education Recently, Michelle and I took an 1,800 mile ride through South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and back to Minnesota. It was a wonderful journey that included the Sturgis Rally and many visits with family and friends. The hours in the saddle allowed me ample time to reflect on ABATE of Minnesota’s agenda and how I witnessed the reasons why we continue our push for common sense motorcycle rights and safety. Here are a few examples: ABATE of Minnesota is a huge promoter of motorcycle safety training. In the Black Hills during the Sturgis Rally, rider inexperience is widespread. It is very easy to notice the people who would benefit from more training. ABATE of Minnesota believes motorcyclists should be allowed to choose whether to wear a helmet or not. Thank goodness the entire Midwest is helmet choice (except for Nebraska and we are working on that). Through ABATE of Minnesota’s Share the Road program thousands of students, senior citizens, and service groups have been educated on motorist awareness of motorcycles. I saw the need first hand when a mini-van in Bowdle, South Dakota turned right into my path. That was close! ABATE of Minnesota repealed the high handlebar laws in our state over a decade ago. At the Whitewood gathering of biker rights activists we heard the problems these laws cause in other states. ABATE of Minnesota and the MRF are working to ban motorcycle only roadblocks September 2013

(notice I said “roadblocks” – these are not “checkpoints”. We should all use the proper terminology) nationwide. While law enforcement in the Black Hills during Rally Week do not conduct roadblocks, the overwhelming police presence and the “pull over anyone you want and check them out” policy amounts to the same thing. Minnesota has very aggressive saturation patrols that may need a little looking into as well. ABATE of Minnesota members enjoy a great bond of brotherhood and sisterhood. As do all of the motorcycling community. Nowhere was this more apparent than when I had a small electrical problem in Central City, South Dakota. My friend Donnie opened up his hot rod shop and said

“The place is yours. Use whatever you need”. No matter what comes up in life, we should never forget that we are all in this together. Petty arguments pale in contrast to our overall goals. Please join and support ABATE of Minnesota. Do it today at www.abatemn.org Long live the freedom fighters! Yours in freedom, Mack Backlund, State Coordinator ABATE of MN • 763-226-9195 www.abatemn.org

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COUNTRY AUTO INC. & HWY 151 CYCLE CENTER 1501 CHAMBER COURT ANAMOSA, IOWA 52205

319-462-5099 Written by John Lentzkow

Before restoration of the 1958 Chevy Apache Pickup.

This is a 1953 Chevy Pickup after restoration. Alan went all out on this one. Subtle design changes that still looked factory on the body. The running boards were extended to follow the fender curves. The split hood was made into a one piece hood. The interior dash was redesigned and many other changes to long to list. Then he added a cross between an old school paint job with a color twist and some custom paint for good measure. “I couldn't find the colors I wanted for this one sooooooooo........ I made my own formula. We even totally upholstered the interior and added a killer sound system and TV”. (Who needs a glove box when you can have a TV?)

Alan Zumbach has been in the body shop business for over 40 years. I had the pleasure sitting down with Alan to learn more about his success, and what it takes to do the variety of work performed at his business. One thing I noticed immediately was his soft spoken, laid back attitude, and how he connected to his employees. Alan stressed keeping as much of the work in house play’s a major factor. “I have talented craftsman employed, and I listen to their suggestions. By doing this it allows me to control the quality of work being done, and quality work makes for happy customers” Alan started out at a very early age, working on a motorcycle. He didn’t have the money to fix it, so a guy showed him how to use a spray gun. His finished product was noticed, and he was my hired by a body shop in Dubuque, Iowa. The

After restoration of the 1958 Chevy Apache Pickup. Page 50

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“If you make a list of what we don’t do,

it would be a lot easier.”

