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Snow Drags get off to a good start PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janet Rohde   
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:51 AM

Drivers rev their machines as they bolt from the starting line in the Chippewa Sno-Kats Top Gun feature race on Feb. 25 at the Iron county Airport. Jeff Szanto, right, of Crystal Falls won the race. Upper Michigan racer Louie Goldbach, center, and Lower Michigan’s Scott Felver didn’t place in the Top Gun, but had impressive rides throughout the Snow Drags. Goldbach of Goldbach Racing team in Iron River took a first in the Open Mod and a second place in the Mod 800.
CRYSTAL FALLS—The driver that won the first Top Gun feature this year in the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers Circuit (MASTERS), Jeff Szanto, became the first driver to win a second Top Gun Feature.
 Szanto, of Crystal Falls, took the Top Gun feature at the Chippewa Sno-Kats Snow Drags at the Iron County Airport this past Saturday.
 Szanto won the Top Gun feature at the first of the six drag race series in Merrill, Wis. He defeated this year’s high point driver, Derek Peterson of Atlantic Mine, along with Iron River’s Rudy Vincent.


 Szanto and Vincent were on Ski-Doos, while Peterson was on a Polaris. Szanto also swept through the Mod 800 class with another class feature win. Szanto’s only loss before the feature was to Scott Felver of Lower Michigan in the first round. Felver and Szanto advanced by going into different brackets. However it was in the Open Mod semi-final that the two had the ‘race of the day.’
 The race between the two was so close that six officials at the finish line simply called the race “a tie.”  That meant that Szanto would move to over to the lane that Felver was in, and Felver would have to move his sled to the lane that Szanto was in
 In the re-run, Szanto edged out Felver by inches, going in excess of 100 mph on the groomed 500-foot snow track. Then in the ‘shut-down’ area after the finish line, Felver’s engine over-heated and ‘burned down.’ 
 While Peterson had to settle for a second in Top Gun, he still took home first place finishes in stock 600, stock 800, and open stock.
 It was in stock 700 that Lake Linden’s Tom Hodges on an Arctic Cat ended Peterson’s multi-year dominance in this class. Hodges also ended Peterson’s winning streak in Mod 600 with another win. To prove that it was no ‘fluke,’ Hodges also defeated Peterson in Mod 700.
 Goldbach Racing of Iron River is used to carrying the “Iron River Ambassador Flag” at drag races all over the Midwest. The team showed friends and neighbors how strong they are with Louie Goldbach winning the Open Mod, and strong finishes by Vincent, Alex Nordang, Mark Weisenberger, and Chris Nordang.
 Drivers came from both Peninsulas of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota to compete. The Crystal Falls and Iron River communities welcomed the drivers with signs all around town.
 The Chippewa Sno-Kats not only was a major sponsor of the race, the club had been working on the drag strip at the Iron County Airport weeks before the race. It was with the support of the Iron County Board of Commissioners, along with John’s Industries, TRU Recycling, Upper Peninsula Power Company, and many other local businesses.
 “It is amazing as to the support, and help the MASTERS Racing Circuit has received from so many businesses and people in Iron County. Not just with this past Saturday’s Chippewa Sno-Kats Snow Drags but also the Mid America Championship Hillclimb at Caspian. We don’t usually get this kind of welcome, even though we bring a lot drivers and fans to a community. I just want everyone in this area to know how much we appreciate the support!” concluded MASTERS Racing Circuit President Skip Schulz.
 The MASTERS Racing Circuit has two more Drag Races as a part of the organizations Mi-TRALE/Lac Vieux Desert Resort/Casino Drag Racing Series. Next one will be the Uphill Drags at Marquette Mountain on April 7. Then the following Saturday, April 14, the MASTERS will hold its Drag Racing Season Championship at Powderhorn Mountain.
 The MASTERS will conclude the snowmobile winter portion of 2012 with a Snowmobile Hillclimb at Powderhorn Mountain on Sunday, April 15.
 Results of Chippewa Sno-Kats Snow Drags at Iron County Airport: Chippewa Sno-Kats TOP GUN:  1) Jeff Szanto, Crystal Falls (MI), Ski-Doo; 2) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris; 3) Rudy Vincent, Iron River (MI), Ski-Doo
 Upper Pennisula Power Company OPEN MOD:  1) Louie Goldbach, Iron River (MI), Ski-Doo; Jeff Szanto, Crystal Falls (MI), Ski-Doo; 3) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris;
 Chicaugon Inn MOD 800: 1) Jeff Szanto, Crystal Falls (MI), Ski-Doo; 2) Louie Goldbach, Iron River (MI), Ski-Doo; 3) Rudy Vincent, Iron River (MI), Ski-Doo
 NorthSTAR Health System MOD 700:  1) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden (MI), Arctic Cat; 2) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris; 3) Matt LaCosse, Champion (MI), Polaris
 Wild Rivers Realty of Iron River MOD 600:  1) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden (MI), Arctic Cat;  2) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris; 3) Jim Johnson, Skanee (MI), Polaris;
 Kermit’s of Iron River MOD 500:  1) Matt LaCosse, Champion (MI), Ski-Doo; 2) Jim Johnson, Skanee (MI), Polaris; 3) Lance Forcia, Jr., L’Anse (MI), Ski-Doo
 Alpha General Store STOCK OPEN:  1) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris; 2) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden (MI), Arctic Cat; 3) Jim Butler, Babbit (MN), Arctic Cat
 Santi Excavating STOCK 800:  1) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris; 2) Jim Butler, Babbit (MN), Arctic Cat; 3) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden (MI), Arctic Cat;
 First National Bank, Iron River/Iron Mtn STOCK 700:  1) Tom Hodges, Lake Linden (MI), Arctic Cat; 2) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris; 3) Alex Nordang, Iron River (MI), Ski-Doo
 John’s Industries/Tru Recycling STOCK 600:  1) Derek Peterson, Atlantic Mine (MI), Polaris; 2) Alex Nordang, Iron River (MI), Ski-Doo; 3) Matt LaCosse, Champion (MI), Polaris;
 Chippewa Resort STOCK 500:  1) Chaz Forcia, L’Anse (MI), Polaris; 2) Lance Forcia, L’Anse (MI), Ski-Doo; 3) Matt LaCosse, Champion (MI), Polaris
 Iron County Reporter/Shopper 120cc:  1) Nathan LaCosse, Champion (MI), Polaris; 2) Tucker Passamani, Iron River (MI), Arctic Cat; 3) Carter LaCosse, Champion (MI) Polaris
 Iron County Chamber KITTY CAT:  1) Devon Krcijewski, Iron River (MI); 1) Tucker Passamani, Iron River (MI); 1) Carter LaCosse, Champion (MI)