Alan Zumbach

Body shop is where he honed his skills and learned the trade first hand. Alan took the big step and started his own business in 1989, and moved to his new location in 2007. I asked Alan to show me around and talk about some of the many projects going on in his shop. Believe me, this is not your typical body shop. We walked to one of the many stalls and at the far end of the building and I immediately got excited. Here was a 1971Camaro Pro Street/Strip in process of a frame up restoration. The 383 stroked motor kicking out 540 ponies was surrounded by beautifully detailed body work and custom fabrication. Alan explained, the technology has changed so much from 20 years ago, and to do a car like this requires a lot of research and design capabilities. “Attending trade shows like SEMA, and keeping up with all the new products and performance parts is a must to do this kind of work. Networking with other people in the business is very important and sharing trade secret, but we still rely on our own styles “Alan said. The car is nearly ready for interior work and I can assure you this customer can’t wait for completion. But something like this takes time and must be done right, and from what I witnessed, it is awesome.

Alan said the guy’s in the shop share everything, including this sandwich. You should see how we warm up a can of soup. Can you say explosion?

his shop area. With custom work sitting in his shop and work already scheduled for next spring, Alan mentioned this is the only way he can keep up with the work load and more calls coming in.

HWY 151 CYCLE CENTER Alan’s business growth includes bringing in a new certified technician, specializing in motorcycle repair. Alan hired Larry Kelly to manage that side of his business. The timing was right, so preparation was made to remodel a room and add another talented individual to his staff. The motorcycle shop now part of Country Auto is called Hwy 151 Cycle Center. This direction of business includes motorcycle repair, service, and custom bike building with an opportunity to take on more custom painting and sales of per-

Ryan working on a 1961 Bubble Top

One thing I did notice was the work environment. I am not talking how clean and organized, but the attitude of the employees. Everyone seemed to take great pride in what they were doing, and were eager to tell me about their projects. And in order to grow the business, Alan has hired more employees and plans on expanding September 2013

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formance parts. With J&P Cycles located just up the road, customers can now take advantage of the services provided by Larry to have parts installed after purchase from J&P Cycles or service while travelling. Larry Kelly has 20 some years’ experience working on motorcycles and is a certified technician. Larry is a true “Hard Core Harley Guy” who is passionate about bikes. He is very friendly and more than willing to answer your questions and very capable of providing basic service to total custom build projects.

very successful business man and a very friendly boss to his employees, but he has a talent beyond knowing how to mix epoxy and do body work. Alan is a professional at air brush painting and graphic art design. I have included several photos which in no way do justice to the detail involved. I know there are many talented individuals out there undiscovered, and worthy of some good press. This is what I like about my job, and sharing with our readers those who have the skills to offer services for which we may not be capable of. Add Mr. Zumbach to your list for custom painting; I did!

Now I have saved the best for last. Alan Zumbach is not only a

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I

t was the summer of 1965 and I was attending my first drag race at Connecticut Dragway. Having spent only a few minutes in the pit area, I knew drag racing was the type of motor sport I would enjoy the most, and that was before I saw my first pass. From that race until I joined the military in 1968, I saw Don Garlits, rightfully selected as the number one drag racer of all time in 2001 during the National Hot Rod Association’s 50th anniversary celebration, Connie Kalitta, The Ramchargers, Stone, Woods & Cook, Big John Mazmanian, K.S. Pitman, Bruce Larson, Grumpy Jenkins, Sox and Martin, Don Gay, Malcolm Durham, Bill Lawton’s Tasca Ford, Bill Flynn’s Yankee Peddler, Dyno Don Nicholson and Fast Eddie Shartman. Many of the sport’s biggest stars found time during the season for a stop at the track in the Nutmeg State. I had the opportunity to discuss the track with Pitman during a race in Pomona; we both remembered it fondly. Page 54

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Written by Tom Edwards

Connecticut Dragway was a fan friendly track. The bleachers, which were on the pit side only, were about 20 rows high, began near the starting line and were perhaps 50 yards in length. From the end of the stands to the finish line area, fans that arrived early enough could park their cars in the front row facing the track. I still remember how much fun it was to be, in effect, at a drive-in style drag strip. A small food stand near the entrance to the pits offered “hot dogs, hamburgs, and grinders” for your dining pleasure. I always had an unobstructed view of the track from the flash of the green light on the Christmas Tree and, in the case of high performance cars, the deployment of parachutes to bring the cars to a stop. During my first year in the military, which found me at the Great Lakes Naval Training

Center at Great Lakes, Illinois then Japan and Vietnam, I lost touch with the world’s fastest motor sport. Fortunately, upon my return to the United States, I was assigned to Electrical School in San Diego; not far from the legendary Orange County International Raceway. As an east coast drag racing fan, there was something magical about the first race I saw in California, a Funny Car match at O.C.I.R. Many of the well know racers were there and seeing nitro powered cars run after sunset was a first for me. I didn’t remember the cars being that fast, or that loud! It was great to be back. Until that night, the only west coast drag racing I had seen was the very limited coverage ABC’s Wide World of Sports gave the Winternationals, the opening race of the N.H.R.A. season. When viewed from New England in February, it was great to see an outdoor event with many of the fans wearing tee-shirts. Groundhog Day isn’t the time of year to be dressed that way in Connecticut. In retrospect, it may have been while I was watching the Winternationals that I was, to quote The Mamas and the Papas, “California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day”. Given that my wife Cathy was at the first race held at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota, it wasn’t hard to talk her in to going to the Winternationals at the Fairplex in Pomona, about a two hour drive from our home in San Diego. In the years we have been attending, we have seen some memorable passes. Among the runs we have enjoyed the most was the 1987 Top Fuel final; defending champion Big Daddy Don Garlits in the aerodynamic Super Shops streamliner and former champ Joe Amato. With low elapsed time of the meet, Big was at the finish line first at 5.29

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seconds. It was, at the time, one of the quickest and fastest side by side runs of all time and the final national event win for Hall of Famer Garlits. Southern California is the birth place of drag racing and the capacity crowd of knowledgeable fans let out a cheer that was at least as loud as the run they had just witnessed. What a day. While he was mixing fuel for his final round match, Cathy asked Big what kind of mileage he was getting. The Babe Ruth of drag racing replied “About 40 gallons to the mile. It’s not economical but it’s pretty fast”. Great answer. If you’re looking for a ride that is economical, you may want to consider something other than a Top Fuel dragster. The highly innovative Swamp Rat XXX that carried Garlits to the win that day was transported to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Transportation and placed on display; the first drag racing vehicle so honored. In 1989 my wife and I also enjoyed seeing Connie Kalitta break the 290 MPH barrier with a 291.54 MPH pass at Pomona. During an interview in the shut down area, Connie said at that speed “the telephone poles across the street look like a picket fence”. That’s a view I’d like to check out. That race is also remembered for Eddie Hill’s blow-over that started about half track. Utilizing a wide variety of borrowed parts, Hill qualified for the 16 car field. As a fan, it showed me that sportsmanship is alive and well in the world’s largest motor sport sanctioning body.

was new. It was $4,500,000 well spent. For the first time at a race there, Cathy and I sat on what had been the Tower side of the track and found it to be an interesting vantage point. Never having been directly across from the starting line, we enjoyed seeing the driver’s reaction to the Christmas Tree that isn’t noticeable from our usual seats at the half track area. The large three story tower was also a tremendous facility upgrade. One of the most famous tracks in drag racing had undergone some major upgrades; a good sign for the growth of the sport. The Saturday qualifying for the kickoff event of the 1993 season was great. Cory McClennathan established a new national Elapsed Time mark with an incredible 4.78 second run as 15 of the 16 cars qualified in the four second zone. Shelly Anderson’s 5.01 rounded out what was, at the time, the quickest field in history. The defending Funny Car champ, Cruz Pedregon qualified first with a 5.10 to

let everyone know he wasn’t interested in relinquishing the number 1 he had on the side of his car. In Pro Stock, Warren Johnson’s track record 194.04 MPH pass with an event record 7.16 E.T. set the pace for the factory hot rods. During an exhibition run between rounds of professional qualifying, it was great to see the John Peters/Floyd Lippencotte, Jr. “Freight Train” make a crowd pleasing pass. While we were in the pit area, my Connecticut to California connection with the sport was reestablished when Chuck Etchells of Putnam, CT, the first Funny Car driver in the 4 second zone, signed one of my collector’s cards and we discussed his qualifying effort. The card, from the Mega set, issued in the 1980’s followed Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney among the signed cards I have it the set. All three drivers commented about the cards when they autographed them. That set reignited my interest in drag

racing collectables. Additional card sets, books, DVD’s and die cast cars have been added to my collection. I still have my

As an N.H.R.A. member and Facilities Engineer, I followed the upgrades that were being done at Pomona during the early 1990’s and was more than ready to see what Page 56

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piece of drag racing memorabilia; a pit hand out card Big Daddy autographed and gave me at Connecticut Dragway.

Given our interest in travel and drag racing, Cathy and I have enjoyed the races we have attended in Brainerd, a picturesque resort area in northern Minnesota, Carlsbad Raceway in southern California and at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As a New York Yankees fan, it was fun to see Mike Dunn drive the New York Yankees Top Fuel dragster to a Brainerd record of 326 MPH. The Strip at Las Vegas Motor

n’t been to a drag race since Connecticut in the 1960’s. Cathy and I thought it would be fun to show them how much straight line racing had changed. A good time was had by all. For the first Top Fuel qualifying pass, I gave my sister and her husband ear plugs and told them to get ready. Shortly after two Top Fuelers strolled on by at about 325 MPH, my sister’s jaw dropped open and she had a one word review for what she had just seen, “Wow”! I couldn’t have said it any better. My wife and I have had a knack for being at the right track at the right time. In August of 2005 we were in Minnesota for a vacation and, no surprise here went to Brainerd for the race. During Top Fuel qualifying, some impressive numbers were being posted. As it turned out, Tony Schumacher topped them all with a 337.58 MPH blast; years later, it is still the fastest run in drag racing history. Cory Mac was in the other lane. During an interview in the shut down area, Cory said “I don’t know how fast Tony was going, but it felt like I was parked”. November of

2006 found us in Pomona for the finals and we saw Fast Jack Beckman pilot his Funny Car to a 333.66 MPH lap, the fastest ever

for a fuel coupe. The following years have found Cathy and me at our favorite tracks enjoying the worlds fastest, and, in our opinion, best, motor sport. All in all we have had a lot of fun during our time at drag strips and look forward to many more enjoyable races. The variety of cars and motorcycles involved, mind boggling speeds and access to the drivers makes drag racing unlike any other motor sport. That being the case, it’s a great way to make some fast friends.

Speedway is a state of the art track that set the bar quite high for any track that followed. Bruton Smith, the driving force behind the track, did just that with the 4 lane drag strip he built in Charlotte, North Carolina. The home of The 4 Wide Nationals is a track my wife and I want to see. It’s another positive sign for the sport. In October of 2003 my wife and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Las Vegas with my sister and her husband. They were there on vacation to celebrate my Brother-In Law’s birthday. As NASCAR fans, they have been to a number of Daytona 500 races, but hadSeptember 2013

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G

reetings again Wheels fans! After that last blast of summer heat, Fall is here and you “Wheelies” (that is, Wheels fans and outdoor types who would love to have snow on the ground 12 months of the year) gotta’ be excited! Before long, the cold and snow will be here and snowmobiles will be flying everywhere.

First things first. What a great summer with hydroplanes, dirt, bikes, boats galore, many fast cars, Brainerd NHRA again and big rigs. GameON! TV hopes you had a great summer! We know you are enjoying this issue of Wheels of Thunder…full of amazing pictures, images and unforgettable stories! GameON! TV is also a big fan, a Wheelie, as WoT continues to grow & reach so many of you just like GameON! You can see us with our sports programming 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 Sunday’s at 10AM. 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

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Lacrosse Swarm. There's NASCAR and we're all over your favorite drivers, in fact, 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. GameON! Host Rod Simons has added baseball to his 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 that sports 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. Be a part of the exciting effort and get your GameON!

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Wheels Of Thunder September Issue 2013  

Motorsports, Wheels, Wheels of thunder, Motor, Racing, Trucks, Mud trucks, Monster trucks, NASCAR, ISOC, Snocross, Terracross, Side...

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